Have to say that the premise looked extremely goofy to me, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Regarding the "no looks" component....The people we see competing have been selected to compete by someone who has seen them. In other words, this is not a completely unbiased or blind show.
I'm sure we are seeing people who would never make it on Idol given their appearance and/or age, but I'm sure all were selected - to some degree - based on looks before even stepping on stage. What I'm seeing is that producers have selected people that fall into one of 3 categories - good-looking, average looking, and unique looking given age and/or style. A good mix, but none who are completely off the charts gross and still the majority fall into the good-looking category.
Still, once there, the judges must select without seeing the contestants' physical appearance, and that does count for *somthing*.
Very good observations.