The comparison with the competition for jobs at teaching-oriented colleges almost makes itself. Candidates must be strong enough in research and teaching to make it through the fist round of cuts. But then (and this is the bit I hope is not really true) they have to avoid being cut on the grounds of looking too strong when it comes to research. If you're too good, after all, you might not stay. You might not even take the job in the first place, in which case a valuable interview slot will have been wasted. And then, if you make it to an on-campus interview, it basically comes down to a popularity contest.
It make a kind of sense, but anyone who's watched the show knows that the best person does not always win.