Woo! Nashville Star! Billy Ray Cyrus enters, his bangs feathered and held in place with Aqua Net in a tribute to me in the '80s. His attempts to curry favor will not work, however. Well, at least not yet. A few Hannah Montana royalty checks wired to my bank account might change my tune. He tells us that the contestants have been split into three categories: men, women and groups. Furthermore, a judge has been assigned to each group as a mentor. Who they were paired with was a surprise to everybody, he says. Yes, the world was waiting with baited breath. We cut to a pre-recorded segment, and then it happens. An announcer tells us that Jewel, John and Jeffrey headed to the Gaylord Opryland Resort. Maybe this is a nod to all the folks getting married in California? (Which: Congratulations!) Or else it was all inspired by the Gaylord of the Dance himself, Billy Ray Cyrus. Seriously, you must have the biggest dick in the world not to change your name if you were christened "Gaylord."
The contestants wait at Gaylord's Palace to find out who their mentors will be. Each of the judges blather, with John Rich getting most into the spirit of the Gaylord and acting all tough-like. And then all is revealed! John Rich is with the girls, Jewel is with the guys, and Jeffrey Steele is with the groups. He didn't really want the groups, but stiffly tells them that this is going to be great. The judges lightly smack talk each other and talk about how much they want to win. We cut back to the live show, where each mentor stands with his or her contestants. Jewel is wearing an awfully short dress, which is alternately fetching and annoying.
And then it's time to learn some of the results from last week. Laura and Sophie, the teens who want to stand by their chronically cheating men, are first through. In their mentoring video, Jeffrey tells them that they will engage the audience more if they stop looking at each other so much. Unless that coy stare is followed by some T.A.T.U. style makeout sessions. Then the audience will engage in all sorts of ways. Laura & Sophie perform. They are in their freaking matching outfits again, singing "Rockin' with the Rhythm of the Rain," which is a Judds song. It's oookay. The vocal balance seems weird, and they're not completely locked in with each other harmony-wise. But they hardly look at each other at all, which I guess counts for something. John Rich says that they did a good job, but he's concerned that they are so young, and really need to start singing songs that appeal to people of their age. Jewel points out that Lauren & Sophie auditioned with this song and have probably been singing it for years, so she wants to see them step it up and move out of their comfort zone. Jeffrey still feels like he's in a slumber party. In their bedroom. Oh, and then before I can even think of a vaguely suggestive joke John Rich just comes right out with it and asks Jeffrey if he asked them to take their pajamas off. The audience laughs nervously, but John claps for himself, because if there's one thing he loves, it's molesty jokes made at someone else's expense for a change.