Voting in multi-stage elimination contests: Evidence from a karaoke show

Cesar Mantilla, Ashley Durán

Research output: Working paper


We employ the data from a karaoke contest to analyze strategic voting. Participants face a trade-off when voting for the contestant they want to eliminate. Excluding worst-performers increases the size of the prize allocated to the winner, whereas excluding top-performers increases the chances to become the winner. We analyze the performance and voting decisions and justifications of 138 participants in this contest across 23 episodes. We find that votes for worst-performers are much more common than votes for top-performers, and the justifications for voting due to the competitors’ mistakes are the most prominent. Although contestants are not informed of the performance of themselves or any other participant, the likelihood to vote for the worst-performer is higher than the probability of randomly voting for someone else.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages19
StatePublished - May 2021


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