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The Buzz with CCX - Season 20 Episode 16


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Irish whiskey on the rocks. Another typically bizarre opening, with the three judges finding the magic mirror from Snow White, which names Luke the fairest of them all, then Lionel the most talented, and then when Katy says that must make her the smartest, it claims that's Ryan...and then Katy goes behind the curtain, Wizard of Oz style, to find Ryan back there. Then we open on a group number: "We Don't Talk About Bruno", from Encanto. I called it! Granted, it was obvious that it was going to show up somewhere since it's the biggest hit from the newest Disney movie, and it's a big group number so it fits better than if someone tried to sing it as a solo. Two of the actors from the movie itself also join them. This year's Katy Perry costume is Ariel, complete with mermaid tail, which means the other judges had to wheel her out on a dolly. They finally cut away from the judges for Ryan to start introducing the top 10...and Katy tips over, leading to Luke laughing at her. Top ten have the numbers 1-10. Derek Hough is tonight's mentor. Lady K is up first, and everyone gets surprised with a guest at Disneyland--for Lady K, it's her mentor, Kareem. She's singing "How Far I'll Go" from Moana, one of the Disney Night staples. From behind, she's not that far from mermaid status either. I've mentioned before that Lady K has a very wide variance for me--she's been my best of the night before, but she's also had some performances that I felt should've gotten her sent home. Tonight, she's on. 91. She made it her own just enough to keep it from getting stale.

 

Also joining us tonight is famed Muppet drummer, Animal from Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. Noah Thompson is joined at Disneyland by his wife and son, as well as his friend Arthur, who signed him up for the auditions, which is fitting because Noah's dedicating "You Got A Friend in Me" to Arthur. It's kind of also a Disney Night staple, because Disney's not exactly friendly to country singers. Wait, is Noah a country singer? I forget sometimes. He's kind of pseudo-country, just like this song. Which, of course, makes it a perfect fit. I always hesitate to give the first singer of the night a super high score because I'm setting myself up to have to break the scale later, and honestly, I felt like it was very possible, as good as Lady K was, that she'd be far surpassed. And here's a truly on-point performance, much more so than that one, that still doesn't have the "wow" factor that makes it unbreakable. I give it a 95, but it's the type of 95 that seems like it could facilitate a 120 showing up later in the night.

 

Third is Emyrson Flora, singing the theme from Onward--"Carried Me With You". Also, before she even takes the stage, my opinion of her has shot up, because her first fuzzy memories of watching Idol were Season 11 where she was a Skylar Laine fan. Back then, American Idol had its own official forums, and I was the OP for Skylar's fan club topic, even created a Twitter account to spread the word. I'm sure I'd have still ended up on Twitter eventually, but maybe not, my opinion of Twitter was fairly low at the time. So you could definitely make the case that Skylar Laine is the reason I'm on Twitter. Oh, nd this performance was good; I was definitely right that I blundered heavily by giving out a 90+ so early. "100", I guess, but honestly these ratings feel incredibly high. I mean, Noah's and Emyrson's do, but Lady K's rating feels deserved despite her still being the worst of the night.

 

Huntergirl's up fourth, singing "I See the Light" from Tangled. And she seems to have a celebrity crush on Derek. Her younger sister Rylan is her surprise guest, and wow, I can see why Hunter doesn't use her last name. Well, crisis averted for now; this is only a 68. Actually, that might be exactly the performance we needed to drag the curve down. We shall see. She's very country. We've got two contestants after the next commercial break.

 

Miss Piggy has taken Katy's place at the judges' table, but now we've got four people there. She says she wants to be a judge, but reassures Katy that she wouldn't take it from her. Katy says that Ryan's awfully busy flying coast to coast and Miss Piggy could take one of his jobs like hosting the show; Miss Piggy says she'll leave it and give Kelly Ripa a call. Jay's mom is here. Jay's singing "Remember Me" from Coco, because of course someone has to. And we don't have to drag our starting trio down just yet, because this is a 22! Leah's dad surprises her at Disneyland. She's doing "When She Loved Me" from Toy Story 2 and accompanying herself on piano...or not. It's beautiful, but only an 85 for me.

 

Tomorrow is Idol's Platinum celebration, featuring duets from some of Idol's favorite contestants. Nicolina's sisters Alessia and Isabella are there for her. And Nicolina is the first contestant to sing a villain song on Disney Night! She's singing "Poor Unfortunate Souls" from The Little Mermaid. It's a little cheesy, but isn't it supposed to be? Katy,in character as Ariel, looks appropriately horrified. Lionel says it might be the best Disney Night ever, and Katy says Nicolina stole the show. I give it an 89, because it was a bit campy, but the scenery-chewing is appropriate.

 

Miss Piggy's in the contestant lounge now. Mike Parker is up eighth, singing "You'll Be In My Heart" from Tarzan. He chose it to represent his mom, who's battling leukemia. His parents join him at Disneyland. And suddenly there's something else that might drag the curve down--Mike beating Emyrson for best of the night while not beating Dimitri Graham for best performance of this song on Disney Night. ...Nope, not a worry; he beat Dimitri easily, and he's not going to drag the curve down. 110 completely deserved!

 

Up ninth is Christian Guardino, which means Fritz is singing last, which I think means I can lock in my votes. Christian's singing "Circle of Life". Derek gets his friend Michael Bublé on the phone. This is already looking like a disaster. He's going full-on Elton with the oversized glasses and colorful jacket. And wow, he's actually much better than he was in rehearsal! 97. Luke calls him "Christian Gonna Need a Security Guardino". ...Wait, even if Fritz blows it, Huntergirl's guaranteed in my Bottom Three tonight, and we're losing three!

 

Fritz is a big Star Wars fan, and he's excited to hug Chewbacca. He's singing "Go The Distance" from Hercules. While accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. Well, he's clearly making it his own; that's not the original tempo. ...Damnit, it's another showstopper. 105. Katy again reminds America that "your favorites are not safe", just like last week.

 

The first to make the Top 7 is Leah. Good; I had her in my bottom three for tonight alone but she's still my #1 for full season. Jay's second, and even he looks shocked. Noah is the third, and we could be in trouble, especially with Fritz the fourth to safety. Huntergirl is fifth, and sixth is Nicolina. Finally, it's Christian. That sends Mike, Lady K, and Emyrson home. I'm most disappointed about Mike, but I'm most surprised that Jay's still here. Was it another lopsided grouping? Jay needed a save to reach the Top 14, and now he's Top 7. But if all five of the safe contestants from his group are still there, it's understandable. ...Never mind; the two groups was the cutdown from 24 (actually 23) to 20. So we've got four of America's Top Ten gone before Jay.

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