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The Buzz with CCX - Season 22 Episode 5

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Finally, the last audition episode. Are we getting a new episode next week, or will Easter preempt it? It certainly makes no difference to me, because I'm Jewish, and the chances of me having to endure my sister's overbearing mother-in-law on my birthday went down dramatically on Thursday. Unfortunately, it's under the worst possible circumstances, namely that my sister's father-in-law died. Anyway, tonight's drink is Angry Orchard Green Apple.


Ricky Moyer, a 22-year-old barista from Philadelphia, PA, starts us off with "It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette, slowed down. It's beautiful, and we get the judges' positive comments even before the performance ends. He goes through. Liliana Tovar Dalton, 17, from San Antonio, TX, writes her own music--mostly about boys. She's singing an original called "5%", which is "the amount of effort this person gave me". They were playing a Taylor Swift song behind her intro, and yeah, these lyrics are very '00s T-Swift. I like her. Katy says "I feel like that was just one long text message", and she replies that that's basically what it was, her telling her friend about how this guy [expletive]. They think she needs another gear, and have her do a cover. Yeah, I see it. Lionel starts out sounding like he's going to tell her "not yet", but then gives her a yes, and it's three yeses.


Carmen Olivia, 16, of Bethel, CT; Brant McCollough, 16, of Samson, AL; and Sophia Ava Marie, 15, of Las Vegas, NV. Sophia's up first, singing Katy's "The One That Got Away" and absolutely slaying. Brant's singing...I don't know but he's good too. Don't know what Carmen's singing either; I'm pretty sure they didn't put it up on screen for any of them. She's also great, and all three go through. Camilla Galavis, 14...14? I didn't think they could audition at 14. Maybe she turns 15 before the final audition? Originally from Venezuela, now living in Miami. Her father Juan Pablo was a contestant on the Bachelor 10 years ago. She's singing "Rabia" by Joaquina. It sounded good even if I had no idea what she was saying (I took Spanish in school but that was like 15-20 years ago). Lionel says it's a no but take time to develop it. Katy seems to be saying similar things, but gives her a yes. Luke says he wrote no down on his page, but then he said that the right producer could make her a hit song, so he gives her a yes. And the judges give maybe the least enthusiastic "You're going to Hollywood" I've ever heard out of them.


"I'm going to show you where the cactus are" Katy, cactus isn't a word that's the same in singular and plural. This is more padding, and I guess it's a setup for a contestant who walks in looking exactly like a young Lionel. Garrison Bennett, 18, from Hickory, NC (though the on-screen graphic bills him from Statesville). He sings Stevie Wonder's "Superstition", and it's pure. Luke gives him a yes, Katy says she's going to need a little more energy and gives him a "yeah", and Lionel gives him another solid yes. The next contestant says this place looks familiar, and her voice sounds familiar. Jayna Elise, 22, from Washington D.C. ...oh, her! The one who came to everyone's rescue, who invited the autistic guy to join them as the lone trio and stepped up for Fire when her duet partner left at the last moment. She's doing Miley Cyrus's "The Climb". Beautiful. She made it her own. She's going back to Hollywood.


Keegan something-or-another is super campy and 80s. It's a no. Cate Gartner, 18, from Aledo, TX, has an 18-month-old son named Cooper. She's singing an original that she wrote after finding out she was pregnant at 16. And, oh my god, it really is perfect for her situation. This is a song about becoming a parent at an early age, dedicated to the child. It is perfect, and the judges love her for good reason. Three yeses. She's going to Hollywood "on the express train, for sure", Lionel says. Wait, don't we still have a Platinum to give out?


We've got a pair of sisters auditioning. Jacy and Mia Matthews, ages 17 and 18, from Centre, AL. Both of their parents were in music, but their father passed away when they were young. After a warmup featuring both sisters and the mom, Jacy's up first singing Kris Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through The Night". Didn't catch what Mia sang but they both deserve to go through.


But when we come back from break, Jacy gets a no from Luke, but Lionel gives her a yes, and Katy, after some constructive criticism, is a yes. Luke thinks Mia is stronger, and isn't totally sold but gives her a yes. Lionel, on the other hand, isn't sold on Mia, but Katy disagrees, and again comes through to give them both an advancement on 2 out of 3. Our next contestant is 18-year-old Jordan Anthony from Perth, West Australia, and he certainly looks like an idol. He sings "Forget Me" by Lewis Capaldi, and oh my, he's got the voice as well. He could win this. My mom agrees, and is reminded of Katy telling Liliana not to be too quick to write the songs about her exes because she's "going to meet some cuties" in Hollywood. Katy compliments Jordan on his range "for a male", and the other judges agree. He's not just a pretty face, but he's also a pretty face.


Yvan Vucina, 26, singing "Walking the Dog", but that's mainly being shown to be the background for a skit on Luke bringing his dog to the auditions. And now for our actual contestant, Victoria Johnson from Boca Raton, FL, who just turned 16 in May...so if she makes it all the way to the finale she might actually be 17 by then. Or not; March may be almost over but that's still no guarantee that we'll make it to May. She's singing "No Excuses" by Meghan Trainor. It's a yes for me, but we'll see what the judges think. Katy wants her to go a little harder on a certain line, and she complies. And Victoria goes to Hollywood.


Zoned out for a moment during judge shit, but we've got some good contestants who go through. Bethany Teague, 25, sings Kelly Clarkson's "Piece by Piece"...oh my. Are we at the end of the show already? Nope. Ah, but that is her story--not only that, but she says that she "gave birth to her sister", which suggests that her biological daughter was adopted by her mom...except, no, it was right after that that her mom died, so it was her grandmother who took care of her after that. I got confused for a moment with a dark-skinned man walking in, that's her grandfather, but then we go out to the lobby and I see other family members who are white so yeah, mixed race.


22-year-old Isaiah Case from Jacksonville, FL, has a quintessential country singer voice. He's married and has a two-year-old kid. He goes through. And now we've got a preview of tonight's sob story. Adopted out of an orphanage in Guatemala at age 2, but apparently later was able to make contact with her birth mom. And based on something Katy was saying just before we went to the commercials, I think I was right about there still being a Platinum Ticket to burn.


Julia Gagnon, 21, from Cumberland, ME, is in fact the last contestant to audition for Season 22. When she was 18, she went to her birth father and said she wanted to know about her birth family, and her father hired a private investigator in 2020, and got in touch with her mom, Sara, who said that she didn't want to give Julia up but she was glad she did because Julia got a much better life in the US than Sara could've given her in Guatemala. Julia sings "Ain't No Way" by Aretha Franklin, and she's got pipes. The judges are clearly wowed. Well, she's getting a golden ticket at the very least. And yeah, the judges are conferring. They're going to give her the Platinum. Next week, Sunday and Monday.

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