I know that the ideas were used before in the pitch, but it wasn't like it was a bad idea.
It was like a mix between Giga-Wing, Twinkle Star Sprites, Dodon Pachi, and many other shmups, but who said something has to be unique to be good? I don't know, maybe it's just me but I've been playing Shmups with my friend and see alot of similar things within each different shmup that's been used, but that didn't make them bad. My friend is a huge fan of shmups and he'd think it was a good idea as a game, even if not unique. It's more the passion put into the game.
There was actually one game I know of, though these judges were a bit mean with asking these questions as if they didn't know what the Hell a shmup is. Shmups have always been about dodging bullets, getting through, and improving your battle ship. But why the heck are they harrassing the shmup genre so much? Anyhow, they were just so picky choosy, it was kind of annoying hearing from the judges.