To me, Mao and Akiko have similar looking faces, and I don't think anyone in Japan has a problem supporting Mao. Both of them have cute faces as opposed to Yukari and Miki who have more mature looking faces. I don't think it really is that noticeable though.*ahem*
What I said, and I still stand by this statement, is that in terms of how society views beauty, when judging a person's face, she is objectively homely and her scores have been lower because of it.
If Akiko had a face as popular as Yu-Na's in terms of the societal definitions of beauty, she would be a contender for Gold.