That's funny about the official J! response, because I was just thinking through the logic in the same way. I actually still agree with the judges.
My last name is Conley - two syllables. Some other common variants include Connolly and Connelly, with three syllables. I've always noticed that people often misspell my name, and I've always termed it as "misspell". They're (presumably) derived from the same root - probably someone at Ellis Island misheard and/or miswrote the name of an erstwhile potato farmer.
But is it really a "misspelling", or is it a different name? Where's the line drawn? I think J! would call Conley wrong for Connolly based on the emancipitation ruling, but Connolly and Connelly would be the same because they're pronounced the same.
If Berry is just a unique, fun alternate spelling of Barry, then she got robbed. If it's a completely new name (and, personally, I think it is, but I'd need some etymological research to back it up and would be open to changing my mind), then the ruling was right.
One other point: I have no problem with "one-off question rules". For example, I don't think you have to say "Martin Luther King, Jr.", but I think you might have to say "Cal Ripken, Jr.". But hopefully in reviewing the clues, they noticed the odd spelling of Berry in FJ!, and decided IN ADVANCE whether to accept Barry. If you have that on the answer sheet, it obviates any reasonable charge of favoritism - "We know there's a snafu in spelling the first name, and we'll ONLY accept the correct variant of the first name."
And we're not asking for the spelling of Gyllenhaal - when you get 20% of the letters wrong, you're setting yourself up for problems.
I'm actually a bit more surprised that FJ! was a (nominal) TS, or a 1/3 if you count Barry. Then again, I listened to The Big Chill soundtrack every day when my mom drove me to elementary school, which is majorty Motown/Motown family, and I did see Motown: The Musical a couple of years ago and did my requisite brief research before seeing it. In fact, I'm 99% sure I saw the 60th anniversary special in 2019 - CBS broadcast it, and it sounds like something I'd record and watch.