Monday, October 10, 2011

32 Reasons Why You Need to Watch the X Factor this Week

Here are the 32 acts that have made the X Factor worth watching so far, but within two weeks, half of them will be cut, and the top 16 will perform live on stage. They'll be one step closer to a five million dollar recording contract with Sony music. Check out who's who if you missed the show so far, refresh your memory, or hit the replay button and watch all your favorites again.


Skyelor Anderson
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Currently Resides: Southaven, MS
Age: 16

Skyelor blew me away with his maturity. His talent is real talent because on his first audition when the music stopped, he kept going, and in key too! He's also unique because he isn't the stereotype for the kind of music he is interested in performing. I loved Paula's comment, and I agree 100%, I think he has some things to work on, but I believe in him because he is so passionate about what he wants.

Brian Bradley
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Currently Resides: Brooklyn, NY
Age: 15

I think Brian is crazy talented, and I do believe that someday this kid could be big, if he doesn't allow that big, fat, ole, ego of his to get in the way. I did not like the attitude that he gave, especially in the next round when he didn't want to dance like the other contestants, because "m.c.'s don't dance". Confidence is good, but cockiness is downright unappealing. Brian could stand to take some lessons from Skyelor (Brian, hope you're reading). Also, you may not want to tread on Jay-Z and Kanye when they are two people who could help you. ;-) Just a few tips, if you make it past this round that is. Major props though son for coming out with your own original song.

Marcus Canty
Hometown: Bowie, MD
Currently Resides: Bowie, MD
Age: 20

Marcus Canty has a personality bigger than anyone else in this category, arguably this competition. He is rainbows, sunshine, kittens, and all that good stuff. He just makes you smile with his positive energy, and I believe the sky is the limit for this young man. ALthough Marcus has dreams, he is humble on the stage, and leaves everything he has there. L.A. compares him to Bobby Brown and Simon compares him to his idol, Usher. I definitely see Marcus as a threat in this competition.

Tim Cifers
Hometown: Granville County, NC
Currently Resides: Willow Spring, NC
Age: 30

Wow, where did Tim Cifers come from? This guy, as Simon said following his bootcamp performance, is a star. He completely stands out, and his voice is solid. He shows a lot of potential, promise, and passion when he sings. I think country music and music in general would totally embrace someone like him.

Brennin Hunt
Hometown: Harrah, OK
Currently Resides: Nashville, TN
Age: 26

Brennin is a little bit full of himself, he does need to eat some humble pie, but that being said, he is talented. I will also say that unlike Brian, he did not take his cockiness onto the stage, and I think that just comes with maturity. I appreciate that he wrote his own song, it's always a big risk to do something like that. His voice is special without doubt, and again, this is someone who could potentially be big in the country music market.

Phillip Lomax
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Currently Resides: Seattle, WA
Age: 22

Phillip's persona is a throwback to another time when The Rat Pack ruled the world. Out of all eight guys in this group, he probably has the most work to do in terms of his voice. He has to work on really listening to the judges because he gets so excited that he forgets that this is a competition. What sets him apart is his stage presence.

Chris Rene
Hometown: Santa Cruz, CA
Currently Resides: Santa Cruz, CA
Age: 28

Chris Rene has been to hell and back so this competition should be no sweat. Chris has a gift that people in the music business spend their lives searching for. He's a bright light and I am so happy and excited that he found this show at this time, and more importantly, thank goodness that the judges said yes. I cannot wait to see the next chapters in his life unfold, truly one to watch. I think Chris is someone who would truly be grateful for his success.

Nick Voss
Hometown: Hialeah, FL
Currently Resides: Hialeah, FL
Age: 22

Nick Voss is unusual, I have yet to see a performer like him. He is like a combination of all the male singers/ performers that I like. Nick's passion, as Simon pointed out, is undeniable. I think he needs to focus on showing us his real voice, pure and uncorrupted by anything else.

My picks on the top 4 for the live shows: Marcus, Tim, Chris, and Nick .... can I switch Nick for Brian?


Melanie Amaro
Hometown: Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Currently Resides: Coral Springs, FL
Age: 19

Her voice is stunning, she sang "Listen" by Beyonce and unassumingly blew away all the judges with not just her voice but her heart. I felt every single note that Melanie sang. Regardless of a win, she will be a huge star, and I will go out on a limb and say I predict a top five finish for her in this competition.

Simone Battle
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Currently Resides: Los Angeles, CA
Age: 22

She needs to get real good, real quick, or she is going to be out of this competition. It is not good enough to believe in yourself and say how good you are, but not back it up. Her performances of When I Grow Up and Bulletproof were really just sub-par, to be honest I have no idea how she got through. Rumor has it, she makes it to the live rounds (me: rolling eyes).

Rachel Crow
Hometown: Longmont, CO
Currently Resides: Burbank, CA
Age: 13

The best things come in small packages, and if that's true, then Rachel Crow is pretty great. This young girl can compete with the most seasoned singers on the X Factor stage. She is humble beyond belief, but she believes in herself and her own talent with every fiber of her being. If Rachel doesn't win, I don't care, I'm still buying the album that she will definitely record.

