I think that we can all agree that 2020 was a bit of a dumpster fire. Pandemics, political turmoil, protests and pests (complete with murder hornets and locust storms). As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, The Idol Superstition predictor could not have been more wrong. It had Idol Winner Just Sam least likely to win and Jonny West most likely (to be fair, it correctly called Arthur Gunn the runner-up). A true annus horribilis. But, in a weird sort of way, last season proved one of Idol’s strongest superstitions – every third year of Idol is cursed.
Idol Historians have long talked about the three year cycles of Idol. The first year is full of hope and uncertainty. The second year reinforces the lessons learned. The third year, is usually marred by the show being too ham-handed resulting in lower ratings and cratering concert ticket sales (when they had concerts) leading to a re-invention the next season.
For Seasons 1-3, the show was new and used pre-recorded karaoke music (Season 2 was a little out of control, so the judges got more explicit in Season 3 about who to vote for – plus the Huff was invented – concert revenue down 27%). Season 4-6 heralded live bands and started allowing re-arrangements to occur (Season 5 had an unexpected winner, so it was all hands on deck to get the winner the show wanted for Season 6 – concert revenue down 36%). Season 7-9 introduced contestants playing their own instruments and expected song flipping (Simon convinced the world to save a paint salesman from his fate and then quit the show – they had to cancel concert dates due to poor sales). Season 10-12 they played around with judging panel (Mariah and Nicki not only made each other miserable, they made the audience miserable too – more cancelled tour dates). Season 13-15 was about trying to get back to basics and survive (and then the show was cancelled and there was no tour). Season 16-18 was the show’s re-birth on ABC ending with COVID disrupting everything (no tours for anybody anywhere).
So, this season, is a bit of a re-birth. Katy stopped dressing up like a clown (no more hand-sanitizer or Snow White costumes). Audiences were allowed back. Singing was the name of the game. Sure, there was the “twist” with a returning Season 18 contestant, but that was quickly rectified and forgotten. And best of all, we are back to a manageable number of finalists. Let the predictions begin.
But first (it’s Idol, you knew that was a tease), a word for our contributors. Idol Superstitions have been curated from a number of sources. Idol archeologists have searched the global internet and collected artefacts from Television Without Pity, Idol Forums, MJs and sites that we can’t even reveal. These treasures have been scientifically analyzed to prove their efficacy and are presented to facilitate bewilderment and beguilement. Three out of four dentists approve (maybe not of Idol Superstitions, but of something).
Judge for yourself and then judge the singers on Sunday night.
I) The Rosetta Stone
For centuries, archeologists scratched their heads trying to make sense of the scripts they found at Egyptian historical sites. The Ancient Egyptians were prolific writers – decorated tomb walls, elaborate scrolls and even graffiti (the Drunks of Menkaure sound like a fun bunch to watch Idol with). They documented rituals, taxes, construction instructions, medical texts, crime investigations and the tales of an eloquent peasant. Unfortunately, nobody could decipher their hieroglyphics or even modern demotic (circa 1000 BC). That was until a group of French Soldiers out digging near the port city of Rosetta unearthed a broken stone with a bunch of writing on it. Rather than simply adding their own text to the stone (“Les Ivrognes de Napoléon”), they forwarded it scientists for further investigation. Fortunately, like most governments even today, Ptolemy V saw no point in doing a good deed unless everybody knew about it. So, he had commanded that these deeds be immortalized in stone in three languages (196 BC). Because the archeologists could read Ancient Greek, they were able work backwards from the translation to decipher the other two languages. Message received Ptolemy!
But what has this got to do with Idol? Votes translate in Idol too! When Idol fans find a contestant they like and that Idol gets robbed like that eloquent peasant of Egyptian folklore, votes tend to transfer to contestants most like them. And, the most obvious characteristic Idols fans have latched onto is gender. So, if you make it to final two and you happen to be of the gender that forms the majority of the final 3, your odds of winning are better.
