Meet the $1,000 winner of our Oscars predictions contest: Oliver Davidson

Congratulations to Oliver Davidson for winning the $1,000 grand prize in Gold Derby’s 2014 Oscar predictions contest. Davidson scored 92% accuracy, missing only 2 categories out of 24: Best Animated Feature and Best Original Screenplay.

“Perhaps someday, I can get 23/24 correct,” he tells Gold Derby. “As for this year, I think I did all right!” (See Davidson’s winning Oscar predix here.)

Davidson, age 34, is a tax consultant at a small accounting firm in Houston, Texas. Technically, he came in sixth place on our Oscars leaderboard, but he’s the highest-ranked Derbyite to qualify for the prize.

Two players had the highest percentage of accuracy – 96% (23 out of 24 categories) – but Daniel Montgomery is disqualified because he’s a senior editor of Gold Derby and Jeremy Parilla (screen name “Jeremy”) lives in the Philippines. Our contest rules stipulate that the winner must be a U.S. citizen who does not work for this website.

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Third-ranked Riley Chow (“thedemonhog”) is a contributing editor to Gold Derby, fourth-ranked Louis-Francois Archambault-Therrien (“Louis”) lives in Montreal, Canada, and fifth-ranked Liam Gadd (“Gaddinator”) is a citizen of Ireland. All three tied Davidson at 92%, but they ranked above him in our leaderboard because they had earned more points while waging against our racetrack odds. However, Davidson beat more than 3,000 other contest participants to claim the top prize.

“When I sat down before filling my ballot this year, the first (and biggest) question was this: ‘Birdman‘ vs. ‘Boyhood‘?” Davidson says. “Which film represents a larger achievement in unique or original art? Which film promoted the art form of film to a greater degree?

“As a Houstonian, it almost pains me to say this, since I admire Richard Linklater for being one of the only directors who would set his movie in Houston. Both Linklater and I are proud graduates of the University of Houston. However, outside of the 12-year shoot, I do not believe that there was enough original or vanguard art in ‘Boyhood’ to exalt it over ‘Birdman’ with respect to most categories. I have much more to say on this issue, but I will refrain in an attempt to keep my comments at a reasonable length.

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“My proudest prediction: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel‘ for Best Score. It was so whimsical and pleasing that I always had it in my thoughts. It drove the movie with a force harder than any other score this year, in my humble opinion. Furthermore, Desplat had two nominations this year, and I felt that the Academy voters would name him the winner via the film that would eventually win the most Oscars on the night (tied with ‘Birdman’).

“I got Best Original Screenplay incorrect based on my notion that ‘Birdman’ would win Best Picture and Best Director. Thus, they would honor ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ in the writing category. Obviously, I got this wrong, but I do not regret the pick. This pick resembled my pick last year for Spike Jonze winning for ‘Her.’ 

“I also missed the Best Animated Feature. This was a tough one. It was a coin flip for me, and I got it wrong. I’m not surprised that ‘Big Hero 6‘ took the statuette.”

Make your own Emmys picks now — click here — or scroll down to predict the Best Drama Series winner using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Best predictions will win $1,000. And the 24 Users with the best scores advance to a team to compete against our Experts and Editors next year. Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Emmys last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar. Register/log in to your account so you can also compete to predict “The Walking Dead,” “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race” and more.

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