American Idol voting, the VoteFair way
The poll here correctly identifies the most-popular and least-popular contestants. How? It uses all your preferences — and all the preferences of other voters — in VoteFair ranking calculations. (For reasons explained, it does not predict who will win.)
(Also on this page: cross-season poll through season 15, season 15 poll, cross-season poll through season 14, season 14 poll, cross-season poll through season 13, season 13 poll, cross-season poll through season 12, season 12 poll (finally a superb singer), cross-season poll through season 11, season 11 poll (the close-race season), cross-season poll through season 10, season 10 poll (the Country-music season), cross-season poll through season 9, season 9 poll (with its crazy results), cross-season poll through season 8, season 8 poll (and why text messaging tipped the balance), cross-season poll through season 7, season 7 summary, cross-season poll through season 6, season 6 summary, season 5 summary, earlier cross-season polls, and Jennifer Hudson's early elimination)
Yes, there will be a 2018 VoteFair American Idol poll!
You can vote just once!
Announcing a major new website from the “VoteFair guy”! www.NewsHereNow.com It's free and anonymous, and it will bring economic prosperity to your neighborhood, so please check it out. Then tell your social-media contacts about it. Thanks!
Cross-season poll, Seasons 1 to 15
Overall popularity of the most popular singers across all 15 seasons.
For the final time, let's find out the popularity of the most popular singers across all 15 seasons. If your favorite singer is not in this poll, it's because he or she did not rank high enough in previous cross-season polls.
Season 15 poll
Top 2 results
It's a wrap! This season was much fairer than what has happened in some other seasons, and with a final pairwise contest between the two most popular singers, we have a deserving winner. Congratulations Trent Harmon!
To those of you who have been voting in these VoteFair polls, thank you!!!
Top 3 results
No surprise this week. Now we are down to a pairwise comparison between the two top singers. In a pairwise comparison, vote splitting cannot happen.
Each week in these VoteFair polls your ranking of contestants makes it possible to do pairwise comparisons, and that's why the results here are not vulnerable to vote splitting. In other words, vote splitting can only happen when voting only allows us to indicate a single favorite choice.
As a clarification, the official voting does allow us to split our support into various numbers of votes to second and third (etc.) singers, but that is still using single-mark ballots because each such “vote” is a different ballot with just a single singer's name being marked.
Top 4 results
No surprises this week. The fact that LaPorsha Renae was in the bottom two reveals that, in the official voting, fans who prefer a male singer significantly outnumber fans who prefer a female singer. This means that fans of the two remaining male singers might cast so many votes that LaPorsha Renae could be eliminated next week, even though she is more popular than third-most-popular Dalton Rapattoni.
Expressed another way, in this VoteFair poll the fans of both male singers can indicate that LaPorsha Renae is their second choice, but in the official voting those male-singer fans cannot afford to waste any of their official votes on her. Here is yet another example of the difference between pairwise counting and first-choice only counting.
Gender-biased stuffed ballots
A few voters in Denham Springs Louisiana, Woodstock Georgia, Frisco Texas, Honolulu Hawaii, and Angola Indiana have attempted to stuff the VoteFair ballot box with their highest support for Trent Harmon and Dalton Rapattoni, and with low rankings for LaPorsha Renae. After removing those ballots, plus some outside-the-United-States ballots, here (below) are the current rankings.
|First-most popular||Trent Harmon|
|Second-most popular||Dalton Rapattoni|
|Third-most popular||LaPorsha Renae|
|Fourth-most popular||MacKenzie Bourg|
Normally vote splitting among the three males would keep LaPorsha Renae relatively safe, but there is heavy official voting by female fans who strongly prefer a good-looking male singer, and they are likely to vote using multiple accounts (such as both Facebook and Google), so LaPorsha Renae is not safe. As stated here in previous weeks, every vote counts — just as it does in close government elections when the differences are significant.
Top 5 results
The elimination of Sonika Vaid leaves us with three male singers and one superb female singer. Next week, if nothing goes wrong with the official vote counting, vote splitting among the males combined with the superb singing skill of LaPorsha Renae will cause one of the three remaining males to be eliminated. This assumes that too many viewers do not assume that LaPorsha Renae is getting plenty of votes from other viewers.
