Monday, October 24, 2011

X Factor US: Ranking the Top 17

True, I haven't been reviewing the X Factor US (I've been super busy) for this blog and asked someone to cover the show for me. But of course, I got to see ALL episodes and just like what I did with American Idol last season, here I am again trying to size up X Factor's Top 17.

For the record, I usually suck at this whole prediction thing. In Season 9, I was pretty sure Didi Benami would end up winning American Idol and yes, she finished 9th. I was, however, a bit on point last season when I correctly predicted Lauren and Scotty to be Season 10's Final 2. Yes, I'm bragging! Haha.

One thing's for sure, my prediction will not be as accurate just because I have NO idea of the show's demo in general and the rules here are different: THE JUDGING PANEL WILL CHOOSE WHO GETS ELIMINATED FROM THE BOTTOM 2 BASED FROM AMERICA'S VOTES. So, favoritism from the judges' end will play a big role.

Anyway, just like with my American Idol prediction, these possible rankings are not just about singing skills or how they did since the audition right until the judges homes performance - though those things definitely count. But, I can tell you that I also take into consideration the performances we have seen of them, the buzz about the contestant, how a contestant relates to the audience, the audience perception of the contestant, the judges’ critiques, the show's pimping, the contestant’s overall X Factor-worthiness and of course, personal preference. Haha. Sure, it's not scientific, but whatever.

Well, here is my PERSONAL ranking of the Top 17:

17. Dexter Haygood

I was able to follow the X Factor UK for a couple of seasons now and I must say that there's ALWAYS a joke contestant every year. Sadly, that's what Dexter is to me - someone who made it to the live shows not because of his talent, but because of the entertainment value he will bring to the show. Dexter is, arguably, entertaining, but he has nothing to offer outside of a thin impersonations of James Brown and the likes. Heck, I'm not even sure if he can actually sing! To be honest, the decision of Nicole Scherzinger to pick him over say, James Kenney - who's rendition of Rihanna's Russian Roulette was incredible - or even Elaine Gibbs was dumb. Sorry.

16. The Brewer Boys

I admit, The Brewer Boys' rendition of Rihanna's Only Girl (In The World) was pleasant, their harmonies were pretty tight and of course, their voices blend well together. Plus, the older brother has some real potential. However, I just don't care much about them or their singing as a whole. I think they're a decent act, but decent just wouldn't cut it in X Factor.

15. Tiah Tolliver

I seriously want to like Tiah, but she's just mediocre at best. Her performance of No Diggity was underwhelming. Not a fan of her phrasing, her pitch was all over the place and her vocal tone wasn't even THAT unique for her to stand out in the real music world. Yes, she can carry a tune but so was Jazzlyn Little and Caitlin Koch. I still don't get what Simon Cowell sees in her. The attitude? Well, one can't win a competition like this if you're not likable. To some degree, America votes for the winner! But I'm pretty sure Tiah will stick around for a while just because Simon is SO determined to make her a star. Sad.

14. Lakoda Rayne

I found their version of Lady Gaga's Born This Way quite interesting if a bit messy in terms of their harmonies. But I seriously think that they look like a legitimate manufactured popstars. Think of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson and Mandy Moore in their prime years creating a girl group. Haha. That said, I'm not so sure if America is into the whole girl group nowadays.We'll see.

13. Stacy Francis

Stacy, tell me! What have I done to you to deserve all the screaming? Ugh. True, she can definitely sing, but all of her performances seemed to be so desperate to make an impression with all the high notes that weren't really even necessary. Her version of Purple Rain was mostly self-indulgent and I just didn't get that. Hooray! You can hit those high notes. Now what? Oh, and I don't want to sound a little insensitive, but I'm TIRED of her being so overly emotional and weepy. Get it together, Stacy! Anyway, can't wait for her to scream in our faces in the live shows.

12. Josh Krajcik

He reminds me of Nakia of The Voice, but with a little more grit to his voice. I like his singing and his tone is wonderful, but his grubby look is a little off putting to me. I know. I know. It's Josh's "identity", but can someone at the very least tame his look? Too superficial? Well, that's how it works in the real world. Deal with it.

11. The Stereo Hogzz

I'm not really a fan of groups as I don't think they're as relevant as before. However, I can appreciate talent and this group certainly has it. I think their lead singer is fantastic and has that really cool, very modern vibe to his voice. But don't get me started with their choreography! Haha. It's cheesy as hell.

10. Brian "Astro" Bradley

While this kid annoys the crap out of me - he can be an arrogant little snot at times - he brings something different and it will be interesting to see how he progresses in the live shows. His remix during the judges homes was fantastic and for a kid to rap like that as such a young age is insane! I just wish he'll cut back a little with his arrogance because he will wear thin with the audience very quickly. Just saying.

09. InTENsity

I love myself some wholesome clean talents! Haha. This group is a walking money machine for Simon Cowell and company. I mean, they're like a Glee version of the X Factor. I have a funny feeling that if they don't fall flat and perform consistently with some fun choreography and harmonies in the next coming weeks, they'll be crowd pleasers and can seriously go deep into the competition. Their performance of That's Not My Name was shockingly good for a group that was just manufactured for the show. I'm really curious to see what Paula Abdul does with this one.

