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The Buzz with CCX - Season 22 Episode 7

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Same drink as last night. They shoved all of Hollywood Round into a single week to make up for the late start, which given their usual penchant for shoving the voting rounds into a single month means there's a chance that we're already closer to the finale than the premiere. 18-year-old Australian Jordan Anthony is singing Adele's "Love in the Dark". I labeled him an early favorite, and this performance was...I'm not sure how I'd classify it. It showed off his range, and I'm not really sure if it was the best, but it was good enough, and the judges agree. Odell Bunton Jr., one of the Platinum Ticket winners, is up next...wait, showstoppers is really just the second round? Damn, the Platinum Ticket is especially powerful this year. He dedicates Nina Simone's "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" to his late sister, who died at the age of 24 of cardiomyopathy and whose birthday it would have been. This is definitely different than I know this song, but then again, I'm pretty sure the version I knew had a male singer so it wasn't Nina Simone. He's got a tough life at home, 12 people under one roof in the hotel. Katy does a patented judge fake-out, which I don't fall for for a moment. Remember, we've got only 120 minutes, including commercials, to see the entire top 24's judgments. How are they even going to find time to show us anyone else? I imagine they can't show us more than 30 performances.


Nya, 28, from Manhattan, sings "Get Ready", and absolutely brings the house down. It'd be criminal if she doesn't go through, and Katy says "we really want to tell you no as a fake-out, but you're too good and no one's going to buy it." Good job, Katy. Blake Proehl, the son of a long-time NFL player whose own NFL dreams were cut short by injury, sings "In My Blood", and the judges think he's got the voice to slay that song but his head is getting in the way. They get his Nana on a video call to give him the news that he's going to the Top 24. Triston Harper is the next to learn his fate. He's 15 and accompanied in Hollywood by his mother, Hattie Mae. The judges say that every time they see him, they see a farm owner with two kids, not a 15-year-old. I understand what they mean. He does have a baby face, but his voice and his demeanor are that of an adult. He sings Cody Johnson's "By Your Grace", and as expected, he sounds like a veteran country singer. ...It's just a shame that country's main fanbase is so racist; it's going to be hard for him to get the votes he needs and deserves. Of course, he goes through.


Don't want to drink too much when I'm working the next day, so I've already moved on to soft drinks. Roman Collins has a sob story and sings the Beatles' "Come Together". He's worthy, but I hate that it was already a foregone conclusion because they showed his backstory before his performance instead of after. KB Richins, and Alyssa Raghu will be receiving their judgments together. Alyssa's singing "I Will Survive", and of course she's good enough to go through; she's literally done it twice already. KB sings Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man", and she acknowledges the risk of doing a song that women rarely cover. I think it worked, but two people going in together usually means only one's going through and she notices that the judges didn't give her a standing ovation but they gave the contestants before and after her a standing ovation. But there really is going to be a sing-off! They've got one hour, and two choices of songs--"Shallow" by Lady Gaga or "Fingers Crossed" by Lauren Spencer-Smith--and they both have to sing the same song. We don't get to hear the sing-off until after the break.


They decided on "Shallow". Alyssa's up first, at KB's urging. KB already looks defeated...for some reason, because this isn't close, and Alyssa knows it. Can't believe it came down to this. And yes, it's KB who goes through. Others who are leaving are Justice Murphy, McKayla McCall, Scarlett Lee, and Michael Rice. Next up is Jack Blocker, the one who only made it through because Luke convinced the crew to tell off the other two judges for letting him go. He sings "You Should've Seen the Other Guy" by Nathaniel Rateliff, and he's a lot better than last night...do I support him for Top 24? ...Ah, there go the weird faces. I mean, with the amount of time they devoted to him, he's going through, right? I'm not sure it's the right decision, but less on this performance than on the previous ones. But yeah, when he finished, Lionel and Katy told Luke that they'd been wrong. The judges bring back the crew that had fought for him to tell him he's in the top 24.


Mia Matthews and McKenna Faith Breinholt come in together. Mia auditioned with her sister, and McKenna met her birth family at her audition. McKenna sang Demi Lovato's "Anyone", and Mia sang "You Ain't Woman Enough" by Loretta Lynn. The judges think that it wasn't McKenna's best moment, and liked Mia's...but they're both in. Speaking of Loretta Lynn, Emmy's still in it, right? Yep, here she is, and apparently she sang right after Mia. She's singing "More Hearts Than Mine" by Ingrid Andress. She's finally got her confidence, and rightfully so. She's in the Top 24.


Will Moseley is singing "Ain't No Sunshine". A classic, but it works. He goes through. Ajii sings "Too Close" by Alex Clare, and it's the perfect choice. Luke says he got too screamy, and Katy wants to hear him in a subtle mode. I'm not sure I agree; I think the energy is his lane. Lionel tells him he's in the Top 24. Kayko's also in the Top 24 as are Ellie Marie and Kennedy Reid.


KBlocks sings "River" by Bishop Briggs. Luke says "every time she walks on stage, I'm wondering 'who is this person'", and I have to agree; when I saw her I was like "oh, I'm finally going to catch her name, I missed it last night", and I wasn't expecting such an obvious stage name. She's in. I've lost internet again. Right as I was about to ask what happened to the other two Platinum Ticket winners, here comes Abi Carter. She's got bronchitis. She had to drop out of high school to get a job to help support her younger siblings after her parents' divorce because her mom couldn't do it alone. She sang Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time". Katy acknowledges that a lot of things were out of Abi's control, but some of them were, like having the guitar up there. Luke mentions that she was at the piano in her original audition and asks if she's as experienced at the guitar as at the piano. The judges finally execute a fake-out successfully; she's in the Top 24.


Jayna Elise was cut at this phase last year, and I hope she goes through this year; she deserves it. She sings "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" by Celine Dion. We don't even get to see the whole scene--she's going through, and we hear Lionel say this before we've even finished hearing her performance. Quintavious and Hailey Mia are also going through; we hear a little of Hailey's performance. Jennifer Jeffries sings Noah Kahan's "Northern Attitude". They pull out the Alejandro card; we know she's through. She is.


Julia Gagnon sings "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going", and I'm pretty sure she isn't going home. She isn't. And...oh no, it's down to Ziggy vs. Mackenzie Sol for the last spot in the Top 24. Ziggy sang "This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman. He's keeping it real. Mackenzie sang "With A Little Help From My Friends" by the Beatles. He's amazing too. It's another sing-off. They'll be singing "Jealous" by...I don't know who, it's not the Nick Jonas song. Another commercial.


Mackenzie's up first. I'm not sure I like this performance. He's getting overemotional. I mean, arguably it's really good, but...I don't know. And now Ziggy's up, and he's nothing like Mackenzie, instead being very measured--but still every bit as big. The emotion comes in...it's a tough choice. Raw emotion, or polished grace? The judges go with the former. Mackenzie is in the Top 24. ...What happened to the third Platinum Ticket winner? The judges have an announcement for the Top 24...oh, of course, it's Hawaii time, as announced by having Stitch come out wearing a lei. Tori Kelly and Jelly Roll will be the mentors and extra judges.

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