Finale performance show impressions

The early returns from WNTS have been posted, and the contestants had an average score that was equal to within a rounding error (53). The proprietors over there say that it was neck-and-neck, but that the performances were perfunctory because people have already made up their minds.

Fair enough, that might be. But if anybody was going to be swayed, I do not think it would be in Jessica’s direction. Her rendition of the truly execrable Idol song “Change Nothing” scored a 26, tied for 6th worst of any performance during a finale. Phil’s version of “Stand By Me” was also panned, but does not rank in the top 10 worst finale performance polled by that service. With near-rave reviews of his Idol song, Phil would perhaps be at an advantage if any was to be had.

Dialidol, which I’ll remind you has not yet missed a call in 7 years of finales, has Jessica trailing badly in all metrics (Dialidol score, raw votes, and busy signals). As of right now, she’s being trounced. California can help her, but they will need to get busy. She may pick up some of Joshua’s votes, but there is no evidence that she has so far. The current slope in the DIHardGraphs show no flagging of Phil’s support. The voting closes at 1am on the east coast, so maybe after that she can pick up some steam.

Intrade, the betting market where people buy and sell “stock” in a given outcome, has Phil at a 90% probability of winning. That is the same probability they had Barack Obama at on Nov 3, 2008, an election whose outcome was more or less assumed. I happen to think that giving Jessica only a 10% chance is a bit low. My feeling is that it’s more like 80% to 20% in Phil’s favor.

Finally, what will we make of Votefair’s result? Currently Jessica is winning on that service 70% to 30%. It might seem compelling that she has 2.3 times as many votes as Phil, except for one little problem:

Choice Vote count Percentage
Jessica Sanchez 414 39
Phillip Phillips 159 15
Colton Dixon 141 13
Elise Testone 92 9
Hollie Cavanagh 86 8
Skylar Laine 82 8
Joshua Ledet 76 7

That’s Votefair’s results for the Top 7. She had 2.6 times as many votes as Phil that week on Votefair. You know who actually had more votes than Jessica? Phil, Joshua, Skylar, Colton, Hollie, and yes, even Elise. She was dead last.

What would be the point of crunching numbers? There isn’t currently any single substantive reason to think that Phil will not win. Squinting at data trying to see a given result is something that we’ve all been guilty of, but no amount of squinting is going to reveal a probable Jessica win. It would be a major upset, though I might stop short of saying a shocking upset.

Yes, upsets happen. The US beat the Russians in hockey at the 1980 Winter Olympics. Buster Douglas beat Mike Tyson. The Patriots beat the Rams after bringing a 6th round draft pick as their quarterback mid-season. Anything can happen, I suppose. But this isn’t where the smart money is.

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