The X Factor Leaderboard: Who's Your Favorite From the Top 4 Acts? Vote Now!

We’re only 10 days away from The X Factor‘s Season 1 finale — and 11 days away from starting to speculate who’ll replace Nicole Snuggiegobbler on the Season 2 judges’ panel. (I kid! I kid? Okay, I don’t really kid.) So with chants of “Cher-yl Cole! Cher-yl Cole!” in the air, check out my rankings of the four remaining singers, then hit our poll to vote for your favorite!

4) Marcus Canty (Last Week No. 4) | Has knocked off LeRoy Bell, Drew Ryniewicz, and Rachel Crow in consecutive sing-off rounds before the judges, but while he’s been consistent and consistently entertaining, he hasn’t exactly developed into a $500,000 act, let alone one worth $5 million. Needs a meltdown from one of his rivals to have a chance at the Top 3.

3) Josh Krajcik (Last Week No. 2) | Last week’s “Dance Music” theme seemed designed to cause him agita, but his heartfelt followup on The Beatles’ “Something” sent him sailing to safety yet again. Most of his missteps this season have involved song choice and staging, rather than his actual vocals. If he can use his veto power over his dubious mentor, he’s got a chance to win the whole enchilada.

2) Chris Rene (Last Week No. 3) | His original tunes — “Young Homie” and “Where Do We Go From Here” — have been two of the season’s undeniable highlights. Charismatic performer is certainly not the strongest vocalist left in the game, but it doesn’t really matter — as long as L.A. isn’t saddling him with ballads like “I’ll Be There” or “Superstar.” Possibly the most radio-ready of the remaining competitors, with a compelling backstory that appeals to the TV voting public.

1) Melanie Amaro (Last Week No. 1) | Most likely to pick up voters from latest evictee Rachel Crow, and there’s no denying she’s got the voice of an angel (on steroids). Melanie’s got diva presence and she rarely hits a bum note, but her mentor has yet to assign her a truly cool uptempo number. (And no, a half-hearted dance remix of “Someone Like You” doesn’t count in our book.) Why not Britney’s “Toxic” or Macy Gray’s “Do Something” or even Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River”?

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. GingerSnap says:

    Melanie has been my favorite since week 1 and should win. Sadly, I see her losing to Josh or Chris.

    • dane says:

      Totally agree. She is the best singer in the competition but the audience is comprised of mostly females who will vote for Chris because he’s cute or Josh because of his story.

      • Brandy says:

        Because of his story????? and because he is cute????? Rene is NOT cute first of all. Josh is talented well rounded and has a beautiful voice, he is entertaining and heart felt, and a genuine person. He brings goosebumps to your skin and melts your soul. His story???? Melanie has a beautiful voice but she is the run of the mill female singer. She is boring and sounds like many other singers.

      • Hellno says:

        Chris Rene Is Cute? then I think I just became a hunk. lol

    • ant says:

      look, look. Rene is obviously the best. With astro out, he is by far the best songwriter with young homie- a hip hop #1 and where do we go from here- a slow ballot like song which will touch the hearts of some of our more emotional viewers. All melanie does is sing the same type of song every week and talks in her fake “Teece eez Malanny!” accent. Josh is good, but can only sing one type of song. Did you see how uncomfortable he was sing we found love? Marcus is a good kid but he’s just not as talented. Chris can sing any song. Preferably hip hop but watch out, after the competition is over, he will have the most records, not burrito boy, not soap opera star, not mommas boy

      • x says:

        One type of song? Rene sounds the same all the time. Him putting his own songs on there just means that XFactor owns them. Who on here doens’t have there own genre. Josh has been very well rounded maybe uncomfortable but he pulled it off.

