To promote this very special episode, ABC threw a silly-looking beach party and ran a sweepstakes to give away seven Disney cruises, because yes, Disney made all this possible. In a culture where reality-based shows equal sure-fire ratings wins, Disney found a way to produce the format's only unwatched program. Well done. It's an accomplishment worth celebrating, so we're treated to a shirtless Ikaika between episodes, followed by a hat-and-shades clad Trevor teaching a posse of girls the "All For Love" dance. The other seven -- Paul included -- help out, ostensibly because it's the last time they'll all do press together. And we thought we'd never see his sharp nose on ABC again.
Somewhere in the monstrous mounds of sliced-and-diced footage: Ashley's girlfriend Shelli, speaking through a streak of whore-red lipstick, tells the camera she'll stand by him no matter what happens. "I'm willing to like see him through this totally," Shelli insists poetically. They kiss and act like they're in love. But it's been thirty seconds, so it's Jacob's turn for screen time, and we're treated to a reminder that he feels it's a risk to put his career in Ikaika's hands. At the dinner table during a house meeting, Trevor says it's unfair for Ikaika to take the spot of one of the six who didn't fly the coop for a week. Ikaika rails on them for not understanding the situation on his level, and threatens to throw down with Jacob.
Paul's still in the credits. I bet he doesn't make the final five.
Frenetic guitar chords underscore the hostility as Jacob and Ikaika stare daggers at one another. Lou exhibits his signature clairvoyance: "We've still got tension here," he observes. "That tension's gotta be broken." Ashley cracks his knuckles, Mike refuses to look up, and Erik-Michael plucks at a stray thread on the couch. His mouth, pursed in a substantial pout, looks so blindingly bulbous that the top lip practically clogs his nostrils. Ranger Marc reaches out and squeezes Ikaika's shoulder, hoping to calm him. Lou addresses the hot-headed Hawaiian, assuring him Jacob doesn't really want to fight. "He just wants you to do what you say you'll do," Lou tells Ikaika. "There's no future in fighting." Repeating that for good measure and thinking back to all that ugly legal wrangling with the other boy-bands, Lou crosses his fingers behind his back and pastes a smile on his face, then promises the seven guys they can trust him. His chins look very sincere. In the confessional, Jacob rips into Ikaika: "I could not believe Ikaika was treating this like a high-school classroom in front of Lou Pearlman," he gasps. Note his blatant failure to share with Lou the little threat to quit the band if Ikaika gets picked. He's so wholly a chicken that if we cut Jacob's head off, he'd still be able to run around the studio. And hey, it might improve his songwriting.