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VoteFair American Idol poll

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 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)

Season 15   (2016)

VoteFair Ballot

Cross-season poll, Seasons 1 through 14

Current Results

You can vote just once!
Non-U.S. votes and multiple votes from the same voter will be removed,
but you can tell other fans of your favorite to vote here.

 

The Creative Problem Solver's Toolbox

Written by the VoteFair guy:

The Creative Problem Solver's Toolbox
is now available as an ebook!

Published around the world in 10 languages,
the printed editions have helped — and inspired — tens of thousands of readers.

Yes, a Season 15 poll is planned.

 


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 is more popular than the winner Nick Fradiani.  It also shows that Joey Cook is as popular as Nick Fradiani, even though she 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.

Below are the official results of this year's cross-season poll, as of January 12.

Popularity Choice VoteFair
ranking
score
Traditional
vote count

(for comparison)
First-most popular Jax Cole (season 14)  Ranking score is 57 for Jax Cole (season 14) 6 voters marked Jax Cole (season 14) as their first choice
Second-most popular
is a tie among these choices
Nick Fradiani (season 14)  Ranking score is 40 for Nick Fradiani (season 14) 10 voters marked Nick Fradiani (season 14) as their first choice
Joey Cook (season 14)  Ranking score is 36 for Joey Cook (season 14) 12 voters marked Joey Cook (season 14) as their first choice
Third-most popular Clark Beckham (season 14)  Ranking score is 31 for Clark Beckham (season 14) 8 voters marked Clark Beckham (season 14) as their first choice
Fourth-most popular Rayvon Owen (season 14)  Ranking score is 20 for Rayvon Owen (season 14) 4 voters marked Rayvon Owen (season 14) as their first choice
Fifth-most popular Tyanna Jones (season 14)  Ranking score is 9 for Tyanna Jones (season 14) 0 voters marked Tyanna Jones (season 14) as their first choice
Sixth-most popular Sarina-Joi Crowe (season 14)  Ranking score is 0 for Sarina-Joi Crowe (season 14) 4 voters marked Sarina-Joi Crowe (season 14) as their first choice

 

Popularity Choice VoteFair
ranking
score
Traditional
vote count

(for comparison)
First-most popular Kelly Clarkson (season 1)  Ranking score is 67 for Kelly Clarkson (season 1) 10 voters marked Kelly Clarkson (season 1) as their first choice
Second-most popular Carrie Underwood (season 4)  Ranking score is 56 for Carrie Underwood (season 4) 5 voters marked Carrie Underwood (season 4) as their first choice
Third-most popular Haley Reinhart (season 10)  Ranking score is 46 for Haley Reinhart (season 10) 9 voters marked Haley Reinhart (season 10) as their first choice
Fourth-most popular Adam Lambert (season 8)  Ranking score is 41 for Adam Lambert (season 8) 5 voters marked Adam Lambert (season 8) as their first choice
Fifth-most popular David Cook (season 7)  Ranking score is 34 for David Cook (season 7) 3 voters marked David Cook (season 7) as their first choice
Sixth-most popular Jennifer Hudson (season 3)  Ranking score is 29 for Jennifer Hudson (season 3) 0 voter marked Jennifer Hudson (season 3) as their first choice
Seventh-most popular Jax Cole (season 14)  Ranking score is 21 for Jax Cole (season 14) 0 voters marked Jax Cole (season 14) as their first choice
Eighth-most popular Nick Fradiani (season 14)  Ranking score is 20 for Nick Fradiani (season 14) 5 voters marked Nick Fradiani (season 14) as their first choice
Ninth-most popular Clark Beckham (season 14)  Ranking score is 13 for Clark Beckham (season 14) 2 voters marked Clark Beckham (season 14) as their first choice
Tenth-most popular Jena Irene (season 13)  Ranking score is 9 for Jena Irene (season 13) 2 voters marked Jena Irene (season 13) as their first choice
11th-most popular Candice Glover (season 12)  Ranking score is 5 for Candice Glover (season 12) 0 voters marked Candice Glover (season 12) as their first choice
12th-most popular Angie Miller (season 12)  Ranking score is 0 for Angie Miller (season 12) 0 voters marked Angie Miller (season 12) as their first choice

 

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)

Link to Season 14 commentary

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.

Photo Contestant Top 24,
First week
males &
females
Top 24,
Second week
males &
females
Top 16
males &
females
Top 12 Top 11,
First week
(data lost)
Top 11,
Second week
Top 9 Top 8 Top 7 Top 6 Top 5 Top 4 Top 3 Top 2
nick fradianiNick Fradiani5234?66554333Winner
clark beckhamClark Beckham1111?11111122Out
jax coleJax Cole1 (tie)223?32222211 *Out
rayvon owenRayvon Owen9657?8777 *55 *4 *Out
tyanna jonesTyanna Jones1 (tie)332?444434Out
quentin alexanderQuentin Alexander8 (tie)325?55666Out
joey cookJoey Cook4446?2333 *Out
qaasim middletonQaasim Middleton74411Saved988Out
daniel seaveyDaniel Seavey35612?119Out
adanna duruAdanna Duru9979?7Out
maddie walkerMaddie Walker87510?10Out
sarina-joi croweSarina-Joi Crowe6 (tie)118 *Out
alexis gomezAlexis Gomez106 (tie)8Out
mark andrewMark Andrew698Out
loren lottLoren Lott7106Out
adam ezegelianAdam Ezegelian4117Out
katherine winstonKatherine Winston6 (tie)5Out
riley briaRiley Bria107Out
lovey jamesLovey James58Out
savion wrightSavion Wright8 (tie)8Out
trevor douglasTrevor Douglas1110Out
shannon berthiaumeShannon Berthiaume211Out
michael simeonMichael Simeon212Out
shi scottShi Scott312Out

 


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.

