In a scene straight out of every high school nightmare I ever had, the contestants must choose their own groups, inevitably leaving people out. This leads to certain people awkwardly scavenging for a group so that it doesn’t look like like nobody likes them. Anyone? Please? Let me join your group?
While some of the self-assembled groups instantly work, others don’t fare as well, i.e. every group that Tatiana Del Toro – the one whose terrible laugh is worse than her terrible cry – tried to join. Just watching these contestants scramble around singing, crying, and wearing forehead-headbands (I’m looking at you, Nathaniel) reminds me of the time I was on the subway and the entire car filled up with high school drama students from New Jersey who had just seen The Lion King on Broadway. Everything was very huggy and showtuney on that ride home.
As much as Bikini Girl deserves to be in all five of the evening’s highlight’s, alas she only appears in two. Onward…
1. Ryan Pinkston Gets the Stink-eye From Paula
Even Fleetwood Mac at their most coked up didn’t sound as bad as team Action Squad’s horrific rendition of “Don’t Stop”. The song proved to be the death knell for two of its singers, Emily Wynne-Hughes, she of the retro-pink hair look, and Ryan Pinkston, who up until the moment he was kicked off seemed like a completely reasonable human being. Once he got eliminated though, Ryan saw a bus to Crazytown and jumped on. “I feel manipulated and insulted I saw a side of Paula that I didn’t know was there. I saw an evil in her eyes,” Ryan explained after his defeat. Maybe that evil is why MC Skat Kat only did one song with Paula. Animals can sense danger.
2. I don’t Usually Like White Chocolate
Every time Tatiana del Toro or Bikini Girl was on screen I swear I died inside a little. White Chocolate was the antidote, restoring my faith in all that can be good about this show. They were the first group to perform, and their polished rendition of “I Want You Back” amazed the judges and got them all a ticket to the next round.
3. I (Don’t) Want you Back
Speaking of Tatiana, let’s discuss the moment we all realized she and the rest of her group made it to the next round. Say wha? After White Chocolate’s pitch perfect version of “I Want You Back”, how the judges could have let Team Sequins and Tears (yeah, I don’t actually care what their real group name was) all move on to the next round was insane. “All of you have made it through, ” Paula told them and then she said “Aww, I’m sorry.” Was that an apology to us and the other judges? I hope? Delusional Tatiana doesn’t care, but she does manage to find a camera to thank the father, son and the holy boom operator, “Thank you Jesus, God, everyone who’s a part of this show, even the guy holding the sound stick. You all make this a part of me!”
4. Either You’re In or You’re Out. Or In. Or Out Again.
Every team appeared to have someone who thought someone else was out to sabotage their dream. When Rose Flack thought that Bikini Girl wasn’t pulling her weight because she went to bed early, she and the rest of her team marched (barefoot) to Bikini’s room to see what’s up with her. Oh God I want to pumice the Flack’s feet so bad. Bikini Girl told them she wasn’t going to perform. She didn’t even pull the covers off herself. That’s how you know Bikini Girl has really given up, when she doesn’t want to be on camera. Or maybe she truly was sick after sucking on Seacrest for so long. So Team Diva prepared to go on without Bikini. Until a few hours later when she and her Kaboodle makeup kit show up at breakfast rarin’ to go. Who can blame Team Diva for a poor performance and then an even poorer selling-out of Bikini Girl? They didn’t even try to give her a taste of her own medicine! What they really needed to do was change songs on her without telling her, then she would just be a confused orange stick figure instead of a manipulative one.
5. Cold Shoulders
Ooh, it’s the show’s first bitch-off! We’re pitting Bikini Girl from Team Diva against Nancy Wilson from Team Compromise. Both belonged to teams with major drama and both got kicked off (although let’s be fair, at least Nancy really wanted to practice. Bikini just wanted to get some sleep under her lovely white comforter which is now a Halloween decoration owing to the orange spray tan and black Rose Flack footprints that were left behind on it). When their team members offered consolation and hugs upon elimination, both women brushed them off. Nancy gets completely Idol-censored after telling her teammate to bleep-bleep, which you have to admit, is rude, but Bikini Girl posed for the camera and walked offstage completely ignoring her fellow contestants. Later when they confronted her, she calls them fake and denied turning her back on them. At that point Ryan Pinkston, who now has a job as the Crazytown bus driver, picked her up and took her to her new home. I think she’ll be happy there.