Suggestions On How To Handle This....

Decorating By Malakin Updated 10 Dec 2008 , 12:50am by KitchenKat

Malakin Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 7:39pm
post #1 of 34

I'm depressed, aggravated, etc. I recently entered a local gingerbread contest. My first house ever which took me 70 hours to complete. There were to be 3 categories total, one was school entries, the next was community, and the third category was to be professional. I am only a hobby baker and it was their executive decision not to put my entry into professional, but to enter it into community. My problem is that each category was to have a first place, second place, third place, and honorable mention ribbon. These ribbons were given out for the school category and the professional category. But, my complaint isn't that I didn't get a ribbon in my category (although my gingergread house got the highest bid out of all shown at that contest), but that no one, and I mean NO ONE in the community category received one at all. Not one single ribbon in that category. It's like they forgot to even judge our community category.
When the committee was asked why no one received any ribbon at all, they said something wasn't right and they would get back in touch. Well, no one ever called me. I decided I won't be back next year.
My question is what would all of you do to advise the committee of your disproval of the situation? I can't keep quiet but I don't want it to seem like I am a sore loser when no one won. NO ONE GOT A RIBBON........

33 replies
chutzpah Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 7:47pm
post #2 of 34

I would definately call and point out that the category obviously wasn't judged. I mean, if no one won in the category....it's pretty obvious that something is wrong.

They haven't gotten back to you because they messed up and they know it. They're all hiding their heads in the sand!

weirkd Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 7:57pm
post #3 of 34

I dont think you sound like a sore loser. You sound like your wondering why it wasnt judged! I would of brought it to their attention also! Its not like you were jumping up and down asking where your ribbon was or anything!

dlinnane Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 7:58pm
post #4 of 34

I just hate contests, and this is one of the reasons. The judging is ALWAYS subjective when there is art involved (and cake is art, after all), so even when they do remember to award ribbons, the winning choices are really at the mercy of the judges' preferences. Or there may be several wonderful entries, and they have to decide that a perfectly beautiful cake loses because of the award structure.

It just seems like a bad deal when all the planning, effort, and talent aren't rewarded, which is impossible when there are many entries and only a handful of rewards.

Just realized I'm venting - sorry - but really, wouldn't a simple exhibition make everyone happier?

Galler Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 8:04pm
post #5 of 34

You put in all that work and if your was the best you should get the stinking ribbon!!!!!!!!!!! I hate these contests sometimes because it so political. What probably happened was one of the judges MIL was competing in your category and came in second so they complained because they though you should be in the "professional" category. (I have MIL issues...can you tell?). icon_evil.gif

weirkd Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 9:27pm
post #6 of 34

(MIL issue...dont we all!) And your right, it can be a judge that prefers one thing over another and knows the work of the person who entered. Its VERY political to me. I will never enter again. Not that Im a sore loser, its not that. I know there is work out there way better than mine and Im the last person that thinks I should ever win anything. But I cant stand it when you see the people who win are the ones running the show or teaching classes for what they put on their cake. To me, they shouldnt be allowed to enter because their involved in it. Its a conflict of interest to me. And on the other note, some wise woman once told me "Why should I enter a contest to have someone else tell me if my work is good enough or not. Who are they to tell me that? They might prefer an older technique and you could of come up with a new inevated way to do something!". And what she said really made sense to me. Your at THEIR mercy.

leah_s Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 10:27pm
post #7 of 34

Oh this post hit a nerve with me. A couple of years ago I entered a local cake contest for an event, so all the cakes were the same general theme. I made a three tier topsy, fondant covered and decorated it with handpainted gumpaste, poured sugar work, fondant work - it demonstrated a variety of higher level skills.

I got beat by a sheet cake.

mmmhhhmmmmm

weirkd Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 10:39pm
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

Oh this post hit a nerve with me. A couple of years ago I entered a local cake contest for an event, so all the cakes were the same general theme. I made a three tier topsy, fondant covered and decorated it with handpainted gumpaste, poured sugar work, fondant work - it demonstrated a variety of higher level skills.

