The XFactor's 2011 Top Twelve. There's Good, Bad and Really Ugly

I’m thinking maybe The XFactor is sponsored by Pepsi, just throwing it out there. Could be the Pepsis so obvious in front of the judges that they might as well poke us in the eye. Or maybe it’s the shout that the winner of this contest will be in a Pepsi commercial as if such an honor is solidly equal to winning the five million dollars that would clue us in. Whatever the case, Pepsi is the sponsor of The XFactor, I figured it out.

Which might not be a good marketing idea for Pepsi because as I see it, The XFactor comes in a distant third when up against American Idol, America’s Got Talent and the recent reality TV competitive entry, The Voice. First thing, and I never thought I’d be typing these words or entertaining this concept, but there is only so much talent to go around! As it is, American Idol pretty much taps out the younger talent at this time. The last two American Idol final two were very young, both just passing the minimum age of 16. Scott McCreery and Lauren were probably counting the days for several years for their chance to enter and zoom to the top as they likely expected. For those older, or younger, than the limits of American Idol, there is always America’s Got Talent and no mind the wide variety of acts in these shows, the singers win more often than not. I think of the very young Jackie Evancho who came in second on America’s Got Talent after entering via YouTube at age 11 or so and going on to a very lucrative singing career already.

The recent reality TV offering, The Voice, had a similar setup as The XFactor in that the wanna-be singing sensations were assigned mentors in the form of the judges. Thus any left over contenders from American Idol, America’s Got Talent or The Voice go to The XFactor and of the final twelve, hand to God I only think one of them has what it takes to be a star.

I suppose there’s some notion that with the help of the star mentor, in the form of Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger, the singer(s) get better, prettier, more appealing. What is a fact and will always be a fact is that no mind the input of mighty Simon Cowell, the raw talent’s got to be there or it’s like putting lipstick on a pig. As the saying goes.

L.A. Reid is in charge of the boys and his final three consist of an arrogant, totally unlikeable rapper calls himself Astro, real name Brian Bradley. He’s just a kid and he’s got to put his hand on his crotch? I understand that his over-confidence is part of his schtick but on one so young it irritates more than delights. Kid does a decent rap but I don’t like rap, a rapper has never gone anywhere on American Idol, America’s Got Talent or The Voice for that matter. Which is probably because most Americans don’t much care for rap, so shoot them all. I predict a rapper will go nowhere on The XFactor either.

Reid’s second choice Chris Rene who just sounded horrible. Which is not to say Rene is a horrible singer,
it’s more that the sound system of wherever these folks were singing was purchased at Radio Shack and put together by The Pep Boys. The XFactor episode that narrowed down the top twelve was a live show and I am surprised that Cowell allowed this show to go on with that awful sound system.

While I’m at it, dear Lord, that announcer, Steve Jones. Where did they dig him up at, some funeral parlor?
He’s mono-toned, doesn’t smile, forget any kind of banter.

Reid’s final choice was Marcus Canty, ok, he was ok. He’d perhaps make the top 20 in American Idol but no more.

Paula Abdul is mentoring the groups and Paula is such a drama queen, we all know it. Though for this series she’s rivaled by Nicole but more on this later.

Paula chose a group called Stereo Hogzz, not so good.

For Paula’s other two groups, it’s just the strangest thing. For the group Lakoda Rayne and InTENsity are creations of rejected single entrants from The XFactor tryouts.

Lakoda Rayne is a group of four very, very pretty female singers, very, very pretty. They sing ok but if anybody doesn’t think their greater talent lies in their looks combined with passable voices I got a bridge to sell, cheap.

InTENsity, with the big TEN because, duh, there are TEN singers, also sing okay. Simon remarked that they were kind of like a modern day Glee chorus and I’m thinking that exactly what is trying to be created here.

Nicole Scherzinger is mentoring the over 30 crowd and I don’t know why as she’s one of the most immature judges up there though it’s kind of a tie between her and Paula.

Nicole chose a singer who I’d give a very high rating, Josh Krajcik . Way I figure Josh missed the tryouts
for America’s Got Talent because he’s exactly the sort of singer that show would propel on to stardom. Josh has a very good voice and could win the thing, definitely top five as I see it. The only problem with Josh is he really needs to shampoo his hair and clean himself up a bit. Yes it’s part of it’s charm I suppose and he is a bit of a Bruce Springsteen sort, a video of Josh below.

Stacy Francis, goodness, here’s a boo-hoo for the boo-hoo in all of us. Stacy is in her 40’s somewhere,
she does have a good voice though she would not make the top ten in American Idol. On her first audition we got tears all over the place, a single mother, abused and put down by her lover as talentless and worthless, boo-hoo, tears, boo-hoo, Paula and Nicole join in . Now there’s Youtubes all over the place of Francis singing for Tom Cruise at some Scientology boat cruise. I mean how demeaned could she have been having been involved in cruise singing for over ten years?

Finally there’s LeRoy Bell, who also has a very good voice, top five material possibly. It was a hoot in that Simon gave Nicole a hard time for her mentoring of Bell in terms of song choice. There’s contention between the judges but I see some scripting going on and not sure how serious to take it.

Simon Cowell is mentoring the females and for some reason he had five finalists when the others had four. There was some scuffle about Simon’s insistence on keeping a loser named Tiah Tolliver. After Tiah sang
L.A. went on a rant, berating Simon for keeping this talentless hag, all this in front of the singer, well maybe not those EXACT words but it was pretty bad. Simon responded that Tiah worked her nuts off, never mind that Tiah is a female, but what the hell, Simon didn’t choose her. I wonder if all of this wasn’t some kind of scripting to drum up audience interest. Which isn’t, in terms of ratings, doing all that well as I am to understand.

Simon chose Rachel Crow, a 12 year old who has a good voice but by me she’s not really ready for
primetime. All of the judges loved her.

In keeping with his teeny-bopper bent, Drew Ryniewicz, all of 14 years of age, was chosen by Simon. She is a very pretty young lady with a decent voice. Not good enough to win this thing but pretty good.

Finally, the one who I think will win this thing, Melanie Amaro. I don’t know why Melanie missed the
American Idol, America’s Got Talent or The Voice tryouts but she was probably the only talent in America left in this age range with the voice power to go over the top.

So there you have, The XFactor’s top twelve. For now I don’t see how Melanie can’t win this thing, with Josh a possibility for the win as well.

The XFactor airs on Fox, Tuesday nights, 8p/7p.

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