*please note I'm replying from ME as a fellow costumer as I had nothing to do with the masq aside from fixing the green room feed that went down at one point*
I've always felt that you can only use "gimmicks" to really make an amazing costume stand out and POP. Gimmicks being LED wire, lights, move-able parts in large mascots, fully functioning props etc. You need the whole package to get workmanship (and seeing as we tend to get AN judges to judge our masq they have very high expectations). My quadsuit had led horns that flashed to make pretend lightning - and while I was being judged in workmanship (which I did receive best in show for workmanship), that was very secondary to the other construction aspects of my costume - it was just the cherry on top because they were well done and no wires could be seen and the all the mechanisms to turn the lights on and off were internal so they couldn't see me do it. (obviously not going to work as well if you're just a person shape but you know what I mean hopefully
Gimmicks like that - at least from my personal stand point have worked better to score points in presentations. When I had the mouth lip synching to the music and using the lights it helped my performance on stage - which was a very glorified walk on but I still got a best in journeyman for performance. But I made sure I didn't look nervous or move to quickly on stage.
And then there is the whole other aspect to going into the masquerade - the crowd. Are you entering to win awards or to have fun and get a cheer out of the crowd. There are definitely fan favourites in every masquerade and A LOT of them are not "good enough to get awards costumes or skits".
And there is the other side too - which we've been seeing at AN in the novice divisions. A costume that wins award one year may not have won anything another year as there may have been something better, and visa versa - a costume didn't win an award even when it was AWESOME, but that was because there were soo many other "better" costumes it was against.
My husband was like OMG when he saw someone doing a Tron cosplay and chatted about it quite a bit in the evening and when we re-watched the masquerade. I thought your walk on was pretty good - you did look like you were quite nervous because you had a lot of jerky movements (which you probably were because your lighting wasn't quite working -
But good job and yes please enter again at AN
Hopefully someone else who has actually judged can pipe in
(sewing is not my strong point either but I haven't actually won anything at Master level yet)