Friday, April 28, 2006

American Idol is the Hottest Proposition of the Year

As with sports, betting on television heightens excitement for viewers

35 million viewers vote on American Idol contestants each week and betting online has become a hugely popular way to participate in the excitement of America’s favorite reality television show. Odds Maker Jeremy Ryan listens to the judges, checks the polls and monitors weekly voting trends when he updates his odds each Thursday.

While Chris Daughtry and Katherine McPhee have been the odds makers’ and voters’ favorites since Week 1, other early favorites have been eliminated, and some unlikely contestants have survived.

“Every contestant had a chance to win,” adds Ryan. “That’s why odds are different; some are just bigger favorites than others.”

“Of course at we were pulling for Ace Young,” said Manager Rene Quesada. “He seemed like such a sure thing for awhile there…”

“The action has been pretty predictable, nothing out of the norm for Idol betting. We’re getting great action on all contestants,” said Ryan.”Idol is live so it always gets great action. With other taped reality shows I generally see only one-way action. For example, for Survivor I had action mostly on 2 people and my guess is you'll see those two at the live finale.”

Elliot Yamin opened as a relative long shot but, to the amazement of many, he’s still in the running -- Paula Abdul gushed over him this week and even Simon Cowell loved him.

“He’s been one of the most talented voices from the start, so I’m not surprised he’s still around,” Ryan said about his personal favorite. “Initially, odds were high to generate more action on him. Our customers didn't start betting him ‘till later in the show...Week 4 or so. A month ago we had him at 18-1, but only 5% of the money was on him. Now he’s in the final five at 9-1.”

Current odds* on who will be the next American Idol:

Chris Daughtry 13-10
Katharine McPhee 11-5
Taylor Hicks 12-5
Elliott Yamin 9-1
Paris Bennett 20-1

* As posted at as of April 27, 2006.

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