After the judges chose the Top 16 acts on The X Factor season 3, the show took a brief hiatus due to baseball. But the competition begins again Tuesday, October 29 when the 16 acts perform live for the first time. The judges will then eliminate one from each category, leaving us with the Top 12 who America will then vote for.

But before it starts, it’s always fun to try and predict who will make it to the end. Will an Over 25 or Girl win, as they did in the past two seasons, or could a Group or Boy take the title? Let’s look at each category as I make my top picks.

Groups: Restless Road

This “country man band” was designed to win. The trio of young country singers has everything that typically wins these kinds of competitions. Also, since mentor Simon Cowell created the group, he’s going to use everything in his power to make them win, proving that he’s the genius he believes himself to be.

The other Groups don’t have much of a shot. Alex and Sierra are adorable, but that will only take them so far. Simon insisted that Roxxy Montana is one of the best Groups the show has ever had, but I don’t see it. They’ll probably go far, but they’ll be eliminated once we’re down to the Top 5. And the manufactured girl group Sweet Suspense is all but certain to be eliminated on the first show.

Girls: Rion Paige

No one else even comes close. Rion has it all. She’s adorable, she sings country music and she is inspirational, overcoming her obvious physical handicap. That’s the kind of person who is bound to get tons of votes from people at home. I’ll be shocked if she doesn’t make it to the finale.

The other Girls are decent singers, but don’t have that extra special thing that makes someone a star. Khaya Cohen and Danie Geimer are totally interchangeable, and Ellona Santiago is just along for the ride.

Over 25s: Lillie McCloud

I’m not sure if the Over 25s have much of a chance because the show seems to be skewing younger and younger. But if anyone can do it, it’s the powerhouse voice of Lillie McCloud. I have no doubt she’s going to bring down the house each and every week, earning rave reviews from the judges for her vocal prowess. But I’m not sure if that will be enough. Ageism is certainly an issue on reality competitions (just ask anyone from The Voice). And in a world where Taylor Swift is considered classic, will a 55-year-old woman really succeed?

It helps that the competition in her category is weak. Even Rachel Potter knows she didn’t deserve to make it this far, and with Restless Road and Rion Paige in the mix, she won’t succeed singing country. Jeff Gutt’s screeching will get tiresome and James Kenney is too bland to get a ton of votes.

Boys: None

Yes, I’m being so bold as to predict that none of the four Boys have a chance of winning. Josh Levi is forgettable, Tim Olstad shouldn’t be here in the first place, Carlos Guevara’s highly stylized voice will eventually annoy viewers as much as it already annoys me, and Carlito Olivero is charming, but thoroughly ordinary.

It doesn’t help that they have Paulina Rubio as a mentor, a woman who has been almost invisible thus far and whose only big decision was to cave to the pressure of the audience by bringing back Tim Olstad, a move that shows how little authority and control she has. The Boys will almost definitely be the first category out of the competition.

My Prediction

I’m definitely predicting a Restless Road vs. Rion Paige finale, and despite Simon’s best efforts, I think Rion will be the winner. I suspect Roxxy Montana, Lillie McCloud and maybe Alex and Seirra or Carlos Guevara will round out the Top 5.

As for the Top 16 live show, I believe Sweet Suspense, Danie Geimer, James Kenney and Josh Levi will be the four acts who get eliminated.

Who do you think will win The X Factor season 3? And which four acts do you think will be the first to go?

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(Image courtesy of FOX)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.