      • always2cents says:

        Rene is the best at what? Not standing out perhaps. All he knows is rap and hip hop. Josh can sing more than one type of song. He rocked Jar of Hearts like nobody’s business. Rene has no longevity. *yawn*

      • Vetle says:

        Lol, I love how people are critisizing Melanie’s accent like she does it to get votes or something. If she was faking it, she’s doing a really good job. The accent is pretty much flawless, and I couldn’t just fake that kind of accent like nobody’s business. Chris Rene has had one good song, and that’s Young Homie. Where Do We Go From Here was a bunch of repeated lyrics and instrumentals, plus he didn’t do anything with the vocal to make it believable, it wasn’t very dynamic in terms of vocals. It was not a good song. Just because he can rap, doesn’t mean he’s diverse. Melanie has shown diversity in tempo, I just wish she’d pick up the tempo even more, but for that I blame Simon.

  2. Travis says:

    Rachel’s my fav. What? She’s gone? Okay, Drew then. WHAT?! Some low-level Usher-lite mediocrity machine is still in over them?
    In all seriousness, I wish I could combine Josh’s grit with Melanie’s power. As it stands, it’s either another white dude with a guitar or a Leona Lewis-type who has no vocal personality. Whee. What fun.

  3. Jamie says:

    Can I vote for Rachel Crow?

  4. lethargic says:

    Out of these 4, Josh is my favorite by a million miles. Unfortunately there is NO WAY I can cheer for him because that is Nicole Shezinznveerer’s contestant and I will never support that idiot in anything. Unless it’s a contest where the winner gets the ebola virus, then I will be for Nicole.

    • Jason says:

      You’re a moron. You “claim” that Josh is your favorite, but yet you’re not going to vote for him simply because of Nicole. You’re not a true fan then. I’ve known Josh for 20 years and I’ve been voting for him since we’ve been able to vote and I’ll continue to do so till either he’s eliminated or the show ends with him as the winner.

    • matt says:

      It’s not Josh’s fault, he had no control over who his mentor would be. Don’t take it out on Josh because his mentor is a stupid judge. He’s the best singer left, and privately he’s probably very embarrassed by how his stupid mentor thinks she’s the star of the show.

    • Brandy says:

      Your favorite by a million miles and yet you are not going to vote for him… When this contest is over he will most likely not even be associated with him. He is the one winning the contest not HER. GROW UP… Josh all the way because he is the most talented!!!!!!!

  5. Clarissa says:

    I can’t see myself spending any money on any of the acts. I bet Simon regrets offering 5million as the prize (and hiring Nicole). That said, Melanie is so winning this. Josh runner up.
    I love the UK version so I hope our version gets better next season! I can’t see Cheryl returning, but wasn’t there a rumor of Mariah on the panel?

  6. Joseph says:

    Even in little old New Zealand (pop. 4 mill) we love, and usually back, the underdog. In Chris you have this classic scenario. He is the one contender that one can confidently say justly deserves to win. Truly inspirational.

  7. Clarissa says:

    I feel bad for Josh because I think he has the best vocals in the competition, but Nicole brings him down.

    • Brandy says:

      But it is Josh who will win not Nicole so look past that!

      • laurirose says:

        Josh Krajcik is the only one this whole season who has a truly unique, creative voice.

        We’ve heard Melanie, Chris and Marcus before, none of their voices are in any way special or compelling (even tho, yes, of course, Melanie has great vocal talent – but what is special about it??)

        Besides being a truly extraordinary artist who deserves to win this XFactor more than anyone else (remember, Michael, from the start we were told it is a “singing competition”, and Chris can NOT sing well; it DOES matter…), Josh is also a super-talented instrumentalist and songwriter.

        While Chris’s “original” songs are derivative, esp. the one he sang last week – I’ve heard parts of his same lyrics & melodic phrases in other recordings over the last 10 years :( — Josh’s original tunes are just that.. not knock-offs of other music…

        Melanie and Chris will both have great careers.. Josh will be getting hundreds of my votes this week and next, and we will all celebrate his huge win. Can’t wait already to get his first post X Factor album.

  8. LA says:

    I am no longer watching the show. I will NOT watch again until Nicole is gone. If she can’t handle being a judge, she shouldn’t be one.

  9. Bonnie A says:

    I am just not real excited about anyone. None of them seem remotely worth $5 million. I like Josh’s voice but I don’t think it’s that unique, and he probably won’t be a star with any longevity.