     
Popularity Choice VoteFair
ranking
score
Traditional
vote count

(for comparison)
First-most popular Kelly Clarkson (season 1)  Ranking score is 71 for Kelly Clarkson (season 1) 11 voters marked Kelly Clarkson (season 1) as their first choice
Second-most popular
is a tie among these choices
Haley Reinhart (season 10)  Ranking score is 53 for Haley Reinhart (season 10) 5 voters marked Haley Reinhart (season 10) as their first choice
Carrie Underwood (season 4)  Ranking score is 56 for Carrie Underwood (season 4) 5 voters marked Carrie Underwood (season 4) as their first choice
Third-most popular Jena Irene (season 13)  Ranking score is 45 for Jena Irene (season 13) 4 voters marked Jena Irene (season 13) as their first choice
Fourth-most popular Adam Lambert (season 8)  Ranking score is 35 for Adam Lambert (season 8) 3 voters marked Adam Lambert (season 8) as their first choice
Fifth-most popular Jennifer Hudson (season 3)  Ranking score is 31 for Jennifer Hudson (season 3) 0 voters marked Jennifer Hudson (season 3) as their first choice
Sixth-most popular Angie Miller (season 12)  Ranking score is 25 for Angie Miller (season 12) 3 voters marked Angie Miller (season 12) as their first choice
Seventh-most popular Candice Glover (season 12)  Ranking score is 19 for Candice Glover (season 12) 0 voters marked Candice Glover (season 12) as their first choice
Eighth-most popular David Cook (season 7)  Ranking score is 15 for David Cook (season 7) 4 voters marked David Cook (season 7) as their first choice
Ninth-most popular Caleb Johnson (season 13)  Ranking score is 10 for Caleb Johnson (season 13) 2 voters marked Caleb Johnson (season 13) as their first choice
Tenth-most popular Jessica Sanchez (season 11)  Ranking score is 5 for Jessica Sanchez (season 11) 0 voters marked Jessica Sanchez (season 11) as their first choice
11th-most popular Alex Preston (season 13)  Ranking score is 0 for Alex Preston (season 13) 0 voters marked Alex Preston (season 13) as their first choice

 


Season 13   (2014)

Link to Season 13 commentary

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
result
Caleb Johnson5613121222332Winner
Jena Irene6222312111111Runner-up
Alex Preston453123333322Out
Jessica Meuse3444 (tie)4444444Out
Sam Woolf1364 (tie)56
Saved
5555Out
CJ Harris10105798876Out
Dexter Roberts(omitted)9888776Out
Malaya Watson121196656Out
Majesty Rose21757Out
MK Nobilette812119Out
Ben Briley9810Out
Emily Piriz77Out
Kristen O'Connor11Out

 


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.

     
Popularity Choice VoteFair
ranking
score
Traditional
vote count

(for comparison)
First-most popular Kelly Clarkson (season 1)  Ranking score is 64 for Kelly Clarkson (season 1) 24 voters marked Kelly Clarkson (season 1) as their first choice
Second-most popular Haley Reinhart (season 10)  Ranking score is 50 for Haley Reinhart (season 10) 31 voters marked Haley Reinhart (season 10) as their first choice
Third-most popular Carrie Underwood (season 4)  Ranking score is 49 for Carrie Underwood (season 4) 21 voters marked Carrie Underwood (season 4) as their first choice
Fourth-most popular Angie Miller (season 12)  Ranking score is 38 for Angie Miller (season 12) 17 voters marked Angie Miller (season 12) as their first choice
Fifth-most popular Candice Glover (season 12)  Ranking score is 35 for Candice Glover (season 12) 22 voters marked Candice Glover (season 12) as their first choice
Sixth-most popular Jessica Sanchez (season 11)  Ranking score is 29 for Jessica Sanchez (season 11) 16 voters marked Jessica Sanchez (season 11) as their first choice
Seventh-most popular Jennifer Hudson (season 3)  Ranking score is 24 for Jennifer Hudson (season 3) 2 voters marked Jennifer Hudson (season 3) as their first choice
Eighth-most popular Adam Lambert (season 8)  Ranking score is 18 for Adam Lambert (season 8) 9 voters marked Adam Lambert (season 8) as their first choice
Ninth-most popular Phillip Phillips (season 11)  Ranking score is 14 for Phillip Phillips (season 11) 8 voters marked Phillip Phillips (season 11) as their first choice
Tenth-most popular David Cook (season 7)  Ranking score is 9 for David Cook (season 7) 9 voters marked David Cook (season 7) as their first choice
11th-most popular Kree Harrison (season 12)  Ranking score is 5 for Kree Harrison (season 12) 0 voter marked Kree Harrison (season 12) as their first choice
12th-most popular Amber Holcomb (season 12)  Ranking score is 0 for Amber Holcomb (season 12) 0 voter marked Amber Holcomb (season 12) as their first choice

Detailed results of VoteFair cross-season poll, Seasons 1 through 12

 


Season 12   (2013)

