The top 3 tracker is a look ahead to the end of the contest, assigning the chance that somebody will be in the Top 3 based on how they are doing now.
As you can see, there is a high amount of uncertainty at this stage. Even someone predicted super-safe like Clark has only a 40% chance of being in the Top 3. (Think Pia Toscano). Below is the historical information:
Hover your mouse to see who each dot corresponds to. Blue dots are contestants in previous years. Green dots that lie on the theoretical curve are this year’s contestants. Nobody making the Top 3 would be shocking, including Daniel Seavey (Haley Reinhart was considered even less likely than him at this point).
In the methodology post, I mentioned that contestant Order was an important variable. In fact, it you correct for the other variables, you are significantly better off being near the end of the show versus the beginning of the show:
Points at the bottom are people who were not “safe” (either eliminated, bottom 3, or saved) in Final rounds with no-multiple performances. Points at the top are people who were Safe. The two curves are the probability of an average contestant (both male and female) being safe. All other things being equal, a man goes from a 65% chance singing first to a 95% chance of being safe at the end of the show. A woman goes from a 50% chance to about 85% if she is in the pimp spot.
I’ve idly speculated about why this was in the past. It could be that the producers put the better contestants at the end of the show for ratings purposes, and it could be that most people vote at the end and only remember the recent singers. Most likely it’s a combination of both of these things. The forecast model from previous years didn’t include this explicitly as a variable because it was no better than Dialidol at accounting for singing order. But now that Dialidol is kaput, it’s worth to consider explicitly.
I’m seeing a lot of surprise among the Idol blogosphere about Sarina-Joi’s elimination, and while I kind of understand it, I disagree. If you read the Top 12 forecast, you saw that I had Sarina-Joi second most likely to be eliminated, within a hair’s breadth (1 percentage point) of Daniel Seavey. After the jump, I’ll say how I get that.
Daniel manages to up his profile a bit, while Rayvon loses a lot of steam after a lackluster outing tonight. Tyanna, Clark, and Adanna got the fewest number of people bitching about them on Twitter.
Some opinions picked totally at random and certainly not aimed at one person in particular:
“Daniel is the Sanjaya. He’s. Never. Going. To. Leave.”
“Daniel needs to go. He is way out of his league and needs to wait another 3 yrs or so and then he can try again””Sarina Joi going home this early is the most tragic events in Idol history. DANIEL NEEDS TO GO HOME PLEASE.”
“Sarina getting eliminated is shocking but the most mind blowing thing is Daniel Seavey outlasting her. My mind can’t proces”
Tonight, one person is eliminated, 11 people sing, and 1-2 million Americans ask “wait, how does the show work this year?”.