The “The X Factor” U.S. judges have made their choices for the Top 12 acts for 2011, and it seems to be a case of public feedback possibly have a big effect on the choices. As previously reported, there was considerable outrage among many viewers when the Top 17 acts were revealed, because some contestants who frequently sing off-key were chosen instead of more talented singers. According to viewer reactions on the Internet, the biggest mistakes in the Top 17 have now been corrected with the selection of the Top 12. Simone Battle, Tiah Tolliver and Dexter Haygood (the contestants named by most viewers as not deserving to be in the Top 17) did not make the cut in the Top 12.
The Top 12 acts were announced in the first live “X Factor” U.S. episode of the year, which Fox aired in the U.S. on October 25, 2011. (Two days before the live episode aired, I correctly predicted 11 out of the 12 acts that were ultimately chosen.) The episode featured the Top 17 acts each performing one song each, selected by the judges in their respective mentor categories. The overall opinions among the judges were that Melanie Amaro, Josh Krajcik, Astro and Drew performed the best.
Here are “The X Factor” U.S. Top 12 finalists for 2011:
Female Solo Singers Under Age 30 (also known as The Girls)
Mentored by judge Simon Cowell
Drew (stage name for Drew Ryniewicz)
(Click here for a recap of the Girls in Episode 10.)
Male Solo Singers Under Age 30 (also known as The Boys)
Mentored by judge L.A. Reid
Astro (stage name for Brian Bradley)
(Click here for a recap of the Boys in Episode 10.)
Solo Singers Ages 30 and Older (also known as the Over 30s)
Mentored by judge Nicole Scherzinger
(Click here for a recap of the Over 30s in Episode 10.)
Mentored by judge Paula Abdul
The Stereo Hogzz
(Click here for a recap of the Groups in Episode 10.)
For now, viewers reactions on the Internet show that Amaro, Krajcik and Drew are the Top 3 fan favorites for this episode. Many viewers who agree that Astro gave a great performance are still turned off by Astro’s arrogance (in a previous episode, the 15-year-old rapper said he would be “better than Jay-Z” in five years), which does not make him a fan favorite. In addition, Astro is the only rapper in the competition, and some viewers say rappers do not belong in a singing competition. So Astro has a lot of skepticism and backlash to overcome to get enough viewer votes to go far in the competition.
Meanwhile, Rene (who became YouTube sensation with his “X Factor” audition video) slipped a bit in viewer popularity with this episode, since his performance was overshadowed by the knockout, highly praised performances of Amaro, Krajcik, Astro and Drew. Time will tell if Rene will make a comeback and end up being named by the judges as a frontrunner in a future episode of “The X Factor” U.S.
Voting from the public begins November 2, 2011, when “The X Factor” U.S. goes back to its regular U.S. time period of Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time on Fox.
Viewer Reactions to Simon Cowell’s Choices
As I predicted, “The X Factor” U.S. judge Simon Cowell (who is mentoring the Girls category) chose to get rid of controversial and unpopular contestants Tolliver and Battle and keep the contestants who have the best shot of getting the most votes: Amaro, Crow and Drew. Overall, viewers agreed with these three choices.
Viewer Reactions to L.A. Reid’s Choices
“The X Factor” U.S. judges, L.A. Reid made all the choices that I predicted for the Boys category: Rene, Astro and Canty. Although some viewers expressed disappointment that Astro made it this far, there isn’t the level of outrage about Astro being in the Top 12 as there was about Cowell choosing Tolliver and Battle for the Top 17. Reid’s biggest success stories have been with R&B, hip-hop and pop artists, so it was unlikely he was going to go outside his comfort zone and choose a country singer or a jazz singer to be among his top three acts.
Viewer Reactions to Nicole Scherzinger’s Choices
Another decision (which I also predicted) was “The X Factor” U.S. judge Nicole Scherzinger eliminating Haygood and choosing to put Francis, Krajcik and Bell in the Top 12. Scherzinger is mentoring the Over 30s category, which has stiff competition from the younger contestants. Scherzinger gained a lot of goodwill with viewers for choosing these three singers over Haygood, who has received a lot of criticism for being off-key and unoriginal.
Viewer Reactions to Paula Abdul’s Choices
For this episode, “The X Factor” U.S. judge Paula Abdul (who is mentoring the Groups category) probably got the most negative viewer comments for of all the judges, because of her decision to eliminate the Brewer Boys. As I said in my prediction, Lakoda Rayne and InTENsity would make the Top 12 since they are groups that were formed by “X Factor” decision makers. So it was either going to be Brewer Boys and the Stereo Hogzz that would get eliminated. Although the Brewer Boys are more uniquely talented than the Stereo Hogzz (which is why I incorrectly guessed the Brewer Boys would be in the Top 12), it became obvious in this live episode that Abdul made her choice based on which act appealed more to her as a choreographer and which act is more likely to have a “edgy” image/sound during the live performances. So that is why I think the Stereo Hogzz were ultimately chosen for the Top 12.