    Melanie has a gorgeous voice but there are too many stars like her, that are already doing great.

    Chris’ voice doesn’t seem strong enough to make it as a singing star–maybe as a songwriter.

    Marcus should have already gone home.

    And I can’t even describe how much I dislike watching Nicole on this show and her comments are beyond worthless. Will just DVR it and fast forward to the performances this week.

  10. Anna says:

    Why is Marcus still on the show?

    BTW, Michael the if you stop chanting Cheryl’s name the noise will stop.

  11. mickey4troi says:

    you know what they should do so you don’t have nicole all teary eyed, and actually voting. They should make her vote 1st then paula. I only trust simons opinion about the singers. And maybe LA also (sometimes).

    • Tess says:

      You know, no matter who they have as judges in the UK, they always manage to vote (well, except once when Cheryl Cole had two of her acts in the bottom and just couldn’t bring herself to side with one or the other…but that’s once in 8 years)…if they insist on keeping a panel here that can’t commit to a preference when asked by Steve, maybe what they should do is make them write their choice of who to send home down during the inevitable commercial break so when it comes time to get their votes they could just be posted on the screen (it avoids the judges’ going on a on about why they’re making that choice and running out the clock and forceing Steve to prod them for their answer)and then no one can go and change their minds because someone looks like they might be going home and that judge doesn’t want to be the one to actually put the nail in the coffin. They could vary how they reveal their choices each week if that helps any or just say how many voted for one over the other contestant and not say exactly which judge picked which contestants. Course, they could just replace the judges that would rather not do their jobs too…that might be easier…

  12. raftrap says:

    Without a doubt Melanie Amaro, on the uptempo subject I suggest Mary J Blige’s “Family Affair” (despite other people’s first suggestion: “Under the sea”).

    Also Cher-yl Cole! Cher-yl Cole!

  13. Jo Bean says:

    I like Josh but can’t see him being a star, Melanie can sing but I don’t like her, Marcus, not my cup of tea, so that leaves Chris! I am not a fan of the type of music Chris does but he is probably the most marketable. So, in conclusion, I don’t really care who wins, only ever been mildly interested in the show since they didn’t pick James Kenney for the live show, oh well.

  14. Christina says:

    If Chris made an album with songs like Young Homie, and not one over produced, then he is easily the most marketable person left.

    • michelle says:

      If you had to listen to his voice on the radio it would get switcched. I find his voice painful to listen to. Please don’t let him win.

  15. Brenda says:

    Great recap, as always, Michael. My top 4 included Rachel & I was truly shocked when she got eliminated over Marcus..especially when she had never been in the bottom 2 yet it was the 3rd time for Marcus.
    I think Melanie definitely has the strongest vocals & greatest range but for uniqueness, originality & musicality, I’d like to see either Josh or Chris win this.
    Honestly, I’d love to see Josh win ( in spite of his mentor… I’ve always loved to root for the underdog!) and I hope we hear more from all the top 5. Great bunch of talented kids this year!

  16. Theo says:

    I think it is safe to assume that Nicole caused the biggest international upset by sending her home. In South Africa it was unanimously decided that Nicole should be fired because she copped out of making her decision in hope of being liked rather than judging. How could she have let Rachel and Drew go?

    • Michelle says:

      She got the lowest voice because she should be on Disney not winning a singing contract. Not yet she is yound and talented and has the most avenues to explore. AMERICA sent her home. SHE HAD THE LEAST VOTES!!!! MOVE ON ALREADY. As for Drew she was one of my favorites but became so BORING and redundant she should of went home. They are young they have plenty of time to blossom. The deadlock is there for a reason and it was used. To bad she got the lowest votes but she did. Move on.

  17. goldie says:

    Is everyone forgetting Rachel crow received the lowest votes. America sent her home. I actually only vote for Josh and marcus. People please get over yourselves. I wanted rachel gone a long time ago.

  18. always2cents says:

    Why would you penalize Josh because you don’t like Nicole? It’s not his fault that he got Nicole. Be realistic.

