The X Factor Leaderboard: Who's Your Favorite From the Top 5 Acts? Vote Now!

Drew Ryniewicz has left The X Factor — in sixth place! — but we must carry on in the face of unspeakable tragedy and nameless horror. Plus, there are five pretty dang talented people left fighting for the Season 1 crown. So check out my rankings for the remaining singers, then hit our poll to vote for your favorite!

5) Rachel Crow (Last Week No. 6) | Fans must be clinging to her Top 11 rendition of Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind,” because subsequent takes on “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Believe” bordered on shrill, and her Michael Jackson cover was plagued by pitch problems and a general listlessness.

4) Marcus Canty (Last Week No. 5) | He’s had to sing for his life for two straight weeks, and that means one of two things: His fanbase will be wildly motivated to keep him in the competition on Wednesday, or he doesn’t have a big enough fanbase to crack the Top 4. It would help if he focused a little more on the vocals — “P.Y.T.” was tons of fun, but a little sloppy, while “A Song for Mama” was a crackling hot mess — while still maintaining his position as Season 1’s major entertainer. Needs stronger mentoring from L.A., that’s for sure.

3) Chris Rene (Last Week No. 4) | Never going to win an award for pitch perfection, but it doesn’t really matter. When he’s good — “Gangster’s Paradise,” that Bob Marley mashup, the “Young Homie” half of his Top 9 number — he’s undeniably exciting, and as close to a $5 million act as anyone in the competition. When he gets ballads like “I’ll Be There” or “Superstar,” though, Chris comes off like a sweet but pedestrian vocalist of the karaoke-bar variety. Choice of material this week will be the determining factor, but since he’s seemingly L.A.’s favorite, expect something uptempo and on-point.

2) Josh Krajcik (Last Week No. 1) | “Dirty Diana” was not his best moment — and my inner conspiracy theorist wonders if someone in the X Factor editing booth is purposely messing up the sound mix on Josh’s performances. Still, his rock-soul sound is distinctive and authentic, and his riveting rendition of “Wild Horses” proved he’s truly got the vocal chops required to take home the crown. Here’s hoping Nicole doesn’t mess him up with a band of dancing hoochie mamas or a dreary Disney ballad.

1) Melanie Amaro (Last Week No. 2) | With Drew out of the competition, you can bet L.A. and Nicole will be trying to paint the pro-tem front-runner with the “boring brush,” and certainly, it might help if Simon handed her something — anything! — that wasn’t a ballad. (This week’s suggestions: Roisin Murphy’s “Cry Baby” or Sinead O’Connor’s “No Man’s Woman.) But vocally, she’s almost impossible to fault, and what’s more, Drew’s ouster proves to the voting public that anyone can be vulnerable. Don’t expect Melanie to have to sing for her life this week — or ever.

Who’s your X Factor fave? Take our poll below!

Slezak on Twitter: @MichaelSlezakTV

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Sam says:

    Now that Drew’s gone, Melanie is the only answer. I cannot see another dude win a singing competition. Come on, America! Let a woman win for once!

    • Micah says:

      Haha, really? “Let a woman win”? I’m no Gloria Allred, but… interesting.

      That said, Melanie is quite a talent, and definitely doesn’t need anyone to “let” her win… aside from getting votes and avoiding the judges’ ire, anyway.

    • I agree! I used to think Josh was really good as well, but he is sounding so weak – maybe because his mentor is setting him up? I don’t know, but I don’t like him for the win anymore.

    • Madelyn says:

      May the best man win & that would be Josh.

    • Dani says:

      I love Melenie. She is the best by far. She sang my favorite song on the Thanksgiving week, World’s Greatest. Melenie is so much better than drew and Rachel. don’t know why Simon almost didn’t pick her but he firt picked Symone. Really Simon, get you priorities straight!

  2. Gil King says:

    Adorable and sweet little Rachel Crow has probably run her course, as her age and lack of developmental maturity seems to now finally be noticeable.
    I really wish her a great future and feel certain that she’s made her mark here and should have plenty of access and support to launch a career as a young artist.
    Good Luck Rachel, you did yourself proud..regardless where you end up finishing the X Factor.

