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Episode 9.3 — Time Crunch: Day 3

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i think we got to the right top three, and now, whover is eliminated from this point , some people are going to feel like the wrong one lost...

that said, i think this podcast in the future (if there is a future?) would benefit from either, two full time judges and one guest judge...or a small set of guest judges that cycle in so they are all familiar.
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Also, the judges should be given all of the emails that the contestants are given each with with the challenge , etc....
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Also also, the judges should be there to listen to the coaching (but not chiming in, that could get too convoluted)
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Also also also, (this is probably the most unrealistic) BEFORE the contest begins, each podcast should choose one representative podcast from their back catalog...if they are ever in the bottom three, the judges will have to listen to the three representative podcasts to get a better feel of a full show and break ties...maybe this would be unreasonable...and probably doesnt matter since the top 3 podcasts are the right three

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@Jeff I feel like right now lots of people are over-reacting to this week's challenge. In a day or two most will calm down, and hopefully post something positive on the boards. But this is to be expected when entering the world of reality competitions.
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The strong reaction to this episode comes in part because we are down to the wire and people really really care about these podcasts now.
But this challenge also had the decks stacked against LHR. And although they may have received a little leeway in the end, it didn't come across from Matt, the producers, or the judges. Having a challenge that is tougher for one of the podcasts doesn't sit well in the final weeks. Because how do you factor that into the judging? Or do you at all?
This challenge also epitomizes an issue many people brought up throughout the Challenge, that the criteria for judgment came across as loose. Some weeks it's just about funny, sometimes about the specifics (using guest, recurring segment). This week just felt so loose and subjective, stacked against one podcast, and overwhelming for the contestants. And to have that be the second to last week makes it all the harder to swallow.

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@Jeff I feel like right now lots of people are over-reacting to this week's challenge. In a day or two most will calm down, and hopefully post something positive on the boards. But this is to be expected when entering the world of reality competitions.
--
The strong reaction to this episode comes in part because we are down to the wire and people really really care about these podcasts now.
But this challenge also had the decks stacked against LHR. And although they may have received a little leeway in the end, it didn't come across from Matt, the producers, or the judges. Having a challenge that is tougher for one of the podcasts doesn't sit well in the final weeks. Because how do you factor that into the judging? Or do you at all?
This challenge also epitomizes an issue many people brought up throughout the Challenge, that the criteria for judgment came across as loose. Some weeks it's just about funny, sometimes about the specifics (using guest, recurring segment). This week just felt so loose and subjective, stacked against one podcast, and overwhelming for the contestants. And to have that be the second to last week makes it all the harder to swallow.

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@Jeff Thank you for replying and acknowledging it didn't work. That the sum total was poorly executed.
 
Part of what's fuelled the rancor in the forums has been the show's own format. The Challenge is all about criticizing where podcasts fall short. And when the Challenge fell short of our expectations, it felt necessary to many listeners to make their critiques heard. If Who Charted or Sklarbro Country had a bad week, no one would feel like injustice had been done. Because those shows aren't about saying what is and is not a good podcast.
 
Yes. This week hurt the Earwolf brand. But it didn't put a "pox" on it. Each good show builds your brand. And when you reply to fan feedback, you're helping to fix that damage.
 
We want to feel like we've been heard. It would be great if not on this show, but perhaps on the Wolfden, you could discuss the feedback you got from the forums, particularly in the suggestions thread, and regarding this controversial week, and how you would plan to address that feedback in a Season 2.
 
Most of us are on here giving feedback because we want the show to be better too. It was a success. We got down to the final 3 and people were passionate about the results. Ignore the conspiracy theorists, they're an in-built bug in every online forum.
 
But for many of us, this week was the tipping point where the enjoyment of the podcast was overwhelmed by feeling of frustration with how the challenge was run, how judges were briefed, for the 8th week in a row, not understanding the challenge parameters, unclear/conflicting judging criteria, etc, plus the uncharacteristic callousness of pranking the contestants and then immediately asking them to address a challenge after revealing they'd been duped.
 
The Earwolf Challenge is new ground for podcasting and for that, we thank you for being willing to take the risk of screwing it up. We realise you're going to do some learning by trial and error. This week pushed people's buttons. We gave harsh feedback. But we gave it so you could take it on board and avoid those mistakes again.

