It happens, I think the staff has said something about sprucing up the voting in system but don't quote me on that. I don't think anyone has ever gone up for vote and not been voted up before the time frame was up.
I get what you are saying, but someone people with sensitive feelings might feel offended by it. To be honest, when I came here, I put myself up for vote and I got it. My first handful of reviews aren't anything like they are now. I've always been one that loves to write (as long as I have a topic) and did well in school/college so I thought "I got this", when in reality, reviewing sex items is SO much different from writing an essay for a class. I looked back at my first 2 to 3 pages of reviews and I only got a few "somewhat useful" votes. No one mentioned the mentor program to me and besides seeing it on the dashboard, I really had no idea what it was. I think maybe a better explanation of the mentor program on the program dashboard page would be a MAJOR help in promoting the program.
Many people are new and haven't looked all over the site (like I didn't catch it) and aren't aware of it, though now it seems many users are suggesting it in comments of reviews from new users. I probably would have joined if someone suggested it to me and gave me a brief run down on what it is.
Now, to actually acknowledge your question of do I read the reviews of the people on the community page that are up for vote? Yes, if I have time to read them all. Or say I see their review was featured on the community page (I'm talking about with the photo of the item). If that item interests me, I will read it and if I thought it was good and they happen to be up for vote then I will check out their other review(s). If I think they are ready for advanced status then I sure will vote for them and I have voted for people.
I have seen people apply for advanced status via voting and they got EV or U votes and didn't seem to need much guidance.
But even if someone makes it and you feel they really should have had a mentor, you can suggest it OR leave a NICE FRIENDLY comment with tips on what to add to their review to help them get better votes. People didn't suggest the mentor program to me, but many did ask questions about something I left out which prompted me to answer and then remember to add that in my future reviews. Some people will take your suggestions to heart and will improve like I did.
Plus we have to remember, not everyone writes/reviews the same or feels the same information is important. Some people like to stick to the minimum, others want to put in as much info possible. We can't force people to change their ways, even if they took the mentor program and failed, they could then go up for vote on the community page when it comes down to it.
I honestly think there needs to be something more done to promote the mentor program because unless a contributor mentions it to someone and explains it to them, if they don't check out the forum (or know to), the information isn't easily found nor is it explained much in detail.