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The X Factor USA: Top 16

By  Justin Carreiro     6:24 PM    Labels:,,,, 
(Photo courtesy of FOX and The X Factor USA)

Can I just start off by saying: I'm really loving this season!

It's no secret that I'm a huge TV buff and a reality TV junkie. Hey, I've watched every season of Survivor when it aired live. Live shows of "talent competitions" are usually when I start to teeter off but I'll try to watch live. If I happen to miss an episode, I'll catch the videos uploaded on the YouTube page. These posts will share my thoughts and who I think will be eliminated. (More likely it's whom I want to stay or be eliminated.)

TEENS (Mentored by Britney Spears)
Arin Ray
This is his second time (last season, he performed in the Groups) and I was expecting more. It may have been the choice of song ("You Keep Me Hanging On") or the fact that he was trying to shed his "kid" image for a more adult role like Usher or Chris Brown. If he survives this round, he'll do well enough in the competition.

Diamond White
She's the one to rival Carly Rose. Her performance of "Hey, Soul Sister" was a good number and will get her past this week in the competition. She has the backstory to tug at the viewers' heartstrings to vote for her and let's face it, Britney Spears does like her. Though, she was nervous and the longer she stays on the show, she could develop to a real competitor.
Beatrice Miller
Unfortunately for Beatrice, she got the short end of the straw. Everyone else got upbeat or powerful songs and she received the only slow ballad. It wasn't a performance that would make me vote for her (even if I could). She's my choice for being in the bottom group this week to sing for her life. If she does stay, her biggest challenge is to find her image and differentiate herself from the more buzzworthy contestants.

Carly Rose Sonenclar
She's already the top choice to win this season and will obviously make it through this early round. My recommendation for her is to be more confident, have fun and try not to lose the spark that has pulled viewers to follow her. Breaking out on YouTube can help propel someone to win this show... just ask Melanie Amaro.

YOUNG ADULTS (Mentored by Demi Lovato)
Paige Thomas
Contrary to L.A. Reid, Paige's song of "What Is Love" was (and still is) a well known popular dance track. Her performance, on the other hand, didn't do her much justice. Do I think she'll make it through this round? Yes... absolutely. Demi Lovato loves Paige and the dance number is memorable. Rhianna seems to be the inspiration for her new look and she will most likely do well in the competition. I'd be shocked if she is sent home.

Jennel Garcia
Jennel has this fire in her. Whenever she gets on stage, especially for her performance of "Home Sweet Home", she comes alive. However, her personality can be a tad boring. Jennel could be the most likely candidate to survive because the judges really did like her act. If she stays, she should channel strong female performers and surprise the viewers with her ability.

Cece Frey
I like Cece! Haters can hate but let's accept it... she's honest about wanting to be a pop star and fighting to win. While her performance was less to be desired and her signing needed some serious work, there is potential for growth. Will she be in the bottom? Absolutely! It's quite obvious Demi is VERY critical on her. I'd love if Cece stayed and continued to be the pop star.

Willie Jones
I'm not a fan. He hasn't proved to me that he can win this competition or has the staying power to be a successful artist. Willie has a novelty factor for being a music blend and may survive some very early rounds, if he stayed. My choice would be for him to be in the bottom against Cece so that they can prove why they should stay.

OVER 25 (Mentored by L.A. Reid)
David Correy
Blogs and articles before the live show guessed that David would be the first to leave. After watching the episode... I'm mixed. He's got the backstory and the image but he didn't stand out. His movements on stage were a tad erratic and he tried to get the audience involved, which is always a little desperate. I feel like he will be in the bottom group tonight and will fight for his life

Vino Alan
My guess: Vino is going home. He's different, sure, but will he won? No. His number was lackluster and didn't fit where he wanted to develop as an artist. My problem with the Overs this year is that there is no real winner.

Tate Stevens
The country performer this season. He's my top choice for surviving and doing well in the competition. Country music always helps in shows like these and he will develop a fan base. The bigger question is whether it will help him win?

Jason Brock
He's fun but a tad gimmicky. His performance of "Dance Again" was too karoake and kitchy that divided the judges. It's between him and David for the other spot in the bottom. The dance performances stand out but his place is very uncertain.

GROUPS (Mentored by Simon Cowell)
Sister C
They're sisters who have performed together for years. Judging from online reaction, fans are on the fence (more negatively though). Sister C will be in the bottom and could be the obvious choice to go home. Their song was a number they've already done - it could stem from the fact that Simon is unfamiliar with country music.

The hip hop mash-up! LYRIC 145 is a creation from duo 145 and eliminated solo contest Lyric. During the Judges' House round, we saw how incredible this new group was together and they did not disappoint during the live show. Simon would be foolish to eliminate them or place them in the bottom.

Formerly LYLAS (changed for legal reasons, apparently). 1432 is a combination of five eliminated girls put together at Boot Camp. Simon took a chance on them and I'm hoping he does again. They performed good together and could be a force to be reckon with. My guess is 1432 will be in the bottom but will survive.

The party boys will be fan favourites (at least for a while). Girls are going to love them as they move through the competition. A real challenge for them will be performing slow songs and ballads. I'd be shocked if Simon decided to send them home.

What did you think of the first performances? Sound off in the comments and let me know who you want to stay.

About Justin Carreiro

Justin is a longtime TV buff and gamer. He loves chatting about shows, playing video and board games, and his not-so-secret love for reality tv. He is also a fan of horror movies, music and a bookworm at heart. He spends his time in Toronto working in PR and Social Media.

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