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The Buzz with CCX - Season 21 Episode 7


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Sam Adams Cold Snap. The usual superlatives, both from the voiceover leading in and from Ryan. This year's first round is the "category challenge", where contestants choose where they want to see improvement--Confidence, Songwriting, and Stage Presence. But first, we're going to have a fourth Platinum Ticket winner, voted on by America from among three contestants during the AMAs. Elijah McCormick wins it. I think I like that? I have no time to check my notes, and frankly, there were so few people who truly stood out. Actually, it felt like there were also so few that didn't; it felt like every audition show only had like 10 contestants, which with five-and-a-half episodes means we theoretically should know almost all of the Top 48 and almost no one else. The alumni mentors are determined by which category you picked. Confidence is Clay and David, Songwriting is Catie and Phil, and Stage Presence is Jordin and Justin. Up first is Nutsa, singing "I Surrender". She's got power. Colin Stough picked confidence. He's singing "Stoned" by Whiskey Meyers. He still doesn't stand out. Also needing confidence is Sara Beth, 25, mother of three. Mom asks if she was the one that Katy made those controversial comments to, which frankly I don't even remember happening and only heard about later even though I've watched every episode. She's singing "Roxanne", and I don't think she's good enough...not that it matters because being away from her children, she realizes that this isn't what she wants. She misses them too much, so she's withdrawing from the competition. Again I have to hear about freaking Katy...I DON'T CARE! As much as the producers try to make this show about the judges, it shouldn't be about the judges.


The judges are trying to keep her from withdrawing. I don't think that's worthwhile. All three contestants we saw go through to the next round. Katy's still trying to encourage Sara Beth not to give up. She wishes her kids were a bit older, and says she's probably going to regret it when she gets home. She's leaving. We get a quick montage of people who are choosing categories. Marybeth Byrd is choosing Stage Presence. Well, I don't think confidence needed help; she's outstanding. I think I liked her in auditions too but names don't stick with me. Zachariah Smith, the burger cook from Amory, MS, is up next. He has three stepchildren, the oldest of which is only 9 years his junior. He's singing "Cold as Ice". He's got stage presence! He's one to watch for. Hannah Nicolaisen is sitting down with Catie Turner. I like this performance; it may not be the most technically stunning but it's got soul, which is what a singer-songwriter needs. All three of them go through.


Wé Ani is also singing an original song, and she's getting the audience involved on the chorus. She's working on Stage Presence. Now here is a memorable contestant--the dissonance between her singing and speaking voice Katy wonders if they're psyching out the Platinum Ticket winners. As Olivia Soli performs, Tyson Venegas was one of our Platinum Ticket winners, as was Cam Amen; Malik Heard is working on confidence. Kaeyra is working stage presence and singing "Black Hole Sun". Our last Platinum Ticket winner other than Elijah was Kaylin Hedges. I seem to remember liking Tyson and Kaylin; Cam was okay. Lyric Medeiros needed more grit. But she's gone too far towards "stage presence"; this is too Broadway. Olivia, Malik, and Kaeyra are all going through (and apparently so is Wé); Lyric is heading home.


"Youngest hopefuls". Paige Anne, 16, and Maddie Grace, 17, are both working on their confidence. Paige was a big fan of David since she was a little girl. David thinks it's ironic that he's mentoring contestants on confidence since that's what he lacked during his own run. Mckayla Stacy, 16, is up next, and her connection to Idol goes back to before her birth; her father finished 6th in Season Six. She's being mentored by that season's winner, Jordin Sparks, who babysat for her. Haven Madison, 16, chose songwriting to work on; she was one of the ones who was up for the last Platinum Ticket. She's being mentored by Phil Phillips, who says that he wrote songs while he was on the show--I believe the first time an original was done on an official performance night was Season 12, one year after Phil's win. Haven is singing another original, "I Needed You", that she wrote about her brother who was dealing with depression (he's recovering). She has the audience in tears. She'd better go through. Maddie and Mckayla are going home, but Paige Anne and Haven are moving on.


21-year-old day care worker Matt Williams is up next. He's working on stage presence; I'm not sure that was necessary? I liked his audition and I like him now. He worked with Jordin. Oliver Steele is singing Chris Stapleton's "Broken Halos". Both go through along with some other people. Fire is up next. She's working with Clay on confidence. We don't see her performance before break.


She's singing "You Say" by Lauren Daigle. Next up is Lucy Love, who is also a mother. She's working on stage presence with Jordin. She's singing "To Make You Feel My Love". It was incredible and Katy declares the show over. Both Lucy and Fire are through to the next round.


"Pressure" by David Bowie and Queen is playing as we come back, and we get Brayden Phillips forgetting what he was working on (confidence). Mariah Faith was the one who got an opportunity to open for Noah Thompson and Huntergirl, and she's working on stage presence. She slays it. Also working on stage presence is Trey...something or other, I was busy dealing with my sudden inability to actually type anything on the forum; I'm literally typing this up in another program and copy-pasting to the topic. He's the one who survived a school shooting. We won't be seeing his performance until after the break, hence my inability to catch the last name in this paragraph. ...And it's working again. So just everything from the H in Brayden's last name up until the word "paragraph".


Trey Louis is singing "Vienna" by Billy Joel. Interesting choice. Mariah and Trey are both going through. Emma Busse is working on confidence and she's changing up her singing style. I don't know what I think about this. Well, the audience loves it. So does Katy, and we don't even get a cut to a line before hearing she's going forward.


Montage of people who aren't quite making the improvement. Ashley Tankard, Kamron Lawson. We're getting a bit more focus on Megan Danielle, who is working on confidence. She's the one that Lauren Daigle surprised at her audition. Luke says they might need to find another Platinum Ticket. Megan is advancing; Ashley and Kamron aren't. Others going home are Ophrah Kablon, Danny Epp, Owen Eckhart, and Keelin.


Dawson Wayne, 21, from San Antonio, TX, is doing an original called "Sour Skies". Kaya Monet, who made it to Hollywood two years ago and dueted with Willie Spence, is working on confidence and is doing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going". I'm sure she won't be going just yet; she was amazing. Up last is Iam Tongi, who says he's going to try to keep his eyes open while he sings. Ryan asks what he sees when he closes his eyes, and he says his dad--who died a couple months before his audition. He's going to be performing "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt. Mom is convinced that Lionel let out a laugh right as Iam started. Everyone seems to love him, though. All three are moving forward. End show; Duets are up next...and we're back to giving the contestants their choice!

Edited by ScarletDevilCCX
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