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The Buzz with CCX - Season 22 Episode 9

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Ugh, finally. Started trying to make this topic with plenty of time, and the keyboard just...wasn't working. Like I could backspace out the autocomplete of the topic title, but actually typing something new...no. Smirnoff Orange, neat (from the freezer). Odell Bunton Jr., the third Platinum Ticket Winner, gets the anti-pimp spot because why not. He does Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars's inescapable 2014 hit "Uptown Funk"--the song of 2015 having actually come out in 2014 basically says everything you need to know about 2015 in music. Anyway, this is a song that's carried more by the beat than the vocals (hence why Ronson is billed first), so it's really not a song that can work for anyone other than Bruno Mars. 57. Elleigh Marie is channeling her anger at being cheated on into Cee-Lo Green's "Forget You". And...it's another dud. This is another song that's not easy to do justice. 25. We are not off to a good start. My mother says "I like the way she spells her name." Seriousleigh?


Mackenzie Sol is up third, and we're reminded that he won the sing-off for the final spot. He's singing Nick Jonas's "Jealous". We see in the mentor session with Jelly Roll that he's still struggling to hit a certain note in falsetto. Was this song always this slow to get started? No, I'm pretty sure he's reinterpreting it. It eventually gets more towards the familiar beat. I think he did well changing it up. 60. Jelly Roll seems impressed, though, saying he had the highest expectations for Mackenzie and he still blew him away.


Jennifer Jeffries is torn between "All I Want" by Kodaline and "Bruises" by Lewis Capaldi. Jelly Roll seems to like the former better, but she's not as comfortable doing that on guitar so she might be choosing between Bruises with the guitar and All I Want without it. She chooses Bruises. I think this was performed last night and I misidentified the title. This was...underwhelming, but I don't really remember it being slain last night either, which is weird because just about everyone last night was better than this group. 47. Why do they always load up one group with all of the good contestants? ...Oh, good, Emmy Russell is up next (along with a performance by mentor Jelly Roll).


Jelly Roll sings "Halfway to Hell" and confirms that, no, I'm not just being harder to please than normal tonight; they just haven't rolled out a good contestant yet. Emmy looks to change that with "Beautiful Things" by former contestant Benson Boone, and it barely takes any time to confirm that she succeeds. 87. She instantly gets me texting in votes, because after four clunkers there's no doubt she gets my vote. Jelly Roll is hyped, and Lionel is loving Jelly Roll. Katy compares her to Joni Mitchell.


Even after knocking over my (thankfully already empty) glass putting my computer down, I miraculously manage a bathroom break short enough to not miss a thing. Vanna White is here, because apparently in addition to all the things he already does, Ryan Seacrest is going to be taking over as the host of Wheel of Fortune next season with Pat Sajak's impending retirement. Ajii is up sixth, and the judges are audibly shocked. And in Katy's case, visibly shocked. I don't think they expected him to be this good--yeah, Lionel is also clearly stunned. This was the first time Ajii's mother saw him perform. 98. The Brooklyn boy is a reggae star! Katy compares him to The Weeknd. Luke says he's got the same type of infectious energy as Jelly Roll. Kennedy Reid will be performing after the next break.


Kennedy brought her "bestie" Jean Ann, who looks to be about 50 years her senior, to Hawaii with her. She's singing "Fancy" by Reba McEntire. This is either going to be brilliant or awful, no in-between, calling it now. ...Looks like brilliant. She started out not moving around much on the stage, but she got to it later in the song and it kind of made it hit even harder. 91. I'm impressed.


Jack Blocker is up eighth, and I remember thinking he probably shouldn't have even made it to Showstoppers but he was actually pretty good in that round...I think? He's singing Kacey Musgraves's "Rainbow". Oh, right, I remember, he's got the faces. In Showstoppers he sang so well that he overcame it, but yeah, he's got awful stage presence. ...Is it just me or do his eyes kind of wander even when they're not closing? The mellow ballad really helped him, because it kept him from overdoing the facial expressions, but it still seemed a little overtuned. 66. I know that doesn't sound great, but I'm serious, he should sing the mellow ballads more often.


Roman Collins is up ninth, and Jelly Roll is not a fan of the advice Katy and Luke gave to him at the final judgment. He's singing "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" by Marvin Gaye. ...I think he should've listened to Luke and Katy. 63. We're nine performances in and I've only rated three performances above 70, while last night I rated 10 out of 12 that high.


KBlocks is up tenth, and I'm hoping she can do well. But I'm not sure about this from the mentor session. She's singing Katy Perry's "Harleys in Hawaii". A bold choice. And I'm unsurprisingly not a fan. ...Oh wow. This started out at least decent, but continued to get worse and worse. 18. Mia Matthews is singing "Daddy's Hands"--her father was a carpenter, and he was from Hawaii. Jelly Roll says that he lost his father in 2019. So did I. ...I don't like sad ballads, and that's going to depress my rating for this performance. There's some weakness near the end...though right at the end, it's clear that it's not simple missed notes, but tears. 70. Which wouldn't have gotten my vote last night (I ended up excluding Julia from my ballot as well after giving her a 74), but will tonight.


Up last is Triston Harper. Okay, fair enough. I forgot about him, and putting him in the pimp spot, it probably wasn't even necessary on this weak night but I'm not complaining. He's singing "God's Country" by Blake Shelton. I end up adjusting most of the other scores down a bit, because once again, they did save the best for last: 100, again.

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