I got beat by a sheet cake.

mmmhhhmmmmm


Yep, I hear yah sister! And the thing is we know that not all judges are like that. Some are fair and really do their best. But its the other people out there that are dishonest that really makes you mad!
Thats why Im not going to waste my time anymore.

-K8memphis Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 10:44pm
post #9 of 34

Squeaky wheel gets the grease so keep squeaking but I mean squeak nicely but often.

But then again they may never have another competition for all the squeaking. But if they are gonna screw a third of the participants they probably should be shut down.

Wow that really sucks huh.

Keep calling.

They stole your prize. They stole your bragging rights.

Get ahold of whosoever can make the decisions and make them finally decide. Is there a principal or a school board or a pastor involved??

That is pathetic that they can't get it together!

summernoelle Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 11:02pm
post #10 of 34

I have a question...
I don't mean this in any way to sound like I am citisizing (sp?) your level, because your cakes are great! But, sometimes rules say that they don't give ribbons if they feel like the level wasn't high enough. They don't just give out ribbons to 1st, 2nd and 3rd best, but only if they meet certain criteria. I recently saw a contest where they only gave out a 3rd place ribbon no 2nd or 1st. Is it possible that was the situation here?
Again,I don't mean it to sound like your work isn't great-I didn't even see the house. But I was just wondering.

CakesByLJ Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 11:02pm
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

Oh this post hit a nerve with me. A couple of years ago I entered a local cake contest for an event, so all the cakes were the same general theme. I made a three tier topsy, fondant covered and decorated it with handpainted gumpaste, poured sugar work, fondant work - it demonstrated a variety of higher level skills.

I got beat by a sheet cake.

mmmhhhmmmmm




I'm in line right behind ya... icon_mad.gif The judges for the event I entered didn't have a clue what fondant or gumpaste was.. I was extremely disappointed.. A sheet cake... seriously!

Malakin Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 11:12pm
post #12 of 34

Guys....believe me. I have been in competitions for years in regards to art shows, pastel, photographs, oil painting, acrylics etc. and know how judges can be. If I can get ahold of my daughter, I will have her post pic here with other exhibitors info crossed out. It's a big event and I don't want to embarrass anyone.

It's not that I didn't get a ribbon. I can handle that. It's the fact that NO ONE in my category did. Believe me, I did get people's choice. I also received the highest bid and I also adhered strictly to the rules and guidelines set. Not a fraction of an inch off. I also was the only one to do poured sugar windows and a blue sugar lake, I was the only one to decorate the inside also.
Here is the breakdown:
Professional: one entry, one blue ribbon
Schools: 20 entries, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and honorable mention.
Community: 5 entries, NO RIBBONS. Not just me, no one got one. They didn't even judge the category. They forgot it entirely.
I think the thing that hurts the most is that year, ok, I will admit it, someone did deserve bragging rights and they didn't get it.

imartsy Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 11:15pm
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

Oh this post hit a nerve with me. A couple of years ago I entered a local cake contest for an event, so all the cakes were the same general theme. I made a three tier topsy, fondant covered and decorated it with handpainted gumpaste, poured sugar work, fondant work - it demonstrated a variety of higher level skills.

I got beat by a sheet cake.

mmmhhhmmmmm




Sounds like the state fair - I so wish that they would give you SOME kind of feedback - or have categories like they do on Food Network - artistic, level of difficulty, etc... my all my hand little girl's room including furniture, clothes, and toys, and a fondant character got beat out by some cakes I really didn't feel had that level of difficulty. I just wish I knew what they took in mind when choosing winners.

Malakin Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 11:23pm
post #14 of 34

Also, between my daughter and me, we contacted three different co-chairs who either "didn't know", "wasn't sure", and "that's not right", along with "we'll get back in touch with everyone". This is a big competition which is held every year. Of course, no one ever called us back.

Malakin Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 11:26pm
post #15 of 34

Here is part of their guidelines. I will post a pic soon.

