The BME World Tour Winners are..

This has been a really hard month for me. First I get crazy in the middle of the night in a hotel in Austin. I haven’t slept in days, I’m alone, it’s 30 degrees out, I’m starving and I’m out of change for the vending machines. I started to think about how I haven’t been traveling at all over the past year. I’ve noted that falling in love has this affect on me. I stop being the person that’s only home one weekend out of the month because I’m at conventions, BBQ’s, suspension events, learning/teaching conferences and I focus on being home so that I can be a supportive, attentive and caring partner at home.

I was suddenly back on the road and realizing how much I miss it and how BME suffers when I can’t be out on the road. I decided though after a lot of thought that my passport is full because I’ve traveled around the globe but that for one reason or another all of my travels were alone. The last time I went on any kind of extended trip was in 2008 when I went to the Oslo Suscon, then to BMXnet and finally to a tattoo convention in England (which I ended bailing out on!). That was 3 weeks in Europe SOLO. I submitted around 1000 photos from that trip alone and had a great time meeting people in person.

Now I’m doing it a little differently and I’m extending the amount of time that I’ll be on the road and bringing 4 people with me. I’m sure that you want to know who they are but you HAVE to understand how difficult the selection process was. First it started out with watching hundreds of videos, browsing portolios, reading blogs and writing samples and with Jen‘s help, I narrowed it down to 17 finalists. Everyone has so much to offer and all of the finalists are multi-talented. While some people shine at one particular talent more than others, they are still fully capable of doing everything else that will be required on the road.

The hardest part about choosing the 4 winners is that there are some people who aren’t getting chosen that have been helping out a ton behind the scenes. When they volunteered to help out, I told them it wouldn’t be scoring them any extra points and I had to go with my gut. The other thing that was really hard is that one of my closest friends applied for the video. Thad is an awesome photographer and a great friend but ultimately I feel like I would lean on him too much during this tour. Plus he’d let me get away with being like “I’m too tired to cope today” and I can’t have that.

Click through to find out who won!

In no particular order, the four interns that will be accompanying me on this tour are Chez, Richard, Darah and Megan.

This was a very hard decision and I have my reasons as well as where I just needed to “go with my gut”. If you are a contestant and you want more feedback on why I didn’t pick you, feel free to contact me. I wish I could have brought everyone or I could split it up into two teams so that I could bring more people but I simply can’t due to the costs involved.

Thank you go everyone who applied and for all of the hard work that everyone put in. It means a lot to me and I appreciate your support as always.

Don’t forget the sale on BMEshop is still going on until Midnight! Use the coupon code “worldtour” (without the quotes!) to get 30% off of nearly everything!

82 thoughts on “The BME World Tour Winners are..

  1. Congrats everyone! I think all who applied did a great job, and the winners form a strong team for the tour. Can’t wait to read all about it!

  2. Lori: You’re one of the only reasons we’re making the trek out to Darwin so you can be damned sure we’ll be seeing you!

    Thank you again to everyone who applied. This was a very tough decision to make. My final four that I thought I was going with changed dramatically over the course of this assignment and I know that some people had certain issues come up but ultimately I think that by going with my gut on this, I will be able to make the most of the trip.

  3. Good choices. Good luck to the finalists. Still, I would’ve included Amy Brown, she was a real Bieber!

  4. it’s interesting that between the 4 winners they got just over half the votes that Nae got on her own….

    But hey congrats to the winners! I look forward to seeing what they come up with.

  5. A great group of people, and while great choices, they’re not the obvious/safe choices, so I especially look forward to seeing what comes from this project. Good luck to all.

  6. Congratulations guys! I look forward to seeing what comes of this trip.

    (Also, my voice is far, far lower than Justin Bieber’s)

  7. Congratulations to the winners. I’m more than a bit dissapointed though, that Nae didn’t win a spot. Out of all the people, she’s the one I felt had not only the best presentation but the best presence. I’m sure you have your reasons for the choices you made, but keep in mind that if you are doing this to create a final product that will get people’s interest, the person most voted for is a clear indication of who they feel most drawn toward, comfortable with, and ultimately want to see interviewing people, writing, etc. For what it’s worth I think a lot of us would love to see Nae in a future BME production.

    Best of luck to everyone. Have fun on the trip.

