The X Factor: Handicapping Season 2's Top 16

The X Factor may be getting a week off thanks to the World Series airing on Fox, but Simon Cowell’s reality singing competition will come roaring back next Thursday (Nov. 1, provided there’s no Game 7) with the Top 16 contestants taking the stage for a two-and-a-half-hour live performance telecast.

To fill the X-shaped hole in your life for the next seven days, we’ve put together a gallery of Season 2’s 16 finalists — four each from Britney Spears’ “Teens” (age 12-16), Demi Lovato’s “Young Adults” (age 17-24), L.A. Reid’s “Over 25s” and Simon Cowell’s “Groups” — pointing out their respectives strengths and weaknesses and suggesting some cool, offbeat songs for them to cover.

Check out the gallery below, then hit the comments with your own assessment of the field. And don’t forget to add a few of your picks to our Season 2 fantasy set list!