March 2005 Archives

Top 10: Results!


That may have been the strangest Idol Ford commercial yet. Which is saying something. (The contestants were puppets!)

Anyway, the results follow.

Random Prediction-Type Stuff

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This has no bearing on the pool, it's just me rambling. 'Cause that's what I do.

My long-term predictions have changed drastically in the past few weeks. At the start of the finals, I considered Bo and Carrie to be the strongest contenders, with Nadia not far behind. I'm now mostly convinced that Bo isn't going to make it, and Carrie's hanging by a thread.

My rationale for Bo, counterintuitively enough, is that he's too good, too experienced. As Simon said a couple of weeks ago, it doesn't seem as if he's really in the competition... and I think that's enough to do him in. American Idol is Amateur Hour meets the Big Time; an important part of Ryan's role on the show is to reinforce the former. We aren't looking for experienced, polished performers; we want to see an undiscovered talent who's still a bit rough around the edges gradually improve over the course of the weeks, stretch themself, reach for the brass ring, and ultimately make it big. Bo isn't offering that. Combine that with the beginnings of a downward trend, and he's most likely to be the first surprise upset of the season.

Carrie's a more interesting question. I think she can still make it, but consistency has been her weak point thus far. It just takes one bad performance to lose this thing, and I'm starting to bet she's going to falter along the way. But I may be wrong.

Meanwhile, Constantine and Vonzell are now strong contenders. Constantine has been improving (and outdoing Bo), and, sorry Pam, but I think he's kinda hot. And Vonzell's had a couple of really strong performances. There are too many strong performers for me to have any idea who's going to win this thing, but I'm not willing to count either of them out.

As for the continued Clayification of Anthony, I have no idea whether this'll help him or hurt him more. But I'm betting he survives this week.

Top 10: Pool Predictions


I'm typing this from school again, although I'm about to go home... naturally, I forgot to turn my VCR off this week too. I'll learn eventually. I expect to downloading this week's episode later tonight. Meanwhile, this week's pool predictions can be left here.

Top 11: Results

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This has aired everywhere but Hawaii now, I think, but I'm gonna spoilerize the results anyway.

Top 11: Performances


Okay, I've watched my tape of last night's show, and I agree with TeKay: if you count Mikalah out of this, the remaining ten are -- as a whole -- the strongest group we've ever had. About the only ones I'm comfortable with predicting will not go all the way are Mikalah and Scott; there are several extreme longshots among the rest, but no clear deadweight. (Granted, Bo should beat Constantine, but an upset is not inconceivable... and if the former weren't in the competition, the latter would actually be looking pretty decent.)

Anyway. There's no question that Mikalah should go this week. No question at all. But I'm going to stick to my guns and suppose that we're not going to get that lucky, because... well, just because. Especially after finding out that a certain friend of sockgirlie's actually voted repeatedly for John Stevens last season just to continue everybody's torment.

Whom I'm voting for, barring some unexpected reason not to in tonight's show: Vonzell. Simon was exactly right in that she wasn't even on my radar before... but I thought her performance was definitely the night's best.

Other random observations: I wish Simon hadn't pinned a giant target onto Carrie. And Paula was so totally flying without wings. Pain pills, perhaps...

Anyway, I'll have my predictions in the relevant entry shortly. And, incidentally, in the unlikely event that anything happens tonight that you think might skew the voting, feel free to submit a modified entry before tomorrow night's show.



FOX Calls Do-Over for American Idol

On the bright side, I get to vote this week!

(Thanks to Jesse for calling this to my attention.)

Top 11: Predictions Go Here


I'm at school again. This time around, my VCRs have been turned off, and I'm pretty sure they've been set correctly, so I should be able to get my recommended weekly requirement of American Idol, House, Scrubs, and Committed. I'll have some homework to finish, though, so this'll likely have to wait until after midnight. Meanwhile, this week's predictions go here. Good luck!

(To reiterate: you'll be predicting from first place to eleventh place this time, predicting who will be voted off this week (#11), next week (#10), and so on, all the way up to this year's Idol (#1). Who ends up in second-to-last and third-to-last place this week is irrelevant for the purpose at hand.)

Top 12: Results


Results below. West Coast and Hawaiian viewers who don't want to be spoiled, wait until the show's aired in your time zone before reading further. Those coming in via Google who want the scoop, here you go:

Top 12: Pool Predictions, Anyone?


It's the first week of the finals! I'm typing this at school, on break partway through tonight's class, and have just realized that I forgot to turn my VCR off. Darn it. I'll probably download the episode after the fact (you may have noticed the "torrents" link in the sidebar), but perhaps not in time to use it for my predictions.

Oh, well. In any event, your predictions for this week can be posted in the comments to this entry, or e-mailed to me. Best of luck!


