senior editors and baseline quality
Well, in my opinion, if we want to avoid the popularity contest, we should just PROHIBIT these stupid votes "Support" without any explanations. Only the vote "Support for the following reason: " (for instance, the editor, did not participate in edit warring, has not been blocked for disruptive behavior etc). And then make a suffrage of 500? edits in the main space (I believe a FA is too much).