So, where was I? Oh, yes: After that first number's over, the camera darts out into the audience to capture New Directions' worried expressions for a moment, then it's back to the stage for Not Really All That Unique's take on "Pinball Wizard" from The Who's Tommy. Even though, you know, you'd think they'd have gone with "The Acid Queen," because duh, but I guess that one isn't quite as kid-friendly. In any event, this one's not nearly as much fun to watch because they've chosen to go incredibly literal by incorporating four oversized pinball machines into the routine, and those gigantic, clunky things end up hogging all the focus from the actual people on the stage. I'm thinking it's another example of this show sandbagging the other choirs' performances in some way to justify handing the ultimate win to the children of McKinley High, but as I'm definitely getting waaaaaaay ahead of myself with that, I'll simply note that the on-screen Nationals audience doesn't seem to share my reservations about this one, as they all leap to their feet to scream and cheer and whatnot once it's over. And as Will and Emma shoot uncomfortable glances around the auditorium, we get knocked into this episode's next commercial break wondering if they're actually going to give Sméagol lines tonight. Oh, sorry! Sorry -- "lines" as in "words this gargoyle's meant to deliver in character," not "lines" as in "nose candy." I'm sure gargoyle supplied the second kind itself.
And hoooooo-boy, but this next scene sucks. Sméagol, That Thing From The Internet, and Lloyd from Entourage retire to the judges' chambers to deliberate, and as Rex Lee is the only one among them who can believably deliver a line -- and even then, just barely -- I'm going to cut to the chase: Sméagol prefers New Directions because they were "likeable," That Thing From The Internet prefers Vocal Adrenaline because it would mean so much "to those poor, unfortunate, outcast kids" to see Not Really All That Unique "leading his/her team to victory," so it's left to Lloyd from Entourage to cast the deciding vote.