Making the Band
Goodbye Friends

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Two Winners, Five Losers?

Strobe lights are in full effect at the C-Note show. Ashley explains that "it's a good experience" to watch C-Note because "when we perform we wanna go out there and kick." As C-Note sings a ballad, we see Ikaika belting out the song from up in the cheap seats. Apparently, Lou Pearlman's heft far exceeds his actual clout -- if the guys were any closer to the rafters, they'd have nosebleeds. Trevor looks shell-shocked. "I think we were all just like, whoa, reality check, we really gotta practice," he says. Ikaika sings once more, with feeling. The curtain drops.

At a pizza place after the show, Ikaika explains his reaction to C-Note: "I almost cried. It's so beautiful, what they do, putting so much heart and soul into [the song]," Ikaika gushes. Everyone agrees they're nervous about going onstage and screwing up royally. Lou's wearing a napkin bib. Figures. Ikaika's logical next step is that they work out like fiends. "No excuses. We start tomorrow, get our butts up and run and lift," Ikaika warns his friends. "It's gonna be a regimen, fellas." At ease, please. Jesus.

In the morning, true to his word, Ikaika rouses Erik and Ashley for a run. Hot Lips doesn't like it. "Ikaika tries to be a motivator when it comes to working out, and I just don't see it happening right now," he says. "I don't think anyone's a leader yet." Will you shut up about the leadership? I swear, if anyone busts out with "You're not the boss of me," I'm tossing the television out the window. Ikaika's take on the situation is that someone has to keep the group in line, and he thinks his age -- he's the oldest, at twenty-one -- qualifies him for the task. "I have a lot of drive and determination I can bring to this group," he boasts. Yes, true, and right now it's driving Erik's lungs into overdrive. I think he just busted one. "Start off doing twenty-five [push-ups] and tell me how you feel," Ikaika instructs. "I do five sets of fifty." Braggart. Jacob calls him on it, joking that he's belittling them. "Oh, I usually do six hundred, but you boys start with ten," he mocks, and Ikaika laughs along with everyone else. "Dude, you're so dead," he thinks at Jacob. For his part, Jacob's exercising while wearing a boater's hat. I hate him for it, and yet it's sparing me an eyeful of his hair, so I shouldn't complain. Especially not when I'm treated to him -- and to be fair, everyone but Ikaika -- badly botching the push-ups and barely even bending his arms.

Ashley's jamming a fork into the red Bat Phone. "I don't think this is quite cooked yet," he thinks. Silence. "I'm kinda bummed," Ash says into the phone. "It's not a very happy time any more." He forks the phone again, so I assume it's a lot more fun than it looks. In a voice-over, Ashley admits Shelli's letting him down by not being strong enough to handle long-distance issues. "Why do yooou have to be the one I like fell in love with, and you left," Shelli moans. Diagram that sentence. Ashley gently tells Shelli he'll understand if she wants to abandon the relationship, but Shelli would rather play the Ultimatum Game again. She reminds Ashley that he said he'd come home with a few words from her, and essentially Shelli tries to collect on that. "I can't believe you're asking me to do that," Ashley says, dumbfounded. Shelli regrets supporting his audition, fixated on how much she gave up to let him out of her life -- about one-hundred-sixty pounds of sweet lovin', to be exact. Ashley's understandably angry. "So you wish for me that I never got to see my dreams come true, and that you did?" he asks. To us, Ashley confesses her words wounded him, and made him wonder about the value of a girlfriend who actually wishes his ambitions won't ever be reality. "I was everything to you, and now this is," she laments. Ashley tells her he's always wanted this lifestyle and she knew that, and that's enough to make Shelli hang up on him. The Ultimatum Game has a funny way of turning into Solitaire. Ashley retreats. Erik, who'd been shamelessly staring and listening, touches the phone and stares at it in wonder, as though he doesn't understand this special talking gadget. I think he's Unfrozen Cave Man Tenor.

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Making the Band

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