‘The X Factor’: Who Will Win?

Television Without Pity
The judges picked the Top 12; now it's our turn (Ray Mickshaw/FOX)
The judges picked the Top 12; now it's our turn (Ray Mickshaw/FOX)

It's the first season of "The X Factor," and after weeks of bloated audition and semifinal episodes, the live voting rounds are mercifully here. But which singers in the Top 12 actually stand a chance at winning? Is having Nicole as a mentor more terrible or less than getting advice from Paula? Will Simon find a way to sex up Drew? Will Twitter voting improve some contestants' chances? Our early predictions are here.

Melanie Amaro
Mentor: Simon Cowell
First Impressions: She was almost kicked out of the show because Simon was swayed by hotter chicks, but the other judges convinced him that this was actually a singing competition and not a dating show, and she came back and earned her way into the Top 3 girls without dressing all trashy.
Odds of Winning: 10 to 1. She's got a chance here, but she might be forgotten, as her voice isn't quite as powerful as Stacy Francis and she's not as memorably cute as Rachel Crow.

Astro (formerly known as Brian Bradley)
Mentor: L.A. Reid
First Impressions: He's a young kid doing hip-hop fairly well, and it's definitely something we've never really seen in the final rounds of, say, "American Idol" (we do not count beat-boxing Blake in the same category). And he got very lucky with L.A. Reid as his mentor.
Odds of Winning: 30 to 1. He's got style and flair and might even become famous from this, but we can't really see most of America voting for a rapper over a powerhouse singer. Plus, "Astro," really? That's the stage name he's going to go with?

Leroy Bell
Mentor: Nicole Scherzinger
First Impressions: He's got a beautiful voice and has been around the music business for a lot longer than Rachel, Astro, and Drew have collectively been alive. And he's the youngest-looking 60-year-old we've ever seen.
Odds of Winning: 15 to 1. Being on Nicole's team might be a detriment to him, since she seems unsure how to pick songs/stage performances for someone like him.

Marcus Canty
Mentor: L.A. Reid
First Impressions: His mother made him have realistic goals and timelines in life (and we love her for that), and he claims that this show was his last shot before getting a real job. He also sang a pretty fantastic version of "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me."
Odds of Winning: 5 to 1. If a boy wins, it will probably be him. He's definitely marketable, which the judges (or at least Simon and L.A.) will love.

[Check Out Photos of Last Week's 'X Factor' Performances]

Rachel Crow
Mentor: Simon Cowell
First Impressions: She's a pint-size ball of quirk with a solid singing voice and a whole lot of personality. She's also got an immense amount of hair.
Odds of Winning: 18 to 1. She's adorable, and she might have had a chance at winning "America's Got Talent," but it's unlikely that her plucky attitude will win her this competition.

Drew (aka Drew Ryniewicz)
Mentor: Simon Cowell
First Impressions: She's cute and has a powerful voice, and Simon adores her and considers her a front-runner. Then again, she's a Justin Bieber fanatic and insists that she be addressed solely by her first name, two things that we're not a fan of.
Odds of Winning: 3 to 1. She's got pop appeal and a good voice. America will probably love her. So long as Simon doesn't try and make the 14-year-old fill the Simone void by putting her in tight leather pants and writhe around like a Pussycat Doll, she's got the best chance of winning.

Stacy Francis
Mentor: Nicole Scherzinger
First Impressions: She's an amazing vocalist who can belt for days, and is a single mom struggling to make it in the music biz.
Odds of Winning: 6 to 1. She's a front-runner, but again, we're worried about the Nicole factor, since she also wasn't showcased in the way that she should be. But we've got a feeling she's outspoken enough to fix that in future weeks.

Mentor: Paula Abdul
First Impressions: These kids didn't make the cut on their own, so they've been tossed together as some awful peppy hybrid version of "Glee" and Menudo.
Odds of Winning: 50 to 1. We can't image this mess getting anywhere close to the top. Then again, tweens are a huge voting bloc, so we might be stuck with these kids for longer than we'd like. And by "longer than we'd like," we mean that they've already overstayed their welcome.

[Fox Has Picked Up 'X Factor' for Season 2]

Josh Krajcik
Mentor: Nicole Scherzinger
First Impressions: He's better known as the burrito guy, as that was his pre-"X Factor" occupation. He demonstrated a surprisingly soulful voice when he sang "At Last," in particular, despite his unconventional appearance.
Odds of Winning: 12 to 1. He's a likable guy, and we can see him sticking around. He's a more appealing and less jazzy version of "Idol" singer Casey Abrams. And he's lumped in with the Over 30s but barely in that age group, so Nicole might stand a chance of picking good songs for him.

Lakoda Rayne
Mentor: Paula Abdul
First Impressions: They seem to be struggling to figure out how to work as a group, as four strong individual personalities who have been forced by a reality show to sing together are wont to do. See also: "Making the Band."
Odds of Winning: 8 to 1. Even though it hasn't been smooth sailing behind the scenes, these attractive young ladies have a country vibe which could give them quite an edge to the voting public.

Chris Rene
Mentor: L.A. Reid
First Impressions: We've learned a lot about this garbage collector's battle with sobriety, and that's all well and good, but he's not particularly memorable as a performer. Don't get us wrong: He's got a lovely voice, but we keep forgetting that he hasn't been eliminated already.
Odds of Winning: 40 to 1. We liked him best when he performed his original song during his first audition, so if the show lets him do his own material, his odds may improve.

The Stereo Hogzz
Mentor: Paula Abdul
First Impressions: The only group that existed before the show, and they sound like it. They've got a great vibe and ability to harmonize.
Odds of Winning: 14 to 1. Is it too late for them to transfer to "The Sing-Off" where they'd stand a better chance of taking home the big prize?

"The X Factor" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8pm ET on Fox.

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