'American Song Contest' Episode 7 Recap: Full Lobotomy

By next week’s finale I will no longer be capable of any thought

Trae Patton/NBC
Numb (Encore)

Good morning, songstresses. What a night we had last night! There was the Met Gala, the leaked Supreme Court decision about overturning Roe v. Wade, but most importantly, there was American Song Contest. At this point I don’t know what it would take for me to not tune into this show live. If there is no recap for next week’s finale, please assume that I have been Taken-style taken.

Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson once again opened the show with some light comedy. This time the bit was that Kelly was dressed in one of Snoop’s signature sweatsuits, and he was her new stylist. Oh how they love to laugh.

Speaking of fashion, I tweeted about Snoop’s Bored Ape NFT sweatshirt because it was stupid, and then Snoop Dogg retweeted it. The crypto community found it and they mistakenly thought I was one of them. I would like to take a moment to state on the record that I am not a part of that community, and in fact I think they all have maggots for brains. Moving on!

We already knew that the jury selected Washington’s Allen Stone to move onto the finals, and now we know who will be joining him. Oklahoma’s AleXa, Colorado’s Riker Lynch, Kentucky’s Jordan Smith, and Alabama’s Ni/Co were all voted to the next round by the American public. Never has there been a better argument for the abolishment of the popular vote than Lynch and Ni/Co moving to the next round.

Last night’s episode felt like a complete lobotomy. Outside of two or three songs, I felt completely numb the entire time. I couldn’t even muster up a half-hearted chuckle when they made contestants try to guess which plate of barbeque came from their state, or when Kelly and Snoop went back and forth listing the best things about their home states (Texas and California, respectively). This show has absolutely no charm, and I am positive that next week’s episode will be its last.

Puerto Rico - Christian Pagán, “Loko”

After explaining that this is a song about how much he loves his wife, Pagán entered on a motorcycle being driven by a babe. Freakin’ sick. This song continues to be a bop, but I know in my heart it will not move forward to the finals. I have a feeling that the majority of people who are voting do not care for anything vaguely “ethnic,” which unfortunately does include songs where there is a little Spanish in the chorus. I will miss you, Christian.

North Carolina - John Morgan, “Right in the Middle”

I know I said I liked this song originally, but now I’m bored of it. This is perhaps the problem with performing the same song each time you’re onstage. I’ve heard this before, I want to hear something new! That being said, it’s still technically a good song, and if Morgan moves to the next round I won’t find it egregious. Please know that that is about the highest praise I can give anyone on this show.

Kansas - Broderick Jones, “Tell Me”

I truly cannot get over how much this sounds like a Justin Bieber song. So much so that I think the best case scenario for Jones would be getting a call from the Bieber camp as soon as this show ends, asking him what other songs he has that sound like this one. Jones made an impressive showing to the jury, and held their number one spot for most of the night. If he had been the lock for the finals, that would have been fine with me as someone who listened to Purpose obsessively in 2015.

New York - ENISA, “Green Light”

This is, you know, it’s okay. I just can’t help but think of the other people who I would have rather seen in this redemption spot. Bring back those twins from Arizona, or that woman from Delaware that I think I liked. Writing this less than 12 hours after I watched it, I cannot remember how the song goes, which I think should be the bare minimum qualification for a song going through to the next round.

North Dakota - Chloe Fredericks, “Can’t Make You Love Me”

Y’all know this is my girl. This song still rocks, and Fredericks is one of the only people I would be happy seeing win this whole thing. Is it mostly chorus? Sure, but it’s a catchy chorus and that is mostly what matters here.

Connecticut - Michael Bolton, “Beautiful World”

I made the mistake of checking the clock when Bolton was introduced, and there was still another hour left. By this point in the show I wanted to turn it off completely; I could not watch it anymore. To make matters worse, the Supreme Court decision on Roe vs. Wade had just leaked and I was developing an unrelated migraine. This is all context so that when I say that I still love this song you’ll know I really mean it. Something you should know about me is that if an artist is performing alone on a stage and then a choir is revealed behind them at the climax of the song I’m going to freak out. This was not an exception.

Texas - Grant Knoche, “Mr. Independent”

How quickly things change. One minute you’re living for Michael Bolton’s power ballad about people coming together for the sake of good, the next you’re thinking quasi-violent thoughts about some random Texan and his shitty pop song. I can’t put my finger on why exactly, but I hate this song and Knoche’s ersatz Timberlake schtick.

California - Sweet Taboo, “Keys to the Kingdom”

Based on everything I know about ASC, I was not expecting these girls to make it to this round. The voters clearly do not like hip-hop and they barely like pop, but my California gurls proved to be too undeniable. I am praying that they make it to the next round, but as I stated before I think the voters are afraid of Spanish and talent.

Tennessee - Tyler Braden, “Seventeen”

Do not get mad at me, but I think this song is going to win the whole thing. Please continue to not be mad at me, but it would probably deserve it. This song is so good, and Braden sounds so good singing it. It is, let’s say, “reminiscent” of Eric Church’s massive No. 1 hit “Springsteen,” but that song was a smash for a reason. This is one of the only ASC songs I would listen to of my own volition, and Braden is one of the only singers who I can really see having a decent career after this show. The jury and I were on the same page, and Braden was their pick to move on to the finals.

Georgia - Stela Cole, “DIY”

Today is not the day to hate women, but Cole is testing me. This song is bad, I don’t think she was actually singing it, and she was giving early-career Dua Lipa levels of stage presence. Blech.

American Samoa - Tenelle, “Full Circle”

If I was in the right mental state, I think this song could make me weep. Unfortunately for Tenelle, last night I was not in that state and instead found it to be incredibly corny. She looked beautiful and sounded great though, and sometimes that is all you can ask for from a contestant on a show you have grown to despise.