On first set of quarterfinalists, judges split from audience

This season has given us the first glimpse into the judges’ decision making during non-voting rounds. The producers chose to have the quarterfinals (consisting of 40 people) be a fully televised round, but with the judges making up their mind to form the Top 20.

Obviously, Dialidol is not in effect, and Votefair has not yet begun to collect statistics. But WhatNotToSing did, and it shows that while the judges largely called the women according to their rank among bloggers, the men were chosen contrary to the audience’s perception.

First the women:

Constestant Song WNTS
Kree Harrison Up To The Mountain 78 Safe
Amber Holcomb My Funny Valentine 71 Safe
Angela Miller Nobody’s Perfect 69 Safe
Adriana Latonio Ain’t No Way 54 Safe
Isabelle God Bless The Child 53 Eliminated
Tenna Torres Soulmate 36 Safe
Brandy Hotard Anymore 34 Eliminated
Shubha Vedula Born This Way 34 Eliminated
Jenny Beth Willis Heaven, Heartache, And The Power of Love 28 Eliminated
Kamaria Ousley Mr. Know It All 8 Eliminated

I thought it odd, myself, that Isabelle was eliminated, while Tenna Torres advanced. I can only think that this was based on prior performances. Other than that, the ranking of the audience was exactly the same as the judges. I would note that Amber Holcolm might need something of an asterisk, because My Funny Valentine is nearly always judged a high scoreā€”audiences just seem to like that song.

Now the men:

Constestant Song WNTS
Curtis Finch Superstar 70 Safe
Devin Velez Listen 69 Safe
Paul Jolley Tonight I Wanna Cry 56 Safe
JDA Rumor Has It 46 Eliminated
Johnny Keyser I Won’t Give Up 40 Eliminated
Kevin Harris (Everything I Do) I Do It For You 32 Eliminated
Jimmy Smith Raining On Sunday 29 Eliminated
Charlie Askew Rocket Man 27 Safe
Elijah Liu Talking To The Moon 21 Safe
Chris Watson (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay 11 Eliminated

These scores are pretty out of whack with the judgement of the audience. As they had it, Johnny Keyser and JDA should have advanced, far in front of Charlie Askew and Elijah Liu, who had results that were way below average.

The average for women overall was 46.5 vs 40.4 for men, a modest amount. However, among men who advanced the average was only 48.6, versus 61.6 for the women. In principle, the women should have a sizable advantage (of course, “should” doesn’t always mean anything).

I thought that there were a lot of unfamiliar songs on the first couple shows, but actually the number of new songs for a first performance has been pretty low so far, historically speaking:


In season 9, for instance 16 out of 24 contestants sang a song that had not yet been sung on Idol. This year, 10 out of 20 did, so far.

This post was updated to correct a misspelling of Jenny Beth Willis’ name.

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