As noted in the comments on the previous thread, the FF40 has been a very instructive process. Usually, you submit your work to a contest, magazine, etc., and you hear nothing at all. Nothing, nothing, nothing until you get a response. No opportunity to see how the scores evolve, how you rate vs. others, or how close or disparate the ratings are.
So many stories are separated by tenths or hundredths of a point. In the end, Maria will take these numbers into account, but will make the final decision based on her own judgment. It's good to be the Pit Boss.
FWIW, I don't think that there is very much sandbagging going on. That strikes me as pretty far outside the scope of professionalism. Even if there are a few knuckleheads in the judging pool, their unsupportable rankings will be overwhelmed by the wisdom of the crowd, which in turn will be trumped by the only vote that matters, that of the Editor Unleashed.
This has been good times, regardless, and I've learned enough that I feel it was a very worthwhile endeavor.
But I still want to win, so if you haven't done so, go read my story and vote, OK?