Top 6 results
The fact that Sonika Vaid was in the bottom two — instead of slightly less-popular MacKenzie Bourg — indicates the typical bias in favor of male singers.
Top 6 commentary
This week's current VoteFair results (Wednesday night) indicate that Tristan McIntosh and/or MacKenzie Bourg will be eliminated this week.
If any of the other singers gets the fewest official votes, then the judges should save that singer.
The biggest risk is that lots of fans might assume that LaPorsha Renae is getting plenty of votes from other voters, and that could cause her to get the fewest votes. This would be similar to what happened years ago the week that Jennifer Hudson was eliminated early in the competition.
Please remember this lesson when you vote in the U.S. Presidential election: don't assume that other voters will make the right choice! Every vote does count!
Top 8 commentary
No big surprises this week.
This week's “greediest voter” award goes to a voter in South Hadley, Massachusetts, who attempted to cast 10 ballots. Apparently he or she does not realize that just using a different ranking on each ballot does not make them come from different places.
Top 10 results, and what's happening in the U.S. Presidential primary election
Yup, vote-splitting happened this week. And with vote-splitting going on in the U.S. Presidential election among the Republican candidates, it's a good time to remind you how it works.
Among the Top 10 there were 6 females and 4 males. If we guess that the preference for a male winner versus a female winner is somewhat equal, then the half of the voters who prefer a female are splitting their votes among 6 contestants, whereas the half of the voters who prefer a male are only splitting their votes among 4 contestants. The result is that each female gets fewer votes compared to each male, which makes the elimination of two female singers more likely compared to the non-gender-biased result of eliminating one male and one female.
Again the important concept is that the contestant with the fewest first-choice votes is not necessarily the least-popular contestant.
In this case, Olivia Rox, in the VoteFair poll, was not the second-least-popular singer, but the least-popular male singer, Lee Jean, received more first-choice votes. And apparently either she did not sing as well as usual, or Tristan McIntosh and Avalon Young sang better than usual (I don't know which because I don't watch on Thursday nights), so Olivia Rox was eliminated early.
[Clarification from Mrs. Dale Wester: “Olivia had to be hospitalized for the flu during Top 10 week; I doubt she was fully recovered last Thursday. This week, her biggest problem was song choice. In exit interviews, Olivia explained that she had a different song prepared but changed based on recommendations given during rehearsals.”]
The elimination of Gianna Isabella was fair, because she was at the bottom of the Top 10.
In the Republican presidential election, the presence of three main candidates is causing vote splitting because each voter can only mark the name of one candidate. If instead each voter could indicate a second choice, pairwise counting could be done, and pairwise counting is not vulnerable to vote splitting. What does this really mean?
The writers of the U.S. Constitution knew about vote splitting, so they set up the electoral college voting method. At the time, without having even mechanical devices that could do sophisticated counting, that's the best they could do. Yet the founders of our nation would be dumbfounded by the stupidity of today's Congress. The founders expected that when better counting methods became practical — which they are now, because of computer technology — the members of Congress would update the Constitution to use better counting methods. Alas.
This summer many voters will see in action the process of delegate voting that has mostly remained unchanged since the early days of our nation. At the Republican convention there will be a first round of voting, and in that first round, none of the Republican candidates will receive a majority of votes — from the “delegates” who are supposed to represent us, the actual voters. Besides the unfairness that the delegates are insiders who get chosen as a reward for having done political favors, the bigger unfairness is that those delegates have no idea who the voters really prefer the most, overall. Why do they not know? We, the voters, or at least the “Republican” voters, were never asked for our second choice. (Of course a second choice is not needed for the Democratic convention.) The long-standing tradition is to assume that the delegates are smart people, and that the delegates who promised to vote (on the first round) for their candidate will, when necessary, shift their vote to the best of the remaining candidates. Ha! What really happens is that in back-room meetings delegates (and the unpopular candidates who only have a few delegates) are promised something they want in exchange for switching their vote, usually to the candidate who the party insiders prefer. And that person would be Marco Rubio, because he is a puppet of special interests. This does not mean that Marco Rubio will win. It means that Republican insiders will try to use the convention's vote-shifting process to defeat Donald Trump because his political views are unknown (and have changed dramatically over time). To a lessor extent, insiders will also try to defeat Ted Cruz because he is motivated by some personal prejudices that are in conflict with party “traditions.”
