Fans everywhere are making a case for why their Idol should, or at least will, win Idol. Each group may claim that their artist is the most talented, most original, most commercial and/or most likely to bring real music back to radio. None of that really matters. At. All. Voters do what they do in the voting booth and pundits are left to sift through the remains to try to explain the results.
Thankfully, Idol has given us 16 seasons worth of data to distill and Idol Scientists have been able to crack the formula for winning Idol. It’s not as simple as “A” is best at this, so they win. The equation for Idol success contains many factors, square roots and a cosign or two. If the Nobel committee ever gets around to awarding a medal for Voting Science, the award will be shared between the contributors of Television Without Pity, Idol Forums, MJs and the rest of the Idol collective.
So, if you want to be seen as the wisest person at your American Idol Finale Party (granted, those parties have probably dwindled in size such that it is a party of one), sit right down and learn about the Science of Idol.
A) Diploid Duality
Humans, like most mammals, are diploids. That means that our cells have two sets of chromosones which helps to protect us from non-functional mutations while allowing for greater genetic variation. Perhaps that chromosomal twin set is what attracts us to symmetrical facial features, parallel designs and BOGO events.
Nowhere is our love of duality reflected more than in the love Idol voters show for diploidical names. If an Idol contestant has a name with twin letters side-by-side, voters gravitate to them like they neutron stars. If a contestant has twin names, they are unstoppable.
Let’s examine the Diploidic Factor of each of our finalists:
Season 1: Kelly [Brianne] Clarkson (DF2) vs Justin [Eldrin] Guarani (DF0) – Diploid Duality Dominates!
Season 2: [Christopher Theodore] Ruben Studdard (DF1) vs [Clayton Holmes] “Clay” Aiken (DF0) – Diploid Duality Dominates!
Season 3: Fantasia [Monique] Barrino (DF1) vs Diane [Nicole] Degarmo (DF0) – Diploid Duality Dominates! (Fantasia was wise not to drop Barrino until after she won)
Season 4: Carrie [Marie] Underwood (DF2) vs [Harold Edwin] “Bo” Bice (DF0) – Diploid Duality Dominates!
Season 5: Taylor Ruben Hicks (DF0) vs Katharine Hope McPhee (DF1) – Haploid Season
Season 6: Jordin [Brianna] Sparks (DF1) vs Blake Colin Lewis (DF0) – Diploid Duality Dominates!
Season 7: David [Roland] Cook (DF1) vs David [James] Archuleta (DF0) – Diploid Duality Dominates! (Archuleta may have stood a chance at winning if the common misspelling of his last name was correct)
Season 8: Kristopher [Neil] Allen (DF1) vs Adam Mitchel Lambert (DF0) – Diploid Duality Dominates!
Season 9: [Leon] “Lee” [James] Dewyze (DF1) vs Crystal [Lynn] Bowersox (DF1) – Diploid Duality Wins! (names heard on the show have a greater diploidical attraction on viewers than middle names one needs strong google skills to find)
Season 10: Scotty Cooke McCreery (DF4 – diploids on steroids!) vs Lauren Alaina [Suddeth] (DF0 – last name was dropped for competition) – Diploid Duality Dominates!
Season 11: Phillip [Ladon] Phillips (DF2 – plus the double name power-up) vs Jessica Sanchez (DF1) – Diploid Duality Dominates!
Season 12: Candace [Rickelle] Glover (DF1) vs Kree Annette Harrison (DF4) – Haploid Season
Season 13: Caleb [Perry] Johnson (DF1) vs Jena [Irene [Ascuitto]] (DF0 – dropped last name prior to voting rounds) – Diploid Duality Dominates!
Season 14: Nick [James] Fradiani (DF0) vs Clark [Paul] Beckham (DF0) – Inconclusive (no Diploids)
Season 15: Trent [William] Harmon (DF1) vs LaPorsha Renae [Myers] (DF0) – Diploid Duality Dominates!
