Time for 22-year-old Simone Battle, who I barely remember. She sang "When I Grow Up" by Pussycat Dolls at auditions and impressed Simon with her hot pants. Then in her interview she uses the term "fierce" twice, and I'm reminded all over again. Out on stage, she gives a speech while a cameraman does a slow, close zoom up her bare legs, and she's singing "Your Song" by Elton John. Except it's an angry version, and it's the version about completely forgetting the words, which she is writing on the fly. Yikes. She acts like she meant to do that, while judges and members of the audience look on in undisguised horror. By the time the pianist takes pity on everyone in the room and stops playing, Simon's unable to keep quiet, and tells her she didn't remember a single word. She says she was trying to do something different and promises she can "bring it." At least she holds it together emotionally until she gets backstage. And the worst part? Nicole says that's the best she ever heard Simone sing.
It also doesn't go well for 4Shore, who can't pull off complicated harmonies this fast and try to make up for it by having their lead singer walk off the stage and finish in the judges' faces. Little Ladiez (who!?) blow what may or may not be "Ain't No Sunshine" while taking their jackets off. Makenna & Brock essay a country/blues version of "Billie Jean" that divides the judges (with Simon on the no side). Siameze, whose borrowed time is racking up compound interest at an alarming rate, screeches "Creep," inducing visible headaches. "Everything about it was...not...right," Paula says, somehow being inarticulate and totally nailing it at the same time. So with all these people trying and failing to do unique versions of their songs, by the time Brennin Hunt comes out and says of his Alicia Keys song, "I can guarantee you've never heard it like this," Simon's eyes narrow with hate until they're parallel with his hair. Simon rudely calls L.A. over to complain to him while Brennin's still singing, and even more rudely calls a halt, asking why he wouldn't sing with just a piano. Brennin says he wanted to think outside the box, and he's dismissed from the stage. Simon is starting to get very cranky, which gathers a crowd of production people to listen to him complain about "weirdo versions." He decides it's time for a break, so might as well put a commercial here, I guess.