I've got a mixed feeling about it.
I watched some of the old critiques on Youtube before and found them very interesting and useful, because not only you get to see what was wrong with the picture, but how to fix it.
This time I decided I want to enter 3rd Thursday myself. It's the first time I took part in any illustrator competition and it was awesome to get feedback from professional artists. Just a few comments like "you missed the concept" and "there are problems with anatomy" are so much more valuable than all the ego stroking normally received from friends and family. However this format is less watchable and instructive for someone who is not taking part in the competition.
The old format is better for spreading the word about SVS. The new format is a nice gesture to the people taking part in the competition. The new format is OK, but I prefer the idea of keeping the old format at the same time encouraging people to post their progress on this forum and give your comments here. This would keep the quality of critique videos on the same level, increase member involvement in forum activity and keep people pushing their limits to get noticed on 3rd Thursday.