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The Buzz with CCX - Season 19 Episode 17


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Valenzano's "Plums Up" wine tonight, because why would I have anything other than wine on Mother's Day? Speaking of plums, Ryan's wearing an interesting purple suit and an even more interesting tie. We've also got Coldplay tonight, and Casey Bishop's leading off with "Paradise". Chris Martin is clearly a Casey fan, but I personally think this performance was a bit chaotic, not really in her wheelhouse. But that can't always be helped with single-artist theme nights. I give her a 70. Chayce Beckham is up second with "Magic", which is one I'm not familiar with, but it's pretty awesome. 82.


Willie Spence is up third, singing one of Coldplay's first songs, "Yellow". He's a Coldplay fan and gets a selfie with Chris. And wow, what a comeback! I'm always hesitant to give out 100s this early in a show because I don't want to go beyond 100 and it's way too early to definitively call it the best of the night, but what else can I do? I can always adjust it down later if I need to. This was flawless. Luke says what all of us have been thinking for four years now, that we want more episodes of this. Up fourth is Caleb Kennedy doing a country reimagining of "Violet Hill". He says it was hard to pick a Coldplay song because he'd never listened to them before. He asks if this is a deep cut, and Chris says that it's actually the first Coldplay song ever. Interesting. The special effects team obviously didn't get the message that this is country; it's a very rock performance. ...Actually, they got the intended message just fine, because this is a kind of rock performance; I might charitably call it "country rock" but really it's just rock with a twang. Also...it's the best performance I've ever heard from him. 91. I'm shook. Apparently he even realizes that he's more of a songwriter than a singer. Tonight, he was a singer.


Arthur Gunn is up fifth, and it sounds like he's picked a good one. ...Or maybe not. He's doing "In My Place", which is definitely not the song they were playing while introducing his segment. We're still in the session with Chris and already I'm ready to give him a low score. His actual performance is...better than what he was doing with Chris, but still not good. 33. Apparently he changed up a lot to make it his own, and told Chris as much. Luke liked this; Katy maybe not so much. Up sixth is Grace Kinstler, who was torn between "Hymn for the Weekend" and "Fix You"; she decided on the former. Do I recognize that song? I don't by the title, but maybe I do. Chris feels it isn't a great fit and asks her to try "Fix You", and he seems to think it's a better fit. So maybe we're hearing "Fix You" after all? Yep, we are. The crowd loves it. I find it...understated, at first. But it finds a groove and...it's not bad. 66. Lionel says that everyone's afraid to fail, but her flaws are her magic. Katy...I've already forgotten what Katy said because I was busy writing about Lionel and talking to my mom.


The Top 5 will be mentored by...Finneas? I think that's how that's spelled? I vaguely feel like I've heard of him but it doesn't rate with me. Coldplay's debut album "Parachutes" was one of the first CDs Hunter Metts owned as a kid...along with the Chicken Little soundtrack. Okay, sure. He's doing "Everglow". It's...good right up until the point his voice cracks. Ouch. I really liked it overall but I've got to dock him for how all over the place his voice got. 64. Still, Hunter's been redeeming himself for me. We're just about to the halfway point, which means my sister just got off from work and is calling to wish Mom a happy Mother's Day. She accidentally hangs up, and I tell her that my sister's going to tease her about that. Anyway, Coldplay's performing now...that's not the Idol stage. That's a soundstage. Which explains why it sounds so different; we're basically watching a music video instead of a live performance. This is their new song, "Higher Power".


We're still in commercial break but there's an ad for a new show on Nat Geo Network, "Breaking Bobby Bones". Don't we wish. We come back, and Ryan and Luke are sharing a chair and Luke sees that Ryan's job is hard. Casey Bishop is back, singing "Ironic" by Alanis Morrissette. Hey, remember what I said about being afraid to give out 100's early in the show? Looks like I had nothing to worry about. ...Except I often start giving out the rating before the song finishes, so it changed from "yeah, I can give out multiple 100s" to "yes, this is worth breaking the rating scale for." 103. We go to commercial after just one performance, but when we get back, Chayce's song for his mother is...an original?! Yes please.


We return from commercial with Ryan trying to decide the pronunciation of "aunts", and then we get Chayce singing "Mama". ...I think Chayce has won the night. Even if he doesn't get the highest aggregate score, he's won the night, and possibly the show. I'll give this a 90, so he's certainly still in the running for winning the aggregate...by one point over Casey.


We get Willie Spence singing Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful", and yeah Chayce isn't going to have the highest aggregate on my scorecard. 95. And we've got our second original of the round, "Mama Said" by Caleb Kennedy. We're two for two on great originals. 78. Luke calls him a "true anomaly", and also calls him 15 because all teenagers are 15 to Luke. But Lionel gets the point across, that he's really mature as a songwriter. We finally get Katy reminding us that she's a new mom (although Ryan did so at the start of the show).


Arthur Gunn is up again with Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man". Well, at least he'll be back in his wheelhouse. It's...passable. 54. Lionel gives a critique straight out of the Randy Jackson phrasebook.


Grace Kinstler's doing Adele's "When We Were Young". Haven't we already heard this song in the voting rounds of this season? Maybe not from her though, though I thought it was. Well, whatever, Grace redeemed herself. 98 seems about right, just so it can be clearly slotted. And we get a third original, "The River" by Hunter Metts. It's not written for his mother, but she specifically requested he sing it, so yeah, still a Mother's Day choice. It's not bad, but not great. I guess a...68, except that forces me to bump Casey up so I guess she beat Chayce after all.


In no particular order, the first member of the Top 5 is Casey Bishop. Awesome. And second is Grace Kinstler, just to stick it to all the doomsayers here at IDF who thought that the two of them were doomed this week just for being female. Chayce Beckham is third, and Willie Spence fourth--America's good! And the fifth one is...Caleb Kennedy! All five of the people I voted for! I would've been fine with Hunter staying instead of Caleb, but Arthur leaving was a must for me and the first four they declared safe were the four I absolutely wanted to stay.

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