What can be done? Learn more! And please point out to family members and close friends that marking only a single candidate's name on an election ballot is primitive! For a clear explanation of the problem and the solution, please read the Declaration of Election-Method Reform Advocates, which is a document signed by a few of us who fully understand vote-counting methods. Thank you for learning! For that you are a hero!
Top 10 poll
Now that we can fit both the males and females into the same poll, we can compare the popularity of the males versus females. But remember that the show uses unfair single-mark balloting, so don't assume that the elimination order will be gender unbiased. In fact, a female is likely to be eliminated next, even if she is a better singer than all the males, simply because currently there are fewer males. The pairwise counting done in these VoteFair polls do not have that vote-splitting unfairness.
A few people voted in the Top 24 poll after the Thursday show started on the East coast, and those votes were removed. (Please wait for the new poll to start. Sometimes I'm busy on Thursday night and cannot close the poll until later that night, and cannot start the next poll until mid-day Friday.)
Top 24 commentary
The judges and producers were wise to abandon their original plans to have the judges choose almost all the top 10 contestants. Based on the results of this last week's VoteFair poll, the judges made wise decisions when they chose the four top singers, and this prevented the unfair results that otherwise would have happened with so many contestants and so many needed eliminations. The producers wisely allowed us, the viewers, to choose the other six.
Let's hope that TV producers do not forget the most important lesson from American Idol: It is popular because we, the viewers, get to vote, without the judges getting to have any voting influence. The TV shows that allow their judges to give extra points to their favorite(s) are so much less worthwhile to watch because it takes too many viewer votes to overcome those biases from the judges. At this point, the judges still can influence voting by what they say, and that's plenty of influence at this point (after they eliminated thousands of less-skilled singers).
Top 24 poll
The Season 15 VoteFair poll is now open! Share your preferences in this poll, so that next week you will know who to support with your official votes.
Ooops! Thank you Mrs. Dale Wester for pointing out my mistake in thinking the eliminated contestants were eligible as wildcard contestants. I admit that, although I watch (or just listen to) the show on Wednesday nights, I do not watch on Thursday nights. So I don't know what's said on the Thursday shows. As a fix, I have changed the word "wildcard" to "eliminated." It's still interesting to see which eliminated contestants are the most popular. (And if the show needs to pick a replacement for someone who can't continue, the results here could provide some info about who to consider.)
Season 15 summary table
Links to each week's results (with some exceptions) are in the summary table column headings.
The asterisk (*) below indicates the early elimination of Olivia Rox due to having been hospitalized with the flu and switching songs at the last minute.
|Photo||Contestant||Eliminated||Top females||Top males||Top 10||Top 8||Top 6||Top 5||Top 4||Top 3||Top 2||Final result|
|Trent Harmon||—||—||3||6||3 (tie)||2||2||1||1||1||Winner|
|LaPorsha Renae||—||3 (tie)||—||1||1||1||1||2||2||2||Runner-up|
|Sonika Vaid||—||2||—||2||3 (tie)||4||5||Out||—||—||—|
|Avalon Young||—||3 (tie)||—||7||5||Out||—||—||—||—||—|
|Olivia Rox||—||1||—||4 *||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—|
Cross-season poll, Seasons 1 through 14
Gender bias? Yes!
This year's cross-season poll reveals a clear gender bias in favor of male contestants. Ironically, in this gender bias, it is women who tend to prefer male singers, and apparently (based on various evidence) they vote more often in the official voting, so they tend to cause the winner to be a male. In contrast to official voting, this poll limits each voter to just one ballot.
This two-question poll — which admittedly is not statistically significant for many reasons — shows that Jax Cole and Joey Cook are more popular than the winner Nick Fradiani, and more popular than runner-up Nick Fradiani, even though Jax Cole was eliminated one week earlier, and Joey Cook was eliminated five weeks earlier.
As in previous years, Kelly Clarkson continues to be the most popular American Idol (among both winners and non-winners), and Carrie Underwood is second-most popular. Haley Reinhart (from Season 10) continues to rank high (third) because her fans regularly vote in this cross-season poll.