  19. always2cents says:

    That’s funny no one said a word when Simon sent it to deadlock. Paula did the exact same thing. The deadlock is there for a reason and it should be who America picks.

    • Roma says:


      If this were ANY other competition show then the judges wouldn’t even get to have a said in who they send home. It was AMERICA who sent Rachel home. No one else. People are just hating on Nicole because they now have someone to blame for how crappy voters they actually are and have always been.

      NO ONE said a word when the other judges did the same thing, because they didn’t really care that much about the other acts. Now that they regret the decision they made, they just look for some other than them to blame.

      Why Nicole? Why not blame it on L.A.? He keeps saying that the other act is better yet he always votes for “HIS” boy even though he doesn’t think the other act should be the one going home. But no one is hating on him. Why? because Nicole was the last one to vote and so she’s the obvious and easiest person to blame because it was “in her hands”, when it really wasn’t. Whatever reason she had for sending it to deadlock (maybe it was because she wants to be liked or maybe it’s because she ACTUALLY thought the two acts deserved to stay) we will never know. But she did it and the final decision was made by the voters.

      Then blaming her for getting Drew voted off? How about no. Paula AND L.A. also voted against Drew. Three out of four judges voted for her to go. So off she went. Those are the rules.

      Yes, she might be a big drama queen and whatever, but she is in no way to blame for a decision AMERICA made.

      • matt says:

        Yes she is to blame because if America could have voted after hearing Rachel’s save-me song, do you think Marcus would still have gotten more votes? No.

        • Roma says:

          That’s why there are performance nights. So America can vote based on THAT. And based on that Rachel was the one with the least votes.

          Like I said, in any other competition show there wouldn’t be a save-me song and the judges wouldn’t have a said. She was amazing in that last performance and should’ve stayed because of it, but Nicole wanted to play nice (and dumb) and things went wrong. But in the end, the decision to sent Rachel packing was America’s not Nicole’s.

          Besides, even more enfurating than Nicole’s crappy call was L.A. Reid claiming to be a man of “PRINCIPLE” and yet, after admiting that Rachel had the best performance, voted for Marcus to stay. If he really were a man of principle then he would’ve voted to send Marcus home no matter if he was his mentor or not.

          Yes, Nicole is not cut out to be a judge, but Rachel going home wasn’t her fault. But then again all of the judges in this show are biased and can NEVER criticize the performances objectively because they are more concerned about winning themselves than about these contestants careers. Since the show started this has been nothing but a competition between four giant egos.

          Also, the only reason people are hating on Nicole right now it’s because of Rachel’s meltdown (proof of why kids that young shouldn’t be allowed to compete in such kind of thing). If she hadn’t gone into complete shock like she did people wouldn’t even care, because, based on what I’ve been hearing and reading during the past weeks, people weren’t exactly fond of Rachel anyway.

          • matt says:

            Well if you gave the performance of the season, as Rachel did,I feel, and it wasn’t recognized by the judges, then you would break down like that too , I think , so I don’t think it has to do with age. Also factoring in LA.’s sleazy mentioning of the “Disney interest” to make the viewers not vote for her,no one was treated more poorly by the judges this season than Rachel, not even Drew. Nicole was even re-booed again this week! Such a level of disdain would not arise only out of sympathy for a “childish temper tantrum” , as non-Rachel fans seem fond of saying. People are mad because talent wasn’t recognized.

  20. dan says:

    Chris is my favorite, after he performed his own song last week. I’ll be happy if Melanie wins, though.

    I will not miss Nicole at all. Whatever genius kicked Cheryl off, they must be kicking themselves now.

  21. laura says:

    Maybe I’m just too old, but what about Chris’s backstory is compelling. The guy was a drug addict who’s been clean for what, like 4 months now. Can someone explain to me why the public always seems to favor a person who’s messed up over someone who’s lived on the straight and narrow. In this day and age, I find a much more compelling backstory would be someone who through diligence, honesty and hardwork achieved their dreams over someone who probably put their friends and family through hell until a few months ago.

