This, just like an actual BB contest, is subjective. Deal with it.
I used a phrase similar to that of your rant. While it may be harder to get from low teens to single digits (not that I’d know), it’s also harder to see the degree of change in side by side comparisons - at least for a miserable lay person such as myself. I haven’t surrendered the $200 to get Groove’s Mind Calipers and visually, I’d say there is a bigger change in appearance when you’re not hot shit already and then you become so. Selection of adequate before/after poses and lighting also play a huge roll as Patricia pointed out.
I think Char had the best set going for pics/lighting/layout, but I couldn’t in good conscience vote for him since the actual amount of change was not as dramatic VISUALLY than that of several others. Yes, he looks freakin’ awesome. Yes, he is well versed and thoroughly knowledgeable. Yes, he worked his ass off and has every right to be damn proud of his accomplishments. But no, VISUALLY, the change was as astounding as some others. (Sorry, hon) Same for several others.
So, blame it on my not having personal knowledge of how hard it is to make the drop you mentioned. Blame it on my not knowing shit about lifting or nutrition. Blame it on my not being an experienced judge. Blame it on me being “stupid”. Whatever. I’m ok with that. Perhaps that’s why our measly votes only count for one third of the outcome.