Caitlin Koch
Hometown: Orchard Park, NY
Currently Resides: Orchard Park, NY
Age: 21

Caitlin is special because she's a little off beat. She has this creativity and originality that some other contestants in this competition try to possess but to no avail (Simone Battle, cough cough, ahem.... ahem). I like people who are talented, but don't really realize just how good they are. I wish her only the best in this competition because being consistently original is hard work.

Jazzlyn Little
Hometown: Cape Coral, FL
Currently Resides: Cape Coral, FL
Age: 16

Jazzlyn is someone who is chock full of potential but needs to have more self belief. She is too afraid of disappointing the judges, the audience, her family, and herself. There isn't enough time to think about those things; she clearly has a special gift, and she needs to step up or these other girls are going to walk all over her. She sang I'm Going Down for her first audition, that is a tough song to sing, and she sang it like a pro.

Drew Ryniewicz
Hometown: Chino Valley, AZ
Currently Resides: Chino Valley, AZ
Age: 14

Drew was a surprise to me because I thought she was just a girl who wanted to become famous in an effort to meet Justin Bieber. Little did I know that she would upstage him by singing his own song better than him. Drew took this song and completely stripped it down and made is pure and made it her own. I agree with Simon saying that people her age would buy her version of that song. I am 15 years older and I would buy her version of that song before I buy Justin Bieber's. I hope she continues growing in this competition.

Tiah Tolliver
Hometown: Chula Vista, CA
Currently Resides: Bremerton, WA
Age: 20

Tiah caused some major drama when she first auditioned because Simon was the only judge behind her. While he quickly convinced L.A. to put her through, Paula and Nicole were much more difficult to convince. It was actually the most drama I saw between the judges all season. As for Tiah, I do see some natural talent and some personality, it's just that she does need to work on her voice, and staying on key.

Tora Woloshin
Hometown: Tucson, AZ
Currently Resides: Tucson, AZ
Age: 22

She has a cool, funky, fearless, sassy vibe with a strong soulful voice. Beyond all that, Tora is just different, and I love it. She completely embraces what this competition is supposed to be about. Tora, which I am told means "tiger", is a for sure contender in this category and in the entire competition. Her tone is strong and unique and if she is consistent, she'll go far.

My picks on the top 4 for the live shows: Melanie, Tora, Rachel, and Tiah or Jazzlyn


LeRoy Bell
Hometown: Tacoma, WA
Currently Resides: Edmonds, WA
Age: 60

LeRoy Bell, the man who looks like he is 30 but instead is 60, has a strong voice, and like several of the men in this over 30s category sounds a little like Michael Bolton. I love his tone, and I definitely want to know what water he is drinking so I can get some.

Tiger Budbill
Hometown: Seattle/White Center, WA
Currently Resides: Bothell, WA
Age: 42

Tiger is definitely a fighter, and I can tell when I watch him perform and when I listen to him that he really does want to be a performer. I question whether or not he is strong enough with his other peers in this category, but I know he won't give up.

Christa Collins
Hometown: Burlington, IA
Currently Resides: Los Angeles, CA
Age: 32

Christa is one of the contestants that I don't know much about, the video above is the only one I could find of her. She has a rock vibe to her voice.

Stacy Francis
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Currently Resides: Los Angeles, CA
Age: 42

Stacy is a little bit rough around the edges and is clearly one of those singers who could benefit from formal training but she has a lot of potential, so if you're smart you will not count this single mother out. Stacy is a fighter who has a strong spirit, lots of heart, and a stunning voice. She's that singer that needs to be tamed and polished up and once that happens she is going to sparkle.

Elaine Gibbs
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Currently Resides: Los Angeles, CA
Age: 53

Elaine has a Gladys Knight/ Aretha Franklin kind of voice, and because she is a wedding singer, she has experience that money cannot buy.

Dexter Haygood
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Currently Resides: Chicago, IL
Age: 49

Dexter Haygood made me cry on his first audition and not just because he sang, "This is a Man's World", but because this is someone who has had the same dream for most of his life and not given up on it. I know there are tons of people out there who say, it's not about how heartfelt the story is, it's whether or not they can carry a tune. Well, what if they can do both? Dexter stirs my spirit when he sings, I feel like I am back in the times of Motown, he is not a revival act, he is the real thing, an original. Dexter will go far in this competition, and not just because he's good, but because he deserves it.

James Kenney
Hometown: Portland, OR
Currently Resides: West Hollywood, CA
Age: 34

James is another contestant I am not that familiar with, but I do look forward to getting to know him in the next round. He is also one of the rock voices in the competition.

Josh Krajcik
Hometown: Wooster, OH
Currently Resides: Columbus, OH
Age: 30

John impressed me from the very first audition. I love the rasp in his voice, I love how honest he is as a performer. I looked at him, and I didn't expect that voice to come out of him, but it did, and then the performance became so real and so comfortable. The amazing thing about someone like Josh is that he is one of those people who could win the whole competition and not change who he is. He is that humble.

