X Factor Final "16" Includes Chris Rene, Drew Ryniewicz, Rachel Crow, So Who Got The Ax?

The X Factor judges choose their final 16... or do they?
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X Factor Episode 113: Judges Houses, Night 3
Tonight’s X Factor is the third and final installment at the judge’s houses, and we finally find out which 16 of the 32 acts will move on to the live shows. In case you’ve been asleep for Nights One and Two, Paula Abdul will mentor the Groups, Nicole Scherzinger has Over 30s, LA Reid has Boys and Simon Cowell is mentoring the Girls.

Right off the bat we see Simon chose Simone Battle over Tora Woloshin and my jaw has literally dropped because he has chosen looks and “potential” over a dynamite voice and solid stage presence. Simon blamed it on her just being in a tough category, I blame it on his hard on for Simone.

Drew Ryniewicz - X Factor

Drew Ryniewicz is up next and while I haven’t been moved by her since her initial audition she has the voice, tone, and styleI love. Simon gave her the ole American Idol runaround of looking sad and withdrawn while delivering a yes. He told Drew she wasn’t the best teen of the day…she said, “Oh…” he continues, “you were the best contestant of the day, period.”

Nicole is lamenting her tough category and even tougher choice, being in charge of the fate of these people who have been doing this for decades. Nicole tried to do the Simon buildup on Josh Krajcik but isn’t very good at it yet; I knew he was a yes before she said it. Her only “concern” is wondering if the guy next door is a superstar. Uh, yes...yes he is!

Christa Collins and James Kenney also get cut from the Over 30s group and I don’t even blink because I never considered them contenders, anyway. What does cause me pause is her yes to Dexter Haygood, because I haven’t seen him be authentic for one minute in this process. He is a good story though, and maybe that’s the draw.

Paula steadies her already frayed nerves and picks between Illusion Confusion, The Brewer Boys, and 2Squar’d, with The Brewer Boys being the only ones to move on, and I wasn’t surprised, the brothers are the most fun to watch of the three choices. A little more surprising is when she tells 4Shore that she has to say no despite their being technically perfect.

LA Reid tells Brian “Astro” Bradley that he’s a champion, and “you’re on my team.” He also warned him about keeping and maintaining the right attitude. Nick Voss, Skyelor Anderson, Brennin Hunt and Phillip Lomax are packaged together with only Phillip making it through. Skyelor wasn’t a shock but, did break my heart a little; LA just doesn’t feel there’s a market for the self-proclaimed “black kid who sings country.”

Tiah Tolliver - X Factor

Simon breaks mine and Jazzlyn Little’s heart by telling her she’s not moving on to live shows, Tiah Tolliver who is just Simone Battle part two, does get through which is irritating when you see talent like Tora and Jazzlyn get sent packing. Then to make matters (for me) worse; Simon inexplicably sends Caitlin Koch back to Buffalo to play rugby and as she says to “sing to nobody in bars.”

Nicole tells Tiger Budbill he doesn’t seem to want it enough and despite some amazing moments, she can’t send him through. He was never a contender in my eyes, and speaking of contenders Leroy Bell (he’s 60 in case you forgot) is going through!

Chris Rene - X Factor

The sob story of the Boy’s category, Chris Rene, has been my favorite and front-runner since his first audition, in part to my love of a sad story but first and foremost because of how I feel when he sings and speaks. LA Reid called Chris “the truth” and despite a less than stellar performance the day before, LA is taking a gamble on the newly sober Chris Rene who is his strongest guy of the four, and I don’t even know who his fourth pick is yet {Note to The X Factor producers: stop playing Coldplay’s “Fix You” every time Chris is on screen- that is such an American Idol move, thank you.}

In the most staged moment of the show thus far, Paula puts X Factor created groups of former castoffs, Lakoda Rayne and InTENsity through which felt predestined since the very beginning. Why bother assembling a group you won’t advance?

With one spot to go, it’s down to Marcus Canty or Tim Ciphers in the Boys category, and to no one’s surprise, LA stays in his wheelhouse and dumps the country singing Tim for Bobby Brown throwback Marcus. Paula is also looking to fill her fourth spot and chooses The Stereo Hogzz over The Anser, which is of no consequence to me; no one from this category is winning The X Factor prize. A funny side note: the background song is flash in the pan boy band O-Town’s “All Or Nothing.”

Rachel Crow - X FactorStacy Francis and Elaine Gibbs are the final two vying for a spot on Nicole’s team and just by the sheer amount of airtime and press that has been dedicated to Stacy and her story, I wasn’t at all surprised when Elaine was sent home. Simon Cowell gets the most dramatic finish because he’s Simon Cowell and this is his show, bitches.  His final choices are Melanie Amaro and Rachel Crow, to me it’s a no-brainer but he’s been blown away by Melanie’s voice the entire time and she has age and experience on her side over my sweet, little Rachel. I was prepared to have my heart broken yet again, when shock of shocks…he picks my Rachel! He seems torn up about losing Melanie but, if he felt she should be there, why did he keep Simone and Tiah?

After the 16th act was chosen, the worthless host Steve Jones says “now all 16 acts have been chosen…or have they”? Oh brother. This is followed by a shot of Simon telling who appears to be an assistant that he made a huge mistake. I’ll save you the theatrics and tell you; he flew to Melanie Amaro’s house in Florida and got her. If Melanie wins, I quit.

Melanie Amaro - X Factor

Here’s our recap: Boys - Chris Rene, Philip Lomax, Marcus Canty and Astro. Girls- Melanie Amaro, Rachel Crow, Simone Battle, Tiah Tolliver and Drew Ryniewicz. Groups- The Stereo Hogzz, The Brewer Boys, InTENsity, Lakoda Rayne. Over 30s- Leroy Bell, Josh Krajcik, Stacy Francis and Dexter Haygood.

What do you think, who got it right, and who got it wrong? Is there a clear favorite for you? Our first live performances are next Tuesday, where these 17 acts will fight it out for what they are saying is their last chance to be one of the Top Finalists, check back for my review and thoughts.