  8. the 4 chosen to embark on this trip of life time (much like in the lord of the rings) the group will gather together and embark on an amazing journey to battle off hordes of orcs and to return the ring…… hah!. hopefully rachel who likewise will play Gandalf doesn’t fall down a dark hole to battle a huge gigantic demon. while the rest of the chosen ones tread onwards to destroy the one ring. sorry i turned this into a bit of lord of the rings but it just seemed funny to. i hope rachel has chosen the 4 who will make this trip one amazing and interesting to read about in the end. congratulations to the 4 winners. i too am a wondering a bit why Nea didn’t win or get placed in the tour but it was up to rachel final decision.

  9. Everyone needs to stop asking why Nae didn’t get picked and congratulate the winners. Hell, even Nae herself was polite enough to do that!

  10. I wish I fit the requirements to go soooo badly. But, at least another Dara gets to go! Congratulations guys, have a great time!

  11. Congratulations everyone! I think this will be a very interesting trip!

    Although I realize that this is Rachel’s trip and the decision (a very difficult one) lay with Rachel, I’m curious to know what it was that put those four individuals ahead. Granted, all of the finalists were exceptional.

    Sorry to harp on the Nae thing, but I would be very interested to know why someone with the majority of BME votes wouldn’t stack up to the other contestants.

    You shouldn’t have to justify your decisions, but because BME is a community and in some small way we were involved in the selection process, it would’ve been nice to have a little blurb like “because of his/her superior __ skills and ___ personality” so-and-so has been chosen. We know why we didn’t get Thad, and that is appreciated.

    Sorry if this is too nosy!

  12. Yeah, I do wish Nae had gotten a spot.
    But all in all, I’m happy for the finalists. :)

  13. Congrats, i was thinking of entering myself but thought twice about missing school and my son. hope to see you if you make it to Stockholm.

  14. Congrats to everyone!
    Maybe I’m glad I didn’t get a chance to watch the videos, so I wouldn’t have favourites and been disappointed if they hadn’t made it.
    Really looking forward to how this all plays out and what you guys come back with. You’re going to have so much fun!!

  15. Congrats to the winners, it looks like a great team!

    @Liam – Rachel stated that ultimately it would come down to her decision. Kristen had 11% of the vote last time, and Des Stage had 10%, but neither made it through to the extra credit. Rachel went with her gut and I think the crew that’s going is pretty solid.

  16. congratulations everyone. i knew darah had it from the start! congrats to the winners and congrats to those who almost won if its any consolation… what a lovely opportunity. i might have tried @ this having be it such an amazing and glorious opportunity for all, if i weren’t dealing with personal issues, and had a passport. haha.

    CONGRATULATIONS!

  17. didn’t rachel point out multiple times that the votes were just one factor?

    congrats to the winners!!!

  18. Rachel may have pointed out several times that the votes were just one factor, but she did ask the community for their opinion. She seems to have completely disregarded the results (she basically ended up choosing the people with the least votes), which comes across as a bit disrespectful if you ask me. What’s the point in having the poll, then? To get publicity and raise money for the tour? Even if it is effective, it seems kind of underhanded to use the applicants to facilitate that. I discovered this community as a direct result of the internship hype, and from my standpoint, this whole poll thing looks pretty silly and a little demeaning.

    That being said, I understand how difficult it is to make this kind of decision. All the finalists were impressive. I think the trip is an amazing idea and I’d like to congratulate all the winners and thank Rachel for giving them this opportunity. Enjoy the tour! And thank you to all the people who submitted application videos; great job, they were very enjoyable.

  19. What’s wrong with you whiners?? It was Rachel’s choice to make and she made it! I’m sure nae would have been great, but she didn’t whine, she was sweet-natured and gracious. You’re all lucky that I’m not around to to scratch those of you who are whining!.

    To the winners: Have a wonderful time, stay safe in your travels and I’m really excited to see the pictures and read the stories (Yes, I can read!)

  20. i think Megan is soooo cute and funny and i have a small girl crush on her and i am SO happy for her! …and also for everyone else…but they arent as cute as megan/

  21. I don’t get how or why the polls would be “disrespectful”. I asked for insight, in the form of a poll, and I took that into consideration but in my mind I built two different teams. Nae was on the team I ultimately didn’t decide to go with because it was the stereotypical BME team. It would have been the obvious choice but in the end, the whole point of the tour is to go outside of what BME normally does and put together something that is “outside the box” so to speak.

