Trainwreck Idol: A Few Eliminations Later (Part Two)

by Chris McGinty (According To Whim .com)

On Sunday, I discussed how well I did picking those who would make it into the competition. Today, I will discuss where my “predictions” finally started going drastically wrong.

By the time we got to Top 13, I was pretty dead on as to who would make it, which was pretty good since that elimination was from Top 24 to Top 13. You can go back and read my Top 13 review if you want to see what I got wrong.

I didn’t so much make a prediction as to who would be eliminated the week of Top 13 as I said that about half of them were bad and finally decided on three that weren’t entirely right. They sent Ashton home, and while I had said she was in danger of going home soon, I didn’t predict her in the bottom three. I did say Haley and Karen for bottom three though, and I was right.

Let me discuss Thia for a moment. She was eliminated in the double elimination, and I’m sad. She is an amazing singer, but if you go back and read my thoughts, I was always worried that she wasn’t being noticeable enough to be voted for. Even as far back as Top 13 I was saying she was very good, but I wondered how the audience would react.

Top 12, I was dead on. I pointed out that I almost should have picked who would go home, but I think I would have picked Naima, and that would have made me wrong.

I think that maybe doing so well so far, because as this illustrates I haven’t been too far off on too many things, made me a little too confident and I decided I would try to predict the rest of the season to see how close I would get.

Did I think I would get it all right? No. I was a little too specific for that.

Did I think I would get it basically right? Yes. I think I may still get it basically right, but immediately starting that night (I posted my prediction Thursday morning) with the near elimination of Casey, things really started falling apart with my prediction.

I said Haley or Stefano would go home the week of Top 11. Even after the double elimination, they are both still there (and neither was in the bottom three the week of the double elimination) I was right about Naima being gone by Top 8. If Haley or Stefano go home this week (which I’ll know by the time I post this) then I’ll have been right about two. But Thia I had in the Top 6, but with that nagging feeling. I’m just glad that I had her at 6 and Casey at 5, because, well, Thia’s gone, and Casey would be gone were it not for the save. No one in my Top 4 has been in the bottom three yet. Meanwhile, Scotty, who I don’t think will quite make it to Top 6 has also never been in the bottom three, and with Thia gone, someone has to go into the Top 6 position that I didn’t predict.

If I simply moved everyone up a slot based on Thia being out, it would go like this Pia, Jacob, James, Lauren, Casey, Scotty (Top 6) with Paul going home at Top 7 (minus the save I predicted because it’s gone.) But the interesting thing here is that both Stefano and Haley were safe and Paul was bottom three. So at this point, I can’t really call the order that those three will be eliminated.

This is all of course prior to Top 9, so I’ll have to revisit this after this week. Just that since I’m examining things, I thought I would put all this out there. Thing is that when I made my big prediction, I said, and I quote, “Zzzzzz” Well, before I fell asleep (I was tired that day). I said, “Unless something drastic happens in the coming weeks to make me revisit my thoughts here, I’ll just let it go until the Top 6 is chosen, and then see how well I called it.” Well, some drastic stuff happened.

Was it just that Casey had two really bad performances in a row and people started saying, “Man, get rid of him”? I don’t think that’s what it was. First of all, his performances may not have been as good as they should have been, but there were worse performances.

The thing is that Ryan made a comment to the audience recently when they booed an elimination or a bottom three or something. He said something to the effect of, “You did this,” suggesting that the audience votes dictated the bottom three. In concept, he’s right, except that there is a real problem.

If you only vote for one person then you are only saying that there is one person who deserves to be there. Let’s look at my Top 6 after that show:

Pia, Jacob, James, Lauren, Casey, and Thia.

If I only voted for one person, I would have voted for Pia (based on that.) That would have still sent Casey home. In fact, if I voted for my four faves, it still would have sent Casey home. In fact, even if I voted numerous times for my four faves, Casey, home. The point is that Casey’s standing of least votes wouldn’t be affected by my votes because I’m not voting for who I think should go home. Even if half of the people who voted agree with me exactly and voted numerous times for their four faves, guess what. Yep. Casey. Home.

If it was vote for your least favourite, and we’ll send the person with the most votes home, Casey would have never been sent home that week.

It might actually be fairer that way too. As it stands right now, for America to have actually chosen America’s ideal bottom three during Top 11, everybody would have had to vote exactly once for eight of the contestants. And if you wanted to vote numerous times, you would have had to vote equally numerous times for eight of the contestants.

By the way, if I would have actually voted, I would have voted for Thia based on the fact that I liked her, and was always worried about people being lackluster in their support of her. I would figure Pia will be fine. Jacob will be fine. James will be fine. Lauren will be fine.

Casey will be fine.

And on that I would have been wrong, as it seems many people were wrong that Casey would be fine. Sorry Ryan, but America didn’t do it. American Idol’s backward way of voting did it. The problem is of course that we’re trained to vote for the best. It would be confusing to tell people to vote for someone they don’t like.

The system presumes a false logic. Look at it this way. If I tell you to vote for your favourite, and you vote for Jacob then you have said to me, “Jacob is my favourite.” Then I come back and say, “Casey is your least favourite.” You might look at me like I’m crazy. How can I say that? By using false logic, I would say, “You didn’t vote for Casey, so he must be your least favourite.” You would then say, “I voted for Jacob. I didn’t vote for anyone else. The other ten contestants can’t all be my least favourite.” And you would be right, but the way the voting works, that’s exactly what it presumes.

My theory on the matter is that you should take the number of contestants that week, and vote that many times for your favourite, that many times minus one for your second favourite, that many times minus two for your third favourite, and keep going like that until you get to someone you don’t want to vote for.

There are theories that the phones are busy for certain contestants, and other such things, but I’ve thought about it, and I really believe that what I wrote is the actual problem, coupled with the fact that we don’t see the results as they are. Some seem to think that the order they perform says something about their positioning, but it’s not something I can easily figure out, so I think it may not be true.

So… Pia.

I said that I would finish this after I saw this week’s results, and a major upset occurred. Pia got sent home. I don’t know if this supports my theory or not, but seriously, how screwy is that?

Going back to what I was saying about knowing the results. If people knew that Pia was (or wasn’t, who knows?) lagging in the votes, maybe they would have done something, but again, I think everyone thought she was safe. And again with the bit about blaming the voters. There were only two people who got any sort of constructive criticism, which is about as negative as these judges get, and that was Pia and Stefano. If they were actually calling it as it was, there may have been a different bottom three.

My roommate pointed out that “So You Think You Can Dance” has a bottom three like system, but the judges decide who in the bottom three should be sent home. Maybe that’s the answer. When one save isn’t enough, it seems very odd to continue thinking that your voting procedure is working.

I’m somewhat about the random. If there is one thing I can say about American Idol, it’s that there is a random element to it. What should be pretty well ordered produces strange results sometimes. I know these people want to win, and who can blame them? But win you really get down to it… um, that should be when… Adam Lambert really won. Chris Daughtry really won. The competition is just that, the competition. What really matters is what these people do after the show is over.

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