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Does Your TiVo Know Who's Getting Booted From "American Idol"?

April 10, 2008 5:08 PM ET

Simon Cowell isn't the only one predicting who's going home on American Idol. TiVo executives revealed today that based on audience measurement tools, they too can determine which contestants will be eliminated by tapping into the recording habits of 20,000 anonymous Idol viewers. TiVo has found that performers who are most often fast-forwarded through will likely receive the fewest votes, and conversely, performers who are rewound and rewatched will receive the most votes.

To prove the seriousness of their capabilities, TiVo announced the departure of Syesha Mercado tonight -- and asserted that they have accurately predicted the dismissal of the last four contestants. TiVo execs maintain that they're not trying to spoil American Idol (and won't be prognosticating again), but their statement today raises an interesting point: maybe they can track the popularity of presidential speeches, too?

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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