The X Factor’s Top
16 17 were revealed on Tuesday night’s show, and they are, in order of my favorite to least favorite:
- Josh Krajcik, 30, Columbus, Ohio. The burrito-making soul man has an everyday appeal and a very powerful voice. It will be interesting to see how much of a transformation he undergoes, in terms of image, once the live shows roll around.
- Chris Rene, 28, Santa Cruz, Calif. More than anyone else in the competition, the garbage collector and recovering addict seems to be a true artist. Expect his sobriety to be a big storyline over the course of the season.
- Drew Ryniewicz, 14, Chino Valley, Ariz. The Justin Bieber-obsessed singer performed strong renditions of her idol’s “Baby” as well as Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love” during the early rounds. Can she keep it up?
- Melanie Amaro, 19, Sunrise, Fla. She has the pipes but doesn’t have an image. Will that change once the stylists get a hold of her?
- Simone Battle, 22, Los Angeles. Brimming with overconfidence, the diva-in-training has a lot of work to do to back up her swagger.
- LeRoy Bell, 60, Seattle. Very cool 60-year-old, maybe the coolest 60-year-old. But is he too cool? And is that even possible?
- The Stereo Hoggz, 24-25, Houston. Don’t let the terrible name distract you. They’re the best of the groups, although the groups seems thus far like a throwaway category.
- Stacy Francis, 42, Los Angeles. The question with Francis is whether the emotionally fragile over-singer has the stability she needs to be able to hold it together.
- Phillip Lomax, 22, Seattle. Where does croony end and corny begin? His Sinatra style is played out, but don’t underestimate the value of a good personality and a winning smile.
- Rachel Crow, 13, Boulder, Colo. The bubbly youngster is definitely cute, and has more poise than expected. But how young is too young?
- Tiah Tolliver, 20, Bremerton, Wash. Right now the divisive contestant is all sex appeal. Simon Cowell sees something in her, though. Is it more than just a future Maxim magazine spread?
- Brian “Astro” Bradley, 14, Brooklyn. How is a rapper going to survive in a singing competition? Plus, his attitude — he’s already said in five years he’ll be better than Jay-Z — is likely to be a huge problem.
- Marcus Canty, 20, Bowie, Mary. So far he seems utterly generic. He needs a hook and doesn’t have one yet.
- InTENsity, 12-17. A 10-person group? What is this, the Wu-Tang Clain?
- The Brewer Boys, 12 and 17, Temecula, Calif. Cute haircuts, dudes. NEXT.
- Dexter Haygood, 49, Memphis. The sympathy vote of all sympathy votes. This guy is a disaster.
- Lakoda Rayne, 17-22. There were two groups of forgettable contestants thrown together by the judges. This is the less memorable of the two.
“The X Factor” live rounds begin at 8 p.m. Oct. 25, with a special two-and-a-half hour episode that’s sure to try the patience of even the most ardent fans of this British import.