Link to Season 12 commentary

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,
first week
Top 4,
second week
Top 3 Top 2 Finale
Candice Glover3 (f)2
(in top 3)
3221
(top 2)
12
(bottom 2)
221Winner
Kree Harrison2 (f)3
(in top 3)
211
(in top 3)
2
(top 2)
3
(bottom 2)
3
(top 2)
332Runner-up
Angie Miller1 (f)1
(in top 3)
133
(in top 3)
321
(top 2)
11 *Out
Amber Holcomb4 (f)4
(in 5th)
4444
(bottom 2)
44
(bottom 2)
4Out
Janelle Arthur6 (f)6
(in 6th)
555
(in bottom 2)
55Out
Lazaro Arbos2 (m)9
(in 4th)
9 *8 *7 *
(in top 3)
6Out
Burnell Taylor3 (m)7
(in 7th)
666Out
Devin Velez1 (m)5
(in 9th)
77Out
Paul Jolley5 (m)8
(in 8th)
8Out
Curtis Finch Jr.4 (m)10Out
Aubrey Cleland5 * (f)Out(on tour
as 11th)
Charlie Askew10 (m)Out(in 12th
place)
Nick Boddington6 (m)Out
Breanna Steer7 (f)Out
Vincent Powell7 (m)Out
Adriana Latonio8 (f)Out
Cortez Shaw8 (m)Out
Tenna Torres9 (f)Out
Elijah Liu9 (m)Out
Zoanette Johnson10 (f)Out

 


Cross-season poll, seasons 1 through 11

Here is a link to this cross-season poll results

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)

Link to Season 11 commentary

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,
first week
Top 7,
second week
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,
first week
Top 7,
second week
Top 6 Top 5 Top 4 Top 3 (same)  
Phillip Phillips3 (m)1 (m)1 (m)2 (3)22 (1)232 (1)23422Winner
Jessica Sanchez1 (f)1 (f)1 (f)1 (tie) (2)11 (2)11* Saved1 (2)11 (2)111Runner-up
Joshua Ledet6 (m)2 (m)3 (m)3 (4)567 (6)5 (6)5 (6)543 (2)3Out
Hollie Cavanagh2 (f)2 (f)2 (f)1 (tie) (1)3 (4)56 (7)77 (5)42 (1)2 (3)Out
Skylar Laine3 (f)3 (f)3 (f)5 (6)7 (6)754435Out
Elise Testone7 (f)4 (f)5 (f)76 (7)446 (5)6 (7)6Out
Colton Dixon1 (m)3 (m)2 (m)4 (5)4 (3)3323*Out
DeAndre Brackensick4 (m)10 (m)5 (m)8998Out
Heejun Han2 (m)4 (m)4 (m)9108Out
Erika Van Pelt6 (f)8 (f)4 (f)6 (8)8Out
Shannon Magrane5 (f)6 (f)6 (f)10Out
Jermaine Jones5 (f)6 (f)6 (f)10Kicked
out
Jeremy Rosado7 (m)8 (m)6 (m)Out
Reed Grimm5 (m)5 (m)Out
Jen Hirsh4 (f)5 (f)Out
Creighton Fraker8 (m)6 (m)Out
Aaron Marcellus9 (tie) (m)7 (m)Out
Hallie Day9 (f)7 (f)Out
Adam Brock10 (m)9 (m)Out
Chelsea Sorrell11 (f)9 (f)Out
Haley Johnsen8 (f)10 (f)Out
Baylie Brown10 (f)11 (f)Out
Chase Likens11 (m)11 (m)Out
Eben Franckewitz9 (tie) (m)12 (m)Out
Brielle Von Hugel12 (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.

     
Popularity Choice VoteFair
ranking
score
Traditional
vote count

(for comparison)
First-most popular Haley Reinhart (season 10)  Ranking score is 63 for Haley Reinhart (season 10) 171 voters marked Haley Reinhart (season 10) as their first choice
Second-most popular Carrie Underwood (season 4)  Ranking score is 61 for Carrie Underwood (season 4) 57 voters marked Carrie Underwood (season 4) as their first choice
Third-most popular Kelly Clarkson (season 1)  Ranking score is 57 for Kelly Clarkson (season 1) 52 voters marked Kelly Clarkson (season 1) as their first choice
Fourth-most popular David Cook (season 7)  Ranking score is 46 for David Cook (season 7) 84 voters marked David Cook (season 7) as their first choice
Fifth-most popular Adam Lambert (season 8)  Ranking score is 36 for Adam Lambert (season 8) 43 voters marked Adam Lambert (season 8) as their first choice
Sixth-most popular Kris Allen (season 8)  Ranking score is 30 for Kris Allen (season 8) 20 voters marked Kris Allen (season 8) as their first choice
Seventh-most popular Jennifer Hudson (season 3)  Ranking score is 24 for Jennifer Hudson (season 3) 8 voters marked Jennifer Hudson (season 3) as their first choice
Eighth-most popular Siobhan Magnus (season 9)  Ranking score is 18 for Siobhan Magnus (season 9) 30 voters marked Siobhan Magnus (season 9) as their first choice
Ninth-most popular James Durbin (season 10)  Ranking score is 14 for James Durbin (season 10) 23 voters marked James Durbin (season 10) as their first choice
Tenth-most popular Scotty McCreery (season 10)  Ranking score is 9 for Scotty McCreery (season 10) 34 voters marked Scotty McCreery (season 10) as their first choice
11th-most popular Lauren Alaina (season 10)  Ranking score is 5 for Lauren Alaina (season 10) 10 voters marked Lauren Alaina (season 10) as their first choice
12th-most popular Lee DeWyze (season 9)  Ranking score is 0 for Lee DeWyze (season 9) 5 voters marked Lee DeWyze (season 9) as their first choice

Detailed results of cross-season poll

 


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.

