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The Buzz with CCX - Season 22 Episode 8

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Got a bit of a headache already, though with other cold-like symptoms, maybe a drink would be good for me. Then again, it might just be "too much time in front of screens"...and yet, here I am forcing myself to continue looking at screens. ...What the heck. Bacardi and Cola it is. We get an announcement that Iam Tongi will be performing, and then we get a silly intro with the judges. The numbers immediately go up on screen, though they don't stay on the screen for nearly long enough to get more than a glance. Maybe if I had preconceived notions I could zoom in on my favorites (okay, I did immediately take note of Kayko at #5...), but... They once again introduce Tori Kelly as "Idol's own". She didn't even make the Top 24, in the infamously unsuccessful Season 9. 16-year-old Hailey Mia's up first, singing "she's all i want to be" by Tate McRae. Never heard of them, but the all-lowercase marks them as a product of the 2020s...even though this song wouldn't be out of place in my own '00s childhood. Hailey did really well...oh, wait, these are voted on, I need to actually come up with a number! Let's just go with 78. ...I didn't even pick up on it, but my mother notices that it seems almost like one of Hailey's eyes is half-closed. Jordan Anthony of Perth, Australia is up second. He's singing "Titanium" by Sia, representing the Aussies (eh, close enough...actually, it does show as "David Guetta ft. Sia"). Okay, the votes don't close until tomorrow morning; I won't be rushed. 87. Up third after the break is Jayna Elise. I start to go to my phone for the commercial break, only to be reminded that I scheduled this update that my phone's been pushing for 8:15 (I can't schedule it for the middle of the night because Pokemon Sleep).


She sings Demi Lovato's "Confident", and she clearly is; I love her outfit but it's definitely "bold". No signs of lack of confidence in her voice either; this feels like a 90. The judges agree that she had a ton of stage presence. Next up after another commercial break is Julia Gagnon with Adele's "Rumour Has It", certainly not an easy song but she was a Platinum Ticket winner.


Julia got engaged on Christmas Eve, and she's thrilled to celebrate her engagement in Hawaii. She's actually deeper than the original, and there's a break that, I don't think is in the original song but then again I don't have any albums from much past the late 00s so maybe it's just not in the radio version. Anyway, 74. Good, but not stunning. We'll be getting a Tori Kelly performance before our next contestant, who as I noted before is Kayko.


They mention that Tori was only 16 when she got her Golden Ticket. I don't have to rate her performance though. Kayko's doing an original, "How To Live Without You", that he wrote after the unexpected death of his mother a couple years ago. Ah, that's why Ryan referred to Tori's mentor session with him as "emotional". He went to Hawaii with his mother about 10 years ago and has been getting deja vu. ...Huh. I was expecting to be too overcome with emotion to even give this a proper rating, having experienced the loss of a parent, but this...wasn't really it? Obviously the emotion weakened certain parts of it, but...the song itself didn't feel like it had the appropriate gravitas? See, this is why I refuse to pick my favorites in advance. 36. Ryan notes that during rehearsals, it was cloudy most of the day but when Kayko took the stage the sun came out and it was really magical. Yeah, whatever.


Nya is up sixth, singing Tina Turner's "The Best". She's singing it for her fiance, and she notes that they've been together for five years but this is the first time he'll be seeing her perform. As someone who's only ever heard this song in commercials, this is incredible. 95.


Blake Proehl is up seventh, and he's been to Hawaii before, as a ball boy at the Pro Bowl when his father was a coach, back when that was still in Hawaii. Tori's definitely got the constructive criticism. He's singing "Anyone" by Justin Bieber. It's...underwhelming. 48. After the next break, it's Iam Tongi's performance, followed by another Platinum Ticket winner, Abi Carter.


Iam's song is called "Why Kiki?" Cute. I love it. Abi says she had already come to terms with going home after her performance in Hollywood when she was suffering from bronchitis. She mentions that she's used to performing behind her piano and this will be her first time without an instrument to hide behind, though she does start off behind a vaguely piano-shaped prop. She's singing "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" by Hillsong UNITED, and it's beautiful. 86. We'll be getting two contestants without a commercial break between them again, Quintavious and KB Richins.


Quintavious is singing "Hollow" by Tori Kelly. Oh, wait, no, he isn't; he's singing "Something In The Water", but not that one. Well, whatever, it's amazing. 97. KB's up next, singing Bryan Adams's "Heaven"--her father's favorite. Another masterpiece. 93. I'm realizing that the anti-pimp position is still a thing; I loved Hailey's performance at the time but as all the other contestants rolled in, so many of them outscored her.


Will Moseley is up eleventh, singing Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay". It's effortlessly good, 92. Wow. Tonight was incredible. With only one contestant left, it seems clear which two I want to go home...and one of them was the one whose name I immediately saw at the beginning and recognized as "a favorite".


Up last is McKenna Faith Breinholt. She's singing Brandi Carlisle's "The Story". And somehow, they still did it. They saved the best for last. 100.

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