I would like for this solution to be able to be used each year without any change to the structure of the database except updating the finalists names in the Finalists table.
Then consider a structure along these lines:
Categories --< CategoryInYear --< FinalistInCategoryInYear >-- People
Which means that a) you preserve your “historical” data, and b) can effortlessly add new categories (as seems to be common with awards …)
Now display five filtered portals to show the 4x2 CandidateInCategoryInYear records. A judge's click on a candidate then would increase their vote tally, and record with highest vote value per category & year is WinnerInCategoryInYear …