I also wanted to make the point that "appearance" is the easiest judging category to nail down. In my first comp, my appearance scores averaged a point over my taste and tenderness scores. That's because I knew what was expected because I was able to get very valuable feedback on my practice rounds. Not knowing that a sloppily garnished box is going to score poorly just indicates the cook didn't do his homework.
Co-Pitmaster of Hatfield and McCoy Barbecue
Pitmaster of South Side Pit Men
UDS's, Multiple Weber Grills