We open with a bit of drama over the fact that Tommy is going to be playing drums behind whomever ends up with "Higher Ground" this week. Josh has it to begin with, but then cedes it to Patrice, who immediately starts freaking out over it. To the point where she's pinned up her hair in a crazy faux-hawk for the performance. She's completely overpowered by Tommy, of course. As for Josh, he's a adopted a take-me-or-leave-me attitude, so of course the guys love his version of Sublime's "Santeria," beatboxing and all. Dilana sings "Can't Get Enough" by Bad Company from atop the judges' dais. Ignore that, suckers. The show keeps digging deeper into Nirvana's catalog, and Toby pays the price with a bland cover of "Pennyroyal Tea" that's notable only in that it ends with him draping himself over some chick in the audience. Zayra belts out a thrash punk version of "867-5309/Jenny" while wearing another castoff outfit from Who Wants To Be A Superhero, and the judges finally admit that they're more or less keeping her around as a sideshow. Great. Just what I signed up for. Magni sings "Clocks" by Coldplay, but doesn't really get into an emotional place until he learns that the show is flying his family in from Iceland (and in a rare display of taste, we're spared the spectacle of a surprise reunion onstage). Jill takes the mid-'80s classic "Don't You Forget About Me" and updates it for the late '80s. Bleah. I'm officially over Jill. Ryan -- get this -- Ryan knocks it out of the fucking park with a dramatic performance of "Losing My Religion" from behind the piano. I had no idea he had that in him. Lukas screws the pooch on Hole's "Celebrity Skin;" having forgotten the words, he's reduced to more indistinct mumbling than usual while pacing the runway and singing with his back to the audience. He gets busted for it, too. A power-suited Storm tones down the dramatics for a straight reading of "Changes" by David Bowie, and the judges love it, ignoring a few range and key issues that are apparent to us at home. And Dana wraps it up with the theme from CSI:NY, otherwise known as "Teenage Wasteland," otherwise known as "Baba O'Riley," otherwise known as the song that Dana sang a lot better than I thought she would. The initial bottom three? Toby, Zayra, and Jill. Not to worry; Toby's fans will see that and rush to the polls. Unless of course they're pissed at him about that audience member.
Ryan deservedly gets the encore, making Lukas the only remaining Supernovice who's never sung on an elimination night. Even his hair is droopy after his humiliation of last night. Dana, true to her word, went ahead and got a tattoo. It's a big, black swastika that covers her entire face. No, actually it's a delicate little treble clef over her right hip that Miss Alli correctly describes as "less rebellious than no tattoo at all." Dana then finds herself in the bottom five, along with last night's initial victims -- Toby, Zayra, and Jill -- and the return of Patrice. Jill is the first to be called out for her bottom three performance. She sucks up to Gilby with a Heart tune, which she executes solidly, if occasionally annoyingly. Dana is second, and she sings "House of the Rising Sun" exactly the way the Animals wrote it (I'm kidding; don't email me). Toby's fans saved him, and Zayra's goth supervillain costume goes to waste. So Patrice, in her second bottom-three performance in a row, sings a Jeff Buckley tune, except largely without the tune. Even so, it's Dana who goes home. No doubt a tongue-lashing from her parents over that tattoo awaits.
Brooke's showing a little more skin than usual this week. Nice...forehead. Her introduction alludes to the heat wave, like nothing's going to cool you down faster than packing yourself into a small auditorium with several hundred other walking radiators and then screaming and jumping up and down for an hour. She introduces the Supernovices, Supernova, and Dave, who for some reason his holding up a little idol of some sort. If there's an explanation for that, I missed it, because it's tornado season here in the Midwest so the guy who's been doing the weather on my CBS affiliate since I was half of Dana's age has to show his face and some weather radar of places the station doesn't even reach. By the time he's done yapping, the show has already moved on to some Mansion footage. Fortunately, I caught this week's webisode, so I think I'm pretty up to speed with what I missed, aside from whatever vapid handoff Brooke had to pronounce.
So when the songs for this week went up on the bulletin board, Lukas (rebellious iconoclast that he is) took them all down, carried them out to the courtyard, and dropped them in a stack on the picnic table. One of the songs was "Higher Ground," which caught Josh's attention because it's originally a Stevie Wonder song. But Tommy Lee's going to be playing on it, which likely means another double cover, Red Hot Chili Peppers style. So Josh smoothly withdraws his foot from that particular bear trap and resets it for to the other Supernovice who expressed interest: Patrice. At first she can't believe her good luck, and snaps it up. But almost immediately, she starts stressing about what she's gotten herself into. Especially after being in the bottom three last week. Later, we see her in the house, and Ryan wanders past, ominously intoning, "Tommy Lee." Patrice jumps on him -- politely, and in a civilized tone, but jumpy none the less -- asking him to knock it off. Someone's nervous already. She's like an actor you can't say "Macbeth" around. Ryan insists that's the first time he's said it, although he's heard others say it. Patrice apologizes. Ryan heads off down the hall, mouthing "Bitch" at the camera behind her back. Classy.
Back at the auditorium, Ryan and Patrice share a laugh in the Nut Gallery over this footage which they've probably just seen for the first time. Ryan's yammering some excuse to Patrice, although we can't hear what it is. And Patrice can't be thinking about that now anyway, because Brooke tells her that she's up first, which means: Tommy Lee. Oops, sorry, Patrice. Patrice's hair is all crazily pinned up in a way that makes her look like a rooster with a Women's Studies degree from UT-Austin. Amid screams, Tommy strips off his ratty little shirt and gets behind the drum kit. Brooke introduces "The Red Hot Chili Peppers' version of 'Higher Ground'" and they're off. Tommy plays in the style we all remember, all twirling drumsticks and flailing elbows and that expression that looks like he expects (quite reasonably) to put his own eye out at any second. As for Patrice, she's rather out of her depth here, although she gives it her all. There's lots of strutting and preening and even a little rolling around on the floor. She even steals a few of Storm's facial expressions. But then she mis-times her final pose at the end of the thrash coda. And then Tommy wraps it up with the longest drum solo I've seen on network TV in about twenty years before grabbing his shirt and scampering back to the judges' dais. "Tommy Lee!" Patrice announces to the audience. Oh, so only she's allowed to say it?