If not for George Clooney, more Mainers would be proclaiming their Oscar-picking prowess right about now.

Clooney was definitely the spoiler in this year’s edition of our Readers Pick the Oscars contest. Only 10 people went six for six in our poll, out of 388 who submitted ballots.

Another 26 people would have gotten it right in all six major Oscar categories if they had only picked Jean Dujardin of “The Artist” for best actor. But most of those people picked Clooney instead.

So how did the 10 folks with perfect scores pick Dujardin over Clooney? Well, one line of reasoning was that Clooney had an unfair advantage in portraying his character in “The Descendents” – because he could talk.

Dujardin did his acting in a silent film.

“I think it must be much more challenging to convey what you’re trying to express without talking, using body language and facial expressions,” said Cherie Tate of Scarborough, a finance manager at the University of Southern Maine who got all six Oscar winners correct. “But George Clooney was great too.”

Dujardin also won best actor at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild awards, and those events are usually pretty good Oscar predictors, said Joe Carter of Portland, who also went six for six in our poll.

“I knew ‘The Artist’ was a fabulous movie, and I saw that at those other shows, it was winning for best picture and best actor,” said Carter, who teaches in the nursing department at the University of New England in Portland. “I was at an Oscar-viewing party, and no one else there got all six right. I told them, ‘You’ve got to go see the movies.’ “

Both Carter and Tate see a lot of movies, which helps when you’re predicting the Academy Awards. But even then, some of the Oscar choices this year were perplexing.

Tate had trouble deciding between Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady” and Viola Davis in “The Help” for best actress. But she correctly picked Streep because she felt Oscar voters often favor someone who portrays a real-life person.

Carter had a similar dilemma, and picked Streep partly because he didn’t think two actresses from “The Help” could both win. He felt more certain that Octavia Spencer of “The Help” would win best supporting actress, and he was right.

In our annual poll, we asked people to choose the Oscar winner in six major categories: Picture, director, actor, actress, supporting actor and supporting actress. People voted online and by mail.

Besides the all-important bragging rights, getting a perfect score in the poll also made participants eligible for loot. From the 10 folks who had perfect scores, we picked three at random as prize winners.

The first prize of four movie passes went to Elizabeth Coughlin of Cape Elizabeth. Second prize, four tickets to a Portland Pirates hockey game, went to Tate. Carter snagged third prize, which was four tickets to a Maine Red Claws basketball game. 

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

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Twitter: RayRouthier