Season 16: Caleb Lee Hutchinson (DF1) vs Gabby Barrett (DF3) vs Maddie [Mae] Poppe (DF2) – First three contestant finale, more research may be required. Of the top two, the one with the most double letters won. Perhaps it is the double “M”s in her initials that pushed Maddie over the top: Diploid Duality at 50%
What will this season yield?
Season 17: Alejandro Aranda (DF0) vs Laine Hardy (DF0) vs Madison VanDenburg (DF0) – Inconclusive (it may come down to their middle names – or perhaps the AA initials will have the desired impact)
Accuracy: 12.5/15 (83%)
B) Kinetic Theory of Voting
One of the fundamental concepts of Physics is the law of conservation of energy – the total energy of an isolated system remains constant; energy is neither created nor destroyed.
That is so not true when it comes to Idol voting patterns. Voters can be created (if somebody has a moment) or destroyed (if their favourite gets the boot). They can be static (always backing their favourite even when they have a bad night) or kinetic (changing their vote from week to week based on a variety of factors).
It is the kinetic voters that are of interest on finale night. Will they coalesce to overwhelm the static fan bases? What causes them to be kinetic? One of the factors that appears to cause a voter to shift is gender. Over the years, researchers have observed that whichever gender holds the majority in the top 3 tends to win. It could be that the kinetic voters that year tend to prefer either a male or female voice. It could be that static voters are energized to move their vote from one eliminated contestant to the next “like” one. It could be the voters don’t really know who they are voting for and just remember it was a “guy”.
Even if the cause isn’t fully understood, but the effect is. Here are the results:
Season 1: Kelly/Justin/Nikki – two females, one male = female winner – Majority Wins
Season 2: Ruben/Clay/Kim – two males, one female = male winner – Majority Wins
Season 3: Fantasia/Diana/Jasmine – three females = female winner – Majority Wins
Season 4: Carrie/Bo/Vonzell – two females, one male = female winner – Majority Wins
Season 5: Taylor/Katharine/Elliot – two males, one female = male winner – Majority Wins
Season 6: Jordin/Blake/Melinda – two females, one male = female winner – Majority Wins
Season 7: Cookie/Archie/Syesha – two males, one female = male winner – Majority Wins
Season 8: Kris/Adam/Gokey – three males = male winner – Majority Wins
Season 9: Lee/Crystal/Casey – two males, one female = male winner – Majority Wins
Season 10: Scotty/Lauren/Haley – two females, one male = male winner – Static Voting
Season 11: Phil/Jessica/Josh – two males, one female = male winner – Majority Wins
Season 12: Candice/Kree/Angie – three females = female winner – Majority Wins
Season 13: Caleb/Jena/Alex – two males, one female = male winner – Majority Wins
Season 14: Nick/Jax/Clark – two males, one female = male winner – Majority Wins
Season 15: Trent/LaPorsha/Dalton – two males, one female=male winner – Majority Wins
Season 16: Maddie/Caleb/Gabby – one male/two females = female winner – Majority Wins
Season 17: Alejandro/Laine/Madison – two males/one female = male winner
Winner: Alejandro or Laine
Accuracy: 15/16 = 94%
C) Queuing Theory
Queuing Theory is not the study of why people think it is okay to bud in front of you in the ride line at an amusement park (although somebody should study that). It is the mathematical study of waiting lines. One of the most efficient queues in practical life is a FIFO queue – First In, First Out. If you are me and there are multiple lines at the Costco, I can invariably pick the line that will need a price checked, a receipt ribbon changed and/or an intense debate about whether a coupon has expired. Meanwhile at passport control, I unerringly choose to stand behind somebody who thinks they can use their expired Costco card as valid ID and are trying to smuggle in a bag of grapes. So, I love places where you all get in one long queue and the person at the front goes to the next available teller (or passport control agent) – FIFO.
