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The Buzz with CCX - Season 18 Episode 15


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Happy Mother's Day everyone! I forgot about the Disney Sing-Along until it was already most of the way over, but here I am. And here Laine is! Katy's dressed up as Jumbo the elephant, with her dog Nugget as baby Dumbo. Arthur Gunn is the first one into the Top Seven, and he's doing "Kiss the Girl" from The Little Mermaid. It's not a winner with me; as far as Idol rearrangements of this song go, I prefer Cade's rock version from two years ago. Voting is once again not opening until 10 PM Eastern. And yet, next week is the Finale, in one night. Are we going to reveal this week's eliminees and vote down to 1 by the end of the show. 50.


Clan MacGregor this week. Just Sam is the second contestant into the Top Seven, and she's doing "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" from Cinderella, and...we're still not doing well. Why did I think this song had been done in a previous season? Must've been getting confused with "Once Upon a Dream" or whatever it was Catie did. Uh...47.


We've got "awesome Finale spoilers" coming up, according to Ryan, but first, Jonny West is in the Top Seven, singing "Almost There" from The Princess and the Frog. And he's at least just that. I'd give it a 71--it's solid, but not terribly exciting. Still, best he's sung since his audition. And Louis Knight is also in the Top Seven, singing "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" which likely means we'll be 0 for 2 in comparisons to S16. ...Or maybe not? It's kind of hard to compare the two performances, because he changed it up to make it a bit quicker. But it's good! 73. The judges are giving him something vaguely resembling an actual critique, however, so he's toast.


Julia Gargano is the fifth one into the Top Seven. She was much improved last week, but there are too many good people still on the bench; it was the last segment, with Jonny and Louis making it, that really killed this. She's singing "Beauty and the Beast" from the movie of the same name and...she's going upbeat with it? Well, maybe this'll finally get her a weak rating on WNTS. The judges are critiquing her, too. I actually like the performance itself, but I hate the arrangement! 63. I can't give it too high a rating because of the arrangement, but it was well sung. Francisco is the sixth member of our Top Seven and he's singing "You'll Be In My Heart". It's not bad at all, but...not great. 70, and we're 0 for 4 on comparisons to the previous two seasons.


I haven't had time to mention it yet, but since it's Mother's Day, we've got my sister here too tonight. It's her first experience with this season, so we're getting fresh opinions. She thinks that Just Sam would be better served with a full nose ring, because the stud she's wearing just looks like a wart. She also is absolutely certain that if Makayla is our last member of the Top Seven, she'll be singing a song from Moana, just looking at her outfit. I'm not so sure; those flowers could be just about any Disney princess; the extensions suggest maybe Tangled. But it doesn't matter because the last member of the Top Seven is Dillon James. He's singing "Our Town" from Cars. Neither Mom nor sister remembers there even being music in Cars...and it's clear they were missing something, because Round 1 goes to Dillon! 85, I think, for this stirring country ballad. And spinning over to another song that was in Cars, here's "Life is a Highway" performed by Laine Hardy! My sister didn't see any of last season, either, and she says she prefers Dillon's Cars performance to Laine's.


Mother's Day dedications now. Arthur's up first again, dedicating Bon Iver's "Hey Ma" to his mother Maiya. Wow, he actually avoided oldies for an entire show in a two-performance episode! (Oh wait...damnit, 1989 counts as oldies now, doesn't it?) Again, very inoffensive, pretty good, I guess I have to give it a 72? I may end up having to space out some of these. Also, is this the first time we've seen Arthur in short sleeves? I didn't remember him being among the tattooed contingent from this season, but he's got a whole sleeve's worth of ink.


The spoilers: Cynthia Erivo and Lauren Daigle are coming back, and Rascall Flatts is performing. And Lionel is singing "We Are the World", which he co-wrote with Michael Jackson. Just Sam is dedicating her performance to her grandmother, Elizabeth...oh. I knew she'd been adopted by her grandmother, but I didn't know, or forgot, that her mother was incarcerated. She's singing "I Turn to You" by Christina Aguilera. Wait, I know this song, and never knew it was Xtina. She's speeding it up. I don't like it. Maybe it's because that would be right in the wheelhouse of when I was going to school dances so subconsciously there's a nostalgia factor. 52. But the judges are really pushing her. I think even Ryan slipped up and forgot to put an "if you think" in his "vote for Sam" spiel. Jonny West is dedicating his song to his mother Michelle, which is...partly "Amazing Grace" and partly an original. I did say in a ranking topic that Jonny's best shot at getting my votes would be to go the Alejandro route and sing originals at every turn, but, uh...what? Speaking of which, he gets the obligatory Alejandro comparison. 54. The judges like him.


The finale's only two hours, too, followed by a filmed concert performance of Taylor Swift in Paris. We're reminded of Louis's mother Amanda breaking down in tears at his Hollywood performance. He's singing Carole King and James Taylor's "You've Got a Friend"...oh no. He sang a song with a past showstopper. But even in a vacuum, this isn't good. 24. Bye, Louis. Sorry you blew it on your mother's favorite song. And Luke says it's the best performance he's given since the quarantine segment started. They all like it. Ryan also noticed that in addition to his letter, he made breakfast for his mother.


Julia's dedicating her performance of "Sweetest Devotion" by Adele to her mother Jeanne. We get a video of a special gift she prepared for her mother, set to "Stand By Me". ...Why didn't I think of Adele for her before? She's finally embracing the alto. Also, did Katy just reveal that she's having a girl, or is it just wishful thinking? 78.


Louis's not the only one who made breakfast for his mother; Francisco did too, for his mother Fatima. It's also her birthday today. He wrote a letter to her that starts "Dear Mom, or should I say Superwoman, because that's who you are to me." He's singing "River" by Leon Bridges. Luke thinks he was better than the original. I don't know the original, but he's good. 80, I guess? It didn't really feel like a 5-star performance, but I can either move all my ratings or I can just give this an 80.


Oh, heartstring time. Dillon James and his mom Lindy. We get a baby video, dated 1996. Huh, didn't even occur to me that that makes him one of the older contestants. He's singing "Hang On, Hang On" by Amos Lee. We're getting some Blankensian judge reactions, but you know what? I can excuse it. 87. Dillon wins the night in a knockout. Not bad for a guy who I previously said was "only not completely forgettable because of his backstory". Which was my opinion on Dillon entering this week. I'll give Francisco my votes as well, but yeah, this is all Dillon.

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