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There are many ways to advance to The X Factor finals.

Josh Krajcik sang his soul out. Brian Bradley rapped around the stage. Marcus Canty, meanwhile, danced up a storm as he covered "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me."

You were "born to be on that stage," Nicole Scherziner told the hopeful, while mentor L.A. Reid says his protege said Marcus made him "proud." Awwww... watch the performance now!

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Let there be no debate: Josh Krajcik deserves his spot in the final 12 of The X Factor.

This fast food worker, who made headlines following his initial audition for talking about his career of slinging burritos, can likely retire his hairnet and plastic gloves for good. Even if he doesn't go on to win, it's hard to believe Krajcik won't have a future in the music industry.

On last night's live performance show, Josh received some of the highest praise of the night for his cover of "Forever Young," led by Paula Abdul: "Your voice is my favorite voice I've heard in the past decade."

Do we have competition here for Melanie Amaro?

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Do Rachel Crow a favor: ignore her outfit in the following video.

Heck, ignore the random dancers flitting about around her, as well as the fact that she appears glued to her raised spot on the stage. None of Simon Cowell's choices for this protege worked well last night.

But Crow still deserves her spot in the final 12 for her personality and her vocals, showing off clear potential with this mash-up of "Baby" by Justin Bieber and "Where Did Our Love Go" by The Supremes. Yes, Simon, she can pull off top 40 and retro, but couldn't you have found another way to prove that?

Which performance by a young finalist did you like best last night: Crow's, or this one by Brian "Astro" Bradley?

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There's a very good chance that a majority of The X Factor viewers have never heard of the Mac Daddy. Or even the Daddy Mac.

But Brian "Astro" Bradley did the members of Kris Kross - a young rapping duo from the early 1990s who produced two chart-topping hits and wore their clothes backward - proud last night, bringing The X Factor crowd to its feet with an original take on "Jump."

Melanie Amaro remains our favorite to take home the title, but Bradley may be our true favorite contestant among all remaining. Just watch the 15-year old rapper go!

"You've just killed everybody," Simon said following this performance, prior to turning to L.A. Reid and saying: "If this kid doesn't make it through to the finals you are literally insane."

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Melanie Amaro can be forgiven for a lack of originality.

The X Factor finalist - she advanced to the top 12 on the first-ever live performance show - covered a Whitney Houston classic last night, belting out her take on "I Have Nothing," a song with which any loyal singing competition viewer is familiar.

But Amaro made the track her own with an incredible rendition, leading L.A. Reid to state simply: "We really did save the best for last because, honey, you were unbelievable."

Is there any doubt we're looking at the current favorite?

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She just goes by her first name now. But, following a slow, restrained version of "What a Feeling," Drew Ryniewicz can go by anything she pleases.

In a few weeks, it might even be the following title: first-ever X Factor champion.

This 14-year old made one of the best impressions on last night's two-and-a-half hour extravaganza, showing off talent and maturity far beyond her age and prompting mentor Simon Cowell to gush: "This is why I wanted to be back on American TV, to find someone like you."

Watch one of the top 12 perform now:

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On its first live performance show of the season, all 17 remaining contestants on The X Factor took to the last night.

It was a long, at times painful evening that featured a handful of contenders, but just as many pretenders. It also featured the shortening of Drew Ryniewicz''s name to just Drew because apparently Simon Cowell doesn't have confidence we can pronounce the full thing.

But did Drew make the cut? The top 12 is revealed below...

Melanie Amaro Performs

Melanie Amaro
Rachel Crow

Brian "Astro" Bradley
Marcus Canty
Chris Rene

LeRoy Bell
Stacy Francis
Josh Krajcik

Lakoda Rayne
The Stereo Hogzz

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The finalists have been announced. The live performances kick off on Tuesday. And the bets are being placed.

On which X Factor contestant should you lay your money? Bodog, one of the Web's leading gambling destinations, has released the following odds, ranking each remaining act. Who has been installed as the favorite? The answer should come as no surprise to any loyal viewer...

Melanie Amaro: 9/2
Drew Ryniewicz: 7/1
Rachel Crow: 7/1
Stacy Francis: 8/1
Chris Rene: 9/1
Marcus Canty: 9/1
Simone Battle: 15/1
Tiah Tolliver: 15/1
Phillip Lomax: 18/1
Brian Bradley: 20/1
The Brewer Boys: 20/1
Lakoda Rayne: 20/1
InTENsity: 25/1
The Stereo Hogz: 25/1
LeRoy Bell: 30/1
Dexter Haygood: 35/1

Who do you think has the best shot to win? Vote in the polls below now and let your voice be heard!

Continue Reading...

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They've made it. They can take a breath, at least for a brief moment before the live performance begin.

But 17 acts were named to The X Factor finals last night, many of whom have given official statements on the achievement and posed for fun new promotional photos for Fox...

Rachel Crow Promo Pic
  • Josh Krajcik Promo Pic
  • Phillip Lomax Promo Pic
  • Tiah Tolliver Promo Pic
  • Drew Ryniewicz Promo Pic
  • LeRoy Bell Picture
  • Simone Battle Pic
  • Melanie Amaro Promi Pic
  • Dexter Haygood Picture
  • Stacy Francis Photo

Melanie Amaro: "The whole process is just mind boggling. It’s so amazing.”

Simone Battle: “I am blown away by how much talent there is in the girls’ category. At this point, it’s not about impressing the judges, it’s about impressing the world and everyone who is watching.”  

Drew Ryniewicz: “The girls in my category are nothing but amazing, every single one. From the start I have loved them all.  We are almost like a big family."

Tiah Tolliver: “I am extremely happy to have him [Simon Cowell] as my mentor because he fought for me. I feel like he is going to lead me in the right direction and I sincerely believe him when he tells me stuff.”

Continue Reading...

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

There were a few surprises (no Brennin Hunt?!? No Caitlin Koch?!?) and a few scripted moments of drama (Simon flying to Florida to invite Melanie Amaro), but The X Factor named its final 17 last night.

The following hopefuls, categorized according to the show's groups, will soon perform live for your votes...

Simone Battle
Drew Ryniewicz
Tiah Tolliver
Melanie Amaro (Below)
Rachel Crow

Over 30
Josh Krajcik
Dexter Haygood
Leroy Bell
Stacy Francis

The Brewer Boys
Lakota Rayne
Stereo Hogzz

Brian Bradley
Phillip Lomax
Chris Rene
Marcus Canty

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