Last time: Our heroes Ashley, Erik, Ikaika, Jacob and Trevor embarked on life as a pack of five. Despite the tiresome and unnecessary emphasis on Ashley's relationship woes in that same episode, there's no reference to any of it here. Bunim-Murray swept Shelli under the rug faster than Lou Pearlman can inhale a cheesecake.
The credits are tough to recreate in words. It's a bunch of split-screen images of the guys in "sultry" poses, which come off more like five kids playing Boy Band in their parents' living rooms. All five of them dance and move their hands in a nifty, yet alarming, combination: It's Madonna's "Vogue" video meets "Intergalactic" by the Beastie Boys, with a healthy pinch of dog-paddle thrown in to boost the asinine quotient.
Morning. The gym. Ikaika's such a loner, he's reduced to kickboxing with himself and his inner demons. A flesh-and-bone demon, like Jacob, would be a far more fascinating foe, but Jacob's too busy being sprawled on his back in bed, snoring and drooling. I guess Ikaika has a rule that he can only box against the conscious. An alarm buzzes; it's 10:17 AM, and the rest of O-Town tumbles out of bed. "Now that we're down to five, there's a lot more pressure on all of us," Ashley declares. Cut to a steamy shower scene, where Ash is rubbing his chest and soaking in a stream of hot water. The cameraman collects a twenty-dollar bonus for Ashley Angel, Hot and Wet, part III. Ashley's voice-over shares that, after the tension and stress of working to make the cut, everyone wanted to relax a bit and revel in the relief of making the Final Five. But "it was replaced with a whole nother [sic] stress," Ashley complains as he struggles to get ready for a trip to Trans Con. Certainly, it is tough to find enough time to observe standard personal hygiene AND dress oneself in the morning. But at least Ashley's trying. He shares that there's a performance in seven days, and O-Town has to knock people's socks off," but people constantly remind them how much they must accomplish in the meantime. Ashley skips off to the Man Van and leaps inside. "He's the worst wake-up person," someone says, so ineloquently that it has to be Erik-Michael.
The time is now 11:15 AM, and they're clearly late for something, as the guys are debating what web of deceit to spin today. "We'll say we woke up late," Erik says. Someone points out that it's bad to tell that to an interviewer. "We gotta give the truth," intones Erik. His enormous lips come with a built-in moral compass. Trevor recalls the alarm going off at quarter to ten, but he reset it to give himself and Jacob another forty-five minutes of sleep. Trevor tries with the numbers, he really does, but 9:45 plus forty-five minutes equals 10:30 -- an equation that fails to account for the alarm in their room that went off at 10:17. Oh, sure, I'm picking on Trevor, but I can't help preferring that people master basic math and clock skills. There's more conversation about how badly they all mistimed their morning preparations, and the Man Van pulls up to Trans Con at 11:30 on the nose.