It's been some times since FOM so people have grown for the better or maybe worse. Either way, anyone has a chance this time around if they can show potential through their application and interview(if they receive one).
The process of deciding on selecting applicants for "approval" has been pretty unbiased when it comes to FOM history. We're really trying to focus on the present and future, not the past.
These applications are for R5-R6 and not a direct application for R7. It's much better to have a good amount of decent active HC members then only a few good. You want plenty of content generating players in your factions and their demotion is only one button click away if they fail. Even bad actions can create good content.
It should of course be balanced so the faction doesn't collapse under the bad actions. But that is for the chain of command to uphold with the R7 having the final responsibility.
I think all who have any interest should apply, given that they are honest in their application and can put in the time.
I agree with the bad actions leading to great content, I always saw these as "Plan B's" when the luck ran out...
When your creative and innovative HC [who naturally accrue other individuals] can have their own conflicts and identity within the boundaries of a shared vision that is inclusive of luck, diplomacy, tension and production you know you're taking your first steps as a credible R7.