The tour guide tries to drum up excitement over taking the semifinalists to a part of the studio where he's never taken any other tour, and they dutifully cheer. Recent Grad plays along that the fakey bustle (seriously, there are extras in Victorian garb next to Roman columns -- fake!) is in the service of some real film project. The contestants get out of the trams as Recent Grad fulminates on about how exciting it was.
The semifinalists assemble; Chelsea welcomes them with a typical intro. Gr'up has confidence, focus, and drive, by his own assessment. A dude who looks like Spike Lee gave up Wall Street because he feels like he has something to say. Dude, it's way easier just to start a blog. Also, cheaper. Spike II just wants a shot. The contestants are going to be making "Hollywood movies" (eh?) every week, and showing them to the public. The crowd will be thinned, and one person will win a $1 million development deal with DreamWorks. So, uncredited script doctoring on Shrek Sallies Fourth may be in some chump's future, then? String Bean is impressed some more. Chelsea will see them next at the Biltmore Hotel, "birthplace of the Academy Awards." A strawberry blond in a cheese-coloured suit wants to win.
Bus! The contestants mingle. We get an interview with Jason Epperson, of Winchester, KY, in which he says that all the hicksy coal-mining friends and family at home (I'm paraphrasing) are counting on him.
The bus stops at the Biltmore. The contestants pile out. The hotel is nice. Mateen Kemet (formerly Spike II) of Oakland felt like he had "arrived" when he got there. The screening room's all fancy, with three leather armchairs in the center for the judges, but no matter how much they try to make me think this is actually in the Biltmore Hotel, it's so over-designed that I'm immediately suspicious that it's as real as Trump's (former) boardroom. Will Bigham (formerly Balding Dorkus) of Canyon, TX felt like he and all his fellows had made it.
Chelsea shows up again, for no good reason, and reminds us again about the stakes. But the competition starts "right here, right now." They're going to be judged on their submission films, and on three assignments that will supposedly reveal which of them has what it takes to make it.