I don't think so, but after competing at enough shows and being around a lot of competitors, this question definitely pops up from time to time. The competitors talk and voice their doubts about the honesty and integrity of the different shows and how fairly they are judged. Sometimes it's clear that certain people are disappointed in themselves for not preparing better, but other times, depending on the line up of the top five, eyebrows are raised about what is going on behind the scenes.
Every organization is different. Sometimes the judging criteria is so straight forward that it is clear why they place people the way that they do. Other organizations have a lot of grey area to play with, and this is where I could see competitors getting confused or frustrated.
When it comes down to it, every competitor (unless they have a ton of sponsors forking over dough-which is 1 in a million) dishes out a lot of bread to be there! Travel expenses, coaching for diet and training, suits, hair , tans, makeup, and lets not forget to mention the HOURS of time preparing all to bring their best efforts to a show. I am sure every organization is aware that people are there with their eye on the prize. If things don't at least "look fair," they are going to lose following, and FAST! This also means a loss of reputation, then eventually enrollment and $$$$$! Think about it...if the judges only pick the same people all the time-regardless of the talent at a show- why would anyone ever bother to show up? AND, how boring would that be?
I am an optimist. I have to believe that the judging is fair at the shows because I am there spending my time and money on a lifestyle that I am passionate about. I am not just there to make pre-determined winners look good-SORRY, THATS NOT MY JOB! Just like every other competitor that walks onto the stage, I have to believe in myself and enjoy every second of my fleeting time because that is what I have worked so hard for. If I don't believe in myself, I cant expect anyone else to, including the judging panel!
We all have a choice to compete with whatever organization we want to- no one is forcing us into loyalty. However, loyalty to an organization is created by treating its competitors fairly and being honest with its intentions and direction for the sport. Just a little food for thought.