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The Buzz with CCX - Season 20 Episode 12


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I'm still recovering from that cold I mentioned on Monday, but I had a beer earlier; I'll probably get another later in the show. I get downstairs just in time to see the start of Emyrson Flora's song, I didn't catch the title but it was a Demi Lovato song...oh no, but I was concerned enough with starting the topic that I wasn't able to really pay enough attention to get a good rating! Well, I definitely had some thoughts; her voice sounds really rich tonight. I think I'll just go with a 66 and not think too hard about it. Mike Parker is the second to make the Top 20. He's singing "Chasing After You" by...someone featuring Maren Morris; I didn't actually have my glasses on but I was able to make out the general shape of the letters for the featured artist. He's really good; I'll give him an 81. Katy's praise is effusive, and his responses are as practiced as a pro athlete's. I like him!


Third to join the Top 20 is Tristen Gressett! His bit has him remarking how he's starting to feel like a rock star, sometimes even he forgets he's still a high school senior. He's singing "Sacrifice" by the Weeknd. The vocals are...good enough. His stage presence is off the charts. Average it out and it's a 76. Luke earns the crowd's boos for pointing out the vocal deficiencies. Katy confesses she was a bit scared of him at first, comparing him to Jack Nicholson in The Shining or Joaquin Phoenix in Joker. She also mentions Michael Jackson, who Tristen does cite as one of his influences for his stage moves, along with James Brown. Sage is up fourth, singing "Rhiannon" by Fleetwood Mac, and she looks and sounds like she's come straight out of that era. Lionel agrees with me. That's a good thing. 89. And...the voting lines aren't open yet! I'm so proud of the producers. Yeah, there it goes, voting opens at the end of the East Coast broadcast.


Ah, yes, it's the group from night one first. Jay, the Platinum Ticket winner from Austin, is the fifth to be advanced. He's singing "You Know I'm No Good" by Amy Winehouse. As expected, it's amazing. 96. Luke comments on how his video showed him working out. We go to commercial, and Ryan tells us that defending champ Chayce Beckham will be performing before results continue.


Sam Adams Cold Snap. Chayce's song is called "Doin' It Right", and of course it's wonderful but I don' have to rate this. Apparently Chayce has been fishing Luke's bass lake on a regular basis. Sixth to make the Top 20 is Nicolina, who's been getting a ton of buzz. She's singing "Edge of Seventeen" by Stevie Nicks, and she's making it her own, and then she hits the chorus and it's got that rock sound. It leaves me wanting more, but in a good way; 91.


Jacob Moran is the seventh to make it through. He previously made Hollywood in Season 17, but fell short of the Top 24. He's singing "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" by Stevie Wonder...that's three oldies out of seven so far on an open night. This one is...lacking. 48; I've gotta give him points for those held notes, but this just wasn't awe-inspiring. The judges have nothing but praise, though. Eighth is Huntergirl, who works with veterans, helping them heal their PTSD by putting their experiences into song. She comes from a military background. And she's doing an original song, "Heartbreak Down". And it shows; she seems so natural on stage, the same feeling I got from Chayce's performance. 100 it is, and even that feels weak; I might have to lower everyone else's scores...nah, there could be another 100-worthy song that falls below this. 102 it is! Lionel says that the song's so relatable that he found himself singing the second verse before remembering that this was an original song that he'd never heard before.


Ninth to make it through is Elli Rowe. I'm not sure if I thought that was deserved, but at least she's cute. Well, that's part of what I've got my topics for, to serve as my own notes. She's doing "Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane, a song I absolutely love, and this is not starting out good. This is such a powerful song, and she's putting her biggest power into the wrong notes. 28. Well, at least she's cute. Oh, the Top 14 is tomorrow night! Scarlet, Dan, and Danielle are the three remaining members of Group 1. I check my notes, and Dan is the one I'd pick of those three though I'd accept Scarlet; Danielle was who I considered to be the worst of the night last week.


