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The Buzz with CCX - Season 19 Episode 11


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The reviews are going to be a bit out of order because I've got a meeting I have to go to and it's literally starting at 8. I have a DVR so I'll come right back for the ones I missed. Also, I might be doing this one sober all the way through. We'll see. The meeting was supposed to be a short one, because of the basketball game coming up, but it took about twenty minutes just to get enough people to start.

 

However, once it starts, it does go quickly! It's about half past 8, and I'm thrown right into Hannah Everhart dueting with Jason Aldean on "She's Country". They've brought out the star in her! I'll still rewatch the whole thing before giving a rating, but the early feeling is that it'll be something pretty high. The judges seem to think her talent is the part that needs to catch up with her personality. I don't think that's quite right. Hannah's number is 16, so I guess that's the fourth of the night? Mary Jo's up after the break.

 

Mary Jo's doing Ed Sheeran's "Castle on the Hill", and this is the type of performance I have the most trouble critiquing, because she sounds freaking great but she still didn't give a good performance. Still, I've gotta give it like a 77. She's got a great voice, but she's not ready for live performances. Then she duets with Jewel on her song "Foolish Games", and wow. 90, but with the caveat that even if Jewel's other partner for tonight is one of the people I don't like I'll probably end up giving it a decent rating because she's really bringing it.

 

Chayce Beckham is...I missed what song he's doing because I was reading through the discussion topic to see what I missed. Sounds like our first three contestants were Jason, Beane, and Madison? Okay, so I didn't miss much; one that I absolutely want out and two that I'm kind of neutral on. Chayce is not either of these, and he gets another 90, but I need to get more locked in. For his duet, he's joining Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd on "Drive". Usually I need to get my drink on before I start going into full Paula/J-Lo mode, but here we go again: 92. (Angry Orchard Unfiltered, for the record.) Colin Jamieson's up, doing "Locked Out of Heaven". He's got stage presence out the wazoo, but he's not a good singer! I'm giving him a 66, because this wasn't awful on the singing and he's just such a good performer. He's joined by Tori Kelly for her song "Hollow", but unlike the high-energy "Locked Out of Heaven", this song doesn't allow him to paper over his vocal shortcomings. 27.

 

Liahona Olayon is doing "Just Friends" by Aubrey Mika. It's...not bad. Maybe. Actually, the longer it goes on, the less inclined I am to be charitable towards it. 45. The judges give her a standing ovation. She's joined by PJ Morton for "Say So", which he originally did with Jojo, and she wants to show that she's not just pop and can be emotional. Wait, she's supposed to be pop? 😲 ...Wait this is actually good. Stick with this. Don't do the pop thing. 78.

 

Wow, this seems like it's been a very long commercial break. But it's finally over, bringing us to Ava August. She's doing "drivers license" by Olivia Rodrigo, which I've heard things about. ...Yeah this is not a good song. She's a good enough singer, though it lacks that certain something--but this is a cautionary tale about performing something too current; this song should be "quick to be forgotten". 51. She's teaming with Josh Groban on Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now", and she's starstruck. Josh brings out the best in her, and it's much stronger. 86 seems right, maybe even conservative.

 

Caleb Kennedy will be joined by Jason Aldean as well, but first he's doing "Midnight Rider" by the Allman Brothers Band. I feel like he's just shouting it. 25. I lost focus enough to not even notice the name of the Jason Aldean song he'll be performing in his duet. It's not much better, though; I give it a 33.

 

Oh, hey, remember when I said that Jewel's second duet partner could be someone I hate and I'd probably still rate it well? Yeah, here's Hunter Metts, software developer turned musician, doing Sia's "Chandelier". The signature showstopper of a past winner? BYE FELICIA. 50; it wasn't bad but it was weird. Next, he's doing "Who Will Save Your Soul" for his duet with Jewel. As expected, she is amazing, but it's not enough to save his soul. 39, because even Jewel starts to get bogged down by the end of it. Jewel seems angry at the judges' commentary to him...because they actually disliked him! Yay judges!

 

Casey's doing "Decode" by Paramore, and luckily I didn't watch Season 13 so I don't have "past 5-star performance" syndrome on it. Not that it would matter. My first 100 of the season. She'll also be joining with Incubus's Brandon Boyd. He teaches her about psyching yourself up with a "power pose", and then they'll be singing "Wish You Were Here". She might've been a little starstruck, but it's still a 98. Katy gets caught up in the rock vibe and tells Casey to "make the stage your BITCH!"

 

And back to the start, with typical overblown opening from Ryan. Up first is Jason Warrior, but I got the order of the next two off; Madison's before Beane. Jason's doing "Call Out My Name" by The Weeknd, and even when I've already seen two-thirds of the other contestants, the opening performance is meh. He's too overblown. 44. He's teaming with PJ Morton, who apparently has a bunch of Grammies? I've never heard of him. They're doing "How Deep Is Your Love" by the Bee Gees, and if I weren't giving out ratings, I'd want to fast forward through it. I still do, actually, but I'm glad I didn't because I might've accidentally given it a double-digit score. 6, because it was bad and then kept going and going. Katy says it's the "best she's seen so far", but it's the first performance of the episode so :rofl:. Madison's up second, doing "Holy" by Justin Bieber. It's a bad song, but she does okay with it. 48. She's teaming with Tori Kelly, and we get some religious talk. They're doing Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing". It starts out seeming like it's going to be okay, but devolves into a bunch of silly attempts at big notes and trying to compete with each other. I don't know who won, but all of us lost. 32 seems about right. I was about to get sour because the damn meeting forcing me to start in the middle was going to have me ending with weak performances instead of the massive slayage that was Casey Bishop, but then I remembered--Beane isn't the last one I'm listening to; Hannah is. My other favorite of these 12 coming in.

 

Beane is "bringing down the house on his own", according to Ryan. He's doing "Don't Start Now" by Dua Lipa, and...okay, fine. Every year there's one contestant who I hated during auditions/Hollywood, but then I start to enjoy when Top 24 comes around. Apparently Beane is that contestant this year. 80 for me. Beane mentions his boyfriend during his conversation with Josh Groban,; they're doing Robbie Williams' "Angels", and he says he's going to change a "she" in the lyrics to "he". Josh, of course, is amazing, and it's kind of unfair to have to deal with that because he's obviously going to overshadow Beane...but Beane's pretty good too! 95!

 

Hannah's doing Chris Stapleton's "I Was Wrong". She starts out strong, but starts getting a bit pitchy. 64; I still love her but that wasn't a great performance by her. And of course, she's sharing meat with Jason, too. She's definitely a character, though she has to avoid becoming a caricature. Someone else on IDF called her "Kellie Pickler on sedatives" and I kind of get it. As I heard from catching the end live, "She's Country" was a hell of a performance. 94 seems right, and now we're done.

Edited by ScarletDevilCCX
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