Isn't that just kinda the way things work lol? Money just tends to win the day. Fact of life...ya know?
A guy who enters a piano competition via online submission using a $285,000 Bosendorfer is going to have an advantage over someone who enters playing a Young Chang upright. Cash is an advantage, let the advantage run its course. If a guy wants better tone, buy a nicer amp. At the end of the day, the better player will still hopefully win.
Actually...thinking about this more, the instrument you bring to a job interview or a college audition or anything else in the entertainment world is fair game. You either figure out how to win anyway or go home. Why try and re-write reality?