Our contest champ reveals how to predict ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and …

Over the past few months, Gold Derby user Denton (full name Denton Davidson) won two of our reality TV prediction contests: “So You Think You Can DanceSeason 11 and “The BacheloretteSeason 10. He’s a 33-year-old data specialist from Minneapolis, who works in nonprofit development and fundraising.

So what are Denton’s secrets to prediction success?

“First of all, I’m extremely competitive and second of all I’m a nerd,” he tells Gold Derby. “I’ve been obsessed with anything that involves winners and losers or someone being eliminated since I was a kid. So for years I’ve watched these shows, and there are common threads that are easy to spot in terms of who is going home.”

Below, see all of Denton’s tips and suggestions for predicting reality TV shows.

“If there is a white, male country singer who is even the slightest bit talented, he will win over a big-voiced diva every time. Sometimes I go off past markers like that. Other times I can just spot someone with the X Factor and I’m honestly just good at predicting who will go through. I can also tell when a sympathy vote will get someone through, even when most people think that person should be voted off. It’s usually not the worst performer to go home, but the least memorable. The worst performers are usually at least memorable and garner some kind of odd support, whether it is from sympathy or people who just find it funny to vote for the worst.

“There are no spoilers for things like ‘So You Think You Can Dance.’ I genuinely watch the show and have for years. I know the types of people who do well and what personalities generally win. If there is a great street dancer with a lot of charisma they are almost a lock, even if they aren’t the best overall dancer. This season did not have one of those. So next in line is the cutesy guy who is genuintely the most talented person on the stage, and this year that was Ricky Ubeda and I knew he would win, although I had slight concern about the girl who came in second place. She had a lot of charisma. Boys have generally faired better on that show, so I went with my gut and it paid off. I spotted Ricky from his first audition and I’m pretty sure I had him as my winner since week 1.

“‘The Bachelorette’/’Bachelor’ is another easy call for me. First rule is never believe the previews  If they make it appear someone will go home, you can almost guarantee they won’t. Second of all, it all comes down to sex on that show. I knew Andi would pick Josh because she was all over that guy. Sure, she kissed a lot of them, but she couldn’t keep herself off of him and couldn’t from the very beginning. Knowing who will go home is more about who isn’t getting much air time.”

“‘Big Brother’ is hit or miss. This year is painfully boring and predictable. It will get interesting in the last few weeks now that the core alliance has to finally eat itself, but watching Derrick Levasseur totally feed the egos of his brainless co-conspirators is the only entertaining thing about that show. He will win by a landslide unless Frankie Grande, the only other respectable game player, can pull something off and get him on the block this week. Cody Calafiore and Caleb Reynolds genuinely think their pretty-boy looks will win them the money and can’t even see that Derrick is absolutely destroying them and the jury knows it. At times, have I run across spoilers on Facebook and changed my vote here? Absolutely. This is the only show anyone can really do that with here. But generally that’s not the case, because by the time I see it, I come to Gold Derby and the odds for those players are drastically worth less points. It’s a better strategy to go with your gut, get your vote in early with the possibility of getting the most points.”

Before signing off, Denton gave us some final thoughts regarding odds. “Strategy-wise at Gold Derby, I’m competitive so I try to get my predictions in as early as possible. The longer you wait, the more the odds go down as more and more people start turning in their predictions. If there are multiple choice for who will advance/go home, etc, I will go with whoever has the worst odds, because that will give me the most points. It’s worth it and has paid off.”

Can you take Denton down with his own tips and suggestions? Currently at Gold Derby, you can join the fun predicting reality shows like “Survivor,” “Dancing With the Stars,” “Big Brother,” “America’s Got Talent” and “Project Runway.” If you score the most game points at the end of the season, you’ll earn a $100 Amazon gift certificate and a hallowed place in our leaderboards of champs.


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