Does this rule out being able to be a finalist?
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Hi there! If no one at all tests a recipe, we unfortunately can't consider it for a finalist or Community Pick—we really depend on testers' notes to help us make the final decisions! But keep in mind that we have two kinds of testers: testers from the community (whose "dibs" you can see on the "Be a Recipe Tester" post) and a team of Food52 testers (whose "dibs" aren't reflected on the post). So if a recipe on the "Be a Recipe Tester" post has a "Testers still needed!" note next to it, it could be that someone is still testing it—either one of Food52's testers, or just one or two community testers (we take up to three community testers per recipe). I hope this helps.
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
Possibly the testing method needs a rethink. In the early days of Food52 all the recipes were tested in the Food52 kitchen. But frequently users would try them on their own and make comments. Now the testing window is fairly short and it seems to be that the more difficult and time consuming dishes get skipped over during "testers still needed" even if they are worthy of consideration.