Bababooey... I missed what you first said before you decided to *edit/delete* your opinion.
But let me say that I feel your pain/frustration bro! ha!
It seems more times then not that pure photo manipulation will win the contest.
But, on the rare occasion where someone with skills
decides to paint/draw their entry, it no surprise that they get a butt load of votes. A prime example: metalic's http://photoshopcontest.com/view-entry/65879/display.html
Man, I can only wish that someday ( when I grow up ) I could be that good.
Bottom line... to quote Square..
I suppose the thought that this might actually be vote-worthy has escaped you? With 25 votes to give out per contest, this one definately makes the grade for me.
So just sit back and let yourself be amazed sometimes.
Rock On BTVS!