I had to use one my own cooked up methods to come out with a fair rating for a contest like this. I have broken my feedback into scores and categories as Mix Engineering Related and Non Mix Engineering Related.
Personally I have seen Michelle put countless hours in this mix in the studio, right from the get go. From the violin to strings to mixing. My rating for this is still unbiased and fair. I think Cristina and Michelle can do some great work together…
Non Mix Related (half weight)
Feeling (emotion delivered)
The song itself had a lot of emotion to begin with and you did well to preserve it and enhance it as well.
I have heard all the mixes and contest and this is the only one that has been able to score in the emotion department. This mix has the ability to move and captivate the audience and it should do very well on stream and youtube.
Creativity and Production work (additions and their effectiveness)
The addition of the violin, dixie chicks style was a very clever idea, popular and emotional sound. It sits at the sweet spot and sound is spectacular.
Though the violin should have been taken away for a few measures mid-song and brought back in (easy fix).
Addition of ensembles in the chorus adds more power to the chorus.
Maybe turn the ensembles down by 1-2 db and see.
Mix related (full weight)
Overall the aesthetics were exceptional. Wise compression choices, good EQ work.
Vocals are very apt for the song ambience - “dry and wide”, very nicely placed between the violin and guitar.
They are dry but they dont sound as it they were in a small room.
Attack on the ‘Clapton’ guitar solo was very nice.
guitar could have used a bit more stereo image and width.
electric guitar sound in the chorus is a bit faint and thin, could have used slight fattening.
Balance (tone, levels, clarity)
Vocals are at a perfect level, nicely de-essed, without being too dull or too harsh.
Pitch seems to be good… Good warm tones and volume levels over all. Clarity is great.
some clips and clicks still evident, could have used some moderate riding in busier parts.
Overall score : 8.67 (9) calculated using partial weight method as [(4+5) +9 +8 ]/3]
Overall the song as showcased by this mix can rival top 40 modern day record songs with a bit of polish and and great mastering.
— Its current, its tasteful, it works!