Top 5 Pre-game

As far as who’s going to be eliminated, I’m not going to say anything that isn’t well-known.

Contestant Sex Prior Average Probability of Elim.
Jacob Lusk M 32.5 0.63144
Scotty McCreery M 48.75 0.231642
Lauren Alaina F 55 0.133852
James Durbin M 63.5 0.058627
Haley Reinhart F 65.5 0.04788

There is no point in speculating about how well Jacob would have to do to be considered safe. The model believes that no matter what score Jacob gets, he will be eliminated.

Why is this the case? Funny enough, during the Top 5, America doesn’t vote based on how well the contestant sings. That may seem weird to you, but it doesn’t seem too far off to me. During the Top 5, America tends to shed the contestant who has been doing the worst lately, rather than the one who did the worst that day. There is, in fact, no significant correlation with the Top 5 performance approval and the outcome!

What is notable, though, is that Ms. Haley Reinhart may have moved into front-runner territory. Now, no winner of American Idol has ever been in the Bottom 3 three times, as Haley has (the closest is Fantasia, who was in the B3 twice). However, Haley is probably one of the most improved contestants that I can remember. Even Jordin Sparks started stronger than Haley, and while she did improve, it was not as markedly.

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