‘The X Factor’ USA rankings: Is CeCe Frey or Willie Jones Demi Lovato’s top act?

For our second edition of “The X Factor” rankings leading up to the first live show , we are focusing more on a group of people led by Demi Lovato in the young adults. This is a pretty fascinating group, and to us it really comes down to one question: is being easy to relate to more important than being the most talented? America is going to be voting for these people, and the interesting thing is that some people who are pop stars now may have not actually done well on reality shows, since they don’t always have the sort of story that makes you go “aww” or “how cute.”

As we said yesterday, we’re really basing our rankings mostly on performance level, but also are considering long-term viability, show edit, and whether their judge /mentor (who is picking the three acts they want to move forward with) can get voters to really behind this particular artist.

4. Paige Thomas – We had a very hard time with this ranking, probably more so than we will for any other category even. Why? Paige is a great singer, but the issue with her is that she doesn’t really pop off the screen, and thus we fear that she would get lost in the competition as the weeks progress. It’s possible that Demi could keep her as a safe choice, but at most we see her as a middle-of-the-pack finisher.

3. Jennel Garcia – Jennel’s first audition was awesome; it was like listening to an early nineties rock music video with the volume up to the max. Our issue is that we’re not sure that she has risen to that level since, and she’s also shown a bit of insecurity here and there. With her, it’s really going to come down to finding the right song for her more than anything else.

2. Willie Jones – Willie is easily going to be the people’s champion, which is why he’s a good pick for Demi in that he could make the final six or so without really stretching himself too much beyond what he is. There is some genuine talent here, and although he is not the best male singer in this competition, he brings a unique quality that almost always attracts viewers.

1. CeCe Frey – Now, we’re going out on a limb. CeCe’s biggest problem is that reality TV culture has almost been set up so that being confident in yourself is almost frowned upon versus showing vulnerability, and some people have found her to be off-putting. But this is a talent competition, and unless CeCe is complaining constantly about the show or doing something horrible (which she’s not), we have to think that talent will prevail. More so than any other singer in the competition this year CeCe has the makings to be a true pop star; heck, her rendition of “Sexy and I Know It” has to be in the top 3 for the whole season so far. Plus, the blond look now makes her look a little bit like a sci-fi version of Dany from “Game of Thrones.”

Who is your favorite from this category?

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