by Hilton Hater at . Comments

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.

Melanie Amaro on Stage

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?

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

On last Thursday's X Factor results show, Astro was voted into the bottom two - and then nearly got himself eliminated by initially refusing to sing for the judges' vote. It was a disgraceful show of poor sportsmanship.

But it also came from a young rapper who is only 15 years old, as Astro took to Facebook over the weekend and apologized for acting like a spoiled brat.

"What I do, I do for the love of Hip-Hop and my fans, and I would never doing anything to hurt either," he wrote. "I believed I was being mistreated... My guards are always up, and maybe I took the situation too heavy. I seriously apologize to my fans, what I said and my emotions weren't directed toward you. I'm 15 and I think I know everything, but the truth is, I don't, and I handled the situation wrong! Win or lose next week, I will make you all proud!"

Astro added that he wants to be the "new ambassador" for hip hop, while Simon Cowell said he's met with Astro and his father and everything is "much calmer now."

If true, that's too bad. The X Factor was just getting exciting!

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Stacy Francis got in a few parting shots after her elimination from The X Factor last night, and it was difficult to blame the contestant for any of them.

The aspiring singer was given the boot even after 14-year old Astro whined about being a member of the final two and sulked his way through a rendition of "Never Say Goodbye." Simon Cowell berated the young singer, but still voted for Stacy to leave.

  • Final Stacy Francis Performance
  • Astro and Steve Jones

"I feel like I had a disadvantage by not being in his category," Francis told reporters after the episode aired, predicting that someone from Simon's group would win and saying the judge "beat up everyone in the competition last night except his category."

As for Astro's initial refusal to even sing for the panel's votes? Stacy referred to this attitude as "obnoxious" and added:

"Astro's 14 and you can call him a teenager and give him an excuse, but bad behavior is bad behavior. He was ungracious in that moment... I'm very very honored and I'm grateful for coming this far. I wanted to go all the way and I didn't, so it's time for me to reevaluate my life and see what happens from here. I think it'll be okay."

Do you think the judges made the right decision? Did the right top 10 member go home?

 

by Free Britney at . Comments

Thursday evening's X Factor results show was noteworthy not just for the decision between Stacy and Astro (and the latter's behavior), but for the fact that Rihanna was not the most controversial person on stage for once in her life.

Performing her latest hit in a bomber jacket pair of circa 1991 ripped jeans, red-haired RiRi thrilled fans with a rendition of her latest dance-pop hit, "We Found Love"

She gave the X Factor performance of the week, no doubt. Watch it below:

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Stacy Francis was eliminated from The X Factor tonight. But that wasn't the story.

Due to a polarizing performance that was anything but rock 'n roll, young Astro (aka Brian Bradley) also found himself in the bottom two - and after being informed of this news, he initially refused to perform for the judges!

"I don't want to perform for people who don't want me here," Astro said to boos from the crow.

The petulant child needed to be told by mentor L.A. Reid that he needed to sing/rap for his X Factor life before he actually did so... and then he proceeded to sulk his way through a rendition of "Never Say Goodbye."

Still, because this now creates buzz and much-needed drama for a show still struggling in the ratings, the judges voted to send Francis home and keep Astro around. Simon Cowell did give him a nice scolding at least. It was disgraceful all around.

Do you think the right contestant was eliminated?

 

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Like Chris Rene, Astro interpreted the theme to last night's X Factor episode as loosely as possible.

This young, extraordinarily talented rapper didn't really do rock 'n roll in any sense of the term. Instead, he stuck to what he knows/does best and brought the crowd to its feet with a take on "I’ll Be Missing You (Every Breath You Take)."

Simon made it very clear that he believes Astro "has a shot at winning this," while Nicole Scherzinger agreed: "You are ready for a $5 million contract," she said. Watch Astro in action now:

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Yes, we know: Bob Marley was inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. But still.

Very few people associated this icon with that genre of music, although Chris Rene is apparently one of the few who considers the dreadlocked star to be a famous rocker. The X Factor finalist mashed up a couple of his biggest hits last night, invoking a response from Simon Cowell that made us laugh and nod our heads:

"It would have been great if this week was Reggae music."

Well said, Simon. Especially when compared to Josh Krajcik's take on a Foo Fighters track. Watch Rene do his own thing here:

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

We doubt Rachel Crow has a rock 'n roll career ahead of her. That just isn't this X Factor contestant's niche.

But the 13-year old gave the genre a gallant effort last night, having fun with a cover of the classic Rolling Stones single, "I Can't Get No Satisfaction."

Simon Cowell, who serves as Crow's mentor, of course, gushed over the rendition, telling his charge he could see her "winning the show." L.A. Reid also admitted that Rachel could sell concert tickets Paula dubbed her one of her "favorites." Is she one of yours?

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Now THIS is what we call rock!

On an evening that was meant to showcase the harder side of various X Factor finalists, some singers delivered questionable versions of rock 'n roll covers. We love Drew Ryniewicz, but was this take on a U2 classic really any different than past performances?

Then there was Josh Krajcik. This singer understood the theme of the evening and delivered... big time! It was hard to argue with Nicole Scherzinger's take that Josh is the "ultimate rock star" after witnessing what he did with "The Pretender" by Foo Fighters. Watch and enjoy below.

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Is Drew Ryniewicz already stuck in a rut?

The adorable 14-year old covered the classic U2 track "With or Without You" last night, keeping the tempo slow and delivering what sounded like another winning ballad.

But L.A. Reid said he's "pushing for more" from the young crooner, while also adding she might have the most "original" voice of all finalists. Nicole Scherzinger, similarly, said she was hoping the track would pick up.

Do you agree? Is Drew still competition for Melanie Amaro? Listen to her latest now:

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