Let’s decipher the historical texts and predict how the mummies might crumble:
Season 1: Kelly/Justin/Nikki – two females; one male = female winner
Season 2: Ruben/Clay/Kim – two males; one female = male winner
Season 3: Fantasia/Diana/Jasmine – three females = female winner
Season 4: Carrie/Bo/Vonzell – two females; one male = female winner
Season 5: Taylor/Katharine/Elliot – two males; one female = male winner
Season 6: Jordin/Blake/Melinda – two females; one male = female winner
Season 7: Cookie/Archie/Syesha – two males; one female = male winner
Season 8: Kris/Adam/Gokey – three males = male winner
Season 9: Lee/Crystal/Casey – two males; one female = male winner
Season 10: Scotty/Lauren/Haley – two females; one male but male winner – Broken Stone!
Season 11: Phil/Jessica/Josh – two males; one female = male winner
Season 12: Candice/Kree/Angie – three females = female winner
Season 13: Caleb/Jena/Alex – two males; one female = male winner
Season 14: Nick/Jax/Clark – two males; one female = male winner
Season 15: Trent/LaPorsha/Dalton – two males; one female = male winner
Season 16: Maddie/Caleb/Gabby – two females; one male = female winner
Season 17: Laine/Alejandro/Madison – two males; one female = male winner
Season 18: Arthur/Dillion/Francisco/Jonny/Just Sam – four males; one female but female winner – Shattered Stone! Cursed Year! (maybe the guys just split their vote too much and being the lone female helped).
Book of Life: Chayce/Willie
Book of the Dead : Grace
Efficacy: 16/18 = 89%
Around the time that the Rosetta stone was being carved, people were writing graffiti all over the Roman city of Pompeii. Romans were a lot more creative on that front than the ancient pyramid carvers and perhaps that is what got Vulcan all riled up. Archeologists have also found that the universal hieroglyphic for a certain piece of male anatomy was prolific in Pompeii. No translation required. When it was destroyed by Vesuvius (79 AD), Pompeii was a prosperous port city and much of its foundation remains. Even some of the victims were preserved cast in volcanic ash. Pompeii has been forgotten and rediscovered a number of times, but is now a world Unisco site.
Unlike old Vulcan, Idol voters would not have decimated Pompeii. They have a strange affinity to names with double letters on it and vote to keep them around. Let’s take a walk through the historical remains of Idol Seasons to see the layout.
Season 1: Kelly [Brianne] Clarkson (2) vs Justin [Eldrin] Guarani (0) – Pompeii Rules!
Season 2: [Christopher Theodore] Ruben Studdard (1) vs [Clayton Holmes] “Clay” Aiken (0) – Pompeii Rules!
Season 3: Fantasia [Monique] Barrino (1) vs Diane [Nicole] Degarmo (0) – Pompeii Rules!
Season 4: Carrie [Marie] Underwood (2) vs [Harold Edwin] “Bo” Bice (0) – Pompeii Rules!
Season 5: Taylor Ruben Hicks (0) vs Katharine Hope McPhee (1) – Pompeii drools.
Season 6: Jordin [Brianna] Sparks (1) vs Blake Colin Lewis (0) – Pompeii Rules!
Season 7: David [Roland] Cook (1) vs David [James] Archuleta (0) – Pompeii Rules!
Season 8: Kristopher [Neil] Allen 91) vs Adam Mitchel Lambert (0) – Pompeii Rules!
Season 9: [Leon] “Lee” [James] Dewyze (1) vs Crystal [Lynn] Bowersox (1) – Pompeii Rules!
(names heard by the Idol fans trumps a middle name never heard)
Season 10: Scotty Cooke McCreery (4!) vs Lauren Alaina [Suddeth] (0 – last name dropped) – Pompeii Rules!
Season 11: Phillip [Ladon] Phillips (2 – plus the double name!) vs Jessica Sanchez (1) – Pompeii Rules!
Season 12: Candace [Rickelle] Glover (1) vs Kree Annette Harrison (4) – Pompeii drools.
Season 13: Caleb [Perry] Johnson (1) vs Jena [Irene [Ascuitto]] (0 – last name dropped) – Pompeii Rules!
Season 14: Nick [James] Fradiani (0) vs Clark [Paul] Beckham (0) – No double letters unearthed
Season 15: Trent [William] Harmon (1) vs LaPorsha Renae [Myers] (0) – Pompeii Rules!
