Here we are again in an attempt to try to make some sense of the crazy machine known as “The X Factor” USA. That is not a very easy thing to try to do for a number of reasons, beginning mostly with the sole fact that two of the better artists this past week in Rachel Potter and Khaya Cohen were in the bottom two. We don’t know what voters are actually looking at anymore, and how they are going to make decisions from here on out.
All we can do is judged based on who we think is improving and giving the best performances, and then who is seemingly getting support from those watching at home.
10. Tim Olstad (last week: 8) – Anyone who performs “Against All Odds” on a singing competition should face an automatic last-place finish on the follow rankings. The truth here about Tim is just that he’s boring. He’s not a bad guy seemingly, but we don’t see any way that he wins this competition. If he does, Simon Cowell may just cancel himself as an executive producer for all reality TV competitions from here on out.
9. Khaya Cohen (10) – We should be clear here when we say that we don’t really get this ranking either, given that Khaya has been one of the best performers of the entire season so far. But this is what happens when you bury someone and don’t give them screen time. Also, the judges are to blame for this for over-praising other singers and not making it clear that Khaya is just as good (if not better).
8. Lillie McCloud (10) – We judges a lot of our rankings this past week on the way in which the Twitter poll results were given to us in the first live show earlier this year, and we didn’t think that Lillie stood much of a chance because of that. However, we’ve figured out since that the majority of voters are not also avid tweeters. Lillie could last for another week or two, but we don’t quite imagine her as a future winner.
7. Jeff Gutt (9) – We thought that Rachel Potter was really the one true hope of team Kelly Rowland earlier this season, but we were certainly wrong about that. Instead, Jeff is probably now the guy that she has to lean on if she wants a shot at going far this year. He’s at least a pretty good singer with a fan following, but his style is just dated, and he’s thanks to that probably one of the last people that Simon Cowell would want to see win in the end.
6. Josh Levi (unranked) – The last time that we did a rankings was before the start of the live shows, mostly because it was hard to rank last weekend when it was unclear who was going home. Josh’s re-entry is a great thing to Paulina Rubio, but it’s an even better move for Simon Cowell. He probably has the most commercial appeal of the guys, though Carlito also has some.
5. Carlito Olivero (3) – Unfortunately, we’ve also seen Carlito suffer in his own way vocally over the course of the past few shows, and much of the reason for that seems to just be song choice. He’s a good that needs to find something that suits his sort of Latin-pop angle, and he also has to be careful of control. This is what happens when you dance, and you have to be aware of one thing ultimately impacting the others.
4. Restless Road (1) – If we’re being honest, we found that whole performance of “Footloose” to be absolutely horrendous, and we wonder if Simon has any clue how to handle a country act. But, what these three have going for them is that they’re perfect for American voters: They sing country music and will make teenage girls crush all over them. With a better song, they should be fine; but ironically, their best performance was at the four-chair challenge.
3. Rion Paige (6) – Is Rion a good enough singer to with this competition? That is what we find ourselves really asking of her time and time again. She has a pretty good voice, but it’s not the best in the competition. She does have the most inspirational story, and that probably does stand for something. She just needs to show a little more artistry the rest of the way; while that’s hard for a teenage girl, it’s essential if she wants to last.
2. Ellona Santiago (5) – The thing that impresses us about Ellona the most right now is how badly she wants this. We feel like she’s not resting at all on the fact that she was a part of the show’s first season, and is working extremely hard on the dance moves and the vocals. This past week was one of the first times that we stopped comparing her to other people, and could finally start to see her for the contender that she is.
1. Alex & Sierra (7) – The way that the voting is going right now, we wouldn’t be stunned to see these two sent home next week just for hitting a bum note. While their most-recent performance wasn’t perfect, they, like Ellona, seem to understand that this is more than a talent show. This is a platform, and the best thing that they could probably actually hope for is a spot in second or third at the end of the season. They don’t need the pressure of winning, or the Syco machine eating them alive. They just need to get fans who will buy their sweet indie music down the road.
Who is your favorite of the top ten? As always, we want to hear what you think in our poll below!