    It’s kind of like preaching to the choir. If I wanted to keep doing exactly what BME does, then I would have picked the people that are 100% of what BME currently is. I’m trying what is basically an experiment to grow outside of what BME traditionally does and part of that is picking out people who

    Nae is a very popular BME/IAM member so I would expect her to get a large portion of the votes. Since the votes were only a small facter (like we’re talking 1% of my decision making process), it was purely for feedback and it produced the results that I assumed it would.

    I don’t think it’s ultimately fair to post a person by person reasoning for why I didn’t pick certain people. I can tell you why I picked the people that I did though,

    Chez: Extensive touring experience and she’s a jack of all trades type person. She knows what it’s like to be on tour and to work a demanding and grueling schedule and I hope that with her role as our tour manager that she’s able to keep us all going,

    Megan: She’s a great photographer and will be our main “photographer”. I love her personality and I like that she is great on camera and I think she’ll be a great face for the tour

    Darah: Something about Darah grabbed me from the initial applications and she’s been a favorite of mine. Her writing samples were solid and again I think she’s got a great personality. She’s also very pretty. Maybe I’ve developed a crush on her of sorts and I think that other people will too.

    Richard: He’ll be our video editor. He had the best skills as far as editing went and he was a shining example of what I needed from the get go in an editor. He’s also good at writing and photography.

    I feel very comfortable with the team that I put together and I look forward in working with the team that I have chosen. They are all talented, in multiple areas and I think that they will all get along great ,

    I hope that’s a good explanation and that it make sense to everyone. I have some specific comments which are related to why certain individuals didn’t make it if they want to know but I don’t feel it’s appropriate to put people on blast publicly for why they didn’t make it.

  22. Wait… How don’t Chez, Megan, Richard, or Darah fit the “traditional BME” category?

  23. It’s unfortunate that so many people are being poor sports about this. Rachel has said time and time again that votes were not the deciding factor when selecting teams. it’s unfortunate that she can’t have two teams as she wanted but the cost is pretty astronomical just for one team.

    it’s also very telling of people’s maturity level seeing how they have reacted to hearing the news they were not selected. who’s to say that Rachel would not take the second team out on a different tour? check your behaviours on and off iam and think about how your reactions will/woud affect your chances at another tour opportunity.

    I just wonder if this is how people react when they don’t get any other job they apply to…

  24. I have to say I agree with Chez. Rachel has said she hopes this is just the first tour. Thankfully some people have let us know whether or not they should be considered again by their reactions, both positively and negatively. On pure skill sets for each individual job, I think this is a very solid team.

    I understand that people are disappointed. You don’t know how badly I wish I could be going on this tour myself! So I get being disappointed but I don’t really get why some people would be poor sports about it. I think that just shows that they shouldn’t have been selected because handling yourself in a mature and respectable way while touring is going to be incredibly important.

    It’s a little disappointing that while everyone complained about voting making it a popularity contest, people are now angry that it wasn’t based on popularity. I think the people chosen were some of the strongest, if not the strongest, in the categories they applied for in addition to bringing really positive attitudes and tons of enthusiasm.

    It’s unfortunate that what was an incredibly rough decision for Rachel is being made even harder now. I’m glad I wasn’t the one who had the final say and I don’t envy her position right now.

  25. I’d like to congratulate the winners and I look forward to all the great things your team will add to the community.

    I do have to say I find it interesting after reading all of the comments that a couple people feel the need to lash out at people for simply voicing their opinion. It seems the majority of the posts are congratulating the winners while only a few are wondering why someone else wasn’t chosen. It’s a comment forum for gosh sakes. #22 wants to tell everyone what they should write and #45 tells you are a poor sport or lack maturity if you don’t agree with the choices. What’s wrong with people leaving their opinions?

  26. “She’s also very pretty. Maybe I’ve developed a crush on her of sorts and I think that other people will too.”

    Really?

    I could honestly care less who goes on this trip but I about flipped when I read this. I wasn’t aware that attractiveness even factored into it. And if it did– that it was openly admitted.

    Ah well. I think this whole thing is a bit silly, but no one asked me. I just feel bad for the people who got their hopes up, seeing their counter rise, and that it really didn’t mean anything in the end.

    People may say that people are being ‘sore losers’ but Rachel really set it up to be like this. She had to have expected a mini backlash when she put these people up to be publicly judged and then it barely counted anyway.