Season 16: Caleb Lee Hutchinson (1) vs Gabby Barrett (3) vs Maddie [Mae] Poppe (2) – Of the final two, Pompeii Rules!
Season 17: Alejandro Aranda (DF0) vs Laine Hardy (DF0) vs Madison VanDenburg (DF0) – No double letters unearthed
Season 18: Arthur Gunn (1) vs Dillion James (1) vs Francisco Martin (0) vs Jonny West (1) vs Just Sam (0) = Cursed Season
Made it to the Boats: Willie Spence (1)
Cast in Ash: Grace Kinstler and Chayce Beckham
Efficacy: 13/16 =81%
III) King Tut
After being injured in a car accident in 1903, George Herbert’s doctors recommended he go to Egypt to convalesce in the dry heat. He enjoyed the trip so much, he decided to become an amateur Egyptologist. Back then, it was a fashionable hobby for the wealthy and by 1907, he’d been granted formal approval to sponsor digs. He hired an up-and-coming archeologist called Howard Carter and set to digging near Thebes. By 1914, George had received the concession to dig in the Valley of the Kings. Howard began systematically searching, but his work was disrupted by World War 1. By 1922, George had grown weary of poor results and agreed to fund only 1 more year of excavations. In November, a water boy tripped over a stone that turned out to be the first step down into King Tutankhamun’s tomb – the first royal tomb to be found in tact in modern times.
One of the most famous finds in that tomb was King Tut’s golden burial mask. If there is one time you want to look your best is when you will become the face of Egyptian history – featured in museums, coffee table books and all over the internet. If you’ve watched the BBC special where they had forensic scientists model how he would have looked when alive, you know that those goldsmiths did young Tut a solid favour. That’s why you pay the big bucks to stylists.
Idol fans would not have approved. They prefer their Idols unfussy and true to themselves. If your looks draw too much attention, they Idol fans will vote for your competitor. Keep the focus on the singing and forego the major makeover.
Let’s carefully excavate the layers and see whose looks distracted from the singing.
Season 1: Kelly vs Justin – People talked about what a good singer Kelly was and how amazing Justin’s hair was. People were looking for a singer.
Season 2: Ruben vs Clay – Clay arrived at the auditions looking like Tintin just rolled out of bed. By the time they finished with him, Clay had lost his glasses, was flat-ironing his hair and wearing clothes that fit. Ruben spent most of the season wearing various colours of the same shirt, but did wear his Sunday best for the final.
Season 3: Fantasia vs Diana – Diana was a beauty pageant contestant while Fantasia’s practical bob rarely changed.
Season 4: Carrie vs Bo – Carrie was a beauty who wore amazing outfits while Bo dressed like a lumberjack and looked like one too. So, one would think she got all the talk about looks – but no. Bo was our first contestant with a beard and very long hair (OSHA would never have approved hair that long and free near a chainsaw). Idol fans focussed too much wonderment on his hair and not enough on his signing.
Season 5: Taylor vs Katharine – As we saw this year when she dueted with Idols, Katharine is a natural beauty and designers sent her their dresses to wear on the show. Taylor refused to change a hair on his head and he had to buy his own clothes.
Season 6: Jordan vs Blake – Jordan is every bit as beautiful as Katharine and designers were even more keen to have their gowns worn by her, so Blake had to work pretty hard to grab the style stick from her. He did that by constantly changing up his look, dying his hair and wearing tuxedo t-shirts.
Season 7: Cook vs Archuleta – David Cook pulled the reverse Uno card on this superstition. He showed up over-styled in a very tragic way. The stylists very carefully stripped away the bad-dye job, corrected the bad hair-cut, burned the hideous sweater vests and sorted out whatever was going on with his facial hair. He looked un-styled by the time they were done. What could Archuletta do to top that?
Season 8: Kris vs Adam – Adam Lambert has spent his career being a style icon while Kris Allen was the cute boy next door. Once you talk about bringing in your own personal colourist, you are going to lose.
