The Top 6 is going to be an entertaining show. Not that I think the performances will be good (I really don’t), but we can see that the rankings are getting very narrow. A bit of handicapping, though, should perhaps be entertained at this point. Looking at last week‘s prediction, we can say that Scotty McCreery appears to be overperforming by perhaps 6 points, and Haley underperforming by about 5 points. I expect this effect to diminish over time, but assuming it is still present, the rankings would be Jacob Lusk first, and then Casey and Haley essentially in a dead heat.
Continuing the practice from last week, I’ll give the approximate caliber performance needed to keep a contestant out of the Bottom 3 for those at risk, and the score that would put the a contestant in the Bottom 3 for those predicted to be safe.
Not Safe Score
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Jacob Lusk is unlikely to be able to overcome that deficit. Although I would put him at a slight advantage this week, that advantage still requires a level of performance that we haven’t seen from him in many weeks. If Scotty persists in overperforming like he has been, he would need only a 60 to be considered safe according to the model.
In sum, there is a large gulf between the projected bottom 3 (Jacob, Scotty, Casey) and the top 3, if this year is like past years. Whether or not it is like past years is another matter.
As to this week’s being a duet, I don’t know that it changes things much. Last year’s contest saw Michael Lynche go home in what many considered a long-coming elimination. That was in the Top 4, and each contestant did a duet and a song by themselves. Even with the Top 6 doing duets, I would think they will do one by themselves and one in a duet, as only three songs during a show would be fewer than any other episode.