Top 3 pre-game: 3 chances to get it right

In the recent weeks, I’ve been saying that to the extent that any variable is important to who is eliminated, that variable was how well the contestant had done lately. That is, there was a significant effect of momentum, and contestants were eliminated even if they had a good week because people stuck with their favorites from the prior weeks.

For the Top 3, though, this isn’t the case. There is good statistical evidence that not only does performance matter, but the performance that matters most is the best performance that a contestant has that evening. The contestant can screw up on two songs so long as they don’t have the worst top-score for the night.

That being said, usually the worst average performer also has the lowest top-number for the night.

Supposing, though, that Haley Reinhart has a bad-to-disastrous run at What Is And What Should Never Be tomorrow night, which is very likely, as long as she comes out and kills it with one of her other songs (You Oughta Know being the most likely), I would still expect her to be safe. We don’t know what Lauren or Scotty will be singing, but historically these contestants have produced generally consistent but not stratospheric approval ratings. This is particularly true of Lauren Alaina, who is perceived (rightly) not to have had “a moment” on the show. This would be the time to do it, if she were going to.

So, no numbers this week. What happens this week is almost entirely dependent on what happens tomorrow night.

By the way, Dialidol has gotten 5/6 Top 3 calls correct. However, 7/9 calls were correct based on the above strategy, which is much stronger evidence.

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