I've noticed in my time that a lot of people will get promoted or denied based on a boss's/superior's personal opinion and/or that boss's favoritism.
I was passes over numerous times to go to a military board for promotion bases on personal opinion. I was NOT well liked and had nothing to do with my personal abilities or performance. I was finally afforded an opportunity, smoked the board with a near perfect score, and make most of my peers seem incompetent in comparison while performing at the next rank above me.
No, it isn't fair. But it's reality and it isn't changing any time soon. You gotta schmooze people, and hopefully you'll be competent too. I've worked for some real assholes, shitbags, incompetent idiotic retards, and some really spacey people. Outperform someone while being sociable with the boss works well for most people that I see getting ahead at work. I use some bizarre humor at work, and coupled with staying good at what I do got me recommended for the next promotion board. But I don't know how well that is going to work for those of you who work in other professions, corporate America, or cubicle hell.