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The Buzz with CCX - Season 21 Episode 13


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In the closest this topic has ever been to actually being sponsored, my mother bought the new Simply Mixology Strawberry Guava Mojito a mere day before I'm scheduled to be promoting it (yes, even though the shoutouts I give in this topic are unpaid, I actually do promote food and beverages for a living)--it's a mixer, not an alcoholic drink; Malibu Rum is the alcohol. The first person to earn a spot in the Top 20 is Zachariah Smith--and he's got his own sad story now. While he himself was safely in Hollywood when it struck, his hometown of Amory, MS was recently devastated by a tornado. He's singing "I Want to Know What Love Is" by Foreigner. ...I'll probably have to make more snap decisions on whether to vote for someone since the numbers are still all shuffled up by performance order last week. I...don't think Zachariah will be getting my votes. He's a perfectly decent 74, but I'm a generous enough grader that a 4-star performance usually isn't enough. But I'll keep the number 6 in mind in case there are a few 1-star stinkers that force me to start voting for anyone above par. Second into the Top 20 is Matt Wilson. They show the kids at the daycare where he works, because in the absence of tragedy, heartwarming will do. He's singing "Say You Won't Let Go" by James Arthur, and it's...better than Zachariah. 78. His number is 3.


Nailyah Serenity is the third to be safe, and this is definitely a good thing. She's an astrologer. Yes, it's a pseudoscience, but this is a singing competition; there's no shortage of quirky people in the music industry, Katy Perry among them. She's singing "Baby Love" by Mother's Finest. Never heard of them, but we've got our first 5-star rating of the night: 84. The judges highlight her star quality--everyone here can sing. Her number is 10, and I have to take note of that, too, because voting doesn't open until the end of the show! Warren Peay is the fourth to be safe. He was an alcoholic, but he started singing in the church. He's singing "Up There Down Here" by Zach Williams. It's a quintessential country performance. 88. His number is 9. I'm sure they'll show all the numbers again at the end of the show, but they might not show them for long and I have ADHD so I'm going to continue writing down the numbers for everyone I want to vote for, or might want to vote for. Ryan comes out with a fake beard.


Kaeyra is the fifth to be safe--Polish-American; born in the latter to two immigrant parents. She's singing Lewis Capaldi's "Bruises", sitting at the piano. And wow, those pipes! Her number is 4, and her performance number is 97. There were a few moments that were a bit off, but it was so impressive regardless. Only one contestant before another commercial this time. ...Yeah, sounds about right; we've had five performances and we'll probably be about 45 minutes into the 180-minute show by the time we get back from commercial.


Mariah Faith is up sixth. She lives in a house in her parents' backyard, with her grandparents just two minutes away. I missed the song title. It's a good country performance, 66. I'll keep the number 7 up there just in case but I doubt I'll be voting for her.


We've got a guest performer, and he's got both a new single and a very old one: with "I Second That Emotion", it's Smokey Robinson! He follows it up with "If We Don't Have Each Other", the new song. Then we continue on to the next contestant, Iam Tongi. I think it's good for me that this is a three-hour show, because there's no time for me to go down a rabbit hole afterwards before I just go to bed. Iam's singing "The Winner Takes It All" by ABBA. It's good, raw. 82. His number is 13, right? I wasn't actually looking but I thought I remembered him ending the show last week. ...He was also the 24th person into the Top 26--they told him he was in, then told the other two "yeah you're in too". So he's basically been the finale twice already--if not three times, since I think he was also the final contestant of an audition show. Yeah, he's number 13. Well, if he is getting extra-favorable treatment, they at least picked a good one. Ryan fails at math, saying we've only had 6 finalists named though he correctly says we've got three more from this group to reveal. ...I'll need to actually vote after the show. It's fine, it's fine... I'm so tired...


Oh, the Top 12 is 10 of our picks and 2 of the judges'. I was guessing 12 of ours and then the judges would choose 3-4 more. Haven Madison is up eighth, singing "Mean Girls" by Leanne Crawford. 55, and the first contestant that I unambiguously don't want to vote for. Her range is impressive but it's just falling flat for me. Though for all I know that's just the alcohol which might make it really tough for anyone after this. Oliver Steele is up ninth. Yeah, unsurprising. He's singing an original called "Too Soon". I give it a 68--again, it's not bad, but it's not impressing me. ...Uh-oh. I just looked at my notes for last week's show. Emma's definitely gone, and hopefully Elise is too...but Pjae and Lucy Love are the other two in danger! A major loss either way. I actually somehow forgot to give Emma a rating at all, but my comments suggest I wasn't a fan. Zachariah was actually the other one that was definitely in my bottom three, with Oliver the one who would be bottom three if Emma isn't. ...Actually I just remembered, I normally like Elise, I just didn't think she did well last week. Ugh.


