Why Phillip Phillips won American Idol Season 11


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Yes, things would have been different if the rest of the world were allowed to vote

PINOY HEARTBREAK. Global sentiment favored Filipino-Mexican Jessica Sanchez but the American Idol for Season 11 is Phillip Phillips

MANILA, Philippines – If we go by total social media sentiment, Jessica appeared to be in the lead.

So why did Phillip Phillips win the Season 11 of American Idol?

A study which analyzed the geolocation of tweets concerning the popular show showed that while Jessica led in terms of Twitter mentions globally, Phillips was generally favored in the US. (Read the full study below)

The Twitter data was analyzed in an attempt to predict the American Idol winner ahead of the airing of the official result.

The study, which analyzed the fanbase of each contestant, both within the US and abroad, revealed that “strong regional polarizations occur” with respect to social media chatter concerning the contestants.

See world rankings against US rankings below.

GLOBAL SENTIMENT FOR JESSICA. But it was the US votes that mattered

The map below shows that the US social media denizens favored Phillip Phillips. It shows that Jessica’s fan base was from the West Coast and in other pockets of the US while Phillip was ahead with the rest of the country.

US WENT FOR PHILLIPS. The map shows states where tweets favoring Phillips dominated

Of course, things would have been different if the rest of the world including Pinoys were allowed to vote.

The study said that, “the advantage of Phillip in the U.S. is remarkably smaller than the one of Jessica in the aggregated dataset, and the voting coming from abroad might have a crucial role in determining the outcome of the finale.”

The study also said that Jessica is the only contestant that had a strong Twitter signal originating from outside of the U.S. (and in particular from the Philippines). It added that this strong Twitter sentiment favoring the Filipino-Mexican has been increasing after the show on April 19.

The maps below show social media attention focused on American Idol Season 11 emanating both within and outside the United States. 

IDOL WORSHIP? Social media attention focused on American Idol Season 11

The study was conducted by Fabio Ciulla, Delia Mocanu, Andrea Baronchelli, Bruno Goncalves, Nicola Perra, and Alessandro Vespignani–all from the Department of Physics of Boston’s Northeastern University.

Vespignani is also with the Institute for Scientific Interchange Foundation of Turin, Italy as well as with the Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachussetts. – Rappler.com


Social Media Analysis: American Idol Finale

Click on the links below for more of the American Idol finale. 

Click on the links below for previous social media predictions.

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