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Google crystal ball

Can Google continue its impressive weekend prediction streak?

Google crystal ball

Can Google continue its impressive weekend prediction streak?

As we saw earlier this week, Google Trends came up with some strikingly accurate predictions to do with TV and sports events that took place last weekend, correctly identifying the winner of the England v Scotland game, the eliminated X Factor contestant, and a strong performance from an outsider in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

In what could be deemed either ‘furthering this analysis’ or ‘pushing my luck’, I’ve decided to peer into the crystal ball of search engine data once more and have a look at who is making Google waves (as of midday on Thursday) in the run-up to this Saturday night’s television. If you’re a fan of Strictly Come Dancing or The X Factor, I urge you not to read any further, as Google is about to ruin your weekend!

The X Factor

With only six acts remaining on the ITV show and Honey G still the name on everybody’s lips, we’re assuming once again that she’s safe. Her Google search volumes are so vast, she makes the other five contestants’ look like the Yorkshire Pennines compared to the Himalayas.

Let’s take her out of the equation and look at how the other five are faring in the Google stakes:


Last week’s data also showed that boyband 5 After Midnight were a little off the pace on Trends, but as I mentioned then, I suspect their name is part of the problem. As the below graph shows, there are times when ‘Five After Midnight’ gets more searches than ‘5 After Midnight’.


So, put together, I suspect they’re not actually the ones being Googled the least often. That dubious honour goes to Saara Aalto, who by all accounts performed impressively last weekend, but seems to be off the minds of internet users right now. I’m going to be a bit rebellious and overrule the basic Google Trends data here, and suggest that Saara could be on her way.

Strictly Come Dancing

The BBC’s main rival to The X Factor is a tough one to call, and again there are some contestants outperforming others massively in search volumes. In fact, I reckon we can take Ed Balls, Danny Mac, Judge Rinder and Ore Oduba out of the danger zone straight away, leaving us with the following three:


Looking at the above, could it be the two Olympians Greg Rutherford and Claudia Fragapane in the dance-off this weekend? From what I hear, Claudia has been the more impressive, but if people aren’t Googling her, will they pick up the phone and vote for her?

In conclusion, the predictions this weekend are:

– Saara to leave The X Factor
– Claudia & AJ to leave Strictly

Neither of which are in agreement with the bookmakers, who have Ryan Lawrie odds-on to be eliminated from The X Factor next, and predict Greg to be on his way home from Strictly. A £5 double on Saara (3/1) and Claudia (14/1) will get you £295 if both predictions turn out to be correct.

What’s interesting about my Google-influenced predictions is that, as you’ve probably worked out by now, I know next to nothing about either of these programmes. All I’m analysing is mathematics and human behaviour.

Will it be enough, or has this experiment outstayed its welcome? We’ll find out soon enough!

John Murray
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