    I just think this should have been a lot quieter, I guess. Not displaying the results of the polls to start out with.
    But like I said, this whole ‘popularity contest’ thing that has been going on around here (between this and the bme girls/bme boys calendars) is really getting under my skin… so I’m a bit biased.

  27. MissMess – Rachel stated from the get-go that the results of the votes did NOT mean the person was going to be picked so if people ignored her and decided it meant they’d get to go anyway, well… While I totally get the disappointment, I think every single one was well aware that Rachel was not going to choose based on the poll results. I won’t presume to know what people are thinking but it looks like some people just convinced themselves that if they got the most votes they were in, even though Rachel had clearly told them that wasn’t going to be the case.

    Ultimately she’s the one stuck with these people for 3 months. She needs to pick people she thinks will both do the job well and be a cohesive group. I’m also pretty sure she’s joking around about the mini-girl crush but no one seems to have a sense of humour these days. :/ Heaven forbid we try to lighten the mood somewhat.

    I’m not sure how you can still say this is a popularity contest when the source of everyone’s anger is that Rachel chose to go with the people she felt were best for the job rather than those who got the most votes.

  28. @Joshua – I don’t know what Rachel meant by that but my guess would be that she meant she was going to take people who weren’t necessarily known on BME already. Of the people she chose to go with her, the only one I actually know is Chez and even then Chez isn’t someone who people are looking at and saying “Oh I know you from BME”. They aren’t faces you see over and over and I actually think that’s a really good thing because in the past, people have complained that things were “cliquish” or that you had to be heavily modded to be a part of anything and while that isn’t true, it definitely ended up being the perception some people had. So in this case, we have folks who are modified but not necessarily know (I hate this word with a passion) “in the scene”. I think it really helps to bring in those folks who aren’t as heavily modified and maybe intimidated by that and feel they don’t belong here.

    That’s just my take on the comment because, like I said, I don’t know what she actually meant.

  29. Honestly, nae came off as a know it all, and i had to make myself sit there to get through half of her video. also, she’s not as fun to look at as darah or megan.

    Darah had the most personality and her video was intriguing to watch, i actually wished it was longer!

  30. it sounds, from the explination (41) that there was some decision bias based on people being openly and visibly modified. Almost as if a commuinty based on Modification used contestant’s modifications as a negative factor in the selection process.

    ” If I wanted to keep doing exactly what BME does, then I would have picked the people that are 100% of what BME currently is. ”

    What, visibly modified? Outstanding members of the BodMod community?

    I have no objections to the outcome of the contest, but the explination of the selection process smells an awful lot like the same bias modified folks face everyday when buying coffee , interviewing for a job or simply trying to catch a taxi cab.

    Say it ain’t so…

  31. What a joke. I didn’t select contestants because they’re “too visibly modified”? That’s hilarious. I am heavily modified and I have giant tattoos on my neck and have my hands tattooed.

    Miss Mess: Do you not get it at all? If I’m someone who spends my entire life online and there is something so attractive about someone, not just their looks but their personality, that draws me to them, that would mean that other people who are no where near as jaded as I am, may pick up on their almost magically appealing qualities.

    God forbid I say someone is attractive and that over the course I developed a non-sexual crush on them. I hope that as they’re going to be a face of BME for a period of BME that the majority of people feel the same way.

    As far as the votes, the people who got the most votes are people who were able to get people to vote for them because they are popular online or they have a lot of frriends who are wiling to vote for them. How does that do BME any good to go strictly by votes? Since people don’t realize it, I know where their votes are coming from and I can tell who gamed the system and basically fraudulently upped their own vote counts. Should people be rewarded for being tech savvy or having friends are that basically helped them to cheat?

    It’s a damn shame because I have a sponsorship meeting this week that could end up with me being able to take two teams out on the road but now I know that I can’t take the second team out because of the way they’re reacting to not being selected as team #1.

    As far as being “stereotypically BME” I mean exactly what I said. They’re popular members of the BME community or another online community. The tour is a new concept and it’s meant to basically go out and create content as well as broaden BME’s horizons in the world at large. If people don’t want BME to last for the next 10 years or far past our own lifetimes then I can just keep going with the status quo and only serve the most devote of body modification community and watch BME suffer and die. That’s not what I want and I would hope it isn’t what you want either. As one Body Modification community after the next pops up, this is no longer a niche community and BME has to continue to evolve with it or it will not survive.