Apparently, I’m not the only one because Idol Voters seem to have their own strict FIFO queue on finale night. If the first letter of your first name appears first in the alphabet, you are the first out of the competition. You lose. Say?nara. Auf Wiedersehen. Farvel. Now, our Idol Mathematicians are still studying the effects of a three person finale, but we do note that the person with the first name with the first letter that appears last in the alphabet won last year. So, LILO (Last In, Last Out) may be the more descriptive name of the Idol Queue.
Season 1: Kelly/Justin – LILO!
Season 2: Ruben/Clay – LILO!
Season 3: Fantasia/Diana – LILO!
Season 4: Carrie/Bo – LILO! (Bo should have stuck with Harold)
Season 5: Taylor/Katharine – LILO!
Season 6: Jordin/Blake – LILO!
Season 7: David C/David A – LILO!
Season 8: Kris/Adam – LILO!
Season 9: Lee/Crystal – LILO!
Season 10:Scotty/Lauren – LILO!
Season 11: Phil/Jessica – LILO!
Season 12: Kree/Candice – FILO! (Season 12 in general is a statistical anomaly)
Season 13: Jena/Caleb – FILO!
Season 14: Nick/Clark – LILO!
Season 15: Trent/LaPorcha – LILO!
Season 16: Maddie/Gabby/Caleb – LILO!
Season 17: Alejandro/Laine/Madison
Accuracy: 14/16 – 88%
D) Theory of Geographical Relativity
Like tectonic plates, the Idol Nation seems to have regions that move as one block, crashing up against each other and causing eruptions. One of the most powerful and cohesive regions is the Southern States of the US. Idol Observers have long since noticed that contestants from the Southern States are more likely to win than their brethren from the coastal or northern states. Some posit that this is because Southern States have a “Small Town” culture where people are more likely to support their neighbours – the people they relate to geographically. Others claim that voters outside of the South have busy lives and have more important things to do than vote for American Idol. The debate about which theory is correct can set off seismic events felt blogs away.
One of the difficulties with quantifying the effect of this theory is that the definition of a “Southern” state is in a constant state of flux. Some have claimed Jordin is from the South because Arizona abuts Mexico, but others claim that is pure nonsense. Is Oklahoma South? It wasn’t part of the Confederacy and its northern border is level with New Mexico and Arizona, but it appears on wiki’s page titled Southern United States and they do like Country music. Let’s present the facts and the reader can re-interpret as they feel necessary.
Season 1: Kelly (Texas-S)/Justin (Pennsylvania-N) – Southern Block Prevails
Season 2: Ruben (Alabama-S)/Clay (North Carolina-S) – Southern Block Prevails
Season 3: Fantasia (North Carolina-S)/Diana (Georgia-S) – Southern Block Prevails
Season 4: Carrie (Oklahoma-S/MW/NNW/SC)/Bo (Alabama-S) – Southern Block Prevails?
Season 5: Taylor (Alabama-S)/Katharine (California-W) – Southern Block Prevails
Season 6: Jordin (Arizona-MW)/Blake (Washington-PNW) – Mountain West Block Prevails
Season 7: Cook (Missouri-MW)/Archie (Utah-RMW) – Midwest Block Prevails
Season 8: Kris (Arkansas-S)/Adam (California-W) – Southern Block Prevails
Season 9: Lee (Illinois-MW)/Crystal (Ohio-MW) – Midwest Block Prevails
Season 10: Scotty (North Carolina-S)/Lauren (Georgia-S) – Southern Block Prevails
Season 11: Phil (Georgia-S)/Jessica (California-W) – Southern Block Prevails
Season 12: Kree (Texas-S)/Candice(South Carolina-S) – Sothern Block Prevails
Season 13.: Caleb (North Carolina)/Jena (Michigan-MW) – Southern Block Prevails
Season 14: Nick (Connecticut-NE)/Clark (Tennessee-S) – New England Block Prevails
Season 15:Trent (Mississippi-S)/LaPorsha(Mississippi-S) – Southern Block Prevails
Season 16: Maddie(Iowa-MW)/Caleb (Georgia-S)/Gabby(Pennsylvania-N) – Caleb (Georgia-S)/Gabby(Pennsylvania-NEast)/Maddie(Iowa-MW) – Midwest Block Prevails
Season 17: Alejandro (California – W)/Laine (Louisiana-S)/Madison(New York – NEast)
Accuracy: 10/16 or 11/16 – 63%-69%
E) Natural Selection
As part of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, Natural Selection is the principle behind survival of the fittest. Mutations that most help us to adapt and compete in our environment allow us to live long enough to pass on our genes. Not all of these successful adaptions can be considered useful for obtaining foods or avoiding predators – some are about looking good to attract a mate. Think about the exotic tail feathers of a peacock, the mane on a lion or the nose on a proboscis monkey.