And the last night one advancer to the Top 20 is...Dan Marshall! Good work, America. He's singing "I've Got Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks and involving the audience. What a performer! 94. Interestingly enough, when I was taking down notes on everyone's numbers, I initially marked Jay down as #4 before correcting it to #1. My two lowest scores last Sunday were Danielle and Jay...and 4 was Scarlet's number, which means I subconsciously replaced the number of the person who made it through with a performance that I thought wasn't deserving with the one of the person who got sent home with a performance I thought was deserving, without even knowing whose number it was or that they'd be sent home. Alejandro Aranda will be performing after the break.


He's performing his original "The Darkness", credited to his DJ name Scarypoolparty. As always, he's an artist. Love his guitar work--and yes, his vocals, too. To all those who criticize his mumbly vocals, remember that shoegazing is a genre. First to join the Top 20 from group 2 is Ava Maybee. She's singing "Anyone" by Demi Lovato. A bold choice. I don't think she was able to carry it, but her 58 is more than enough to render Elli's presence in this competition completely superfluous. The judges praise her for going out of her comfort zone. Ryan asks Ava about thrifting, and says he loves the idea of Lionel thrifting. It's a date, maybe.


Allegra Miles is next into the Top 20. She's singing "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty. All I can say is "Wow". This is the 100 that I was anticipating when I broke the limit for Huntergirl! Noah Thompson is also going to the Top 20. He's singing "Falling" by Harry Styles. I'll give this a 60; it was better than last week, but he's still just wholly unremarkable.


Leah Marlene is also advancing. She talks about how she hit a wall in college and got kind of got depressed, and how music helped her through, and says she's going to sing a vulnerable song. It's "Heal" by Tom Odell. And I once again realize I was wrong to just put her in the "quirky" bucket. 98, and remember, I usually don't like slow songs. Katy wonders what happened to the contestants that they've improved this much this quickly, and Luke says this feels more like a finale with the level of competition.


Fifth from this group is Christian Guardino. He talks about being born with a condition that leads to inevitable blindness, and then at age 13, receiving an experimental gene therapy that restored his sight. He's singing John Lennon's "Imagine". I've finished my beer and have switched to cola. Holy crap that falsetto. Christian is no David Archuleta, but he's still a perfectly adequate 74. I don't even notice it, but my mom, who has been legally blind in one eye since age 6, notices that his eyes still seem to droop, and wonders if the bright lights of the stage bother him. After the break, Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips.


P-Squared is doing his new song "Love Like That". They did a cutaway to Fritz Hager during the performance, who I think cited Phil as his inspiration? And Fritz is the next contestant to sing. He's quit his job as a security guard. He's singing "when the party's over" by Billie Eilish. Dimitri Graham, he isn't. 46. The judges seem moved by the emotional performance, and I must be a little affected because I just accidentally doubled both the o and the m in "performance". Damn, the judges are going all out pimping this performance; I almost want to dock it further, but I have integrity. Though not too much to extend the "full votes" range to everyone who scored in the seventies.


Cold medicine. 😺 Katyrah Love is through. She's singing "Dream" by Bishop Briggs. 95Luke says "Your last name is very properly there." We're going to commercial again already.


Cameron Whitcomb is the next one through. I'm not happy about this; he was my low man last week, and my second-lowest is someone who I really liked up until then who hasn't been put through. He's doing "Changes" by Black Sabbath...Black Sabbath? Okay, whatever. He's still not hitting the mark; 22. Luke compliments him anyway. They feel he...wait, butt tattoo? I didn't even catch that. I'm going to invoke the Ace Young Rule and move this down to a 9. But Cadence Baker did make it through! I'm relieved; she had an off week last week but she was one of my favorites in Hollywood. She got to video chat with Tori Kelly. She's doing "Train Wreck" by James Arthur, and I can immediately tell that she's rebounded. 93. Two people left for one spot...Sir Blayke and Lady K. Oh shit Sir's not safe yet! I was so relieved about Cadence being safe that I forgot that Sir hadn't been rendered safe. Let me just check my notes...OH SHIT LADY K WAS THE ONE I GAVE THE 100 TO!


Either way, someone who deserved to stay will go home. It's Sir Blayke; Lady K goes through to the Top 20. Technically speaking the superior choice, but it should've never come down to those two, not when Cameron and Noah are still in this. She's singing Rihanna's "Love On the Brain", which is quickly becoming an oversung song on Idol despite making its debut in the ABC era. And in that context, it's only a 72--just good enough to get my votes again this week.

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