My picks on the top 4 for the live shows: Leroy, Stacy, Dexter, and Josh


Liza Forero Age: 27 Hometown: Edison, NJ Resides: Miami, FL
Deveraux Lavinia Age: 27 Hometown: Miami, FL
Abighail Mary Age: 28 Hometown: Miami, FL Resides: Pembroke Pines, FL
Aimee Santos Age: 25 Hometown: Quebec, Canada Resides: Miramar, FL

These four ladies from Florida take me back to the times of classic R&B groups like En Vogue. Their costumes and look could use some polish, but the sound and the talent is all there.

Allynn Walker Bey Age: 23 Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
Jessie Nunn III Age: 21 Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
Daijreous Poole Age: 21 Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
Brandon Showell Age: 21 Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA

"4 Shore" this group is going to go far in this competition. They are risk takers, they sang End of the Road for the first audition, a song that was written by L.A. Reid himself and sung by Boyz II Men the most successful R&B group ever! That takes guts. Their harmonies were fierce and on point, I felt much like Nicole did; I felt like I was at a concert listening to a favorite group sing my favorite song. I cannot wait to see the stops these young men pull out in the next round.

The Anser
Gray Aydelott Age: 22 Hometown: Kaysville, UT Resides: Orem, UT
Jarrett Burns Age: 27 Hometown: Orem, UT
PJ Schwartz Age: 21 Hometown: Bountiful, UT

Another guy group that totally has it together, I loved the Anser. I love it when a group like this comes out to audition, knows what they are going to do, sticks to a plan, and executes it perfectly. These guys have a great sound, and I could see them doing pop, rock, and even a little bit of R&B, so Paula can mold them to where they are best suited. The Anser is going to go far in this competition.

Brewer Boys
Justin Brewer Age: 17 Hometown: Temecula, CA
Nathan Brewer Age: 14 Hometown: Temecula, CA

Unfortunately, X Fsctor did not upload a video for these two brothers, but I was able to pull up some bootleg videos to hear them sing. I think they sound good, but they aren't right for this competition.

Lazaro Chavez Age: 26 Hometown: Hialeah, FL
Ahmed Jaime Age: 26 Hometown: Miami, FL
Richard Mason Age: 26 Hometown: Hialeah, FL

Illusion/ Confusion is another group I did not hear sing individually, I will be interested in hearing their sound. They do appear in the video above. Feel free to take a look but know that Rachel Crow and 4 Shore steal the show.

Nick Dean Age: 15 Hometown: Rochester, NY
Francesca Duncan Age: 17 Hometown: Orange Co., NY Resides: Brockport, NY
John Lindahl Age: 14 Hometown: Travuco Canyon, CA
Emily Michalak Age: 13 Hometown: Pine Brook, NJ
Arin Ray Age: 16 Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Lauren Ashley Redmond Age: 17 Hometown: Houston, TX Resides: DeSoto, TX
Ellona Santiago Age: 15 Hometown: San Lorenzo, CA
Ma’at Bingham Shango Age: 12 Hometown: Houston, TX
Austin Percario Age: 15 Hometown: Warren, NJ
Emily Wilson Age: 15 Hometown: Warren, NJ

The group above was made up at Bootcamp by the judges of individual contestants who were going to be sent home. Rumor has it that they do make it through to the round of 16, so it will be interesting hearing them together for the first time and seeing if something like this can actually work. Watch for Nick Dean and Ellona Santiago to step up as lead vocalists, that is, if I had my way.

Lakoda Rayne
Cari Fletcher Age: 17 Hometown: Wall Township, NJ
Dani Knights Age: 22 Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA
Paige Ogle Age: 18 Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Hayley Orrantia Age: 17 Hometown: Highland Village, TX

This is another group made up by the judges. What happened? Did not enough groups audition or were individual performers that good that they deserved a second chance. You can see three of the four girls above. It seems like they would be a good country group, maybe they could be like The Dixie Chicks. You can see Hayley Orrantia one video up from this one.

Stereo Hogzz
Kregg Gibson Age: 25 Hometown: Houston, TX
Jonathan Glenn Age: 25 Hometown: Houston, TX
George Jenkins III Age: 25 Hometown: Houston, TX
Justin Williams Age: 25 Hometown: Houston, TX
Leeland Stephenson Age: 24 Hometown: Houston, TX

I like Stereo Hoggz; I like how they take pride in each performance from the singing down to the dancing. Simon pointed something out though that needs to be noted; they lack consistency. Their first audition was passable, but it wasn't great; singing an original song is not something every contestant should do. Their performance at Bootcamp was great; it was like seeing a completely different group, so I have chosen to show you that performance. You can look up the other one if you so choose.

My picks on the top 4 for the live shows: 4 Shore, The Anser, The Stereo Hoggz, and Lakoda Rayne or 2 Squar'd

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