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The Buzz with CCX - Season 21 Episode 2


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This might not be the best write-up since I'm still recovering from COVID-19 and it's messing with my head. (Don't worry, the worst has passed. Tuesday and Wednesday were miserable.) Alanna something-or-another is leading us off, and she sings Katy Perry's "Firework". It's not great, but the judges see potential in her and put her through with some reviews containing actual constructive criticism.


John Wayne Hatfield is singing an original song called "Tell Me Ray", written about his grandfather who is accompanying him to the audition. Lucky for him, this isn't a songwriting competition; the lyrics are extremely basic but his voice is pure country. The judges seem to like his songwriting as well as his singing.


Ashley Tankard, 22, is from Durham, NC, and she's been trying out every year since she was 15. She's not bad, but she seems to be...oversinging? She's singing "You Broke Me First". The judges correctly identify her as having stage fright. We get a commercial before her verdict.


Katy seems to be fighting for her. Lionel says he's come to a conclusion, and that if she's fought this hard so far, she needs to fight like hell. She's going to Hollywood. Cody Winkler, 25, is from Marion, TX, and he's "finer than frog hair". Katy protests that frogs don't have hair, because she doesn't "get" Southernisms. He sings a capella, and it's not bad, but they want to hear it with some music. Luke gets up and starts playing his guitar. Katy says he's as authentic as it gets, though he should practice with a metronome. Lionel compares him to Willie Nelson, who he says "doesn't 'hit notes', he just sings what he wants". It's a yes from Lionel, a no from Katy, and he walks out of the room...with no golden ticket in his hand? I'm surprised! He takes it well though.


Matt Wilson, 21, is from Buffalo, NY, and he's a teacher's aide at a day care. He's married, and he credits his wife Melisa with rekindling his dreams. He's singing "For Tonight" by Giveon. Of course, he's soulful and smooth. He deserves to go through and does.


Kaylin Hedges, 15, is singing "I'm Already There" and dedicating it to her father who's stationed overseas. Is this the moment they previewed last week? Well, either way, she's killing it. Luke is impressed at how she navigated her falsettos, saying that at first he was worried that she was doing falsettos, that she wouldn't be able to go big, and then she went big. And then the judges have a surprise--a video message from her father. Except then they tell her to "take a look around", and there he is! And she says that that must've been what her mother was whispering about, but no, she has no idea! They have Kaylin bring her mom into the room, and pull the surprise all over again! And then Kaylin gets the Platinum Ticket, because of course they aren't going to have a soldier on active duty overseas come home for just anyone. Am I cynical for thinking that this could be patriotized?


Aiden Adair is 19 from Clover, SC.. He's nervous. He sings "Break My Heart Again" by Finneas, and yeah, he's way nervous. It's a no for me. But they let him sing another song, James Blunt's "Let It Go". It's much better, and will probably get him through, but I still don't think he's got it. He does go through.


We've got a contestant who makes diapers, which leads to Katy asking Lionel how many diapers he's ever changed, and eventually has both male judges learning how to change a diaper using a doll. Oh, and now we get a flashback to October 5, 2006, when eventual sixth-place finisher Phil Stacey got a call in the audition room that his wife was going into labor, and then he did his audition anyway. I'll give you one guess who our next contestant is. McKayla Stacey, 16, is singing "She Used to be Mine" by Sara Bareilles, with her father Phil accompanying her on piano. Of course, she's got a hell of a voice. Lionel thinks she wasn't doing a good enough job telling a story, like she was more focused on hitting the notes than "staying in character". The inexperience is showing. Luke says no, because she's a little young. Lionel says she's worth rolling the dice on. And Katy says...that she feels like McKayla was born for a moment like this. GDI Katy. McKayla goes through.


So yeah, being an "American" is no longer really a requirement to be an American Idol. We've got a Peruvian, a South African, a Grenadan, and all going through. And up next is Nutsa, from Tbilisi, Georgia. Luke makes a joke about also being from Georgia. She says she now lives in Dubai, which isn't exactly any closer to the USA than Georgia is. She's singing "Lady Marmalade", and it's pretty amazing (even if I think she started the word "real" in the chorus with a k). For her second song, she's doing Whitney Houston's "Greatest Love of All", and guess what--she's just as good on ballads as she is on up-tempo songs. My mother says she has what it takes to go all the way; I point out that while she's got the talent, this is still a competition voted on by the American public and she's not an American. She gets three yeses. Lionel refers to her as "J-Lo from Georgia".


Madison Neisus, 26, is jamming out on an electric guitar singing "Kids in America", and Katy rocks too hard and loses her extensions. Luke puts them on, and Katy asks Madison to let Luke borrow the guitar to sing "Achey Breaky Heart". Then Katy puts the extension on Lionel. We don't see Madison's verdict but it was probably a no; this was a prelude to the mullet being back. Our next mulleted contestant, 21-year-old Texan Trey Lewis, is a mattress salesman, and apparently customers ask him how well you can perform on a given bed...is that why there was a content warning coming out of the break? He's singing "Stone" by Whiskey Meyers. It's not bad--not an absolute home run, but good enough to go through. ...Oh. Nope, he's a school shooting survivor. Right, this is the last segment of the show. Katy lets out a profane outburst about how this country has *bleep* failed us, and how he should be here because he loves music, not because he went through this *bleep*, how he shouldn't have had to lose 8 friends. He goes through. So about my worries earlier about the right wing being able to parade the military out there? I had nothing to worry about. This is still a liberal network, and hearing that type of anti-gun message coming from such a strong Texan accent, this is still the left's show.

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