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American Idol Fodder

On "Idol," Is it Bad to Be Number One?

aovermyer2.jpgI always thought being first was a good thing, but on "American Idol" it may be the nail in a singer's coffin.

A recent article in USA Today says those contestants that sing first on a performance night have a greater chance of being sent home the following episode. According to, which analyzes "Idol" data, the leadoff slot seems to have "death wish" written all over it. Over the last seven seasons (which equates to 69 results episodes), 20 contestants from the first spot have been eliminated. Apparently what's surprising about that number is that statistically only 12 people should have been voted off. It's already happened twice this season, first with Amanda Overmyer and more recently with Michael Johns.

As for the rest of the spots, only slot number seven seems to be a good place for a contestant to land, as only one singer has ever been bumped from that position. Other interesting facts from the study: no singer from the 11th or 12th position has ever gone home, and only one has landed in the bottom three (that would be this season's Kristy Lee Cook).

USA Today gives several reasons for why the number one spot may be so unlucky. It may have something to do with viewers tuning in later and missing the start of the show. Also, voters may be comparing singers to who performs before them. If someone is first, they may be held to higher expectations. Finally, even the producers admit singing later in the show has more of an impact on voters.

Could this be why this season's David Cook has yet to start the show? Discuss amongst yourselves conspiracy theorists.–Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on April 25, 2008 5:29 PM
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