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Monday, 6 December 2010

Public reaction to elimination of Mary from X Factor

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Last night's show resulted in Cher and Mary in the bottom two. The analysis of the twitter data had Mary in the bottom but Cher had finished top of our analysis - indicating perhaps that her supporters believed that she was in trouble and so mounted a twitter campaign to try to encourage people to vote for her.

We have seen this before - Wagner often finished top of the twitter analysis (particularly in the week that he was knocked out). This demonstrates how campaigns to try to alter public opinion by the supporters of the respective acts have been fought through twitter.

If we look to analyse the data from yesterday's tweets, we can start with Cher, with the negative context analysis can be seen below. This shows the analysis of sentences that contain words such as: never, don't, not, and so on. To understand the analysis, the ~ character indicates that the word 'not' should be placed in front of the word to approximate the meaning of the sentence.

So looking at the figure we can see that the word ~ballad is close in context to Cher, meaning that there has been a great deal of discussion about the fact that Cher did not sing a ballad for her second song. This was picked up in the judges comments but also struck a chord with the twitter public. We can also see some other words such as ~singing, indicating that there were a number of comments about her "not singing", which may be a reference for Cher to her rapping during songs.

The positive context analysis shown below the negative one, does not have a strong positive or negative sentiment, and rather indicates the discussions taking place that focus on the facts of her being in the bottom two, and perhaps comparing Cher to the other artists.

An interesting thing to note in the positive context analysis are the numbers that come through.  You can see them on the left hand side of the word cloud - 0901 and 104.  These numbers are the start and end of the telephone number that you have to use to vote for Cher.  This indicates a last minute campaign by Cher followers to try to influence the final vote and ensure that Cher does not finish in the bottom two.

If we turn now to Mary, we can again first look at the negative context. Note this does not mean the same as negative sentiment, and in Mary's case we see first of all many tweets referring to the fact that she will not be working Tesco again. We also see some other themes coming through such as ~deadlock, indicating that the elimination process did not go to deadlock, and also some negative sentiment words such as ~better, indicating that Mary was not better than Cher or the other contestants. We can also see some interesting words such as ~booed, reflecting the fact that Mary was not booed, but that Cher was when the decision was made.

Finally the positive context analysis shows that the majority of tweets are about Mary 'going home' but also some positive sentiment such as: love, reliable and fabulous. It would not seem that there is great disagreement with the decision from the majority of the public.

This now leads us to wonder who will win? We will continue our analysis during the week to see what trends are forming from our tweet analysis.

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