We're down to nine contestants on The X Factor, as this singing competition airs a special Tuesday installment this evening and then gives two finalists the boot tomorrow night. Hey, at least they'll be home in time for sweet potato!
As we head toward the home stretch of the first season, let's stop and assess those still around. Who has the best shot at taking home the $5 million grand prize? Who might as well give up now? Read on for our rankings.
1. Melanie Amaro. The best voice, the right look, a positive attitude. There are similarities here to Pia Toscano, who was voted out earlier than expected on American Idol last season, but the judges get the final way here. Melanie will be safe for awhile.
2. Drew Ryniewicz. Simon's mission has been to prove that his 14-year old charge can sing beyond her years, and we'd say he accomplished that with her cover of "With or Without You." Moving stuff.
3. Josh Krajcik. Would have been number-one if we were basing this solely on Rock Week, considering he's the only contestant who actually rocked. May not have the look of a star, but has the voice and the backstory.
4. Marcus Canty. He can't hit every note, but the guy can dance and entertain! Hard to believe he wouldn't be a successful solo artist, although the professional R&B field is quite crowded.
5. Chris Rene. Loved his take on "Gangsta's Paradise" and the Bob Marley medley last week, even if it made little sense under the Rock theme. Lacks vocal range, but not charisma.
6. Rachel Crow. Fading a bit, as Ryniewicz has stolen her young contestant thunder. How far can simply being adorable get her?
7. Lakoda Rayne. A bit over-the-top. There are so many costumes, so much crazy lighting, so much going on at all times. It's hard to know where to look.
8. Leroy Bell. He's not going to win.
9. Astro. Based on talent alone? Of course he deserves a higher spot. But last week's antics were nauseating and he only gets a slight pass for being 15. Drew and Rachel are even younger - and can you imagine either one reacting that way?