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

Two live shows in to “The X Factor” this season, and we are not sure we have ever seen a race that is so clearly divided into different sections: we have the true contenders, the artists who are destined to be in the middle of the pack, and a few people who are just hanging on for dear life. For the third straight week, we have the same two people ranked #1 and #2, though there are some small changes around them that reflect who is rising to the occasion, and who is falling.

As always, we’re basing these picks not only on performance quality, but also the size of their perceived fan followings. After all, some artists (see Christopher Maloney) are surely not major contenders even if they have never been in the bottom two.

11. Rylan Clark (last week: 12) – As long as Rylan is around, we can’t see him being anywhere other than last. His problem is that he is a bit like this season’s Frankie Cocozza in that he has a huge personality, but his performances don’t live up to it. Plus, we imagine people were probably turned off by him getting drunk and acting a fool in the streets this past week.

10. District 3 (7) – After being the better of the two boy bands last week, a great performance from Union J has caused us to change our mind. We really don’ think both of these groups have an enormously long life in this competition, and sooner or later, one of them will fall by the wayside. We see a little more personality in the other group, so we’re giving it to them.

9. Christopher Maloney (11) – It’s not so much that Christopher is a terrible performer or a singer, but there’s just nothing about him that screams “pop star” so much as a really nice guy who will hopefully land some sort of cabaret or cruise ship gig after the show. We don’t even necessarily think that these are bad jobs, and they would give him a chance to perform the sort of music he loves.

8. Lucy Spraggan (6) – We know that Lucy sings about having “beer fear” in her song “Last Night,” but we really do not think it helps her to go out, get drunk, and get thrown out of her hotel while in a singing competition. Was she trying to unwind after a hard week? Sure, but we have a feeling that this is in part going to hurt her following a little.

7. Jade Collins (8) – Jade’s performance last week was good, but she still has the same sort of problem that she has suffered from for weeks: she’s just not particularly memorable. We never remember her by the end of the show, and for that reason she’s a bit destined for the middle of the pack.

6. MK1 (5) – Slowly and surely, this group is going the wrong way. Their rendition of “I Want You Back” took everything that was cool out of their performance, and we’re starting to not take them as seriously as we would otherwise.

5. Kye Sones (3) – We hate sometimes to agree with the judges, but they were completely right that there was something a little off about Kye this past week. However, we actually have something constructive for him that may help to identify the problem: he needs to speed things up a little bit. He’s showing everyone the same trick each week, and it’s getting dull.

4. Jahmene Douglas (4) – Easily, Jahmene has the best male voice in this competition, and we could even see him having a good career if he has the right material and producers backing him up. How many people are going to vote for the doppelganger of “Jersey Shore’s” Vinny Guadagnino? That is something we’re not sure about.

3. Union J (11) – Easily, these boys had the best week last time as they proved to not only be a great boy band, but a serious contender to go far in the season. They’re all young, good-looking, and have enough personality that they are not just a carbon copy of everything else out there.

2. James Arthur (2) – There were times that we worried about there being too much drama in his cover of “No More Drama,” but then you listen to it again and forget all about it. If you are Simon Cowell, James is probably the sort of guy you pull for since he is so memorable that he will sell records, and give you another great male talent to go alongside Olly Murs.

1. Ella Henderson (1) – James and Union J are great, but we have a hard time taking Ella off this spot given how she just slays every performance. This girl is a star, and she has the potential to literally be one of the biggest artists in Britain (if not the world) … and we don’t throw that term around on here. As of right now, she’s the most talented vocalist on any singing competition airing around the world.

Who is at the top of your ranking?

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