    • Tess says:

      Rachel is still better than Chris and Marcus as a singer. To be fair, her most lackluster performances have come when Simon hasn’t had a clue what to give her and her best have come when she has been the one to decide what she would sing. Here’s hoping that she takes the reins this week too – her voice can handle more mature songs than Simon seems to be comfortable giving her; he needs to stop thinking of her as an innoceent youngster and let her do what she can do. But I get the feeling that much like how LA seems to favor Chris, Simon favors Melanie and he does not want Rachel to upstage Melanie at this point – but I would think he would still rather give Rachel a big contract than Marcus or even Chris, when all is said and done. He probably doesn’t want to give that contract to Josh either, even though he’s the best guy left.

    • Phoebie says:

      Honestly I think Rachel has a shot of making the finale.

  3. Adam says:

    Nicole is absolutely useless as a judge and I was loving sober Paula on this show until last week’s horrible decision. Marcus Canty deserved to go home based solely on the fact that he had already been in the bottom before. Drew deserved her second chance the way that Marcus and many other acts got theirs. With that said, I’d like to believe that Melanie is the clear winner but judging by the outcome of other singing competitions I’ve watched, something tells me I will end up disappointed. I kinda wish they would stop leaving it up to America to decide because we’re actually just letting 12 year old girls make these decisions.

    • CeeJay54 says:

      I agree that Nicole is absolutely useless as a judge. I still don’t know how Simon made the decision to put her in this position. She just doesn’t have the credentials or the credibilty to sit at the same table as Simon, L.A., and even Paula,who has had lots of years of American Idol judging under her belt. I would love to see Nicole replaced before next season, especially after what happened last week. She voted for Marcus over Drew entirely for only one reason, and it wasn’t about talent. It was obviously to get back at Simon, because he’s been so vocal about her incompetence as a judge. That shows she doesn’t have what it takes to do the job. If this is how the winner is going to be determined, I won’t watch another season. Instead of the judges deciding between the bottom two every week, the person who stays should be determined by America’s vote, and since Marcus was in the bottom two more than once, and Drew had never been, the outcome would have been obviously different. Whoever receives the least amount of votes should go home, period. I stopped watching American Idol because “12 year old girls” were deciding the winners, but if the judges are going judge based on their personal attitudes toward the other judges, that’s no better. So, if the best singer,(and to me it’s obvious) actually wins this first XFactor, I’ll watch again. Otherwise, I’m outta there. Life is too short.

      • ana_muti says:

        I don’t agree with your opinion that Nichole voted Drew off because she wanted to get back at Cowell.

        I don’t believe she is that petty a human being. I think she voted for Marcus over Drew based on the “save me” song, which she’s supposed to do.

        If Drew had such a following, she’d not have been in the bottom 3.

        The problem is, that those who like Drew’s vocals are vocal on boards like this, but they didn’t get the votes out.

        Marcus reached out to the public, while Drew didn’t. I do believe Marcus is more engaging a person, though I believe that Drew was in theory a better singer, if she could have tamed some of that heavy “yodel” to her vocals. That wasn’t anyone’s fault but Simon’s (as he himself truthfully admitted), for not being a better mentor.

        I get tired of everyone blaming the two female judges, when neither of them put Drew in the bottom 3.

  4. Bob says:

    Michael brings up a good point. Since the judges are still choosing which of the bottom two remain, they can team together to eliminate worthwhile competition. No judge yet has voted against his / her own team. I hope Melanie and Josh make it to the final two, then let the vote decide, not the judges.

  5. KC says:

    Drew was terrible I am glad she is gone. Top 3 will be Josh, Melanie, and Rachel.

    • GingerSnap says:

      Since there are a fair number of males who respond on this board, I wonder if they are voting for their favorite females? My guess is not, otherwise Drew would still be around.
      Voters are teens or Cougar females. Of the 5 we have left, my guess is there are at least 3 guys in the final 4. That leaves Melanie vs. Rachel. I think Melanie deserves to be there, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Rachel’s got the teen vote sowed up.
      The winner will be male. Josh would be my guess, but Chris Rene could steel the crown. He’s not the best vocalist, but he’s seems to be likeable enough. And that’s all it takes to get the female vote.

      • dan says:

        I haven’t voted once, even though I’ve been watching every week. Now that it’s down to the bottom five, I’ll force myself.

      • Rick says:

        Every time I care enough to vote for someone, they go home. Katharine McPhee in the AI5 finale, Haley Reinhart last year, Lakoda Rayne this time… I’m a jinx! Kris Allen in the AI8 finale is the only time I was successful.

  6. blingedup.susan says:

    I feel about Melanie the same way I feel about Celine Dion. Beautiful voice, but……**yawn**. Just not my cuppa.