    • Roberta says:

      Totally agree! I mean, I feel bad for the guy and everything, but to have him as a role model? That’s a bit too much!

  22. matt says:

    Maybe if the competition was for the hottest gay pornstar Chris would be number 2, as you feel he deserves. But seeing as this is a singing competition, the number 2 position really should have been occupied by Rachel Crow.

  23. Talullah says:

    Laura!!!! may God forgive you;just take back what u one is perfect in this world.I love u Chris and may God offer u the best he can.@teamchris keep voting!!!

    • always2cents says:

      What exactly did Laura say that was wrong? When you’re beginning your sobriety you’re not supposed to change anything for a year. Throwing an addict a $5 million record deal in Hollywood? How long do you think that clean date would stand? Let’s be real. You’d see Chris release one album, MAYBE two and then the next time you’d see him he’d be on Celebrity Rehab.I’m not being harsh. It’s a fact less than 5% of addicts stay clean.

  24. Tallulah says:

    Laura!!!! may God forgive you;just take back what u one is perfect in this world.I love u Chris and may God offer u the best he can.@teamchris keep voting!!!

  25. Jeff says:

    No $500,000 or $5 million dollar act among any of these 4. ZZZZZzzzzzz……

  26. Marcus FTW!! says:

    Voting for Marcus! GO MARCUS!! Save us all from the Predictable-and Boring-Top 3!!

  27. con says:

    Chris 4 me is d x-factor

  28. grace says:

    youre so right about what you said about Melanie Amaro!

  29. ramification says:

    Mr Slezak, we here in the UK suffered through two years of Cheryl Cole telling contestants ‘you’re a ready made popstar’ , ‘you are my guilty pleasure’ as her only forms of critique, she is NOT a good judge, trust me, those few minutes you saw her on the US version were the only good bits they could find of her. She was an awful judge. She also had a voting controversy of her own when two of her acts went bottom two once.

    • raftrap says:

      To this I say: the UK had the chance to love Cheryl for two years then turn on her, we deserve that chance too, I want my two years of Cheryl love owed, besides it’s clear that she’s better than Nicole (and probably Paula and LA), seriously mesmerized by Cheryl Cole, I’m actually randomly watching Melanie and Josh this season (want Melanie to win) but what I’m truly watching this season is the UK version with Cheryl on it (thanks youtube), we missed out people, we truly did miss out. Besides for next season it’s either Nicole (No) or Cheryl (Please), the other options floating around: Mariah, Rihanna, Kelly Rowland…just horrible ideas from Simon lately, if that’s the case I’d rather have Steve be upgraded to judge just as Nicole was. So please Mike, I want my “Why Cheryl Cole should return to the X Factor 2012” article in 11 days please, I started watching these talent shows 2 years ago just to read and watch your insight in them, and you were the one who ultimately sold me on Cheryl when you described her as both “warm” and “engaging”, I’d rather have her cute smile and accent next year than that weird pokerface Nicole makes trying to not give away her opinion, Cheryl was fired because of cold feet, well Nicole is proven to not be good reality tv, simple as that.

  30. Ramification says:

    Rebecca Ferguson on uk x factor who was mentored by Cheryl in the last series and came second thanked all the judges plus Nicole who was guest judge when she auditioned in the liner notes except for Cheryl her mentor that says it all really

  31. Jurybox says:

    Well, after tonight’s performance show, and Josh’s version of Hallelujah, the contest is over for me. He wins, hands down, when’s the CD coming out?

  32. abluzfan says:

    No…just no. Paul McCartney was a Beatle and,as such, had millions of American fans before ever setting foot on American soil & being seen for the 1st time on Ed Sullivan with a guitar.
    Another white guy with a guitar… been lots of those but makes me think of some of our treasures like James Taylor, John Denver…guys with no band just beautifully unique voices and creative talent whom I could sit & listen to for hours with just a mic. Sir Paul is certainly among them today but, to be fair, he did debut as a Beatle.
    So, just curious, what’s with the “just another white guy with a guitar” anyway? Besides, Josh also has shown talent on piano, too.