Interestingly this year's winner, Nick Fradiani, and runner-up, Nick Fradiani, are at the bottom of the overall poll, where they are competing with the most popular singers from previous seasons.
|First-most popular||Jax Cole (season 14)|
|Second-most popular||Joey Cook (season 14)|
|Third-most popular||Nick Fradiani (season 14)|
|Fourth-most popular||Clark Beckham (season 14)|
|Fifth-most popular||Rayvon Owen (season 14)|
|Sixth-most popular||Tyanna Jones (season 14)|
|Seventh-most popular||Sarina-Joi Crowe (season 14)|
|First-most popular||Kelly Clarkson (season 1)|
|Second-most popular||Carrie Underwood (season 4)|
|Third-most popular||Haley Reinhart (season 10)|
|Fourth-most popular||Adam Lambert (season 8)|
|Fifth-most popular||David Cook (season 7)|
|Sixth-most popular||Jennifer Hudson (season 3)|
is a tie among these choices
|Jena Irene (season 13)|
|Candice Glover (season 12)|
|Eighth-most popular||Jax Cole (season 14)|
|Ninth-most popular||Angie Miller (season 12)|
|Tenth-most popular||Clark Beckham (season 14)|
|11th-most popular||Nick Fradiani (season 14)|
Please help measure gender bias by voting in the cross-season poll
Please vote — just once! — in this year's cross-season poll. Your ballot will help measure the gender bias that is explained in the What's goin' on? section at the top of the Season 14 commentary page. Thanks!
Season 14 (2015)
Season 14 summary table
The asterisks (*) below indicate the early eliminations of Sarina-Joi Crowe and Joey Cook and Jax Cole, and the somewhat delayed elimination of Rayvon Owen.
For poll results, click on the column headings in this summary table.
First weekmales &
Second weekmales &
|Top 16males &
|Top 12||Top 11,
|Top 9||Top 8||Top 7||Top 6||Top 5||Top 4||Top 3||Top 2|
|Jax Cole||1 (tie)||2||2||3||?||3||2||2||2||2||2||1||1 *||Out|
|Rayvon Owen||9||6||5||7||?||8||7||7||7 *||5||5 *||4 *||Out||—|
|Tyanna Jones||1 (tie)||3||3||2||?||4||4||4||4||3||4||Out||—||—|
|Quentin Alexander||8 (tie)||3||2||5||?||5||5||6||6||6||Out||—||—||—|
|Joey Cook||4||4||4||6||?||2||3||3||3 *||Out||—||—||—||—|
|Sarina-Joi Crowe||6 (tie)||1||1||8 *||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Alexis Gomez||10||6 (tie)||8||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Katherine Winston||6 (tie)||5||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Savion Wright||8 (tie)||8||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
Cross-season poll, Seasons 1 through 13
Kelly Clarkson continues to be the overall most popular American Idol. Lots of Haley Reinhart fans vote here every year, so she is tied with ever-popular Carrie Underwood. At the bottom are Caleb Johnson and Jessica Sanchez and Alex Preston, so they will be eliminated from the next cross-season poll.
Invalid votes were removed before calculating these final results.
Season 13 (2014)
Season 13 summary table
For poll results, click on the column headings in this summary table.
|Contestant||Top 13||Top 12||Top 11||Top 10||Top 9||Top 8, First week||Top 8, Second week||Top 7||Top 6||Top 5||Top 4||Top 3||Top 2||Final
|Jessica Meuse||3||4||4||4 (tie)||4||4||4||4||4||4||4||Out||—||—|
|Sam Woolf||1||3||6||4 (tie)||5||6|
Cross-season poll, Seasons 1 through 12
Kelly Clarkson continues to be the overall most popular American Idol. Next, because of lots of her fans voting here, is Haley Reinhart. Next are Carrie Underwood, Angie Miller, and Candice Glover.
Season 12 (2013)
Season 12 summary table
The asterisks (*) below indicate and the delayed elimination of Lazaro Arbos and the slightly early elimination of Aubrey Cleland. (The elimination of first-ranked Angie Miller was not a significant surprise because many votes in this poll were cast before the performance night when Candice Glover gave especially great performances, and because Kree Harrison got lots of official votes from Country-music fans who do not vote in this poll.)