    With Drew gone, the only one with an interesting sound to me is Josh. He’s the only one left that I like. Hope he stays in it.

    • annabelle says:

      I agree with you, but I’m not sticking around to find out. I am boycotting the show after last week’s ridiculous decision.

  7. Shauna says:

    I personally think that it was Simon’s fault that Drew went home. I liked her but got to the point where I was tired of seeing her do the same thing week after week. Shame on Simon for not changing it up and letting America see a different side of her! As far as Melanie goes, there’s no doubt the girl can sing but, she’s also doing the same thing week after week. I don’t get goose bumps when listening to her and here’s why… there are so many artists out there that she sounds like; Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Cellon Dion, etc. Those artists are great, no doubt, but for me I guess its about finding someone who is different. Racheal Crow is a doll but, I think she has a lot of growing to do as an artist and a person and is not quite ready for the big time. Maybe in about 5 years. I like Chris Rene. I think when he’s on pitch and in key he has a good voice but, I think he needs a little more practice before getting that kind of money and record deal. Josh is who I would like to see win. I think he’s been the most consistent. The only complaint I have about him is not caring for some of his song choices but, even the bad ones he’s sang well I think. As far as the judges go, I don’t think they should be aloud to have the final say when it comes to the bottom two. Why even have America vote then? Only a few weeks left though. I guess we will just have to wait and see! God bless everyone and have a wonderful Christmas! : )

    • JL102030 says:

      Agreed! I though with the judges choosing it meant we wouldn’t lose good singers (like on AI), but instead they let their own competition get the best of them. I guarantee Marcus had the lowest votes. If America had picked, he would have gone home. Simon didn’t always pick the best songs for Drew, but she at least deserved a second shot. Josh is the best now, which makes me mad because I do not want Nicole to win.

      • blingedup.susan says:

        Oh crap! I forgot that a win for Josh is a win for Nicole, and she is fingernails-on-the-blackboard unbearable for me. I want her gone next season, and if HER contestant wins, is that less likely?

        Hmmmmmmm……what a quandry.

    • Aprilcot26 says:

      Initially, I was glad that the judges got the final say, like on So You Think You Can Dance. The judges there (usually) do a great job of deciding who deserves to go home. With judges serving as mentors, however, it’s all about saving your own and sabotaging everyone else.

      • ana_muti says:

        I don’t think that sabotage was the motivation behind Drew’s elimination. I think it was Simon’s arrogance that Drew didn’t have to change things up, and his hubris that he didn’t feel he needed to listen to Drew when she said she wasn’t comfortable with the danged chair.

        Drew’s yodel became aggravating to the point where I muted the TV when she sang. I don’t know if she could control it, but if so Simon should have counciled her to do so. He didn’t.

        Simon Cowell started the whole meme that N&P were “jealous cats,” a sexist and unfair thing to suggest. When Drew was eliminated, the voting public took that meme and ran with it, as Simon expected.

        The only sabotaging I saw was of Nichole and Paula by Simon Cowell.

    • Crystal Fan says:

      There is a YouTube of Drew at 13 singing “At Last.” Fantastic. It shows that Drew is absolutely capable of singing different styles. If only Simon would have allowed Drew to demonstrate her versatility. She is not a one-trick-pony.

  8. JL102030 says:

    I will not be watching anymore this season. The fact that they could send home a viable contestant in favor of Marcus is beyond me. Whether Drew would have won or not is irrelevant; she at least deserved an opportunity to fight for that chance more than Marcus. Nicole has no business judging this competition. I didn’t start watching this show to see petty bickering between the judges. I certainly expected a more legit talent show than what we are getting at this point. If the Voice can manage to have judges compete without losing talented singers, then the Xfactor can do it too. Simon better get it together for next year if he wants this show to stick around.

  9. Omsr says:

    Honestly, though he isn’t the best vocalist, I honestly think Chris Rene is going to win…..his fans have been very loyal to him and he definitely can sell an album….plus he writes his own stuff. I think Rachel Crow will run her course this week, with Marcus Canty too. Expect Chris, Melanie, and Josh to be the final 3. Then it really gets tough.

  10. HABO says:

    The first time I heard Drew sing the Justin Beiber song I was in awe at how this little girl could totally destroy Beibers versions. She rocks. That being said she did lack diversity in her musical choices. I would have loved to see something a little more upbeat from her. Simon dropped the ball on Drew and he admitted it. She would have still been in the contest if he let her do a up tempo song. Drew will go on to have a great fortune in the Music Industry. She’s already famous so thats covered. My pick to win it all is Josh but that won’t happen. The actual winner will be Rachel Crow. Look for her to have her best performance this week and Melanie will stumble. Marcus is outta there!

