The line between commercial and show blurs more than ever, as hapless judges' assistant Wade takes delivery of three coolers of Pepsi X. Dragon-flavored, apparently. Nobody cares except Simon, who wants to claim he picked the winner and not just Demi. And I don't think even he cares that much.
Lyric Da Queen and Willie Jones bond with each other about the stress and drama of Boot Camp, with all two of its tasks. For this round, he's up against Tate Stevens, the other country singer we've met. Tate thinks his advantage is in his experience, wisely not mentioning that, unlike Willie, he also wears a cowboy hat and is white. Tate appears to have an even greater advantage, because they're singing "Nobody Knows," -- which I'm more familiar with as a Babyface tune than as a country song, which means L.A. probably knows it real well -- and Willie forgets the words. He lets a few lines go by while Tate makes a "Did you fart?" face at him. It's also not in the lower range that Willie uses to set himself apart, so the younger man is screwed on every level. Especially when Tate comes in and sings his part perfectly. After they're done, it looks like they're going to get away clean, but L.A. stops Willie and asks if he knew the song before this. Willie says he didn't, and does his best to avoid throwing Tate under the bus for picking it. "I think Tate knew what he was doing," Demi suspects after Willie leaves the stage, and L.A. agrees that "Tate hustled him." Willie has tears going down his face backstage after that, feeling like he blew it. Well, with some help with Tate.
Arin Ray, who survived last year's InTENsity debacle, is now being paired with another 16-year-old named Normani Hamilton. Arin assures us that he's not looking for a girlfriend until after he wins the prize. I don't think she was asking, dude. They do their duet like a little theater piece and then high-five backstage. And then Arin says something sweet to her that makes her hug him. Yeah, he's not looking for a girlfriend at all. The judges are clearly feeling Arin, though. Simon says he could see Arin in a band, and I think he actually means it and is not just being an imp from Hell who wants to torture Arin this way every year until the end of time.
Jillian Jensen, the bullied 19-year-old, is paired with a Latasha Robinson, 27, and not happy about it. Latasha appears a little domineering, which Jillian doesn't know how to deal with. Once they're onstage together, L.A. tries to pit them against each other before they even get started. And only a couple of lines in, Latasha totally forgets the words and has a crying fit, giving up even when Jillian tries to help her out by quietly singing the lyrics to her. So eventually Jillian stops worrying about her and steps forward into her moment, doing that raw, emotional thing she does for the rest of the song. Well, one of them impressed the judges, at least. Latasha apologizes to the stone-faced judges and Jillian even defends Latasha to them as well. Once they're off stage, Jillian's main concern is still for Latasha, who's storming off to cry. "That little 19-yar-old girl just stood there and outshined me.," she sobs. Not true; that implies Latasha did any shining at all.