Although competition has always existed among club and class acts, it was amplified this year as students took to social media where feuds were formed, claims were made that the show was rigged and participants blamed their losses on the number of alumni supporting other acts.
Some students took personal offense to the annual predictions by the Optimist, claiming the predictions were biased and unreasonable. Students then handed out items in protest of the Optimist and our predictions.
But they don’t know the full story.
The first Sing Song predictions were published in the Optimist in 2010. In these predictions, nine acts were ranked based on their categories: women, men and mixed vocals. This is a tradition we still carry.
Although the 2010 predictions were not accurate, the following years show an impressive record.
In 2013, the predictions were without one error, and in 2014, the staff placed seven acts correctly in their predictions, missing just two rankings within the women’s acts.
In 2018, six of nine acts were predicted correctly, missing two in the men’s acts and one in the women’s.
This year, we predicted eight of nine acts correctly, only missing the third place ranking for the women’s acts. It is the closest to perfect our predictions have been since 2013.
While many students were upset by these rankings – and went to great lengths to let us know – this is an area we excel in.
Several members of our staff spent 12 hours on Monday and Tuesday before Sing Song to see the rehearsals in Moody Coliseum and decide for ourselves who we thought was the best act. In those same 10 hours, ACUTV recorded every single act to show the remainder of the staff on Wednesday.
At 4 p.m. before the first official, full run-through, the entire staff gathered in a small room to watch the recordings of the acts and fill out an online poll scoring each category that the judges will be voting on.
After watching predictions, we revisited the results from the poll, calculating the overall winners in the same way they would be calculated by the judges.
We then listed the results, and opened the floor up for debate. This debate focused on who we would rank first in the men’s and women’s acts, and who would place below first in the class acts. When we couldn’t reach a conclusion, we went back to Moody.
On Wednesday night, we watched the entire show from start to finish, evaluating each act to make sure we were making the most accurate decision. While watching again helped us reach some conclusions, we continued to debate the overall women’s acts, and recalculated the votes.
Contrary to popular belief, we do not decide who our favorite clubs and classes are to promote them through our predictions, nor did anyone ask us for a specific rank to “hype” themselves up. We spend countless hours and energy making sure we are predicting the most likely outcomes based on the scoring process.
The path we take to ensure we achieve the most accurate results is the exact process the judges go through. Therefore, it is also unreasonable to suggest Sing Song and/or the Optimist predictions are rigged.
The judges and the audience see the same acts we see.
If we spend hours in the gym analyzing each performance multiple times and debating the outcome, and still end up with such similar results to the final scores we have done our job and we have done it well.