Once Jill's back onstage (which, they don't show how she swung that, it being at her shoulder-level and all), Dave makes a crack that's in pretty poor taste. He compares Jill to Carmela Soprano, and "I'm afraid to say anything because I might get whacked." Wow, that's kind of offensive. Does Dave not know that many Italian-Americans or something? Because obviously, Jill is Meadow. Tommy says that it was one of his favorite performances from Jill, and calls it "killer." Jason appreciated Jill's physical performance, but makes the point that it was at the cost of her vocal power. He tells her to keep them "integrated." Dave thanks Jill, and she promises to "keep all that up here," pointing to her head. Which is going to get crowded. Brooke gives Dilana's and Jill's numbers before sending us to commercial.
During which I have time to reflect that the next time I road-trip all the way to New Mexico or whatever, it won't be to eat at fucking Applebee's.
Coming back, Brooke claims that people are still talking about Ryan's performance from last week, which makes me glad I don't talk to many people. He's doing the Stones' "Paint it, Black" tonight. And then Brooke gets all mysterious, saying, "Somewhere in this theater is Ryan Star." The lights get dark and dramatic and the House Band goes into a trippy version of the intro. Ryan wanders through the audience and comes up onstage via the runway steps, "oooh"-ing in falsetto. Then we see that he's wearing all black, with a tight, hooded sweatshirt that has a plume of black hair attached to the top. It looks completely ricockulous. But it's about to get worse, because when the lights come up and the band kicks in, he throws back to the hood to reveal a Lone Ranger mask inexpertly painted on his eyes with a black crayon. At least he's done something cool with the song: he starts right in where the original ends, with all the yelling. Tommy blinks in confused embarrassment for Ryan. Who is now into the song proper, dancing around in what now looks like a mime outfit with a dead crow stuffed into the back of the collar. My appreciation for his voice continues to grow, which is why it's kind of too bad that the judges are cackling at him. He does some more leaping and running around in that forced way he has, even managing to be heard at one point despite not having the microphone anywhere near his mouth. He forgets that the phrase "black as coal" appears anywhere in the song, and finishes up staring straight into the camera, his expression considerably more serious than his appearance. Touch his monkey. Touch it!