 


Season 10

Link to Season 10 commentary

Below is a table that summarizes the main causes of Season 10's early and delayed eliminations.

Contestant Early or delayed
elimination
Vote splitting
or concentration
AT&T text-
messaging issues
Phone
voting issues
Online
voting issues
Country-music
voting bloc
Haley Reinhart Early
(slightly)
Vote splitting
(slight, three ways)
Non-viewers
voting
Saturated lines
(texting advantage)
  Disliked
(versus Lauren)
James Durbin Early Vote splitting
(James/Haley/Lauren)
Non-viewers
voting
Phone-system
failure
(Reports of
failures)
Disliked
(relatively)
Jacob Lusk Delayed Concentration Power voting?
(demographic unknown)
     
Pia Toscano Very early Vote splitting (not
first choice of enough fans)
       
Casey Abrams Early
(then saved)
Vote splitting (not
first choice of enough fans)
       
Thia Megia Delayed Concentration
(online votes)
    Votes from
Philipines
 

 

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
First Week
Top 11
Second Week
Top 9 Top 8 Top 7 Top 6 Top 5 Top 4 Top 3 Top 2 Winner
Scotty McCreery2 (m)3 (m)23311222221Winner
Lauren Alaina3 (f)2 (f)55563334432Runner-up
Haley Reinhart4 (f)4 (f)101064544331*Out--
James Durbin3 (m)2 (m)322221111*Out----
Jacob Lusk4 (m)6 (m)998 (tie)9*8*7*6*5Out------
Casey Abrams1 (m)1 (m)44*4
Judge's save!
5455Out--------
Stefano Langone6 (m)
(wildcard)
5 (m)677766Out----------
Paul McDonald5 (m)4 (m)888 (tie)87Out------------
Pia Toscano1 (f)1 (f)1113*Out--------------
Thia Megia2 (f)3 (f)769Out----------------
Naima Adedapo7 (f)
(wildcard)
5 (f)121110Out----------------
Karen Rodriguez5 (f)6 (f)11Out--------------------
Ashthon Jones9 (f)
(wildcard)
7 (f)Out----------------------
Lauren Turner6 (f)Out------------------------
Robbie Rosen7 (m)Out------------------------
Tim Halperin8 (m)Out------------------------
Julie Zorrilla8 (f)Out------------------------
Brett Loewenstern9 (m)Out------------------------
Jovany Barreto10 (m)Out------------------------
Kendra Chantelle10 (f)Out------------------------
Clint Jun Gamboa11 (m)Out------------------------
Rachel Zevita11 (f)Out------------------------
Jordan Dorsey12 (m)Out------------------------
Ta-Tynisa Wilson12 (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.

     
Popularity Choice VoteFair
ranking
score
Traditional
vote count

(for comparison)
First-most popular Kris Allen (season 8)  Ranking score is 53 for Kris Allen (season 8) 50 voters marked Kris Allen (season 8) as their first choice
Second-most popular Siobhan Magnus (season 9)  Ranking score is 51 for Siobhan Magnus (season 9) 84 voters marked Siobhan Magnus (season 9) as their first choice
Third-most popular Kelly Clarkson (season 1)  Ranking score is 50 for Kelly Clarkson (season 1) 24 voters marked Kelly Clarkson (season 1) as their first choice
Fourth-most popular Carrie Underwood (season 4)  Ranking score is 40 for Carrie Underwood (season 4) 42 voters marked Carrie Underwood (season 4) as their first choice
Fifth-most popular Adam Lambert (season 8)  Ranking score is 35 for Adam Lambert (season 8) 29 voters marked Adam Lambert (season 8) as their first choice
Sixth-most popular Jennifer Hudson (season 3)  Ranking score is 30 for Jennifer Hudson (season 3) 25 voters marked Jennifer Hudson (season 3) as their first choice
Seventh-most popular David Cook (season 7)  Ranking score is 25 for David Cook (season 7) 26 voters marked David Cook (season 7) as their first choice
Eighth-most popular Lee DeWyze (season 9)  Ranking score is 18 for Lee DeWyze (season 9) 44 voters marked Lee DeWyze (season 9) as their first choice
Ninth-most popular Casey James (season 9)  Ranking score is 12 for Casey James (season 9) 20 voters marked Casey James (season 9) as their first choice
Tenth-most popular Clay Aiken (season 2)  Ranking score is 8 for Clay Aiken (season 2) 33 voters marked Clay Aiken (season 2) as their first choice
11th-most popular David Archuleta (season 7)  Ranking score is 4 for David Archuleta (season 7) 15 voters marked David Archuleta (season 7) as their first choice
12th-most popular Crystal Bowersox (season 9)  Ranking score is 0 for Crystal Bowersox (season 9) 22 voters marked Crystal Bowersox (season 9) as their first choice

 


Season 9

Link to Season 9 commentary

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
First Time
Top 9
Second Time
Top 7 Top 6 Top 5 Top 4 Top 3 Top 2 Winner
Lee DeWyze31133233232222Winner
Crystal Bowersox11122111121111Runner-up
Casey James2224444444333Out--
Michael Lynche5546655* Saved65654Out----
Aaron Kelly46675677654Out------
Siobhan Magnus4221132231*Out--------
Tim Urban1287*12*9*10*9*8*7Out----------
Katie Stevens56798865*Out------------
Andrew Garcia1351010989Out------------
Didi Benami244577*Out----------------
Paige Miles1188*11*11Out------------------
Lacey Brown10968*Out--------------------
Lilly Scott333*Out----------------------
Alex Lambert843*Out----------------------
Katelyn Epperly655*Out----------------------
Todrick Hall778Out----------------------
Michelle Delamor77Out------------------------
John Park109Out------------------------
Jermaine Sellers1110Out------------------------
Haeley Vaughn1210Out------------------------
Tyler Grady6Out--------------------------
Janell Wheeler8Out--------------------------
Ashley Rodriguez9Out--------------------------
Joe Muņoz9Out--------------------------

 


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.)

