Justin hits The Octagon to sing "Route 66." He's wearing a slightly rumpled tux with the tie undone, and keeps his left hand in his pocket while he sings. He really needs to be holding a scotch in his right hand if he wants to pull off the Rat Pack vibe. And be just a little less dorky. His singing is better than it was last week, more on the upbeat level he had while performing "Sunny." His command of the geography involved in the song lyrics, however, isn't so great. Of course, most of the kids watching probably haven't heard this song much before and don't know anything about this dumb old road anyway, so they don't realize that his references to Alabama and Savannah in the song are mistakes. Also, he mentions Barstow twice. But he handles it all so smoothly that it's easy to miss. I caught the Barstow mistake immediately, but didn't really notice the southern references at first. Just don't ever ask Justin for directions, or you'll end up driving into the sea. There's some eye-fucking, but less pronounced than in previous performances. He pulls off some scat that seems more spontaneous than Tamyra's, but probably really isn't. Overall, an improvement over the past couple of weeks.
Justin turns and applauds the band before heading over to hear the judges' comments. Randy declares that "Justin is back," and says he was fabulous. Paula says that he took a cool song, was cool when he performed it, and "commanded" the audience. Simon brings up the fucking apology again. God, just let it go. Simon explains that most celebrities are awful, appalling people, and thinks that Justin has been "untreated fairly [sic]" by the public for his attitude two weeks ago. Just sign him if you want him on your label; leave the rest of us out of your constant adulation. Simon begs us to give Justin his (Eeeeeee!) back, and insists that Justin is a great performer. Tough. He's not getting it back this week. Possibly not ever. Nobody mentions the lyric screw-up; either they didn't notice, or they didn't want to draw attention to it.