‘The X Factor’ UK rankings: Ella Henderson, James Arthur continue reign

Typically after the first live show of the season, we see some changes when it comes to our contestant rankings on various singing competitions. What is surprising when it comes to “The X Factor” now is that even though we do have some changes across the board with our latest rankings, the people sitting pretty at the top are the same two who were there last week. Until one of them messes up or someone else rises to the occasion, we simply cannot see a reason to change this part of it up.

As always, our rankings are based on a combination of two things: vocal performances, and the perceived amount of support from the fans. Note that there were once again twelve people this week; we did not know who was returning to the competition last week as a wild card, so they were not included here.

12. Rylan Clark (last week: 12) – Based on the drama at the end of the show last week, Rylan is going to have to give the performance of his life in order to have a shot at staying. We just don’t see it happening.

11. Union J (11)  – Even though they were declared safe last week, the four-piece band easily had the worst performance of last week’s show with “Don’t Stop Me Now.” Is it possible that Louis Walsh was fully to blame for it? Sure, but we still have to be somewhat skeptical for at least the time being.

10. Christopher Maloney (not ranked) – We’re happy for Christopher getting through to this stage of the competition, but we also understand why he was not picked by Gary Barlow in the first place: there’s nothing altogether earth-shattering when it comes to what he does.

9. Melanie Massone (6) – Even though she gave a pretty good performance last week, much of Gary’s team at the moment may be on shaky ground since they are not particularly current with their style.

8. Jade Collins (10) – Jade here is really just the victim of there being so many stellar acts around her, and it is going to have to take an Olympic-sized effort by both her and producers to have her be remembered over some of the other current frontrunners.

7. District 3 (8) – Their new name alone deserves some credit, and we think that this will be the boy band this season to garner much of the teen girl vote. We weren’t blown away by their first performance, but this may not really even matter.

6. Lucy Spraggan (3) – If Lucy continues to sing her own music on the live shows, it’s both a blessing and a curse. Why? Even though she gets to show off herself more than just about any singer ever has in this competition, she also runs the risk of having a few songs that aren’t quite as good as “Last Night” hurting her support base.

5. MK1 ( 4) – Easily, this is the most interesting of Louis’ groups, but there is also another problem here with them: neither one of them is a particularly stellar singer, and they have to find other ways to make up for that. You can hide it in certain songs, but not every single vocal flaw.

4. Jahmene Douglas ( 7) – One of our biggest gainers of the week, Jahmene proved last weekend that he can perform on stage and not get too nervous about it. Even though Nicole Scherzinger has one act going home soon in Rylan, she also has two others who are primed to stay in this competition for a long time.

3. Kye Sones (5) – Really, Kye may be Gary’s only shot at really winning this season. He’s a soulful, likable guy who may have more genuine artistry than anyone there when it comes to rearranging songs while still giving them a similar sort of genre sensibility.

2. James Arthur (2) – What excited us about James, meanwhile, is that we haven’t really seen anyone who does just what he does on stage. He sings, he raps, and he plays guitar better than just about anyone else in the competition.

1. Ella Henderson (1)- At the end of the day, this competition is still all about the voice; and with apologies to everyone else, this teenager’s got one that could sell out arenas all over the world. There’s still plenty that can happen over the course of the competition, but she has to be both a favorite and someone you have to watch out for.

Who is your current favorite on the show?

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