Americas Psychic Challenge November 2, 2007  

Monday, November 05, 2007

The four contestants this week were Jeff, Robin, M.W., and Sloan. The three tasks were reading three people, matching musicians to their instruments, and reading the scene of a crime.

Task #1: Reading People
For this task the psychics were given five minutes to read three people. The three participants were all present during the entire five minutes and judged the psychic's accuracy by awarding up to 25 points. This is very different than the first two episodes. In this task the psychics are all almost guaranteed to get points, where it was very much a hit or miss situation in the last two episodes.

Robin was up first. She was raised in a Christian home and felt her talent was often squashed. She's taken the last name of "Zodiac" and works a lot with Tarot cards.

The three participants were all guys. Robin walked up to the first guy and asked him right away if he was in computers. He said no, that he was in business. Then she made a few matches based around him being the valedictorian and winning a lot of awards. Then she went over to the next guy and ask him if he was in computers. He wasn't. She made a few relationship matches. The last guy she guessed wore a uniform in his job and was possibly a Security Guard. He said no. She guessed that he was psychic and into music, which she scored matches on.

The participants mostly noticed the hits and awarded Robin 18 points.

Sloan was next and did a lot of fast talking. I can't remember how much she got right or wrong. She sounded a lot like Johnathan Edwards in her speech and it was difficult to keep up with what she was saying. She was awarded 15 points.

Jeff went third and told the first guy that he was insecure about his sexuality (while standing about four inches away from him). I don't know if it's the best thing to risk pissing off the person you're reading when they're the one judging you. It was certainly a bold move though. He said his technique was to really look into their eyes and get a sense of who they are. It sounds more like cold reading to me. In the end he was awarded 13 points.

M.W. was last and was very friendly with all of the participants. She had a little number where she walked through years to find out how long the middle guy had been in a relationship. It almost felt like she was reading his reaction as she said the years, but the clip was short and it was hard to tell. The show has this really annoying effect they use to try to show the viewer that the psychic is visualizing. I'll just take seeing it for myself, thank you. M.W. was awarded 22 points.

Task #2: Match Instruments to Owners
The next task was similar to the last two episodes. A six member band (Library) was set up on the stage. The singer was identified by the host, but the psychics had to match the remaining five musicians to their instruments. Then the band would play a song and the musicians who were not evenly matched wouldn't play to let the psychic know how well he or she did. I have to say that the singer always put his heart into it and he sounded great.

The musicians were a keyboardist, drummer, bassist, guitarist, and pianist.

As I pointed out before they can get 1, 2, 3, or 5 correct. There are different combinations of correct matches for 1, 2, and 3. Really I don't know that the combinations matter, but I did a little math to find out what the odds under a combination situation would be. Last week the host said 1 in 120. Let's just see.

1 correct (positions 1 right, 2 right, 3 right, 4 right, 5 right) = 5 combinations
2 correct (positions 1,2 right; 1,3 right; 1,4 right; 1,5 right; 2,3 right; 2,4 right; 2,5 right; 3,4 right; 3,5 right; 4,5 right) = 10 combinations
3 correct (positions 1,2,3 right; 1,2,4 right; 1,2,5 right; 1,3,4 right; 1,3,5 right; 1,4,5 right; 2,3,4 right; 2,3,5 right; 2,4,5 right; 3,4,5 right; 1,3,5 right) = 11 combinations
5 correct = 1 combination

That's a total of 27 combinations. But I'm not sure that it matters what combination they chose since if Contestant A gets 1,2,3 right and Contestant B gets 3,4,5 right then they are awarded the same number of points. Could someone with a math background help me out with the odds here?

M.W. was first. She said she was reading their minds and equated it to tuning into and out of a radio station. Once she had them matched up she said she felt 100% accurate. Her radio must have had a lot of static though, because she only got one correct for a score of 5.

Robin went next. She pointedly looked at all of the musicians hands, with the reasoning that she was reading their palms. Matt pointed out that she could be looking for calluses to pick out the guitar players or even perhaps drummer. She matched up the bassist and guitarist backwards, but when one of them gave a disappointed signal, she switched them. Her first placing was 100% correct, but she second guessed herself and switched two in the end. She was awarded 15 points.

Jeff was next and looked at the hands as well. When the host asked him what he was looking for Jeff said, "signs." Yeah, signs of instrument usage. In the end he matched up 1 out of 5 correct and was awarded 5 points.

Sloan was last and very quickly matched each musician up to an instrument. She wasn't even sure what the instruments were called and seemed very nervous. At the end the host asked her how confident she was and she said, "not very confident." She also only matched up one musician to the correct instrument and scored 5 points. In fact, the one musician she matched up correctly she later said she was sure she "screwed up" on. Hmmm.... I guess he psychic powers must have failed her there.

Task #3: Crime Scene
The last task was to read the scene of a crime. A woman was raped and killed at a bakery and the place was robbed. For a while there was no luck during the investigation, but in the end one suspect was arrested and he was currently on trial. An employee, a close friend of the lady that was killed, and a Private Investigator were on hand to judge the contestants remotely. The contestants all had a chance to meet them ahead of time.

