Closing the break-room door, the Bonded Six bend Ranger Marc's ear about Ikaika. Erik-Michael says he doesn't see Ikaika as part of the group. "Does everybody feel this way?" Marc asks, to which the other five either nod or state emphatic agreement. "It's not fair that Mike stayed here, and then Ikaika recorded Mike's part," Jacob rants. I really sympathize here, but I've also heard both guys' voices. In my opinion, Mike's is richer and fuller and better, but it's so much lower, it sounds almost jarring when juxtaposed with the other six. Fairness aside, Lou's goal here is not to appease young egos, but to make a hit record (heh...good luck) that rakes in the dough, and oh yes, to make a TV show with an actual plot. Sure, I don't agree with his actions, but I can at least see Lou's logic. Enough of me being the devil's advocate -- back to Marc, who suggests taking the talk back to the house and having it out with Ikaika. "Sit down, hammer this out," the good Ranger insists. Incensed, Jacob points out that Ikaika admits he never practiced the song and dance while in Hawaii. "I will not be in the same band as someone who's not even close to our mindset," Prima Donna says. "If he signs that contract and his name gets called, I'm walking." Speaking of walking, Ikaika struts into the room, and everyone shuts up as though he doesn't know exactly what they've been doing.
Mike's driving the Man Van back to the house -- although with just Ikaika and Bryan on board, it's more of a Wimp Wagon. Mike starts subtly singing one of his parts in "All For Love," and sounds quite stellar, but in a fit of good grace he stops and instead gives Ikaika a warning. "Just to prep you, this meeting we're having...it's about you not being here. Just so you know." What a gentleman -- Mike gets the shaft, and he still plays fair.
The seven guys, their ranger and reedy Jay sit around the dining-room table. Mike kicks things off by asking Ikaika to elucidate his reason for leaving Orlando. "To me, like, the auditions were over already," Ikaika says. "The Five were supposed to have been chosen, but weren't chosen because of contractual stuff, and it was a big mess." He further explains that he was scared, fretting that staying in Orlando would confuse him and ultimately put him in position to sign something he may not have been ready to sign. "When you went home, it felt like you didn't want to be around us," Mike says. Of course he didn't, Mike -- you're not Malia. You aren't sullen enough to hold Ikaika's interest. Mike asks Ikaika if he feels as connected as before the break, or if he even wants to be part of things. "I feel like I could be, but I feel like you guys are all mad at me," Ikaika understates. An emotional Erik-Michael telegraphs his mental state by turning down the corners of his substantial lips. He chokes out: "The actions you have taken up to this point have made it hard for me to really want to accept you into the group, and it's really hard for me to say that." Yeah, to his face -- Erik had no problem saying it behind his back.