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Let the Pool Begin!

So... on to the second annual Shmuel's Soapbox Idol Annex Pool. The rules are the same as last year's, as those seemed to work pretty well, providing a balance between short-term and long-term predicting.

The Rules:

  1. Every week, players predict the ultimate placement of all the remaining contestants. Players are encouraged to post their predictions in comments to this journal, but may also send them to me via e-mail.
  2. One point will be awarded for every placement that turns out to be correct. No credit will be awarded for near-misses.
  3. Entries should be submitted no later than 8 PM Eastern Time (5 PM Pacific Time) on Wednesday of the week in question. If you're somebody I know and trust, later entries will be accepted; just make sure you make your choices before you hear anything about the results.
  4. Entries for a given week can be submitted any time after the preceding week's results are announced. But you'll probably be best off waiting until after that week's performances.
  5. In the event that you make a prediction one week, but don't get around to doing so in the next, the previous week's guesses will carry over, minus whoever got voted out. They will not carry over for a week beyond that unless I hear from you.
  6. Whoever has the most points at the end of the season is the winner.
  7. The winner gets a mix CD and bragging rights. In the event that I win, I get the bragging rights, and the first runner-up gets the mix CD.
  8. I'm re-evaluating the tie-breaking procedure. With any luck, it won't be necessary; either way, there'll be a post on this down the line.
  9. Disqualifications of contestants will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, at my sole discretion. (This is the "Corey Clark" clause.)
Last season, the final five contestants were ranked as follows:
  1. Fantasia
  2. Diana
  3. Jasmine
  4. LaToya
  5. George
With five weeks to go, my predictions were as follows:
  1. LaToya
  2. George
  3. Fantasia
  4. Diana
  5. Jasmine
At the end of the season, all five of those guesses turned out to be wrong. No points for me.

With four weeks to go, my predictions were:

  1. Diana
  2. Fantasia
  3. Jasmine
  4. LaToya
My predictions for Jasmine and LaToya turned out to be right that week. Two points!

With three weeks to go, I predicted:

  1. Diana
  2. Fantasia
  3. Jasmine
Well, I was right about Jasmine. One point.

In the final week, I predicted:

  1. Diana
  2. Fantasia

My final score for those five weeks: three points, out of a possible fourteen.

For a better record, here are the predictions made by last year's winner, Heather, over the same weeks:

Top Five:

  1. Fantasia
  2. Jasmine
  3. Diana
  4. LaToya
  5. George
Heather was right about Fantasia, LaToya, and George that week. Three points.

Top Four:

  1. Diana
  2. Fantasia
  3. LaToya
  4. Jasmine
No points that week.

Top Three:

  1. Fantasia
  2. Diana
  3. Jasmine
Clean sweep. Three points.

Top Two:

  1. Diana
  2. Fantasia

Heather's final score for those five weeks: Six points.

Note that one aspect of this system is that, over the course of several weeks, you can put all your metaphorical chips on a given performer coming in at a given position, or hedge your bets. In the above example, Heather got some points for placing Fantasia and Diana first and second, respectively, and also would have gotten some points if the two had been reversed. On the other hand, I would have cleaned up had Diana come in first and Fantasia come in second, but lost my shirt when the reverse happened.

This is a simplified example; feel free to check the archives if you want to follow the full pool from last season, and feel free to ask if you have any questions.

The pool starts this week. Tell your friends! And good luck!

End of the Semifinals

I just watched my tape of this past week's performances. If I hadn't been on the road and had been watching the shows live, I probably would have voted for Anwar on Monday, and Jessica on Tuesday. The runners-up would have been Anthony and Scott among the boys, and Nadia among the girls. And I want Mikalah to leave the show at the earliest possible opportunity.

(I'm not bothered by Nikko's departure. I mean, I had him tied with Bo for fourth place in a field of eight...)

Anyway. I think this year's incarnation of the semifinals went pretty well. This is the one phase of the season they tinker with every year, and -- in my opinion -- invariably the least interesting part of the season. This time around was much more painless than last time, not to mention an episode shorter. Yay!

Now on to the best part: the finals. And this time around, there'll be no guest judges, making me very happy indeed. My one remaining wish-list item is that they'll have no nights devoted to the songs of a single artist, but I haven't heard anything about that one way or the other. I guess we'll find out.


Okay, this entry is long overdue. Sorry about that! Things have been busy, and I always have this fantasy of the perfect introductory entry, which prevents me from just posting anything, and leads to... well, this. Rest assured that I have every intention of returning to the usual commentary in the final round, and I invite y'all to join me. And I do plan to run my pool again. I'm thinking the same rules as last year; if anybody has any suggestions for improvement, please leave a comment here.

I have a flight to prepare for, so I need to run. Will post again upon my return. Honest.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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