The ABC promotional juggernaut continues. After their stint on the network's famed soap All My Children and a couple MTV-sponsored appearances on its stupid shows, the O-Town boys get a gig on a live national broadcast. The band will sing its first single, "Liquid Dreams." Fifty-one beautiful women, either dressed to the nines or half-naked in swimsuits, will strut around the stage and be ogled by Donny Osmond. What better venue for the debut of O-Town's homage to ejaculation? They also craftily let O-Town sing before the talent competition, thus elevating the five finalists' performances by juxtaposing them with complete mediocrity. And in a neat twist, the Miss America group lets Jackie Salvucci contend for "Miss Congeniality."
Marie Osmond introduces O-Town and, naturally, mentions their "hit" television series. Actually, Marie said "shit" television series, but the network censors anticipated her truth-telling and deftly muted the extra letter.
The fivesome strut onstage in darkness. Smartly, they left the crew lock where it belongs -- languishing in a junk heap with the Macarena, the Locomotion, and the Electric Slide. Ashley emerges in the center of the pack and gets the first line, again dressed in light colors -- pale blue and a denim jacket -- that make him glow like an ethereal innocent. Just once, I wish he'd come out with a cigarette between his lips, a "My Crotch is for Carnivores" t-shirt, and a hot-pink thong hanging between his front teeth. "Posters of love are surrounding me," he sings, and although he means wall decorations, I prefer interpreting it as a shout-out to the many forum dwellers eager to lick a milk mustache off his upper lip. "I'm lost in a world of fantasy." Okay. Then Trevor appears, clad in a sleeveless shirt and khakis, with a flesh-toned skull cap. In honoring wet dreams, the costume department thought it apropos to have one O-Boy come out disguised as a phallus. And thus, Trevor's outfit was born. "Every night she comes to me and gives me all the love I need," he sings. Trevor got a solo! I'm almost proud. He's not terrible, either, except that he's channeling Justin Timberlake by pronouncing "me" like "may." Because of his muscles, I shall forgive him. So far, so good.
And then, Jacob has to show up and ruin things with his solo. His reddish-brown hair is dreadlocked and tightly woven to his skull, and fastened with a red bandanna for good measure. He's what they call in the biz, "horrible." The nasality isn't gone from his voice, and he sounds out-of-breath and flat. His microphone is too loud as well, which only enhances those negatives. At home, all the rejected finalists are gobsmacked that this runt ever made the cut. "Now this...HOT girl, she's not your average girl. She's a morph-erotic dream from a magazine," Jacob bellows. "And she's...SO fine, designed to blow your mind. She's a dominatrix supermodel beauty queen." Oh, I could totally see Jacob craving a dominatrix. He'd demand that she be the leader, take charge, and at times abruptly walk out of the room mid-hand-job to take a stroll outside. She'd then return and spank him while yelling that he's a naughty little five-year-old.