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Clearly I have no idea what the public is voting on, as three acts I thought were doing really well (Khaya Cohen, Sweet Suspense, and Rachel Potter) were the bottom, with two of them going home. For all we know, Tim Olstad is leading the votes. If he wins, there will be no X-Factor 4. You can bet on that.
1) Alex and Sierra
I’m sticking to my guns with this duo. I think they’re the only act that has clearly defined who they are as artists, and even rearranges songs so we’re not getting the same old schtick week in and week out. Even if they aren’t your thing, you still have to appreciate that they’re attacking this from a different angle than all the other competitors. They’re not here to sing karaoke, they’re here to define themselves for the recording industry.
2) Josh Levi
Straight Up turned out to be a brilliant performance. Honestly, he’s been in my Top 3 every time since he’s returned from elimination. Initially, I didn’t think any of the boys could be in the finale. I’m starting to see Josh Levi as a real contender.
3) Tim Olstad
WAIT WHAT? No, wait, here me out. The thing about Tim is that he has the “kicked puppy” effect, where everyone feels like he’s about to go home, and they see his sad face, and they vote for him. How else do you explain Sarah Hyland in the audience, who was visibly angry at the comments being thrown Tim’s way? He survived Against All Odds, with a bizarre writhing dancer on the floor. He didn’t just survive… he wasn’t even in the bottom 3. As long as Tim continues to be the whipping boy, people will continue to pity vote him to safety. The week he finally does well, and breaks through, will be the week he goes home.
4) Ellona Santiago
If Khaya hit the bottom, you have to assume Ellona is the strongest female in terms of votes. I mean… it can’t possibly be Rion, can it? Who is voting for her? Anyway, Ellona packs some strong vocals, and apparently is hitting it off with America.
TIE: 5/6) Carlito Olivero and Restless Road
I think girls are voting for them. I think that’s why they continue to outlast their mediocre vocals. I bet if we saw a leaderboard, both would be midpack though. Because, Josh Levi is cute, and he’s doing the right songs. Alex is cute, and can sing. So… why vote for the acts that can’t choose appropriate material and can’t sing?
7) Lillie McCloud
Yes, she can sing her face off. Truth. She has a heck of an uphill battle ahead of her. Look back on each season of every singing competition ever. It’s not always the technically best singer that wins. It’s usually the one with the most unique sound, or stage presence, or most commercially viable. Jennifer Hudson didn’t win her season. On The Voice, Danielle Bradbury defeated a slew of vocalists way more talented than her, because she’s commerically viable and they weren’t. Lillie has to prove that she’s commercially viable… fast… or she’s toast.
8) Khaya Cohen
I want to rank her higher, but as the lone survivor of the bottom 3, I have to say she’s clearly not connecting like she should be. I can’t see a world where Khaya is bottom 3 again this week. There was so much outrage at that bottom 3, that Khaya’s fans should pull her to safety.
9) Jeff Gutt
They just did 80′s week, and he just sang at the end of the show. He’ll sing first, and it’ll likely be a theme that doesn’t suit him as well. I’m predicting problems this week for Jeff. I also don’t think he’s a viable current recording artist. I don’t think there’s anyway he can prove that either, because he’d probably be better off with a band.
10) Rion Paige
Inexplicably survived last week. The difference between her and Tim Olstad is that the judges aren’t giving her negative feedback, so when she turns in a sub-par performance, she gets what I would call “luke warm” feedback. “Not your best” type stuff. No one will ever run this child over the coals, so to speak. Which could be a problem, because her fanbase will never trigger “SAVE HER!” like Tim’s fanbase is being prompted to do every night of their life. Tim and Rion are the weakest left, but Rion’s problem is that the judges don’t treat her like an act in a singing competition. They treat her like a courageous child who dares to dream. And for that, she might be going home.
Join me tonight for the live blog!
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