(Detailed results)

Popularity Choice VoteFair
ranking
score
Traditional
vote count

(for comparison)
First-most popular Clay Aiken (season 2)  Ranking score is 49 for Clay Aiken (season 2) 2371 voters marked Clay Aiken (season 2) as their first choice
Second-most popular Kelly Clarkson (season 1)  Ranking score is 46 for Kelly Clarkson (season 1) 53 voters marked Kelly Clarkson (season 1) as their first choice
Third-most popular Carrie Underwood (season 4)  Ranking score is 39 for Carrie Underwood (season 4) 50 voters marked Carrie Underwood (season 4) as their first choice
Fourth-most popular David Cook (season 7)  Ranking score is 34 for David Cook (season 7) 203 voters marked David Cook (season 7) as their first choice
Fifth-most popular David Archuleta (season 7)  Ranking score is 31 for David Archuleta (season 7) 1390 voters marked David Archuleta (season 7) as their first choice
Sixth-most popular Kris Allen (season 8)  Ranking score is 27 for Kris Allen (season 8) 204 voters marked Kris Allen (season 8) as their first choice
Seventh-most popular Adam Lambert (season 8)  Ranking score is 20 for Adam Lambert (season 8) 1545 voters marked Adam Lambert (season 8) as their first choice
Eighth-most popular Allison Iraheta (season 8)  Ranking score is 16 for Allison Iraheta (season 8) 98 voters marked Allison Iraheta (season 8) as their first choice
Ninth-most popular Jennifer Hudson (season 3)  Ranking score is 12 for Jennifer Hudson (season 3) 50 voters marked Jennifer Hudson (season 3) as their first choice
Tenth-most popular Jordin Sparks (season 6)  Ranking score is 8 for Jordin Sparks (season 6) 51 voters marked Jordin Sparks (season 6) as their first choice
11th-most popular Elliott Yamin (season 5)  Ranking score is 5 for Elliott Yamin (season 5) 50 voters marked Elliott Yamin (season 5) as their first choice
12th-most popular Danny Gokey (season 8)  Ranking score is 0 for Danny Gokey (season 8) 57 voters marked Danny Gokey (season 8) as their first choice
 

Season 8 poll

Link to Season 8 commentary

The asterisks (*) below indicate the early eliminations of Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta, and Alexis Grace.

Contestant Group 1, Group 2,
Group 3, Wild card
Top 13
(pre-vote)
Top 11 Top 10 Top 9 Top 8 Top 7 Top 7,
again
Top 5 Top 4 Top 3 Top 2 Winner
Kris Allen4 (g2)74444322322Winner
Adam Lambert1 (g2)12111111111*Runner-up
Danny Gokey1 (g1)2123344443Out--
Allison Iraheta2 (g2)333222332*Out----
Matt Giraud6 (g2)
(2 in wc)
655555
(saved)
55Out------
Anoop Desai3 (g1)
(1 in wc)
9766666Out--------
Lil Rounds1 (g3)4877777Out--------
Scott MacIntyre2 (g3)810988Out------------
Megan Corkrey3 (g2)
(2 in wc)
10989Out--------------
Michael Sarver5 (g1)111110Out----------------
Alexis Grace2 (g1)56*Out------------------
Jasmine Murray8 (g2)
(5 in wc)
12Out--------------------
Jorge Nunez3 (g3)13Out--------------------
Ricky Braddy4 (g1)
(4 in wc)
Out----------------------
Felicia Barton4 (g3)Out----------------------
Mishavonna Henson5 (g2)Out----------------------
Ju'Not Joyner5 (g3)Out----------------------
Ann Marie Boskovich6 (g1)Out----------------------
Kristen McNamara6 (g3)Out----------------------
Tatiana Nicole Del Toro7 (g1)
(8 in wc)
Out----------------------
Jesse Langseth7 (g2)
(6 in wc)
Out----------------------
Von Smith7 (g3)
(7 in wc)
Out----------------------
Brent Keith8 (g1)Out----------------------
Kendall Beard8 (g3)Out----------------------
Jackie Tohn9 (g1)Out----------------------
Kai Kalama9 (g2)Out----------------------
Taylor Vaifanua9 (g3)Out----------------------
Stephen Fowler10 (g1)Out----------------------
Nick Mitchell10 (g2)Out----------------------
Arianna Afsar10 (g3)Out----------------------
Casey Carlson11 (g1)Out----------------------
Matt Breitzke11 (g2)Out----------------------
Alex Wagner-Trugman11 (g3)Out----------------------
Stevie Wright12 (g1)Out----------------------
Jeanine Vailes12 (g2)Out----------------------
Nathaniel Marshall12 (g3)Out----------------------

 


Cross-season poll for seasons 1 through 7

The results of this cross-season poll (after removing duplicates) reveal that fans of David Archuleta are well-networked and telling one another to vote here.  Also notice that some of the first-place winners are at or near the bottom.  This demonstrates the unfairness of using (primitive) single-mark ballots.  The more popular singers would have been the winners if official voting used order-of-preference ballots.  (Detailed results)

