Our ACMs contest leader spills juicy secrets on how to predict music awards

“I find that music awards are a lot harder to predict than movie awards,” admits Gold Derby’s latest contest leader Paul Rankin (screen name Gatorfan). He tops our leaderboard for his standout predictions of the winners of the Academy of Country Music Awards. “With the Oscars you’ve got six million different precursor awards leading up to the big night, so you pretty much already know what’s going to win weeks beforehand. With music awards you don’t have that, so you have to go by much different criteria when predicting the winners.”

Scroll down to see Rankin’s secrets on how he did so well forecasting this event. Resist the urge to copy or steal these tips as your own when predicting the next music kudos at Gold Derby, the Billboard Music Awards on May 17. Hurry — make your predictions for the Billboard Awards for your chance of winning our prize of a $100 Amazon gift certificate.

ACM Awards: Luke Bryan takes top honors, but Miranda Lambert claims most prizes

Rankin is 32 years old and hails from Delta, British Columbia, Canada, where he’s a gas station manager. (See his complete winning predictions here.) He tells us, “There are a few things I usually look at when I predict the ACM Awards. As a big country music fan I’m always keeping an eye on the Billboard country charts so I know who’s having a big year in terms of album and singles sales. Generally, I find it’s hard to win big at the ACM awards without a great year on the charts.”

Rankin continues, “The ACM Awards also have a history of honoring someone multiple years in a row before moving on to someone else in the Entertainer, Male Vocalist, Female Vocalist, Duo and Group awards. Take a look at the Entertainer of the Year category: Toby Keith won in 2002 and 2003 then Kenny Chesney won it four years in a row, Carrie Underwood won the next two years and Taylor Swift the two years after that. Luke Bryan just won in the category two years ago so it seems to be his turn. Add in the fact that he had the best selling country album of the year with “Crash My Party” plus both “Play It Again” and “Drink A Beer” were #1 singles for several weeks and for me it was a no-brainer to pick him for Entertainer Of The Year.

“For Female and Duo awards I applied the similar repeat winner theory. The ACMs really love Miranda Lambert as she’s won multiple awards each of the past three years so it was a no-brainer there for Female Vocalist. That was the same reason I picked her for Album, Record, Song and Vocal Event and I was right with Album and Song. Florida Georgia Line was the only nominee in the Duo category to make much noise on the charts this year so I found that the easiest category to predict. I ignored my repeat winner theory in the Vocal Group category, however. The Band Perry won last year but in my gut I just felt that Little Big Town would take it for the second time in three years.

“I’m still kicking myself for the three categories I got wrong though, especially Male Vocalist. One of the strangest things I find with the ACM Awards is how someone can win the Entertainer category but lose in their individual gender category. Take a look at Kenny Chesney. He has four Entertainer Awards but only one Male Vocalist award. Taylor Swift has won Entertainer twice yet has never won for Female Vocalist. I should have known better than to pick Luke Bryan for Male Vocalist since I picked him for Entertainer Of The Year. I originally had Jason Aldean winning for Male Vocalist but after reviewing my original picks I noticed that I didn’t have Luke Bryan winning for anything besides Entertainer. I figured they would give him something else, so I picked him to win for Male Vocalist. In the end I should have picked him in the Vocal Event category for that annoying song he did with Florida Georgia Line.

“The other two categories I got wrong I would have got right if I had applied my interesting prediction theory for those categories. When it comes to the Record and Vocal Event categories I find that the nominated song I like the least is usually the one that ends up winning. In the Record of the Year category, the song I liked the least was “I Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice and in the Vocal Event category my least favorite was “This Is How We Roll,” both of which ended up winning. For Record, I ended up choosing “Automatic” and in the Vocal Event category I went with “Somethin Bad” simply because Miranda Lambert was involved in both and I figured the ACMs would shower her with trophies as they’ve done in the past. Still, Lambert did pretty good winning three trophies altogether.

“Considering the fact that I normally don’t do very well with my predictions in any of the awards shows at Gold Derby, I suppose I just got lucky that my theories finally paid off. Still, I must say it’s nice to have bragging rights among the users for the next year for one of the awards shows. It’s pretty cool.”

Who will win Billboard Music Awards: Taylor Swift, One Direction, Sam Smith, …?

Start making your Billboard Awards picks now here or by clicking on who you think will win Top Artist in the box to the right.

You can also scroll down to predict the Top Artist winner using our easy drag-and-drop menu.

Best predictions will win $100. And the 24 Users with the best scores advance to a team to compete against our Experts and Editors next year. See contest rules.

Average Gold Derby users just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our User racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

Register/log in to your Gold Derby account so you can also compete to predict the Emmys, Tonys, “The Voice,” “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race,” “Dancing with the Stars, “American Idol” and more.

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