Before I write this, I want to ask fellow creatives to please don't hate me. I have a perspective on this change that may change some of your minds on this new change. Full disclosure: I am able to participate in early entries right now. So today, I participated in a few contests that were affected. It was a slow day on SH today, BTW.
Here is what my experience was and some things you have not considered yet. I get a whole lot of orange faces on early contest entries as CHs try to figure it out what heck they want. I would wager that a lot of my entries and others as well could be names you would think of as well. I took the orange faces on those. When you get there, you won't. You will have the opportunity to read the CHs comments that are made after they have seen early entries and they figured out they forgot to tell us not to use specific words, etc.
I found that the CHs were much more participatory today. They provided feedback, which is valuable to everyone.
There are many...many times I don't get into contests until even days after they are posted. I find those to be personal challenge to me to try and come up with something that 150 other people have not thought of already. It makes me do fewer entries.
I feel like we need to give this more time and if you are a creative that has not been able to make progress, go back to older contests where you did not succeed that are still open and try to come up with newer ideas. Try to improve your entries/ratings. You never really know when you are going to get on a roll.
Sure, I don't know if I would say this if my score was under 80%. But I like to challenge my own self and I'm not even that happy with my 83%.
Anyway, this is not meant to diss anyone. Just a perspective after doing this today and thinking about some potential benefits that have not been discussed.