Top 11 post-game redux: assessing the model

The model was somewhat vindicated last night after a disastrous first week. I made significant improvements to the way it considered the data, and it correctly predicted the bottom 3. As I said, Naima was a sure thing, with Paul and Thia in a dead-heat. In the end, Thia was eliminated. What’s interesting to me is just how far off Dialidol was:

The bottom 6 according to Dialidol

On the one hand, Dialidol got 2/3 of the bottom 3. However, it significantly overestimated Naima, which my model had by a factor of 4 the most likely to be eliminated. I also get no sense that Lauren was possibly at risk, but Dialidol ranked her as fourth worst. Does anybody really believe that?

The WNTS approval ratings were quite different: Continue reading

Top 11 redux Elimination Projections

The model is relatively sure of the bottom 3. With a binary value model it thinks

Contestant Elim. Probability
Naima 0.216
Paul 0.278
Thia 0.260

A continuous variable analysis is way more sure of Naima

Contestant Elim. Probability
Naima 0.448
Paul 0.102
Thia 0.079

My personal feeling is that the second predictions are better, and the significance is better anyway. Naima is toast, then Paul and Thia in a dead heat. This could change if the major scoring services change a lot. I don’t think that’ll happen. Bye Naima!

Final 11 – Minority Report

I’m not really inclined to agree that Naima is the next most likely to be voted off. She’s just more memorable than some of the other girls, although her performances for the past couple of weeks have been at best uneven (and, to be perfectly honest, pretty bad at times). That said, when you say something about Naima, people who watch Idol will know immediately who you’re talking about. The judges call this “flavor” or, perhaps, “flava.” When you say “Haley” or perhaps even “Thia” it may take people a moment to recall who you’re talking about. I’m guessing this might have played some part in Karen’s early elimination; Karen is just such a boring name, and didn’t really express who she was as a person (not that I demand everyone have a stereotypically ethnic name should they fail of being a white person).

I confess I hope the next person to be eliminated is a guy, and I do hope that it is Paul. I can really do without him, and again, I feel like when someone starts talking about “Paul” I don’t instantly know who they mean. “Oh, you mean the real quiet dude who you can barely hear?” I have a feeling that having an interesting name (Ace Young, for example) may play some small factor, though we have done no data analysis looking into that theory. “Paul McDonald” just isn’t it. It doesn’t even have the pleasing assonance of “Casey Abrams.” For that as well as his generally mediocre-to-crappy singing and performance style, I would say that if American sends a guy home, it will and should be Paul.

If the anti-female bias does come into play, I would definitely put my metaphorical  money on Haley over Naima, but I have been wrong many times before.

Hey America, try shedding some mediocre dudes for awhile!

Final 11 – Pre-game

The final 11 is the first round where men start to become vulnerable in the contest. Whereas women constitute 71% of Final 12 eliminated, in the Final 11 they constitute only 60%, so we can certainly have a man not only in the bottom 3 but actually kicked off. If I had to pick a man to worry about, it would most definitely be Paul McDonald:

Week Average Paul Margin
Final 12 46 28 -18
Final 13 51.7 42 -9.7

Not only did Paul under-perform the average, he was dead last among all men in WNTS rating.

Nevertheless, the odds still favor a lady leaving us on Thursday, and it’s not hard to figure out which one:

Week Average Naima Margin
Final 12 46 17 -29
Final 13 51.7 44 -7.7

Of the women who failed to make the Final 12 by vote, Naima is the only one remaining. It has happened quite frequently that a woman who was in the Bottom 3 in the first two final round made it through the third, but excepting in the case of Haley Scarnato and Camile Velasco, none has done so with a score quite as bad as Naima’s was. Naima needs probably at least a WNTS score of 30 to be safe.

The theme of the week, Motown, has historically probably not been advantageous to either men or women. Although women dominate the bottom 3 for Motown, it has only come up in the Final 10 and Final 12 episodes, when women tend to get the worst of it anyway.

I would, sight unseen, also assume Haley will be in the bottom 3, though I am significantly less sure of this than Naima.