I went and looked at the poll topic and our youtube videos on the subject; a total of 6 other people mentioned Marendar at all. To your credit, there are more people vocally skeptical of him than other characters in question, so I guess he is more "controversial" by default, but I hope you can understand that from my perspective, six posts out of, in totality, 500+ seems a drop in the bucket to me. I hear you when you say that there isn't enough data to determine one way or another, but the fact of the matter is that there will always be those who don't agree, and simply because majority dictates which path to take doesn't make the other side happy. A lot more than six people voted no on the poll outright (16% in total, about 79), but operating under the basis of majority, the 75% of people who said yes cleared the way forward for the contest. The same will be true of any choice that is made here, one way or another, be it for contests or characters.
My first post in the topic even states as follows:
We made it pretty clear from word-go that we consider these characters on a level playing field and that the pool we would draw from would include people like Marendar. It's our belief that anybody who cares enough to come to our site to vote in the poll would also care enough to read the post to know what they're voting on.
That being said, even though I feel like people were well informed and voted/spoke their mind in accordance, obviously you don't, and others do agree.
SO! I propose you this:
Going forward, after the Helryx contest ends (because we feel that Helryx, as it stands, is relatively non-controversial), we will hold polls during the three-week downtime between contests to determine who is next on the list. The amount of people who vote, their publicly posted thoughts, and the total ratio of people voting for each entry should serve as a pretty good indicator to us and the community at large who exactly people want to see a contest for; once we get down to the end, assuming your belief is correct and Marendar will be there, the poll will become whether or not to hold a contest for him at all. If people say no and would rather not see him (or whoever actually ends up in the final few), then we'll eliminate him/them outright. This way, the community gets to voice opinions on a public platform through a character-by-character basis, decide the order of the contests, and potentially eliminate controversial or low priority characters altogether if that's what they really want.
AN ADDITIONAL THOUGHT: Do you think your opinion would change on the matter (personally speaking, not the desire for more community input) if we asked Greg for a summary of what Marendar looks like to serve as a baseline for a contest? Like colors, a general description, etc.