On a side note, “The X Factor” U.S. host Steve Jones got a lot of negative comments from viewers for not being able to handle the live show very well. Jones frequently struggled to stop the judges from talking too long, and he sometimes interrupted them in an efort to get the show moving along and not run over its allotted time. Many viewers also thought that Jones had an unlikable personality.
Here is a sampling of viewer comments made on the Internet:
From “The X Factor” U.S. official Facebook page:
“For the most part, I thought the right decisions were made by the judges tonight. At the same time, I’m very disappointed that Simon’s picks to go home were made a week too late. Hands down I think the best performances were from Drew, Marcus and Melanie. I was extremely happy to see all three go through tonight.”
“Great show tonight …..go Josh….. ding dong the witch is dead Simone!!!, get rid of the cardboard host from hell!!…. Can’t wait for next week…!!!”
“Great ending with Melanie !! Drew and Melanine are in for a winning!!”
“Melanie or Drew will win….mark my word!!!! Love love love love this show…..don’t want it to ever end.”
“Melanie has it in the bag.”
“All the people who I wanted to make it through!”
“On a side note, it won’t be too long when X Factor replaces American Idol. This is coming from a once huge Idol fan that supported Adam Lambert in Season 8. Talent has made a comeback with this new show. Screw the rigged-up show that makes mediocre talent sound like pure gold called Idol.”
“Melanie, Josh, Drew, Leroy, Stereo Hogzz my favorites! I like Marcus too ! so much talent!”
“Omg! i loooove simon!!! he def got it right 2nite!!!!!! simone an tis definately needed to goooooo!!!!! woo hoo proud of ya simon!!!!! josh, drew, melanie an rachel my TOP 4!!!!!!!!”
“No offense but sometimes you got to be real, If you think what the judges said were rude and nasty they were probably a lot nicer then some other industry people would of been. If you can’t take the criticism they shouldn’t be in this lone of work. Also mentoring is amazing I think they have a better chance if their not wining it and your putting down people that have worked in the industry a long time despite what you think they know what their doing…Had 2 choices I didn’t completely agree with but we will see.”
“Show was very,very,very good. Host though did not stand up to the live show! He should go home too like the other contestants who did not step up to the live shows… Uggghhhhh…..he was very awkward!”
“tonight hands down for me was Josh. An amazing performer, soulful, raw and real.Whatever the outcome of this program is, YOUR world has now collided with mine, and I will be keeping an eye out for you for years to come…. I think LA
Reid didn’t do right by Phillip Lomax, what were you thinking of giving him that song??? Chris, again LA Reid, what were you thinking? Both of these singers, I felt didn’t get all of your attention, you gave all of it to Astro. Astro got all of your attention, playing favoritism? Stacie, Melanie, Stereo Hogzz and Drew, awesome.”
“Josh was the BEST all night and I really believe it is because he did not allow himself or his style to be changed or altered. Some of these contestants should have stood their ground like Phillip. I mean that whole entire performance was an utter trainwreck. And Rachel Crow was the weakest she has been so far and I understand she is young, but she had such a better stage presence before Simon and his “mentoring”. Just because he is some famous record exec hardly means he actually has a clue how to really bring the best out of a performer. Just look at Tiah’s cheesy prensentation I mean really Simon the stakes are five million dollars and that is what you come up with? It was like a reject from Glee.”
“I knew from the start if Brian Bradley was an awesome rapper he still wouldn’t win. I don’t think too many people who luv rap watch the xfactor.”
“I am surpirsed you all are not hailing Nicole as the best judge. She was awesome, and all her comments were spot on. She was right from day one about Tiah and it was proven today. Simon thinks because he is the boss, he knows better than everyone. I am glad someone has finally come up who can put him in his place. Nicole has a fresh face and brings some life into the judges table, LA is ok, but seems uncertain at times, Paula has lost it, and Simon’s jokes though old, are still very entertaining. At the end of X factor is the winner. Great show.”
“Not thrilled about L.A. Reid not putting Lomax through, but Reid doesn’t seem to want anyone outside his comfort zone of rap, hiphop, and r&b – pity.”
“Do not care for the host Steve.”
“Simone is a hot mess – bye bye.”
“I was leaning towards Melanie and her incredible voice. She’s missing on the song choices though. After hearing Drew tonight, that’s my pick. Even with the American Idol winners, there’s this special wow factor and Drew has it! Josh has it!”
