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26 March 2016 @ 05:13 pm
2016 Zimbio TV Couples March Challenge - The Analysis  

Finally! The fight was worth it! (Image: Project Fandom)

While still waiting on LiveJournal's Fandom March Madness which has a small chance of running this year and realizing that E! Online doesn't seem to run its Top TV Couple competition like last year, yet another edition of Zimbio's TV Couple March Challenge is in the books. This year, Clarke Griffin and Clexa of The 100 made this ZMM their second time and also their second final after last year's upset against Root and Shaw, defeating Damon Salvatore and Bonnie Bennett from The Vampire Diaries in process after a tight game. Apparently, this year's Top 3 is even all Teen dramas, as Teen Wolf's Stiles Stilinski and Lydia Martin has the higher losing percentage than Once Upon A Time's Emma Swan and Regina Mills.

Lots of things happened since Round 1, with usual suspects getting through easily past it yet some of upsets were abound in the same round. This post will serve as the analysis of how the rounds went, as NA Sports Cars' Ben's Analysis has inspired me to do this kind of crap.


Votes3.9 mil4.7 mil
50-50 Ties33

Starting off with some general tidbits, this year saw an increase in total votes, although only God knows how many instances multiple votes were cast. It was 3.9 million votes last year, and this year's 4.7 million votes topped it by almost a million, of course yours truly included. This has marked the fact that ZMM keeps growing in votes and fandom awareness becomes a more serious business, especially knowing the open nature of this competition.

Fandoms with Multiple Representatives
4Once Upon A Time
3Pretty Little Liars, The Originals, The Vampire Diaries
2Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Game of Thrones, Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, Jessica Jones, Shadowhunters, The 100, The Big Bang Theory, The Flash, The Walking Dead

Then, fandom representations. Last year, we had a flock of OUAT ships on the grid, but this year once again OUAT came along as the fandom with the most representatives, chipping four ships of Captain Swan, Robin Hood/Regina, Rumplebelle, and of course Swan Queen, with Pretty Little Liars, The Originals and The Vampire Diaries all chip three represents just behind the ABC series. Returning fandoms such as The Vampire Diaries and The Originals have a new set of faces like Damon and Bonnie and Cami and Klaus, even Caroline Forbes has been officially naturalized to The Originals. All-new fandoms competing this year included Supergirl, Fuller House, You're the Worst, iZombie, The X-Files, Suits, Quantico, American Horror Story, Jessica Jones and Shadowhunters. In the end, this year had 45 fandoms in total, eight fandoms less than last year, but several fandoms have multiple representatives other than the mentioned ones like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Game of Thrones, Grey's Anatomy, HTGAWM, Jessica Jones, Shadowhunters, The 100, The Big Bang Theory, The Flash and The Walking Dead.

Characters with Multiple Representatives
2Barry Allen, Caleb Rivers, Caroline Forbes, Clarke Griffin, Damon Salvatore, Emma Swan, Jessica Jones, Klaus Mikaelson, Regina Mills, Spencer Hastings

Character distribution for this year reached a number of 118 characters, a little less than last year's 123. Multiple instances of Jessica Jones, Caleb Rivers, Caroline Forbes, and Emma Swan, among others, brought some shipping flavor of their own, even Caleb Rivers and Spencer Hastings have somekind of a triangle between them (Hanna/Caleb, Toby/Spencer, and Caleb/Spencer), to which I'm imagining that they would have the most number of sweat if ZMM were a mixed couples tennis or badminton tournament. All multiple representation occurences do not exceed than two.

Finally, the 50-50 ties. Last year, Dean/Castiel, Oliver/Felicity, and Piper/Alex lost their respective games under such a circumstance, and this year the number remained the same with a different set of victims: Maggie/Glenn, Margaery/Sansa, and Derek/Meredith


Even the best fandoms in award shows are subject to constant defeats in certain internet competitions. Pretty Little Liars is just one of them. (Image: Teen.com)

