Making the Band
Dress Rehearsal

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Jacob and his Amazing Technicolor Ego

Last time, we bore unfortunate witness to O-Town's first performance, which took place in an Orlando asylum that's code-named "Southwest Middle School." Young girls screamed. They're Lou's modern incarnation of Pavlov's dog: Find five pretty boys, ring the dented, dull bells that are their vocal cords, and an entire demographic stands and salivates. Jacob's just warming up, though; he shares that SW M.S. was just a practice for him, where he and his cohorts went out and tried to do their best whether the audience reacted or not. Good thing Lou paid them to cheer, fed them stimulants and programmed their minds for good measure. "They may confuse girls screaming with it being a good show," TyJuan says to the camera. "When we review the tapes it'll be a reality check." We see six girls in the bleachers swaying, which looks like rhythmic cheering but which is actually a result of wooziness; they're way up in the rafters, and their noses are hemorrhaging. Finally, Jacob reminds us, "Record executives will be looking at us on Friday, so we have to be as good as possible."

And the credits roll. We'll dedicate this episode to TyJuan's passion, sacrifice and determination, since he's a stud and his career's in the incapable hands of five lackluster singers.

Dramatic drumbeats take us into our first overhead shot of Orlando. We slowly locate the O-Town house and peek inside at the action. And boy is it hoppin' in the O-bode: Trevor's in bed and Ikaika's taking a controversial stroll into the bathroom. Thrills and chills. It's all there. Trevor's yelling at someone not to use all the hot water, and suddenly, I know exactly what's coming next. My nudity alarm beeps loudly. And there, standing under a piping hot shower spray, is a dripping wet, self-scrubbing Ashley, putting the "show" in Shower Cam. Sitting in the studio talking to the cameras, Trevor tells us that today, they're practicing on a real stage for the first time. No basketball nets, no paint on the floor, no pretty banners that say "Girls' Volleyball Regional Champs" and no grade-six gym class playing an intrusive game of dodgeball during the show. Excited, Erik recklessly defies directions and squirts a SECOND quarter-sized blob of hair gel into the palm of his hand, massaging it into his crunchy mop. We're through the looking glass here, people. He then dons a sweater vest, glasses and a baseball cap -- nice planning with the hair! -- and climbs aboard the Man Van.

Tense guitar music guides the Man Van through the boring Orlando highways toward a ramshackle shed that is supposedly the back entrance to the House of Blues. It's time for serious rehearsal. Raymond explains that, before they go over the songs, they'll have to chat about the Southwest Middle School show. Ikaika shows off the adeptness with which he fibs. "We thought we sucked, so go ahead and give it to us," he tells Raymond. What a wimp. He was ecstatically praising their effort last time until Jay urinated all over the O-Town parade. Off-camera, Ashley chips in that all things considered, everyone felt really pleased with the performance. "The Southwest Middle School show was fun," Jacob says in confessional. Got that? Southwest Middle School. It's a fun place. Yes, this fine educational institution is the only one in the world that can guarantee your child at least one Lou Pearlman sighting. Enroll today! Do it now and get a free vial of Ikaika's new fragrance, "Indecision." "The girls were screaming so loud, we couldn't hear ourselves," Jacob says, adding that as a result they all missed a lot of notes -- and I don't mean the "Will you go out with me? Yes/No, Circle One" kind of notes the teenage audience balled up into sweaty wads and heaved at O-Town.

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Making the Band

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