The songwriters (I will NOT call them hitmakers) have to do a dance song. They’re given a dance track and told to write a hook for it, and the top three will choose teams – and the guest judge is Donna Summer, who looks, I’m sorry to say, like a drag version of herself. Sounds that way, too, and I am sad about this.
They all sit in the studio with “personal listening devices” – earphones and music players – singing and writing their choruses at the same time – and Melissa sings so loudly that Nick can hear her and be annoyed. Not that it’s hard to annoy Nick. And Scotty, who apparently has top ten dance hits in Europe (and good for him), believes it would be embarrassing if he does NOT win this.
They sing their hooks to Donna and Jewel. Jackie is very stoked that Donna Summer liked her song. The top three are Scotty with “Paint this Floor with Amazing”, Karen(!) with “Make it Easy” (which is described, over and over again, as “anthemic”, which I believe is the name of David Cook’s band) and Brian with “My Ridiculous”, which he sells with a nice baritone, and actually comes first. Nick is seriously upset that his brilliance was not recognized, although he pretends he’s also upset about “his boy” Johnny, whom he does not like, also being ignored. No one believes him, including Johnny.
The winners choose teams in order (Brian, Karen and Scotty). Brian ends up with Jackie and Jes, and when the choices are down to Johnny and Sonyae, elects to stay with three. Karen has Blessing, Amber and Johnny. This means that Scotty, who initially rejected Sonyae because Nick didn’t like her, has to accept her on his team anyway, along with Melissa. Scotty even says Nick doesn’t like Sonyae, which was a surprise to Sonyae. Nick isn’t there to make friends, it seems. Brian can use the original track; the other two will use new ones.
Brian, Jes and Jackie work well together, liking the idea of just odd words, but the two women decide that a woman’s voice is better than a man’s for a dance song, and wear Brian down. Karen seems to want G-rated lyrics for a dance song and doesn’t want to use more sexual ones. Meanwhile, Scotty’s team works VERY well together, everyone contributing and appreciating what’s happening, even with Nick and Sonyae’s tension. I’ve seen that happen – I’ve been part of that. Cooking school anecdote. Mendy and I had totally opposite world views and we argued a lot. And Chef made us work together, which got the entire class laughing. But. We worked VERY well together and made good food. So. There it is. We did respect the other’s ability, which made the difference.
The songs are played in an actual club, so that the judges can see if the songs actually make people dance. And Scotty notices he’s VERY familiar and comfortable with this club he’s never seen before – and then he realizes it’s a gay club. Which means we learn something fairly organically about Scotty. Well-done, show.
His song is first, and it’s terrific. Nick has added a counterbeat, the lyrics are not important, but fun and EVERYONE is out there dancing and enjoying themselves. Karen’s is next, and half the patrons are sitting it out. It’s basically boring. Brian’s song is NOT. The girls handle the lyrics, the people are dancing and it’s fun and cute.
Scotty’s team wins. They talk about being willing to work together and who contributed what, and all the judges love it. Nick is over the moon that Donna Summer loved “his” song.
That leaves Karen and Brian. They tell Brian they were wrong to not use his vocals, which were a selling point in that it’s not something common to dance tracks these days and that’s a good thing. Even so, they were better than the other team, so they’re safe. The record company guy even says that it’s a salable song.
That leaves Karen, and the judges think the song was boring and cliched, and she didn’t go anywhere with the soaring hook, or the instructions for original lyrics OR female empowerment. They declare Johnny and Amber safe, and then rip into Karen and Blessing for not contributing what they could. Blessing says he’s big band, but he’s told that that alone should have been a help because it’s the same sort of beat. In the end, he (and his dog Tommy) go home. There are actual tears at his announcement. I think they made the right decsision, and I’m so glad sob stories are irrelevant here.
Just a note, my dear readers. Tonight starts the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. It’s two days when I’ll be offline and not watching tv. Since I’m not recapping SYTYCD, that means I won’t be around for the first Voice live show. Ah, well.