11 Of The Most Unexpected Upsets Ever

Because the clear winner isn’t always the one that goes home with the gold. Speaking of which, did you know that people chose Bing web search results over Google nearly 2 to 1 in blind comparison tests?* Go to www.bingiton.com and take the challenge today.

*Based on a comparison of web search results pane only; excludes ads, Bing’s Snapshot and Social Search panes and Google’s Knowledge Graph. Learn more at bingiton.com

1. The dashing John F. Kennedy dashes Richard Nixon in the polls.

Keystone / Getty Images

Sometimes all you really need to sweep the political landscape is a killer smile and full head of hair. Many a historian has posited that it wasn’t just this smart-suited Bostonian’s policies that catapulted him into office, but his heart-throbbing hunkiness, especially when contrasted against puggish Republican candidate Richard Nixon during their televised debates.

2. VHS triumphs over Betamax.

Kichigai Mentat / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: kichigai

Despite its better video quality and (comparatively) slender size, Sony’s Beta format fell behind when faced with JVC’s more popular VHS tapes during the Great Home Video Wars of The Mid-Seventies™. Question: what happened to all of those obsolete Beta tapes? Rumor has it that the BuzzFeed offices are built on top of an old Betamax graveyard.

3. “Shakespeare In Love” beats “Saving Private Ryan” for Best Picture.

Everett Collection

History, shmistory — light-hearted renaissance-era romcoms are forever. When director John Madden’s period piece swept the Academy Awards over Steven Spielberg’s wartime epic, Hollywood shook with the sound of a thousand monocles popping from the eyes of flustered film critics.

4. The New York Giants stomp the New England Patriots at the Superbowl.

Chris McGrath / Getty Images

Football fans the nation over expected the Patriots to easily sweep the 2008 Super Bowl, but a country was shocked when a late-game dive spun the game in New York’s favor. Good thing football aficionados are so calm and level headed about these things, right?

5. Milli Vanilli wins a Grammy, beats actual musicians.

The LIFE Picture Collection / Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Alas, poor Rob and Fab. They had the world at their bedazzled fingertips, achieving international superstardom and claiming the music industry’s highest honor, a shiny Grammy statue, all without ever singing a single note. Will these dreadlocked deceivers go down in history as an unfortunate footnote in late 80s power-pop? Girl, you know it’s true.

6. Edison electrified a nation while Tesla fell into obscurity.

Recuerdos de Pandora / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: recuerdosdepandora

The interest in this electric rivalry has been re-sparked in recent years, and a quick trip to Tumblr would have you believe that Thomas Edison is a Lex Luthor-level supervillain straight out of a bad sci-fi book. The truth of the matter is that both men were great thinkers that had indelible roles in shaping modern-day technology, but mustachioed Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla somehow still languishes in obscurity while Edison’s name is held amongst science’s most prolific heroes.

7. France splashes ahead at the 2012 London Olympics.

Chris Hyde / Getty Images

A good chunk of the viewing public expected either the United States or Australia to swim home with the Olympic gold at this year’s London games, but French freestyler Yannick Agnel surprised almost everyone when he overtook American favorite Ryan Lochte in the early relay matches.

8. The Dreamcast is pummeled by the PlayStation 2.

Mauro Monti / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: kilamdil

Sony eventually got its own swing at stomping down the underdog when its last big game-changer, the PlayStation 2, put a stop to the wave of goodwill and fan favoritism that Sega’s Dreamcast was currently riding. Despite some notable technical advantages, the Dreamcast quickly drowned in the waves of publicity surrounding Sony’s console, and Sega was officially relegated to the nosebleeds.

9. Jennifer Hudson loses out on Idol, wins big in life.

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Before she was billed as “Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson,” our favorite Dreamgirl was just another aspiring songstress aiming for her big break at the behest of the American Idol judges’ panel. Although she was eliminated near the end of the seasons run, Hudson’s post-Idol career kicked off with an Oscar-winning turn alongside Beyonce Knowles in Dreamgirls and hasn’t showed any signs of slowing since.

10. Hollywood rekindles its love affair with 3D movies, forgets its fling with 2D.

Radly J Phoenix / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: radjose

Remember when going to the movies wasn’t about A) paying $20 a ticket, or B) having stuff thrown at you every five minutes? The commoditization of Hollywood’s favorite format stomps onward, leaving 2D in the dust with each blockbuster release. Don’t believe us? Did you ever think you’d read the words Great Gatsby 3D on a movie theater marquee? Yeah, didn’t think so.

11. Bing vs Google

You may be used to using Google, it’s what you use every day, but you may be surprised to know that more people chose Bing web search results over Google in blind comparison tests;* Go to www.bingiton.com and take the challenge today.

*Based on a comparison of web search results pane only; excludes ads, Bing’s Snapshot and Social Search panes and Google’s Knowledge Graph. Learn more at bingiton.com

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