I'm a Blackmore fan-boy until the day I die.
I love Alex, Hendrix, SRV but IMO Blackmore defeats all.
Technique. Musicality. Song output. Composition. Improvisation.
Tone. Melody. Leads. Riffs. Attitude. Bad-assness.
Blackmore has all the bases covered.
Ritchie was also a trailblazer and broke ground incorporating the classical influence into his music ..
All of the guys on this list have made some incredible contributions to not only the guitar world, but also the music world, and Blackmore is right up there with the best, no doubt
Another reality is that I switched my Randy Rhodes vote in the last few hours of the last round. This tied Ritchie for 3rd place (which would've been enough to enter this final). THEN, Ritchie got a couple of more votes which killed Randy off.