    • Lefty says:

      You know, I would have liked to have heard Drew do something more up-tempo, but it might not have saved her. Remember that Pia Toscano was just singing ballad after ballad, and finally she did something up-tempo and she was voted off! So, Simon may have been holding her back from doing something faster because she couldn’t handle it. (Although Pia did lose alot of votes because of that Gwen Stefani cow print outfit!)

  11. JVC says:

    I agree with the top two rankings Slezak, and yes melanie must win show. But I don’t think rachel should be dead last, she should at least be 4th in the rankings. And i think it’s because of her top 11 cover she’s still in the game, because i still think she has more to show. Plus drew’s fans will most likely rally behind her and melanie and vote for them like beasts. In addition Simon might step up his coaching game with his two remaining acts. That is why i want a melanie, josh, and rachel final 3 because they have impressed me at least once throughout the live show and given moments on stage. I am fan of Marcus but he’s not going to win, I’m more amazed chris hasn’t been in the bottom 2 once so far and i have hardly been impressed with him since the live shows started. I just hope he doesn’t win cause it could result in a Lee Dewzee disaster.

  12. Ryan says:

    I mean, it’s pretty straight forward why Drew went home. As a one trick pony, there’s no in between, you either love her, or you don’t. So for those who love her, I guess “unspeakable tragedy” could be quite the understatement. I get it. I was never a Drew fan, but I understood why people loved her. It’s the same with Astro. It’s all love or all hate, but at the same time neither “sucked”.

  13. E says:

    I like Rachel. She’s one of my favorites. Since the Etta James performance she hasn’t really had a standout moment, but she’s the only one of these contestants that has shown personality. I think that’s part of what has kept her on. The “x factor” is that something extra, beyond talent, that inspires the public to get behind you and support you and want to follow your career. I enjoy Melanie and I always look forward to her performance, but she doesn’t really excite me. I always feel underwhelmed after her performances even though vocally she soars above the rest. People that are voting for Rachel are voting for a person, the rest are just voices.

  14. Mark says:

    Rachel Crow for the win! At the very least, get this girl a show on Disney Channel! Or at least a guest starring role on A.N.T or something of the like.

  15. Sebby says:

    Personally, I think Idol and X Factor should swap the way a contestant is eliminated. Having the public choose the bottom two and the judges decide who goes home would be much more beneficial on Idol. Every year their is a shocking departure that could have been avoided if the judges were able to intervene, and that one “Judges Save” isn’t working as was proved with Pia last year. And on X Factor where the judges are also mentors…it really should be left up to the viewing public to decide.

  16. Mary says:

    At this point I don’t care who wins. None of the acts were worth the 5 million contract. I have tried to give this show a shot, but after last week, I realized it wasn’t about the singers it is more about the judges which I don’t care for any of them. I can’t stand the overproduction of this show I will just wait till AI starts in January and come here to read what Michael has to say. If a performance really gets raved about I will watch on Y-tube. I do hope Melanie wins thinks she has the strongest voice, yes better than Josh but we will see.

    • Bonnie A says:

      You described my thoughts exactly! Said it well!

      And I agree with Michael, that I can’t hear Josh and I like his voice; something wrong with the sound mix.

  17. chase says:

    Normally agree with you Mike, but Chris Rene is unbearable. If he were to win, it would be an embarassment to X-Factor. Overall, the show has below average talent, well below Idol, The Voice, and Sing Off. Add this to the fact that the judges care more about their ‘feuds’ than the contestants, and X-Factor has been a complete disappointment.

    • Mike says:

      LMAO! Chris winning will be the best thing that happend to the show. It will mean people recognize a star(which is what x factor is about) when they see one. That would be an amazing success story for they show and I don’t think Simmon would shake his fist at that. Watch this and tell Simon Chris winning will be an embarrasment. Idol fans are so stuck in the olden days belting voices as the only good thing. None of the other 4 contestants are gonna sell, sorry!

  18. Rosita says:

    I beg to disagree with you, dear Michael:

    Imho, the only truly original, unique vocal talent in Season One of XFactor USA is Josh Krajcik, who has been disgraced by the stupid shenanigans of awful staging & song choices by his (non)mentor Nicole.

