Guest judge for this week is Jermaine Dupree, which makes everybody legitimately and cutely nervous and giddy, which was nice to see.
Jewel explains that they will be judging the songs in this songwriting competition based on how well-written the songs are, so that clears that up. Kara reminds them that they're listening for the song, not for the quality of the performance, which is very brave of the show, I think, to just be like:
"This singing part might suck and be unlovely to watch, but guess what, you're not watching a show about people singing. But also think about how this show is on Bravo, which you're watching because you are 100% into trainwrecks."
LIKE A PLASTIC BAG
Nick, Jes, Karen: The song is yelly but prettier than the straight-up strum-strum of the punk hook whence it came from, and Nick's gay Metro Station Scene Aesthetic boyband voice is sounding great, and I don't know. It could be a single but I wouldn't personally like it. Mostly these days I just like songs about plastic bags. Their feelings and whatever. It seems like it will win, because it is so super boring.
Jackie, Johnny, Melissa: The way the performance parts are filmed is pretty amazing. It's like a cross between shots that look like every Bravo show, and then these weird cinematic effects. The song itself is pretty standard stuff, I mean, Jackie can do anything so what really comes through is the Jack Johnson vibe from Johnny. Melissa just sits there on the stage vibing or something.
Scotty, Brian, Nevin: Scotty tries to cheat by being a good performer, which makes the song sound better, and making it very Kara DioGuardi song, which I guess is about trying to make the song sound commercial. But then Brian starts playing the drums and it starts sounding like an actual single, they're harmonizing and there's piano from nowhere, and everybody else stares. It sounds pretty, in a Coldplay or OneRepublic kind of way, but that is probably just the execution.
Sonyae, Blessing, Amber: Sonyae leaves her teammates in the audience because she doesn't need them for this part, and then sings her song over herself and a spare electric guitar track. It's very simple and I think very pretty, but sometimes a complicated thing can sound very simple and vice versa, and I can't tell which this is. Either she's a genius, which she doesn't seem to be, or a very boring person, which she radically is. Either way the song seems unlikely to grab the judges.