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The Buzz with CCX - Season 19 Episode 8


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Green Blaze IPA by Long Trail Brewing Company tonight. Over the next two nights, we're cutting down from 64 right to the Top 24, courtesy of the Showstopper Round. Lionel will be observing--and occasionally, passing the judgements during the judgement section--remotely, due to a potential exposure to COVID. Alyssa Wray is performing "I'm Here" from The Color Purple. It's suitably impressive, but the judges think she was doing "too much"--too much vocal gymnastics. Katy compares it to "throwing 52 cards at our faces" in the judgement. But much to my surprise, they do put her through! I don't have a problem with this, but they really sold the "it's not a good fit". Next up is Jason Warrior, who I seem to remember being good in auditions but we haven't seen him since. He's doing, uh...all I heard was that the song he was doing was a risk, and we see a clip of one of the staff saying that it's a bit of a rock song, and we're into the break now so we'll see his performance after the commercial.


Wait...it just occurred to me during the commercial: Top 24! After two seasons of bloated Top 20 shows, we're going back to a Top 24 that will presumably have to take place over multiple nights. We come back and find that he's doing Imagine Dragons' "Believer". It's surprisingly soulful, and then he hits the chorus and turns it into a proper rock performance. That was amazing, the type of multi-talented singer that's been missing from Idol for a number of seasons, ever since they eased up on the themes to allow people to stay in their lanes. Lionel doesn't do as good a job of selling the "not making it" fake-out; Jason Warrior is through! And as we go to break, Ryan again repeats that next up is singing for America's votes. If that's true, it'd be just the second time in the last nine years that 24 contestants performed for America's votes. Don't believe me? Season 16 had a Top 24, but the first voting show was after it had been reduced to 14. Same for Season 15, with the added issue of the judges passing four people straight through to the Top 10. Season 13 auto-eliminated 10 of their "Top 30", and Season 12 had a non-voting round cutting the field from 40 to 20. And yes, sainted Season 11 was in 2012--nine years ago. Since then, only Season 14 brought 24 people before America.


Alex Wilder was told to try something poppier instead of staying in his country comfort zone. He went the exact opposite direction, picking an older country song called "Silver Wings" and allegedly trying to put a more modern spin on it. I'm not seeing it; that was as classic country as it comes. It wasn't great, either, and Katy agrees with me. Luke says he's trapped in Merle, Jimmy Rogers, guys like that. Alex is going home, but he takes it well. I think the judges are wrong about one thing; I think he has found himself. He's just an old soul. His father misunderstands him at first when he says it's "time to go on". But apparently Luke came through on his promise during Alex's audition--he's still going to get to play the Grand Ole Opry!


Next up is Andrea Valles, doing "Blinding Lights" by The Weeknd, and we're seeing Lionel's judgement as we hear the performance. The other judges say it was the wrong song choice. I kind of agree? We've got a lot of talent this season. Lionel pulls a better fake-out. "We don't think you're ready. To go home." Chayce Beckham is up next, and we're finally getting two singers without a commercial between them. But we're getting his backstory, so he's probably going through? Geez, I want to press fast-forward on this but I can't because this isn't DVR. We also see his stage rehearsal. He's doing "You Should Probably Leave" by Chris Stapleton. It's a good performance, and I can't help but wonder if they're going to get this into just two episodes by barely showing any of the performances by people not advancing (and Alex is kind of an exception because they're still putting some of the weight of the Idol machine behind him.) He says that in any other circumstance, he'd be thrilled with that performance, but he was a bit nervous. The judges and the contestant agree that it was a bad song choice. Katy and Luke's discourse afterwards really makes it sound like he isn't going through! I'm surprised; I thought he was one of the better ones tonight. But it sounds like they are putting him through...yes, they are! Well, I guess that's good, though I'm concerned about all the ones I've enjoyed so far that might not make it.


