David Zurawik

Two Maryland performers make the final 12 on Fox's 'The X Factor'

Two area Maryland performers made it to the final 12 on Simon Cowell's talent competition "The X Factor."

They are 18-year-old Paige Elizabeth, of Perry Hall, and 20-year-old Marcus Canty, of Bowie.

Read a Sun interview I did with Elizabeth two weeks ago here.

(While the producers continue to list her as Paige Ogle, she told the Sun she prefers to be called Paige Elizabeth. I am honoring that request. Fox has also described her as a secretary, when she says she is a daycare worker.)

I also interviewed Canty recently and will have a post up with more of the interview tonight. One of the things he told me is that he didn't want to audition for the show, but his mother insisted.

"She kept encouraging me to audition," he said.

But the auditions were in Seattle, and they didn't have the money for an airline ticket.

"I found out last minute about the Seattle audition, so my mom was like, 'I don't know how we're going to get you to Seattle,' because we were struggling," he said.

"But that same day, one of her co-workers came up to her and said, 'I know you're having a hard time, but I have a buddy pass Marcus can use.' So, it seems like it was meant for me to be here on this show."

And now, some folks are picking him to win it all.

Here's the Fox release:


Tonight, after the remaining 17 acts performed, the judges eliminated five acts, revealing THE X FACTOR Top 12 Finalists: Girls – Melanie Amaro, Rachel Crow and Drew; Boys – Astro, Marcus Canty and Chris Rene; Over 30s – LeRoy Bell, Stacy Francis and Josh Krajcik; Groups – InTENsity, Lakoda Rayne and The Stereo Hogzz.


During the extended two-and-a-half-hour episode, Simon Cowell eliminated both Simone Battle and Tiah Tolliver from the Girls; Paula Abdul eliminated The Brewer Boys from the Groups; Nicole Scherzinger eliminated Dexter Haygood from the Over 30s; and L.A. Reid eliminated Phillip Lomax from the Boys. 


Next week, the Top 12 Finalists, with the help of their mentors, Simon, Paula, Nicole and L.A., will battle it out for America's votes, THE X FACTOR title and a $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music. The finalists will work with industry experts including vocal coaches, choreographers and style teams to take their LIVE performances to the next level. Don't miss the Top 12 Finalists LIVE performance show Wednesday, Nov. 2 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed).


Immediately after the performance show, fans will be able to vote via 1) Twitter at; 2) Verizon Touch Voting on The Xtra Factor App on Verizon Android devices; 3) toll-free calling; 4) text messaging for Verizon Wireless customers; and 5) online at Fans with valid Facebook accounts can also vote at


Then, on Thursday, Nov. 3 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) tune in to the first LIVE results show of the season as Steve Jones reveals the results of America's votes and one finalist is eliminated from the competition. 


The Top 12 Finalists Are:


The Girls whom Simon Cowell is mentoring:



 Melanie Amaro                        Age: 19        

Hometown: Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Currently Resides: Coral Springs, FL/Sunrise, FL (@ItsMelanieAmaro)

 Rachel Crow                            Age: 13

Hometown:  Longmont, CO/Mead, CO

Currently Resides: Burbank, CA (@IamRachelCrow)



 Drew                                        Age: 14

Hometown: Chino Valley, AZ

Currently Resides: Chino Valley, AZ (@drewryniewicz)


The Boys whom L.A. Reid is mentoring:



 Astro                                     Age: 15

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Currently Resides: Brooklyn, NY (@Astronomicalkid)


 Marcus Canty                        Age: 20

Hometown: Bowie, MD

Currently Resides: Bowie, MD (@iammarcuscanty)


 Chris Rene                             Age: 28

Hometown: Santa Cruz, CA

Currently Resides: Santa Cruz, CA (@mrchrisrene)


The Over 30s whom Nicole Scherzinger is mentoring:



 LeRoy Bell                             Age: 60

Hometown: Tacoma, WA

Currently Resides: Edmonds, WA/Seattle, WA (@LeRoyBell)


 Stacy Francis                        Age: 42

Hometown:  Brooklyn, NY

Currently Resides: Los Angeles, CA (@StacyFrancis)


 Josh Krajcik                          Age: 30

Hometown: Wooster, OH

Currently Resides: Columbus, OH (@JoshKrajcik)


The Groups that Paula Abdul is mentoring:




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 (@its_inTENsity)


 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 (@lakodarayne)


 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                          Age: 24            Hometown: Houston, TX

                               (aka Trace Kennedy)

Justin Williams       (aka Just'n)          Age: 25           Hometown: Houston, TX (@thestereohogzz)



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