Data predict Scotty McCreery as new 'Idol'; judges beg to differ
They might, but chances are fairly good that Scotty McCreery will become the next "American Idol" over Lauren Alaina, according to data from some of the prominent systems that have predicted results of tonight's much-anticipated Fox finale.
Though executive producer and funny bone tickler Nigel Lythgoe said before Tuesday's live show that the winner would be ... "the one with the most votes" — hardy har har — other indicators have been more specific.
During the program itself, judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler declared that Alaina had run away with the competition with the weepy heart-tugger "Like My Mother Does," sung directly to her sobbing mom in the audience.
But website DialIdol, which predicts the show's outcome by tracking busy signals, quickly declared McCreery the winner by a healthy margin. (It's been an accurate gauge in the past, though some critics point out that it doesn't count texts and online voting.)
According to Mediabase, a radio tracking service, McCreery's ballad "I Love You This Big" was receiving more radio play early Wednesday than Alaina's "Like My Mother Does."
Likester, a site that tracks "Likes" on Facebook, said McCreery has amassed double the "Likes" of Alaina, 379,321 versus 161,947, and that he'll walk away with the top prize. Yap.tv, a decent "Idol" predictor that foretold the shocking Pia Toscano elimination, also dubbed McCreery the winner. The site's data track the number of positive tweets about a contestant. It found that, oddly, that corresponds to those who lose. Alaina has that positive-tweet distinction/curse this week.
But there are some figures that are (relatively) incontrovertible. For example:
*Fans cast 122.4 million votes after Tuesday night's performance show (yes, that's a record for the show, but still fewer votes than the 131 million that were cast in the 2008 presidential election, just for the sake of comparison. Important side note: "Idol" fans can vote as many times as they want — not so in our country's democratic system).
*During the current 10th season, there have been more than 730 million votes cumulative, another record.
*Fans have cast 4.8 billion votes in the show's decade-long run.
*Alaina's version of the Band Perry's song "If I Die Young" jumped 149% in its weekly downloads after the contestant performed it on "Idol" (it sold 60,000 downloads on iTunes).
*McCreery's version of Thompson Square's "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?" jumped 51%, for 46,000 downloads
Wednesday night's finale (prediction: ratings bonanza!) is expected to not only crown the new "Idol" but also feature performances and/or cameos from a cavalcade of stars, including Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Lopez, Tyler, U2's Bono and the Edge, Judas Priest, Tom Jones, Tim McGraw (in a duet with McCreery) and Carrie Underwood (singing with Alaina).
Feel free to give your own odds, Show Trackers, on which young Southerner will take the $1 million recording deal.
— T.L. Stanley
Photo: Lauren and Scotty with Ryan Seacrest. Credit: Michael Becker/Fox.