Popularity Choice VoteFair
ranking
score
Traditional
vote count

(for comparison)
First-most popular David Archuleta (season 7)  Ranking score is 93 for David Archuleta (season 7) 1047 voters marked David Archuleta (season 7) as their first choice
Second-most popular Carrie Underwood (season 4)  Ranking score is 61 for Carrie Underwood (season 4) 35 voters marked Carrie Underwood (season 4) as their first choice
Third-most popular Kelly Clarkson (season 1)  Ranking score is 55 for Kelly Clarkson (season 1) 25 voters marked Kelly Clarkson (season 1) as their first choice
Fourth-most popular Elliott Yamin (season 5)  Ranking score is 43 for Elliott Yamin (season 5) 7 voters marked Elliott Yamin (season 5) as their first choice
Fifth-most popular Jordin Sparks (season 6)  Ranking score is 37 for Jordin Sparks (season 6) 6 voters marked Jordin Sparks (season 6) as their first choice
Sixth-most popular Clay Aiken (season 2)  Ranking score is 31 for Clay Aiken (season 2) 2 voters marked Clay Aiken (season 2) as their first choice
Seventh-most popular David Cook (season 7)  Ranking score is 26 for David Cook (season 7) 55 voters marked David Cook (season 7) as their first choice
Eighth-most popular Jennifer Hudson (season 3)  Ranking score is 19 for Jennifer Hudson (season 3) 0 voter marked Jennifer Hudson (season 3) as their first choice
Ninth-most popular Ruben Studdard (season 2)  Ranking score is 12 for Ruben Studdard (season 2) 0 voters marked Ruben Studdard (season 2) as their first choice
Tenth-most popular Blake Lewis (season 6)  Ranking score is 8 for Blake Lewis (season 6) 2 voters marked Blake Lewis (season 6) as their first choice
Eleventh-most popular Taylor Hicks (season 5)  Ranking score is 4 for Taylor Hicks (season 5) 0 voter marked Taylor Hicks (season 5) as their first choice
Twelfth-most popular Fantasia Barrino (season 3)  Ranking score is 0 for Fantasia Barrino (season 3) 0 voter marked Fantasia Barrino (season 3) as their first choice

 


Season 7 commentary

The final VoteFair poll results indicated that David Archuleta was slightly more popular than David Cook, so why did David Cook win?

Having the phone lines open for four hours surely limited the late-night and after-midnight calls from younger fansDavid Archuleta has more young fans than David Cook, so this gave an advantage to older fans, and therefore David Cook.  This alone could account for the surprise result.

In a broader sense, the VoteFair poll cannot predict this kind of surprise because this poll does not attempt to duplicate the same conditions—especially limited hours and multiple votes—that characterize the official voting.  These different conditions easily account for the different results.  Also remember that this was a close race in both the official results and the VoteFair poll.  When a race is close, anything can happen.

Why was Michael Johns eliminated early?

Unlike the other seven singers (still there when he was eliminated), Michael Johns did not receive a concentration of first-choice votes from an established large fan base willing to continuously dial his phone number.  That happened because, relatively speaking, he does not appeal to any ready-made, well-defined, and well-networked fan base.  In contrast, keeping in mind that averages do not apply to individuals, consider that rock-music fans would tend to concentrate votes on David Cook, country-music fans would tend to concentrate votes on Kristy Lee Cook, African Americans would tend to concentrate votes on Syesha Mercado, female pre-teens and teens would tend to concentrate votes on Jason Castro and David Archuleta, fans of female musicians would tend to concentrate votes on Brooke White (as the most popular female singer), conservative adults would tend to concentrate votes on David Archuleta and Brooke White, and rebellious teenagers and vocal-quality-conscious musicians would tend to concentrate votes on Carly Smithson.  Why didn't the previous week's VoteFair poll predict his early elimination?  Because in this poll each voter votes only once, whereas the official voting allows dedicated fans to vote as many times as the phone system can handle.  Note that vote concentration is the flip side of vote splitting.

 

This table summarizes the VoteFair poll results.  To view any week's poll rankings and details, click the link(s) in that week's heading.  Asterisks indicate cases where vote splitting or vote concentration caused a delayed elimination—in the case of Kristy Lee Cook and Syesha Mercado—or early elimination—in the case of Michael Johns.

Contestant Top 12 females
Top 12 males
Top 10 females
Top 10 males
Top 8 females
Top 8 males
Top 6 females
Top 6 males
Top 11 Top 10 Top 9 Top 8 Top 7 Top 6 Top 5 Top 4 Top 3 Top 2 Winner
David Cook5 (m)5 (m)4 (m)2 (m)2223221122Winner
David Archuleta1 (m)1 (m)1 (m)1 (m)1111112211Runner
up
Syesha Mercado2 (f)3 (f)4 (f)4 (f)9777 *66 *5 *4 *3Out--
Jason Castro3 (m)3 (m)3 (m)4 (m)56623333Out----
Brooke White4 (f)2 (f)2 (f)1 (f)3335454Out------
Carly Smithson6 (f)5 (f)3 (f)2 (f)455654Out--------
Kristy Lee Cook10 (f)8 (f)6 (f)6 (f)11 *10 *9 *8 *7 *Out----------
Michael Johns2 (m)2 (m)2 (m)3 (m)6444 *Out------------
Ramiele Malubay1 (f)1 (f)1 (f)3 (f)788Out--------------
Chikezie Eze11 (m)8 (m)6 (m)6 (m)89Out----------------
Amanda Overmyer7 (f)10 (f)8 (f)5 (f)10Out------------------
David Hernandez6 (m)4 (m)5 (m)5 (m)Out--------------------
Asia'h Epperson3 (f)4 (f)5 (f)Out----------------------
Danny Norriega7 (m)7 (m)7 (m)Out----------------------
Kady Malloy8 (f)7 (f)7 (f)Out----------------------
Luke Menard9 (m)9 (m)8 (m)Out----------------------
Alaina Whitaker5 (f)6 (f)Out------------------------
Robbie Carrico4 (m)6 (m)Out------------------------
Alexandréa Lushington9 (f)9 (f)Out------------------------
Jason Yeager10 (m)10 (m)Out------------------------
Colton David Berry8 (m)Out--------------------------
Joanne Borgella11 (f)Out--------------------------
Amy Jean Davis12 (f)Out--------------------------
Garrett Haley12 (m)Out--------------------------

