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The Buzz with CCX - Season 18 Episode 14

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There's a bottle of sake in our house that needs getting rid of because we meant to buy plum wine, and one of the drink suggestions on the bottle is to make a screwdriver out of it, so there we go. Well, just when you thought there were no left sharks, er, sharks left for American Idol to jump, the rumor mill says that the Top 10 will be made a Top 11 via use of the save. I mean, yes, technically the FOX era did that twice, but both times were in seasons where they were already down to 11 finalists at the time! If this week is considered a valid time to use the judges' "one and only save", rather than merely making wild card selections (yes, plural; I still believe that if we don't go down to 10, it's because there are wild cards and we'll actually be getting 12 or 13 contestants), then it can only be logically concluded that last week's episode was, in fact, part of the Finals, not the Semifinals. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.


We get a video of Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips performing his hit song, "Home", a couple days before last week's show. And "Home" is the theme of tonight's show. This time Katy Perry is dressed as toilet paper; my mom suggests these ridiculous costumes might also serve to hide her pregnancy belly, though I don't know why since we all know she's pregnant. Since everyone already had their performance, I'm sure we'll see them all. Ryan announces that, yes, the save is available this week--and only this week; if they choose not to use it now, it's gone for good. Our first member of the top ten is Louis Knight. He seems quite broken up, and maybe a little hoarse. Oh, the TP costume is gone. Everyone also got a video session with in-house mentor Bobby Bones. Louis has also been working on his physique; being told he could be a heartthrob really got in his head. He delivered pizzas to the hospital workers a few days ago. He's singing Coldplay's "In My Place", and it's a lot better than last week; I give it a 69. Luke is a bit lukewarm on it, no pun intended. Wait, did Ryan just say that voting won't be opening until the end of the show? ...He did! The voting period has been restored to its rightful place! ...This sake screwdriver is not great.


The next member of our Top 11, er, 10, is Julia Gargano. This would sting no matter how many people we were getting down to, but getting down from 20 to 10 in a single week, you really hate bad decisions. Her video piece shows her sense of humor, and it's as bad as her performance of Human last week. She does Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind", and while she's no Kimberley Locke, or even Erika Van Pelt, she's much better than she was last week. We'll call it a 64...which, uh, kind of forces Louis all the way down to a 59. Having a performance from a previous season to anchor my rankings generally depresses them all across the board, unless I get to base it off a performance that I found to be wildly overrated. Maybe I should just try to keep them consistent to myself? Yeah, I feel like that's better. Louis's score stays with what I called it before and Julia gets a 74, but with a note that I liked it less than EVP's 66-rated performance from Season 11


Next week is Mother's Day/Disney theme. And we get Katy Perry and Charlie Puth talking about things, which involves more promotion of Gabby Barrett. Jovin Webb is the third member of our top 10. He's singing "Voodoo" by Allen Stone. And we're three for three on "marked improvements", which is pretty nice because unlike the first two, I liked Jovin last week! I'll give it an 81. Katy said it made her feel like she was at a bar in NOLA having a dirty martini, two things she can't do right now. Ryan gives an ad for the auditions. We're going to commercial again...I'm thinking maybe we're not going to get to hear all 20 performances? Mom always hated how they made eliminated contestants sing, even back when there were results shows, but these performances are recorded a couple of days in advance so that wouldn't really be an issue here.


Grace Leer is the fourth member of the Top 10. She's back in her hometown of Danville, CA, for the shelter in place after having moved to Nashville. She's singing "Over the Rainbow". Uh...what do I do when the previous season performances were showstoppers to begin with? Oh, right, rate them for their going point for point. 90. That was every bit as good as Kat McPhee.


America's two for two at putting absolutely rancid performances through to the Top 10 as Jonny West is going through, which probably means we'll be five for five in me scoring people higher than last week, if only because there's not much room for Jonny to go lower. He's singing "Faithfully" by Journey. It was...good? I can't use "the previous performances" to rate it since I missed S13 and, uh...I actually preferred KLC's 40 over Hollie's 57. Still, I'll use the latter as my gauge, since I think that it seems accurate while KLC's seems underrated, and call this a 60. It was better than Hollie's, but still the weakest performance tonight.


