As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t recapped the past couple episodes of The X Factor. The reason being, I didn’t want to pretend I didn’t already know who advanced. At the end of the last episode, the FOX singing competition revealed the Top 40 and which judge was mentoring what group. For those who love spoilers, I have the names of those who survived the Four Chair Challenge to advance to the live rounds.

Speaking of the new phase of the competition, I’m really looking forward to it. As much as I love the judges’ homes in previous seasons, this new twist looks like it’s going to provide lots of drama, emotion, and amazing performances. According to FOX, the singers will one by one sing for the judges. If their respective mentor likes what they hear, they can place them in one of the chairs. If all four chairs are occupied and an amazing performance follows, they can swap out one of the existing acts to make room. DRAMA. Check out the rumored Top 16 below, along with their audition performances.

Boys (Paulina Rubio)

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Paulina Rubio received the weakest group to mentor. So far on the show, she really hasn’t added too much in either constructive criticism, witty banter or memorable moments. The only two boys I’m remotely rooting for are Josh Levi and Tim Olstad. Reportedly, the latter was such a fan favorite during the Four Chair Challenge, Paulina received very audible boos for rejecting him initially. Can’t wait to see how this all pans out on television.

Carlito Olivero

Carlos Guevara

Josh Levi

Tim Olstad

Acts Cut: Chase Goehring, Timmy Thames, Isaiah Alston, Al Calderon, Isaac Tauaefa and Stone Martin

Truth be told, the only one I remember out of the eliminated boys is Al Calderon. He was that cute singing waiter. Other than that, no great loss. However, I might have a different opinion after watching their Four Chair Challenge performance.

Girls (Demi Lovato)

After getting the short end of the stick last year with Paige Thomas, Willie Jones and CeCe Frey, Lovato gets a more talented bunch this season. Hopefully, she won’t screw them over like she did with Jennel Garcia or Jillian Jensen last year. I still think Jensen should’ve made the cut last year. She was rooooooooobbed.

All four of these girls are so different, it’s hard to compare them. Vocally, I think Ellona is the strongest, but I think Danie is the most artistic one. Rion Paige will definitely go far with her heartwarming backstory. Khaya is the wildcard. She could be the strongest one out of the bunch. Reportedly, Ellona blew away the competition during the next phase. We’ll have to wait and see if the buzz is true.

Danie Geimer

Ellona Rano Santiago

Khaya Cohen

Rion Paige Thompson

Acts Cut: Bree Randall, Jamie Pineda, Simone Torres, Rylie Brown, Primrose Martin and Ashly Williams

Like the boys, I don’t remember most of these girls. The only one I might’ve swapped in would be Rylie Brown in lieu of Khaya Cohen. Otherwise, I’m happy with the Final 4.

Overs (Kelly Rowland)

It’s a tight race on which judge has the strongest category, but I think Rowland has the slight edge in the competition. All four are solid choices with superb vocals and great stories. Congrats to both James Kenney and Jeffrey Adam Gutt for finally making it to the live rounds after being cut in Season 1 and 2 respectively. I don’t expect Kelly to lose any members of her team early on. Though a powerhouse, Lillie McCloud might be the most vulnerable.

James Kenney

Lillie McCloud

Jeffrey Adam Gutt

Rachel Potter

Acts Cut: Jeff Brinkman, Kristine Mirelle, Victoria Carriger, Allison Davis, Denny ‘Santa Claus’ Smith and Lorie Moore

As much as I love the Top 4 chosen for Kelly’s group, I can’t but feel for Victoria Carriger. The mother of eight kids broke my heart during her Kelly Clarkson cover. I literally shed a couple of tears when her kids came out and hugged her after receiving four yeses from the judges. I’m a sucker for those moments.

Groups (Simon Cowell)

As mentioned previously, it’s a close call between Kelly and Simon on who has the strongest group. With regards to the competition, I gave Rowland the edge, but in terms of life after X Factor, Simon has the upper hand. I can see both his manufactured bands doing well, especially the country boy band. Brilliant idea on doing that. Alex & Sierra are adorable and commercial. Roxxy Montana reminds me of a younger SWV. I can’t wait to see what he does with each act as the season goes on.

Alex & Sierra

Roxxy Montana

Restless Road (Andrew Scholz, Colton Pack, Zach Beeken)

Zach Beeken’s part begins at 1:48 mark

Sweet Suspense (Celine Polenghi, Summer Reign, Millie Thrasher)

Acts Cut: Glamour, Good News, Yellow House Canyon, Wild Thingz, Girls United and manufactured boy band Forever In Your Mind (Emery Kelly with Two Brothers).

I think the rightful four advanced. That’s all.

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What do you think of this year’s Top 16? Which judge has the strongest group? Who do you think is going to win? Sound off below.