Chewy, I appreciate the thought you're placing into this, but I think you're taking this contest too seriously. Some people will criticize whatever you do. I'll bet if you change the contest format, you'll get negative feedback on that, too.
The contest if supposed to be for fun, and maybe some bragging rights if you're the winner.
I don't see any problem with the way the contest is run now, but then again I'm pretty new here and only have entered a few times.