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