FreekNation has spoken and the Clash of the Commentators Top 4 has been named. The 4 winning videos were selected by public vote and can be found here. Be sure to come back on August 12th to vote for your favorite commentator when the second round of videos hit and the head-to-head voting begins.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’d like to address a few things regarding the judging process and live public voting*.

I’ve seen via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube some complaints about the Top 8 commentators and their videos. A few people have been saying that the Top 8 are not deserving or good enough to be here and I don’t think that’s fair.

First of all, the Top 8 commentators are people and are proud of the accomplishment of making it to this point. Let’s not let conspiracy theories and tender egos ruin this for them.

Second, we all have unique tastes and we like what we like. I personally enjoy the crap out of some Minecraft while many of my friends think it has bad graphics and is a complete waste of time… This is also true of movies, TV shows and YouTube videos. Taste is subjective.

The fact is, we selected four diverse judges with different backgrounds and varied tastes. All four of them run successful YouTube channels and know what they’re looking for in a video. If one of them really likes videos that feature special operative surfing raccoons (Rac Ops :P), who would we be to argue?

Allow me to explain how the judging went down.

We received over 300 submissions for Clash of the Commentators. After eliminating around half of them (based on not meeting certain requirements like time limit, age, location) we were left with about 130 valid entries. I then personally narrowed that list down even further to about 90 of the best videos. It took me three full days. I eliminated duplicates, videos with really poor audio or video quality and some that I judged as inappropriate or unintelligible. I then divided that list of about 90 videos for the four judges for the final selection process. The result is the Top 8 that you see here. They are a highly subjective—but honest— Top 8 and the judges and I worked painstakingly to select them.

Our goal with #ClashCom13 was and is to feature some of the best up-and-coming YouTube personalities out there and give them a chance to shine. And though so far it has proven somewhat controversial, we still believe in what we’re doing and invite your comments and feedback so that we can make the next one even bigger and better.

*Also, we have been noticing some inconsistencies with the public voting. We have identified a few voters who have found a way to vote more than once per day. We have now removed these votes and will continue to monitor. If we find that any contestant is encouraging voters to manipulate the system, that person will be disqualified.

I hope this helps to clear things up, FreekNation. Thanks for listening.