Television executives can rely on two things to attract huge audiences in the modern era – big-ticket sports events such as the Super Bowl and so-called reality television programs such as the ratings juggernaut that is American Idol.
American Idol’s Success
No-one really thought that American Idol would be the smash hit that everyone knows today. It only made it to air as a summer replacement show on Fox because Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of Fox boss Rupert, was a massive fan of the British series and persuaded her father to buy the rights. That was in 2002 and American Idol has gone from strength to strength, with Billboard reporting that it has produced more than 300 chart toppers in the United States of America.
Consider This Before Betting
In terms of identifying American Idol winners several weeks before they happen, which is critical to successful betting on the world’s best known reality television show, there are two items of demographic data to consider above all others.
First – Where Are they From?
One must find out the hometown of each American Idol finalist, with the key information being the region with which each singer identifies most. There have been 11 American Idol winners and eight of them – including the first five – identify with the Southern region of the United States of America. According to the United States Census Bureau, the Southern region comprises Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. With about 37 per cent of the country’s population living in the Southern region, the area is batting at twice its expected American Idol average. There are theories as to why this is the case.
Television ratings for American Idol are a fair bit higher in the Southern region than they are elsewhere. Also, the contestants with strong ties to the Southern region have, arguably, greater musical versatility than their rivals hailing from other parts of the country. Other possible factors include the tradition of singing in what is known as the Bible Belt and the high percentage of cellphone-only households in the Southern region, with mobile devices required to lodge American Idol votes via text message.
Secondly – Male or Female Odds?
One must break down the American Idol finalists into men and women because males have a much better record than their female counterparts. Right now, the American Idol ledger stands at seven wins for the guys and four wins for the girls. Each of the last five American Idol series (at the time of writing) have been won by a white male who plays guitar, which has led to the coining of the WGWG – white guy with guitar – factor. It makes sense when one thinks about it. American Idol voters come in all shapes and sizes but the majority of them are either teenage girls or grandmothers. Many of this group do not view American Idol as a competition to create a genuine pop star capable of international success but rather as a popularity contest, which is why there has been a run of affable, good-looking white men taking out the prize.
Dancing with the Stars
Dancing with the Stars is the American version of British television show Strictly Come Dancing and Emmy Award winner Tom Bergeron has presided over its 15 series. Dancing with the Stars pairs celebrities with professional dancers, with the list of its star winners including Donny Osmond, Emmitt Smith and Dirty Dancing actress Jennifer Grey.
No reality television program better demonstrates how hard it is for women to win than Dancing with the Stars in the United States of America and its sister show in other parts of the world because, on the face of it, the competition appears tailor made for females to emerge triumphant.
Think about it. Dancing requires men to lead and women to follow, which means that the male celebrities encounter greater challenges than their female counterparts. And, without wishing to be unkind, many of the well known men have frames unsuitable to the demands of dancing as well.
Men Take The Lead
However, in spite of their several significant inherent disadvantages, male celebrities have won eight of the 15 Dancing with the Stars series in the United States of America. Also, for example, men have won six out of 10 in the United Kingdom and eight out of 12 in Australia.
Betting keys for Reality TV
Irrespective of the program – American Idol, Dancing with the Stars or something such as Big Brother, So You Think That You Can Dance or The Voice – one should look at the male contestants first and only think about backing one of the female participants after building a case against each and every man. Pardon the pun but the reality is that men win about two-thirds of the reality television series.
And forget what rocks your world. It does not matter what you think, unless, of course, you happen to be a teenage girl or, in some instances, an elderly lady. More than any other demographic, young girls determine the results of reality television shows. Figure out what they will end up liking and you will go a long way to beating the odds.