So, the same should be true of Idol. Those that evolve the most and make themselves the most attractive are bound to survive the longest. Correct? Nope. As we learned from watching “Glee”, while initially causing a sensation, emphasizing aesthetic aspects like Hairography build mistrust in the audience. If you had talent, why are you trying to distract us? Why aren’t you evolving into something you are not? Why don’t you stay true to yourself? In short, ss those from the Midwest might say, somebody is all hat, no horse.
Evolving or buzzy appearances may help you progress a few rounds in the voting, but they won’t help you win. Let’s review the seasons and see whose appearances pulled the most focus.
Season 1: Kelly vs Justin – I only watched the finale of Season 1, but even I had heard about Justin’s glorious head of hair. It was the talk of the country. Kelly? She was just known for her singing talent – Horse Wins
Season 2: Ruben vs Clay – The evolution of Clay over the season was amazing. He entered the audition room with gnarly hair, wire rimmed glasses and a fashion style that proved that he’d given up trying. As the show progressed, he ditched the glasses, flat-ironed his hair and started wearing dapper clothes. Meanwhile, Ruben retained his audition hairstyle, wore a variation of the same t-shirt every show (he did dress up for the finale) and crooned his way to success- Horse Wins
Season 3: Fantasia vs Diana – Diana was the former pageant contestant, so it’s not surprising that she experimented with new styles of hair and clothes to compliment her performances. Fantasia just sang – Horse Wins
Season 4: Carrie vs Bo – This season was like a return to the pre-70s America. Audiences were amazed to see a man with such long hair. Responses varied from “How can a Hippie be an American Idol” to “What conditioner does he use because those are some flowing locks?” While Carrie is a stunning woman, Bo pulled all the attention when it came to chatting about appearances. – Horse Wins
Season 5: Taylor vs Katharine – While Taylor’s prematurely grey hair initially caused a lot of discussion, his absolute refusal to change it eliminated the effect. He declared loudly and often that he wouldn’t change his hair because it was his singing that should matter. Meanwhile, his competition Katherine helped others learn how to do their make-up for television, talked about her hair extensions and wore designer gowns – Horse Wins
Season 6: Jordan vs Blake – Jordan was another gorgeous woman who wore stunning gowns and coiffed her hair beautifully. That would normally have spelled her doom, but Blake was even more adventurous than her. He saw every performance as an opportunity to build a complete picture. If he had to wear a tuxedo t-shirt or dye his hair black, then that is what he would do. Many weeks his appearance stole attention from what he was trying to do vocally – Horse Wins
Season 7: Cook vs Archuleta – Season 7 showed an interesting example of devolution. Cook showed up on the first day looking, frankly, tragic. If he paid somebody to give him that hairstyle, he paid them too much. And he had more scarves than a rodeo clown. Initially, his looks pulled focus from his singing, but probably helped him to stand out from a big crowd and survive the first few rounds. As people started noticing he could sing, Cook ditched the Hot-Topic-on-Meth look and dressed more ordinary. People stopped asking “Does he own a mirror?” and started asking “Did you hear him sing.”? Meanwhile, Archie’s very youthful cute looks pulled focus – Horse Wins.
