Sweet-faced Southern belle Lauren Alaina gracefully bowed out as 17-year-old baritone and Southern gentleman Scotty McCreery walked away with the honors for this season’sAmerican Idol singing competition. Strangely enough, Twitter predicted the winner in an unexpected way.
It’s called the “Twitter curse,” where the number of tweets about a contestant has an odd way of predicting that contestant’s likelihood of being voted off the show. Sure enough, as you can see in the graphic below, Lauren Alaina received significantly more tweets than Scotty McCreery leading up to tonight’s finale.
In fact, using data generated by social TV iPhone app Yap.TV Pulse for Idol, in each of the last four weeks of the competition, whichever singer received the highest number of tweets was sent home. Surprisingly, there was only one week this season where the Twitter front runner was not voted off the show.
Could it be that Twitter users tweet more about contestants they don’t like? Not necessarily. For instance, in the case of Pia Toscano, a popular contestant voted off the show in early April, tweets about her were mostly positive, according to Yap.TV reps.
But take another look at the graphic from Yap.TV, and you’ll see that while Alaina received more tweets, at the same time she garnered more negative and neutral tweets than Scotty McCreery.
Things were different at Facebook, where popularity among its users more accurately predicted tonight’s winner. McCreery’s Facebook page has garnered more “Likes” than Alaina’s, and the Los Angeles Timesreports that according to Mediabase, his song “I Love You This Big” has gotten more radio airplay.