The X Factor NZ is now down to the final 12. The Spinoff editor Duncan Greive ranks them in order of likely success and we ask the contenders how they fancied their chances of making it this far and who they think could win.
1: Beau Monga
Our ranking: Beau uses his mouth and a loop pedal to create his own beat, but the novelty is just not wearing off. He played a killer original song at the retreat, has a voter-friendly, humble-as attitude and is a stone fox. Beat that.
Did you think you would make it this far?: No way! I am in it to jam and to share my music. Not really in it for the competition.
Other than you, who could win?: To be honest, I don't know. The competition is too hard to point out one person or group.
2: Steve Broad
Our ranking: They'd never mention it on screen, but this is Broad's third go-round after stints on NZ Idol and Pop's Ultimate Star. That gives him veteran savvy to add to a strong voice, smart selections and deep blue Mum-friendly eyes.
Did you think you would make it this far?: I hoped that I would make it through bootcamp to judges' retreat. I thought I could have a shot at that, but the talent in my category certainly had me doubting a top-12 spot.
Other than you, who could win?: I hate to be this guy but I genuinely have no idea! Anyone that brings their A-game can take it out at this point.
3: Nyssa Collins
Our ranking: She counters the odd shaky moment with frequently explosive vocals, and has a shy gap-toothed smile that will buy her a big, active constituency.
Did you think you would make it this far?: I didn't think I would make it! The competition was pretty tough and everybody deserved to be in The X Factor NZ.
Other than you, who could win?: Everyone besides me!
4: Stevie Tonks
Our ranking: Christened "hatbeard" by comedian Joseph Moore on thespinoff.co.nz X Factor podcast, thanks to his hat and beard, Tonks is a big-voiced, big-hearted furniture mover who has little competition in the "rock" category. Assuming there are any "rock" fans left ...
Did you think you would make it this far?: I didn't know what to expect, so to make it this far is a great achievement.
Other than you, who could win?: Nyssa.
5: Lili Bayliss
Our ranking: We're not altogether sure whether this elfin bottle blonde's voice is intriguing or just bizarre. Either way, it's easily the most distinctive in the competition.
Did you think you would make it this far?: Not at all! My audition didn't go down well so I had a lot to prove after that.
Other than you, who could win? : Nyssa and Finlay are amazing! And Beau! And Brendon Thomas and The Vibes! Ahhh everyone is amazing! And I really love Joe (written in Joe's handwriting).
6: Fare Thee Well
Our ranking: A folky sibling trio from Rotorua, these kids have harmonies for days and legitimate commercial appeal, but might be a little one-dimensional for The X Factor.
Did you think you would make it this far?: No way! We weren't even sure we'd make it past the first round, but life has a way of surprising you.
There is so much diversity that it really is anyone's game.
Other than you, who could win? Finlay.
7: Nofoala Lameko
Our ranking: Homeless and slightly wounded by life, Lameko's story is the series' most compelling. His voice has huge depth, too, but the judges seem curiously lukewarm on him, which may prove problematic.
Did you think you would make it this far?: Nope, I auditioned because I lost a game of paper scissors rock!
Other than you, who could win?: Finlay Robertson.
8: Finlay Robertson
Our ranking: She lost out at the retreats last time around, so comes in with more narrative and name-recognition than most. Still, despite her hoovering some "real musician" votes, it's hard to know where she'll find an audience and a sound.
Did you think you would make it this far?: No, because there are so many talented musicians and such strong competition I didn't feel confident in my first performance.
Other than you, who could win?: I think it is anybody's game and it all comes down to your performance on the day.
9: Joe Irvine
Our ranking: We adore every atom of this shop assistant from Invercargill. His emotions flow in rivers down his cheeks, and he sings with hurricane force. But he is, perhaps, too strange to thrive in an environment that rewards familiar "types".
Did you think you would make it this far?: I really hoped I would make it this far, but I had no clue what would happen!
Other than you, who could win?: Sarah Spicer.
10: Sarah Spicer
Our ranking: We eagerly bought the mother from Waihi's hard-knock backstory, but her performances have been increasingly shrill. Mostly because she picks banal material to which she clearly has no emotional attachment.
Did you think you would make it this far?: I had a feeling that I would but I am still very surprised to have come as far as I have. There has been a lot of talent to contend with, I feel a little older than the rest!
Other than you, who could win?: Stevie is a great showman. Nyssa has a beautiful voice, Fair Thee Well have a family strength! Joe because people love him. Beau is amazing, Lili is gorgeous and original. Finlay is incredible. Stuss are cute and Steve is a ladies' man.
Our ranking: There were a number of young, perky little bands who auditioned this season. The best thing we can say about Stuss is that they were one of them.
Did you think you would make it this far?: Not at all did we see ourselves making it this far. This competition is so tight and every contestant we saw at the TV auditions was so unique and talented. So seeing ourselves here is, in a sense, surprising for us!
Other than you, who could win?: Joe Irvine.
12: Brendon Thomas & The Vibes
Our ranking: These kids are energetic hair farmers livin' for Jimi and all those other tired old classic rock bros. They're quite sweet but manifestly ill-suited to this competition and will wig out and walk off, quick smart.
Did you think you would make it this far?: Not really, because we're not of the common X Factor nature, therefore we thought we would be "too nuts" for some people to handle.
Other than you, who could win?: To be honest, everybody in the competition has their significant beauty that they bring to the show. It is impossible to call it, we'll just have to wait and see.
Do you agree? Who's your favourite to become the next X Factor NZ winner? Join the conversation below.
• The Spinoff will feature its weekly Power Rankings every Thursday during the competition.