And look at it this way: if the contest itself is shorter, then there can always be another short block at some other point (an hour long, say) with the "almost made it" videos. If you ask me, getting your video shown at a convention is more important than whether or not it competes (but that could just be me). That would keep everyone happy, I think.
Personally, I didn't mind the three hour contest, but I did mind sitting there on edge, not sure if my video was going to be played at all. This brings me to my next point.
Please, please, please, please release a list of what videos will be shown at the convention. I'm not Koop. I didn't make Skittles. I don't know if my video will be shown, and I'll be very frustrated if I sit there for two (or three) hours and it turns out my video wasn't even in the contest. I understand that you guys think there will be drama from people if you release a list before the convention. I understand that there is higher attendance when people are forced to sit through the contest to see if they were picked. Still, I don't know if the video I make next year will be good enough for a contest that could only be two hours. I don't know. So please don't make me sit on edge waiting for something that may not happen.
Anyway, that's my two cents on that matter. If you stay adamant on your decision, that's fine. At least I said my piece.
PS: I know I use you as an example a lot, Koop, but it's only because you're such a damn good editor and I respect what you do. I don't mean to offend you when I bring you up.