Digging Deeper: Fan votes sent Phillip Phillips to the finale

LEE CO., GA (WALB) - 90,000,000 people picked up the phone to cast a vote on American Idol sending Phillip Phillips through to the finale.

That's 20 million more votes that last week and 30 million more than the week before.

The Leesburg man's chances of becoming the next American Idol are a lot better than they were when the Hollywood weeks again, but it may not be the 50/50 chance you think it is.

And then there were two.  The elimination of Joshua Ledet last night left Leesburg's Phillip Phillips a step closer to becoming the next American Idol, but Jessica Sanchez has the same chance, or does she?

"There are so many variables that go into predicting who's going to win American Idol," said Amy Cash, Lee County AP Statistics Teacher.

At Lee County High School Amy Cash who teaches AP Statistics says predicting who's the favorite depends on who votes, and something as simple as town size plays in.

"Phillip is from a small town, Leesburg, GA, and while we think the world of it it definitely is a small town, and Jessica is from California and a suburb of San Diego which may have more people voting, more pool in that area," said Cash

You have to factor in variables, including who's going to get the female vote?

"You would think maybe the females would go for Jessica but, Phillip is so cute and you know the young females are think oh, he's so cut I want to vote for him," said Cash.

While Phillips is popular here in south Georgia and people are voting.

"Maybe 10, 20 times and our parents vote too, so we vote a lot," said Dailyn Fretwell, Phillips Fan.

"Our daughter Tara jumps up and screams every time she sees him on TV, she saw him and held up a sign and said he as waiving just to her," said Allison Das, Phillips Fan.

Does that translate nationwide? Will those who had a favorite switch their vote to one of the remaining two?  Some in south Georgia are betting they will, and calling in help.

"We call my in-laws in New York and my daughter said you have to vote for Phillip Phillips," said Das.

The Spread favors Phillips. On Betting Odds.com Phillips was the favorite 7 times in the last 11 weeks, Sanchez was the favorite just three times, can you rely on that?

"They're trying to come up with a range, like we say in statstics a confidence interval, they're trying to come up with some kind of range that they can say it may be a certain percent accurate in predicting who's going to win," said Cash.

It could all come down to the last performance and how well it goes for the remaining two on who might clinch the title come Wednesday night.

From the beginning, the odds of being eliminated on American Idol are high.  There are only 12 spots to be filled when it comes down to the live performances and millions that audition nationwide.

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