For poll results, click on the column headings in this summary table. The ranking information in parentheses is the official vote-count order that was announced on the show.
|Contestant||Top 10 females
Top 10 males
|Top 10||Top 9||Top 8||Top 7||Top 6||Top 5||Top 4,
|Top 3||Top 2||Finale|
|Candice Glover||3 (f)||2|
(in top 3)
|Kree Harrison||2 (f)||3|
(in top 3)
(in top 3)
|Angie Miller||1 (f)||1|
(in top 3)
(in top 3)
|Amber Holcomb||4 (f)||4|
|Janelle Arthur||6 (f)||6|
(in bottom 2)
|Lazaro Arbos||2 (m)||9|
|9 *||8 *||7 *|
(in top 3)
|Burnell Taylor||3 (m)||7|
|Devin Velez||1 (m)||5|
|Paul Jolley||5 (m)||8|
|Curtis Finch Jr.||4 (m)||10||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Aubrey Cleland||5 * (f)||Out||(on tour|
|Charlie Askew||10 (m)||Out||(in 12th|
|Nick Boddington||6 (m)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Breanna Steer||7 (f)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Vincent Powell||7 (m)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Adriana Latonio||8 (f)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Cortez Shaw||8 (m)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Tenna Torres||9 (f)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Elijah Liu||9 (m)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Zoanette Johnson||10 (f)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
Cross-season poll, seasons 1 through 11
On June 6 more than half the ballots (55%) in this cross-season poll had been cast by voters who are outside the United States. Those ballots have been removed. The results did not change much. Jessica Sanchez is still in first place. That does not necessarily mean that she is more popular than Phillip Phillips; rather it means that her fans vote here more than the fans of Phillip Phillips vote here.
Season 11 (2012)
Season 11 summary table
The asterisks (*) below indicate the very early elimination of Colton Dixon, and (in the preceding week) the early near-elimination (and judges' saving) of Jessica Sanchez. The numbers in parentheses indicate a different ranking based on re-calculating the results with a more-rigorous removal of non-US voters (from many countries around the world, but especially from the Philipines).
|Contestant||Pre-singing||Top 25||Top 13||Top 12||Top 10||Top 9||Top 8||Top 7,
|Top 6||Top 5||Top 4||Top 3||Top 2||Winner|
|This row has results
with non-US votes removed:
|Top 13||Top 12||Top 10||Top 9||Top 8||Top 7,
|Top 6||Top 5||Top 4||Top 3||(same)|
|Phillip Phillips||3 (m)||1 (m)||1 (m)||2 (3)||2||2 (1)||2||3||2 (1)||2||3||4||2||2||Winner|
|Jessica Sanchez||1 (f)||1 (f)||1 (f)||1 (tie) (2)||1||1 (2)||1||1* Saved||1 (2)||1||1 (2)||1||1||1||Runner-up|
|Joshua Ledet||6 (m)||2 (m)||3 (m)||3 (4)||5||6||7 (6)||5 (6)||5 (6)||5||4||3 (2)||3||Out||—|
|Hollie Cavanagh||2 (f)||2 (f)||2 (f)||1 (tie) (1)||3 (4)||5||6 (7)||7||7 (5)||4||2 (1)||2 (3)||Out||—||—|
|Skylar Laine||3 (f)||3 (f)||3 (f)||5 (6)||7 (6)||7||5||4||4||3||5||Out||—||—||—|
|Elise Testone||7 (f)||4 (f)||5 (f)||7||6 (7)||4||4||6 (5)||6 (7)||6||Out||—||—||—||—|
|Colton Dixon||1 (m)||3 (m)||2 (m)||4 (5)||4 (3)||3||3||2||3*||Out||—||—||—||—||—|
|DeAndre Brackensick||4 (m)||10 (m)||5 (m)||8||9||9||8||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Heejun Han||2 (m)||4 (m)||4 (m)||9||10||8||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Erika Van Pelt||6 (f)||8 (f)||4 (f)||6 (8)||8||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Shannon Magrane||5 (f)||6 (f)||6 (f)||10||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Jermaine Jones||5 (f)||6 (f)||6 (f)||10||Kicked|
|Jeremy Rosado||7 (m)||8 (m)||6 (m)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Reed Grimm||5 (m)||5 (m)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Jen Hirsh||4 (f)||5 (f)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Creighton Fraker||8 (m)||6 (m)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Aaron Marcellus||9 (tie) (m)||7 (m)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Hallie Day||9 (f)||7 (f)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Adam Brock||10 (m)||9 (m)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Chelsea Sorrell||11 (f)||9 (f)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Haley Johnsen||8 (f)||10 (f)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Baylie Brown||10 (f)||11 (f)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Chase Likens||11 (m)||11 (m)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Eben Franckewitz||9 (tie) (m)||12 (m)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Brielle Von Hugel||12 (f)||12 (f)||Out||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
Cross-season poll, Seasons 1 through 10
Many fans of Haley Reinhart found, and voted in, this cross-season poll. They ranked James Durbin, Scotty McCreery, and Lauren Alaina "insincerely" low, which is an attempt to vote "strategically". Fans of those and other singers failed to vote in this poll. As in any poll, the results are controlled by who votes, and who doesn't.