á Judging:

The Festival awards each category a First Place, Second Place, Third Place and an Honorable Mention in each category.

¡§Best of Show ¡V Trees¡¨ and ¡§Best of Show ¡V Accessories¡¨ Awards are considered the best entry of the Festival in the specific category. The First Place Winners of each category will be re-judged for the ¡§Best of Show¡¨ awards.

¡§People¡¦s Choice¡¨ Award is given from vote tally of community throughout the Festival.

¡§Children¡¦s Choice¡¨ Award is given from vote tally of children throughout the Festival.

Malakin Posted 8 Dec 2008 , 3:58pm
post #16 of 34

Here is a pic of the gingerbread house for referrence. Thanks for letting me vent, guys!

Image

terrylee Posted 8 Dec 2008 , 4:34pm
post #17 of 34

I agree with Leahs also .....I teach cake decorating in our local 4-H club....I have kids as young a 8 entering cakes into the fair....some of the cakes they do are using the stars.....and it takes these little one up to 2 hrs to complete their cake. The judge at one fair said " The stars are to easy..." all got 2nd/3rd's....You should have seen the cake that got a 1st......looked like canned icing and I really mean, slapped on with a kitchen knife....no shape, not even smooth a little.

I was irate......I realize every judge is intitled to their option but come on. We did complain and next year the judging was better.

I will try and attach a sample of the cakes these kids do......2nd place? I think not...This one was done by an 8 year old........

terrylee Posted 8 Dec 2008 , 4:50pm
post #18 of 34

I couldn't get to post on this site.... please look at my pics.......black and white cow.....I'm so proud of these kids.

KHalstead Posted 8 Dec 2008 , 4:55pm
post #19 of 34

Malakin your gbread house is gorgeous! I love the roof, is that just squares of gbread??
totally love the stacked wood too! Genius!

I think the rules state pretty plainly that all the categories would recieve a ribbon!
I'd squeak!

kokopuff Posted 8 Dec 2008 , 5:03pm
post #20 of 34

A few years ago I put an entry into our local fair,there were about 30 entrees with only 1 catagory,children should have been a seperate division but was not.Anyway we had 3 judges ,all teenage boys,don't know how that happened? 3 prizes to be awarded.The winners were 2 teenage girls and an 8 year old.No adults were chosen.Turns out the teensge girls that won just happened to be the girlfriends of two of the judges and the other 1 was there friend!This just seemed so unfair!The people in charge of choosing the judges also turned out to be 1 of the boy's mother!Don't know why they even bothered having a contest in the first place?

grama_j Posted 8 Dec 2008 , 5:27pm
post #21 of 34

leahs wrote:
Oh this post hit a nerve with me. A couple of years ago I entered a local cake contest for an event, so all the cakes were the same general theme. I made a three tier topsy, fondant covered and decorated it with handpainted gumpaste, poured sugar work, fondant work - it demonstrated a variety of higher level skills.

I got beat by a sheet cake.

mmmhhhmmmmm


I feel your pain..... last year I did a carousel cake with nearly a thousand hand made fondant flowers......... I installed lights around the top, and the floor actually rotated........ A girl did a doll cake with the star tip all over it, and she won.......... this year, I did a hat box, and a three tier cake with dots and roses won....... at least it was better than LAST year....... afterwards I asked " What are you people LOOKING for?" She went off on some tangent about fondant not tasting good, and isn't that what I used on my cake........... uhhh...... These were dummy cakes and only judged on DECORATING.....
The pictures are in my photos....... I'm CERTAINLY not at a professional level like some of you are, but I KNOW i'm a step above a star tip doll..... I won't be going back........

terrylee Posted 8 Dec 2008 , 5:40pm
post #22 of 34

Malakin.....I'm sorry that I didn't comment on your Gingerbread house......I got so wrapped up on the judging thing........

I loveit....... the details you did, the roof, logs, inside, everything....you did a great job. A blue ribbon is appropriate.

