Eight contestants remain and at this point, well, I wouldn’t want to be the one narrowing the field. Every time I count someone out (like Nellie), he or she turns around and gives a kick ass performance to save the day. But it’s a new week, there’s a new challenge, and anything can happen with teenagers.
Blake and Michael are sad. They’re friends! And they have to compete against one another! And they’re very similar! Which is why they’re friends! Oh, the terrible circular nature of it all! Michael hates having to compete with Blake, but he would gnaw off his own left foot to win. I don’t think that’s one of the challenges, as it would take too long, but maybe if they do a reality TV version of “Saw” he could apply.
Robert announces that the theme for the week is theatricality and the kids will be performing “I Hope I Get It” from the musical “A Chorus Line.” Lily squeals with delight! She says that she embodies theatricality! Okay!
The guest for the week is Grant Gustin, who plays the scheming Warbler, Sebastian. He’s so dreamy! And he will be mentoring the lucky winner. Is it me, or are the girls really trying hard this week?
Shanna belts in true Broadway style, and she absolutely stands out. Abraham, on the other hand, doesn’t. Michael also fades into the background, possibly because he doesn’t know “A Chorus Line.” As Robert points out, this is a great song for the kids, because they’re living the lyrics. Not surprisingly, most of them do a good or great job of selling it.
But what does Grant say? He dings Michael and Nellie for lacking confidence. He thought Ali was fantastic, while Lily was fun. Grant’s winner is… Ali. She is beyond thrilled, not only by the one-on-one mentoring with Grant, but the chance to do a step-out in the video, which will be for “When I Grow Up” by the Pussycat Dolls. But wait, there’s more! Each of them will be transformed into recognizable pop stars. Michael will be Elvis. Aylin is going to be Madonna. She gets it, because she’s sexy. She also kinda looks like her. Abraham will be David Bowie and Blake will be Boy George. Lily will be Cyndi Lauper, while Ali will be Katy Perry. Shanna will be Lady Gaga. Shanna’s excited, but all she can think about is that meat dress! They wouldn’t do that to her, would they? Nellie will be Britney Spears. This may kill Nellie. She moans, “Why do you keep doing this to me?” as if she’s retaking calculus or getting a cyst removed. I can’t understand why Nellie can’t get it together.
It’s off to Zach and Brooke for choreography. Lily thinks she’s like Cyndi, so she doesn’t even need to create a character! She doesn’t know how Cyndi dances or moves or anything, so she’ll just be Lily. I think this is probably a big mistake, but Lily embodies theatricality! How could she be wrong?
In the studio with Nikki, Michael cannot nail his part. He tells Nikki he followed her advice and didn’t over prepare, but he didn’t prepare AT ALL. So, by not thinking about it at all, he, weirdly, overthought it again. Nikki seems exasperated.
Nikki asks Abraham if he thinks he’s an androgynous performer. Abraham won’t call himself androgynous. He’s free! Nikki is not impressed with his singing. Or his answer. Abraham seems unnerved. Androgyny is not appealing to Abraham.
Finally, it’s time to get dressed up for the video. I can’t believe it. They put Shanna in a meat dress! A nasty, stinky meat dress! How rude! But Shanna is a trouper, even though she wants to throw up and her eyes are watering. My God, give this girl the win for the week.
The video is, as you might expect, a lot of fun. No one does a full-out imitation, but that’s a good thing. I don’t want to imagine Elvis singing a Pussycat Dolls song.
Robert Ulrich is impressed. He likes Blake’s take on Boy George, which is kind of masculine and nothing like Boy George. Hmm. Ali is on fire as Katy Perry.
Stop the music! Time to see why Ali is on fire. Because Grant advised her, of course! Ali asks Grant how to make pop music theatrical. “Don’t let the style stop you!” he says. “Bring honesty to a performance!” So she does!
While Ali has stepped up to the plate. and Michael’s Elvis and Aylin’s Madonna get high marks, Nellie blows it. Again. Lily, however, wasn’t Cyndi Lauper or anyone else, she was just Lily. Uh-oh. Robert also appreciates Shanna’s ability not to throw up during a shot.
Time to judge! Ryan Murphy joins the panel. Zach declares this the toughest decision they’ve had to make so far. Robert says they all were on fire. How to pick the least fiery?
