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The Buzz with CCX - Season 20 Episode 4


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Irish whiskey on the rocks tonight. Sunset Strip Auditions. Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue is there to wish a contestant luck. Katy's got a bajillion supplements and she's taking them all at once; Lionel's worried she's going to choke. Our first contestant is Zaréh, 21, a stylist originally of Miami, ...wait, it's Nadia Turner's daughter? Zaréh was four when Nadia was on. She hasn't told her mom that she's auditioning. She's singing "Bust Ya Windows" by Jazmin Sullivan, and it's damn good. She deserves to go through. The judges seem to agree. And it's three yeses. We get a preview of some of the upcoming contestants.


Thomas Patrick Moran, of Denver, Colorado, though four of his five siblings were born in Ireland. He's starting with Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools", and he immediately realizes that he's messed up. Lionel thinks he's not being serious enough, and a "Time of my life" counter comes up on the screen, at 2. He's singing "River" by Leon Bridges, and Francisco Martin he ain't. Lionel says he's a natural-born entertainer, but to forget the singing, because he's "somebody's host". Katy, however, thinks he's got it, and gives him a yes. Luke says no. Lionel says that was a good sermon. And Lionel seems to have been won over, and it's a yes!


Segment on the judges not always agreeing. It seems that Katy is the most forgiving--they've been showing a bunch where Katy says yes and the other two say no. Oh, and the one that didn't seem familiar of the three is back for a second audition! I remember that was common practice in the old days--there was one, somewhere around Season 3 or 4, who originally showed up at a site that had a fourth guest judge, and Randy and Paula said yes while Simon and the fourth judge said no, which meant no, and they came back at another site without a guest judge and none of the three judges changed their mind, which made it a yes. Sam Moss, 25, of Winterset, IA...it sounded like the two male judges thought at her first audition that she lacked the necessary confidence. Well, she's got it now. Luke tells Sam "Thank God you got so much better in such a short amount of time", and Katy smacks him. Oh, she did an original! Katy asks why she didn't do that the first time. It's three yeses. I approve; I think she could be Top 24 material.


Wheel of Karaoke for the judges. Oh, and we've got a character, doing interesting voices. Kenzie Elizabeth, 20, of Roosevelt, CA...she's a ventriloquist? Though not a good one. Wait, I got the spelling right before seeing it? She, too, has a Season 10 Tour t-shirt. And she graduated high school at 15.5? That's younger than I was! And she's doing "I'm With You" by Avril Lavigne, probably my favorite Avril song that was actually released as a single (though my overall favorite is "Things I'll Never Say".) Unfortunately, Kenzie's not any good. Seems we've finally got someone who made it onto the show on their personality rather than their talent. But the judges applauded? Lionel believed she "went into character"...oh, I see. They think she's less pop singer, more Broadway. It's three noes. We're on to the Austin auditions now, background music is Phil Phillips' "Home", who apparently was the inspiration for our next contestant. Fritz Hager, 21, of Tyler, TX, is singing "Before You Go" by Lewis Capaldi, and it's not standout but it should be good enough to get to Hollywood. "Home" playing again. It's a yes from Katy, a no from Luke, and...a yes from Lionel!


A lot of people whose musical influences are idols. Kevin Gullage is a bit odd, choosing William Hung as his inspiration, but unlike William, Kevin is good enough to get to Hollywood. He does.


Next up is Charvonay, and she seems like a character. But it's a no; she's got "superstar character", but not superstar vocals. I'm already done with my drink and I'm feeling it. Montage of more noes. We've got a Season 18 auditioner--a Season 18 Hollywood rounder! Luke remembers him. Jacob Moran, 27, a nurse from Dansville, MI. Katy remembers him being in disbelief. He's singing "Rise" by Katy Perry, surprising the male judges. Also surprising: how good this is. He goes through.


Another montage of noes. "You don't talk like that, so why do you sing like that?" Luke mentions that he once thought loud meant talent, and Lionel says his biggest problem early on was that he couldn't sing loud enough. Haley Slaton, 23, from Cedar Rapids, IA, is 5.5 months pregnant--Katy suspected as much, but didn't want to assume. It's a boy. She did the Idol Across America virtual audition. She's singing "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus. You know, when I heard that first name, I was thinking "there are a lot of ways to spell 'Haley', let's just go with the one that maps to Idol royalty and adjust as needed", and it turned out to be correct. And while she's not nearly as good as Miss Reinhart, it's a similar type of singer. Katy also mentions the raspiness. Lionel says that if he remembers the anatomy correctly, the baby's up by the lungs. We don't get an answer before the break. I get a discussion of baby location. I guess I didn't even think about how low the lungs go, because my mom mentioned that that's also why pregnant women always feel like they have to pee, because it's right on the bladder, and I was like "yeah, that I thought, but I didn't think the bladder was that close to the lungs."


Second song--"One and Only" by Adele. Again, a lot of Season 10/11 vibes. I like this. They give her the pass to Hollywood. Next up is Elli Rowe, 19, from Nashville (yeah, we're back there again), and when she was little, her parents had a bluegrass band. "Give You Blue" by Allen Stone. She definitely deserves to go through. Katy says that she's very girl-next-door, and she might need to find a slightly rougher side because it's a real fight, but it's a yes, and Lionel follows with a yes as well. Luke gives her some more advice and adds his own yes.


TikTok montage. Dan Marshall Griffith, 24, former Virginia Tech linebacker from Chesapeake, VA--walk-on. He loved singing, but didn't sing publicly until his grandfather's memorial service. He's singing "The Dance" by Garth Brooks. I like him. Katy's not sure, but gives him a yes, as do the other two.


"Who could it be now?" Douglas Mills Jr., 18, from Houston, TX. Houston's ABC affiliate gave him their affiliate pass-he'd been singing in school, and they heard him there. It sounds like he's dealt with bullying...yeah, he confirms it. They called him "Gorilla" and "King Kong". He picked his song for the Black community, for all they've gone through for the past few centuries. I don't recognize it, but it sounds powerful, as does he. Mom compares him to Billie Holliday and asks me if I've ever heard the song "Strange Fruit." I haven't. Lionel says he blanked out, because it was that hypnotizing. Katy asks why he never tried out before, and tells his doubters to go to H-E-double-hockey-sticks. Mom asks which judge it was who got "goosies" (J-Lo) and said she got goosies. Douglas, naturally, goes through.

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