Coming back, Steve reminds us that the winner gets not only a five-million-dollar recording contract, but also GETS TO BE IN A PEPSI COMMERCIAL!!!2@! Montage of past commercials and the final twelve pretending like that's the part they're most excited about. And then, after this whole bit about how special and amazing and once-in-a-lifetime it is to have a Pepsi commercial, the current Pepsi-ad song is performed by someone nobody's ever heard of called "Outasight." Awesome. Well, I mock, but I think this is the first time an entire song has actually been performed all the way through on this show, and that's something. Then all the dancers have to hold still on the stage while Steve flogs the first results to be announced after the break.
But not right after the break, because first there's a montage of all the contestants talking about how much they don't want to go home yet, because this is all they want to do, going home would be devastating, blah di bloo. Because whoever ends up leaving tonight, we'd hate to think they'd do something as gauche as to survive it. Back onstage, Steve brings out the finalists, accompanied by their mentors. Thus L.A. comes out flanked by Marcus Canty, Astro and Chris Rene, looking a little embarrassed by all the pomp. Simon comes out with Drew, Melanie Amar, and Rachel Crow. Paula comes out at the head of the small army that is Stereo Hogzz, InTENsity and Lakoda Rayne, and finally Nicole leads out LeRoy Bell, Josh Krajcik and Stacy Francis. Steve preps to reveal the names "in no particular order," and seems a bit nervous himself as he again explains that the bottom two will sing for the judges, who will decide whom to boot. Steve waits for silence so he can repeat the "no particular order" thing and start announcing names. Well, pausing and announcing names. Actually, mostly pausing. A full fifteen seconds elapses before he names Marcus Canty, and I finally understand how they're going to fill the next half hour. "See you next week," Steve says, like Marcus is off to his hotel room until next Wednesday. Drew only has to wait twelve seconds to hear her name. Whoa, pace yourself, Steve-O, you don't want to blow your wad too early. And then, after another twenty seconds, he just says he'll announce the next act after the break. Oh, he's gooood.