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@Jeff Thank you for replying and acknowledging it didn't work. That the sum total was poorly executed.
 
Part of what's fuelled the rancor in the forums has been the show's own format. The Challenge is all about criticizing where podcasts fall short. And when the Challenge fell short of our expectations, it felt necessary to many listeners to make their critiques heard. If Who Charted or Sklarbro Country had a bad week, no one would feel like injustice had been done. Because those shows aren't about saying what is and is not a good podcast.
 
Yes. This week hurt the Earwolf brand. But it didn't put a "pox" on it. Each good show builds your brand. And when you reply to fan feedback, you're helping to fix that damage.
 
We want to feel like we've been heard. It would be great if not on this show, but perhaps on the Wolfden, you could discuss the feedback you got from the forums, particularly in the suggestions thread, and regarding this controversial week, and how you would plan to address that feedback in a Season 2.
 
Most of us are on here giving feedback because we want the show to be better too. It was a success. We got down to the final 3 and people were passionate about the results. Ignore the conspiracy theorists, they're an in-built bug in every online forum.
 
But for many of us, this week was the tipping point where the enjoyment of the podcast was overwhelmed by feeling of frustration with how the challenge was run, how judges were briefed, for the 8th week in a row, not understanding the challenge parameters, unclear/conflicting judging criteria, etc, plus the uncharacteristic callousness of pranking the contestants and then immediately asking them to address a challenge after revealing they'd been duped.
 
The Earwolf Challenge is new ground for podcasting and for that, we thank you for being willing to take the risk of screwing it up. We realise you're going to do some learning by trial and error. This week pushed people's buttons. We gave harsh feedback. But we gave it so you could take it on board and avoid those mistakes again.

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@Jeff,
I get the feelings. But I'm a bit surprised you are responding this way. I mean, have you ever been on the internets before? What do you expect?
 
You are getting this sort of response because the idea of the show DOES appeal to people. And much of it has been enjoyed.
It also appears you've never been part of the semi-harsh world of comedy. It's hard. You get shit on. (And the folks you shit on are always going to be louder than the folks who love something.)
 
Just as some contestants don't get leeway for the difficulties they have and the learning process they had to face, The Challenge isn't always going to get leeway for just because you are "trying something new."
 
There have been MANY reality shows you could have studied and learned from. And you guys did. But some lessons didn't seem to be taken. (One reason most shows have a panel of judges that return week in a week out is so things are consistent.)
 
And just because you tried to address a complaint in the forums (challenges repeating themselves) and tried to do something different and then had it go poorly, don't take it personal. Learn from it, but get whiney.
 

Look at the criticisms you agree with and learn. Ignore the rest. You don't have to justify yourself to anyone.

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@Jeff,
I get the feelings. But I'm a bit surprised you are responding this way. I mean, have you ever been on the internets before? What do you expect?
 
You are getting this sort of response because the idea of the show DOES appeal to people. And much of it has been enjoyed.
It also appears you've never been part of the semi-harsh world of comedy. It's hard. You get shit on. (And the folks you shit on are always going to be louder than the folks who love something.)
 
Just as some contestants don't get leeway for the difficulties they have and the learning process they had to face, The Challenge isn't always going to get leeway for just because you are "trying something new."
 
There have been MANY reality shows you could have studied and learned from. And you guys did. But some lessons didn't seem to be taken. (One reason most shows have a panel of judges that return week in a week out is so things are consistent.)
 
And just because you tried to address a complaint in the forums (challenges repeating themselves) and tried to do something different and then had it go poorly, don't take it personal. Learn from it, but get whiney.
 

Look at the criticisms you agree with and learn. Ignore the rest. You don't have to justify yourself to anyone.

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I haven't agreed with everything that's happened on the show, but I download and listen as soon as I can because I still really enjoy it. It's rough around the edges, but that's part of the charm. I don't see it so much as "one winner, and a bunch of a losers", because even the eliminated podcasts have gotten priceless exposure. I've added several to my subscriptions, which is valuable to me as well.

