The X Factor is back for season two after a fairly entertaining season one. After putting all his American Idol eggs into his X Factor basket, Simon Cowell brought over his very successful UK show to an American audience, but it wasn’t a hit in the way I’m sure he expected it to be. Ratings weren’t high and Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul didn’t really work as mentors. And if you don’t remember the guy who hosted, you’re not alone. No one does. He had anti-charisma.

This season, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato join Simon and LA Reid as mentors and Khloe Kardashian and professional host Mario Lopez take over for Mr. Anti-Charisma. By the way, I think his name was Steve Jones.

There’s no word yet on if there will be any changes to the live shows, which start tonight, but they did change up the categories a bit. They split up boys and girls into teens (Team Britney) and young adults (Team Demi), even if they are kind of the same. Wouldn’t over 18 have been a more descriptive category? The groups (Team Simon) and old fogies (Team LA) are back (actually, they’re called over 25s) to make up the four categories.

Will the mentors make all the difference? I thinks so.

Nicole had decent advice and loved those who she was mentoring, but she didn’t have a commanding presence. And she’s a 34 year old woman prancing around like she’s dating the hottest new rapper. Act your age Nicole. And what about Paula? Well, I thought she was dealt a bit of a raw deal with the groups, but she never looked comfortable and her nervous energy was even more annoying on X Factor than it was on Idol. Yes, you leave Paula alone. I call it nervous energy.

So, are Britney and Demi going to be better mentors? Hell yes. Who better to mentor unstable teens than the most unstable adult of all-time? That’s Britney! And Britney just makes the show so much more interesting and entertaing. You can’t take your eyes off her because you’re waiting to see what she’s going to do next. Who is she going to eye roll on? What kind of fake laugh is she going to do this time? And why is her mascara so dark? Demi was smartly the best choice they could’ve made. She’s young, relatable, and understands exactly what this show is. And she and Simon are going to be fun together.

Ranking this group will be much harder than last year. I thought there were clear stars last year and I predicted the winner. But I’m not sure I see a Melanie Amaro in this group. I did miss on Chris Rene and thought Josh Krajcik’s burrito slinging gimmick would take him out earlier than it should’ve. It didn’t.

Last year, the first live show featured the mentors kicking off one of their four, so I’ll rank those as the bottom four. We’ll go from the bottom to the top.

Who gets kicked off the first live show?

16-13. Jennel Garcia, Tate Stevens, LYLAS, Diamond White
I don’t think there is a clear separation at the bottom this year. If Diamond White was in any of the other groups, she’d stay. But her teens group is the most talented of them all. And Willie Jones may go tonight instead of Jennel. I’m not a fan of David Correy at all, but I think his human interesting story works well and he’ll stave off elimination for a little bit. LYLAS isn’t better than Sister C and the fact that I had to look up who LYLAS was and what LYLAS stood for (Love You Like A Sister) made them easy pickings for me. But the goofy Lyric 145 could easily leave on the first cut too.

The Pretenders

12. Willie Jones
Willie Jones’ entire gimmick is that his look doesn’t match his style of music. I think it’s pretty cool myself. But when it comes down to it, he’ll be out of his comfort zone way early. Remember when he couldn’t perform Nobody Knows because he didn’t know the song? Get ready for lots of not knowing the songs Willie.

11. Lyric 145
Anyone remember Babs from Diddy’s The Band? Well, Lyric Da Queen sounds like a broke-ass Babs Bunny. I thought when the three were put together they could be interesting, but then they sold out and did Party In The USA as their song to get on the show. Simon must be a Miley Cyrus fan.

10. Vino Alan
I really like this guy. But he gives off that Leroy Bell vibe. If you don’t remember Leroy from last year, he had a good voice, but he was so nervous on the stage which made me the viewer feel nervous for him. Vino gives me the same vibe. And no, it’s not because he has 25 tattoos on his head. I think his issue will also be range of song. Then again, he’s another great sentimental story and I could be underestimating the potential of that when it comes down to America’s votes.

Talented But Missing Something

9. Arin Ray
He should be a shoe-in for the top three. He has the look and the personality much like Marcus Canty did last year. But I don’t think he has a strong voice and I think we’ll see that very early on. I’m rooting for him. Chris Brown can’t sing that well either and I’d rather the little girls hoot and holler for Arin Ray than over Chris Brown any day.

(But who named him after the lady who was on Silver Spoons?) Oh, that’s Erin Gray.

8. David Correy
Again, I truly may be under estimating the human interesting story because they are hitting it hard with him. He wants to find his adopted mother and hopes that she reaches out to him by watching him on TV. I hope that’s not all there is too him and that they can be creative. He’s a sentimental favorite, but I also don’t think he has the strongest voice in the game. And at some point, you can be too sensitive. Ask Ralph T.

7. Sister C
They are the new Lakoda Rayne right? I don’t have a great feel for them, so this is where I think they fit, not really based on anything. The fact that I don’t feel that I really know what they’re about is probably not a good thing. They didn’t stand out other than vocally and I think they’ll see a similar fate as the Rayne girls.

Top 6

(I think any one of these six can win it.)

6. CeCe Fray
Okay, maybe I don’t think she can win it. But you have to admit, you look forward to watching her and she’s good TV. Whether it’s because of her dumb fake facial tattoo or her bitchy personality, you want to watch her. And when you do, you’ll notice a bit of creativity. I think she’s smart enough to figure her way into the top half of the show, but too stubborn to be likable enough to win it.

5. Paige Thomas
She and CeCe were grouped together a lot in the early shows. I like Paige’s voice much more. But she seems like she’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown anytime she’s about to receive feedback. And I think that could ultimately be her undoing. And it’s not because I don’t think she’s tough enough. She is. But can she not show so much weakness? That will be her key.

4. Emblem3
I really hate these guys. Okay, maybe hate is too strong a word. But I will never get the dumb surfer boy act. Then again, I’m not a teenage girl, which is their demo. I think Simon is going to show how good he really is at marketing these kids. They are the only group that I think has a chance to win the event. I just hope they don’t.

3. Jason Brock
I think I love his voice the most out of everyone and I want to see him go far. He’s a little corny and I’m not sure how middle America will react to his effeminate characteristics. It could be his undoing, but I hope not. I think he has the goods.

2. Carly Rose Soneneclar
1. Beatrice Miller

Carly or Beatrice? Beatrice or Carly? This is like the X Factor’s LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant 2012 NBA Finals. I think Carly Rose has the better voice, but there’s something about Beatrice that just jumps off the stage. At just thirteen, she’s figured out how to own her space on that stage and make all eyes go directly toward her. As Tupac once said, “All eyez on Beatrice.” Carly hasn’t mastered that yet, but she will have her chance. She’s much more businesslike and will need to figure out how to be more fun. I think this is going to be the best “friendly” rivalry of the season. Much more than CeCe vs. Paige.

We’ll be back every week with X Factor posts, covering the entire season all the way through to the end.

And one more for fun.

I told you she was entertaining.

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