Finally, they introduce the kids, and everybody cheers. The kids have abandoned the big-band look and are dressed in their typical attire. They show clips of last night's performances. Randy declares that "Justin is back." They show R.J. forgetting the words to his song (ouch), and Simon's comments that there are better singers in the competition. Paula slathers praise on Kelly.
So, since they're all so great individually, a group performance should be, like, five times better, right? Black and Decker introduce the kids performing a group rendition of "American Bandstand." And it's awful. Most of them are flat on their solos, and they all seem to be singing in the exact same vocal register, so their group singing has no depth. There are actually additional background singers on the track to try to add some range to the performance. It seems like Nikki was given Christina's solos. All the kids come down off the stage to stroll by the front row while singing, except for Kelly (Eeeeeee!), who stays on The Octagon for some reason. Tamyra and Kelly (Eeeeeee!) are given the last two solos in the song in an effort to salvage the performance, but it's just too late. Flat and thin all over. Man, I know I criticized them for trying to take on something soulful like "California Dreamin'," but the bubblegum fluff of "American Bandstand" was even worse. After they're done, Black and Decker make a bad joke from the audience about not being able to hear the performance over the cheering. Lucky them.
Commercials. I'm sure that Firefly will have a nice long run and not be cancelled by November sweeps. It's my mantra. Of course, let's hope that it has a long run and doesn't suck. Both are probably too much to ask for.
When we return, Black and Decker tell us that you can win tickets in TV Guide to attend the final performances, if you care at all. Then they remind us that Christina's at the hospital, sick, not at the courthouse filing a sexual harassment claim against Simon. They declare, "Tonight, six will become five," and then they cut to the couches, where there are only five kids sitting. This is pretty much how the evening goes. They try to pretend that Christina's actually there as much as humanly possible.