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The Buzz with CCX - Season 21 Episode 5


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At least, it had better be episode 5; I heard one of the radio personalities I listen to on my morning commute mention this season not on Monday, but on Tuesday. The Melick's Hard Cider again. The voiceover over the AFHV credits mentions "more favorites return".


Was Las Vegas the first audition? They're acting like this is the start of auditions. Mariah Faith, 21, is from Conway, SC, which she describes as a small town...ah, well, compared to Baltimore, where she used to be, I guess it is. Her stepfather moved the family down there to foster her musical talent when she was 8. Then in 2019 he died of a heart attack. She's singing "Whenever You Come Around" by Vince Gill. Katy feels she's playing it too safe. She suggests another song, but Katy has a suggestion of her own, Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me". It's decent, but off-key. Katy seems to just be looking for a reason to say yes. Mariah eventually gives it to her, and she gets three yeses. ...And they're so confident in her, despite not giving her the Golden Ticket, that they've pulled strings to let her open for Season 20's Noah Thompson and Huntergirl at their Las Vegas show the next day.


We come back to see the performance in question...and damn, she sounds better than she did in the audition! Next up is Nailyah Serenity, of Charlotte, NC, who is incredibly...flamboyant? I think that's a good word. She's singing "Oh My Man" by Barbra Streisand--"from Funny Girl," my mom adds, because she'd know. Well, I'm a fan. She gets through. We get some "coming up", including puppies.


Kayleigh Clark, 17, is from Sumrall, MS, and she loves glitter and pink, but doesn't mind getting dirty either as she's the daughter of a chicken farmer. Luke asks her if she hunts and she says she killed her first buck with a crossbow last year. Katy is stunned. Kayleigh's singing "The Dance" by Garth Brooks...it's not good. Luke and Lionel politely clap, and Katy says it was a bit quiet. Her second song is "I Surrender" by Hillsong Worship...it's still not good. Lionel likes her potential and says they can coach her on it. Luke says that she could be Top 10 material. Katy says that for some reason, it's not filling the room. Luke says yes, and Lionel says yes, and Katy does look a bit shocked and says that it's a no from her because she just doesn't think Kayleigh has that next gear, but it doesn't matter because she's going to Hollywood. ...How are these commercials always synchronized?


Tori Green, 20, from Corona, CA, is singing Carrie Underwood's "Cry Pretty". I thought it was good, but Luke doesn't think it was good enough. But the other two overrule him...and apparently that's the montage--Luke's been the tough judge to impress this year. Pjae from Lawton, OK, is flamboyant and it got him bullied in school, and he used to overeat to cope and had been 400 lbs. at one point. He's singing "Mirror" by Madison Ryann Ward. Have they given out the Platinum Ticket for this audition site yet? Because I'd give him a Platinum. Oh, wait, they show him at a camera angle that prominently shows the Platinum Ticket still on the wall. Is that foreshadowing? I think Lionel seems towards it. Luke said he's been having trouble saying yes because he's looking for someone like Pjae...I think. Maybe not? He seems to be getting on Katy's case for "sympathy votes". Well, all three judges say yes. He's taking a regular gold, though. We are 4 for 4 on switching to TruTV at the start of the commercial and seeing a commercial there, too.


Warren Peay, 23, from Vanburg, SC, is an appliance technician. He's also a worship leader at Colston Branch Baptist Church. He has a long beard and longer hair. He's singing Zach Williams' "To The Table", with guitar. He'll get through I'm sure. Lionel calls him Top Ten material.


Carina Deangelo, 25, is from Kailua, HI, and she and her mother own a meatball company called "My Balls"; her mother claims to be 29 and to have had Carina when she was 4, and tbh she does look more like an older sister than a mother. Johnny Knox, 26, is from Huntsville, AL. Both of them make it through; I don't feel Johnny deserved it. Paige Anne, 16, from Idaho Falls, ID, brings the judges snowcones. She's singing "What About Us" by P!nk, and she's got Top Ten potential--my words, not the judges'. And she gets to meet her Idol idol, Season 7's David Archuleta. Katy said it took a bit for her to get good, and they're not sending 50-50s through. Lionel correctly diagnoses it as nerves. He says yes, Katy says no, and Luke puts her through.


Montage of noes. One guy puts a trombone solo in his audition. Ophrah Kablon, 20, of Clio, SC, is singing "Baby, I Love You" by Aretha Franklin and she's got it. And she is going through.


"Diamonds in the rough" montage. Kamron Lawson, 21, is from Beckley, WV, and this is his first time out of state. He's singing a-ha's "Take On Me", and wow, he hits the low notes and he hits the falsetto! Despite Katy marveling at his range, Luke calls it "safe", and he's going to be doing "Truly" by Lionel Richie, but before we can hear it, it's already time for another commercial. Wait, last time I flipped over it was halftime, how are we this deep into the second half and how did FDU actually come back to take the lead?! Oh, they conveniently show a graphic that tells me exactly how it happened. Go Knights!


I'm not sure about this performance, but I'll defer to my mother, since as soon as the song was announced she said that this was her first dance with my father at their wedding. ...Unfortunately, she seems preoccupied. Oh, wait, there we go: "you blew the words, but whatever". Lionel says it's a tough song, but the fact that he tried, no one's done that in front of him on TV before. Katy feels that the three of them are intimidating Kamron and takes a chance. Lionel thinks he needs experience...but it's a yes, and Luke agrees! Owen Eckhardt, 19, from Broken Arrow, OK, but currently living in Stillwater as a veterinary student at Oklahoma State University. He's singing "Something in the Orange" by Zach Bryan, accompanying himself not only on guitar but also harmonica. ...Where did Katy get a puppy? Oh, wow, Katy and Lionel brought their dogs to the auditions! And we've got the preview for our finale. Single mother, 18 when she got pregnant.


Fire, 22, from Lawton, OK, has a four-year-old daughter named Majah. Katy asks if her name is really Fire, and she says it's her stage name. She says she's a dancer, and when Katy asks her to elaborate, she admits she's a stripper. Her mother was in and out of drugs, so at a young age, she was put into state custody. She uses the word "Indian" but I'm guessing she means "Native American"? She's singing "Talking to the Moon" by Bruno Mars. She deserves a golden ticket. Katy tries to push more out of her and ends up pushing out a voice crack. Luke gives her a no. Lionel does the same. Majah seems ready to grab her mommy a golden ticket...yeah, she does. Katy says Fire doesn't deserve three noes...oh wow. Katy tells Fire that they're going to be in Nashville in a month and that she wants to give Fire a second chance. I thought it strange that the show-ender wasn't getting through. She'll get through, right? Because we don't have enough time to find out tonight. Next Sunday is the final audition episode of the season, and we're reminded that there's still a Platinum Ticket left.

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