No one on team SAI seems to be in the “American Idol” demo, but we’re told by reliable sources that Fox (NWS) show picks its winner tonight. We also don’t have a clue about who’s going to win, but Web analytics shop Hitwise says it does. Based on its analysis of search traffic, it predicts that rocker David Cook will win the final vote tonight by very tight margin.
Since the winner is determined by audience vote, Hitwise researcher Bill Tancer says that Internet search patterns form a pretty good proxy. But you can’t just look at the sheer number of searches, he says. You have to look at what the searchers are looking for.
The search volume for both Cook and David Archuleta is incredibly close ahead of tonight’s finale. The baby-faced pop singer Archuleta is in the lead, but Tancer says people are more interested in Archuleta’s meddling stage-dad than his music. Meanwhile searches for his rival tend to be focused on his music and the plight of his brother, who is battling cancer. Advantage: Cook.
It’s similar to last year when Blake Lewis was leading Jordin Sparks in total searches ahead of the final, but a large chunk of Lewis’ queries were some variation of “blake lewis gay.” Sparks won season six.
Another discovery? Tancer assumed that “American Idol” fans might have some trouble spelling “Archuleta,” so he ran the numbers with several spellings variations on the name, Archeleto, Arcoleto, Archileta, etc, and found “surprisingly, it appears that ‘Idol’ fans are good spellers, who knew?”