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Feature: 'X Factor' Final 24 - The Girls

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Feature: 'X Factor' Final 24 - The Girls
The final group of acts competing for a place in The X Factor live shows are Dannii Minogue's Girls. Dannii and her sister Kylie have the unenviable task of whittling these six hopefuls down to just three, who will be given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to sing to the nation and win a record contract. Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke have proved that female contestants can go all the way and compete with even the hunkiest and cutest guys, so is there potential for another winner among this year's group?



Stacey McClean
The story so far: The story started a long while before X Factor for McClean, who has already achieved pop fame once before as part of S Club Juniors. Determined to make a career as a solo artist now she's all grown up, McClean has only featured briefly at the audition stages (we caught a glimpse of her belting out a version of Christina Aguilera's 'Ain't No Other Man'). However, her experience will surely come in handy when it gets to the nervy judges' houses.
Chances of winning: She certainly has the quality to warrant a place in the Final 12 and unsurprisingly, she looks confident on the big stage. However, whether the public will warm to a contestant who's already had one shot at fame is questionable. There's sure to be criticism from some quarters that she's a ringer and it may hold her back.



Despina Pilavakis
The story so far: We know very little about Cyprus-born Despina apart from the fact that she's got a cracking set of lungs on her. Her version of 'The Weakness In Me' at the auditions stage saw her soar into the boot camp, while her cleverly understated rendition of 'Purple Rain' in the second round was equally impressive. She's an ordinary music student from North London and there's no real 'story' or 'journey' to speak of, so she may need to showcase something special to get the nod from the Minogue sisters.
Chances of winning: We have a hunch that Despina could be one of the unlucky ones and not make the Final 12. X Factor is never just a singing contest and we fear that she may be chopped in favour of more colourful contestants.



Nicole Jackson
The story so far: It's a case of blink and you'll miss it with Nicole. She auditioned last year and made it to boot camp, but second time around she's gone one better. Her versions of 'Think Twice' and 'Stop Crying Your Heart Out' have shown that she has a unique jazz-y vocal style, which usually goes down well with the judges. However, we're still to find out whether there's a personality behind the voice.
Chances of winning: It's hard to judge from the brief clips we've been given, but they'd struggle to make a winner's montage with the footage we've had so far. However, there's usually one rogue unknown pick in the Final 12, so she can't be ruled out altogether.



Stacey Solomon
The story so far: Single mum Stacey from Dagenham, who has the voice of an Angel, should already have this in the bag, right? Well, possibly. Her version of 'What A Wonderful World' was the standout highlight from the auditions thanks to her swift transformation from Big Brother Chantelle lookalike to sweet pop artiste. She wants to win the show to help change the life of her 17-month-old son Zachary, which is probably as decent and honourable a reason as any.
Chances of winning: Alongside Danyl Johnson, she's a clear favourite to win the show. However, Laura White was the hot tip at this stage last year and she exited fairly early in the competition, so nothing is for certain. But one fact is undeniable - Solomon has all the necessary charm for a winner.



Lucie Jones
The story so far: She's from a small village outside of Cardiff - she's mentioned this a few times - and she has "her eyes on the bright lights". She's got the looks and thanks to some training from Charlotte Church's vocal coach Louise Ryan, she can also pull off Whitney Houston's 'I Will Always Love You'. If the judges' reactions at her first audition are anything to go by, then she should be a sure bet to make the Final 12.
Chances of winning: If she stops going on about the fact that she's from a small town in Wales for more than two minutes, then we can surely expect to see her reaching the final stages of the show. If she can do uptempo tracks as well as she can do ballads, she could well be the best of the Girls this year.



Rachel Adedegi
The story so far: Unfortunately for Rachel, the highlight of her X Factor run so far, for many viewers, was her unfortunate slip when running to greet her mentor Dannii Minogue. However, when it comes to singing, the 18-year-old has proved she's no slouch with impressive versions of 'If I Ain't Got You' and perhaps the most popular X Factor song of 2009, Paulo Nutini's 'Last Request'.
Chances of winning: She's yet another contestant returning after just missing out in 2008, so there's definitely the required hunger for victory. However, she's probably too quirky and noticeably un-X Factor to make it very far in the Final 12. She'll likely be fighting with Stacey, Nicole and Despina for the third Girls slot.

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