Why is there no VoteFair poll for the X-Factor show?
A fan of this site has asked "why is there no VoteFair poll for the X-Factor show?" Here is the answer:
For the American Idol show, the role of the VoteFair polls is to assist voters, who in turn are meaningfully helping their favorite singers. Note that on American Idol the judges do not win or lose.
In contrast, the X-Factor show amounts to four music producers being the contestants. The show calls them "judges", but they aren't. They control the singers. And each producer/"judge" favors "his" or "her" singers. That's too much intervention for the voters to feel like their votes are the only factor in determining who wins.
For a similar reason there are no VoteFair polls for shows in which the "judges" get to vote; that makes it difficult for audience votes to override the judges' votes. TV producers who try to replicate the success of American Idol are failing to realize that the popularity of American Idol is due to the fact that the voters are the only people who determine who wins.
(The So You Think You Can Dance show does handle the voting reasonably fairly, but a VoteFair poll for that show did not get enough voters here to justify offering a VoteFair poll in later seasons.)
Why not vote for the worst?
A website visitor has asked "why not vote for the worst?" There are several reasons, including these:
- Most voters would pretend that their most-disliked choice is the contestant who is the biggest competitor to their favorite, and they would try to "bury" that competitor in an attempt to protect their favorite. Even with first-choice-only voting such a strategy is unlikely to put the competitor into the bottom. If this kind of voting were used officially, it would lead to bigger surprises than what now occur.
- In the VoteFair American Idol poll, anyone can start at the bottom of the ballot and mark their most-disliked choice, and work upward toward their favorite choice. The voting and the counting method are symmetrical. As for the results, usually they would come out about the same, particularly in terms of who is most popular and who is least popular.
- Perhaps the most important reason for not voting for the worst is that it fosters hatred, which is already in excessive abundance around the globe. Contests are intended to be entertaining, and mean-spiritedness detracts from the enjoyment. Remember that enjoyment is more important than who wins and who loses. (Part of the reason the American Idol TV show is so popular is that it is fun to watch, and fun to talk about.)
This topic brings up an interesting question. When you are in an audience clapping for performers, and the loudness of the clapping is being used to determine who is most popular, is it ethical to clap loudly for your favorite choice and then only pretend to clap (with very little sound) for all the other contestants? That's an ethical question for you to consider. Fortunately the antidote to that technique is to recognize that measuring the loudness of clapping usually does not produce fair results when there are more than two choices, just as using first-choice-only ballots (and "plurality" counting) usually does not produce fair results when there are more than two choices.
Below is a table that summarizes the main causes of Season 10's early and delayed eliminations.
Early or delayed
(slight, three ways)
|Pia Toscano||Very early||
Vote splitting (not
first choice of enough fans)
Vote splitting (not
first choice of enough fans)
Season 10 summary table
The asterisks (*) below indicate the early elimination of Haley Reinhart and James Durbin, the very early elimination of Pia Toscano, the almost-elimination-and-saving of Casey Abrams, and the delayed elimination of Jacob Lusk.
