No longer is he the naive, fun-loving sponge beloved by children and adults everywhere... now he's a grown sponge who finally sees the world for what's it like. It really makes for an eerie change of personality, as if he joined the Mafia under the sea, but no doubt it's been executed extremely well.
Straight away, you get the impression that Spongebob could literally make you "sleep with the fishes" if he wanted to. This is somebody who's ready to move on to greater things besides being a fry cook at Krusty Krab.
You've done a marvellous job bringing him to the surface; the expression is spot-on, the pose is both mysterious and intimidating, and the shroud of darkness makes him pop out even more.
Well done on such impressive work and good luck in the contest; to me it'll be a worthy contender regardless of who enters.