 


Cross-season poll for seasons 1 through 6

In this summary table, notice that some of the first-place winners are at or near the bottom.  This demonstrates the unfairness of using (primitive) single-mark ballots.  The more popular singers would have been the winners if official voting used order-of-preference ballots.  (Detailed results)

Popularity Choice VoteFair
ranking
score
Traditional
vote count

(for comparison)
First-most popular Carrie Underwood (season 4)  Ranking score is 59 for Carrie Underwood (season 4) 19 voters marked Carrie Underwood (season 4) as their first choice
Second-most popular Kelly Clarkson (season 1)  Ranking score is 54 for Kelly Clarkson (season 1) 18 voters marked Kelly Clarkson (season 1) as their first choice
Third-most popular Jordin Sparks (season 6)  Ranking score is 54 for Jordin Sparks (season 6) 39 voters marked Jordin Sparks (season 6) as their first choice
Fourth-most popular Elliott Yamin (season 5)  Ranking score is 38 for Elliott Yamin (season 5) 8 voters marked Elliott Yamin (season 5) as their first choice
Fifth-most popular Melinda Doolittle (season 6)  Ranking score is 34 for Melinda Doolittle (season 6) 20 voters marked Melinda Doolittle (season 6) as their first choice
Sixth-most popular Blake Lewis (season 6)  Ranking score is 27 for Blake Lewis (season 6) 19 voters marked Blake Lewis (season 6) as their first choice
Seventh-most popular Clay Aiken (season 2)  Ranking score is 23 for Clay Aiken (season 2) 9 voters marked Clay Aiken (season 2) as their first choice
Eighth-most popular Jennifer Hudson (season 3)  Ranking score is 18 for Jennifer Hudson (season 3) 3 voters marked Jennifer Hudson (season 3) as their first choice
Ninth-most popular Katharine McPhee (season 5)  Ranking score is 13 for Katharine McPhee (season 5) 6 voters marked Katharine McPhee (season 5) as their first choice
Tenth-most popular Taylor Hicks (season 5)  Ranking score is 7 for Taylor Hicks (season 5) 8 voters marked Taylor Hicks (season 5) as their first choice
Eleventh-most popular Ruben Studdard (season 2)  Ranking score is 4 for Ruben Studdard (season 2) 0 voters marked Ruben Studdard (season 2) as their first choice
Twelfth-most popular Fantasia Barrino (season 3)  Ranking score is 0 for Fantasia Barrino (season 3) 0 voters marked Fantasia Barrino (season 3) as their first choice

 


Season 6

In season 6, vote splitting and vote concentration (which is the flip-side of vote splitting) caused the long-running delay in eliminating Sanjaya Malakar, and caused the slightly early elimination of Melinda Doolittle. (They are marked with asterisks in the table.)

In this VoteFair poll, Sanjaya was correctly identified as being the least popular every week for 8 weeks.  During that time he was designated by the "vote for the worst" website and radio-show host Howard Stern as "the worst", and worthy of votes to make the show entertaining.  This concentration of votes is the flip-side of vote-splitting.

As in politics, which also uses single-mark ballots, money is concentrated on a single candidate in each U.S. primary election, and if necessary money is used to temporarily back a candidate who is politically similar to the candidate who is most disliked by the biggest sources of money.

There was never any chance of Sanjaya winning.  The strategy of concentrating votes in contests where only first-choice preferences are considered can work when there are lots of other contestants among whom the other voters split their votes.  However, the strategy fails when there are fewer choices.

Melinda was eliminated before Blake Lewis because she and Jordin split the primitive single-mark (official) votes of the voters who preferred a female winner, while voters who preferred a male winner concentrated their votes on the same person.  (If voting had been split into two-way ("pairwise") contests, Jordin would have won over Blake, and Melinda would have won over Blake.)  Nevertheless, Melinda is not as popular as a first choice, and that's all that counts in single-mark-ballot voting.

The lesson?  The person with the most (first-choice) votes is not necessarily the most popular, and the person with the fewest (first-choice) votes is not necessarily the least popular.

Learn more about vote splitting at Wikipedia.

 

(Asterisks indicate delayed or premature eliminations.)