Luke's talking to Darius Rucker. Up sixth is Sophia James. She, too, returned to her childhood home for the quarantine. She says that she's more nervous to sing from home because she and her family also have to be the tech crew. She's singing "In My Room" by the Beach Boys and she makes it her own. Her voice cracks a bit, but she makes up for it with some impressive glory notes; I give it a 76, which means we're 6 for 6 on improvements. I nearly lost my whole topic, though, so I'm submitting it now and editing.


Arthur Gunn is the seventh member of our Top 10, and he's singing "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver. Man the Freshness Factor for this episode is low. Oh, but he's doing a reggae version! A little strange for a song about West Virginia, but whatever, it's good. 72. Am I just in a better mood than I was last week? Because it seems crazy to think that everybody improved this week. Wait, no it isn't; last week's episode sucked.


Ryan announces that the finale is May 17. This season is just plain stupid; we're cutting down to 7 this week, and I guess from there it's down to 3? Or are we having a 4-person finale this year? Speaking of "just", Just Sam is our eighth member of the Top 10. She said she was staying in California to avoid risking getting her Grandma sick. She's singing "Grandma's Hands" by Bill Withers, and we saw the clip of when Lionel asked her if she's ever felt safe. And whoa! No second-guessing myself on this one; she kicked it up a notch! I'll have to say...81; I can't decide whether I like her or Jovin more.


Lionel Richie is chatting with Stevie Wonder on the subject of songwriting. Our ninth member of the top ten is Dillon James. Ryan gives us the vote total; over 36 million. Dillon's singing "Yesterday" by the Beatles, and, uh...I may have been overrating everyone slightly. Or alternatively, I was underrating everyone last week. Because I'm left at a crossroads: I don't think it was that much weaker than Jonny, if at all, but it wasn't as good as last week! Well, I'll call it a 58 anyway, because the anchoring previous season performance for my previous low was a 57 and this is better than that, but I do like this less than the one I rated 56 last week.


Ryan pretends there's suspense as to who the last member of the Top Ten is, but we all know that it's going to be Francisco Martin and it is. He's definitely a good choice, but we were already screwed when Julia and Jonny (and as much as I hate to say it, Louis) made the top 10 (My top ten for last week alone also didn't include Just Sam or Dillon, but Dillon was #11 and Sam is certainly an acceptable choice; the middle of the pack was very tight). Francisco's singing "Falling Like the Stars" by James Arthur. It's...the first one where I can concretely say that, no, it wasn't as good. 67, though, is the right place to slot it in. Katy's hormonal and crying. We still have over 10 minutes left in the show, so we know full well there will be an 11th member of the "Top Ten". They couldn't even really pretend with this format; they only have enough time for people still in the competition to sing and the eliminations came based on a previous night's performances. It's basically Season 14's elimination format, except with multiple eliminations.


They have decided to use the wild card save, and for the first time in the ABC era, the wild card is white; Makayla Phillips is in the Top 11! Her father is a first responder. She's singing "The House That Built Me" by Miranda Lambert. Bobby asks her why she's singing a different genre. She said she wanted to show a different side of her. It works! 89 is the score; just a touch behind Grace for best of the night.

Edited by ScarletDevilCCX
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11 hours ago, ScarletDevilCCX said:

Grace Leer is the fourth member of the Top 10. She's back in her hometown of Danville, CA, for the shelter in place after having moved to Nashville. She's singing "Over the Rainbow". Uh...what do I do when the previous season performances were showstoppers to begin with? Oh, right, rate them for their going point for point. 90. That was every bit as good as Kat McPhee.





Confusion aside, I enjoyed reading your thoughts, even if I do think most of your scores are about 20 points too high. Grace's is at least 50 points too high for me, though. xD SOTR is a song where you need to show dynamics, and she just belted the entire thing. No subtlety whatsoever. 


Regardless, I love your insight, despite me disagreeing with most of your scores. 

Edited by rdhaley96
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My opinion... Julia is at least a 90, in this performance, and … an adorable sense of humor. And, not just my opinion. Her Like to Dislike ratio on her videos confirm it  


Right now it is  2.8K Likes  to 71 Dislikes  🥰

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