Season 9: Lee vs Crystal – Lee looks like a schlub and Simon sold that for all it was worth. Crystal had dreads and that’s too much thinking about hair for Idol fans. And then she let the Idol stylists put her in high heels.
Season 10: Scotty vs Lauren – Scotty pulled the reverse Uno card he didn’t know he had in his hand. He honestly thought the just “de-loused in prison” look was a good look for him (Narrator: It was not). The stylists refused to cut his hair again until it looked normal. Meanwhile, they were having all sorts of fun with Lauren trying out new styles and fancy colour combinations.
Season 11: Phil vs Jessica – Phil didn’t even change his shirt or own a comb. Meanwhile Jessica looked stunning every night.
Season 12: Candace vs Kree – Candace was more varied in her style for both hair and clothes so she should have lost to Kree who was a female Kris Allen. Like an unraided tomb, sometimes Idols can defy the odds. Candace won despite the styling.
Season 13: Caleb vs Jena – Caleb dressed like the guy next door who won’t move out of his long suffering mother’s house. Jena could do nothing to win against that.
Season 14: Nick vs Clark – This was perhaps the closest battle of any season. Neither guy had style, but Caleb stumbled in the home stretch by changing it up a bit and lost.
Season 15: Trent vs LaPorsha – This season was the opposite to the previous season as in both finalists adopted strong styles to try to lose to the other. Trent wore goofy hats, scarves and a bolero tie. Meanwhile LaPorsha talked constantly about her hair which, at one point, was dyed a strange shade of green. It was she who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
Season 16: Gabby repeated Adam’s mistake by bringing her colourist while Caleb wore everything from an embroidered shirt to a bolero tie. Maddie’s girl next door won the day.
Season 17: Let’s face facts, Alejandro’s knit cap, baggy jeans and slouch should have won the day, but perhaps the Idol fans want to see a little effort. Madison wore nails in her hair. But none of that could competed with Laine’s transformation from a kid driving around burning gas in his swamp boots to glam country and $4000 shoes. This season defied the rules.
Season 18 was the home edition without any stylists. Even if you wanted to buy new clothes, the malls were closed and Amazon was backed up. So, you had to come as you are. It was a five way tie for kid next door. People were too exhausted from COVID to even talk about Just Sam’s neck tattoo. Still, Arthur should have had this one in the bag.
Current season – Grace is stunning. When she came out in that red dress, she looked like Jessica Rabbit. There has been a little discussion Willie’s weight, but he’s a pretty blank stated for style. Chayce hasn’t changed a hair – I don’t know if the hair could move if he tried – but there has been too much discussion of his hair.
Unraided Tomb Willie
Partially Looted Tomb: Chayce
Fully Looted Tomb used as a House: Grace
Efficac: 15/18 – 83%
Fun fact: BBC Drama fans may know George’s house. He’s Lord Carnarvon and Highclere Castle plays Downton Abbey on the show of the same name.
IV) Terracotta Warriors
A couple of decades before the Rosetta Stone was carved, Qin Shi Huang died (221 BC). You don’t get to be the first emperor of China without being able to dream big and make those dreams happen. And a guy like him doesn’t let death stop him. If he was going into the afterlife, he was taking everyone with him – metaphorically. If you think Tut had a lot of tomb gear, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Qin Shi Huang brought with him 8000 soldiers, 130 chariots with four horses each, 150 cavalry horses and a collection of entertainers (acrobats, strongmen, musicians and government officials) – all life-sized terracotta statues. And, like cabbage patch dolls, they were all unique. Although the tomb was looted of much of its other treasures, the statues remain and were rediscovered in 1974 by famers near present day Xi’an.
Like Emperor Qin Shi Huang, Idol voters have affinity for home and want to take everyone with them. This characteristic appears to be stronger in those from the south giving the advantage to Southern finalists. I won’t get into the rational that has been posited over the years because it will uniquely upset everyone.
Now what is south and what is not is hotly open for debate – so we’ll never get this right…but nevertheless, let’s dig through the pits of Idol lore to see whose dreams will be achieved:
Season 1: Kelly (Texas-S)/Justin (Pennsylvania-N) – Commence Tomb Building!