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I haven't agreed with everything that's happened on the show, but I download and listen as soon as I can because I still really enjoy it. It's rough around the edges, but that's part of the charm. I don't see it so much as "one winner, and a bunch of a losers", because even the eliminated podcasts have gotten priceless exposure. I've added several to my subscriptions, which is valuable to me as well.

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Oh hai guys- just got back from Seattle to notice all the hubbub. Love your passion! (okay, some passion more than others, but that's what message boards are about, right....?
.
If I may give you my thoughts on this week?
.
It was a good challenge. This situation happens all the time. Twice to me this week. The old show-biz saying "the show must go on" is based on this kind of thing, right? I suggested it because I really think that you can see what someone is made of when they are forced to come up with something on the fly. And for those of you crying foul, you might remember that three VERY strong submissions came out of it.
.
And when you have three strong submissions, one is going to get cut, and people are going to be upset about it.
.
Here's a FACT: Some of you don't like TL, and are convinced that there is nothing redeeming about it, and that your brains are the only ones that work correctly. You are WRONG.
.
Here's another FACT: Some of you like LHR the best, and are convinced that every other show is weaker than them, and every other person should agree with you because you are right. You are also WRONG.
.
You know those disclaimers at the end of reality shows that talk about how producers may have helped affect the outcome? We never wanted to do that for this show. Jeff and I are always suprised to hear who got the boot every week. We have been disappointed some weeks, just like you. But we never wanted to monkey around in it too much, leaving it up to whoever was judging that week. So any cries of judge bias are VERY WRONG.
.
Yes, the one flaw in this week is that the judges could have been prepped more on exactly what the rules were. This is a very hard show to put together, and one for which it is even harder to book judges. But no excuses - that is something that could have been strengthened.
.
But at the end of the whole thing, they judged the material just like all of you - based on what their ears liked. So they are NOT WRONG.
.
Were I judging this week - based on three very strong submissions - it probably would have been a coin flip for me between LDDC and LHR. LDDC were hilarious for the first couple of minutes, then treaded water. LHR turned in a very professionally written and sounding sketch that, at its core, was basically an amusing trifle (which I think they would agree with). This is the kind of premise that, when working in the Mr. Show writers' room, was pitched often. Bob would say, "very funny - now go back to the drawing board." This doesn't make it any less of an achievement that they put it together - but it doesn't make it a great sketch.
.
I think I may have voted for LDDC to be eliminated were I judging this week. But that's what's great about America - everyone's brains work differently. I am satisfied with the decsion, and do not think anyone got fucked over.
.
I am not telling anyone not to complain - we like it! In fact, I welcome the several cranks who are going to yell at me for this post. Go ahead! I love that you're passionate about the show, and especially about LHR, a great show that deserves your subsriptions - the only prize that's really worth anything out of this whole contest.
.
By the way - those of you leaving shitty iTunes reviews for Walking the Room - please erase them. This is childish. Dave is a good friend of mine - we have worked together on many things, and he is a delight. He did us a favor by being on the show and to have you treat him this way is disgusting to me. I really think people will look back on the things they said online reagrding other human beings during this era and be ashamed of themselves.
.
And on that note, have a great day, everyone!
.
SA

