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The Buzz with CCX - Season 20 Episode 10


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Widmer Brothers' Hefe is tonight's pick from the beer gacha, which is running out of beers and even quicker running out of beers that I'll actually drink. Tonight we're voting for the first time, I think, so I probably should've ventured out from the spoiler-free safety of making my own topics and then not even looking to see if they've gotten replies. ...There, done. I mean, it's harder for me to develop clear favorites, because everyone who's gotten significant screen time has been good! Just working off of my memory, I'd say that Tristen Gressett and Cadence Baker are my favorites, followed by Nicolina and Sir Blake. The ones who have the biggest uphill climb for me are Emyrson Flora, because she was on the winning end of a "one stays, one goes" where I thought she was the weaker one, and Kenedi Anderson, because she's been given the blatant producers' favorite edit including getting a Platinum Ticket after an audition that I thought wasn't even good enough to get a gold (and yes, I fully concede that she's been better since she got to Hollywood, but I'd still only characterize her as "inoffensive fodder" if she wasn't being clearly pimped as "this is the favorite to win it all" at every turn).


Typical goofy opening, with Katy talking to a stuffed seagull while "stranded at sea" on a surfboard. Then Luke and Lionel come by on a boat and tell her she's close enough to shore to put her feet on the ground. The good news, Ryan says, is that America becomes the judge tonight. We're "making history", as usual, because this year the Top 24 are performing for our votes from Aulani. 12 perform tonight and 12 tomorrow night. Jimmie Allen, who auditioned for Idol in 2011 and became a country star in spite of not making it to America's votes, is tonight's mentor; tomorrow's mentor, Bebe Rexha, has the same Idol profile. Jay is up first, singing "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5. Oh shit, I'm gonna have to make numerical ratings tonight! Jimmie asks Jay why he chose that song and he confesses that he was having some trouble with his significant other before coming to Hawaii. Unlike in his practice video, he's not doing a straight cover and it seems a little overperformed. I'll go with...a 35 for the inaugural rated performance of the year, after deducting a few points for those overblown "baby"s at the end. Up second is Elli Rowe, who was very excited about Jimmie Allen as the mentor and says how Hawaii's a bit different than Tennessee. She's doing "Everywhere" by Fleetwood Mac--always nice when an artist already in the WNTS database has another song added, though it's even nicer when a new artist is added (I'm still waiting for Avril Lavigne to join her pop-punk compatriots). This is a nice performance, nothing showstopping but a solid 67. Katy likes the song choice and calls her angelic, and Luke disagrees with me that it wasn't a "moment", though he admits that she wasn't really getting some notes. Lionel says she checked off every box. We head to break, and one of my favorites is due up after the break.
And here's Tristen Gressett, from Pell City, AL. He's singing "With A Little Help From My Friends", originally by the Beatles but best known as a Joe Cocker song. Apparently his mom sings with him at gigs back home; she's not bad either. Jimmie tears up at the relationship between them; I think we saw the acceptance speech showing that Jimmie's mom died recently? Katy seems stunned by this performance; Tristen's mom's in tears. I love it. 82. Luke compares his mic stand skills to Steven Tyler. Lionel asks how many people you know in life that can pull off the Hero Stance. Katy asks if there's a priest or a pastor in the house because he is possessed. "You are a freak, and I'm a freak, and [the other two judges are] freak(s). To commercial; Scarlet is performing a Dua Lipa song after the break. I don't remember much about her other than hearing her name last week so I think she's fodder, but we'll see if she deserves it; usually in the ABC era, my favorites in the Top 24 don't make the Top 14--Day 2 of the S16 Top 24 was criminal, both in the actual results and in the WNTS ratings.


Katy said Scarlet had the Eye of the Tiger...oh, I remember her now! She was a problem child in duets, but had that animalistic Showstopper performance. Ah, it wasn't that recent; Jimmie's mom died in 2014. "Levitating" by Dua Lipa. I like this energy, but I'm already in a quandary; I like this performance more than Elli's, but academically, I think Elli's was probably better? ...Nah, it wasn't; this keeps going up. 74. I'm trying to open the voting app so I don't miss out, but I'm... wondering... if... did Ryan just say only two singers from tonight are going home? We're going from 24 down to 20? Are...are we suddenly back in the S4-7 zone? ...So as I was saying, it's not really opening, and I'm wondering if because of the split night, we're actually going to have voting lines open after the show ends.


Sage is up next, doing Dolly Parton's "Jolene", and if rehearsals are any indication, she's not going to smile her way through it. Proving we're not actually live, it's suddenly dark out, when it wasn't in the previous performance and also shouldn't be dark yet in Hawaii. I wonder if the two nights aren't even intermingled? 72. Time for Jimmie Allen to perform.


Danielle Finn is so forgettable that even having just looked at the list of Top 24 half an hour before the show, I forgot she was in this competition. She's singing "Your Song" by Elton John. I'm not a fan of her rehearsal, but Jimmie says he wouldn't change a thing. Well, it is still dark out in this performance... this seems kind of rough. 24. Can this performance just be over; it kept losing points as it kept going. Luke says he'll often formulate what he wants to say, and then his and Katy's brains sync up. Oh, Mike Parker is going to be singing a Jimmie Allen song! Because Luke said that he saw Mike as a country singer, and there aren't many country singers who look like him. "Best Shot". Jimmie Allen's in tears again, hearing that he's Mike's inspiration. I think I like this a lot! Just waiting for it to get big...there it is. I think maybe the song's overwhelming him a little? He doesn't quite have a belty enough voice so it's just a little bit yelly. But it's still a 78. Jimmie's again in tears, hearing that he was for Mike what Charlie Pride was for him.


Up next is our youngest contestant, 16-year-old Emyrson Flora. She's singing "Angels Like You" by Miley Cyrus. Damn, I thought that opening with a 35, I'd avoid my usual ranking inflation, but this is...great! 85. So much for "uphill battle".


Dan Marshall is up next, and you can see that the paragraphs are getting shorter as I lose focus. He's singing "Heaven" by Bryan Adams. He'll be singing it to his girlfriend in the audience. It's country! I love it love it love it. I think Jimmie was right about him having extra motivation; this feels like a 90.


Jacob Moran is singing "In My Blood" by Shawn Mendes, and he stuns Jimmie in auditions. 94.


Huntergirl is singing "Banjo" by Rascall Flatts. She's amazed by Hawaii, too. She's not sure what she'll do with her hands since she isn't going to be playing her guitar this time. It was good but I've completely mentally checked out of this episode; I think it's like an 80.


And we finish up the night with Nicolina--guess it's time for me to check back in. She's singing Sia's "Elastic Heart". It is, of course, amazing. Luke says he always thought she was one of the best, if not the best, singer(s) in the competition. Lionel agrees. I agree. 100.

Edited by ScarletDevilCCX
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