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The Buzz with CCX - Season 18 Episode 10


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#SorryNotSorry again. They're trying to drag this out as long as possible but this is going to be the last episode. They remind us that they've only shown 8 of the 20 to make it. Oh, right, Dillon James performed right before the end of the episode and they ended it before his fate was revealed. So really it's 9 of the 20. And I think it's 7 guys and 2 girls. That's bad enough, but one of the two girls is essentially just there to be eye candy--like Michelle Sussett two years ago, except not as attractive and possibly not even as talented. Then again, Michelle only started impressing me once we got to the voting rounds, so maybe Faith will follow the same arc and actually get good once the competition really starts...whenever that is. But we'll probably get a third, because now it's Genavieve Linkowski's turn. She's singing Lauren Daigle's "You Say" and dedicating it to Corinne. And everything is firing on all cylinders--looks, voice, stage presence, all at their peaks for her. Luke gives us the obligatory reminder that they're trying to pretend that they restarted the season numbering when they changed networks. We go to commercial before she gets her fate, but it sounds like she won't make it so obviously she will.

 

They're padding the episode out by reminding us of about half of what happened last time, including Genavieve's conversation with Bobby. I don't remember there being that much padding in last week's episode, so were they really planning on putting the last 11 yeses in the final hour? Also, I read them wrong; it really was a no. Franklin Boone is up next, and I remember him being pretty good? He's singing "Daughters" by John Mayer and dedicating it to his little baby girl. I'm not a big John Mayer fan, but this is a good performance. At this rate, we may be guaranteed a male winner before we ever get a chance to vote! ...Well, no, we've already got Just Sam to be the obligatory minority wild card selection, not to mention they kept hammering home that Kimmy Gabriela was Top Ten (she shouldn't be). Franklin moves on, and we're off to commercial again. Also there's a "shocking twist". I'm still guessing that the only twist is what we already know, that the Top 20 will have to come back another time because of the coronavirus, but they're making it sound like it was something that happened in realtime.

 

Julia Gargano's up next. I think I'm glad she's still here; they seemed shaky on her last round. Or maybe she just wasn't that good? They showed her audition again and I thought I remembered it being better than that. She's singing Pink's "Glitter in the Air". It's pretty decent; I don't care either way about her. Yeah, I don't think I'd take her along. She'll probably make it. She doesn't deserve to. She does. 8-3. Luke says "It's America's choice now". Don't lie, Luke; they haven't allowed us to vote with 20 or more contestants remaining since Season 14. We go back to commercial, because they have to pad this out over two hours.

 

Aliana Jester's up next. I'd forgotten about her. I remember her being there before, but I forgot she was still here. But they're giving her an extended pimp piece, so maybe she's here to stay. She's singing "This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman. She's pretty good. And yeah, she stays. Acceptable, I guess. But since they're padding it out, we get the remainder of the performance even after we've heard the verdict. Sophia Wackerman is up next, and she's getting a pimp piece, too, surrounding her relationship with her brother, who has Fragile X Syndrome, which causes a mental disability. Sophia's performing "Levels" by Nick Jonas. I'm not sure if I like the song choice, but it's allowing her to show off her stage presence. And she's got no shortage of that! Also, glory note. She definitely belongs. Katy seems to be suggesting that she wanted Sophia but was overruled, but it's another fake-out; Sophia's going through! Also, it's really interesting; when they showed her walking to her judgment on her own, I was like "holy crap that girl's got legs!", but then when you saw her with the judges after getting her yes, Katy's quite a bit taller (and no, Sophia wasn't wearing flats--not even close), and back in the room with all the contestants, she's also well shorter than the famously diminutive Ryan Seacrest. Even in heels. She's just proportioned in such a way that she looks taller when you don't have anyone else to compare her to. I like that.

 

We get another "previously recorded" on the screen. It's not even the top of the hour. Robert Taylor III's up--wait, wasn't he performing last time? No, that was Dewayne Crocker Jr. They both have suffixes so I got mixed up. He's playing to the crowd and singing..."Take Me to the Pilot"?! Nicely done! He admits it's a risk...and it is. It didn't pay off imo. My mom, who's a huge Elton John fan, says that this was a bad song for him and it's barely a good song for Elton John; it's really hard to sing. I think it'll be a no. It is. Katy says "Keep working, but don't overwork it, and keep the hair." Bobby Bones comes out to console him, because it's clear he took it hard. And to commercial! We're nearly at the end of hour 3 and we're only at 12 selections. Is this really only a two-hour episode, or is it the full three? Oh no wait it's 13. I miscounted because literally the only time all episode that two people performed without a commercial break between them, they both went through. So I saw my count of 8-3 two paragraphs ago and registered it as now being 8-4 when it's really 8-5.

 

The initial trip to Hollywood was Kimmy Gabriela's first time on an airplane ever. And we're reminded again that her father was a famous musician in his own right. Oh, yeah, I remember now, she had a tendency to wear outfits that try to hide how young she is. She's singing "You Don't Do It For Me Anymore" by Demi Lovato and it's honestly pretty good, and she's dressed more modestly than in Hollywood Week, but still not hiding how attractive she is. Given that they've been obsessed with her from the start and she fulfills their need to correct for America's racism by only taking minorities for wild cards, why do we need Faith when Kimmy's here? And surprisingly, the judges' reactions to her performance were rather negative. Everything Katy's saying is suggesting that she's going home, and we go to commercial before we get a concrete yes or no, but it's really suggesting a no. Usually I assume that means yes, but I got burned by that with Genavieve. So even though I've been certain for quite some time that she'll make the Top Ten on the judges' will alone, I'm not going to call this one way or the other. It's a shame, though, because that's probably the best she's sounded all competition.