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Oh hai guys- just got back from Seattle to notice all the hubbub. Love your passion! (okay, some passion more than others, but that's what message boards are about, right....?
.
If I may give you my thoughts on this week?
.
It was a good challenge. This situation happens all the time. Twice to me this week. The old show-biz saying "the show must go on" is based on this kind of thing, right? I suggested it because I really think that you can see what someone is made of when they are forced to come up with something on the fly. And for those of you crying foul, you might remember that three VERY strong submissions came out of it.
.
And when you have three strong submissions, one is going to get cut, and people are going to be upset about it.
.
Here's a FACT: Some of you don't like TL, and are convinced that there is nothing redeeming about it, and that your brains are the only ones that work correctly. You are WRONG.
.
Here's another FACT: Some of you like LHR the best, and are convinced that every other show is weaker than them, and every other person should agree with you because you are right. You are also WRONG.
.
You know those disclaimers at the end of reality shows that talk about how producers may have helped affect the outcome? We never wanted to do that for this show. Jeff and I are always suprised to hear who got the boot every week. We have been disappointed some weeks, just like you. But we never wanted to monkey around in it too much, leaving it up to whoever was judging that week. So any cries of judge bias are VERY WRONG.
.
Yes, the one flaw in this week is that the judges could have been prepped more on exactly what the rules were. This is a very hard show to put together, and one for which it is even harder to book judges. But no excuses - that is something that could have been strengthened.
.
But at the end of the whole thing, they judged the material just like all of you - based on what their ears liked. So they are NOT WRONG.
.
Were I judging this week - based on three very strong submissions - it probably would have been a coin flip for me between LDDC and LHR. LDDC were hilarious for the first couple of minutes, then treaded water. LHR turned in a very professionally written and sounding sketch that, at its core, was basically an amusing trifle (which I think they would agree with). This is the kind of premise that, when working in the Mr. Show writers' room, was pitched often. Bob would say, "very funny - now go back to the drawing board." This doesn't make it any less of an achievement that they put it together - but it doesn't make it a great sketch.
.
I think I may have voted for LDDC to be eliminated were I judging this week. But that's what's great about America - everyone's brains work differently. I am satisfied with the decsion, and do not think anyone got fucked over.
.
I am not telling anyone not to complain - we like it! In fact, I welcome the several cranks who are going to yell at me for this post. Go ahead! I love that you're passionate about the show, and especially about LHR, a great show that deserves your subsriptions - the only prize that's really worth anything out of this whole contest.
.
By the way - those of you leaving shitty iTunes reviews for Walking the Room - please erase them. This is childish. Dave is a good friend of mine - we have worked together on many things, and he is a delight. He did us a favor by being on the show and to have you treat him this way is disgusting to me. I really think people will look back on the things they said online reagrding other human beings during this era and be ashamed of themselves.
.
And on that note, have a great day, everyone!
.
SA

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"I really think people will look back on the things they said online reagrding other human beings during this era and be ashamed of themselves." Possibly the wisest thing said... on all the internet!!!

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"I really think people will look back on the things they said online reagrding other human beings during this era and be ashamed of themselves." Possibly the wisest thing said... on all the internet!!!

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@Jeff
.
Speaking for myself, my issue was not with this single episode of the podcast. This was much more of a "straw/camel's back" situation. Every week there has been confusion about the rules and standards of judging, so much so that Paul F. Tompkins was able to go on a quite funny riff about it on Who Charted the other week. Surely when other comedians - the people doing all that hard work you are talking about - are on *your network* making fun of this situation, you must realize something is amiss?
.
This week's voting just brought the underlying issues into sharp relief. I don't doubt that Matt, the producers, and the guest judges are working hard at hosting and producing the show. But how hard did they work at developing the challenges and the judging criteria? With all due respect...it doesn't seem like a whole lot of thought went into it.
.
Maybe that's ok. Part of what I like about this show over the inevitable American Idol/America's Got Talent comparisons is that it is sort of ramshackle. Certainly I wouldn't have the chance to complain to the producers of those shows directly, the way I can to you. In fact, it's for that reason that I'm happy to let your "well maybe we'll just take our ball and go home!" comment slide. That's unprofessional as hell, but that's part of your appeal.
.
I guess the bottom line for me is that, if you want to run a contest in this off the cuff sort of way, that could be entertaining - but you should probably be more explicit about it. Matt's approach as the host has been to take the competition *very* seriously. He offers real, biting criticism, frequently gets upset or at least agitated, and agonizes over the rules that he clearly spent very little time thinking over before going to air. His delivery - and the whole tenor of the show - don't really fit with the reality, which is that these podcasts are eliminated on a whim, and by no discernible standard at least 50% of the time.
.
Maybe "Earwolf Challenge: Where Anything Can Happen!" Something to convey that at a fundamental level this is a casual, comedic show that's not trying to imitate a serious American Idol kind of contest.