Before they do, though, I’m not sure it’s fair to give Blake a lot of points for making Boy George macho if Lily gets dinged for not being Cyndi Lauper-esque. I know, she needed to create a character — any character — but it wasn’t explained very well (at least from what we see). Just a thought.
Anyway, Zach, Robert, Nikki and Ryan declare Ali the winner for the week. Go, Ali! She really did do a great job in the video.
Shanna, Blake and Aylin also go through. Aylin is so close to being on “Glee”! She just wants everyone to go home so she can get down to business!
Alas, that leaves Nellie, Michael, Abraham and Lily at the bottom. Lily looks crushed. She embodies theatricality, dammit!
Time for shaming! Michael didn’t prepare at all instead of over preparing. Nellie, again, took too long to get into character, but she did well ultimately. Still, Zach feels like he’s been begging her to stay and he needs her to dive in head first. Abraham says the androgynous comment threw him off because he was bullied for being too feminine, but the judges aren’t thrilled that he wavered. Nikki says androgyny is what makes a rock star great! Lily is offended when the judges ding her for being herself. She says Cyndi is not a pop icon. Slap that girl! Just because she wasn’t born in the ’80s doesn’t mean she knows anything about the ’80s! Zach doesn’t care. He says there was no Cyndi there. Robert adds that there was no character. period. Lily sulks. Lily, Nellie and Abraham will be performing. Michael… is called back for next week. Whoa. Lily is stunned. She was better than Michael! She embodied… oh, never mind.
Nellie will perform “I’m the Only One” by Melissa Etheridge
Abraham will perform “Stereo Hearts” by Gym Class Heroes and Adam Levine
Lily gets “Someone Like You” by Adele. Lily collapses with glee. Glee!
Abraham doesn’t want to go home. Nellie wants to win more each week, which means she wants to win, um, some, if her attitude is any indication. Lily can’t wait to show Ryan her simple, natural side by singing Adele. Lily does not seem as worried as she should be.
So, performances. I want to love Nellie’s a little more than I do. But, of course, it’s solid. Ryan doesn’t know how he’d write a character for her, because she’s so “I don’t know, maybe.” Nellie admits she is scared to hope and then get chopped from the show. And that fear is exactly why she WILL get chopped from the show. Ironic, huh? Ryan likes Abraham’s androgyny. Nikkie points out that the word freaked him out. Ryan is going to set him straight!
I loved Abraham’s performance. So, so good. Androgyny works for him! He loves Ryan’s beautiful little hat! Ryan is not in the mood for flirting and flattery, though. Ryan wants to keep it real. He wants Abraham to drop the diva. Abraham admits that the word freaked him out because kids used to call him, ahem, “little yellow faggot.” Yeah, I think Abraham has a right to have a sore spot about this. Ryan thinks his androgyny is what will make him a star. Abraham stands tall. He’s not scared anymore! “I am who I am! I believe in that now!” So why is he in the bottom three, Ryan wonders. He let his fear paralyze him, he admits. Ryan has high hopes for Abraham… if he can just be real.
Lily does a great rendition of the Adele song. Zach and Nikki are gonna cry. Even Ryan swallows hard. Ryan was fascinated, because he saw a character on the stage, but no character from Lily in the video. Lily blames Zach for not explaining the concept well. This does NOT go over well. Ryan thinks she keeps coming up with excuses and it’s not working anymore. Lily pitches a fit. She’s as good as every other girl here! She’s 240 pounds but she can bleeping do it! Ryan likes that she has ambition, but I have to think he probably doesn’t like the fact she’s a grown ass girl having a temper tantrum and passing the buck. She may have a point about not getting a great idea of what she was supposed to do, but it was up to her to make sure she got it right when she still had a chance to fix her performance.
Going home will be… Nellie. It’s sad, but it had to happen. She just wasn’t going to ease into it, ever. I hope she learns from this experience that her fear is holding her back and her desire for self protection isn’t protecting her at all. Next week, it’s a one shot video. As in, the whole thing is one looooong camera shot. One person messes up, and they all have to start over. This should be fun. And exhausting. And frustrating. So, fun!
Who do you think deserved to go home? Do you think Lily’s days are numbered? What did you think of the video?