When I heard the string section my gut instinct gave me instant reservations as it didn’t seem to be in the spirit of being submitted via the YouTube platform like all the other contributions.
In order to reach out to a wider audience it most certainly achieved its aim as my family gathered round to watch the video shortly after the premiere and they loved it.
The strings glued it all together and took it to another level and I doubt it would have achieved that standing on its own. Toplines are normally doubled/quadrupled and we didnt know what others were composing so there was always going to be that mix limitation. We’ve all got degrees in hindsight but I think it may have been wiser to declare that intent, particularly if it was there from the start. Maybe if you release the main stems to the community to try out remixes without the strings it would help answer your question. I for one would certainly like to hear/have a go at a remix without them.
The motive behind using them is not in doubt and I will be in the minority with my reservations but all voices should be heard. At the end of the day it was a great piece of music.