COMPETITION (Only Love Vocal Competition) –UPDATED–


The voting on this public opinion poll was compromised severely, blatantly and verifiably. I have discontinued this portion of the competition. The contestants have been notified that the winners of the “Only Love” Vocal Competition will be chosen based on the judges’ markings (already rendered) as well as any input Sally might have. Those results will, as stated below, be available by the end of this month. The public opinion portion of the competition will not be used in the final tally, and–for anybody playing along at home–was not in any way an accurate reflection of ability or like-ability of the contestants.

Needless to say, I’m pretty disappointed. And, frankly, offended. For me, and for the participants in this contest. I apologize to anyone else who is disappointed, or who feels that someone they love and support was poorly represented in this part of the contest.

I was probably naive to assume that a public opinion poll about a song of this nature could be approached with integrity and honesty.

Lesson learned.

(PS–thanks to so many people that came, listened, and voted in a genuine way. It is much appreciated.)


So, remember last year when Sally DeFord visited my blog and encountered this video of me singing Trololo, which somehow led to her deciding to write a song with me, and then it turned into a competition where people submitted their own versions of the song, and it was really, really awesome?

Well, I have the finalists, and it’s time to vote on the version of the song you like best. (Voting will take place on the sidebar to your right, below the ad and above the “followers” box.)

These finalists were chosen by a panel of judges who have extensive musical training. I’m proud of all of these finalists and their work and talent.

Online voting can be an interesting thing. While I don’t want this to become a “who has more friends on Facebook” contest, there’s really not much one can do to prevent people from trying to drive random people they know to get to a page, not listen to the entries, and just vote for the person that sent them.

I hope that if you are here as prompted by someone’s (understandable) self-publicity, you will take the time to listen to at least 20 seconds of each entry and truly vote for the one that sounds best to you. These guys really poured their hearts into this, and each person deserves a running chance.

The online voting will only be one component of the final tally, and the winner, first and second runner up will be determined based on various factors. Online voting will close at midnight on Sunday, January 19th. Winners will be announced by January 31st.

Here are the finalists, in alphabetical order by first name. Again, please listen to at least 20 seconds of each entry (which will take two minutes) before making a choice. Also remember that the name of the person singing is above the embedded video, not below.

All right. Go for it. (Remember voting takes place to your right on the side-bar, below the ad and above the “followers” box):

Amiee Erickson

Andrea Reynolds

Cecily Jorgensen

Franchesca Retford

Joshua Watson

Robyn Paskett


  1. Wow!!! you really didn't make this easy! it was impossible to only watch 20 seconds, I had to listen to the full song from each one. They are all so very beautiful and inspirational….this will be a hard decision. I want to thank the participants for being willing to share their incredible talent with us, thank you so much!

  2. I am going to be blunt here. I liked all of the videos… ok, most of them. One I had to stop earlier than the rest. So I voted based off of how long I felt I could listen to it. I have been inactive for a while, and out of habit, tend to shy away from this type of thing. But I have to say Cecily sounded the best to me, and was the only one I finished listening completely to. Perhaps I am more picky than others, but… so be it. Lol. It was beautiful, and heartfelt, but more than that, it felt REAL to me. I do hope she wins. And… thanks Josh for sharing!!

  3. I listened to all of the videos from the beginning to the end and enjoyed every one. It was really hard to choose. I'm voting for Joshua Watson, but I think every singer should be commended for sharing their talent and for the courage to do this. I love the song as well. Thank you Josh Weed and Sally DeFord for taking to the time to write such a beautiful and heartfelt song.

  4. FYI: This is an "On your honor" voting system. There are several ways that contestants and/or their supporters can/have cast multiple votes (as many as they want, even from the same device) for the same contestant(s). Observing one contestant's inexplicable rise in votes in a matter of minutes prompted me to verify my theory. Verified. It can be and probably is being done. I hope that they will audit the voting data and count only one vote per IP address. This would eliminate some extraneous votes from tech saavy relative/friends that want their loved ones to win.