For poll results, click on the column headings in the summary table below.
|Contestant||Top 12 females
Top 12 males
|Top 7 females
Top 6 males
|Top 12||Top 11
|Top 9||Top 8||Top 7||Top 6||Top 5||Top 4||Top 3||Top 2||Winner|
|Scotty McCreery||2 (m)||3 (m)||2||3||3||1||1||2||2||2||2||2||1||Winner|
|Lauren Alaina||3 (f)||2 (f)||5||5||5||6||3||3||3||4||4||3||2||Runner-up|
|Haley Reinhart||4 (f)||4 (f)||10||10||6||4||5||4||4||3||3||1*||Out||--|
|James Durbin||3 (m)||2 (m)||3||2||2||2||2||1||1||1||1*||Out||--||--|
|Jacob Lusk||4 (m)||6 (m)||9||9||8 (tie)||9*||8*||7*||6*||5||Out||--||--||--|
|Casey Abrams||1 (m)||1 (m)||4||4*||4|
|Stefano Langone||6 (m)|
|Paul McDonald||5 (m)||4 (m)||8||8||8 (tie)||8||7||Out||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Pia Toscano||1 (f)||1 (f)||1||1||1||3*||Out||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Thia Megia||2 (f)||3 (f)||7||6||9||Out||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Naima Adedapo||7 (f)|
|Karen Rodriguez||5 (f)||6 (f)||11||Out||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Ashthon Jones||9 (f)|
|Lauren Turner||6 (f)||Out||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Robbie Rosen||7 (m)||Out||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Tim Halperin||8 (m)||Out||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Julie Zorrilla||8 (f)||Out||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Brett Loewenstern||9 (m)||Out||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Jovany Barreto||10 (m)||Out||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Kendra Chantelle||10 (f)||Out||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Clint Jun Gamboa||11 (m)||Out||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Rachel Zevita||11 (f)||Out||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Jordan Dorsey||12 (m)||Out||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Ta-Tynisa Wilson||12 (f)||Out||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
Cross-season poll, Seasons 1 through 9
Below are the final results (and detailed results) for the cross-season poll (after removing multiple votes from the same voter). Lee DeWyze is ranked insincerely low by the more-numerous (in this poll) Siobhan Magnus fans, but he is not popular enough compared to Kris Allen to become the second-most-representative choice. As usual, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are near the top. The popular non-winners — Siobhan Magnus, Jennifer Hudson, and Clay Aiken — who are (here) more popular than their season's winner reminds us of the unfairness caused by vote splitting — and voting irregularities.
The asterisks (*) below indicate the early eliminations of Lilly Scott, Alex Lambert, Katelyn Epperly, Lacey Brown, Didi Benami, Katie Stevens, and Siobhan Magnus, the almost-elimination-and-saving of Michael Lynche, and the delayed eliminations of Paige Miles and Tim Urban.
|Contestant||Top 12 females
Top 12 males
|Top 10 females
Top 10 males
|Top 8 females
Top 8 males
|Top 12||Top 11||Top 10||Top 9
|Top 7||Top 6||Top 5||Top 4||Top 3||Top 2||Winner|
|Michael Lynche||5||5||4||6||6||5||5* Saved||6||5||6||5||4||Out||--||--|
Cross-season poll for seasons 1 through 8
The results of this cross-season poll (after removing duplicates) reveal that fans of Clay Aiken and David Archuleta are well-networked and telling one another to vote here. Each season, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are at or near the top because they are popular among all the people who vote here, even though they don't get as many first-choice votes.
Adam Lambert appears to be less popular, but the VoteFair representative ranking results reveal that he would be the most popular if the ballots from Clay Aiken fans were ignored. This also means that most Clay Aiken fans rank Adam Lambert insincerely low.
Overall, notice that this kind of comparison—where every ballot counts, and every voter ranks all the candidates—reveals true popularity more accurately than simply counting first-choice votes. (If your favorite wasn't in this poll, note that they didn't do well in previous cross-season polls.)
|First-most popular||Clay Aiken (season 2)|
|Second-most popular||Kelly Clarkson (season 1)|
|Third-most popular||Carrie Underwood (season 4)|
|Fourth-most popular||David Cook (season 7)|
|Fifth-most popular||David Archuleta (season 7)|
|Sixth-most popular||Kris Allen (season 8)|
|Seventh-most popular||Adam Lambert (season 8)|
|Eighth-most popular||Allison Iraheta (season 8)|
|Ninth-most popular||Jennifer Hudson (season 3)|
|Tenth-most popular||Jordin Sparks (season 6)|
|11th-most popular||Elliott Yamin (season 5)|
|12th-most popular||Danny Gokey (season 8)|