Academy Idol: A Refresher Course on The Awards Circuit’s Most Infamous Game

Last year’s winner of Academy Idol 5, Steve McQueen’s “Shame.”

Five years ago, The Awards Circuit introduced its readers to Academy Idol, a movie-driven competition that mirrors the same formula as FOX’s popular American Idol franchise. Within the course of the season, twenty-four of the year’s best films (twelve adapted and twelve original) will duke it out for your votes until one film is left standing and crowned as the new champion of Academy Idol. Once the twenty-four are whittled down to the finalists (a group of twelve or thirteen), the film with the lowest number of votes each week will be eliminated from the competition. Just like on American Idol, the only way you can guarantee your favorites remain safe in the competition is to VOTE VOTE VOTE! Shame’s victory last season proved that no matter how small or seemingly unpopular a film might appear on paper, its chances of winning are equal to that of any other major film in the competition since votes determine who stays, who goes, and who ultimately wins. Finally, each week of competition will also include a theme that is related in some way to the awards race (Oscar categories, for instance).

For those readers who are new to either The Awards Circuit or Academy Idol this year, I hope this game information was helpful. I’d also like to take a brief trip down memory lane and share with you all the history of Academy Idol up until now…

Season One (2007):

Top 24: The Savages, Into the Wild, In the Valley of Elah, The Great Debaters

Top 20: Once, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, 3:10 to Yuma; Lust, Caution

Top 16: Michael Clayton, The Diving Bell & the Butterfly, The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson’s War

Finalists:
12th — American Gangster
11th — I’m Not There
10th — Gone Baby Gone
9th — Ratatouille
8th — Hairspray
7th — Eastern Promises
6th — No Country For Old Men (Season Shock-Boot)
5th — Atonement
4th — Sweeney Todd
3rd — Juno
Runner-Up — Knocked Up
Winner of Academy Idol, Season One: There Will Be Blood

Season Two (2008):

Top 24: Appaloosa, Gran Torino, I’ve Loved You So Long, The Duchess

Top 20: Gommorah, Defiance, Happy Go Lucky, Pineapple Express

Top 16: Frost/Nixon, Iron Man, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Visitor

Finalists:
12th — Rachel Getting Married
11th — Australia
10th — Changeling
9th — The Reader
8th — Doubt
7th — Slumdog Millionaire
6th — The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
5th — Milk
4th — Revolutionary Road
3rd — The Wrestler
Runner-Up — The Dark Knight (Season Shock-Boot)
Academy Idol, Season Two Winner: Wall-E

Season Three (2009):

Top 36 Best of the Rest: Watchmen, The Road, The Messenger, The Hangover, Brothers, The White Ribbon, Invictus, Coraline, Public Enemies, Paranormal Activity, Trucker, The Lovely Bones, Star Trek, Zombieland, A Single Man, Bright Star, Capitalism: A Love Story, Crazy Heart, The Last Station

Finalists:
12th — Nine
11th — The Cove
10th — In the Loop
9th — District 9
8th — Avatar
7th — Up in the Air
6th — Precious
5th — Where the Wild Things Are
4th — The Hurt Locker (Season Shock-Boot)
3rd — Up
Runner-Up — A Serious Man
Academy Idol, Season Three Winner — Inglourious Basterds

Season Four (2010):

Top 24: Made in Dagenham, Waiting for Superman, TRON: Legacy, Fair Game

Top 20: Get Low, Secretariat, The Way Back

Top 17: Shutter Island, The Town, True Grit, Animal Kingdom, The Tourist

Finalists:
12th — Another Year
11th — The Fighter
10th — Winter’s Bone
9th — Rabbit Hole
8th — The King’s Speech
7th/6th — The Kid’s Are All Right/127 Hours (Double Elimination)
5th — Toy Story 3
4th — Inception
3rd — Black Swan (Season Shock-Boot)
Runner-Up — How To Train Your Dragon
Academy Idol, Season Four Winner — The Social Network

Season Five (2011):

Top 24 Best of the Rest: We Bought a Zoo, A Dangerous Method, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, A Separation, Young Adult, Rango, J. Edgar, The Ides of March, Melancholia, Bridesmaids

Finalists:
13th — War Horse
12th — The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
11th — Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
10th — Moneyball
9th — The Descendants
8th — 50/50
7th — The Tree of Life
6th — Martha Marcy May Marlene
5th — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Season Shock-Boot)
4th — Midnight in Paris
3rd — The Artist
Runner-Up — Drive
Academy Idol, Season Five Winner — Shame

*note: Shame and Drive are the only two films to make the finale without ever landing in the bottom two or three*

I hope that was semi-enjoyable! Look out soon for Academy Idol Season Six Auditions, and the Top 24 Announcement on November 11th, 2012! Last season was the best yet, so let’s make this one BIGGER and BETTER!