TiVo predicts Syesha Mercado will be voted off, as fast-forwarding is “predictive” of results

If TiVo users are anything like viewers who vote, Syesha Mercado will be voted off of American Idol 7 tonight, according to a study of TiVo users’ behavior while watching Tuesday’s episode.

TiVo says that data about “which performers had the highest and lowest viewership” has been “predictive of which contestant will be voted off” during the finals, since the top 12 started performing. “Viewers tend to rewind and watch their favorite performances multiple times, while fast-forwarding through the ones they don’t like,” the company said in a press release. And “viewing preferences correlate with voting patterns.”

If the availability of specific information about viewer behavior like this creeps you out, TiVo says “the viewing information was collected in strict accordance to TiVo’s privacy policy, which uses a sample of completely anonymous data from 20,000 random anonymous subscribers, analyzed only in on an aggregated basis.”

On Tuesday, “David Archuleta ranked in the highest audience numbers during his performance,” while Syesha Mercado had “the fewest viewers sticking around for her performance,” according to TiVo. Of course, that Syesha will go home tonight seems kind of like a safe bet, as she’s no stranger to the bottom three, and her performance of Fantasia’s “I Believe” didn’t inspire praise from the judges.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.