Season 2: Ruben (Alabama-S)/Clay (North Carolina-S) – Commence Tomb Building!
Season 3: Fantasia (North Carolina-S)/Diana (Georgia-S) – Commence Tomb Building!
Season 4: Carrie (Oklahoma-S/MW/NNW/SC)/Bo (Alabama-S) – Commence Tomb Building!
Season 5: Taylor (Alabama-S)/Katharine (California-W) – Commence Tomb Building!
Season 6: Jordin (Arizona-MW)/Blake (Washington-PNW) – No Southerners
Season 7: Cook (Missouri-MW)/Archie (Utah-RMW) – No Southerners
Season 8: Kris (Arkansas-S)/Adam (California-W) – Commence Tomb Building!
Season 9: Lee (Illinois-MW)/Crystal (Ohio-MW) – No Southerners
Season 10: Scotty (North Carolina-S)/Lauren (Georgia-S) – Commence Tomb Building!
Season 11: Phil (Georgia-S)/Jessica (California-W) – Commence Tomb Building!
Season 12: Kree (Texas-S)/Candice(South Carolina-S) – Commence Tomb Building!
Season 13.: Caleb (North Carolina)/Jena (Michigan-MW) – Commence Tomb Building!
Season 14: Nick (Connecticut-NE)/Clark (Tennessee-S) – South lost!
Season 15:Trent (Mississippi-S)/LaPorsha(Mississippi-S) – Commence Tomb Building!
Season 16: Maddie (Iowa-MW)/Caleb (Georgia-S)/Gabby(Pennsylvania-N) – South lost!
Season 17: Laine (Louisiana-S)/Alejandro (California – W)/Madison(New York – NE) – Commence Tomb Building!
Season 18: Arthur (Kansas – MW?)/Dillion/Francisco/Jonny (California-W)/Just Sam (New York – NE): No Southerners
Building a Voting Army: Willie Spence (Georgia)
Making do with Less: Grace Kinster (Illinois) and Chayce Beckham (California)
Efficacy: 10/12 = 83%
King Tut was buried with a pair of trumpets (one sliver, one bronze), Emperor Qin Shi Huang made sure he had terracotta musicians to entertain him in his afterlife, and Roman instruments were found all over Pompeii. While the human voice was our first instrument, humans have long valued musical instruments to add to the experience. The oldest musical instruments found so far is a pair of flutes in the Geissenklösterle cave in Germany. One of the flutes was made from the bone of a swan and the other from mammoth ivory (which is quite a contrast in source animals). They are believed to be between 42000 and 43000 years old.
The history of musical instruments on Idol is much more recent. When the show began, they used previously recorded music – only the singing was live. The playing of musical instruments was prohibited and the auditions were acapella. A few contestants got to play instruments on results night or on tour, but it wasn’t until Season 7 that they were allowed to be played on competition nights – and it changed the show (some say for the better, others would argue against). Playing a musical instrument (even badly or hardly at all) is seen to be adding a degree of difficulty to the performance. Some would argue it makes them more authentic artists – others see musical instruments as a crutch. Love them or hate them, it’s been difficult to win the show without playing one. And one seems to get bonus when playing an instrument while male or white.
Note: G – Guitar, P – Piano, O-Other, N-None, W = White, AA= African-American, H=Hispanic, A=Asian, G=Guy, F=Female
Season 7: Cook (WGWG) vs Archuletta (HGN) – WGWG Wins
Season 8: Kris (WGWGP) vs Adam (WGN) – WGWGP Wins
Season 9: Lee (WGWG) vs Crystal (WFWG) – WGWG Wins
Season 10: Scotty (WGWG) vs Lauren (WFN) – WGWG Wins
Season 11: Phillip (WGWG) vs Jessica (AFN) – WGWG Wins
Season 12: Candace (AAFN) vs Kree (WFN) – Inconclusive – No Guitars
Season 13: Caleb (WGN) vs Jena (WFWP) – Mandela Effect – everyone thought Caleb played a guitar in the competition.
