twitter predicts idol winner


final update: Phillip won! Twitter wanted us to ready ourselves for this news.


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update: so far, our prediction holds!

So who do you root for? Is it Mr. Phillips or Ms. Sanchez? What do you think? Sound off in the comments.

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in the run-up to the finale, three idol contestants remain: Joshua Ledet, Phillip Phillips, and Jessica Sanchez.

Now, we don't know the voting tally every week, except that Mr. Ledet was in the bottom three twice, and Ms. Sanchez had it once. We can only surmise that Mr. Phillips has always had a huge loving from his voting followers, a belief that hasn't been proven... until now.

light bulb: predict who will win american idol season 11 using their AI11 twitter accounts

rationale: twitter activity of followers are an indirect manifestation of bequeathing sincere love, concern and affection for the contestant they support the most

methodology: Using Twitter, Visual.ly Labs dashboard, and a tiny bit of imagination, we can imagine the finale going in any of three ways:

  • @jsanchezAI11 versus @jledetAI11
  • @pphillipsAI11 versus @jsanchezAI11
  • @jledetAI11 versus @pphillipsAI11

Period covered is April 16 to May 16, or roughly the time after Ms. Sanchez was saved by the judges from being eliminated from the Top 7, up to the present Top 3.

dim the lights. here are your results:

All rights reserved by Visually, Inc.

All rights reserved by Visually, Inc.

All rights reserved by Visually, Inc.
  • Jessica has the most number of followers (331,000) compared to Phillip (281,000) or Joshua (99,000). She also gets the most number of mentions every week for the last 28 days; Phillips is in distant second, while Joshua lags in third place. If you also check their Klout scores, Jessica has 82, Phillips has 80, and Joshua has 75.
  • while Jessica enjoys worldwide attention, Phillips easily dominates North America with 115,000 followers, more than double either Joshua's (41,000) or Jessica' (38,000). this is the stat that matters the most, easily because the United States turns in almost 99% of the tally, aside from the few Skype calls outside US, if ever those votes come through. this means that Phillips enjoy a distinctly wide margin from the two competitors.


right here i'm introducing my idol twitter index (imaginary intellectual property right pending). by definition, it measures the estimated level of twitter engagement a particular contestant has with the portion of followers coming from North America.



           contestant: idol twitter index
 Phillips 350.52984
Sanchez    57.87756
Ledet 47.21196
Cavanagh 27.88416 


just to prove this point, let me add a Jessica Sanchez vs. Hollie Cavanagh scenario, as illustrated below, with the idol twitter index already calculated for the Top 4 contestants. it becomes obvious that among the Top 4, Ms. Cavanagh lagged behind in terms of twitter engagement with North Americans.


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conclusions: this model predicts that Phillips will win the entire thing, which you can agree or disagree with. at least that's what the twitter numbers are saying: Phillips's followers easily outnumber either Ledet's or Sanchez's roughly 3:1.

now, the other slot in the finale is a toss-up between Joshua or Jessica, but based on this analysis, Jessica may get to the Top 2 because of a higher twitter engagement index and a higher Klout score, which could well translate a few more votes for her.

in the event that either Ledet or Sanchez has exited, we can statistically predict a 50%-50% split of the third placer's followers: 50% will go to Phillips, while 50% will go to the other finalist.

recommendations: if North Americans want Jessica or Joshua to win this thing, they have to double or even triple the amount of effort that Phillips's fans are currently doing. That's not even a guarantee, since his fanatics would might as well step up their game where it matters the most: the finale.


and that's my scientific take on american idol season 11 *bow*