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The Buzz with CCX - Season 22 Episode 1

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Oh hey, we're back. I completely forgot that it was coming back today, so I've already had my drink for the night; 19 Crimes Cab Sauv. The auditions are in the judges' hometowns: Santa Barbara, CA; Leesburg, GA; and Tuskegee, AL. A bit odd having two so close to each other, but okay. First up is footage from the Santa Barbara auditions. Mackenzie Sol, 23, is from Las Vegas, but was originally from Newcastle, England. He's a TikTok content creator, more comedy but he wants to let people know he's a singer too. He's singing "Bring it on Home to Me" by Sam Cook. He's good--not outstanding, but I wouldn't disagree with the judges if they sent him to Hollywood. The judges are a bit more hyperbolic, though, saying he "could be top ten." They surprise him with his mum coming, and he starts crying.


Tuskegee now. First person there is Triston Harper from McIntosh, AL, age 15. Luke says he's been out-countried by a 15-year-old. Oh, he's Choctaw! I put him on light-skinned black. By age 11, he and his mom had to leave McIntosh and became homeless because his stepfather was abusive. Yeah, he's got the story to be a country artist alright. And the voice. He's doing "Cover Me Up" by Jason Isbell. He goes through.


Montage, and then we're in Los Angeles. Kennedy Reid is 23 but she looks much older--too much make-up, IMO, though the fact that her "bestie" is clearly old enough to be her grandmother doesn't help. She's a mortician from New Albany, IN. Ah, she was going to be a cosmotologist. She's singing "River Deep, Mountain High". I'm not a fan. The judges are. She goes through.


They're out on the Flint River, Luke taking the other two judges fishing. Katy doesn't see the appeal. Luke mentions that he's not the only connection Leesburg has to American Idol, as it's also the hometown of Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips. Meggie Iyer, 18, is from Carmel, IN, and she's singing "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt. She seems a bit nervous but she has a good voice and good energy. Yeah, she's got an amazing voice. Then a table falls apart or something? Luke's iced tea spilled all over the floor, and possibly on Meggie's golden ticket. Another commercial; that's how it usually is. They stretched out the audition episodes beyond what they had on FOX despite almost completely doing away with showing people who get rejected.


We get our first no, but it goes by quickly. Next up is Ajii ??? (It sounded like he said "Ajia Fish", but they went the mononymic route on-screen) from Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY, the nighttime front desk/security man for a nursing home. He's singing "Lose Control" by Teddy Swims. He's got power. The judges love him, and with good reason. He goes through.


Blake Proehl, 24, is the son of a 17-year NFL veteran, and he himself played wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings for three years two years he was on the practice squad but never got into a single game, but he suffered a career-ending injury that left him unable to walk for a long time. It was while he was rehabbing from this injury that he turned to music. He's singing "In Case You Didn't Know" by Brett Young. His voice is beautiful, and he goes to Hollywood.


Katy talks about her childhood singing on the streets and getting paid in dollar bills and avocados. Luke laughs at this, but Katy points out that California avocados are expensive. Micaela McCall, 28, is a singing teacher and busker from Santa Barbara, singing "Signed, Sealed, Delivered". It's a different rendition than I'm used to. The judges love her, and she goes to Hollywood.


Odell Bunton, Jr. is from Austin, TX originally but now considers Dallas home, and he's a security guard at the Dallas International Airport. He's 28 and he's a father of five, ages 11, 5, 4, 3, and 2. He says he knew he wanted to be a musician since he was six. He works the overnight shift at the airport. He and his family live in a hotel. He's singing "Bring it On Home to Me". He deserves a trip to Hollywood. And he does! He initially got a golden ticket, but they later upgraded him to Platinum.


Jack Blocker, 25, is from Dallas, TX, and he's singing an original called "I Was Wrong". Luke compares him to Paul Simon and gives him a yes, but Katy says he's not right for Idol and gives him a no. Lionel wastes a bunch of time, gets called out by Luke, and...eventually gives him a no. I'm surprised. Luke is disappointed in the other two. He calls for the crew to vote and they agree with Luke, and they bring Jack back in. He's going to Hollywood; Lionel's been won over. In the teaser for what's coming next, likely soon since it's 9:46, an adopted contestant will meet their birth mother for the first time.


Or not. McKenna Breinholt's birth mother was a musician, but she's dead. Amy Ross-Lopez. Oh, but she's come in contact with the rest of her birth family, all singers as well. They've met on FaceTime but never in person, and that'll change--she thought it would be in three weeks, but her adopted family is surprising her by bringing them in now. McKenna's singing "There Was Jesus" by Zach Williams and Dolly Parton. Katy looks up McKenna's birth mom. Her group name was "Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl". Oh, there's a documentary! ...Oh. The day after Amy Ross-Lopez succumbed to lupus, her husband, Derrick Ross, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. McKenna's father committed suicide in grief from losing his wife. ...Well, on a happier note, McKenna's going to Hollywood.

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