“Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project” recap (1.8): Goodbye, Goodbye

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It’s the final episode of Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project, and it’s been a hell of a ride. Candice, Anjuli, Gabriel, Aimee and Hunter Valentine are the only ones left standing. Linda has a tough decision to make, because only one of the artists will end up on her label.

Kiyomi, who was close to leaving when we last saw her, has decided to stick around and look on the bright side of the experience instead. In order to do that, Kiyomi has a heart-to-heart with Aimee. She explains her feelings to Aimee and even apologizes for her reaction to Aimee quitting. They find some common ground and decide to bury the hatchet and be happy for each other.

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All the artists are gathered outside and Linda comes in and lets them know that the next day they will be performing live. This performance will help her decide whom she will choose for her label. They will only get one song to perform, so its got to blow Linda away. Everyone will get time in the studio with Linda prior to the show, starting with Anjuli. She’s using lyrics from her own personal experience now, and she’s feeling good about her new material. Gabriel seems much calmer too now that he is tapped into his own experiences too. Candice stumbles a little with her guitar playing, but the song is solid and she’s finally flying solo. Aimee digs deep and wails on her tune, and Linda conducts the band like they are really in sync. Hunter Valentine whips out a new tune called “Burn Baby Burn,” which is different from their signature sound. They have brought in two new people to play with them, one of whom is a good friend of Linda’s.

The rehearsal space at the house is souped-up into swanky performance space for the live audience. Linda gets up to say a few words, and introduce the first band, Hunter Valentine. She calls them out in front of the audience, but the women take it in good stride. The song is tight, and Hunter Valentine seems to let go and have some fun with it. Linda is pleased, and sees the band in a new light now that Aimee has left.

Next up is Gabriel. Linda comments on how Gabriel’s music really changed when he let his walls down. He performs the heartbreaking song “Too Close to the Sun” that he wrote during the breakdown session with Linda. Linda is impressed with how far he’s come, and his connection to the audience. She’s beaming with pride.

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Candice performs next, rocking bangs and a new look. Linda surprises her by bringing Nick in to watch her, and she’s beyond excited. She dedicates the song to him.

Linda brings Anjuli on, teasing her for her feisty spirit. A feisty spirit that Linda loves. Anjuli even brings on a choir to back her up. Her performance is high energy, and the audience loves her. Linda is blown away, especially by the fact that Anjuli has taken her advice to heart.

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Linda explains to the audience how Aimee originally came with Hunter Valentine. She plays her song, “Stills,” and leaves her heart out on the stage. Laura and Kiyomi are even thrilled for Aimee and her progress.

Linda is pleased with everyone’s performances, but she’s made up her mind. She meets with all the artists individually. For Hunter Valentine, she sees a lot of potential with their new sound. She’s not signing them, because she wants to start with a clean slate and she’s not sure the band can do that. They all hug it out, and Laura and Kiyomi walk away feeling inspired to try new things.

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Aimee sits down with Linda next. Aimee had a great experience, and Linda thinks that she has a journey to continue on. Linda calls her a “wild card” with a lot of potential. She won’t sign Aimee yet, but she wants to work with her and be her mentor. “I believe in you, kid,” Linda tells her.

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When Gabriel comes in, Linda tells him how pleased she is with his progress. However, she’s not sure that he’s totally committed to this new way of performing and she needs someone who is all in. She thinks his journey has just begun.

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Linda brings Anjuli and Candice in together. Linda wonders aloud if Candice is too raw still and if Anjuli is too stubborn, and both women accept that critique. Linda compares working on a label together like being in a relationship. She asked the audience who they thought was the real star, and the overwhelming answer was Anjuli. Linda agrees, which makes Anjuli tear up. Linda tells her that she wants to sign Anjuli. Even Candice is excited for her. Linda then turns her attention to Candice. In a surprise twist, she wants to sign Candice as well!

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They all hug and frankly, it’s freaking heartwarming. “Alright, get the fuck out of here,” Linda tells them as they happily walk away, fantasizing about their future records.

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I must admit, going into this show, I didn’t know what to think. However, I found myself really drawn into the process, and even more surprisingly, agreeing with Linda on many of her decisions. She may be tough, but she’s often right. I can’t wait to see what sort of beautiful music Anjuli, Candice and Linda can make together.

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