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The "X Factor" Top 17

By admin Published: October 19, 2011

After the jump, the official list, with contestants' Twitter and Facebook links, and generally unenlightening quotes from each.

As I have said elsewhere, I really don't like the show. The background music is endless and irritating, the vocals look manipulated, and Simon's supposed change of mind seemed especially phony in the context of wild cards and last-minute additions of finalists on Cowell's former singing show.


The Girls whom Simon Cowell is mentoring:

Melanie Amaro Age: 19
Hometown: Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Currently Resides: Coral Springs, FL/Sunrise, FL
Keep up with Melanie at: (@ItsMelanieAmaro)

“It was really big, as well as shocking, because the many years I’ve watched Simon, he has never done something like that. I feel very honored that he came to my home to ask me to come back on the show. The whole process is just mind boggling. It’s so amazing.” – Melanie Amaro


Simone Battle Age: 22
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Currently Resides: Los Angeles, CA

Keep up with Simone at: (@simonebattle)

“I am blown away by how much talent there is in the girls’ category. At this point, it’s not about impressing the judges, it’s about impressing the world and everyone who is watching.” – Simone Battle


Rachel Crow Age: 13
Hometown: Longmont, CO/Mead, CO
Currently Resides: Burbank, CA

Keep up with Rachel at: (@IamRachelCrow)

“This whole experience has been a dream come true and I can’t believe I made it this far because I went into the competition with no expectations. I can’t believe this is happening to me. I think what I am

really trying to work on is finding out who I am as a singer. I am trying to find my style and my edge.” – Rachel Crow


Drew Ryniewicz Age: 14

Hometown: Chino Valley, AZ

Currently Resides: Chino Valley, AZ

Keep up with Drew at:

“The girls in my category are nothing but amazing, every single one. From the start I have loved them all. We are almost like a big family. I mean, we are competing, but we spend so much time with each other and it is nice to be around so many people you can relate to.” – Drew Ryniewicz


Tiah Tolliver Age: 20

Hometown: Chula Vista, CA

Currently Resides: Bremerton, WA

Keep up with Tiah at:

“I am extremely happy to have him [Simon Cowell] as my mentor because he fought for me. I feel like he is going to lead me in the right direction and I sincerely believe him when he tells me stuff.” – Tiah Tolliver


The Boys whom L.A. Reid is mentoring:

Astro Age: 15

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Currently Resides: Brooklyn, NY

Keep up with Astro at: (@Astronomicalkid)

“So far THE X FACTOR experience has been amazing and pretty fun. It definitely makes me feel like a star. Coming here and being the only MC in this competition, I believe in myself and that is going to bring

me through.” – Astro


Marcus Canty Age: 20

Hometown: Bowie, MD

Currently Resides: Bowie, MD

Keep up with Marcus at:

“I think this experience has nurtured me and made me realize that life is too short and to live through the moment. These are once-in-a-lifetime experiences you can’t get back. I am going to keep having fun and bringing who I am.” – Marcus Canty


Phillip Lomax Age: 22

Hometown: Seattle, WA

Currently Resides: Seattle, WA

Keep up with Phillip at:

“THE X FACTOR experience has been incredible. The thing that has resonated the most with me is that it is important to find my own voice and to be true within my music. I don’t want to be anyone but me.” – Phillip Lomax


Chris Rene Age: 28

Hometown: Santa Cruz, CA

Currently Resides: Santa Cruz, CA

Keep up with Chris at: (@mrchrisrene)

“The advice I have been getting is to stay original, stay yourself and do my thing and also go out of the box and do things that are difficult. The way I prepare is to stay in the moment, relax and practice as much

as I can. Staying in the here-and-now is what is best for me.” – Chris Rene


The Over 30s whom Nicole Scherzinger is mentoring:

LeRoy Bell Age: 60

Hometown: Tacoma, WA

Currently Resides: Edmonds, WA/Seattle, WA

Keep up with LeRoy at: (@LeRoyBell)

“The experience has been wild and exciting, at the same time a little bit scary…One of the things I’ve learned is you can teach an old dog new tricks. I can still learn something. The show has taught me that I am more flexible than I thought I was.” – LeRoy Bell