Season 14; Nick (WGWG) vs Clark (WGWGO) – WGWG Wins
Season 15: Trent (WGWG) vs LaPorsha (AAFN) – WGWG Wins
Season 16: Caleb (WGWG) vs Gabby (WFWG) vs Maddie (WFWG) – WFWG (no male bonus points because Maddie was a much better player
Season 17: Laine (A/WGWG) vs Alejandro (HGWGP) vs Madison (WFWG) – Maybe the voters don’t like the piano – A/WGWG
Season 18: Arthur Gunn (AGWG) vs Dillion James (WGWG) vs Francisco Martin (HGWG) vs Jonny West (WGWP) vs Just Sam (AAFN) – Cursed Season – no rules apply
Geissenklösterle Idol: Chayce = WGWG
Geissenklösterle Runner-ups: Grace = WFN; Willie = AAGN
Efficacy: 8/12 = 66%
VI) The Nazca Lines
About 100 years after the Rosetta stone was carved and Emperor Qin Shi Huang died and 180 years before Pompeii was destroyed, the Nazca civilization began to flourish in the Ica Valley located in present day Peru. The Nazca are remembered today for their elaborate burials and construction projects. They built massive aqueducts to support agriculture and the Nazca lines. We’re hear for the lines. The Nazca lines are a set of massive geolyphs made in the desert by making shallow depressions and moving pebbles around. You would think that wouldn’t be very permanent, but it was. Some are just very straight lines while others are figures like a monkey, a whale and a scared dog. Many can only best be seen from the sky which makes some think they were inspired by aliens – one of the glyphs even looks like an astronaut.
Just like the Nazca, Idol fans are mysteriously attracted to organized lines – and their favourite lines are alphabetical where they seem to prefer those at the end of the alphabet. If your first name is the last alphabetically, you have an advantage on finals night. Let us see this voting trend in action:
Season 1: Kelly/Justin – Kelly was only one letter back from Justin, but it was enough to tip the balance. All hail the line!
Season 2: Ruben/Clay – Our reportedly closest voting race was actually our least closest race. Clay didn’t stand a chance. All hail the line!
Season 3: Fantasia/Diana – Just one letter between them, but it was enough. All hail the line! Season 4: Carrie/Bo – Harold could have easily one, but he decided to Bo out of the race before it even started. All hail the line!
Season 5: Taylor/Katharine – Once Taylor made the final, he was assured victory. All hail the line!
Season 6: Jordin/Blake – Jordan had almost as much as a head start as Taylor. All hail the line!
Season 7: David C/David A – This year was so close, the Idol voters had to go to the last name to pick a champion. All hail the line!
Season 8: Kris/Adam – Poor Adam was doomed from the day his parents named him. All hail the line!
Season 9: Lee/Crystal – Crystal could have eked out a victory if she’d switched to her middle name Lynn, but she did not see her fate in her crystal ball. All hail the line!
Season 10:Scotty/Lauren – They may have shared a format, but an L cannot beat an S. All hail the line!
Season 11: Phil/Jessica – A J has been enough to win many years, but not this season. All hail the line!
Season 12: Kree/Candice – People just wanted this season to be over. They voted for the first name they saw. Line Disruption
Season 13: Jena/Caleb – Jena should have had this one in the bag – some began to suspect that the superstition had flipped. Line Disruption.
Season 14: Nick/Clark – Voters back to form. All hail the line!
Season 15: Trent/LaPorcha – Last season – stick to tradition. All hail the line!
Season 16: Maddie/Gabby/Caleb – First season on ABC – stick to tradition. All hail the line!
Season 17: Laine/Alejandro/Madison – Final two were Alejandro and Laine. All hail the line!
Season 18: Arthur/Dillion/Francisco/Jonny/Just Sam – Despite all that was going on and a five person finale – Idol fans stuck to their traditions. Blessed season. All hail the line!
Willie – this guy plans – Condor
Grace – could have won many seasons – Hummingbird
Chayce – not the best strategy – Spider
Efficacy: 16/18 – 88%
VII) Bayeux Tapestry
After the Norman invasion of in England in 1066, William the Conqueror’s brother decided to have a tapestry made. And not just any tapestry – a 230 foot long tapestry that depicted the entire campaign from planning to the Battle of Hastings. And he didn’t just want anybody to make it, he wanted the people his brother defeated to make it. Not having much of choice, the Anglo-Saxon artisans did as they were ordered. Knowing it was going to hang in a church (William’s brother was Bishop Odo), they made sure to include some imagery in the margins that a graffiti artist from Pompeii would admire.
