Top 3 Tracker: bullish on Clark, bearish on Tyanna

(Note: because of this year’s format, the Top 3 Tracker does not reflect the most recent forecast. Pretend you are reading this after the results show but before the next singing show).

Things keep looking better and better for Clark. Duh.

Jax had a misstep in the first round of the Top 11 (with an off version of Taylor Swift’s Blank Space), but she bounces back with Grow Old with You. Joey continues to rise, but if the current results are any indication, she will fall next week (maybe badly).

And at the bottom is poor little Daniel Seavey, with a 1% chance.

The American Idol glass ceiling

In the most recent IdolAnalytics forecast, Adanna Duru is assigned a probability of being safe of only about 25%. Rayvon Owen is assigned a 55% probability of being safe, even though he has an equal percentage of Votefair votes, and Adanna had a significantly higher score for her song according to WhatNotToSing. True, Rayvon sang a bit later in the show, but what accounts for the huge difference?

Let’s look at all finals results without multiple performances by WhatNotToSing rating, and I’ll break it down into men and women:

CompositeThe first thing to notice is that there are significantly more women with high (> 60) ratings who were in the bottom group, 17 women out of 108, versus just 12 men out of 117. Women in this group were in the bottom 3 or eliminated at a rate of 16% versus only 10% for men.

The men in this group (Elliott Yamin, Chris Daughtry, Phil Stacey twice, Matt Giraud, Anoop Desai twice, Adam Lambert, Casey James, Michael Lynche, and Joshua Ledet twice) had an average WNTS of 71.4. The women (Paris Bennett, Carly Smithson  twice, Syesha Mercado twice, Allison Iraheta twice, Pia Toscano, Haley Reinhart, Erika Van Pelt twice, Elise Testone twice, Skylar Laine, Jessica Sanchez, Malaya Watson, and Jessica Meuse) were more numerous and had a slightly higher mean WNTS (72.3). More of them got robbed, and they got robbed even more than the men. Two women with scores above 80 were eliminated (Paris Bennett and Pia Toscano), which has never happened for men.

But the effect extends to more average performances as well. The black curves on the plots are the probability of being safe for each of the WNTS ratings (for an average popularity and not having been in the bottom 3 before) controlling for performance order, meaning that the effect of performance order is factored out. The men have a probability of being safe starting at 0.466 for a rating of 0, and 0.965 for a rating of 100. The women have a probability of being safe starting at 0.321 for a rating of 0, and 0.939 for a rating of 100. No matter how you cut it, you are at a significant disadvantage by being a women.

Anyway, this isn’t a surprise to anyone who watches the show. Of the 13 previous seasons, only 4 winners have been women. But here is the mathematical basis for the disadvantage that women face in American Idol, and it’s horrible. I said in last week’s liveblog that the save should only be used on women, and this is the reason I see for that.

Top 11 redux projection and Twitter sentiment (final)

Update 2015-03-25: Final update, 100% Votefair. Adanna edges out of really-sure territory. She’s fairly close with Daniel.

Update 2015-03-23 @ 8 PM: Now with 80% Votefair. Adanna back in the red. Likeliest bottom 3 is her, Daniel, Maddie.

Update 2015-03-20 @ 10 PM: Votefair is registering very few votes. I’m compensating with similar polls on a weighted basis. 60% Votefair, 20% and 20% MJsBigBlog. The numbers will converge to Votefair’s if/when more people vote in that poll. Adanna rises a bit. She is still the most likely, but no longer outside the margin-of-error.

Green = projected safe, Red = projected bottom 3, yellow = too close to call. Please read the methodology post for the details on how the model works. All the code and data are there.

Name WNTS Rating Popularity Order Safe Probability
Clark 81 37.0 9 98.0%
JAX 68 13.0 10 98.0%
Joey 77 16.0 5 98.0%
Quentin 64 9.0 7 98.0%
Nick 42 7.0 4 92.8%
Qaasim 40 3.0 11 92.3%
Tyanna 26 5.0 6 61.3%
Rayvon 25 3.0 3 55.4%
Maddie 15 2.0 8 52.5%
Daniel 6 2.0 2 28.7%
Adanna 48 3.0 1 24.7%

The judges used, some would say squandered, the save on Qaasim tonight. For now, the model is sour on Adanna Duru. She sang at the beginning of the show, she’s female, she had an ok-but-not-great performance, and her popularity is lagging. If her numbers improve, Daniel could be the call. Until that time, history would caution us that the VoteForTheWorst contestants have survived worse.

