Laura Bell Bundy's understudy Becky Gulsvig is already signed on to play Elle on the tour. The rumor I heard is that the winner is only guaranteed to play the role for four weeks on Broadway so if she's bad, there are loopholes where they can axe her pretty quickly.
I agree about the caliber of the girls although the show is still better quality-wise than the "Grease" reality show. Some of these girls actually do have Broadway and professional credits. Emma is Jerry Zaks's daughter and was in "La Cage aux Folles" on Broadway, Celina was Jenn Gambatese's understudy in "Tarzan" and went on for her, Autumn was Beth in the national tour of "Little Women" and Cassie S. had a small role in the "Hairspray" movie as one of the Corny Collins kids. This doesn't count as experience but Natalie is the daughter of Squiggy from "Laverne and Shirley." Some of them like Bailey and Lauren are fresh out of school.