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The Buzz with CCX - Season 21 Episode 11


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Sam Adams Cold Snap again. I honestly don't know if there's a point in doing numerical values. WNTS is over, right? At the very least, I would absolutely love to see them handle Season 19's CSAB what with the real-life runner-up being, you know...dead. Allen Stone is the celebrity mentor again. Elise Kristine kicks us off with Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out For A Hero". It's...not good. 28 to start us off, because given my usual penchant for generous rankings, it's much easier to adjust upwards if there are some truly Sanjayan train wrecks than to shove everything into an increasingly narrow band when I inevitably want to put two contestants close to each other only for others to land between them. Oliver Steele is up second, singing "Better Together" by Jack Johnson. Katy says "way to pick a cool song", because we didn't have enough bad takes from the judges on Elise's performance; his performance itself was decent enough but the song was so milquetoast that I feel like it would've been impossible to even get to 4 stars...and it might've been tough to get it all the way down to 1 star, either, though I'm sure an Eddie Island would've found a way. 46.


Matt Wilson is up third with Dan + Shay's "Speechless", saying it reminds him of his wedding day. A good sign; he should be able to really connect with the song. And he does. 78.


Up fourth is Kaeyra, doing En Vogue's "Don't Let Go (Love)". Allen says it was his favorite song choice of all the contestants. It's now dark, because of course they can't be bothered to put the performances in chronological order even when it's impossible to hide it. She commands the stage though the vocals were a little lacking. 66. Luke says that America "always gets it right", which, no. Pjae's up fifth, doing Jill Scott's "Golden". I've never heard of Jill Scott but this song sounds like it could've been out of Genesis-era Sonic the Hedgehog so you've already won me over. Luckily, Pjae is every bit as good as the song is if not better. 91. Allen Stone's up next, covering his own Idol, Bob Marley, giving Pjae the realization that he technically just opened for Allen Stone.


After Allen Stone's performance, which is of course amazing, Zachariah Smith sings "Lucille" by Little Richard, because his Mamaw's name is Lucille. It is...good, I think? I mean props for the shout-out to Granny, but that's way too old a style of music to be singing on this show! 44.


Seventh is Mariah Faith, covering Chris Stapleton's "You Should Probably Leave". I love her outfit in her meeting with Allen Stone; her on-stage outfit, less so. But she nailed the most important part, which is singing well. 80.


Emma Busse is up eighth, singing Sam Smith's "Lay Me Down". She says that the first time she sang this song, she was just a kid and it wasn't any good, so this is a personal growth song for her. Also, she's been to Aulani before. ...She's never going to have a subtle performance, is she? She's just standing in front of the microphone, which would normally be the sign of a lack of stage presence, but because she's Broadway, it instead comes off as the emotional solo number. Katy is hearing colors or something, she's talking about Emma singing the notes between the colors of the rainbow. Yeah, we're definitely at the "America Votes" stage, where the judges are incapable of seeing any flaws in any contestant's performance.


Warren Peay is up ninth, singing...Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain"? Love the song, but that's not the contestant I would've expected to be singing it. Katy seems just as surprised by the song choice as I am. While he isn't able to go through with Allen Stone's choreography suggestion, he's incredible. 85. Katy unwittingly references the lyrics to the song about the new side to Warren, and he reveals that the hat's not just a good luck charm; it's got a picture of him and his girlfriend at the audition. Nailyah Serenity is singing "Loving You" by Minnie Riperton, taking the "singing the classics" crown away from Zachariah, except it's the type of classic that works. 97. Katy mispronounces Lionel's name and starts referencing her own songs' lyrics, and Nailyah reveals that her mother discovered her voice when she was singing while cleaning the cat's litter box. Okay, now I have even more respect for her; I can barely avoid holding my nose when cleaning the litter box.


Haven Madison grew up on a tour bus with her musician father. She's torn between Olivia Rodrigo's "traitor" and Zedd and Maren Morris's "The Middle", so she's pretty much already guaranteed herself a bad rating from me before even taking the stage--more so when Allen pushes her towards the latter. I love her outfit, though, especially the earrings. And she's actually made this song almost tolerable! 75, which is enough to get my vote because that translates to about a 95 on a song that I don't hate with the passion of a thousand burning suns.


Lucy Love is up twelfth, doing Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do with It?" Not exactly the best song to sing on Idol, historically speaking, but she does well. 87.


Hawaii's own Iam Tongi is singing "Don't Let Go" by Spawnbreezie, which he calls the quintessential island song. He's living his dream being on stage at Aulani. 82.

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