IDOLMETRICS: PREDICTING IDOL VOTING PATTERNS, FROM T13 TO T5
EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS POST WAS FIRST WRITTEN MAY 4, 2012.
The second ranking is based on the study of song quality and how overdone that song is on Idol, relative to how well the contestant sang to the average of that song. We then add up the numbers for each performance and it spits out a ranking. It's supposedly "the Idol audience" free ranking--this would be how the rankings would look like if there were no voter biases, and they were just voting straight-up on the song, its creativity and the singing ability itself.
The first one is based off the second ranking, which is a bit more subjective--it now takes into account the Idol audience voting patterns, and it uses reality (which contestants have been in the B3/eliminated) and then starts deducting value every time a contestants hits the bottom three. It then makes an educated guess on where the contestant landed in that particular week, based on the second ranking and the Idol audience variables. This chart's more accurate than the second chart, which is why I put it first in the list.
Now let's get to what this chart all means:
1) Hollie Cavanagh: The expected rankings tell the tale of Hollie initially being a relatively upper crust type, but then she goes through a period from the Top 8 to the Top 6 where her abilities become Bottom Three material. However, in the top five, she arguably produces the best performances, and should have the number one spot. In a way, she's lucky she survived four potential bottom three scares. But the "voting patterns" ranking reveals her to be a mid-packer all the way: she was from seventh to fourth, and right now she's getting fifth or fourth place relatively consistently. She's still getting into the bottom three frequently in reality too, and that's what this chart reflects.
2) Jessica Sanchez: In the "expected ranking", Jessica has no upward growth because she's always consistently up in the list. She's still producing 2nd place or 3rd place value, but the Idol audience hates stagnation, which is why they tuned her out in Top 7, Part I. Despite that, she's the only remaining contestant who doesn't deserve to the be in the bottom three or elimination. From the "voting patterns ranking", I think the audience falling asleep was a fluke. Yeah it might happen again given the general stagnation, but she's never been in the bottom three besides that and the other contestants are losing ground with that, so I'm betting she's been either first or second (or the rare third) most of the time.
3) Joshua Ledet: Joshua's a weird case who I really suspect is underachieving in votes--from the top 11 to the top 7(i), he was expected to be first overall in votes based on his body of singing work, but in reality it seemed that he was getting anywhere from 2nd to 5th place in between that. Good, but not exactly the uber-frontrunner material the judges made him out to be. I also happen to think Joshua severely slipped at the Top 7(ii) and beyond, although that hasn't really impacted him in votes too much. He really seems like a 2nd or 3rd placer, and I do think there's a backlash given how overhyped he is. He's lucky to have survived two bottom three scares at the top 6 and top 5 recently, as well.
4) Phil Phillips: Finally the question everyone's been wondering: is this guy really getting first place votes consistently? Well...I think the answer is yes. Isn't it obvious just looking at the fact that of all the contestants, he's never been in the B3? So despite the massive fail of a week for him in Week 5, yep...I think he was the leading vote-getter. Funny, in a way. To be fair, Phil's been relatively consistent, but that has never lulled his fans into complacency. The expected rankings showed that he was producing 3rd-place value throughout much of the competition, due to the song introducing factor. It was only until the T5 where he was really expected to be eliminated....and I think he got 1st place in votes. Truthfully, I think Phil's been getting top 2 or top 3 in votes from T13 to T8, but from T7 and beyond he really started getting the first-place votes consistently. Yep...another WGWG winner, we think? If it's any solace, those who survive expected eliminations like PP did tend to get eliminated soon...Elise survived twice in both T7's before getting eliminated at T6, and Deandre survived T10 before getting eliminated T8. So there's that. We'll see if this was the throwaway week for him, even if the votes keep comin'.
--I doubt Elise Testone never got above 5th place on the show...ever. Her problem, truthfully, was that she was picking a ton of Idol derivative songs and singing them poorly. For a large chunk of the season, she seriously was lacking Idol song-picking chops, and that really screwed her over. Her expected ranking really seems to match the audience ranking, so she was screwed on both fronts. But what's most interesting is that she started out probably with the fewest (13th) amount of votes--my opinion was that Jeremy Rosado had more votes than her that week--and still kept surviving by the skin of her teeth ever since then. That's sort impressive, despite the way she screwed herself over.
--I thought Skylar Laine actually started off somewhat slow, but shook it off and actually starting catching fire later on, giving several 1st-place type performances in succession. Not sure if the voting audience ever caught up to her, though: she was eliminated when the objective view was that she was second overall. However, I do think that she was third and second in the past few weeks, even though before that she was a midpacker. Looks like she was a bit overrated in terms of getting country votes, in both the voting/objective fronts.
--Colton Dixon just seems to be all kinds of overrated in terms of song-choosing ability and in terms of being able to get the votes. He seemed very current, actually, in terms of choosing songs that were within five years of now, but he never really had a "moment" on the show and that really hindered his overall score despite reasonable creativity. He seemed to stagnate as well--objective view shows that he was consistently sixth or fifth in votes, so when he was eliminated as the "shocker" at T7(II) it didn't seem awfully surprising. However, that being said, he was never B3 until elimination, but still, my bet was he was fifth or fourth place most of the time (although I thought he was 2nd after he sang "Love the Way You Lie").
--DeAndre Brackensick and Heejun Han were both really surviving on the skin of their teeth throughout their stay on Idol. Every week, objectively, was a bottom three sort of week for them, in terms of the singing/creativity. Heejun was just bombing Idol-derivative performances, and DeAndre, while reasonably creative, also kept getting poor scores. DeAndre never got higher than sixth place, and Heejun no higher than 7th.
--Erika Van Pelt just never got the votes at all, and there was a definite disconnect between her style and the Idol audience's tendencies. But, she also slipped. Look at the objective chart--from three to seven to eighth place after three weeks, and that's why she lost ground after getting what was thought to be 9th place at first. She finished at 10th place. The reason for that is not because she can't sing (she can), but her song choices were completely Idol derivative (she was the second least creative on the show, after Jermaine Jones).
--Jeremy Rosado might have been robbed. He got eliminated at #13, even though my bet was he was 11th in votes (I'm betting he got more than Shannon Magrane). Also, objectively, his performances were more like 7th place material at that point. But obviously, there's always robbed contestants...