 

We get a recap of what Katy said before the break. Kimmy is going to the Top 20. And we're back at a decent ratio, 8-6. I haven't been counting how many noes. We're getting no montaged. I can't even give you names but it's fine because I don't recognize any of them, I don't think. One of them I'm not sure if I've ever seen at all, and can't even be sure which gender they are. And up next is Shannon Gibbons. We're reminded that she got a huge compliment from Katy at her audition. She's singing "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" by Adele. I think it's a good song choice for her voice, but she doesn't do terribly well with it; I think she forgot the lyrics at one point. Add that to the theme of this segment being "not everyone can make it", and I'd say it doesn't bode well for her. Katy asks her how she thinks she did, and she admits it wasn't her strongest vocal performance because she was just vibing off the crowd. It sounded optimistic at first, but no, she's not going through. Looks like the rain is starting up again. It looks like we're getting evidence that the judgments aren't shown in order, either; the room where people wait for their judgment looks awfully sparsely populated, but there are a number of people whose judgments we've already seen still among them.

 

Advertisement for Aulani. Looks like a lot of the younger female contestants bonded. We're getting them montaged. Cyniah Elise is doing the original "Lady Marmalade" by Labelle, and it's pretty good. I'm fine with her going through. Still, based on the opening, I thought we were getting a montage, and we're hearing the performance start to finish. Makayla Phillips is singing Demi Lovato's..."Sorry Not Sorry". Damnit I didn't plan that! But this is a definite yes from me. I'm not sure they'll agree, though; it did feel a little "hollow". But maybe that's just that it's a pop song. Lauren Spencer-Smith is singing Aretha Franklin's "Respect", and with her hair pulled back like that, I'm looking at her face and I'm seeing a certain other contestant who sang that song on this show way back before little Lauren was even born! All three go through. No, wait, never mind, they only showed Makayla and Lauren! ...But Cyniah made it, too. 9-8 females now. And Olivia Ximines was separated from the other young ones, so I'm guessing she doesn't make it through? Eh, she's superfluous with some of the others that got put through. She's doing "Proud Mary", and she makes the mistake of shattering the producers' illusion by acknowledging that she's the last contestant of the night. The judges correctly guess that the coat she comes out in is a prop. It is; she sheds it when the song picks up. Which is kind of a shame because the dress she's wearing is hideous. But the judges are impressed; I think I read the editing wrong! She's adorably unfiltered; in her post-performance interview, she says she needs some water and she needs to pee. Oh, right, she was the one who brought the rest of her dance team to her audition. Heh, maybe she's the "performer" of the season. Except, you know. she's actually a good singer too! And she's in. 10-8 girls, and we've still got a half hour left to fill. ...Dare I say that the hiatus might actually be a blessing? This Top 20 is looking awfully young all of a sudden. And the twist gets a little more foreshadowing. Luke: "We couldn't make a decision." So...are we going to get a sing-off, which is something that happened in the FOX era too? Or are we going to get an impromptu Top 21, which is exactly like when we got a Top 25 in Season 11? Except, you know, unlike in Season 11, it won't matter one bit because the voters still won't get to vote on anyone until there are only 14 contestants left. Why exactly is this the last episode, anyway? Did they just not get around to narrowing it down to the top 14 before this crisis hit? I mean, we all know that they know exactly who they want already.

 

Yeah, I'm almost certain we're getting more than 20 contestants in out "Top 20", because here's Arthur Gunn and he's obviously going to be #19. We're reminded that he did two different arrangements of the same song in his Audition and in Hollywood. And for his Hawaii performance, he's doing "Is This Love" by Bob Marley and the Wailers. Yeah, definitely going through. He does make it. Next is Demi Rae, who I forgot about but I liked her before. She's doing "Lonely" by Noah Cyrus. Okay, yeah, she's definitely not making it, if only because I went back and counted and we're at 19 acceptances and only 12 rejections. It's not a great performance anyway. But Ryan even reminded us that we were at 14 acceptances when we came back from break just before the four girls all made it through! Anyone can count that we're at 19 already! Demi Rae is not making the top 2X. Okay, this segment took us to 15 minutes remaining...did they montage some more contestants when I wasn't paying attention, or are the remaining rejects not worth our time?

 

Well, they insist that 38 contestants have received their results...and the last two are Grace Leer and Lauren Mascitti?! No! They're both great! Grace sang "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" by Aretha Franklin (Mom, of course, has a problem with the fact that it's credited to Aretha and not to Carole King, but Carole started out as a songwriter only and switched to singer-songwriter later; she wrote it, but Aretha was the original performer.) It's beautiful, of course. And now we get Lauren and her grandparents. Wait, am I getting Lauren confused with someone else? Wasn't she the one who had the much older fiancé? She's singing "Two More Bottles of Wine" by Emmylou Harris, and it's a very country performance. I...think I liked Grace better? They were roomies in Hollywood; they've made friends, and they're sad that they can't both go through. Lionel follows up on what Luke said and said that they couldn't agree. But...the decision is...OURS?!?!?!?!?! That's...legitimately a new twist! I'm amazed.

 

Also, we're still not done for the season. They're doing an introduction to your top 20 next week, another two-hour special. Of course they are. I wonder what they'll do for the rest of the time this season was scheduled to run? Probably just show reruns or something.

 

Out here on the East Coast, however, the Idol continues as the judges and Ryan are guest starring on The Rookie. It's just a goofy little weird opening; one of the production assistants mistakes Officer Chen for an auditioner and she ends up singing "I Never Loved A Man". It wasn't good enough to make it to Hollywood IMO but it looks like the judges were about to give her a golden ticket when she has to rush off because she's still on duty.

Edited by ScarletDevilCCX
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