Making the Band
Insecurities Arise

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Jammin' For Jailbait

Via some true-story miniseries, Crystal Bernard is making her triumphant return to television. Did anyone even notice Crystal Bernard had disappeared? I didn't think so.

Ikaika is an idiot. "This is our very first performance," he confesses to the crowd. "We're happy you're giving us the opportunity to perform for your school today." Trevor decides the best strategy is to flirt with the audience, which consists entirely of jailbait. Just the way Lou likes it. "For those of you girls who don't have guys, there's five eligible bachelors up here," Trevor coos. Ikaika glares at him and vows to spend another hundred dollars telling Malia the rumors of his availability aren't true. Trevor introduces "Baby, I Would." Young girls swoon again. A toddler looks up from her puréed carrots long enough to gurgle and wave an arm. I've yet to see a guy in the audience. Sitting in a row, O-Town's singers snap their fingers, then smack their palms on their thighs. They shake their heads and move the mic stands so as to look dramatic, and the crowd goes wild. I wish I were joking. Jacob sings first, and he not only looks like Justin Timberlake, but his voice has that same very nasal quality to it. Erik chips in to harmonize, horribly misses his first notes and then recovers to salvage the moment and hold an accurate chord with Jacob. Girls pretend to love them. One blonde girl is turning purple. She's been screaming since before they ran out from backstage, and so have I, but for different reasons. Watching in the crowd, Lou looks skeptical and stone-faced. He nods sometimes, unless his cellurific neck makes his head bob against his will. As they sing, the guys walk around and focus on particular girls in the crowd. Ashley kneels in front of a few, who feign interest and fan themselves off with their hands. One girl shouts so loud, the rubber bands in her braces pop out and thwack Ashley's hair, landing perfectly around one of his spikes. Trevor seems to have great stage presence. His face lights up and for once, his tear ducts aren't clogged. The song finishes with Ashley's solo and -- you guessed it -- people cheer, and Lou is likely the poorer for it.

It's time for some completely honest reviews that aren't in any way influenced by kids' desire to get on national television. One tubby guy offers, "It was cool, but I think the girls liked it better." Liar. As a male, he probably wasn't even allowed into the gym. Groups of girls chime in next, debating the age-old question, "Number One, or Number Two?" And even though they're talking about which O-Town song they preferred, the scatological double-meanings still apply. "The dancing was cool," snorts one intense-looking girl with a vaguely insane friend bouncing behind her. Meanwhile, Ashley hugs Jay, who congratulates the guys on a decent show. "They LOVED you!" Jay exclaims, pointing at an elated Trevor. "I liked Ikaika the best," one girl tells the camera. "He touched my hand." O-Town's members joke about wanting to do it all over again because it's so much fun to play a gymnasium. The adrenalin has addled the brain they share. "They were great," a little boy says, overacting. I hope his parents get a good look at him, because he's about to get beaten to a bloody pulp by his classmates. "They were hot hot hot," another girl reads from a TelePrompTer with all the enthusiasm of, say, Erik-Michael. Inside, Lou hugs his guinea pigs. "I didn't know if anyone would boo," confesses Ashley, his arm around Ikaika. "We ran out there and everyone was screaming and standing up, I was like, 'I am Superman.' It was a rush." Hyper Girl and her sidekick, Insanity's Child, wiggle in front of the camera and mainline Jolt Cola. "It's hanotathiabtthbys," blurts I.C. I think she means that it's hard not to fantasize about the boys, but she's too hopped up on caffeine gum and hairspray to worry about enunciation. Hyper Girl adds, "Thguywhhadnoslvson, yah yah," which, roughly translated, means she's panting over the sleeveless Trevor's muscular physique. They make Beavis and Butthead giggling noises and breathe heavily, then run to a local gas station for a Sweet Tarts fix and the latest issue of CosmoGIRL!

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Making the Band

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