Americans can appreciate a little thumbing their nose at the powers that be. Throwing tea in the harbour is how they got their start. Then they got rid of the “u” in harbour. At times, Americans pull together to support their government at other times…well, they can get quite fractious.
Idol voters are the same way. Sometimes, they vote how the producers want and at other times, they refuse to be manipulated. Sometimes, they vote just to spite the show (hello Sanjaya). It can be difficult to determine which way the voters will go in any given year. Is it influenced by exterior events? Is it influenced by the level of manipulation? Is it influenced by social media? The producers certainly wish they knew.
Who is The Chosen One (TCO) is always hotly debated. Is somebody an over-pimped ringer being shoved down our throat or a well-deserving struggling artist who is finally being paid their due respect? Well, that is why we have discussion boards.
Season 1: Justin was a media sensation and the judges made sure everyone knew Tamyra had the entire package, but the voters chose a big-voiced dark horse that suddenly appeared in the semi-finals. Artisanal Victory!
Season 2: Frenchie was the early choice and her arc was building well when “scandal” took her out of the competition. The producers moved onto Ruben for whom Ryan created a chant and producers allowed to have his own merch. Meanwhile, Clay, who was just supposed to be a “surprise, the nerd can sing” audition became a run-away train with fans who just wouldn’t stop, Nigel started monkeying around with song choices and the judges piled on. There were rumours of phone shenanigans, but Ruben still won. Authorized Victory!
Season 3: Simon remains in awe of the incredibly talented Fantasia and all things broke her way during that season. It was Diana who was treated with outrage for being 17 and given monitors that didn’t work. Authorized Victory!
Season 4: This was another year where the producer’s original favourite left the competition early on due to scandal and they had to quickly pick a new one. Carrie seemed commercially viable and that certainly proved to be true. But, Bo, the long-haired hippie cast for the buzz, threatened to derail things. The producers quickly picked some themes that were impossible for Bo to work with and when he was practically dying back stage (he ended up needing emergency surgery), no explanation was given, the judges just complained about his lack of energy. Authorized Victory!
Season 5: Taylor was supposed to just be some old-looking dude that created some water-cooler discussion at the start of the season. This was the year of the rocker (they already had Pop, Urban R&B and Country covered). When the rocker fell at top 4, they switched to the commercial pop singer. Anybody but the old dude who sang old songs while making strange faces. Artisanal Victory!
Season 6: The producers were not playing during season 6. They were not having that happen again. When some guy who made percussion noises with his mouth and who not only re-arranged his own songs, he cleared his own songs threatened to upset TCO, they banned re-arranging and gave him a song completely out of his range. Authorized Victory!
Season 7: Emboldened by their ability to know how to control the narrative, Season 7 featured a number of people with industry experience (were the labels using the show to gain exposure for their artists?), but the audience didn’t warm to them. Who they gravitated towards was a bartender with a flair for re-arrangements. Normally, Idol powers that be would have tried to squelch that, but Idol had started selling singles on iTunes that year and Mr. Cook sold an awful lot of those. Idol producers like money even more than being right, so they went along with the flow that year. Artisanal Victory!
Season 8: The fan-wars of Season 8 rivalled those from season 5. Energetic debates were had as to who was TCO – Danny or Adam? Was their fake chosen ones to hide the real one? What was going on? The only thing that was clear is that the producers did not plan on Kris who appeared out of nowhere in the semi-finals. He was the little engine that could that just kept chugging along week-after-week despite swaybot infestations and being permanently stuck singing second on the show (aka the death spot). Artisanal Victory!
Season 9: This was an odd season. The producers seemed to want Crystal to win, but Simon wouldn’t shut up about how anybody other than Lee winning would be a tragedy. Since Simon was leaving anyway, he may have been doing that trick evicted renters do where they leave dead fish around the house and turn up the heat. TCO is too difficult to pick from this year because powerful forces on the show were at war.