The 2016 ZMM kicked off with a jaw-dropping Round 1 which saw 64 couples sashaying their buns off against each other in order to escape the elimination Grim Reaper, and fortunately even though 32 were cut, nobody was harmed physically at the end of the voting unless it was an upsetting heartbreak for some ships due to one reason or another; Pretty Little Liars was the prominent example of this. This People' Choice Awards and Teen Choice Awards stalwart has been known to be awfully inferior in voting games, and the fact that all of its representations were eliminated, it showed. Same story for Empire, coming with respectable CV on their actors' side (you can't go wrong with Taraji P. Henson!), yet lopsidedly lost against Damon and Bonnie by miles. Apparently, the winner of last year's E! Online Top TV Couple Stefan and Caroline didn't seem to get past Booth and Brennan's powers after a 35-65 loss, resulting in yet another disappointment story of this year's running.

Another round highlight also went to the battle between Outlander and Jane The Virgin as both came with strong award shows and voting competition backgrounds, yet Golden Globes got the best of PCAs in this as Jane Gloriana-Villanueva and Michael Cordero denied Jamie MacKenzine Fraser and Claire Beauchamp-Randall's campaign (so much for a Gina Rodriguez vs Caitriona Balfe horse race). Also note that the Maggie/Glenn vs. Annalise/Eve match-up marked the first instance of 50-50 tie, of which the HTGAWM pairing broke the tie and advanced to the next round. In the end, 18 fandoms were completely wiped out after this round, which included stalwarts PLL, Empire, and Outlander plus newcomers Quantico, Fuller House, Suits, iZombie, AHS and You're The Worst.

Lauren's dismay upon knowing that they had to pack home earlier than expected. (Image: WiffleGif)

In Round 2, one surprise was abound starting this round: competition favorite Doccubus (Bo and Lauren) from Lost Girl must depart way earlier than they expected after Piper Chapman and Alex Vause a.k.a Vauseman of Orange Is The New Black decimated them in a score of 56-44, same story for Castle and Beckett of Castle with an upsetting lost to Stiles and Lydia of Teen Wolf with a percentage of 49-51, and even Damon. Jane Gloriana-Villanueva meanwhile faced yet another award-winning actress-cast character of Penny from The Big Bang Theory, and apparently Gina Rodriguez's Golden Globe power didn't work somehow and ended up accepting Kaley Cuoco's stronger fanbase force after Penny & Leonard won the match-up in a straightforward 66-34 score, and Derek/Meredith pulled a revenge of Jude/Connor of The Fosters after being defeated last year by said pairing, this time with a score of 58-42. Another 50-50 tie made its second occurence in the Mulder/Scully vs Margaery/Sansa game, of which the former advanced to the next round, and the rest of the game was pretty much straightforward, even though my other horse Cosima and Delphine was also there which I don't really mind that much. Eleven fandoms were sent packing after this round, including HTGAWM and Jessica Jones among others.

Cut to Sweet 16 where competition started to heat up, with exactly 16 fandoms still have their flags rising, meaning that this game has become a "win-or-die" for all fandoms concerned. Yet another highlight was made as three-time ZMM champion Dean and Castiel of Supernatural lost against Clarke and Lexa of The 100 in a game of 51-49, being one of the closely-fought matchups in the round, and making sure that Clexa was aiming for the second Championship appearance. Penny and Leonard unfortunately had to end their run after a defeat from debuting pairing Daenerys/Daario by 54-46, making it not only the farthest a comedy fandom can go far but also the fact that people still resort to Emilia Clarke more than Kaley Cuoco, at least for this matter. Jane and Maura from Rizzoli & Isles also won in a close-fought victory against Arrow's Oliver and Felicity, with yet another 50-50 tie occurence went to Derek/Meredith of Grey's Anatomy and Stiles/Lydia of Teen Wolf. Vauseman meanwhile ended Alec/Magnus's journey with a 46-54 game, effectively making Shadowhunters one of the debuting fandoms in ZMM to go the farthest alongside The X-Files whose Mulder/Scully also lost in the hands of Damon/Bonnie by 47-53. Taking losing percentages into account though The X-Files has slightly more edge than Shadowhunters.

