Viewers will be tuning in tonight to find out whether Phillip Phillips or Jessica Sanchez will be declared "your" American Idol. While last night's performances may have tipped everyone off to the likely winner, TiVo says their research shows that Phillip Phillips will win.
Using viewer data from last night's performance, TiVo found that Phillips' performances accounted for three of the top five most watched moments. Coming in at No. 1, 2 and 4, Phillips ultimately bested Sanchez's performances, which came in at No. 3 and 5.
Additionally, TiVo reports that the there was a 12% increase from the second most watched moment and the first – meaning that Sanchez's initial entry at No. 3 could be related to a substantial loss in votes.
Of course, Sanchez didn't exactly have the best night last night – but she is in the finale for good reason – so one shouldn't discount the ability of her fans to rally around her. That being said, TiVo's data certainly throws an interesting wrench into television shows that use viewer voting.
Even though votes are typically only open for 2 hours following the final show, there is often a day's wait before the results are announced. While taking advantage of viewers' anticipation to know who the winner is, that delay also allows outside sources to do their own counting.
Attempting to figure out American Idol outcomes is nothing new. In the early days of American Idol, people attempted to track the amount of busy phone lines to figure out who would be sent home that week. Their success often varied.
Now that TiVo is looking at their data to suggest outcomes, the amount of weight that this data holds certainly is interesting. Tracking actual television viewers (perhaps better than Nielson ratings), TiVo has raw data that may be just as accurate as the actual voting results.
Though it's unlikely that TiVo will be picking winners for every series (the networks would make sure of that), the amount of information that TiVo receives from their viewers certainly has one wondering what else they know.
Here are the top 5 most watched moments (according to TiVo):
1. Phillip Phillips singing “Home”
2. Phillip Phillips rendition of “Stand by Me”
3. Jessica Sanchez’s singing her original “Change Nothing”
4. Phillip Phillips singing “Moving Out”
5. Jessica Sanchez’s rendition of “The Prayer”
American Idol finale airs tonight @8pm on Fox
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