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'X Factor' Top 12: Jahmene, Ella, Rylan - Who are you supporting?

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Peter Dickson is gargling some water and preparing to belt out his best "LUCY SPRAGGAN". Louis Walsh is finding "you remind me of a young" comparisons for all the contestants. And Dermot O'Leary is putting the finishing touches to a new fancy opening dance routine.

The X Factor Live Shows are nearly upon us and Saturday nights out are cancelled for the rest of the year. But who do you think is the best of this year's bunch? Which of the Top 12 will you be voting, screaming for and passionately defending every weekend?



The X Factor 2012: Louis Walsh
The Groups
Louis Walsh is in charge of this year's groups, but unlike previous years, there are no joke acts from the Irish mentor. No Jedwards, no Wagners, no Kittys. Instead, we have two identikit boybands, GMD3 and Union J, who will have to battle it out for the teen vote and the award for best Harry Styles lookalike.

Feisty, cocksure hip-hop duo MK1 are the surprise package of the three. With a spunky attitude and hot vocals, they could go far if the public warm to them. If Louis makes them do a hip-hop Westlife cover, they'll be gone in week one.

The X Factor 2012: Gary Barlow
The Overs
Gary Barlow wants to take the 'Over the Hill' category and breathe fresh life into it. The Overs haven't spawned a winner since Steve (who?!) Brookstein in series one, but this year's trio offer as good a chance as any of changing that.

Comeback kid Carolynne Poole has mass appeal and an intriguing country voice and is worth a punt if you like a gamble. Melanie Masson is a hippy mum with a winning smile and lashings of Louis Walsh's "likeabilty factor". And Kye Somes could easily be this year's Matt Cardle and earnestly crawl his way to victory with a mixture of good looks (if you squint a bit) and "all about the music man" ethos.

The X Factor 2012: Tulisa
The Girls
Most of the early favourites for this year's show come in Tulisa Contostavlos's category. Tulisa wants a second win on the trot and Ella Henderson currently looks a cut above the other 11 acts. You'd be a fool to bet against her right now.

Lucy Spraggan on the other hand is this year's marmite/one-trick-pony/chosen one (choose your own cliched insult) act. She has no chance of winning (she's too divisive), but her George Formby 'ain't this quaint' jaunty guitar-playing should win her enough fans to get her through the opening weeks.

Jade Ellis could either be this year's Rebecca Ferguson and blossom in the Live Shows, or this year's Sophie Habibis and sink without trace. We still haven't made up our minds.

The X Factor 2012: Nicole Scherzinger
The Boys
Nicole Scherzinger's Boys look likely to grab the most headlines in the opening weeks. Extreme-weeping, weird-facial hair growing, reality TV mongrel Rylan Clark is this year's Love To Hate act. Or possibly in this case, Hate To Hate. If he doesn't 'controversially' knock out another act in a week four sing-off causing tabloid headlines of 'fix', 'public outcry', 'scandal' and 'Twitter outrage' and some general homophobia from the right wing press, we'll eat an entire hatstand.

Elsewhere, Rylan's antics will probably mask the weaknesses of pint-sized bag-of-nerves Jahmene Douglas. He's as cute as a button and has an air of former winner Joe McElderry about him, but he may not have strong enough vocals to win the whole thing.

James Arthur is the joker in the pack in the boys category. The moody, guitar-strumming, Deirdre Barlow glasses-wearing is bringing some edge to this year's show, but whether Saturday night TV viewers are ready for him remains to be seen.

Who is your favourite? Who do you hate? Let us know below!

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