MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine has posted the following message in the "Forum" section of the band's official web site:
"Now that the final entries have been selected for the MEGADETH contest, I would like to say thank you to all of the contestants, especially the littles guys who had help from their parents submitting their work. Also, many thanks to the folks at Deviant for allowing this contest in their community of what I now recognize as the greatest pool of artists in the world.
"The reason that this contest was created was to see what MEGADETH's mascot would look like with a make-over, a reanimation, a reincarnation, or whatever one would call it. The rules were simple and so were the guidelines [meaning: there really wasn't any rules or guidelines].
"And as far as my choices, well I wanted to reveal what the judging criteria was that I used.
* First Impression: how I felt that second I saw the entry.
* Tradition: if an entry took into consideration what the lyrics of 'The Skull Beneath The Skin' explained about Vic's face and the purpose of the hardware placed by his torturors.
* Originality: basically, did ya rip someone else off.
* Style: this was about colors, shading, proportion, movement or placement of Vic, and whatever else was in the entry as it related to Vic.
"Having said that, there were hundreds of entries and I looked at them all. It was terrible deciding, because so many could have won, not to mention how many people just submit my own artwork and expect me to think, 'Gee, I never did see nuthin' like that before, gunk, gunk, gunk!' I also had to remember what I was really doing this for. It wasn't to retire the current Vic Rattlehead, although I have been open to any interpretation of Vic over the years. And it wasn't about moving away from the logo or mascot for the band.
"It was for fun to give away guitars, to introduce online communities to each other, to meet new artists for my future projects, and it raised awarness of everyone involved.
"So stay tuned, because the winner will be revealed soon.
"In the process — while I had picked the ten finalist, the second and third place finalists, and our Grand Prize winner — I know have the contact information for potentially some of the best MEGA-artwork I have seen for a long time. There were so many ideas that I loved among the entries that I can assure you, MEGADETH, its management, merchandisers, or myself will be calling up some of the artists to do projects for the next record, tour, and related artwork, and Gigantour for this year as well.
"This was a tremendous win/win situation for MEGADETH and all of the other parties involved, whom I'd like to mention and thank:
* ESP Guitars: Matt Masciandaro and Allen Steelgrave for the ESP prize guitars.
* Angelo and his awesome team from Deviant and Gorgeous PR
* The entire DeviantArt community
* MEGADETH fans everywhere
"It was a win/win for me to, although people will bag on me for not picking what entry they thought was best, which I probably have already earmarked to contact that artist to do something with them.
"So, thanks again y'all for a kick ass contest and here's to working with so many of you in the future."
Check out the top 10 finalists at this location.