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How to Bet on American Idol?

by Rain Man
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American Idol

American Idol is a popular reality television show that you’ve definitely heard of. It is a competition, spanning multiple weeks, from which one singer emerges as the “American Idol.”

If you don’t watch this show, then the fact that you can bet on it at top-rated sportsbooks is one reason to start. Placing bets is a great way to get invested in something.

This show is worth getting invested in not only because of its entertainment value but also because there are good reasons why you should place certain wagers. Also, it’s not so easy to bet on as to become boring. This show is not one in which the favored contestant is simply going to win.

What Is an American Idol?

On that note, let’s address a common misconception.

When you are betting on who will become the next “American Idol,” you are not simply betting on the best singer. Or, you could say that you are betting on the best singer, only you need to alter your understanding of what “best singer” means.

Let me explain by comparing this show with The Voice, another popular show in which competitors sing songs in order to advance and win.

  • In The Voice, the judges have the back of their chairs facing the singer, so that they are not looking at him/her. With their heads bent in concentration, the judges are listening to and assessing the quality of the singer’s voice.
  • In American Idol, the judges – as well as the public, who also gets a say, but more on this aspect of the show later – are looking at the singer. They also talk with the singer. The singer also gets to interact with the audience.

Why does this matter? Am I trying to say that American Idol is also a looks contest? Not exactly. Please don’t find this pedantic, but it really is helpful to look at the dictionary. After all, the creators of any show surely choose the title of their show very deliberately.

We know what “American” means. But what about “Idol”? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, definitions of “idol” include:

  1. “an object of extreme devotion.”
  2. “a representation or symbol of an object of worship.”
  3. “a likeness of something.”
  4. “a false conception.”
  5. “a form or appearance visible but without substance.”

Notice how none of these definitions indicate something objective, a real substance.

Instead, an idol is something superficial in the sense of being surface-level and appearance-based. It is a “representation,” a “likeness,” a “conception” – a “false” one at that – a “form” or “appearance” that is “visible” and “without substance.”

The point here is this: you are not betting on the best singer. You are betting on the best representation of a singer, the best appearance of one. So, when betting on American Idol, yes, voice matters. But also, performance matters. Personality matters. Charisma matters. You need to think: how does the singer interact with the audience – is he or she a likable person? What is the singer’s social media presence like?

“Surprising” Losers in The Show’s History

If you think of American Idol purely as a singing competition, then some historical results are going to surprise you. The fact that American Idol is not just a singing competition is evident in the success that historical losers of the show have had.

A great example of a successful loser is Chris Daughtry. Daughtry’s elimination befuddled many looking for this elite singer to win the competition. Daughtry is a rock star who has performed with the likes of Nickelback.

The Favored Candidate

It is critical to understand what American Idol is because oddsmakers don’t expect you to. They expect you to bet on the contestant with the least value who is arguably the singer with the best career outlook

This contestant is Will Moseley, whom the judges have already proclaimed to be a star who will make his career in music. He is the favorite to win the show by a decent margin. However, knowing what happened to Chris Daughtry and others like him, there is no good reason to bet on Moseley at this price.

Deciding on a Winner

From the semifinals onwards, the public votes for the winner – there are no more judges saving contestants.

A lot of fans are frustrated with the biases that do exist. Still, if any of those frustrated fans stopped watching the show, then they are not going to vote, and the biases will only become more prominent because the viewers with these biases will continue enjoying the show.

Specifically, country singers are notoriously favored by voters. This genre bias is a reflection of the show’s annually consistent voter demographics, and you can see the perpetuation of this bias in the show’s recent eliminations.

All of this being said, Triston Harper at +600 is the best candidate to bet on with your best bets.

He is a country singer. He is young and will appeal to young voters, but his mature singing style will also appeal to older voters. Moreover, it is historically important, a good tell, that Harper is also well-received on the Idol’s Facebook page. Besides, yes, being a good singer, he is popular and well-liked. He is a great value grab at the current price.

Other Bets

You can also bet on the age and the sex of the winner. These options are great if you are unsure between multiple candidates who are in the same age range/sex. I think “male” at -150 is a great choice for this season because I think the winner will be either Harper or fellow country singer Moseley.

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Rain Man
Hailing from Maryland, Rainman pursued his undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia, with an academic journey that spanned six different universities across the United States and Germany. It was during his time in Alabama that he delved into the world of sports betting. Rainman finds joy in watching and betting on a wide array of sports, passionately supporting his Wahoos, Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Cardinals, and VfB Stuttgart.

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