Tita9499 Posted 8 Dec 2008 , 5:45pm
post #23 of 34

Contests really stress me out for that reason right there. I'm actually in the same frame of mind as Leah. When I was a senior in high school my vo-tech culinary arts class went to national level to compete in a culinary arts competition. One of the prizes was a scholorship to the CIA. I was the only one from my class of 30 to compete in the cake decorating portion because of my skill level.

Well, they made you pick out a theme (baby shower, birthday, etc) from a bucket and you have to decorate according to that theme. The only stipulation was it had to be all BC. Okay, done. All the teachers who were their supporting other students commented to my teacher that I had it in the bag, so we were super excited. Then we realized that one of the competitiors aunt was a judge...since she wasn't an immediate relative she could judge without there being a conflict of interest (huh?). Needless to say, her aunt must have worked some magic with the other 2 judges because her star tipped (darn those star tips!) face of a lion for FATHER'S DAY won her doggone scholarship! I heard it through the grapevine that she ended up dropping out because it was too hard. GRRR!

Call them and get your ribbon for all of us that have been wronged by contests!

bettinashoe Posted 8 Dec 2008 , 6:03pm
post #24 of 34

It's a great gingerbread house and you can tell there was much love, effort and time put into it. It sounds more like "lack of community" on the organizer's part. At this point, even if they did decide to hand out ribbons it would probably feel more like a defeat instead of a victory! A nice but firm letter to the organizers (telling them how hurt you are and how you know others who worked just as diligently as you were also offended) would probably be the most effective way of dealing with this if for no other reason than to get it off your chest. I detest competitions just for those reasons. Even on Food Network I often get frustrated by their decisions.

And by the way leahs, I can't believe anyone, sheet cake or not, could beat you in a cake competition. Your cakes look just like mine do (in my dreams that is).

johnson6ofus Posted 8 Dec 2008 , 6:07pm
post #25 of 34

I have dreams of leahs skills too... icon_biggrin.gif

LOVE the gingerbread house- they are so much work, I applaud you for investing 70 hours in it!

zoomzone Posted 8 Dec 2008 , 6:28pm
post #26 of 34

Beautiful house! Well, you can take comfort in the fact that it WAS the highest selling, so obviously- best in show.
I would write a letter to vent, then wait a week to see if you still wanna send it- But I totally understand your frustration and you are right!

Malakin Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 5:03pm
post #27 of 34

Thanks so much everyone. It's very important to know everyone's opinion here because they are some pretty tough experts on here who will tell it like it is and not sugarcoat it.

Contests usually don't stress me cause I know I have a lot of improvement yet and didn't expect to be first at all.

Believe me, I wasn't the only one left out, no one received a ribbon at all.
I did send a letter of to the chairman of the gingerbread house committee. We'll see. I'll keep ya posted. I live out of town so I am unable to contact any other people who entered and didn't get judged.

Also, the gingerbread roof was very thinly rolled out gingerbread, each set baked at different times 10, 12, 15 min. to get the different colors.

GeorgiaGingerbread Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 10:44pm
post #28 of 34

Maybe it's something in the water down here in the south. I entered a gingerbread contest last week and couldn't believe the results. I entered the amateur adult division as I do not bake professionally. I'm not sure who they had judge, but I believe they were clueless as to what fondant and gumpaste is! I placed second and did not even win the Mayor's or Judge's Award! I was so disappointed, especially when I went to pick up my house early and there was not a first place winner in sight for my division. All of the houses were still there, but only a 2nd and 3rd place ribbon. Hmmmm. Oh yeah, the 3rd place winner won both the Judge's and Mayor's award. I will probably not waste my time again entering local contest.
LL

Malakin Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 10:59pm
post #29 of 34

icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

Malakin Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 11:00pm
post #30 of 34

I lost my post? What the? luvnvcowgirl, I'm jealous. First, your house is gorgeous, second you got a ribbon, third you got to take your home back home with you. I had to donate mine....

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