Stacy Francis Age: 42

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Currently Resides: Los Angeles, CA

Keep up with Stacy at: (@StacyFrancis)

“Being a part of the show so far has been an emotional rollercoaster. Every feeling I could feel, I have felt during this journey…I am happy and so excited. The momentum is just incredible. It’s like I’m a 10-year-old and it’s Christmas and I’m so excited.” - Stacy Francis


Dexter Haygood Age: 49

Hometown: Memphis, TN

Currently Resides: Chicago, IL

Keep up with Dexter at: (@dexterhaygood)

“It is going to be exciting; I’m gonna set the place on fire, but not literally. There is nothing like THE X FACTOR. I have never experienced anything like this.” – Dexter Haygood


Josh Krajcik Age: 30

Hometown: Wooster, OH

Currently Resides: Columbus, OH

Keep up with Josh at: (@theJoshKrajcik)

“THE X FACTOR experience has been really great. It has been a serious challenge and any time you challenge yourself it is a good thing. The experience on THE X FACTOR has given me a lot of insight into who I am and a lot of things that I didn’t know.” – Josh Krajcik


The Groups that Paula Abdul is mentoring:

The Brewer Boys

Justin Brewer Age: 17 Hometown: Temecula, CA

Nathan Brewer Age: 14 Hometown: Temecula, CA

Keep up with the Brewer Boys at: (@theBrewerBoys)

“We never really thought about going this far. It has been pretty shocking. This has been an incredible experience. I’ve learned a lot about the industry. I love it.” – Nathan Brewer



Nick Dean Age: 15 Hometown: Rochester, NY

Francesca Duncan Age: 17 Hometown: Orange Co., NY Resides: Brockport, NY

John Lindahl Age: 15 Hometown: Travuco Canyon, CA

Emily Michalak Age: 13 Hometown: Pine Brook, NJ

Austin Percario Age: 15 Hometown: Warren, NJ

Arin Ray Age: 16 Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Lauren Ashley Redmond Age: 17 Hometown: Houston, TX Resides: DeSoto, TX

Ellona Santiago Age: 15 Hometown: San Lorenzo, CA

Ma’at Bingham Shango Age: 12 Hometown: Houston, TX

Emily Wilson Age: 15 Hometown: Warren, NJ

Keep up with InTENsity at: (@its_inTENsity)

“Being in a group is amazing. When you are a solo artist, you only have yourself to rely on. But when you are in a group you have however many other people who have your back. So it is better to be in a group of ten, plus it is more fun and we have more people to hang out with and it’s just not as stressful.” – John Lindahl


Lakoda Rayne

Cari Fletcher Age: 17 Hometown: Wall Township, NJ

Dani Knights Age: 22 Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA

Paige Ogle Age: 18 Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Hayley Orrantia Age: 17 Hometown: Highland Village, TX

Keep up with Lakoda Rayne at: (@lakoda_rayne)

“Starting out as four solo artists, it was a shocker that we were going to be in the group category together but it has been an incredible experience. They’ve taken four strong solo artists and made this super group.” – Hayley Orrantia


The Stereo Hogzz

Kregg Gibson (aka KG) Age: 25 Hometown: Houston, TX

Jonathan Glenn (aka Jon Glenn) Age: 25 Hometown: Houston, TX

George Jenkins III (aka Trae Badd) Age: 25 Hometown: Houston, TX

Leeland Stephenson (aka Trace Kennedy) Age: 24 Hometown: Houston, TX

Justin Williams (aka Just’n) Age: 25 Hometown: Houston, TX

Keep up with Stereo Hogzz at: (@thestereohogzz)

“This X FACTOR experience has been something that we have been dreaming of for a long time. You can’t ask for more, and they provided this platform for us and we are running with it, taking it all the way.” – Trace Kennedy


Visit for up-to-the-minute news, videos and information. Become a fan of THE X FACTOR on Facebook at and follow the series on Twitter @TheXFactorUSA and join the discussion at #XFactor.

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