'The X Factor' Season 1 Music Update: Where are They Now?
'The X Factor' Season 1 Music Update: Where are They Now?
Jilliane Johnson
Jilliane Johnson
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The second season of The X Factor USA is well underway, nearing the first of the live shows. While we have a bit of time before Khloe Kardashian and Mario Lopez make their debuts, why not take some time to check in with some last season's contestants.

Rachel Crow

No one can forget the tears seen around the world as Rachel Crow was eliminated from the competition last year. The big diva voice bursts from that tiny cute frame and leaves audiences in awe. It was predicted that Rachel would be well taken care of and as expected, she has been a busy little bee.

On June 26, 2012, Rachel released her self-titled EP for Syco and Columbia Records, containing five songs. Her single "Mean Girls" was co-written by the singer. And aside from singing, Rachel has appeared on Nickelodeon shows such as Fred: The Show, Figure It Out and signed her own contract to star in a show all her own. She even just wrapped up a tour with boy band Big Time Rush and Australian pop star Cody Simpson.

Excited to see more from Rachel Crow?

Marcus Canty

Smooth R&B inspired Marcus Canty danced his way into the semi-finals. His mother made it known that if music didn't work out, he would have to drop it and complete his education. Needless to say, Marcus made music work.

In the last few months, Marcus has had the most activity out of last season's finalists. He recorded "Won't Make a Fool Out Of You" for the Think Like A Man soundtrack which peaked at 89 on the Billboard Hot 100. His debut single "In & Out" featuring rapper Wale hit number ten on the iTunes US Top R&B songs.

Look for Marcus Canty's debut album with Epic Records entitled THIS Is ... Marcus Canty to be released October 30, 2012 and leave your comments on his success thus far below.

Chris Rene

Someone who looks to be doing exceptionally well on the New Zealand charts since his appearance in the competition is finalist Chris Rene. Chris' story of bouncing back from a life of drug addiction captured the hearts of many viewers and voters. His creativity shines through his lyrics and his level of self-confidence grew stronger and stronger, making him a great competitor. So what is Chris up to these days?

Catchy and inspiring tune "Young Homie" generated great buzz on the show and, although it didn't break the US Billboard charts when released, it spear-headed the first album release for Syco and Epic Records. The I'm Right Here EP dropped on October 2, 2012 and debuted at number 55 on the Billboard 200.

Second single "Trouble," debuted at 100 on the US Hot 100 Airplay Chart. Sprinkled with a hint of reggae, this selection adds to Chris' fun hip-hop style.

What are your comments on Chris Rene's music post-X Factor?

Melanie Amaro

Season 1 winner Melanie Amaro had an incredible roller coaster ride during her time on the show. She was eliminated early on only to receive a visit from Simon Cowell who welcomed her back into the competition. Once she found it within herself to be who she truly wanted to be, Melanie proved to be unstoppable and took home the title and the recording contract with Syco and Epic Records.

So where does a year's time find the songstress now? We've all seen her Pepsi commercial, featuring Sir Elton John, which aired during this year's Super Bowl game, yet Melanie fans have been long awaiting her powerhouse ballads. First single "Don't Fail Me Now" has graced radio stations finally, but it's not exactly the type of song expected of the former church singer.

Sure, the song is enjoyable with a great dance beat, but Melanie's vocal capabilities aren't displayed as well as they had been on The X Factor stage. Second single "Love Me Now" better exhibits the reasons why Melanie won. What do you think about her musical direction?

Melanie Amaro's debut album will be released on December 4, 2012. Look for a possible performance on the finale of The X Factor season 2.

(Image courtesy of Vevo)