Top 9 projection (final)

Name Song WNTS DI VF Not-safe Probability
C.J. Harris If It Hadn’t Been for Love 36 n/a 1 0.572
Majesty Rose Shake It Out 48 n/a 3 0.509
Sam Woolf Hey There Delilah 41 n/a 8 0.390
Dexter Roberts Boondocks 30 n/a 9 0.374
Malaya Watson The Long and Winding Road 65 n/a 10 0.330
Jessica Meuse Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win) 72 n/a 10 0.326
Caleb Johnson Dazed and Confused 88 n/a 17 0.196
Jena Irene Bring Me to Life 78 n/a 20 0.160
Alex Preston Don’t Speak 59 n/a 22 0.144


The methodology for the finals model is described here. The model is 87% accurate on ranking within a margin of error of +/- 3%. Probabilities being what they are, somebody with a not-safe probability of just 0.25 will be in the bottom 3 one out of four times. Please do not comment that the numbers are wrong. They are probabilities, not certainties or even claims. Do not gamble based on these numbers.

Names in green are predicted safe. Names in red are considered at risk for being in the bottom 3. Names in yellow are undecided. Any person not in green is not considered safe by the model. The most probable bottom 3 is Dexter, C.J., and Majesty and one of either Sam or Dexter. However, anybody on the list being in the bottom 3 would not be shocking.

Updated 4:00 PM EST. Sam cedes a large amount of ground to Dexter, making it too close to call. Sam’s sudden loss in popularity is odd.

Updated 11:03 AM EST. C.J. loses ground to Dexter and falls to most likely.

Dialidol is out for the count again. That index has been nulled.

Six out of nine of these contestants (including wild cards) have been in the bottom group before, and the 4 most likely are all among that group. Dexter appeared in the bottom 3 last week, and things don’t look great for him now. He’s at about even odds to be in the bottom group again, as are C.J. and Majesty. The only real surprise in the rankings is a low popularity rating for Sam Woolf, which dragged him way down from last week. As more people vote in the Votefair poll, this may (probably will) change.

For several weeks now I’ve carried out a poll similar in methodology to WNTS, but with a smaller sample size. My results are quite consistent with theirs, with the exception of Dexter. I found much more support for Dexter’s performance than they did, though either way he was still ranked most likely to be not-safe.

As I read some online reactions to tonight’s episode, I noticed a lot of people making casual statements about the “pimp spot”, the person who sings last in the show. Statements such as “they must think Jena is in trouble if they put her last” or “she will get a big boost from being last” come from a decent number of pundits, but aren’t really justified by any real evidence.

There really are fewer people eliminated in the last spot of the night than other spots. But those performances also are rated better. It’s just as reasonable to assume that the producers choose the performances they think will be the best to go last. If people think the end has good performances, they’ll stick around until the end. This is quite different than the supposition that the producers put people they want to save in that spot. Note that going first is just as safe as going last! To the extent that the producers choose the singing order based on strategy, they try to bookend the show with good singers, which makes a whole lot more sense to me than the idea that the producers try to save people that voters don’t like (why would they do that?).

As a side note, under the new regime voting can happen immediately, so the effect of being forgotten is presumably at least partially reduced.

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