And the winner is…
Influencers flip-flopped on a winner until the week of April 21 when the two blogosphere frontrunners became David Archuleta and David Cook. Since the top three were determined, influential blogs in aggregate have pegged David Archuleta to take home this year's title.
It took until week six for influencers to warm up to Archuleta, as post-for-post he generated the least buzz. On the other hand, influential blogs like TV Squad and Bookmaker pegged Cook as a “dark horse” favorite from the start. In the final vote, bloggers note that Archuleta has the all-powerful teen vote (not to mention many invites to the prom), while Cook's got the older “cougar” crowd (as noted by several bloggers) on his side.
Top twelve predictions
While Archuleta may have flown under the radar early, some of the more charismatic personalities – Brooke White, Michael Johns, and his rival for the title, Cook – made bigger first impressions among the influencers. In fact, White was the influential bloggers' early pick to win the title. David Hernandez was the influential bloggers hands-down pick to leave the top twelve; in fact, the most influential blog post on this contestant came from VotefortheWorst.com.
The influencers knew Syesha would make it far
Influential bloggers liked Syesha Mercado from the start, noting her talent and depth even when the judges and voters put her in the bottom three. Syesha had the second least number of blogs discussing her performances, but these passionate bloggers and fans posted an average of three times as much compared to other contestants.
The influencers turned on Brooke White
The shift in support of White was very clear. On April 1st, she was the female contestant with the highest number of influential blog posts, 3,824, and still a front-runner to win. Following her performance of Mariah Carey's "Hero" the following week, the number of posts about White continued to escalate but the tone dramatically shifted in a negative direction. On April 21, she was the influencer pick to go, but voters kept her alive on the show. It appeared the voters paid attention to negative blog buzz the following week: White was voted off two weeks after the negative buzz started.
Michael Johns' exit upset fans and set the blogosphere on fire
The Aussie had us all at “hello,” and at the beginning, consistently ranked high within bloggers' conversations. However, the week of March 26, after his rendition of Queen's “We Are the Champions,” he went from being the hands down favorite to being voted off two weeks later. Johns generated over 1,000 influential posts after his departure, many lamenting the show's overall loss of sex appeal. TMZ.com generated the most influential post around Johns discussing the fact that he was spotted doing karoke with his mother, singing Neil Diamond's “Sweet Caroline.”
Buzz wasn't always around performances
Poor Paula – her flubs made more news than her first music video in 15 years. She set the blogosphere afire by judging Jason Castro's Neil Diamond performance, mistakenly judging two songs when he only sang one. The Hollywood Gossip's April 30 post reporting that she had at least one martini at lunch that day is the most influential post pertaining to the judge.
Which blogs were the most influential on this topic?
The most influential blog post on the topic of American Idol was from the television show's official blog on March 12, 2008, which outlined the top 24 contestants and linked to 119 other sites. While each contestant had some unique influencers writing about them in the blogosphere, a number of commonly influential across the board were TV Squad, American Idol's official site, Rickey.org, GirlsTalkinSmack.com, MJsbigblog.com, Hollywood Gossip, and Defamer.
To read BuzzLogic's full week by week analysis of American Idol, go to the BUZZBlog.
Analysis by BuzzLogic of 98,991 blog posts from January 1 – May 20, 2008.