“Melanie all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
“I wish they would replace the host. He is not so good. Not a fan of intensity. They should never have been compard to Glee. They are way more like kidz bop.”
“The Host has got to go… Omg he is so rude…”
“Too many back up dancers in some of the performances. They just don’t fit in with some of the singers and the songs.”
“Melanie Amaro for the win!! That young lady can sing her butt off!! The Final 4 SHOULD be Melanie, Stereo Hoggz, Josh, and Astro.”
“A night of surprises … all on the downside. My favorites going in were Josh and Drew. Incredibly bad song choise for Josh and I thought he bombed miserably. Drew had an interesting song choice but it sounded really bad over the tv … maybe there will be a youtube version with better acoustics. Overall the show was of poor quality acoustically. Only one real question in my mind after the show ended: How in the world is Jazzlyn Little not winning this thing?”
“Drew and Josh was the best tonight in my opinion. Phenomenal. Tia seemed like she was doing a cover over Marilyn Manson’s COVER of Sweet Dreams. She was good but I’m glad to see her go too, and Simone. I’m glad Melanie stayed. Also with Dexter I think he should’ve went a long time ago, I think Nicole let him stay because of sympathy because he didn’t have a proper home.”
“I love this week show they did pick the right ones this time.”
“Melanie, Josh and Drew in that order! Simon wants to drive it wherever he wants to, that’s why the song choices. Drew is amazing but Melanie is readiER than Drew is. Wish them all luck….including Stacy.”
“I thought Josh did horrible. He is a diva. From what nicole said he didn’t take direction well and did what he wanted……AND his hair was still dirty. Stereo Hogzzz, Melanie, Drew, Rachel, Leroy, Stacy…..loved them all.”
“Won’t mention names so as not to spoil for the west coast fans..but of all the contestants that made it to the live show, I think the best ones were chosen to move on. I thought some of the song choices were pretty poor.”
“So glad with the choices Simon picked tonight love this show!! Great job to the xfactor judges so glad u criticize each other that’s why I don’t like the voice because they don’t criticize each other it’s too fake acting.”
“This show is a HUGE disappointment! LA Reid is a joke! A Monkee’s song… are you kidding me? He intentionally set Philip up to lose so he could keep Kid Rap and the Candyman. Bad song choices and an extremely rude and rigid emcee made this show a hard one to watch. If it weren’t for Josh, Leroy, Drew and Melanie… there would be NO reason to watch at all. Looking forward to January and another season of American Idol!”
“Also, I think Drew sounds like a cross between Sinead O’Conner and Sara Mclachlan..beautiful voice.”
“I think the brothers should have stayed…..”
“I really think Drew is gona take this !”
“I don’t know what ya’ll think, but my pick would be Rachel Crow. She’s a young lady and has an awesome voice and totally deserved to be in with the top 3 girls along with Melanie. Wow Melanie has an awesome voice and definately could win it. Good luck to everybody!!”
“The host is HORRIBLE! Arnold Schwarzenegger called and wants his voice back! Other than the host I love the show! They picked the right ones tonight!”
“Does anyone else find the host on this show rude! ???”
“Great choices on who they sent home!!!! Go Drew and Josh. Melanie did great too!!!”
“RACHEL CROW is sooo ADORABLE.”
“Oh hey @SteveJones – I love you. You are SO hot. But pinky rings are not ok in America. Don’t do it!”
“GREAT CHOICE SIMON. i really thought he was going to keep Simone and Tiah in. tht woulda pissed me off.”
“Simon has the best group talent wise.”
“Melanie gonna win the whole show.”
“I’ll take Tiah over Simone, but they should probably both go home.”
“Stacy’s dream mayb 2b a Pop singer but when she accepts shes a Gospel singer she will be more settled & confident n her direction.”
“La Reid just made a huge mistake sending Philip Lomax home instead of Astro.”
“Wow! Astor is a super star … 14 yrs old repping Brooklyn!”
“Dexter scares me. Always acting like that drunk Uncle you ignore when he tries to hug u.”
“Why did Simon lie his face off to Chris????? He sounded terrible!!!”
“MARCUS CANTY is trending!!! he deserves it!!! he did an amazing job tonight.”
“This kid ASTRO is talented!!”
“That performance should have been on the VMAs or Grammys. @thestereohogzz* They were amazing.”
“Drew is Taylor Swift & Carrie Underwood put together!!”
October 26, 2011 update: The U.S. ratings for the October 25 episode were 12 million U.S. viewers. (“The X Factor” U.S. has consistently been getting ratings between 11 million U.S. viewes and 12.5 million U.S. viewers.) For the October 25 episode, the show was No. 1 in its time slot with 18-to-49-year-olds, by getting a 4.4. rating/12 share in that demographic.