Thanks for the comment. I think the reason his vocal cuts through too much is because I boosted the presence frequencies too much. And, because I compressed quite heavily after the EQ, it brought it too much forward and resulted in it sitting on top of everything instead of fitting snug in the mix. Wish I could go back and correct those few mistakes. I'm new to this forum and didn't consider putting up a rough mix for you guys to bash, before submitting my final for the contest.
As far as distortion, I used quite a bit right off the bat. My first two plugins were, if I'm remembering correctly, tape saturation and Soundtoys Radiator.