Before anyone panics, Benedict Cumberbatch has made our Round of 16 in our tournament of Anglophile fan favorites. But the odds-on favorite to winning it all was less than one percentage point from being out in the first round, which would unquestionably have been the greatest upset in the three years we’ve run this feature.
Our takeaway? Never underestimate the enduring devotion of Richard Armitage fans, who have, each year, impressed us with their amazing mobilization in support of their hero. They almost pulled off the unthinkable in testing the Cumberbabes. So there’s no shame for Armitage in his defeat: he’ll be a formidable presence for years to come.
Cumberbatch was our top vote-getter of last week, which means, according to our rules, he faces Andrew Garfield, who had the lowest vote total of Round 1′s winners. Does the Spider-Man star have the fan support to make this battle competitive, or will he be trounced? Meanwhile, Tom Hiddleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Martin Freeman, and others have all moved on the Round of 16. (Irishman Andrew Scott squeaked by John Barrowman in another nail-biter.)
Which eight will advance to next week’s quarterfinals? That’s up to you. As always, spread the word, call in reinforcements, and most importantly, VOTE! (Round 2 voting closes Thursday, August 8 at 11 am ET.)