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Demian: A | Grade It Now!
Light At The End Of The Tunnel

...Vocal Adrenaline to take the stage! The first of their two numbers this evening is a musically straightforward cover of Nicki Minaj's "Starships" that's greatly enhanced by the rather acrobatic dance routine Not Really All That Unique's fellow Adrenalines hurl themselves into while Not Really All That Unique does little more than strut-strut-strut! through them, taking great care not to get her wig whacked off by some errant flying chorus girl. And I might as well say it now: That strut-strut-strut! thing Not Really All That Unique does here? She did the exact same thing the last time we saw her, and she'll be doing it again during Vocal Adrenaline's next number this evening, so I'm thinking she's basically a one-trick pony. Yet another reason they need to keep her away from McKinley next year. I mean, yeah, I don't mind watching her fierce prancing schtick once or twice a season, but can you imagine week after week of this? No, don't answer that. In fact, forget I even brought it up.

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.

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