Contestant Top 12
males

Top 12
females
Top 10
males

Top 10
females
Top 8
males

Top 8
females
Top 12 Top 11 Top 10 Top 9 Top 8 Top 7 Top 6
First week
Top 6
Second week
Top 4 Top 3 Top 2 Winner
Jordin Sparks4-tie
(f)
3 (f)3 (f)42221112121Winner
Blake Lewis1 (m)1 (m)1 (m)33333233332Out
Melinda Doolittle2 (f)2 (f)1 (f)1111232121 *Out--
Lakisha Jones1 (f)1 (f)2 (f)244444454Out----
Phil Stacey3 (m)3 (m)4 (m)910976654Out------
Chris Richardson4 (m)4 (m)3 (m)75665566Out------
Sanjaya Malakar10 (m)10 (m) *8 (m) *12 *11 *10 *9 *8 *7 *Out----------
Haley Scarnato7-tie
(f)
7 (f)7 (f)119887Out------------
Gina Glocksen4-tie
(f)
6 (f)6 (f)6755Out--------------
Chris Sligh2 (m)2 (m)2 (m)567Out----------------
Stephanie Edwards6 (f)4 (f)5 (f)88Out------------------
Brandon Rogers5 (m)7 (m)6 (m)10Out--------------------
Sabrina Sloan3 (f)5 (f)4 (f)Out----------------------
Sundance Head11 (m)5 (m)5 (m)Out----------------------
Jared Cotter8 (m)6 (m)7 (m)Out----------------------
Antonella Barba11 (f)10 (f)8 (f)Out----------------------
Leslie Hunt7-tie
(f)
8 (f)Out------------------------
Nicholas Pedro7 (m)8 (m)Out------------------------
Alaina Alexander10 (f)9 (f)Out------------------------
A. J. Tabaldo6 (m)9 (m)Out------------------------
Nicole Tranquillo7-tie
(f)
Out--------------------------
Amy Krebs12 (f)Out--------------------------
Rudy Cardenas9 (m)Out--------------------------
Paul Kim12 (m)Out--------------------------

 


Results of cross-season polls

Five-season poll results based on 2,000 votes
(after repeat votes eliminated) (detailed results)

  1. Clay Aiken
  2. Kelly Clarkson
  3. Taylor Hicks (second-most representative)
  4. Carrie Underwood
  5. Elliott Yamin
  6. Chris Daughtry
  7. Bo Bice
  8. Ruben Studdard
  9. Katharine McPhee
  10. Constantine Maroulis
  11. Fantasia Barrino

Four-season poll results based on 6,338 votes
(after repeat votes eliminated) (detailed results)

  1. Clay Aiken
  2. Kelly Clarkson
  3. Carrie Underwood
  4. Bo Bice
  5. Constantine Maroulis (second-most representative)

 

Season 5 summary

In season 5 there were three unfairly early eliminations. (They are marked with asterisks in the table.)

Contestant Top 12 females Top 12 males Top 10 females Top 10 males Top 8 females Top 8 males Top 12
ranking
Top 11
ranking
Top 10
ranking
Top 9
ranking
Top 8
ranking
Top 7
ranking
Top 6
ranking
Top 5
ranking
Top 4
ranking
Top 3
ranking
Top 2
ranking
Final
result
Taylor Hicks1 (m)1 (m)2 (m)23111111111Winner
Katharine McPhee3 (f)1 (f)1 (tie) (f)31354444432Out
Elliott Yamin4 (m)4 (m)3 (m)6652333222 *Out--
Chris Daughtry3 (m)2 (m)1 (m)122322233 *Out----
Paris Bennett1 (f)2 (f)4 (f)97667555Out------
Kellie Pickler4 (f)4 (f)1 (tie) (f)5577566Out--------
Ace Young2 (m)3 (m)4 (m)898987Out----------
Bucky Covington9-tie (m)5 (m)5 (m)1010986Out------------
Mandisa5 (f)6 (f)3 (f)4444 *Out--------------
Lisa Tucker2 (f)3 (f)6 (f)7810Out----------------
Kevin Corvais6 (m)7 (m)7 (m)1211Out------------------
Melissa McGhee77 (f)7 (f)11Out--------------------
Gedeon McKinney8 (m)9 (m)6 (m)Out----------------------
Ayla Brown6 (f)5 (f)5 (f)Out----------------------
Will Makar5 (m)6 (m)8 (m)Out----------------------
Kinnik Sky10 (f)9 (f)8 (f)Out----------------------
Jose "Sway" Penala9-tie (m)10 (m)Out------------------------
Brenna Gethers12 (f)10 (f)Out------------------------
David Radford7 (m)8 (m)Out------------------------
Heather Cox8 (f)8 (f)Out------------------------
Patrick Hall11 (m)Out--------------------------
Stevie Scott11 (f)Out--------------------------
Bobby Bennet12 (m)Out--------------------------
Becky O'Donohue9 (f)Out--------------------------

 

The biggest surprise elimination

In Season 3 Jennifer Hudson was eliminated unfairly early.  There were seven contestants remaining.  She and Fantasia Barrino — who was the final winner — and LaToya London were female, African-American, excellent singers.  All three of these previously popular singers ended up in the "bottom three" that night.  This was a classic demonstration of vote splitting in which the presence of similar choices reduces the votes for each of the similar choices.  (This effect was clear from looking at the VoteFair poll results for that season, but alas that poll data is now lost.)  The vote-splitting effect is well-known, but the solution — order-of-preference voting and VoteFair ranking — is only beginning to be recognized.

Remember: The person with the fewest votes is not necessarily the least popular!

 

As a clarification, Constantine Maroulis was not eliminated early because of vote-splitting, but rather because of a phone-system failure.  (A statistical analysis of the phone-call data could have identified the time and place of the failure.  This analysis also could have identified who really had the fewest first-choice votes.)

 

Like these American Idol polls?  Spread the word!  Also you are invited to voice your opinion — about VoteFair ranking (not about contestants) — on the Testimonials page.

 

 


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