Searching For The American Idol

Internet picked Ron Paul, Now David Cook

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If Internet buzz is any indication of the future—and it’s not, mind you, unless Ron Paul really will get the Republican nomination—David Cook is your next American Idol. According to search metrics and questionable phone measurements, Cook edged out David Archuleta by the slimmest margin in Idol history.

We can start with our own metrics (sort of) by looking at Google Trends. In the past 30 days, Cook has consistently had the edge, according to searches on the names alone. Cook outdraws Archie especially in the Philippines, and in most US subregions (those listed appear to be US states) including in his home state of Missouri. Archuleta kills in Salt Lake City, though, in his neck of the…desert.

A word of caution to the teenage girls likely to pummel through the next American Idol travesty*: Utah gave us a pop star once. His name was Donny Osmond. You know, the big-toothed guy on Insider? Trust us. You don’t want to let that happen again.

Anyway, back on topic. Hitwise’s general manager of global research, Bill Tancer, did a much more in-depth analysis of search terms, including name variations and search query natures. (Yes, search queries have natures. Hang on and I’ll tell you.) Tancer writes:

"Of the 325 searches that we analyzed for David Cook, there is a strong interest in his music, as well as the plight of his brother who is battling cancer. While David Archuleta leads in volume of searches, the nature of the 231 searches on his name that we analyzed show a negative focus on the contestant’s meddling father."

Ooh, Tancer. Papa Archuleta is so coming after you for that one. Bill gives the edge, only slightly, to Cook.

Internet picked Ron Paul, Now David Cook

Zabasearch, in its annual publicity hunt, claims to have predicted correctly the past two Idol winners thanks to being able to monitor calls and texts to toll-free numbers. According to their calculations, Cook also wins, but narrowly. According to "Claude Z" at the DialIdol forum, though, they might be history revisionists.

DialIdol has its own method, using software to measure the length of time Idol voting lines stay busy. They’ve got Cook winning by a margin of ten points. And if the now famed "kiss of death" is true, all the judges being in Archuleta’s corner last night spells doom, too. It also means their ear for marketability is finer tuned than their ear for actual sounds.

You’d be hard-pressed to find consistency in gambling odds. Most, which set the odds before last night show, seem to favor Cook as well. But last-minute adjustments see the "underdog" Archuleta taking over. So, since the Internet picked Ron Paul and the one I like never wins, I’m calling Archuleta the winner, for no good reason at all. Besides, Vote for the Worst picks him, too. Remember Sanjaya?

We’ll find out tonight.

*Carly, we’re deeply, deeply sorry we’re too cool to text and too Generation X to vote, especially in a lame, Cobain-turning-over-in-his-grave type of poppy popularity contest where you should have been kicking ass and taking names with Morissettian intensity—you know, before she went soft because all that money took away her angst. Her and Jewel, both. And Seven Mary Three. And Mark McGrath. Oh, and Ice Cube, too. Dude totally punked out and went family movie. Still got that sawed off, Cube? Bet you traded it in for a cardigan sweater or something.

Searching For The American Idol
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  • Guest

    Unless I read the sarcasm wrong (And if I did, I apologize), you’re saying Carly Smithson being voted off was a travesty? lol Please. She was an industry plant who *gasp* had ties with the same record company Randy Jackson did. She was given $3 million to market an album that sold 600 copies. She never deserved to be there in the first place. And while we’re on the subject, Archuleta shouldn’t be there, either–he won Star Search! How is he an "unknown" amateur Idol contestant?

    What a joke. David Cook, FTW. We hope.



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