“Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project” recap (1.4): Heart and Soul

The romance is still blooming between Ivana and Gabriel, and they are processing like a couple of lesbians about it. They have yet to act on their desires, and it looks like they might never. There isn’t much time to mourn for the showmance that wouldn’t be though, because soon all the musicians all pile into a van and are driven to a rehearsal space called SIR in the middle of L.A. Linda arrives to tell them that in a few hours they will all be performing for a live audience. One little twist, though: They each have to write a new song based on chords that they pull from a pile. Each act will only have 15 minutes with Linda’s house band, so everyone begins freaking out.

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MacKenzie is first up for rehearsal, and Linda watches from another room. Since MacKenzie is kind of green, she doesn’t take any initiative or direct the band so Linda comes in to bark a few suggestions. VanJess is next and as soon as they start, Linda notices they are using some previously used lyrics. She nips that in the bud and the sisters have to start from scratch.

Hunter Valentine gets about four bars into their song before Aimee and Kiyomi start arguing, and start wasting precious minutes of rehearsal time. Lauren is Switzerland as usual, and admits that while she can see both sides, her loyalties lie with Kiyomi.

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The rest of the acts get their chance with the band but as showtime gets closer, everyone is sweating bullets. Linda checks in on MacKenzie, who laments not taking charge when she had the chance. She’s still not giving Linda the soulful sound she wants to hear. I’m beginning to worry that MacKenzie is going to suffer the same fate as Noah.

When it’s finally showtime, Linda comes out to great the boisterous crowd. She lets them know about the three chord challenge, and they are psyched. Linda even takes part in the challenge herself, performing a brand new song with her band. Out of the blue, Linda calls Anjuli up on stage to drop some freestyle and even though she’s terrified, she absolutely rocks it! Linda is pretty sure that Anjuli is going to be a fucking star.

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Vanjess is up next, and while they are a little rough around the edges, the sisters both take Linda’s advice and really find their own voices. MacKenzie is next, in her puffed sleeves and Peter Pan collar. The other bands are rooting for her, but the young singer is struggling and Linda isn’t sure if this is the right place for her after all.

Gabriel manages to really connect with the crowd with his new song, and finally impress Linda. Omar takes a turn, and Candice’s nerves really show. She starts out pitchy, but they manage to pull it together in the end. Hunter Valentine takes the stage and the discord in the band really shows. They are all going in different directions, and they song falls flat in a big way. It’s not lost on Linda, who is disappointed that the band is allowing themselves to implode. After the show, Linda sits down with the artists to give her input. She calls out Hunter Valentine for letting their own internal drama take away from the music.

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Later that night, MacKenzie and Gabriel sit down and have a heart to heart about her music and lack of personal experience. She’s afraid of failing, and sometimes that can be the actual impetus for failure. Gabriel advises MacKenzie to stop trying to impress Linda and work on doing this for herself. “Linda’s not God,” he tells her. In the morning, Linda pulls MacKenzie aside and pushes her to scream her guts out. MacKenzie is so used to holding it all in, that she can barely let even a welp escape. Linda encourages her to start living and screw fear. Embrace it instead.

Linda wants to nip the whole Hunter Valentine thing in the bud, so she approaches Aimee about her part in it. What it boils down to is, Aimee doesn’t feel like it’s her band, and that she doesn’t really have a stake in it. Linda implores Aimee to be honest with her bandmates. Linda thinks Aimee needs to be with a band she truly connects with. “If you don’t like the band, then leave. Why are you here?” Linda tells her flatly.

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Linda makes a big decision, and approaches MacKenzie to break it to her that she’s cutting her loose. While brokenhearted about it, MacKenzie knows that she has a lot of life to live and experience. She knows that this is just the beginning of her journey.

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Next week on Make or Break: Courtney. Fucking. Love.

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