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The Buzz with CCX - Season 19 Episode 3


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Long Trail's Green Blaze IPA tonight. Tonight's auditions are from Ojai, CA, which Katy calls one of the most spiritual places in the country. These intros are getting stupider and stupider and I hate that ABC seems to be doubling down on the "auditions good, competitions shows bad" theory. Cecil Ray Baker is 20 from Cameron, TX, and has a daughter, 1.5 months old. He lost a friend to suicide when he was 11, then a brother the very next year, and then an uncle the year after that. I don't really like his performance much, but they showed a bunch of his story and he's leading off an episode so he's bound to go through. They have him close his eyes and put his hands in his pockets and try again, then after a bit, they have him start snapping his fingers to the beat. Yep, here we go, Luke calls him "absolute perfection", but they want him to calm down a bit. Funny, I don't feel he had enough pizzazz. Katy calls him a "country Justin Bieber" and says that he's "up here" and needs to do something every morning to ground himself. I'm not seeing what they see.


We come back and see a...family performance? Samantha Sharpe, 25, from Basking Ridge, performs with her family but wants to go solo. She performs "Titanium" and it sounds great, and they agree and send her to Hollywood but the fact they didn't show much of her tells me she's probably fodder, unfortunately. Now comes Graham DeFranco, 27, an aerial survey pilot from Rockwall, TX, who kind of reminds me of Season 10's Casey Abrams. Well, he's getting an intro, at least. He's doing "Part 1" by Band of Horses. I like him. Nothing showstopping, but he's got a pleasant voice, kind of a John Mayer type (except I'm not actually a John Mayer fan). They like him and want him to have more confidence in himself, because he has a "very listenable voice".


Tom McDonald, 28, is a jingle writer from Allentown, NJ and he's singing a song that he made up about his mom telling him he should audition so he did and now he's singing about auditioning. I liked his voice but they didn't put him through. Now we get some more weird Katy stuff. Mary Jo Young, 19, is from Cleveland, OH. She says she hasn't performed to a live audience since her fourth grade talent show; she just posts on TikTok. She's singing "You Broke Me First" by Tate McRae. I think I like her. She's very unpolished, nowhere near being a star yet, but there's a quality to her voice that reminds me of some very talented artists. The judges have her bring her mom in so she can finally hear Mary Jo sing in person. She gets the ticket and Katy compares her to Julia Michaels.


They talk about "Idol Across America", where they let people audition online. Montage of people from far-off parts of the country. Xavier Washington, from GA, is a student at Yale. Celeste Butler is 23, from Oceanside, CA. Dzaki is...I dunno, I was trying to put the name he said up when the graphic just said "Dzaki". All three go through. Christian McGuckian, 20, is from Easley, SC. A couple months ago, she got in a bad car accident, cracked a couple of ribs, and she started to realize that she wouldn't have been happy with how her life went if that had been it for her. Her initial video audition makes her look like she's about 12, and honestly even in person she looks about 14. She's doing "Girl Crush" by Little Big Town. ...Not a fan, and not just because she looks so much younger than she actually is and that's a very mature song. Luke says she's got "magic country stuff" in her but "everything else" is getting in the way. She's already in tears and they haven't rendered a verdict yet, and it goes to commercial and they still haven't.


Oh, so that's what Pooch Perfect is. The early ads made it seem like Doggy Bachelor but it's really Extreme Makeover: Dog Edition. We come back and they...want her to try again, they're doing something to try to calm her nerves. And it's...better! Still not a potential winner imo, but maybe she's worth a golden ticket after all. Luke says that a lot of country girls come in, they try to act country and sing country, and they ain't country. Christian is country. And she's crying a lot, but it's different from the crying before. And they all give her a yes!


Olyasdream is a "handpan artist" from Russia. This is one of those "strange" auditions. Luke breaks one of the instruments she brought in. The fact that they didn't even show her age was a definite sign. Katy says that she's from another world, and she has to go back to the other world to compete. Lana Alanis Sophia, 19, is from Chapel Hill, FL. She was named after Alanis Morrissette, because her mother (who was only 19 when she had Alanis) was a huge fan going through a rough time. Alanis is singing a Demi Lovato song, I forgot the title because I was trying to have a discussion with my mother. Also, this could be one of the contenders for the title.


We come back to the judges kazooing. Jeremias Williams is from Apopka, FL, and he's a big guy--Luke asks "who are you, where are you from, and how much do you bench press". He's 23 and his father is 80. Jeremias is a fireman and EMT. His "story" is poverty. He's singing "Simple Man" and the graphic on screen bills him simply as "Mias". So, yeah, he's going through. He deserves it. Katy says that it's "missing something". Lionel likes the timbre of his voice, though. Luke says he's got a nice voice, but he's not sure if Jeremias has found what he's looking for yet. Katy says no, and Lionel says...that he needs time. It's three nos. Huh, I guess I can't read this show as well as I thought.


We come back to a montage of awkward romantic moments on Idol. And we get a guy in there dueting with his mom, and they send the guy through. Erika Perry is up next, and she starts by flirting with Ryan. This is going to be that weird person. She says she goes by "E.T." because she's extraterrestrial. She hasn't even started singing and I already hate her. And now there's some stuff that gets bleeped. Again, I'm getting Cowell-era audition flashbacks before the singing even starts. Not surprisingly, she's singing "E.T." by Katy Perry. Thankfully, it's awful. Luke's not sure if this is even English. I can only remember maybe three auditions like this in the ABC era and one of them turned out to be the defending champion playing a prank. It goes to commercial before we even hear a no, which is weird.


Oh, wait, it really isn't an automatic no! They want 30 seconds, no gimmicks. Katy keeps trying to coach her. Is talent even a factor in this competition if the judges are going to pick their favorites regardless? Katy calls her "annoying but also good" and says she's likeable. It's a yes from Katy, a no from Luke, saying there's too much to do to strip down the weirdness. Lionel says he doesn't get it, but he's going to give her a very sparing "yes". Katy tells her to go call up the boyfriend who dumped her right before the audition and rub it in his face, but she already deleted his number and doesn't remember it so she can't. Are they actually making her likeable? Hunter Metz Metts, 22, is from Franklin, TN. I think I've already seen a "fan thread" for him so he's probably going deep. He's singing "All the Pretty Girls" by Kaleo, and maybe I was wrong because I misspelled the name when I was like "I've seen this name already", but he's not bad. A bit strange, though, given what I know of Kaleo. Also, he wasn't able to audition before because his sister was a Disney employee, and she quit her job to support him. He is, of course, going through. Katy gives the "top ten", and Luke does too.


Luke and his kazoo again. Ronda Felton is 19, from Milwaukee, WI but living in Arizona. She's already crying tears of joy before she even gets to auditioning. She grew up the hard life--single mom with no money. She doesn't even look 19. She's singing "One Night Only" from Dreamgirls. And it's a wow from the very first note! I can't tell by the clock if this is our "show ender" or not; they certainly could fit another audition in, but given their tendency to go to commercial after almost every audition, and to especially give a spotlight to the last contestant, I doubt they will. Yep, Lionel's going to pad it out a bit with rambling. He gives a yes. Katy does as well, and Luke says that it was a great performance, but he's got a feeling it's not her best performance...to come. Lots of tears ensue; the judges have her bring her mother in. Katy asks if there's a song of celebration, and Ronda's mother asks her what song she wants to do. Ronda says "you know what song". One of mom's favorite songs is "Zoom" by the Commodores, and we get the two of them performing with Lionel. And now the clock is properly run out.

Edited by ScarletDevilCCX
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