Wednesday night’s “The X Factor” performances have showcased the top 12 remaining contestants’ talents taking the show into the voting stage Thursday.
Last week audiences were amazed over the performance by Melanie Amaro who returned to the competition Wednesday. Also LeRoy Bell, 60, remains in the competition, and burrito-maker Josh Kracik is also a strong contender, after Paula Abdul told the performer that his voice was her “favorite.”
Another strong contender is 14-year-old Drew Ryniwicz, who Simon Cowell said was someone who he returned to American television to find.
Contenders on the show range in age and background, and include solo acts as well as groups. The reality singing show pits contestants against each other as viewers vote each week to determine the winner.
With Simon Cowell serving as judge, the show will see another round of eliminations tonight. Last week dismissed five contestants, including 49-year-old Dexter Haygood.
After his elimination, Haygood expressed dissatisfaction with “X Factor,” and claims that he was not eliminated, but voluntarily left the show.
“I wanted to leave the show because I was unhappy that I was unable to be a rock artist,” said Haygood according to The Associated Press.
Haygood formerly served as frontman for the rock band Xavion during the 1980s, and after being selected to perform songs such as Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love” and Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl,” the contestant grew frustrated.
Producers “seemed to have their way of doing things,” said Haygood. “I’m not sure why they wouldn’t let me be me.”
It is hard to ignore the blatant similarities to Cowell’s former show “American Idol,” but Simon is quick to point out how the differences in the series makes “X Factor” superior.
The British judge told TV Guide, “I was making a lot of money on ‘American Idol,’ but I did ‘X Factor’ because I genuinely felt this was a better show. I personally was happier sitting on a show where older people could compete with younger people who could compete with groups. I just preferred that process.”
The “X Factor” also differs from “Idol” because it allows the judges – Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, L.A. Reid, and Cowell – to personally mentor the contestants behind the scenes all the way to the end of the show.
“The X Factor” airs live on Fox at 8 p.m. EST.