L.A. and Paula were impressed, and Simon points out (correctly) that Josh was intimidated by Alanis, which Josh more or less cops to. And who could blame him? Did you see Dogma? She makes a dude's head explode just by opening her mouth in that. Nicole spins that as Josh's generosity, and then we go live to that gym in Wooster, Ohio, where his grandmother and uncle give a little live commentary. I'm more interested in the fact that this is almost certainly the first time people in that gym have ever cheered for Josh Krajcik. Isn't that ironic? Don't you think?
Coming back, L.A. has to shout over the opera music as he says that yesterday marked the eighth month of Chris's sobriety. Not that that's relevant at all.
Chris fumbles through the first verse of Avril Lavigne's "Complicated" on a green-lit stage, so after what happened with Josh, it's not really a surprise when Avril herself comes out. It's probably not good that her voice completely overpowers his, and she even takes the big finish. He seems to be having a hell of a time, though, which is pretty much what he's always been about anyway. When Steve comes out at the end, Avril makes some supportive statements about Chris before taking off.
Now to the judges: Nicole says it was a little shaky at the opening, which is her equivalent of taking a steaming dump in his hat, but compliments his energy and light and stuff. Paula's more positive and less coherent. "Didn't understand a word of that," Simon tells Paula before agreeing that Chris was obviously happy to be there. L.A. says he and Avril complemented each other and that could be a number-one record tomorrow. Which may say more about the state of music than that performance.
Cut to that nightclub in Santa Cruz, where Chris's next-door neighbor does a screamy live remote with a big cake and "some friends from rehab!" Seriously, she says this. One of them is the guy Chris honored in the Thanksgiving episode, at least. Chris seems both goofy and emotional at the same time as Steve gives the voting instructions.
Simon looks even more smug than usual as he introduces Melanie, probably because of who's going to be coming out given the kind of artists Melanie usually covers. But then she comes out and sings "I Believe I Can Fly," so it's R. Kelly, who comes out dressed like a Christmas Caroler and totally upstages Melanie with a big run of notes. Do these performances count? I'm not sure they should count.