Season 8: Kris vs Adam – Like Blake, Adam used his style to help frame his performance. While nobody could claim that Adam doesn’t have an amazing voice, he also gained a lot of attention for his look – for the outfits he wore, for the way he styled his hair – he even mentioned that he had his own hair stylist come to the set to dye his hair. The season was long enough that Kris probably had to have his hair cut, but I defy anybody to identify between which shows that happened. The guy was chill (less charitable would say “plain”) when it came to fashion. – Horse Wins
Season 9: Lee vs Crystal – If you told people that Lee worked in a paint store, they would believe you. Crystal had amazing dreads worth discussing and they doomed her. – Horse Wins
Season 10: Scotty vs Lauren – Scotty arrived at his audition looking like the poster boy for why clippers should only be sold to trained professionals. Was that a haircut he chose or a bet he lost? The Idol Stylists hid their clippers and forced him to have a hair style nobody would blink at. They spent their more creative energy on Lauren who even sported two different hair colours at once. – Horse Wins
Season 11: Phil vs Jessica – Jessica was dressed impeccably for her performances while Phillips mulishly refused to change in any way. Like Taylor, he stuck to his guns that you either love his singing or you don’t. If they were here for the signing, the audience wouldn’t mind that he wore the same grey t-shirt for weeks on end like a teenager going through his initial-struggles-for-independence-but-yet-to-learn-personal-hygiene stage. “Nobody cares, Mom”. While Phillip certainly got the more buzz about appearances, it was anti-buzz. He was all about the singing – Horse Wins
Season 12: Candace vs Kree – Candace was the far more adventurous with her sartorial and hair styles while Kree rarely strayed from the path she started on. While both woman were amazing singers, more attention was paid to Candace’s appearance than Kree’s – Hat Wins. Season 12 is the exception that proves the rule
Season 13: Caleb vs Jena – Caleb started as a shlub and ended as a shlub and if he changed a whisker, nobody noticed. Meanwhile, Jena had lots of fun creating with the Idol stylists. Even JLo recognized her fashion game – Horse wins.
Season 14: Nick and Clark – This was a real horse race. Both Nick and Clark kept hammering away at the vocals, but Clark doomed himself by experimenting with style a few times – Horse Wins
Season 15: Trent had his own sense of style with the oversized hats and chic country look, but LaPorsha stole all the fashion focus with her signature hair. There was even an intro where they wanted cut and colour her hair which created much angst for LaPorsha, but she ended up happy with the results. – Horse wins.
Season 16: While Gabby brought a relative to LA to dye her hair and add extensions, Maddie tried some interesting braids and Caleb wore some stylish boots. Perhaps it was the three person finale or perhaps it is because she actually wore flats to perform, but Maddie seemed very natural and just herself. – Horse wins
Let us examine Season 17. Hair hasn’t been a big focus. Sure, Madison has had a few Ryan chats about her hair including the time they decided to style her hair with nails – okay. So, we have to look at clothing styles. Madison has had some amazing outfits, but nothing that really pulled focus from her singing. Alejandro has perfected the send-dad-to-the-mall-to-pick-up-some-batteries look which he seems to wear whether or not he’s performing. It is Laine that is gathering all the discussion about his attire. If Lionel isn’t accusing him of raiding his closet, Ryan is treating him like a model on QVC. “These shoes cost $4000. Turn around to show them the little diamond on the back.” And Katy can’t seem to stop talking about his teeth. Luke would probably find something to say about Laine’s looks if he could get a word in edgewise. Laine’s detractors have spent much of the season declaring how inauthentic he is and how much he’s gone Hollywood. Laine is wearing the Hat this season.
