I never watched a single episode of American Idol until the fifth season, and even then I only started watching when they were down to three contestants. And I'm afraid that's all it took for me to get hooked, even though it's fair to say that I find much of the "American Idol" style of singing detestable. I've never bought an album by any of the Idol winners, and the only song from an Idol winner that I've really actively enjoyed was Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone," which is just a great song, plain and simple. Much of what one hears on the show is dreck, and most of the rest of it is entirely disposable.
So it may not be great music, but it is great television. Not the audition shows, which are little more than a freak show - but once the competition actually gets started, there's just something about the damn thing that's irresistible. There's plenty of opportunity to make fun of the singers, or make fun of Paula, Randy, Simon, Ryan...whoever happens to act the strangest in any particular week, and you just never know who that's going to be (but Paula is always a safe bet). There are a handful of great performances from week to week, and even the occasional surprise (like last night, when Chikezie turned in the performance of the night, and prohibitive favorite David Archuleta stunk up the joint). I can't quite explain it, but it's just fun.
So this year, to add to the viewing enjoyment of a crew at work who watches every week, I came up with an American Idol contest. The rules appear below, and anyone wandering through this site is welcome to steal them for their own use.
Each participant predicts the order in which the 12 finalists will be eliminated.
For exact picks (for example, you predict Carly Smithson will be eliminated in 3rd place, and that's where she finishes) you receive points, as follows:
12th place 2 points
11th place 2 points
10th place 3 points
9th place 3 points
8th place 4 points
7th place 4 points
6th place 6 points
5th place 8 points
4th place 10 points
3rd place 12 points
2nd place 15 points
Champion 25 points
If you don’t get the exact position of elimination correct, you can still gain points, as follows:
• If you correctly predict a finalist will finish in the 10-12th place block, but don’t get it exactly correct, you receive 1 point. Example: You predict Chikezie will finish in 12th place, but he finishes 10th – you get 1 point.
• If you correctly predict a finalist will finish in the 6-9th place block, but don’t get it exactly correct, you receive 2 points. Example: You predict Amanda will finish 9th, but she finishes 6th- you receive 2 points.
• If you correctly predict a finalist will finish in the 3rd-5th place block, but don’t get it exactly correct, you receive 4 points.
• If you correctly predict a finalist will finish in the top 2, but get the order wrong, you receive 8 points.
The person with the most points wins (nothing like stating the obvious, eh?).
And so...now I can win some money while I enjoy a guilty pleasure.