The next set of cuts will be made in the Groups category. Simon calls the name of the group Sister C and, meh, I don’t really care. They are followed by a duo called Dope Crisis, whose terrible fashion sense seems every bit the result of the drug induced psychosis their name suggests.
This is just one example of the effect of the crack epidemic on the Black community.
The last group selected is Emblem 3, who look like the kind of toolbags I used to bang at my college sorority parties (Theta Love!). There’s more crying and anger from the rejects, and we move on.
The final category to be picked is the Teens, and I brace myself to cry. There’s nothing more depressing than watching people dash the hopes of kids whose terrible parents have subjected them to the emotional thrashing of such an intense process on such a public stage. Simon interviews that none of the judges are looking forward to giving these kids bad news, but like, aren’t you the creator and producer of the show? Couldn’t you just not have wee ones on? No? You actually like the added drama of crying children to spike the ratings? Cool.
“The Rachel Crow Affair was no accident, my pretties.”
The Teens chosen are the darling Beatrice Miller, Justin Bieber swoop haver James Tanner, the incredibly talented Carly Rose Sonenclar, Diamond White–who I totes wanna be when I grow up–, precocious little Reed Demming, and every girl’s middle school crush Arin Ray. Arin’s crying so hard he can hardly breathe, he’s so happy, and it’s really rather sweet. But then we’re treated to shots of the kids crying because they weren’t chosen and I’m heartbroken. The producers try to soften the blow by including footage of Demi crying and talking about the pain of being similarly rejected in her Disney years.
“I still have nightmares of Mickey Mouse chasing me with a knife around the Epcot Center that time I missed a note.”
But wait– a twist! The judges have decided that there are too many talented singers in the competition to let go of, and the producers call back a number of performers and split them up into 3 acts to be included as part of the Groups category, and I’m genuinely happy for them all.
So, the judges each will mentor one category of acts, and host those contestants at their homes for mentoring session and performance. The producers will assign the judges their mentees, and Simon does a great job of pretending that he has no say in the assignments. LA is pretty adamant about not wanting to work with the Groups and the Over 25s. Demi wants to work with the Young Adults, and Britney wants to mentor the Teens. Britney is in the studio when she receives a call from the producers. And Britney is going to work with… the Teens! I think this is the right fit. Britney’s soft, slow talking will probably be very calming for high-strung young’ns, and if that doesn’t work, she can always slip them some of the Xanax bars she has hidden in her bra.
“Remember when I shaved my head and attacked the paparazzi with an umbrella? LULZ. Now I don’t even feel things.”
The producers call their boss Simon and tell him that he will be managing the Groups. This is also a good match, as Simon is intimidating enough an asshole to corral large egos and manage personalities. Demi is given the Young Adults, because, like, why not? And LA has a major titty attack when he learns he’s been asked to mentor the Over 25s. Really, LA? This can’t possibly be the worst thing to happen to you on this show. My mom thought you were Randy Jackson when she saw you. Your server at Starbucks wrote “Randy, dawg” on your chai latte this morning. Surely, that was more upsetting.
“I have no clue where Paula Abdul is, stop calling this number!”
The Groups category arrives at Simon’s house in Miami and they’re stoked to discover that he is their mentor, given his success with One Direction from the British version of the show. After a brief speech, Simon introduces the Groups to their celebrity mentor, Mark Anthony. The contestants, especially the younger girls, do a great job of feigning enthusiasm.
“It’s OK, guys. I wish J-Lo was here too.”
Out in Los Angeles, the Young Adults arrive at Demi’s house and they’re happy to be working with her. Demi introduces them to their celebrity mentor, Nick Jonas, who is sporting a please-take-me-seriously-I’m-a-grownup-now buzz cut.
“I’m an adult now. I swear! I even fingered a girl one time!” “It totes wasn’t me…”
The Teens arrive at Britney’s house in Malibu, and of course they’re super excited. She’s a legend in their young eyes. And when Britney introduces Will-I-Am (I can’t believe I actually just had to type that silly fucking name out) the kids are even more excited. It’s sweet. Okay guys, real talk, I’m super glad Britney is no longer a danger to the people around her, but why haven’t her caretakers addressed the danger she poses to her eyebrows? Let up on the eyebrow bleach, Brit Brit. You’re one Sun-In application away from looking like Goro from Mortal Kombat.
Hit me, baby, one more time.
Finally, the Over 25s arrive at LA’s Beverly Hills home, and he introduces them to Justin Bieber and his legal guardian manager Scooter Braun. Isn’t the Biebs a little young to be mentoring folks old enough to remember the 80′s? This feels weird. LA is a total asshole and tells the group that he didn’t want to work with them, and Justin tries to give them some inspiration. It’s nice of him, I guess. I dunno, I’m just not a Belieber, so this’ll likely be the least exciting part of the episode for me.
We return to Demi’s house, where the Young Adults are getting ready to perform for her and Nick Jonas. First, Jennel has a pre-performance meet with Demi and Nick, who both advise her to be mindful of nervous ticks when she’s performing. Jennel goes on to perform a pretty solid rendition of Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl.” Demi and Nick don’t directly give Jennel any feedback after she’s done–nor will they be giving it to any of the contestants–and the poor girl’s confidence is completely shot. Once Jennel leaves the room, Nick comments that Jennel is “very good.” Demi recognizes her advice may have ruffled Jennel a little bit, but Nick hopes that Jennel will process it and really deliver at a later date.
It’s Willie’s turn next. I love the kid, but why is he wearing a bolo tie with a denim suit and Nikes?!
Fresh Prince of … the rodeo?
Willie performs The Tony Rich Project’s “Nobody Knows,” the song he butchered during boot camp last week. R&B and country cross over well with each other, and I’m excited to see what Willie does with it. Well, Willie sounds pretty good singing the song, though his version is as genre bending as his outfit. To me it sounds like Willie might be an R&B singer who likes country, and his performance sounds more like an unplugged performance of the original than a country cover. Nick comments that Willie is a star, but that he needs to define exactly type of artist he wants to be. Demi agrees.