Caleb Kennedy, 16, is our next contestant. He's very southern. He was going to do a Travis Tritt song, but felt he couldn't do a proper showstopper with it, so instead he's doing "When You Leave Tonight", an original. ...This is a 16-year-old's original? Okay, yeah, he deserves to have a real career. The singing is pretty good in its own right, but that is a radio-ready song. He does get to go through, which I think is the right decision. As we head to commercial, Mom asks at what point they can no longer come back the next year. I tell her it seems to change every year. Theoretically, it became "Top Ten" all the way back at Season 13, but we've yet to see anyone come back after making it all the way to a round that America votes on. We're nearing the halfway point of this episode and we've only seen six contestants total, only five of whom went through. We've only got four hours, guys! Also, Bobby Bones is apparently going to be on the new season of Running Wild with Bear Grylls.


Wyatt Pike is doing "Blame It on Me" by George Ezra. It's pretty good and I think he'll go through, but that'd be like the third country male. Sure enough, he's through. And now we flip to his duet partner from Hollywood, Cassandra Coleman. She's still nervous. She's doing "Running with the Wolves" by Aurora. Okay, now here we go! It was a wonderfully wild performance. Katy name-checks Florence Welch of " + the Machine" fame and says that Cassandra reminds her of her. Yeah, that's a good comparison. And they put her through. She says it's a blessing and asks how she can gain more confidence.


Anthony Guzman is doing a...I want to say a lounge act reimagining of "This Love" by Maroon 5? It's weird, but everything he's done has been weird. Amanda Mena, who I don't remember at all, is doing Celine Dion's "All By Myself", and it's...well, it's "All By Myself", there's going to be lots of glory notes. Katy's not sure she can hear the artistry come through, and sure enough, it's a no for both. Next is Beane, who they've repeatedly called "Mr. Rogers". He's doing Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On". He took Katy's "diamonds in your eyes" request a bit too literally. I don't like it at all, but they don't even bother trying to pretend he's not going through.


Oh damn, I'm missing an exciting finish in March Madness for this...oh, but I'm not complaining any more, because it's Hannah Everhart's turn to get her judgment! She's come out of her shell a lot. A lot. I would not have expected her to do "Wrecking Ball", though I guess it's not that weird since Miley's got that same type of twang. ...Actually yeah, now that I think about it, her voice quality is very Miley Cyrus. Katy seems to really be selling the "going home", so unsurprisingly, she's in the Top 24. Yes! Next is Graham DeFranco doing "Bite Your Tongue" by Kings of Leon. Graham's got his own sad story now; just found out his grandpa has cancer. This is a good performance. Okay, if he goes through, we'll be up to ten. We're finally on an okay pace for advancement, but we've still barely seen anyone other than our advancers. And we cut away from his verdict, and see him tell his parents that he's coming home...but he was taking a page out of the judges' playbook and faking them out; he's in the Top 24!


Well, so much for that "finish"; the game's in overtime! Next up we've got Murphy, who will be doing another original. Oh, his eyes have been degenerating; he's likely to be completely blind by his mid-thirties! Definitely a different situation than my mother's; she's been all but blind in one eye since she was about 6, but her other eye is no worse than you'd expect for someone her age. His song's called "Am I Still Mine", and he introduces it as being a song about self-love. Uh... Also, the day of the judgment is his birthday. I seem to remember the age they show during the performance being the same as they'd shown previously, so I guess this was his 28th? They make it sound like he's not going through...oh. He really isn't. Well that's sad. He's upbeat about it, though. Keep fighting, Murphy.


Casey Bishop and Alanis Sophia are in the room together...which probably means we're only going to get one of them. :( Alanis is singing "Uninvited" by her namesake, Alanis Morrissette. We get the full performance. She should be going through. It sounds like Casey had some weak performances in Hollywood but they sent her through because of the promise of another round...and she's doing "She Talks to Angels"? ...Oh, huh, this actually is a rock song. I could've sworn there was a country song with this name (they're big on angels there), and it is an acoustic ballad, but it's rock through and through. Black Crowes. Katy says Alanis has been overswinging. But we're at the end of the episode so...wait, we won't see either one's verdict tonight? DAMN YOU PRODUCERS!

Edited by ScarletDevilCCX
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