08. Rachel Crow

No doubt, this little kid has talent. Her performances, though inconsistent, were all solid. I thought her rendition of Backstreet Boy's I Want It That Way was incredibly strong with great restraint in the verses and power towards the chorus. I actually like her, but I don't know what type of music she wants to do after this just because she's so freakin' young! Haha.

07. Simone Battle

I know people would strongly disagree with me on this, but Simone Battle to me is possibly one of the most relevant contestants in this competition. She has MASSIVE star quality, she's very attractive and while I hated her other performances, her version of Help! seriously blew me away. She sang it beautifully with great connection to the song, she was on key, her pitch was almost flawless and her tone was perfect for the song. Given the right material, I could see her as a potential Urban or R&B artist like Rihanna, Ciara or Keri Hilson - something American Idol NEVER got to provide it's viewers. She may not be the best singer in the bunch, but she has the X FACTOR! And yes, we may agree to disagree on this. Thank you very much. Haha.

06. Philip Lomax

I'm not particularly a fan of his genre but his tone is fantastic and it reminds me of Michael Buble. I specifically like Buble's pop-jazz style of singing, which Philip seems to have. He has star quality and his rendition of Rihanna's Please Don't Stop The Music while not perfect - his upper register was a little thin for my taste - was very interesting and he pulled it off quite nicely. I hope L.A. Reid knows how to handle an artist like him.

05. Chris Rene

Chris impressed me during his audition and suddenly went downhill from there. But there's something about him that draws me into his performances. He can't belt out and compete with the other great singers, but he sure has a good smooth voice. He actually reminds me of Mike Posner. He's got good presence and I can see why people would want to root for him. It'll be interesting to see whether he keeps the positive momentum going for him.

04. Leroy Bell

He's 60? Seriously? What I find interesting about Leroy is the fact that even if he's 60, he still seems more current and relevant than many of the much younger contestants. His tone is gorgeous, his cool vibe is current and adaptable and he's the one middle aged women are swooning for. I wouldn't be surprised if he'll be the last one standing in Nicole Scherzinger's group. Unless they shove into our throats Stacy Francis. Haha.

03. Marcus Canty

If the last few seasons of American Idol weren't enough proof that a current R&B/Urban artist will never make it on the show, then I don't know what is. Haha. I've given up hope on that EVER happening. So yes, it's refreshing to see a talent as great as Marcus be part of the X Factor US. He's just terrific. He has confidence, which isn't annoying, his tone is rich, and the liberties he took with some of his songs were appropriate and not over the top. Oh, and he's very likable.

02. Melanie Amaro

How Melanie was cut and saved by Simon Cowell was annoyingly staged, but there's some UNBELIEVABLE potential in her. She may not be a pop star in my eyes - at least, not yet - but she, to me, has the most control of her sound. Rich tone. Outstanding vocal nuances. Impressive range. Pitch perfect notes. Plus, she has an incredible powerful voice that's not too overbearing (Please take note of this, Stacy Francis!). Now, if she can find a way to sound more emotional and less technical a la Pia Toscano, she could seriously go far or even win the competition. But the raw talent is definitely there. It's Simon's job now to harness that talent to something more relevant and contemporary without losing herself in the process.

01. Drew Ryniewicz

Drew is the clear standout in my eyes. I mean, to make me like Justin Bieber's Baby during her audition was CRAZY and she's what, 14? For someone so young, everything she performed on the show were excellent and effortless. She seriously has great musicality, her phrasing is sensational and her connection with her songs are pretty incredible. Her version of It Must've Been Love was possibly the strongest performance on Judges Homes and dare I say, my favorite version of that song EVER. She actually sounded like a young Alanis Morrisette. I wouldn't be surprised if she'll eventually win X Factor US, but we'll see.

So, how do you think this season will turn out? Any specific rankings? I want your opinions on this. Let's discuss!!


KikomaxXx said...

yup me to my fave song so far was drew's it must have been love.. parang siya nga din number 1 sa rank ko na aarangkada talaga sa X factor...

Anonymous said...

now this is what i'm talking about. diference between dam and the other writer's style is huge. i like this critical yet witty type of posts. very specific without being too rude.

dam!!!!! write the reviews of xfactor. im begging you

Erwin said...

i agree with you DAM.
but my top 5 would be:
Chris Rene

And heck yeah I would have put all top 8 girls in the finals. Best category for me. sad to see Caitlyn leave this early.

Anonymous said...

My list of top 5 gonna be;
1) Drew
2) Stacie
3) Lakoda Rayne
4) Stereo Hodgezz
5) Intensity

Anonymous said...

Omg does Simon not realise that he jus copied gamu's performance from the uk version, and took all the credit!! We can see it too Simon!! Itv2 Kelly cardiff

Anonymous said...

Drew is also my top choice.. actually, she's the only one i like on the show..haha..

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