..And Lucy Love is the one who makes it through! She's singing an original song called "Boulders". Reminder that she comes from poverty. Her songwriting needs work, but her voice is beautiful as ever; her number is 12 for voting and 76 for performance, but it's being held down by the poor lyricsmithing; she gets my vote ahead of Matt and probably even Iam.


Hannah Nicolaisen is the first member of group two to make it in. She's singing Queen's "Somebody to Love". ...Interesting dress. Nice performance. 83. She's getting my vote. Her number's 20.


Next in is Olivia Soli. I don't think I'm happy about that? Eh, I gave her a decent enough rating last week. Better than Hannah, actually, who I've liked for a while. She's singing "I Surrender" by Celine Dion. High degree of difficulty. She passes with flying colors. 100. Her number is 23. The judges also comment on how she's challenging herself and how she definitely doesn't need a confidence boost.


Marybeth Byrd is the next to be safe, right after her outfit caught my eye on the couch. She's singing an original called "People Pleaser". Her number is 16, which I think is relevant because this being an original is very important. This is something I'd listen to. 92. Understated, but beautiful. Michael Williams is up next, and his parents documented his music from when he was little, and he's been keeping it going the whole way. He's very photogenic, too, so he could be a contender. He's singing "Lose You to Love Me" by Selena Gomez, and it is indeed our first weak performance of the night. Guess last week was a fluke. 34.


Noah Thompson and Huntergirl are releasing a single together, "One Day Tonight", and they perform it now. It is very country and very good. Paige Ann is the next safe one...That was a misstep, right? ...She was in my bottom three, but she wasn't bad, and besides one of my other bottom three was one I've liked for a while. She's singing "Say Something" by A Great Big World, but she's completely rearranged it. Her number's 15; her being here, despite being the result of one of the original Top 26 bowing out, is no mistake. 95. ...I just got light-headed. The judges admit that they were wrong to cut her, calling her their best vocalist in this age category.


Nutsa is the next one to be safe. She's singing "Unbreak My Heart", and it's not the power performance she gave last week, but it's still damn good. ...Nevermind it is another power performance. 99. Her number is 24.


Tyson Venegas is the next one safe. Home movies of a very young Tyson singing. He used to use the coffee table as a stage and his mother was always afraid he'd fall. He struggled to speak, using music to communicate. He's singing an original called "180". 103. We hear an "I love it" from Lionel mid-performance. This is a great job. His number is 25. Tyson is a winner in my book.


Megan Danielle is safe. Her dad left their family--the segment is backed by Kelly Clarkson's "Piece By Piece". She's singing "Holy Water" by We The Kingdom. I considered both of those names a sign that I probably wouldn't like it, but nope, this is good. Less gospel and more Christian rock. ...Damnit I thought I was doing good avoiding the superlatives but I've got a new best of the night so it's a 105! Luke says it's the best performance he's heard from her this season and says that there's no one out there that sounds like her. Oh come on Luke we literally had a Cyrus on the show last week! Colin Stough is also safe. He's singing "Pretty Heart" by...nope, already forgot. It's good though it doesn't wow me. 58. I've been looking over both the Showstopper and Top 26 topics and I realize that I'd conflated Dawson Wayne's missionary work with Michael Williams' pretty-boy looks since I didn't like either, which I bring up because it's down to Dawson, We Ani, Malik Heard, and Elijah McCormick for the last spot, and if We makes it through, I am perfectly fine with the three people leaving although Malik was good. If We leaves, even if it's Malik who stays, it's a travesty.


It is We. She tells a story about a little girl in the audience in Hawai'i who was signing everything the judges said to her mother, and when she saw that, she had to go up and talk to her, in ASL--her brother lost his hearing for a couple of years so she learned ASL to talk to him, and she stresses that music isn't just for those who can hear. She sings "Skyfall" by Adele and it's absolutely the perfect closer for the show, I give it 108. Her number is 17. Let's go.

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