Making the Band
Insecurities Arise

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Jammin' For Jailbait

Someone at ABC finally figured out that "previously" segments aren't necessary when you've just spent the last half-hour airing that episode. Instead, we're treated to a sampling of what's to come: Southwest Middle School. The group's first performance will be to a bunch of screaming, wailing pubescent girls who think any guy with hair on his legs is an erotic fantasy. "Being part of a group is something we've all dreamed about," Jacob lies. "But at the same time, I'm putting my dreams and everything I've ever wanted in life in the hands of four other people." Well, more fool you, then.

The credits are really tiresome without the other three guys. I wish they'd put TyJuan and Raymond in there -- but just the parts where they whoop a little boy-band booty.

In forty-seven hours, O-Town performs live for the first time. The air is thick with anticipation as the whole world wonders, "How bad can one band really be?" TyJuan seems to be feeling that strain. The prospect of performances scares him, he tells the guys, because they're nowhere near as ready as they ought to be. Jacob looks around the room and pays TyJuan no heed. "I wonder how long before I can go solo," he thinks. Raymond looks disapprovingly at the five guys. Again. Perhaps the wind changed a couple episodes ago and his face is frozen that way. "The pressure is definitely more now," Trevor says. "Everyone is gonna expect so much, it's gonna be so tough." By now, I think Trans Con's learned to lower its expectations. All anyone can hope for at this point is basic competence, but that's a three-syllable word, so it's out of O-Town's reach on several levels.

Mini-Lou makes a triumphant return to the studio. Ashley's crooning the opening lines to "Baby, I Would," and he's not projecting terribly far, so Jabba Jr. opts for massage therapy. "Stop being careful," Mini-Lou advises, rubbing Ashley's shoulder. Aw. "I can see it in your eyes -- what are you scared of?" Mini-Lou asks. "You," Ashley fires back, faster than I could say it. "I doubt that," Mini-Lou giggles as his hand creeps over to Ashley's neck. Just keep stroking the boys, M-L, and you'll see what "scared" looks like. You'll also see what "lawsuit" looks like. Li'l Jabba asks Ashley to contemplate the sentiment he's expressing in song, and then to imbue it with emotion. The line is, "Would I give up all I have to see you smile?" and we see a quaint black-and-white shot of Ashley and Shelli sitting on a porch swing. Mini-Lou points out what a big idea the lyric presents. "That is kinda big," Ashley whispers. He's also staring at Mini-Lou's tummy. Coincidence? Jacob doesn't care. He'd rather talk about what Ashley does wrong. "When he sings he closes his eyes and sounds too soft, and when he's dancing, he forgets the dance," Jacob says as we're treated to visuals of poor Ash looking puzzled.

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Making the Band

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