Root and Shaw defeating be like "DISMAAAAAAYYYY~!!! NO! NO! NO!" (Image: beautyandthemess.tumblr)

Elite 8 pitted three remaining Sci-Fi/Fantasy series, three teen dramas, one Netflix drama and one crime investigation drama. Swan Queen, Stydia and Bamon made a straightforward victory from defeating Rizzles, Shoot, and Daenerys/Daario respectively, while Clexa struggled a bit to victory against Vauseman. The round marked Rizzoli & Isles's highest ever finish in ZMM, the first time Teen Wolf made it very far, and a surprise of last year's winner Root and Shaw being lost, which proved Stydia's campaign of preventing their second back-to-back ZMM victory successful.

The Final 4 of this year was comprised of Swan Queen vs Clexa and Bamon vs Stydia. Clexa won the game against Swan Queen in a straightforward match of 63-37, while Bamon got the best of Stydia after some heated tension battle taking place, resulting in a 53-47 victory. While Clexa and Bamon got head-to-head for what I can call as The CW lockdown, the fact that Stydia's resistance really showed proved that this year's ZMM is a Teen drama lockdown in the podium finish.

Believe it or not, the fact that Bonnie and Damon got this far meant that it was a serious crunch time for them as soon as the Championship round came. (Image: Tumblr)

Finally, the climax between The CW shows came, with both The 100 and The Vampire Diaries had the equal chance of victory. After one 52-page Vogue spread of Kendall Jenner, one conventional taxi riot, a stupid Formula 1 rule revert, and yet again a heated argument of both shippers, as well as numerous retweets from Bamon fandom, it was decided that Clarke Griffin and Lexa was crowned as the champion of 2016 Zimbio TV Couples March Challenge, beating out Damon Salvatore and Bonnie Bennett by a score of 53 to 47. Both didn't come out without a fight, and it was much more intense than last year, especially as Bamon tried to catch up Clexa's winds and that Clexa ran their campaign with a concrete reason, explained later on in the paragraph way below.

The following is an embedded Excel workbook detailing the full matchup results, and classifications for the competing ships, characters, and fandoms concerned. This workbook is meant to give a clearer figure on the goings-on for this year's competition. Click here for fullscreen version.


Clarke and Lexa's second foray in Zimbio TV Couples March Madness have turned out victorious, winning the competition after beating out Damon and Bonnie. (Image: Gay Star News)

This March was quite a run, and the best of the world comes in pairs. In the Fall/Winter Fashion Week this season, there's Lia and Odette Pavlova who have walked in the most shows, and in ZMM, Clarke and Lexa ruled the competition. Hell, there should be an extra round where Pavlova twins go up against Clexa, but if you want some more savage measures, consider Clexa vs Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, but since Regina George would reprimand me for trying to make this happen, I'm stepping out.

Unfunny jokes aside, this year marked a big history, not only for Clexa but also for ZMM itself. The Clexa fandom came to the competition in order to avenge the death of Lexa in the series, to which the community billed it as "embarassing", and this year, their efforts have made it possible. Since such an embarassing death, the community strived to make a change, so they have raised over $65K for The Trevor Project, and throughout the course of this competition the community made sure to consistently highlight the fandom's work in advocating for the LGBTQ community, which has been resurfacing in better light for the last 10 years yet still reflected far too rarely in cinematic works, both television and movies. As such, Zimbio donated $1000 to The Trevor Project on Clexa's behalf, marking the first time such a history is made. Although Lexa's actor moved to Fear The Walking Dead, the episode has left the scar to the fandom, though this isn't the last of Clexa, rather it is just the beginning of a new chapter.

Now all that's left to all fandoms, especially Bamon and Clexa fandoms, is to consider fighting for other competitions. For those hungry for more, you might be interested in SpoilerTV's Character Cup and Favorite TV Series competition later around June-August, which you just need to watch that space. However, if they really want a true domination post-ZMM, then they will have to consider putting their fandoms and pairings into Teen Choice Awards, and fight like crazy in order to fight for domination.

(Image: commanderofraccoons.tumblr)


Posts from This Journal by “march madness” Tag

Butterflysnogged on March 26th, 2016 07:55 pm (UTC)
I haven't watched any of the new Vampire Diaries (since Elena left) and I only vaguely know about Clarke/Lexa.

Kudos to them for winning.