Thursday, December 6, 2018

So, Who's Winning? And other spoilers.

Who's winning?

The answer is John Singer Sargent. 

You didn't think I'd just pop right out and tell you, did ya!  But it's true, Sargent entered the Sixth Round with an astronomical .855 voting ratio, which makes him the closest thing we have to a field leader at this point.  In any event, it's clear that he's not going to show up anytime soon on the Ladder of Art.  There are two other artists who finished Round Five with more than 4/5 of the votes on their side: Leonardo da Vinci (.817) and Vincent van Gogh (.803). 

Double-elimination tournaments don't lend themselves well to the concept of the "Sweet Sixteen," but Round Six, which kicked off last spring and summer, featured the last sixteen artists who were undefeated.  They are a satisfyingly quirky group, with towering names in art (Monet, Michaelangelo, Degas) balanced by some dark horses (Caillebotte, Patenier, Sheeler) and two relative unknowns (Ely, Varo). 

While those sixteen have been locked in their titanic battles, the Left Brackets have been on a long, epic journey to catch up.  And, they are almost there!  In fact, six members of the "Also Quite Toothsome Sixteen" -- the artists who made it to Fifth Round Elimination with only one loss -- are already pitted against each other in painterly combat.  The matches that will select the other ten members of this group are all underway.  Which means that, for the first time, we can actually see the remainder of the tournament in just one reasonably intelligible image!

Now, I'm going to tell you what you're getting for Christmas:

The first Round Seven Match!  It will be the best Christmas ever.  And for the New Year, you'll get the second Round Seven Match! 

What else does the future hold?

The Round Seven excitement will keep things pretty busy in January, and we'll stay on the two-a-week-plus-the-ladder-on-the-weekend schedule.

In February, we'll switch over to one-a-week, probably on Wednesdays.

We should be crowning the bracket winner sometime this summer!

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