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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Double elimination for the American Idol Top 11

Updated odds! Pia emerges as the leader (again) and Casey rises toward the top

Last week's surprise elimination revealed a need for us to change a few things in our odds, so this week we will start to present both "Odds to Win" and "Odds to Go" (which is obviously odds of elimination). Before we get to the odds, here are some notes after last night's performance show:

Pia, Casey and (surprise!) Haley dominate on a strong Elton John night

After a week that saw one of the wildest elimination nights in Idol history, the Top 11 got the chance to make their case with the Elton John catalog. Once again, this season's cast proved that it is at least one of the strongest in the series' history, if not the best overall. That doesn't mean there weren't some clunkers on this lot. While some of this year's model were zooming down the road toward their goal of winning, a few picked up a nail or two in their tires, and are now in danger of being towed off to the junkyard.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Live blog of the performance show!

Remember that we'll have a live blog of the performance show Wednesday night at 8 p.m.! Be sure to bookmark this blog and be here when the Idols take on the Elton John catalog!

What the Idols Should Sing in Elton John Week

Eight years ago, American Idol had its first-ever Elton John night, celebrating the catalog of one of the greatest singer-songwriters to top the charts. That night brought us highs like Jennifer Hudson's outstanding "Circle of Life," lows like Camile Velasco's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and oddities like John Stevens' "Crocodile Rock." But that was one of the weaker and stranger casts in Idol's history. This year, singers like Stevens, Velasco, Jasmine Trias and Jon Peter Lewis wouldn't even stiff the Top 24, let alone make the finals.

Monday, March 28, 2011

James, Casey surge in Idol rankings

Two days before this week's performance show James Durbin has a slight edge on Pia Toscano as the favorite to win Season 10 of American Idol. Both carry the same odds, but James technically has a mathematical edge. Scott McCreery is still hanging on in third place, and Lauren Alaina completes the top four.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The semi-complete anthology of Rebecca Black "Friday" links

If you haven't yet heard of Rebecca Black or her viral YouTube hit "Friday," you're either dead or over the age of 15. My 49-year-old brother sent me the link to her song today, but I'd already heard of this about 10 days ago (from the E! show "The Talk").

The very fact that I saw it first on a parody show is an indication that it hasn't exactly been received with rave reviews. In spite of the video's almost 60 million views, about 90 percent of the 1 million+ people who have rated it have done so negatively. This hasn't stopped Rebecca (and her almost guaranteed Lohan-like stage mom, who plunked down $2,000 to get this song made) from making plans to cut a full CD. (Undoubtedly, they've been influenced by encouragement from the likes of Lady Gaga, Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell, none of whom probably heard the tune before they gave it the thumbs up.)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Idol shocker: Casey hits rock-bottom (but gets the save)

Earlier in the day, Idol mogul Nigel Lythgoe dropped a hint that tonight's results would be a shocker. Big shocker there; Nigel says that in a lot of weeks that the results are exactly what we expect. Tonight, however, he was dead-on.

Updated odds! New co-leader after Motown Week!

As we continue to tweak our methods a bit, some new developments have arisen.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review of American Idol 10: Motown Night

First things first: with more than 50 #1 hits and 400 charting songs in Motown's history, you'd think that the Idols could choose some tunes that hadn't been done in previous seasons. Instead, only two of the 11 remaining Idols chose songs that had never been performed on the Idol stage. The other nine chose retreads, and some chose songs that had been done several times. One thing I'm looking for is originality. As good as this cast is, they're not exactly blazing new trails.

Update: Change in odds format

On another forum, a poster informed me that the way I present odds is flawed because the total odds add up to far more than 100 percent. After looking at it, it seems that he was correct. So in an effort to more accurately present the odds for winning (and still for entertainment...), here are the updated pre-show odds. Nothing changes in the rankings, but the differences between the Idols is a bit different:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What the Idols Should Sing In Motown Week

This week the Idols will tackle the Motown catalog, and undoubtedly we will hear a number of repeats from the four previous Motown weeks (in seasons 1, 2, 3 and 8). However, I'm hoping for a bit more originality than that. I'm hoping that the Idols will break new ground and sing some classics that haven't been tried during previous Motown nights. So below are my ideas for the Idols. Some of these songs have been sung in other Idol weeks, but never on a Motown night. Let me know what you think, and what songs you'd suggest for the Idols:

Pia still strong at the top; Naima takes over the bottom of the rankings

As we head into this week's performances of the third week of American Idol, there is little change at the top of the leader board. Pia Toscano is still a strong favorite to win Season 10, though Scott McCreery and Lauren Alaina are nipping at her heels. James Durbin is also still in the mix, as well, but early favorites Casey Abrams and Paul McDonald are fading quickly into the pack.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

30 Days of "Fun With Music"

On my Facebook page, I've been posting on a 30-day list of songs in different categories. It's been pretty fun and we're nearing the end, so here's the entire list (including the final three days that haven't been posted yet). After this we'll be doing a "30 Days of Fun With Movies," which is an original list of categories that I've come up with. I'll be posted that here from time-to-time so be sure to check in for the updates!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Another week, another perfect prediction

Once again, our method of ranking and predicting who stays and who goes on American Idol has hit the center of the target. This time, we perfectly predicted the Bottom Three (Naima Adedapo, Haley Reinhart and Karen Rodriguez); indicated that Naima would be the one most likely to be declared safe first; and predicted that Karen would be the one to go home. While we respect other methods of making these predictions, we maintain that it's not enough to simply make broad windows of safety and risk. Making more specific, more targeted picks that say specifically who will be in the Bottom Three and who will go home means that we're more likely to get these picks dead wrong. Of course, there is by no means any false satisfaction in getting the picks exactly right. We hope that by making more exacting picks that you will continue to refer to this site as one source of information about your favorite TV talent show, and that you will tell others about us. Again, please make sure to follow us on Twitter here.

New favorite on American Idol

After only three performance shows, a new leader has emerged as the odds-on favorite to win American Idol 10. Pia Toscano, on the heels of back-to-back-to-back dynamic showings, has leapfrogged the entire field and is now our pick to not only reach the Top Two, but to win the entire competition.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Updated pre-show odds, 3/15

As we head into this weeks performance show on Wednesday, some interesting things are beginning to shift in our Idol odds. Scott McCreery is beginning to challenge Lauren Alaina as a co-favorite for the title. Nipping at their heels is Pia Toscano, whose back-to-back showstoppers has made a lot of people take notice of her. Falling back are several folks, most notably Jacob Lusk and Thia Megia. Jacob has an unbelievable voice, but his misfire on "I Believe I Can Fly" has chased away some fans. And Thia's poor showing on Michael Jackson's (er, Charlie Chapman's ... uh... Chaplin's) "Smile" has a lot of folks shying away from her as well.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011


This week's odds proved to be completely on-target. We had an all-female bottom three with Karen Rodriguez, Haley Reinhart and Ashthon Jones. (Though I suspected Naima Adedapo would be the third girl in the mix instead of Karen.) Karen was first out, leaving Haley and Ashthon. And Ashthon was the first contestant eliminated from AI 10.

Girls dominate Idol at both ends...

The girls will be the big story tonight as Idol makes its first cut. As is so often the case on Idol, talent and actual performance will have very little to do with tonight's bottom three. If performance had everything to do with things, last night's bottom three might include favorites Paul McDonald, Jacob Lusk, Scott McCreery or Thia Megia. None of them measured up to what fans have come to expect. Yet all of those four have made huge connections fans, and will undoubtedly be safe.