The X Factor's live shows have yet to begin, but judge Antonio "L.A." Reid is already ready to do battle!
"I don't know any other category that has as much talent as mine, pound for pound, and I believe the boys will win!" Reid enthuses to Us Weekly about his four male contestants: Brian "Astro" Bradley, Phillip Lomax, Marcus Canty and Chris Rene.
Heading into Tuesday night's live shows, Reid tells Us he's been mentoring the boys, but is keeping the Simon Cowell-mentored girls in the back of his mind. As the judge explains, Cowell's quintet of contestants — Simone Battle, Drew Ryniewicz, Rachel Crow, Tiah Tolliver and Melanie Amaro — may give his guys a run for their money.
"I lose sleep over Simon and some of his girls. There's one who 'could' win," Reid hints, without naming names.
Speaking of The X Factor's female contingent, Reid tells Us that his fellow judge made the right decision in bringing back 19-year-old contestant Amaro. "She's really good, really talented," Reid says.
"If he hadn't brought Melanie back…it [would have been] a problem! Every now and then we all miss something, and Melanie would have been the one that got away," Reid continued of the Sunrise, Fla., singer whom Cowell eliminated during his mentoring session in France only to fly to her hometown and invite her back.
Though he has high praise for Amaro, Reid insists he's in it to win it with his boys. "I'm still going to vote against every one of [the other singers], just to be clear!"
The X Factor's live shows begin Tuesday at 8 p.m. (EST) on FOX.