12:00pm PT by Shirley Halperin
'X Factor' Redux: An 8-Year-Old's Take on the Top 12
X Factor's top 12 went live tonight, and with millions tuning in, somewhere out there was a viewer much like American Idol's Lauren Alaina, who watched a TV talent show as a youngster, lived the dream as a contestant and would become a top two finalist at the age of 16. What future star is X Factor influencing this season? We decided to go right to the demo, enlisting the daughter of Idol Worship blogger Michele Amabile for her no-nonsense take on the finalists. Read on for Amanda's thoughts, with minimal editing.
Hello everybody. My name is Amanda. I am 8 years old and I’m only in third grade, but I watch X Factor. I also take singing lessons and dancing lessons, and they are both very, very fun, which is why I like watching these shows. Someday, my dream is to be on X Factor like everybody else, but for now, I’m writing a blog about the top 12. It’s hard to decide who will be the winner, because they are all so good.
Stereo Hogzz ("Rhythm Nation"): I think Paula Abdul really likes them because they are such good dancers, and Paula loves dancing. They also sound good as a group. They look like they are all BFFs, so there won’t be any arguments about songwriting. They also have powerful voices, and no stage fright.
Chris Rene ("Superstar"): Chris is not wearing his hat tonight. He looks very relaxed and calm. He is good at slow songs that turn into pop songs, and this is right for his voice. I like him when he sings the hip hop, pop parts. I hope next week he wears the hat.
Leroy Bell ("I’m Already There"): The stage looks so cool. It’s like outer space with comets falling out of the sky. He sounds awesome. He has a really soft voice, like Chris Rene. I think Nicole picked a good song for him. He shows his expressions and feelings, and sings to the crowd. He’s really good.
Rachel Crow ("Walking on Sunshine"): Her outfit is cute and looks good on her. I like her voice with this song. Simon was right about “Mercy.” She sounds good like that. If she won X Factor, I would buy her album. She hits good notes.
Lakoda Rayne ("Landslide"): I think they are amazing and they sound good. I love their dresses. They are nice and bright. It looks like ever since they were put together they have become good friends.
Josh Krajcik ("Jar of Hearts"): His voice is soft. I like him better for a rock song. I would assign a girl to sing this song if I were his instructor.
Melanie Amaro ("Desperado")" I love Melanie's hair -- it’s straight, smooth and silky. I also like her outfit. This is a really nice song for her. I think America will vote for her. She’s not the one leaving this week. She has a powerful voice on the big notes, and it seems like the song was written for her.
Astro ("Hip Hop Hooray"): Astro is a good rapper. I think he has been doing it since he was my brother’s age (six). He is the youngest boy in the top 12. I think he is cool. I like the background with his name lit up. I think one day he will rap on a song by a famous pop star or movie star. I also think he will be in a Pepsi commercial.
InTENsity ("Kids in America"/"Party Rock"): Wow, there are a lot of people in this group. I like mixes. They are good. This is a cool song, and I love the clothes, outfits and the background. If I ever sent to one of their concerts, I would get all of their autographs.
Drew Ryniewicz ("Just a Dream"): I like her top, but I don’t know if the skirt goes with it. This is a good song for her. She reminds me of Taylor Swift. She looks like she enjoyed singing it.
Marcus Canty ("Nothing on You," “Every Little Step”): Marcus works really hard on his dance moves. It’s hard to sing and dance at the same time. L.A. Reid picked a good song for him. He looks like he’s a really hard worker.
Stacy Francis (“Up to the Mountain”): She has such a pretty voice. I bet she sings nice lullabies to her children. She is my favorite in the over 30s category.