M.W. went first. The host asked her questions to try to get her to pinpoint the key facts that were being judged (when this occurred, if there were arrests, etc) and nodded when she made hits. Again, this is cold reading in my opinion.

Sloan was next. She didn't make as many hits as M.W. and the host gave her a confused look at times.

Robin went third and guessed it was a man that was killed. She got very little in the way of hits, but a lot of puzzled looks from the host.

Jeff was last. He got a lot of hits and a lot of nodding from the host. He went on about how wonderful the murder victim had been in life and how she was trying to contact the employee, who was also one of the judges. He made the judge lady cry because she was sure it was true. In the end he gave the judge lady a private reading because he said he had things that the murdered lady wanted to tell her. Bingo! He just ingratiated himself into a great score by getting private time where he could directly read the judge.

The Results
The points were revealed in the end. Sloan received 11 points for a total of 31, but it wasn't enough to move on. She was eliminated from the competition. M.W. received 32 points which was enough to give her the highest overall score of 59. She will be competing in the next round.

The last spot was between Jeff and Robin. Jeff had the lowest score from the first two tasks, a total of 18. Robin had 33 points going in to the final task. Unfortunately for Robin, she only scored 7 in the final task. Would it be enough to go on? Jeff was awarded 30 points for a total of 48, enough to beat Robin's 40. For the second time a man is continuing on to the next stage. Will he be able to overcome the women's intuition?

Viewer Participation
At each commercial break they show items and ask the viewers to use their psychic powers to determine the outcome. I'm beginning to wonder if the show suggests anything or if they just leave it to the viewers to believe they are psychic.

At the first break they showed a woman in the park with a dog. There were three balls set out for the dog and the viewers are asked to select which one the dog will choose: red, yellow, or blue. I selected yellow (as did Matt). Were we right? Well, the dog went right for the yellow ball, picked it up, then dropped it and picked up the red. Do I get half credit for that? Oh, alright. I didn't get it.

At the second break a man was shown with his eyes closed and the viewers were asked to select his eye color: brown, blue, or hazel. Matt and I both selected hazel. It seemed to fit his brown hair. Well, we were again wrong because when he opened his eyes they were a very nice blue. Maybe they change colors like mine. OK, OK, I know. I got it wrong. No excuses, right?

At the third break a martini shaker and glass are shown. The viewers are asked to select what kind of martini will be poured: cosmopolitan, appletini, or chocolatini. I selected the appletini and Matt chose not to select. Well, that's 0 for 3 for me tonight and 7 for 12 total. It was a cosmopolitan.

OK, it's time for me to admit it. I'm not psychic.

Tune in for next week where the winners from the first two episodes (Jackie (Bowl Cut), Xena (Zenobia), Sylvana, and Lynn) face off against each other.

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3 comments: to “ Americas Psychic Challenge November 2, 2007

  • Patience
    Monday, November 5, 2007 at 5:46:00 AM CST  

    I'm not a mathematician, so let that go as a warning first...

    You're missing a null in your math in the post. It's perfectly possible for them to get 0 right, as well. There was also a repeat in your correct numbers, favouring three hits. As far as I can see, to get three hits, there are only 10 combinations.

    0 correct (I'm very visual, and think of the people as being in a circle with their positions. You can rotate everyone, move them in a star shape, and a couple other patterns, and still have 0 where they started [ie, wrong]. I'm sure there's a mathy way to work out how many of these there are, but I just drew it and counted. There's a limited number of ways you can do it without getting a single hit) = 25 combinations
    1 correct (positions 1 right, 2 right, 3 right, 4 right, 5 right) = 5 combinations
    2 correct (positions 1,2 right; 1,3 right; 1,4 right; 1,5 right; 2,3 right; 2,4 right; 2,5 right; 3,4 right; 3,5 right; 4,5 right) = 10 combinations
    3 correct (positions 1,2,3 right; 1,2,4 right; 1,2,5 right; 1,3,4 right; 1,3,5 right; 1,4,5 right; 2,3,4 right; 2,3,5 right; 2,4,5 right; 3,4,5 right) = 10 combinations
    5 correct = 1 combination

    The total number of possibilities, then, is not 27, but 51. 49% of those will be null guesses (all the percentages are irrational numbers, so the percents are approximate), and once you get a correct guess, your odds go up that you'll get more than one. To get just one right answer is an 10% chance. To get two or three is 19% each. Four is impossible, and five is 2%.

    Put another way, if you are able to get one guess right (and since this involves cold reading, I think that despite the stats, it's probably easier than it looks to get one hit), your chances of getting two or three hits doubles. Getting five right is the one with the most difficulty.

  • mamacita chilena
    Monday, November 5, 2007 at 2:55:00 PM CST  

    About the first part...Robin guessing someone is into music...who isn't into music??? There's like a 1 in a billion chance of getting that wrong. ok, now I need to keep reading your post, I just wanted to comment before I forgot.

  • mamacita chilena
    Monday, November 5, 2007 at 2:59:00 PM CST  

    Again, I think the crime scene thing is such baloney! I could probably do it too based on people's reactions.

    sorry i can't help you with the math. I took through A.P. calculus in high school but I never took another math class after that since taking A.P. counted as college credit! woohoo, I hate math, I'm glad someone else could help you!


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