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The Buzz with CCX - Season 18 Episode 2


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Tequila and a modified POG juice tonight (the P is for Pineapple rather than Papaya like in the original POG.) We're in Savannah, GA, where the movie Forrest Gump was filmed. We flash back to Luke mentioning that that was his favorite movie during, you guessed it, Alejandro's audition, leading to a Forrest Luke opening. That's two for two in opening the audition episode with a reminder of Alejandro. Speaking of a box of chocolates, I've also got one of those tonight, a slightly belated Valentine's Day gift from Mom.


Cyniah Elise is first up. She's 17 and comes from a musical family, and she's got a whole prayer group with her. She didn't need it; she's amazing. Oh, the prayer group was just family members! It's an extended family. We get a montage of what's to come from the entire episode, including a fire alarm going off.


We've got someone trying to fire herself up. She's 19-year-old, uh...Cajunese? Is that what she said? She's from High Point, NC, and she works at Food Lion and someone told her she should audition and then two days later she gets a fortune in her fortune cookie that "Your talents will be recognized and rewarded", and she pulls the fortune in question out of her hair. Well, she's certainly got the star personality...not so sure about the voice. It's a no from Luke, and she starts begging for a yes from Katy and Katy challenges her to go to the streets. Okay, so her first name is "Kay", I guess she just said her name so quickly that I mistook a full name for a rather interesting mononym. She sings the same song she sang in front of the judges, but it sounds so much better! They put her through, and I can't argue it because that second chance they gave her, it was the same song and it was worthwhile. So it's not like some auditioners in earlier seasons where the judges basically urged them to sing something more in their wheelhouse because they wanted the contestant in question but the audition just wasn't right. This one, she just had...I can't even call it nerves, it felt more like she was trying too hard in the studio, and on the streets she just let it come more naturally.


Montage of people not quite getting it and getting coached. Rochester, NH's Kyle Tanguay, age 21, the first ever male member of the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleading squad, is up next. He's got the rest of the squad with him, and they set the mood with a cheer of "Kyle! Kyle! The next American Idol!" He's singing "Mercy" by Sean Mendes, not to be confused with the song of the same title that the previous auditioner sang. And damn, he's good. Luke seems to think one of the other cheerleaders has a thing for him, obviously failing his gaydar check. Katy wants to take the song up a key, and despite his lack of experience, he's able to do it perfectly. Both Luke and Katy have constructive criticism for him, but it's still three yeses. All three judges get #19 Eagles jerseys with their names on them, obviously forgetting that 2019 auditions are in fact for the 2020 season. It's understandable, I guess, since it's basically the reverse of the NFL which has its postseason in the calendar year after the regular season it's tied to.


Back to Sun River, OR. I guess that really was an audition site. I've never heard of it. Jovin Webb, 28, of Bazazz Gonzales, LA, is up next...or is that "first"? The judges' comments suggest that this is the very beginning of auditions in Sun River. And he's singing "Whipping Post". He's no Bo Bice, but he'll suffice. So that's who Lionel said "brought the barbecue sauce to American Idol." And that that's what barbecue sauce sounds like. Uh, Lionel? Luke agrees, saying that he could "sit and drink a lot of bourbon to that voice". Yeah, this is the type of fawning praise that the judges heap upon the anointed ones. I mean, yeah, he was good, and deserved to go through, but he wasn't that good.


Heavy propane scent in the audition site. Katy's getting a headache. Yep, it's a gas leak. Nothing major, though, according to the firefighters, who the judges draft into a group sing of "All Night Long". And then over to Milwaukee, for the obligatory quirky one. 16-year-old Claire Jolie Goodman from Mt. Prospect, IL...I feel like that's a past high finisher's hometown? Yeah, that's a winner's hometown, albeit one of the less well-known ones. She's too Broadway for this show, apparently. The judges tell her as much--this show is not where she should be. She should go straight to New York and try to get onto Broadway. Don't be on Idol.


Wait, have we really only seen five auditioners in the first hour? And there's no auditioner in this segment yet. Oh, hey, look who's back! It's Margie Mays! With boyfriend in tow. He's auditioning too, but he'll be playing piano for her audition. His name is Jonny West. Margie's singing "I Found a Boy". I wish I could still see my old posts so I could remember what I said about her last year; maybe the Wayback Machine will help. Luke said that pretty much every time she sung last year, she hit bad notes, and she didn't hit any bad notes. Lionel said she was a nervous wreck last year, and he liked the person she is now. Katy thinks it wasn't the right song choice. Lionel says it's a yes. Katy is surprised to say this because she was such a fan of Margie last year, but it's a no. Luke says he agrees with Katy, but he's going to give her a shot. And we're going to commercial before we can see Johnny's audition.


He's from Murietta, CA. He's singing an original, which is good because he's a marginal inclusion on voice alone...at least until we hit the rap section. Then he gets points on versatility. He's probably not the best pure vocalist, but he's not at all bad and he's innovative. Shoutout to Alejandro and Laine. No commercial, and we get Sarah Isen, age 20, from Berkeley, CA, who's here with her two moms, one biological and one not, and she eventually connected with her biological dad, a sperm donor, and eventually found 25 biological half-siblings, 9 of whom are at the audition. She's singing Beyoncé's "If I Were A Boy". And she's killing it. Mostly in the good way, though she may have chosen a song beyond her reach. They seem to have seen it differently, though; they think she was a bit nervous at first and then got into it, whereas I thought she started strong but had her shortcomings exposed as she went on. As we go to commercial, we see little snippets of a few upcoming contestants and the judges' reactions to them, but the two are in stark opposition--rave reviews, while the editing makes the actual snippets of singing sound downright awful.


Next we get Eliza Catastrophe of Spokane, WA, the "Universal Opener", singing her original song "Sardines". She's got props, including little tins of sardines for the judges. They're not really sure where she fits into the landscape of music, and they don't put her through. She's wearing zipper pulls for earrings. Also she opens the door to the audition room so hard as she leaves that she hurts Ryan.


Another goofy judge opening. They're on roller skates and Katy's singing a skating-themed version of "IWDWS(WLM)". And we briefly see what I think is Philadelphia before we get another flashback to, you guessed it, Alejandro, but also Catie Turner. They're supposed to be the trailblazers for off-beat singer-songwriters. Hey, they're not the only ones who were singing originals in the finals! Staten Island's Julia Gargano, age 21, is singing her original, "Growing Pains". The judges love it. Probably deserved. Katy says she doesn't have any critiques, but if she gets one, she'll give it because she wants Julia to win and says she's top 5. Uh...maybe a bit of a stretch? They go quiet to deliver the news so that Julia can deliver the news to her waiting family herself.


Back to Savannah. Adorable young'uns alert, because we've got married auditioners. Curt Jones and his wife Hannah Prestridge met in Nashville; they've been together for 6 years, married for 3. Their two daughters are Presely and Charlee. But she mentions in her backstory that she got pregnant within three months of them meeting...do either of those kids look 5? Eh, maybe. There was a complication during her pregnancy, something with her kidney, and it led to a hydrocodone addiction. She's one year sober. She's singing an original, "Day to Day", written about the tough times in their relationship. Oh wow she's amazing! They aren't as impressed with Curt; it seems like they don't want to put him through, maybe because they don't want to have to have them compete? This certainly isn't the Cowell era. They want Hannah.

Edited by ScarletDevilCCX
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