    Melanie of course has a great voice (and will make a good debut CD), but Josh’s depth as a singer (and instrumentalist – top level pianist/guitarist) is vastly superior to Melanie’s range, creatively-speaking –

    for example, see his “Judges’ Homes” sublime performance of “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”:

    Unfortunately the crazed immature Astro/Drew voters may sway the tallies towards Melanie (or even Rachel?) but it’s JOSH who deserves to win this, since Day One.

  19. J says:

    what the hell is Marcus still doing here?

  20. karenb says:

    Now that Astro and Drew are gone, the only one left to give any exciting performances is Marcus. Hoping he can do it, because otherwise, this show is a Snooze Fest. Definitely didnt live up to the hype.

    I can’t believe that I’m saying this, especially after last season’s Hot Mess, I am actually looking forward to Idol. Hopefully they have out grown their country “stage.”

  21. Mike says:

    It looks like every person who posts here is an idoloonie of some sort so keep talking about vocals. If you watch Xfactor before, you’d know it ain’t all about vocals lol! Beside Chris Rene, none of these contestants are going to sell. You think Simon doesn’t know? He does and has said that right from the get go.
    X factor is about finding the next recording artist who can be huge and honestly you don’t need a good voice to do that.
    For Chris to be able to sail through despite people bashing him left and right about vocals tells the real story. He has connected really well that people want to get up and vote for him. I wouldn’t be suprised if he won. This is not American Idol.

    • Mary says:

      This is true but sad. I just don’t understand why we can’t have both.
      What this show is looking for is another Gaga, although she does have a voice. Lets face it they are not going to find it on a this show. You can manufacture a image, however the singer will get bashed every time they sing live. You can put a production on but if a person can’t sing or entertained who is going to go see them live and that is how they make the money. I could sing with auto tune but I wouldn’t go on stage and do it. Chris is getting the sympathy votes.

  22. Travis says:

    I could see Chris Rene being a great recording artist. As the winner of a show, however, he’s unbearably lackluster.

  23. d says:

    Josh is the best musician on the show! Deserves to win.

  24. Jane says:

    Wow! Still complaining about Drew gettin’ the ax. As someone already pointed out (and Steve-bot too) She was a divisive contestant. I always thought she was more of a Casey, less like a Pia. You either got her and loved it or like me, didn’t. A few times I felt sorry for her with the crackly voice and weird song choices. I guess you could blame Simon for the latter. She’s the perfect example of why you shouldn’t allow children on a reality competition. My heart broke for her when she sobbed uncontrollably last week. She’s a sweet young girl and is talented, but was she ready for this? No. the judges hid their real critiques (they must of heard all those sour notes) with the lame bad song choice nonsense. Imagine if they had told her, ” you need to control the yodel in your voice and work on better breathing when you sing, so the end of each verse doesn’t sound like such a struggle” she would have been devastated. Fast forward 5 years and some singing lessons, Drew would have known what kind of singer she was and would have told Simon what he could do with that chair. A million dollars is a huge contract and the younger the winner the more years the label can squeeze money out of them so I get why they had such a low cutoff age, but I worry about the heartbreak this will cause these youngsters (except Astro. His ego will survive this). Maybe I’m wrong and Drew will become a superstar, but all the years of idol and how many have made it? They had the same exposure and for most, their careers went nowhere. For me, Drew didn’t have the “x-factor”. I’m still made about people that got cut during boot camp and judges house. Why again was Caitlin cut??

    • GingerSnap says:

      Boy, you hit the nail on the head! They lower the age of the contestants because they know that teens are the voters. Three of them 15 or younger, and not one of them prepared for losing. My guess is Rachel makes it to the top 4, otherwise we are headed for another emotional breakdown.

  25. Krista says:

    For what’s it worth, I can only see Rachel or Marcus hawking a Pepsi. The others-not so much.

  26. Jane says:

    Chris Rene for the win!!

  27. David L Church says:

    I adore Melanie Amaro and that’s just talking about her singing ability not the fact that when she has professional styling she is absolutely gorgeous. The other contestants are so likeable but not world class recording stars at all. I love Rachel for Disney/Nickelodean big time, a superstar there in waiting. Melanie singing uptempo songs would not be could in the context of the Xfactor as they dont do well historically, ala I Wanna Dance with somebody on IDOL many times or Heatwave by Martha and the Vandellas

  28. grakky says:

    Hmmm where’s the None of the Above button?