...grinds down into extreme slow-motion to take her place center stage. Continents divide, great mountain ranges are thrown up and eroded down to nothingness and several new species evolve, but eventually, Idiot Rachel hits her mark and a spotlight opens up above her head as she throws herself into the opening lines of "It's All Coming Back To Me Now." And no, I'm still not going to acknowledge this song's most notorious interpreter, and you can't make me. Nyaaaaah. For those of you playing along at home, the children tasked with standing behind Idiot Rachel to sway and yodel are Single-T Tina, Quinn, Sugar Motta, Dreamboat Blaine, The Leprechaun and Gaylord Wiener, even though the show's taken it upon itself at numerous points in the past to prove to the audience that at least two of those people can't sing. The performance itself is of the stand-and-pose variety, with Idiot Rachel belting the lyrics all the way out to the cheap seats while the camera goes spinny around her, so there's not much to say about it, really. We are treated to a couple of audience reaction shots, though, the first of which I'll be forced to ignore because it involves Sméagol and That Thing From The Internet looking heavily medicated, but the second one's of Jesse St. James looking all photogenically stricken by Idiot Rachel's undeniable talent, or something, so that's okay, I suppose.
And in the middle of it all, Carmen Thibodeaux comes parading down one of the side aisles -- ever so fashionably late, of course -- to take her reserved seat all the way down front, which of course reenergizes Idiot Rachel, or something, and when it's all over, the audience rises as one to its feet to cheer and holler while Idiot Rachel darts off into the wings to hug Frankenteen. Yawn.
Those two can't spend very long in their touching embrace, though, because it's time for all of the children to retake the stage for the final third of the New Directions musical trio this evening, Meat Loaf's "Paradise By The Dashboard Light." And as several noted on the forum boards, there's an immense and immensely amusing disconnect between the song's actual lyrical content and the bright, peppy way the children have chosen to perform it. I especially enjoyed the bit where Frankenteen starts screaming for the end of time to hurry up and arrive because he can't stand spending another minute with Idiot Rachel, all while the audience in the auditorium cheers him on. I mean, I can't top that -- can you? That said, it's obvious they saved their best for last, and this sequence is one of the more entertaining of the season based simply on the flashy showmanship of it all. It's been a really long time, it seems, since we've seen a fully-developed razzle-dazzle jazz-hands take on a popular song everybody knows and most people love, and while Frankenteen and Idiot Rachel do assume control of a majority of the solo bits, they do make sure to throw occasional focus onto others like Santana, Brit-Brit, St. Gay Of Lima, Dreamboat Blaine and Mercedes, so it feels a little more balanced than it would have otherwise.