In the name of Science

I’m going to do something I thought I never would on this blog.

I admit it. I watch American Idol.

I don’t know how it happened. First, it was just a way to spend time with my wife. Then it was an opportunity to chat with some friends from around the country. Now, three years later (I was not an early adopter) if I’m home on Tuesday night, I watch AI. Now, before the few scraps of street cred I have are ripped away (and really, do I have any credibility on the streets at all?), I need to qualify all of the above: I do it in the name of Science.

See, it’s not about how the American dream has been plucked from from a British TV show and mish-mashed into a melting pot that somehow finds a way to combine tatted-up Irish chicks and scarf-wearing Aussies with pixies named David and Carly Simon’s daughter. It’s not just a game of television producer fantasia and the schadenfreude of watching Paula Abdul slip just as far into popular culture obscurity as she does into perscription euphoria. It’s not just clinging to the teet of Madison Avenue’s worst efforts and playing an indirect role in the homogenization and unplanned obsolescence of American culture.

No, friends, it’s about the Science. It’s social dynamics and predictive behavior. It’s watching black, white, asian and hispanic pawns battle it out for a very small piece of cheese and a monkey-pat on the head. And, hell, it’s about gambling.

My friend who writes Pot Committed and also writes for Coventry occasionally posts the gambling odds on American Idol in her recaps of the shows (yes, you can gamble on American Idol). A few weeks back, I noticed the dreaded Jason Castro was going off at 35-1 to win. Though I never had any belief the kid would actually take home the title, I couldn’t ignore the value. Now, the kid has somehow climbed his way into the top five and the oddsmakers are starting to hedge a little bit. The value is not as great, but as recently as last week, he was still going off at 25-1.

Interesting enough, yes?

Then, I got to thinking a little more and, like a bolt of lightning from the Randy Jackson’s crotch (and don’t be surprised…happens all the time), it hit me. I know who is going to win and it’s not who you think. Rather that re-write it, I’ll just post what I wrote on Pot Committed.

“Remember my words…Castro was going off at 35-1. VALUE.

Before this most recent vote, he went off at 25-1.

Again, I still don’t think he will win, but anybody who put down some cash at 35-1 has to be happy, because the odds likely won’t get any worse for him.

That said…the major thorn in his side is the other David. He’s drawing the young, teeny bopper girl vote away.

So, for Castro to come in, the following things still have to happen…

1) There will have to be a public announcement that David Archuleta, a boy, likes boys.

2) David Cook will have to finallly succumb to the inevitable emotional/physical breakdown.

3) Brooke White will have to drop her hotdog at lunch, fall into a sobbing heap of hippie barefoot tears and refuse to go on stage.

4) Sayesha Mercado will have to say the word “c***” on the air.

Yeah, odds on all happening are pretty rough. But, as I said…VALUE.

With five remaining, it’s looking like this…

5. Brooke White
4. Jason Castro
3. David Cook
2. David Archuleta
1. Sayesha Mercado

I don’t want it to happen that way, but odds and history say it will. Rockers can get far, but not far enough. What we’re seeing here is a repeat of the Clay vs Reuben standoff that left Broadway as runner-up and R&B as the winner.

I don’t want anyone to mark my words, but that’s where my money would be…if I were a betting man.

See, it’s all so clear. There was a time last year when everybody thought Chris Daughtry was going to win. Didn’t happen. Bo Bice? I’m sure he went deep, but he didn’t win. Rockers can’t win. If they could, radio in America would be better.

So, if you eliminate the one-trick ponies (Castro and White) and then eliminate the rocker, you are left with Broadway-bound pixie David Archuleta and Sayesha Mercado. That’s where the Science of history comes in. America at large likes the sweetness and innocence of the Broadway types, but frankly, it all feels a little dainty for mainstream America. That’s why Clay Aiken is starring in Spamalot right now instead of playing on WROQ. So, we’re left with the default Mercado. She’s just talented enough to win and just mainstream enough to get the votes.

Now, this is the last I’ll say about this (unless I actually have the opportunity to say, “I told you so.”). How about I don’t mention your addiction to monkey porn and you don’t mention that I ever wrote this?

Fair enough? Fair enough.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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6 Responses

  1. joaquinochoa says:

    I’m not sure what to say here to be honest…I’m sad is the best words to see that you watch this stuff…History Channel?

  2. Kym says:

    “Rockers can’t win. If they could, radio in America would be better”

    Truer words were never spoken.

    I applaud your courage to out yourself. Couldn’t have been easy, but I’m sure there’s a support group out there somewhere for you if the going gets rough as a result….

  3. change100 says:

    I like your theory. And I agree wholeheartedly that a rocker will never win. But I see the finish more like this:

    5. Brooke White
    4. Jason Castro
    3. Syesha Mercado
    2. David Cook
    1. David Archuleta

    Syesha will go the way of Kimberley Locke in Season 2– wildly talented, but juuuust not enough of a hook. Cook will be the silver medalist a la Bo Bice’s runner-up performance in Season 4… because rockers can’t win. The redialing-all-night voting crowd under the age of 14 will never get on board, even though their Moms and Dads are fans. And Boy Wonder will take down the crown and go the Disney-pop route– squeaky-clean and soundtrack-ready.

    Wanna bet? $100 transferrable on Full Tilt?

    And whatever anyone else says, I don’t think your love of Idol is gay at all…;)

  4. Donkette says:

    I actually admire that fact that you admit to watching American Idol, only a true man can do that. I have been a big fan myself since the start.

    I believe that it will go down like this:

    5. Jason Castro
    4. Brooke White
    3. Syesha Mercado
    2. David Archuleta
    1. David Cook

  5. Uncle Ted says:

    I’m not in a frame of mind to be predicting, but lest we forget the efforts of votefortheworst… we could be hanging on to Brooke even longer than wanted.

  6. Aaron says:

    I am more shocked that you are supporting a show of singers that you will never listen too, but not one mention of support for Professional POKER player Shannon Elizabeth on dacing with the stars. I now blame you for her departure last night. If you could have motivated your legions of fans to vote for her, instead of wasting time on AI, then I know she would still be in the competition.

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