Top 9 Projections

I sure hope this is wrong

Contestant Probability of elimination
Haley Reinhart 0.289
Lauren Alaina 0.189
Stefano Langone 0.181
Jacob Lusk 0.131
Paul McDonald 0.018
Casey Abrams 0.015
Pia Toscano 0.006
James Durbin 0.002
Scotty McCreery 0.001

Unfortunately, it doesn’t really feel wrong to me. Women get the short stick when it comes to the Top 9, even in rounds where there are only 3 of them left. Haley’s performance was good, but not quite good enough according to the model, especially considering the order that she went.

Now there is no clear favorite to go. Haley, Lauren, Stefano, and Jacob are the likely bottom vote getters. Everyone else has a much smaller probability. But it would not be shocking if Stefano (P = 18%) were to go instead of Haley (P = 29%). But, the smart money is on Haley.

A logistical model of the Top 11

I’ve been playing around with the numbers, and am able to get a decent projection model with relatively few assumptions. The model is not yet amazingly statistically significant. Nevertheless, the predictions are interesting.

The model assumes that the primary indicators of elimination are Gender, Slot, and whether or not the contestant scored in the bottom 3 on Dialidol and WNTS. You can download the full data set for Top 11 episodes (S4-S9; male is coded as 1, female as 0, and bottom 3 is 1 for yes, 0 for no). Now, we can use R to get a logistical fit Continue reading

Final 11 Results: Quick and dirty predictions

A very preliminary logistical regression model predicts the bottom 3 is Haley, Naima, and Paul. Naima is predicted to go home tonight, but only barely. Once I’ve ironed out some of the details, I’ll explain the reasoning here, and I hope to have some error analysis along with it.

Ranking Name
11 Naima
10 Haley
9 Paul
8 Stefano
7 Pia
6 Lauren
5 Thia
4 Casey
3 Jacob
2 Scotty
1 James

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.