Then she's onstage, once again sitting on a riser to sing "Walking on Sunshine" with the words changed for some mysterious, off-putting reason. Also off-putting are the high-contrast graphics flashing on the backdrop, not to mention the '80s sock-hop dancers on the stage. And I don't think they have the backing track quite sorted out, either. But other than that, it was good. L.A. compliments Rachel for being charismatic and lovable, Nicole calls her "America's sunshine" and compares her voice to that of a Jackson 5-era Michael Jackson. She didn't like the lyric changes any more than I did, though. Paula agrees that Rachel's great, and wants to see her do something that shows more of the range she displayed at Boot Camp with "If I Were a Boy." Simon calls the lyric change "inventive" (no), tells Nicole that "grown-ups are talking" when Nicole tries to respond (rude), and assures Paula that Rachel will be around for a long time. He's probably not wrong about that last part.
Time for Lakoda Rayne, the all-girl Frankengroup consisting of Cari, Dani, Hayley, and Paige, who didn't make it as soloists but got to the top 12 as a group, which had nothing to do with any level of investment by the judges who put them together. Paula explains that the concept of this performance is for each girl to portray a season, which makes it sound like it's going to be waaay too Grease 2 for my taste. Simon agrees with me in his interview clip that it's ridiculous, and L.A. says it's cornball. We're about to see (spoiler: it is).
Their song is "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac, and they're all in long gowns of different colors while images of different seasons are projected on the screens behind them. Which is less cornball than in Grease 2 but not by a whole lot. The sing begins with a shaky solo by Dani and some more shaky harmonies throughout. They get through it, though. L.A. tells them they look incredible, and they found their "blend," but he wants them to get off the fence already. Nicole likes everything about it, including the seasons look. Simon says they sound a lot better than they have, but calls the season's idea "literally insane." Paula blames his attitude on the one season in London, and then invites the girls to go get frozen yogurt afterward. I'm sure they're grateful for that spirited defense. Steve comes back and mixes it up with Simon a bit over the girls' look before voting-instructioning us to the break.