We the jury

Aren’t you glad you aren’t a juror on the CBC Anthem Challenge? You’d have to agree to the following, according to a source:

  • Work for nothing: “I have not requested, and will not request, any financial compensation.”
  • Go through 100 entries before the end of the contest. (Yes, before that time.) They now have over 10,000 entries. Won’t that require 100 batches of 100? Are they really going to recruit a hundred jurors?

    It seems obvious to me that they are not going to listen to the entirety of 10,000 entries. At a conservative estimate of 90 seconds’ duration each, plus another 90 seconds to manipulate and score the entries, that’s 500 hours’ work right there. Of course a dozen people could get that all done in two workweeks, but I have trouble visualizing that scenario.

    It is relatively easy to print out and scan through 10,000 composer names. I predict that known composers (of the Randy Bachman ilk, though he is ineligible) will be flagged and their compositions immediately heard in full. A lottery system will be used to randomly select entries from the masses; only a manageable number will be heard at all, and this triage will never be publicly acknowledged. (I ran most of this theory by Jeff Keay; if he provides a response, I’ll report it.)

  • Do everything CBC says: “I agree to follow the instructions of CBC’s musical supervisor or his delegate and to accept CBC’s direction. All decisions of CBC concerning selections are final and not subject to challenge.”
  • Rat on your friends: “I have disclosed to CBC the names of all the people that I know who have or will submit an entry” (sic).
  • Keep everything secret – including “identity of the jurors” and “the existence of this agreement” – forever. Unless of course you are regularly cavalier with “the confidentiality of [your] own confidential information,” in which case maybe you could be just as cavalier.

    By my reading, however, this also means you cannot answer the direct question “What did you like about this entry?” if the person posing the question doesn’t work for the CBC or isn’t a fellow juror. This neatly enables Strombo to quiz the jurors at will, but freezes out the rest of the country’s news media.

    And do we really expect CBC to keep the identities of jurors a secret?

As the foregoing quoted sections are part of a legally binding agreement, if you fuck any of this up CBC could sue you at your cost. (That latter part is in there too.)

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