Tonight's pre-credits sequence is a chronological, overly time-stamped account of the past week. It starts with Janelle's departure last Thursday night, on through full days that included a "red carpet event" (in which the red carpet turned out to be large enough to cover the floor of my bathroom), recording, rehearsals, interviews, the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, something called "BritWeek" where an aging Timothy Dalton lookalike gives them a British language quiz, and oh yeah, last night's show. Speaking of which, thanks to those of you who pointed out that a black and white cookie is actually a thing, without trying to argue that it was a reasonable thing for Randy Jackson to have said to Amber.
Ryan starts things off by promising to deliver some shocking news, which of course can wait until after he's plugged the summer tour. Which is done with even more clips from the mini-concert that the finalists gave during their visit to the CHLA visit, so bonus! Getting all the mileage they can out of that, I see. "They're actually good," one of the kids said with surprise, instantly becoming my favorite person on the show.
With no theme this week, the group sing can be just about anything, so they go with..."Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys. Angie starts it off from behind the piano (a red one!) before joining the other three for a quartet largely obscured by stage fog. Well, where a girl is on smoke...
This week's Fiesta Mission actually borders on clever, and just typing that makes me want to whip out a totem to find out if I'm dreaming. The conceit is that the top four are all summoned to the various workplaces Ryan Seacrest has to show up at in the course of a day, from the studio to his foundation to the recording studio to a pitch meeting, and having to fill in for him there. And then they show up at his home office to find four Ryans waiting for them wanting to know how it went. Except for the punchline, the only thing wrong with that was the finalists' inability to play it totally deadpan. After the clip, the finalists read off Ryan's copy while he comes in late for his cue, claiming to have been off polishing Emmys for Tom Bergeron and Jeff Probst. Hilarious. Yep, I'm awake.
Then we get some more filler in the form of a clip of the finalists being challenged to tell interviewers five things about themselves in 20 seconds. Angie power-shares that she hates pink, wears heels, and scarfs olives before running out of time. Candice says she loves SpongeBob, Drake, people, and sleeping with socks on before running out of time and saying "eyelashes." Kree's three self-proclaimed facts, as shown on the screen before she runs out of time are 1) "Bitten By A Snake," 2) "Loves Rap," and 3) "She Sucks!!!" I think the editors might have added the exclamation points. Amber enjoys showers and 90-degree weather, was on a drill team and in a play, loves neon green, and has a pierced septum. That's six! Amber's winning everything this week.