As for the first wave of first round goodness, here's a rundown of the other three brackets.
And now, thoughts, in reverse order.
Tigger - There really aren't too many surprises here. GBJ advanced with a wicked RP... read it!, and I still think he's the bracket favorite. Still though, despite the inherent absurdity of the character, Plucky the Cockfighting Duck turned my head at least with his hilarious RP which contained a pretty memorable line:
"Holy frijoles, that duck knows lucha libre!"
Honestly, I want to hate Plucky, but I can't because the writing is so deliciously over-the-top. Also notable in this bracket is the advancement of Bryan Storms, who is the only FW/A1 character who won their first round match. Congrats to Shinder for being able to pull off what myself, Jeff P., Jason and Dan weren't.
Kanga - One HUGE upset here and another milder one. The Earth-shaking upset was Hoyt Williams losing to Joshua Kosidlo. I know I didn't have Hoyt on my shortlist, but I expected him to notch at least two wins under his Bible belt before losing out. The next one might have been expected from some people, but when a short-lister goes down, a short-lister who happens to hold the Global Championship in his last PTC event, well, it still turns heads. Kimbusa won the Global Championship from Seymour Almasy and knocked him out of GTT6 in the first round. Talk about one last Chocobo ride into the sunset gone awry. There weren't any other real huge surprises in this bracket though, but Almasy and Hoyt going down... man.
Pooh - First off, let me say that I'm not angry that I lost, not even in the short term like I was last year. I brought it, and it wasn't good enough to advance. Simple as that. Maybe next year, I'll be able to get in and get past the first round. Still sitting on a PTC goose egg, GTT and IG combined. *sigh*
Anyway, onto more objective discussion...
Two of the judges' comments rubbed me wrong here. One, Judge #3 in the Payne/Dash matchup... I understand the criticism. Although I personally enjoyed Jason's RP and thought it to be an amusing take on the proceedings, I know that the "unoriginality" of the piece could bring it down. The way the comment was presented though... I know it might not have seemed to have come off badly, or maybe it wasn't even intended to be posted as such, but it still was. While I don't begrudge the judges their right to their opinions, and while I certainly don't begrudge their right to be straightfoward and not to pull any punches, this, I think, goes too far. I don't want the judges to walk on eggshells with what they post, but I think they should know not to hand in inflammatory things for Ross to post.
(For the record, I did discuss this with the judge in question. I'm not going to say who it was - a good journalist never reveals his sources - but he understands the nature of how it could have been construed wrong as well. It was an honest mistake, and there are no hard feelings towards anyone, believe you me.)
The other judge in question was Judge #2 of the YYJ/Sirrajin match. I was pretty miffed when I saw the comments initially and thought they were also glib and uncalled for. After rereading them, I think that the opinions and criticisms offered within were valid points of view. However, this line sticks out to me:
"The big problem is, while the parodied storyline has been done, this would seem to be a storyline we'd expect from someone else and it wouldn't be as lacking in the ability to keep my interest."
Umm, what's this supposed to mean? I know most of the guys from PTC, unless they've been in NFW, have never been in contact with YYJ before, but how could this be something you'd expect from someone else and not Jeff P., who's done YYJ off and on for the last four or five years? He did post a bio page, for crying out loud. I feel you have a right to favor any RP over another RP, and you certainly have the right to think that Sirrajin won the match. Darryl is a solid writer in his own right, and I hope no one thinks that I'm taking anything away from his win.
I just like to see some better reasoning behind the judgings. If you can't put your feelings into words very well, then be short and somewhat vague with your critiques. Simple as that.
Other than that, the PRIME-killer, Digital Mortality, was finally killed by a PRIME-ate as Karina Wolfenden took him out. That stands out to me as the other notable result in this bracket. Nova also posted a quality RP, with more to come. I did pick him to win this bracket, mind you, so hopefully, I didn't jinx him too badly.