Accuracy: 16/17 – 94%
Retired Tool: Pimp Spot Buoyancy Principle – Coffee may be for closers, but so, traditionally, are votes. Historically, performing last has helped to buoy a contestant. It’s an implicit nod from the producers that you are the best of the night – the one worth waiting for – the one to close the show with a bang. It was thought that the producers sometimes used the spot as a chance to prop up a sagging contestant so they could make it another round (almost a judge’s save), but this never happened when one’s own favourite got the spot – they always earned it and got the spot to boost ratings. This was all back when voting occurred after the show so the last singer was freshest in everyone’s mind. Now, people start voting before anyone performs and can only vote for a few minutes after the last performance. So, is there any value in singing last? I did note that the last week, when they sang three songs, the two contestants eliminated sang in the first two slots of the round while the three who survived each got to sing last in one round. Hmm….In any event, they no longer appear to advertise who goes last finale night by holding a coin toss, so we don’t know who will sing last and can make no predictions.
Retired Tool: Law of Seal Dynamics – Winners rarely falter on their path to success. While some contestants set up camp on the Seal of Doom visiting it week after week, winners generally have nothing to fear when Ryan asks Keiran to dim the lights. We could run through the stats and note that sometimes winners did visit the seal, but Idol no longer puts people in jeopardy (and not just because James Holzhauer might show up and snag $100K of their money), so we cannot use this predictive tool.
F) Producer’s Certainty Principle
The producer’s know who should win Idol and they would win too if it weren’t for those meddling voters. At first, Idol producers were surprised when voting didn’t go their way, but they quickly became convinced that if they gave viewers a few subtle hints, they would amend their ways. Imagine their shock when that wasn’t successful. No worries, the judges could be drafted in to help. Wait, Simon ragging on Sanjaya was not enough to stop that freight train? Well, let us hit the viewers over the head with anvils – flames of pimpage, pull all the strings to clear or not clear a song, send out a doctor to give excuses and re-cut Bryan May’s comments to make him seem OUTRAGED that a contestant was butchering his song.
But voters can be fickle. Some years, they will agree with the producers, some years they will not. Some years they exult in all working together as one to crown the winner, some years they want to be fractious and stick it to the man. Sometimes, they just like what they like.
While Nigel ruled Idol with a firm hand and Pers amped everything up to 11, Disney has a gentler way of exerting their will. Disney didn’t get to be the powerhouse it is by being bad at what they do. They’ve learned the art of manipulation and convincing people they want what Disney wants. Surely the company who invented “Go Away Green” and who spritzes the crowds with smells to drive up sales has a few more tricks up their sleeves than poor old Nigel.
Now, this is a controversial topic – one person’s over-pimped ringer is another person’s well-deserving, totally-earned-it struggling artist.
Season 1: Simon Fuller assumed that a male was destined to win the competition based on voter dynamic (and he is’t far wrong), so producer’s bet on Justin Guarini. Kelly barely got a notice and didn’t have her audition shown until the finale night. She broke from the pack during auditions and the producer’s never saw her coming. – Scooby Doo!
Season 2: The shock boot of judge’s favourite Tamyra Grey in Season 1 started a debate: is America too racist to ever let an African-American win Idol? It ate up a lot of the narrative going into the next season and producers were determined to end the debate. At first, they bet on Frenchie, but an untimely “scandal” caused her disqualification and all eyes shifted to The Velvet Teddy Bear. Ryan made Ruben’s phone code a chant, producers looked away as he started selling his own merch (banned back then) and he was a regular recipient of the pimp spot. Meanwhile, Simon called out Clay for being non-commercial, Nigel filled a random bowl of song titles with “Vincent” and then called his performance dreary (we need to bop to songs about suicide) and Paula assigned him to sing “Mack The Knife” to prove he wasn’t a lounge singer – All Hail the King!
Season 3: Fantasia was mad talented and continues to be one of Simon’s favourite performers. Fantasia gave the appearance of being a TCO – she got positive edits, creative lighting and monitors that worked. Meanwhile, the judges kept harping on how young Diana was like that was completely new information they suddenly got when the voting rounds started. The message was clear – don’t vote for Diana. – All Hail the King!