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@Jeff
.
Speaking for myself, my issue was not with this single episode of the podcast. This was much more of a "straw/camel's back" situation. Every week there has been confusion about the rules and standards of judging, so much so that Paul F. Tompkins was able to go on a quite funny riff about it on Who Charted the other week. Surely when other comedians - the people doing all that hard work you are talking about - are on *your network* making fun of this situation, you must realize something is amiss?
.
This week's voting just brought the underlying issues into sharp relief. I don't doubt that Matt, the producers, and the guest judges are working hard at hosting and producing the show. But how hard did they work at developing the challenges and the judging criteria? With all due respect...it doesn't seem like a whole lot of thought went into it.
.
Maybe that's ok. Part of what I like about this show over the inevitable American Idol/America's Got Talent comparisons is that it is sort of ramshackle. Certainly I wouldn't have the chance to complain to the producers of those shows directly, the way I can to you. In fact, it's for that reason that I'm happy to let your "well maybe we'll just take our ball and go home!" comment slide. That's unprofessional as hell, but that's part of your appeal.
.
I guess the bottom line for me is that, if you want to run a contest in this off the cuff sort of way, that could be entertaining - but you should probably be more explicit about it. Matt's approach as the host has been to take the competition *very* seriously. He offers real, biting criticism, frequently gets upset or at least agitated, and agonizes over the rules that he clearly spent very little time thinking over before going to air. His delivery - and the whole tenor of the show - don't really fit with the reality, which is that these podcasts are eliminated on a whim, and by no discernible standard at least 50% of the time.
.
Maybe "Earwolf Challenge: Where Anything Can Happen!" Something to convey that at a fundamental level this is a casual, comedic show that's not trying to imitate a serious American Idol kind of contest.

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@Jeff Ha ha, sure. Non-breaking space in combination with a line break. The forum code seems to ignore empty line breaks.
I'm a typographer, so it's my niche. Hold Option + Space on a Mac. Much more painful on Windows, sorry.

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@Jeff Ha ha, sure. Non-breaking space in combination with a line break. The forum code seems to ignore empty line breaks.
I'm a typographer, so it's my niche. Hold Option + Space on a Mac. Much more painful on Windows, sorry.

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@Jeff and the rest ... I don't think the Earwolf "brand" has suffered, even a little bit, over this kerfuffle. I certainly don't think less of anyone involved because of it, not Scott or Jeff or Besser or Belknap or Dave. Shit happens. The internet reacts. Angrily. Always. That's what the internet does. Complaints will always outnumber compliments, because most people only feel motivated to expend the time and energy to respond to something when their expectations aren't met.
.
Hell, it's not even like the internet invented this. I worked in newspapers for almost 20 years, and 90 percent of the letters to the editor were just angry screeds about how terrible we all were at our jobs. Of course, print media is damn near dead now, so maybe we all were terrible ...
.
I don't feel like anything is fundamentally broken here. The vast majority are still listening and still enjoying, because we recognize that even the greatest entertainment isn't always perfect. I won't stop watching "Curb Your Enthusiasm" just because Larry has an off-week. So, some people got mad and yelled at the internet. Must be Wednesday.

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@Jeff and the rest ... I don't think the Earwolf "brand" has suffered, even a little bit, over this kerfuffle. I certainly don't think less of anyone involved because of it, not Scott or Jeff or Besser or Belknap or Dave. Shit happens. The internet reacts. Angrily. Always. That's what the internet does. Complaints will always outnumber compliments, because most people only feel motivated to expend the time and energy to respond to something when their expectations aren't met.
.
Hell, it's not even like the internet invented this. I worked in newspapers for almost 20 years, and 90 percent of the letters to the editor were just angry screeds about how terrible we all were at our jobs. Of course, print media is damn near dead now, so maybe we all were terrible ...
.
I don't feel like anything is fundamentally broken here. The vast majority are still listening and still enjoying, because we recognize that even the greatest entertainment isn't always perfect. I won't stop watching "Curb Your Enthusiasm" just because Larry has an off-week. So, some people got mad and yelled at the internet. Must be Wednesday.

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@Max I can't help but disagree with something you said. This is a serious show with serious judges who have educated an entire generation of podcasters the past nine weeks. No one is becoming a better singer from watching American Idol but many people will produce better podcasts from listening to the Challenge.

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@Max I can't help but disagree with something you said. This is a serious show with serious judges who have educated an entire generation of podcasters the past nine weeks. No one is becoming a better singer from watching American Idol but many people will produce better podcasts from listening to the Challenge.

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