  5. All of these contestants did a great job. Joshua ended up getting my vote because in general, I think I just like listening to male voices more than female voices.

  6. I had so much trouble deciding which person to vote for. In the end, I went with Joshua because the combination of the song and the pictures on his video presentation evoked very strong emotion in me and in fact brought tears to my eyes.

    I sincerely loved listening to all the singers and I'm grateful you posted this contest. The song is so beautiful.

  7. holy talent batman. they all rocked, for the record. i know none of these people- but they all have great chords, if ya know what i'm sayin. anyways, if i HAD to pick just one… i would pick the dude.

  8. I really like the line that says "God can unite us if our hearts are willing." Willing, not righteous or humble or loving. If we are willing to love, God will help us to love each other. I think that is beautiful.
    I voted for Andrea because I like how the simplicity with which she sang allowed the words to come through.

  9. I loved your song. I loved listening to all 6 of these talented finalists. But you say the poll was "compromised severely" and you give no indication of what happened. If there is data to confirm it was compromised, why not throw those votes out instead of punishing all 6 of your finalists? When one has cast an honest vote, it is difficult to read that you should have known better than to think this could have been handled with "integrity and honesty." Most votes likely were honest. I reviewed the site and listened to each of the finalists; they are ALL talented, and I could have voted for any one of them, but I voted for what I considered the best interpretation, and I certainly did not vote for "likeability." None of your finalists have any reason to think they are less talented or less likeable because they received less votes. This contest was specific to this song and interpretation. I am so sorry for everyone and hope you will be guided to choose well.

  10. I know that the voting is over, bummer for me, however, I only really came here to listen to the song again. It was beautiful the first time Sally put it on facebook and I even considered learning it but time is something I don't have a lot of. I had been watching for these results and I really felt it was a close call as they are all great singers. I have to admit that my daughters are sitting here with me and we decided that Joshua Watson, with his video presentation, is the best performance of the song. We could feel the Spirit confirming the truths of the song the strongest from him and especially with the pictures he chose to use in the video. Thank you for letting me comment.

  11. This is sad for everyone. Because one or some people acted unethically, a shadow of doubt is cast over all. How do you undo that? I feel especially bad for those top runners who may be innocent of wrong-doing. Perhaps some of these finalists had supporters who chose to boost the results by voting a number of times, thereby making the finalist look bad and nullifying genuine votes cast by sincere people whose votes now do not mean a thing. I am also sorry that other people commenting state their choice on the blog. My first choice was none of those mentioned, but I respect your choice to now leave personal opinions out of it and go with your judges' opinions.- I first felt angry with those people who did such a thing, but in the spirit of your song, I choose love and hope everyone else can too.

    1. Well said. I've been having similar thoughts, today, actually. The song itself is about love, compassion and forgiveness. I think that's something we can all use at times, and certainly something I'm willing to give. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  12. If I may play the "devil's advocate" for a moment, where in the description of the online voting instructions does it say each person may only vote once? It may be assumed that that would be the case, but when you open the poll up to the entire internet, do you really expect that everyone makes the same assumptions as you? Why do an online poll as part of a contest in the first place and then throw the whole thing out because it didn't turn out like you expected? Would it have been thrown out if someone had just sent out a mass email telling a bunch of random people to vote for one person without even listening to the others? With online polls you will always get some measure of "unfairness", I think it just comes with the territory.

    'kay. Devil's advocate finished. Seriously, all the contestants did a great job and the song is beautiful. Thank you and Sally for all the hard work you put into writing it. You, Sally, as well as the contestants are very talented.

  13. You see, maybe the concept of competing is the thing that is wrong, because the real winners will not be those finally selected by the judges. It is about the song, right? Not about our singing or recording skills. So the real winners are those who felt something the first time they heard the song, which caused them to listen again and again – and then some even wanted to record their own version, because they know there really is something in those lyrics and in that music. So all of those listed here are the winners, but so are also all those not listed, who felt the same desire.

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