Season 4: Producers wanted Mario to win, but Mario allegedly wanted to sexually harass interns. He quit the show and got a recording contract anyway. Idol looked at who was left and picked Carrie who was also running away with the vote. They were stunned that the hairy dude they cast for the buzz factor in the early rounds was still around, but weren’t initially too worried – surely Broadway week would take care of him. While doctors are called in to report to the audience about every hangnail TCO gets, Bo’s critical illness went unreported. – All Hail the King!
Season 5: Once again, Idol producer’s would rue the day they cast somebody with interesting hair to create some early buzz. Simon calling him a drunk uncle and Nigel pulling songs the day before performance night weren’t enough to eject him – nothing was. The audience wasn’t listening and he created his own meme. The producer’s would have liked Daughtry to win (and they treated him like the winner ever since), but after his elimination, it was anybody but Taylor – Scooby Doo!
Season 6: It was made abundantly clear that Blake was not TCO when the producers wouldn’t let him re-arrange the coronation song which was far from his style and miles from his vocal range. – All Hail the King!
Season 7: Season 7 was full of plants and Cook was not one of them. He was introduced to the audience as the crossword playing bartender (with the tragic hair) – Scooby Doo.
Season 8: Fans can debate whether Danny Gokey or Adam Lambert was TCO in Season 8. What nobody will deny is that Kris Allen was a dark horse. We barely saw him before the voting rounds and he was placed in a stacked semi-final round. When he shocked the producers by being voted into the finals, they had to add a 13th spot to accommodate all their favourites. They never imagined Kris Allen would make the finals, let alone win. They kept putting him in the death spot, but he wouldn’t die. – Scooby Doo!
Season 9: Season 9 featured duelling chosen ones. The produces wanted Crystal while Simon convinced the world it would be a tragedy if Lee lost and had to return to his paint store. – Inconclusive.
Season 10: People loathed Scotty going into the voting rounds. The editors had edited some footage to make it look like he participated in the bullying of a sympathetic contestant (he was actually in the bathroom when it all went down) and spread rumours that he messed up in almost every round. How he managed to build a fanbase out of that wreckage is impressive. Idol had grown tired of WGWG winning and they wanted anybody else to win provided they weren’t named Hailey. Scooby Doo!
Season 11: By now, the show was desperate to have somebody win who couldn’t even spell guitar and Jessica was their horse. Phillip was treated with restrained indifference – Scooby Doo!
Season 12: The producer’s were not going to play anymore. They searched high and low to find 5 male contestants that would repulse the audience and raved about the girls. Their favourite girl was Candace, but by this point, they would have accepted anybody who was female winning. – All Hail the King
Season 13: Caleb was the fodder who wouldn’t leave and Jessica was the star they wanted – Scooby Doo!
Season 14: Jimmy Iovine could not have made it more obvious that he wanted Jax to win unless he wore a “Vote for Jax” T-shirt. – Scooby Doo!
Season 15: The producers made it clear they wanted book-ended winners – another girl please – Scooby Doo!
Season 16: Gabby was the clear favourite of the producers who wanted a female winner. They got their female winner, just not the one they wanted – 1/2 a Scooby Snack
TCO: 6.5 wins – Underdog: 9.5 wins.
Alejandro is TCO this year. He gets to bring his own star to the duets and hometown visit, he gets to break with the theme and he gets raves from the judges about his artistry. But, Disney is subtle. Somehow, they make the fact that he has tonnes of industry connections seem like a hardship Alejandro has overcome. To the general audience, Laine might seem more like TCO because he gets all the good clothes -but, like Admiral Akbar, the Idol Researchers know this is a trap. Madison has been likened to Kelly Clarkson which likely didn’t help her either.
I think the voters are fractious mood this year. They are fixing for a rumble. I think this favours Laine because Madison is too far down the radar. But, this could be a King season.
G) Universal Law of Guitaration
Starting in Season 7, contestants were allowed to accompany themselves on a guitar and thus began the reign of instrumentalists being seen as real musicians. Turns out voters like contestants with guitars, especially if they are male and white.