Season 10: Producers were tired of WGWG winning the competition so they edited Scotty to look like an ass during the Hollywood rounds (it came out later how the completely changed the context of scenes). Scotty really had his work cut out for him to win voters over. The producers preferred Lauren and weren’t subtle about it. Artisanal Victory!
Season 11: They wanted Jasmine to win. They did not want another WGWG. Despite the save, Phillip Phillips cruised to an easy victory. Artisanal Victory!
Season 12: The producers weren’t playing around anymore. They refused to cast a WGWG. They would only cast males from the Land of Misfit Toys and they were all quickly eliminated. Authorized Victory!
Season 13: The producers thought they had a recipe for success, yet the guy who looked like a young Meatloaf won. Artisanal Victory!
Season 14: The producers were convinced that was a fluke, so they tried again. Nope. WGWG are back on the menu. Artisanal Victory!
Season 15: It’s the last year, the producers would have liked to have bookend female winners, but they didn’t have much energy for the fight. WGWG wins. Artisanal Victory!
Season 16: It’s important to show that the new version ABC isn’t going to become the WGWG-fest Fox Idol turned into and Gabby is so, so commercial. Gabbie didn’t win, but at least a girl won. Both an Artisanal and an Authorized Victory!
Season 17: Show: Alejandro. Alejandro. Alejandro. Alejandro. Artisanal Victory!
Season 18: Show: Alejandro. Alejandro. Alejandro. You know who’s just like Alejandro? Just Sam. Authorized Victory.
TCO: 6.5 wins – Underdog: 10.5 wins.
William the Conqueror: Willie
Harold II: Chayce and Grace
But is this the year for an Authorized or Artisanal Victory?
Fun fact: The Bayeux Tapestry features Halley’s Comet which made an appearance in 1066.
VIII) The Mo’ai of Easter Island
Easter Island is one of the most remote populated islands in the world. Their nearest neighbours are the 50 people who live on Pitcairn island 1289 miles away (Pitcairn Island was the island on which the mutineers against Captain Bligh on the Bounty ended up). In 1250, the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island started to carve and erect statues. These massive sculptures were as large as 10m high and very, very heavy. They were installed in lines all over Easter Island – mostly in the coast and mostly looking inwards. Scientists are still trying to sort out mysteries related to these sculptures including as to how they were moved, why they were put where they were placed and what is their purpose. As usual, some suggest aliens are involved.
Idol has their own mysteries. The most famous may actually be alien related. Kristy Lee Cook
first came on our radar when she appeared in Season 7. She had previous industry experience and lots of producer pimpage, but she just didn’t click with the audience. She was voted out before the finals. She would be nothing more than Idol Trivia answer had not eagle-eyed Idol archeologists noticed some perplexing artefacts.
First, she had the same last name as the guy who one that season. Then, the next season a guy came out of nowhere to win who just so happened to share the first 4 letters of her name. Kris Cook. Then Lee won. Kris Lee Cook. Then Scott McCreery carefully corrected people who called him Scott – he preferred Scott-ty. Kris-ty Lee Cook! A pattern like that cannot be a coincidence. Is the Curse of Kristy Lee Cook finished or have we just missed the signs?
Final Archeological Report
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 walks its own path
Season 13: Caleb (6), Jena (3), Neither (1) – Caleb won
Season 14: Nick (5) Clark (1) Neither (1) – Nick won
Season 15: Trent (6) LaPorsha (0), Neither (3) – Trent won
Season 16: Maddie (9), Caleb (7), Gabby (5) – Maddie won (and Caleb was second)
Season 17: Laine (9), Alejandro (6), Madison (4) – Line won (and Alejandro was second)
Season 18: Just Sam (3), Arthur (11), Dillion (10), Francisco (9), Jonny (17) – Cursed Season.
Efficacy: 7/9 = 77%
Three points for first place, two for second and 1 for third.
Chayce: First (2); Second (4); Third (1) = 15
Grace: First (); Second (6); Third (1) = 13
Willie: First (6); Second (1); Third () = 19
Willie for the win!