To prep you for the imminent Ikaikathon, there are a few things ABC would like you to remember. Ikaika fled Orlando when the contract negotiations stalled. His brother Haku did all the talking, which concerned Ashley: "I felt like he was letting Haku tell him what to do, and I didn't like that...It's Ikaika's name on the contract, it's not Haku's." We see Bryan dialing Ikaika in Hawaii, but he reaches an answering machine and informs us he's called every day and failed to reach his friend. Jacob finally reminds us that Ikaika left no word as to the date of his return.
Passion? Check. Sacrifice? Check. Determination? Check. We're off and running.
The Six enter the recording studio to cut a polished track of "All For Love." It's apparently a twisted Trans Con tactic of punishing the viewers for O-Town's holiday misadventures. Erik Estrada, middle name be damned, is ecstatic. "This is the week I've been waiting for," he enthuses, inasmuch as he opens his eyes a little wider and wiggles an eyebrow. "We finally get to record our first song." Cut to a montage of studio scenes -- there's a microphone, important sound-mixing equipment and a rec room. See? They're real singers. Enter Dakari, a nice-looking African-American man who we learn committed two atrocities: producing the record and writing the synthetic drivel they call "All For Love." Devil, thy name is Dakari. He explains that the guys need to concentrate on the chorus and the complex harmonies he composed. He sings the root melody, and it turns out Dakari has a great voice. Hey, man -- quit your day job. Seriously. Palpable excitement infuses the stale studio as O-Town gazes lovingly at the microphones. Mini-Lou is mercifully missing, probably away rehearsing "Just the Two of Us" with his blubberific bigger self.
Jacob goes first, because you know, he is the most special and there's really no one like him. It's true! Have you ever seen such a balls-on accurate personification of "generic"? For me, it's a first. Jacob's clutching at his headphones, belting out something to do with one-syllable simplicities such as "love" and "ooh" and the like. "Big big big," booms Dakari. As Jacob croons, Trevor swoons. He's staring through the round porthole on the recording booth's door, bouncing uncontrollably and gnawing his fingernails in tingly glee. Next up is Ashley, whose singing is so strenuous that his already-rosy cheeks deepen dramatically in hue. Ash is hitting some high notes, and Dakari tells him that anxiety will kick that shit up a few octaves, yo. Sure, whatever, D. A studio-hand asks Jacob if it's their First Time, and Jacob points out it's O-Town's first day in the studio as a unit, but by singling out Trevor, implies everyone else is used to all this. "It's the first song he's ever recorded in a studio," Jacob says, but what he means is, "Amateurs, all of them. I am so fucking incredible and experienced."