Hi everyone, I just found this thread had been revived!
I agree (from my 1 comp experience) that the judges can be very nitpicky and criticise things that may have never occurred to me (or probably anyone else with the exception of other judges). In making my entry to the easter show I am bracing myself by anticipating what they could say ("too busy"... petals too thick ... some elements might not "go" with others, should have made all borders the same... etc). They might come up with other criticisms totally unexpected. However I am proud of the things I have learnt while making this, as it has definitely forced me to learn new things. Did anyone catch the ABC documentary 'Not just tea and scones'? The last episode was about people who want to be judges (for cakes, scones etc, not decorating) and they are trained to judge nitpicky things. For instance, the taste of a cake might blow you away, but they will hone in on the evidence showing the baking paper might have been slightly wrinkled on the bottom, or that there were faint rack marks.
Sandra, did you get a chance to check out the other cakes when you delivered your exhibit? Do you know if every exhibit is put on display?