So, about picking the X Factor winner from search…

Ok, so I’m not sure where I’m going with this. A week ago, I decided to test out Bill Tancer’s theory that by monitoring search trends, you can determine who will win a talent contest (a televised one, of course) several weeks in advance.

Of course, Bill has the benefit for all the Hitwise data at his disposal. I don’t. So I thought I’d try it using Google Insights for Search on the X Factor. Based on Google’s indicitive popularity, it was clear Kandy Rain were the most popular act.

But given they were a group of ex-strippers, perhaps it wasn’t so surprising that they were so hotly searched, while the face their singing was, well, disappointing, perhaps meant it wasn’t such a surprise that they were the least voted for act in the live finals.

So where does that leave the notion that you can predict a winner via search popularity? Well, I’m going to give it another go, but I think the caution to be taken from last week’s experiment is the value of the “story” on X Factor.

We all know the X Factor contestants often have a back story which makes the headlines, or an event takes place on the show which grabs the headlines. That clearly had a bearing on Kandy Rain’s search results last week.

But look at this chart below for the Over 25s category – all three still in it at this stage:


October 12 was a Monday, two days after Dannii Minogue’s  rather odd comment about Danyl’s sexuality. Given the way that dominated the headlines on Monday (as far as X Factor stories went, anyway) it’s no wonder he had such a spike.

And looking at the results for the boys category – now down to two after Rikki Loney was dropped tonight –

lloydLook at the large spike yesterday for Lloyd Daniels – presumably as a result of mentor Cheryl Cole’s  tears after she picked him a duff song – again, the talking point from the programme.

So, we’ve established the bleeding obvious here: the most talked events on a programme can be replicated in search popularity- but can we now suggest who might win so early?

Here’s the girls chart for the week:

luciejonesIn one sense, this chart shouldn’t cause too much of a surprise – for the second week running, Rachel was in the bottom two, and she’s leagues behind the other two girls in terms of online popularity.

Finally, the groups chart for this week  –

edwardKandy Rain, despite being out, are still the most popular group, but look at John and Edward – that random performance of a Britney Spears song is doing them a lot of search goodness. Again, another talking point from the programme this week.

So who shall I put a fiver on this week to win the competition?

Well, I’m going to remove Rachel from my final chart – if she’s been in the bottom two for two weeks on votes, she’s doing something wrong in the eyes of the public. Rikki has also left, as have Kandy Rain, and I’m also taking Joseph out, on the grounds that he’s generating no interest at all online.

That leave me with eight for my final chart: Olly Murs, Jamie Afro, Danyl Johnson, Lloyd Daniels, Lucie Jones, Stacey Solomon, Miss Frank and John and Edward.

lloydagainI then added in the over 25s category by removing the lowest performer in the above chart (Miss Frank) and then kept swapping out the lowest ranking artist twice more, until I had this:

final chartJohn and Edward, Olly Murs and Jamie Afro all polled an overall score of 7 in the various versions of the charts I ran, so this week I’m punting on the final three being Danyl Johnson, Lloyd Daniels and Lucie Jones. Which given that two of them have been the “story” of the week’s show, and a third is a Welsh singer (which apparently always get a large vote)  shouldn’t be any real surprise. As for a winner, Lloyd overtook Danyl for the first time last night – but seeing as both have benefitted from being the “story” it’s too close to call.

I’ll come back to this in a fortnight. Bet you can’t wait.


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