    Maybe BME should just go back to being a news group email list and get back to it’s roots. Does that make sense? No, it doesn’t.

    So much for a possible team #2. It just means now that team #1 will have more resources and we’ll be able to do more on the road. I doubt anybody has any clue as to the costs of doing something like this and the resources that are being devoted to it.

  32. I’m looking forward to seeing something new on BME and possibly having the team swing by my hometown. I think this is a good change for BME that has been necessary after the decline in interest over the years. However, from my objective point of view (I know absolutely none of the candidates, did not apply and didn’t pick/vote for any favourites), I can see where some of this controversy is being generated from.

    1. IAM/BME does have a clique-ish community, thus voting may have been skewed towards those who were more connected within BME. And those rejected candidates who used that to their advantage, and then complained afterwards, are going to have an interesting time later when employers have no interest in your popularity.
    2. That being said, I think Rachel could have foreseen something like this and not promoted voting (especially when she had no intention on counting the votes towards the judging process). That was a set-up for controversy.
    3. The comment about Darah’s attractiveness was obviously said as a joke but, in light of the current tension, it was in poor taste.

    I do appreciate the work Rachel puts into this site and I think this tour will be excellent at breathing some new life into BME. But let this be a lesson to everyone involved….

  33. The contest winners all look solid. I expect that the tour and reports/photos/interviews/blogs that follow will be superb and will continue to fill the pages of BME with content worth reading. I eagerly look forward to the “go get em” approach to modblogging!

    “What a joke”- Hence the concern… However, I like the choices o-so-much!. The winners are solid and will be fun to tour with, im sure. I can’t wait to read about the adventures…

  34. i cannot believe how butthurt people are about the polls not being a huge part of the selection process. it’s a tour to research body modification culture, am i wrong? not a damn popularity contest..

  35. I’m wondering if the people who are saying Rachel picked non-visibly modified peole actually looked at any of the internship winners’ iam pages. I am visibly modified and while I don’t have implants or scarifications, I do have many very visible modifications including larger guage facial piercings, hand and head tattoos. to say that Rachel was discriminating against more modified intern applicants is just laughable and completely contray to what bme supports!

  36. “The comment about Darah’s attractiveness was obviously said as a joke but, in light of the current tension, it was in poor taste.”

    I disagree. It was not a joke. She is charming, witty and she seems fun. When I saw her video I thought that she would be someone I would like to get to know which is what I would want from someone. I did think to myself “this girl is boring.” I could watch her video over and over again. That’s an A+ in my book.

    People asked me why I picked the candidates that I did. I get shit on if I answer and shit on if I don’t. This is Modblog, if it’s not controversy then it wouldn’t be modblog. We can do nothing right but at least we try!

    Regardless of if there had been a poll or not, people would leave comments and their “votes” and then if I said that I wasn’t taking the comments into consideration than I would have been shat upon for even mentioning or posting the applications in the first place. We only posted a very small fraction on Modblog and were told off for how “boring” it was.

    Chez: Seriously, don’t bother. Apparently I’m not even modified in some peoples eyes.

    Despite the claims that we picked non-modified people, which is ridiculous as can be, there weren’t any submissions from people who were “outwardly” more modified. The only people these days that modbloggers would consider to be heavily modified are people like the lizardman etc. Neck, hand, facial tattoos apparently don’t count anymore!

    It’s all absurd!

  37. wow typical modblog drama.

    I think since its Rachel’s tour she can pick whomever the hell she wants. The people who were in the top finalists should just be grateful that they had a fair chance like everyone else, and just stop being children about it. acting childish only further proves Rachel made the right choices.

    The whole bias on modifications is just asinine, its a modification community, but then why should we not give anyone an opportunity to join in the community?

    Its the whole “your not hardcore unless you have a heavy mods” mentality. its just stupid.

    @ rachel I applaud you for doing what you thought was right and not turning it into a popularity contest. I wish the best of luck to you on your tour, and hopefully after next year when I’m 21 I can join another tour if this one goes well.

  38. oh and another point of contention.

    The voting was open to IAM and non-IAM alike. If the votes were to even be worth counting it should have been IAM members only. since its the IAM members who upload the pictures and essentially are the people of bme.

    seems reasonable to be not to even bother with the polls as anything but a fun way to see who was the fan favorite.