Joey, Jax, and Clark are frontrunners in the view of the model, and I certainly wouldn’t disagree. These are the people to beat. Any of them would be a shocking elimination.

Nick fell significantly this week in his WhatNotToSing rating, but I have trouble seeing him fall out of the safe zone. Qaasim himself is predicted safe even though he now has been in the bottom group. We’ll see if that holds up.

The model continues to be doubtful about Rayvon. If his popularity among voters doesn’t rise, I’m not sure he can break out. As most likely to be eliminated this week, and now third most likely, things don’t bode well for him.

Twitter predictably ranted about Daniel’s safety:

TwitterSentiment2015-03-20Daniel’s positives are barely over 60%, which is pretty damn bad. Nobody else is below 70. But somebody is voting for this kid.

As for using the save, about 62% of tweets were positive about using it, versus 38% negative.


Top 3 Tracker for the Top 11 (redux)

The Top 3 tracker is a long view of the contest, trying to figure out who will end up in the Top 3 based on the current standings. It works in a similar way to the finals model, but rather than week-to-week, it looks at historical information to decide who most looks like a Top 3 contestant.

Note that these are all calculated before last night’s performances, so these are based on last week’s scores.

All things being equal, everyone’s chances should improve every week, as any time someone is eliminated you have a better chance just by random pick.

Tyanna, Clark, Nick, and Joey look like the most likely by a lot. All of them are better than 50:50. Hit the jump for more info.

Continue reading

Top 11 forecast (final)

Updated 2:52PM on 3/15 with new VF numbers. Popularity consideration now 80% Votefair, 20% TVLines as Votefair’s total number of votes is almost 200 now. Quentin’s raw probability (without normalization) is now slightly below the cutoff. No change in rankings. Daniel’s probability falls to 50% if he was in the Bottom 3 this week (but there’s no way to know).

Green = predicted safe, Yellow = too close to call, Red = bottom group. Probabilities assume a bottom 3. Note that the show did not reveal the bottom 3 on Thursday. This is crappy and the show should start revealing that.

Name WNTS Rating Popularity Order Safe Probability
Tyanna 78 18.8 8 > 98.0%
Clark 64 20.9 4 > 98.0%
Nick 50 11.0 11 > 98.0%
Joey 88 15.5 3 > 98.0%
Quentin 44 6.5 10 98.0%
JAX 35 12.9 5 88.2%
Daniel 19 1.7 9 82.4%
Adanna 58 3.7 7 69.5%
Qaasim 21 2.9 6 69.3%
Maddie 46 4.2 2 56.3%
Rayvon 31 1.4 1 45.0%

I posted the methodology here. Probability is calculated by considering order of song, WhatNotToSing rating, “Popularity”, gender, and whether or not the person has been in the bottom 3 before. The only people currently recorded as having been in the bottom 3 are Quentin and Adanna, who were Wild Card picks. This is because the producers did not tell us who was in the bottom 3 on Thursday.

Note that if a person was chosen to be in the bottom 3 at random, the chance of being safe would be 73%, quite high.

Daniel falls about 6 points since the initial post. If you are confident that Daniel was in the bottom 3, his probability falls to around 68% 50%, but still can’t be assigned in the bottom 3. The model is not confident enough to assign him to either category of people. Rayvon is the most likely, since he sang at the beginning of the show, was the least popular, and had a low WhatNotToSing rating. By contrast, Daniel sang near the end of the show, and is a bit more popular. Song order is quite significant. Two singers are now below the cutoff: Maddie and Rayvon. Maddie barely there.

Jax rises 2 places, as her numbers are far higher than they were on Thursday in popularity, while Adanna falls out of the safe zone, and Qaasim also falls in ranking.

As the season goes on, I assume Votefair is going to start getting more voters. To help with the noise, I’m taking a weighted average of online polls, but Votefair is counted more than the others. Once Votefair gets to > 200 voters, I will just count Votefair by itself as popularity. Right now, with only 177 voters (excluding people who voted for Sarina-Joi, who isn’t even in the competition anymore), I’m not sure that it can yet be trusted.