So then they play that new will.i.am featuring Britney Spears video, and I stopped recapping music videos about the same time MTV stopped playing them. But that doesn't mean I'm above making fun of the fake English accent she seems to be using on the track. At least she's got more to say in the song than she ever does from the judges' table.
Speaking of that piece of furniture, we return to it from the ads at the same time L.A. is coming back from the bathroom and there's only one act to go. Simon introduces his golden boys Emblem3 and we see them cop to coasting a bit last week before ending up in fourth place. And then, because it's all soooo intense, they... go shopping. They soon find themselves the center of attention, as people recognize them and gather around until it threatens to turn into a scene from A Hard Day's Night. I'm sure they would have been recognized so quickly even without the X Factor cameras following them around. Simon calls them up and tells them to focus on getting number one this week. They do the Smash Mouth version of "I'm a Believer," with stars and stripes on the projector screens and dancers in American flag booty shorts and -- wait, what are they doing there? Are those... harmonies? Or maybe that's just the backup singers. Simon has certainly turned everything up to eleven in the production, which has fireworks and searchlights and about three different endings. L.A. tells them that he'd not only sign them, he'd put the whole building behind them, because "you have the X Factor." One of the guys gives a long, grateful speech about how excited they are to be there. Britney says she's a believer in them (look who's paying attention!), but didn't like the song. At which point it becomes apparent that they think they're supposed to respond verbally to all of the judges' comments. Demi agrees that she doesn't know what Simon's doing with them, having them do the same thing every week. "But people are going to like you 'cause you're good looking and you're young," she says dismissively. As though part of the reason they're here isn't the way they used to give Demi chronic lady-boners. They pipe up that they play instruments and have original music and a record. What are they doing here, then? Simon basically gives Demi a "look who's talking" kiss-off and says he's sold three hundred million records and this was one of his favorite performances from them. Which is totally objective and not at all motivated by any self-interest whatsoever.