‘The X Factor’ UK rankings: Ella Henderson, James Arthur start at the top

Now that we are finally at the stage of “The X Factor” this season that we passionately care about above all others, we are coming to the first edition of our weekly contestant rankings. Every Friday, we will be back here to tell you where we think the contestants stand moving forward into the next live shows, as well as who the current favorites are.

Of course, there is one issue here this week in that we don’t know yet who the returning singer is, and therefore can’t rank them. We don’t think any of the candidates would crack the top 6 of this list, but any of them for story reasons alone would probably end up not going home this week. If we were to pick, though, we imagine that we will be seeing Christopher Maloney on the show again this weekend.

12. Rylan Clark – We’re not completely sure why Nicole Scherzinger decided to add Rylan to her boys category, and the only real reason we can think of is so that the show had someone who was purely camp. We don’t know for sure that he will be the first contestant out, but we have a hard time believing he could win this series.

11. Union J -In keeping both Union J and GMD3, we think that Louis Walsh made a mistake. Boy bands may be popular, but we see the two dividing up an audience against each other until one of them is gone from the show.

10. Jade Collins – Really, we see Jade being the casualty of really just being in a category with two singers who are more memorable, and also a strong field of female singers in the overs who may have an even stronger voice than her.

9. Carolynne Poole – She’s an enormous talent, but the question we find ourselves asking is this: where does she fit in when it comes to the music industry at the moment? We think Melanie Massone is going to covet more of the older vote, and we’re not sure the younger crowd will get behind her.

8. GMD3 – Clearly, the boys already have a pretty devoted following online with the young ladies. However, they are really going to have to do something more than just smile and sing a few notes to last longer than a few weeks. Plus, we still hate their name.

7. Jahmene Douglas – There’s no question to us that Jahmene can sing; what we wonder about instead is how long Britain will rally behind someone who seems to have a little bit of trouble rallying behind himself.

6. Melanie Massone – It may sound strange, but Melanie’s near-operatic voice would probably actually go over better on “Britain’s Got Talent” than here. We don’t necessarily think she has a shot at winning, but she does sound so different compared to everyone else here that she will likely end up being safe for a few weeks.

5. Kyw Sones – We go both ways with Kye. His audition was one of our favorites of the entire season, but with there being so many other singer / songwriter types on the live shows, he could end up getting lost in the shuffle unless he blows people away straight out of the gate.

4. MK1 – Easily, one of the cooler groups that we have seen on the show. They’re talented, they’re current, and there is nothing else like them on this season. The only real issue that they are going to have comes in song choice: with a bad song, these two could be doomed before they even get going since their style is very specific.

3. Lucy Spraggan – Really, we feel the same way about Lucy. The success of her original material should carry her a few weeks much like the hype last year around Janet Devlin did. But what happens when Lucy is really challenged singing the material of someone else? She has at times struggled when the songs she performs are not her own.

2. James Arthur – James is so good that we don’t even care that he is the sort of contestant who always wins these sort of competitions. We love his look, we love his attitude, and we also love the fact that he really gets the concept of making a song your own. He doesn’t do it just to be cute; he does it because it’s a part of his DNA.

1. Ella Henderson – After the success of Little Mix last year, we’re no longer sold on the proposition that the winner of singing competitions has to be a white man that has to play the guitar. Ella is classic pop singer, but what will make her attractive to voters is that she also has a youthful spirit and injury to go along with it.

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