|Curtis Finch||I Believe||24||0||2||0.407||Yes (eliminated)|
|Janelle Arthur||Gone||43||0.544||2||0.383||No (6th)|
|Paul Jolley||Amazed||47||0.563||3||0.367||Yes (bottom 3, 8th)|
|Burnell Taylor||Flying Without Wings||50||0||4||0.358||No call|
|Devin Velez||Temporary Home||46||0.563||6||0.336||No call|
|Lazaro Arbos||Breakaway||31||5.171||5||0.326||Yes (4th)|
|Amber Holcomb||A Moment Like This||71||0.139||10||0.276||Yes (5th)|
|Kree Harrison||Crying||64||0.515||14||0.244||Yes (Top 3)|
|Candice Glover||I (Who Have Nothing)||89||0.417||14||0.226||Yes (Top 3)|
|Angela Miller||I Surrender||68||3.266||41||0.078||Yes (Top 3)|
When I designed the finals model, I built it to do several things. My first priority was that it be based on sound principles, and not just some overfit, ad-hoc mess. The second was that it be as accurate as possible on ranking. The natural outcome of this was to produce probabilities of being in the bottom group (typically the bottom 3), and then tweak the coefficients to produce the fewest ranking errors.
Finally, I didn’t want the model to be wishy-washy—I wanted it to take firm positions. I get kind of annoyed with sites like Dialidol that publish predictions where all the names are in yellow (meaning that Dialidol makes no official pronouncement). If you’re going to make a forecast, it should god damn well forecast something (Dialidol last night predicted that each contestant would be in the range from 1 to 10 …). The flip side of that is that your model can be totally wrong.
The model had a pretty good night. It got the person eliminated correct, it got 2/3 of the bottom 3, and it ranked 5 of the contestants as the best, and those 5 were the best. Angela, Candice, and Kree were predicted as the Top 3, and they were, though we don’t know whether it ranked them correctly relative to each other. Amber and Lazaro were out of order, but both in the correct group; I ain’t mad at it.
Devin Velez was one of the two that the model couldn’t call, and he was way out of order. Devin and Janelle should have switched places. Janelle was ranked 9th, but was actually 6th. You can’t win em all, but that is an irritating black spot in an otherwise bright record.
I’m intrigued by the amount of information we’re being given this year, but I don’t think that I can make much use of it. Without a historical perspective, it’s difficult to say what the rankings imply about the future. Can someone go from being in the top 3 vote-getters in the Top 10 to being 9th place in the Top 9? Who knows? We’ve never seen the results, so we don’t know how volatile the voting is. I do find all the new information a nice change of pace, though.
As an editorial note, I’m not sure how VoteForTheWorst is going to work this year. Lazaro was their pick, and while I may agree, is he really that bad? I don’t think he is. This Top 10 isn’t a lot of grist for their mill, I’m afraid.