Note: NG- No Guitar, WGP-With Guitar/Piano, WGO-With Guitar/Other, W = White, AA= African-American, H=Hispanic, A=Asian
Season 7: Cook (WGWG) vs Archuletta (HGNG) – WGWG Wins
Season 8: Kris (WGWGP) vs Adam (WGNG) – WGWG Wins
Season 9: Lee (WGWG) vs Crystal (WFWG) – WGWG Wins
Season 10: Scotty (WGWG) vs Lauren (WFNG) – WGWG Wins
Season 11: Phillip (WGWG) vs Jessica (WFNG) – WGWG Wins
Season 12: Candace (AAFNG) vs Kree (WFNG) – Statistical Anomaly – no guitars to be seen
Season 13: Caleb (WGNG) vs Jena (WFWP) – Incorrect (having played an instrument, Jenna should have one)
Season 14; Nick (WGWG) vs Clark (WGWGO) – WGWG Wins
Season 15: Trent (WGWG) vs La’Porsha (AAFNG) – WGWG Wins
Season 16: Caleb (WGWG) vs Gabby (WFWG) vs Maddie (WFWG) – Incorrect – perhaps it was the fact that Maddie was the most competent at the guitar is what propelled her to victory.
If I’m reluctant to classify whether states are in the South, racial politics in the states has me even more confused. Hispanics are sometimes classed as minorities and sometimes classed as whites. Laine is a quarter Korean, but many have declared him to be a WGWG. All I know is that they’ve all played the guitar and an argument can be made that they are all white. Madison is female, so she’s probably at the disadvantage.
Winner: Tie: Alejandro and Laine.
Accuracy: 7/10 – 70%
H) Quantum Entanglement
Anybody who has ever watched a Marvel movie can tell you that when you put the word “quantum” in front of something, magical science is about to happen. Even Einstein himself called Quantum Entanglement spooky and there is much spookiness in the Science of Idol.
Quantum entanglement is the physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated, interact, or share spatial proximity in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently of the state of others, even when the particles are separated by a large distance.
Within the sphere of Idol, the most powerful quantum entanglement were created by a contestant called Kristy Lee Cook. Scientists are still baffled by her impact and don’t know when the next tangle of her influence will be found.
Kristy Lee Cook appeared on Season 7 of Idol and her quantum entanglement appeared that year. David Cook won. Then, Kris Allen (Kris Cook). Lee was next (Kris Lee Cook). Surely, that was the last hurrah for Kristy? Not so fast. Scott McCreery clarified that he would like to be called Scotty (Kristy Lee Cook) and his middle name was Cooke.Season 11 winner Philip Phillips went to to Lee County High School in Leesburg, Lee County and he won Season 11.
Will a new quantum entanglement with Kristy be felt in Season 16 (both Laine and Kristy like to hunt) or is there a new quantum entanglement Idol researchers have failed to identify?
So, who will win this year? Let’s first run through the stats from previous years these prediction tools have been used:
Season 10: Scotty (4), Lauren (2), Neither (1) – Scotty won
Season 11: Phil (7), Jessica (0), Neither (0) – Phillip won
Season 12: Kree (4), Candice (1), Neither (3) – Candice won – Season 12 – wrong again
Season 13: Caleb (6), Jena (3), Neither (1) – Caleb won
Season 14: Nick (5) Clark (1) Neither (1) – Nick won
Season 15: Trent (6) La’Porsha (0), Neither (3) – Trent won
Season 16: Maddie (9), Caleb (7), Gabby (5) – Maddie won (and Caleb was second)
Accuracy: 6/7 = 86%
Two points for a win, one point for runner-up:
Alejandro Wins: 3, Runner-up: 0: Result = 6
Laine: Wins: 4, Runner-up: 1 Result = 9
Madison: Wins: 1, Runner-up: 2 Result=4
It looks like it is Laine’s to win, but it is pretty close with Alejandro. If voters disagree with our interpretation of TCO and it being a Scooby year or if Alejandro has the middle name Lee, this competition could be Alejandro’s to win.