  39. Rachel,

    I sincerely appreciate the little blurbs you put about why you chose the people that you did. It gives me insight into why or how you saw them shine. I’m sorry if it increased any controversy, but it really helped me to feel like a part of this, as a part of the BME community. Thank-you.

    Also, I apologize for anything I said about the polls. I had a *doi* moment, where I realized that not going by poll results makes the choices NOT part of a popularity contest. That makes a lot of sense.

    And finally, I was at first very confused by your comments about staying away from a stereotypical BME-esque team, so I really appreciate that you elaborated. I understand better now, and even agree that this may be a smart decision so that BME may evolve.

    I’m really sorry for all of the drama or stress that this may have brought into your life, especially for any that I could be personally responsible for.

    Thank-you, and best of luck with everything.

  40. P.S. – Technically, you do not have to hold yourself accountable to the BME community. This is YOUR project, and we’re just along for the ride.

    That makes it matter all the more that you take the time to try and be fair, to try and explain, to try and keep us involved.

    I just want you to know that I really appreciate that, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Thanks Rachel.

  41. I object to #66 from nikk.

    I check this site daily (which is why it should be updated daily… please lol?) and have been a follower since I discovered it years ago. I am less worthy of watching those videos and voting because I have only submitted one photo? Am I not a “[person] of BME”?

    Sorry Rachel for perpetuating the “typical modblog drama,” but I felt inclined to reply.

  42. @antipinkpunk. While being a regular reader is great, I’m certainly glad your a part of the community even in your own way. When I say non-IAM members I am referring to the people who just stumble upon BME on a page such as stumbleupon or digg.

    I cant tell you the number of times I’ve seen some half brained idiot comment on a scarification piece about “how sick that is, and how its offensive to people with self abuse problems”

    Multiple times some christian zealot has made posts in the past proclaiming that everyone of us is damned to perdition. That is what I mean when I say non-IAM.

  43. i haven’t been involved in this event, but after hearing about the contest and reading this, it’s neat, and i hope you guys have a fun time, but rachel set this up to be majorly dramatic. she was at respectable until she turned six-years-old with “well too bad you’re fussing because i was secretly gonna take you anyway, but now i’m not gonna.”

    rachel — next time you have to do something that involves other people, think about how it’s going to be perceived. the last-round vote was built up to seem like the final decision-maker. even if that wasn’t your intention, that’s how it looked, and it had a rather nasty effect, and i feel like you’re insulting the community if you continue being stubborn about your past decisions.

    (just an outsider’s opinion)

  44. #70/nikk:

    I highly doubt those are the kind of people who would want to watch videos and then vote for a tour of a website they don’t support. Those people are just internet trolls who pop up wherever they feel they can voice an opinion, no matter how poorly founded that opinion might be.

    Regardless, I think all this drama simply shows one thing: as creator or contestant, be prepared for controversy if you make a job application process public….. or just don’t have it public at all. People on both sides took this much too personally. (The fact that “sides” even developed out of this is kind of sad)

  45. I can understand not wanting to make this into a popularity contest in the end. That part is super professional and not what BME is about (at least the parts of BME that I frequent.. I stay out of the IAM community). My problem is that the whole competition was made out to be this public spectacle like it WAS a popularity contest. I can understand that you may have been trying to include the BME community in this for funzies or whatever by posting up all the videos you were receiving but I don’t think it should have went further than that.

    A big part of my opinion is just a general misconception of what this contest was about in the first place. When I heard about it, I thought that you were seeking out “the best and the brightest”, so to speak, in order to get the most bang for your buck. If I had realized that this was more of a “face of BME’s road trip” contest, I would have looked at this in a whole different light from the very beginning.

  46. Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if Rachel decides never to do any similar project ever again, which rules out myself and any number of potentially great ambassadors for BME in particular and Body Modification in general, from possibly being a part of it. So thank you to all you egotistical/immature folks who made something that should have been a lot of fun into something that so far has been a huge pain in the arse for those organising it and those of us who have been keeping up with progress. I’ve been writhing with frustration just reading some of the inane comments that have appeared on this forum, so I expect it’s been ulcer-inducing for those making decisions and trying in vain to keep things fair.

    Democracy rules, eh?

  47. Kyle: Unless of course you read the entry where it says that the votes DON’T determine the winner. Calling me a 6 year old for saying that I won’t be taking a second team because they way they have been behaving is silly.

    One side wants more community involvement. I tell them what I’m doing and why I’m taking a one day business trip to have a meeting over major sponsorship that could 100% change the face of the tour and then the other side says “oh gnoes! Keep the behind the scenes stuff to yourself”. It gets really really old. I get flack if I don’t take the time to personally respond and flack if I do. I still choose to be involved in the day to day of the community as much as I can, while trying to keep the site updated and going. It’s not easy to keep everything up to date while I’m also spending hours traveling and dealing with fund raising for the site. I’m lucky to be in the position I’m in and that’s why I don’t take a moment of the headache for granted because without it, there wouldn’t be the benefits like being able to hold a contest like this in the first place.

    Miss Mess: I don’t get your post. Why wouldn’t I choose “the best and the brightest” to be the “faces of BME” during the tour? Those two are not mutually exclusive. I would be stupid not to take the full advantage of the tour and the choice of applicants that I had.

    This isn’t a popularity contest regardless of what people are constantly trying to turn it into it. If it was then, it’d be like any other site that lets people win by basing everything they do on what gets the most hits/votes instead of the skills and talents of the individuals. That’s why, despite the lack of people reading what I actually posted, the ability to get votes for yourself was taken into account as were the comments about the applicants but it wasn’t the sole determining factor. The WORK the applicants put forth WAS the determining factor in addition to their over all talents and skills.

    I had hundreds of applicants to pick from and I picked the team that I feel will do the best job possible. Hands down. Congrats again to Chez, Megan, Darah and Richard. I feel lucky to be able to take them out on the road. I feel they’re the most talented and mature group I could have selected to spend 3 months in close quarters with.

    All of the drama aside, I told the participants to be ready to have the spotlight on them and to be “hated on” just for “winning”. We’re going to make the best out of this trip/tour that we can and hope to meet as many BME members along the way as possible.

    I’ll start getting a more concrete schedule up in the next couple of weeks and start getting local volunteers who can help us organize “meets”. We’ll probably end up planning one country at a time for specific meet ups since we have the trip already broken down into countries/zones.

    A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to everyone who has been helping me organize this behind the scenes. They’re the back bone of this tour and they deserve thanks.

  48. I am going to respond only for the sake that I think this all is silly and arguing about this is dumb. I was simply trying to give my opinion on the matter (assuming that is the reason we can leave comments on entries), not trying to start an e-fight about it or whatever.

    The whole situation affects me very little as I am not friends with anyone in the competition, I myself did not enter, nor did I place a bunch of hope behind a certain contestant. Hell, I didn’t even watch all of the videos submitted. Enough to not agree with all of the choices but hey– I’m not putting together this dream team– you are. Therefore, you can really choose whoever you want for whatever reason you want in the end.

    Again, I was just giving my 2 cents. Oh, and I don’t know much about being in charge of things but I do know that often times you are “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”. I’m pretty sure that’s just something that comes with the territory. Everyone is going to give their opinion and you will never please most people most of the time no matter what you decide. Maybe you will do things differently next time. Maybe not. Just expect a backlash of some sort no matter what you decide in the end.

  49. Peoples opinions should be respected.

    “Technically, you do not have to hold yourself accountable to the BME community. This is YOUR project, and we’re just along for the ride.”

    My opinion – I have to disagree with this statement a bit. You’re not “just along for the ride.” If that were the case there would be NO ride. Without the community support, there would be no investors or interest to even take one team.

    It saddens me to see clearly active and caring members of the community give their opinions and be disrespected by the “OMG, this is SOO hard. Leave me alone mean people and just do and think like I say.”

    Pfffft.

  50. Good points. Perhaps I went a little far with that statement, but all I really meant was that there’s not much I can do if Rachel chooses not to disclose certain information.

  51. Just a silly rhetorical question from bumbling me, but–have we really evolved beyond the capacity to calm down, consider any and all sides in play, and feel happy for the winners? Even if it’s just a forum on the internet, your words are still yours.

    Then again, some have called me naive. Ho-hum.

  52. Pingback: BME: Tattoo, Piercing and Body Modification News » ModBlog » The beauty of simplicity

  53. Ho-shit. This turned into a right scene.

    And I won’t say anymore, as giving people giving their 2cents is what started this.

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