(Spoilers.) It was so obvious that Clay was going to go if his team lost that I kept saying, "Something better happen other than just Clay getting fired." I think Clay had just gotten worn down and had no reserve of patience for anyone anymore. At least Trump had the showmanship to make it seem as though Randal might get the ax for his blunder of putting the wrong the channel number on the poster for XM Satellite Radio, and -- let's face it -- for being too passive. I like the way, this season, Trump is a lot harder on contestants who try to win by being inoffensive. "What did you do on this task?" is a question that gets asked a lot.
For once they had a new kind of task, writing and recording a song, with the key being to make the song fit on a very particular channel on the elaborate XM dial: XM Café. Felisha heroically stopped her musicians when they got too jazzy and ordered them to fit the song exactly into the Café niche. None of this art and personal expression, guys. It's nice, but save it. You have to understand the task and do it. This reminds me of my attitude about law school exams: You must answer the question I've asked -- and show that you understand what the question is. Don't try to get credit by saying a lot of accurate and insightful but nonresponsive things. Don't answer the question you thought I could have asked or that you happen to know an answer to. That's like those musicians playing jazz for a Café recording.
The losing team made the mistake of not fitting the station's niche, which involves light rock and clearly articulated, heartfelt lyrics. There was something quite creepy about interviewing the artist -- Jide -- and deciding what his feelings were and then writing the lyrics for him. Clay was shot down for starting in on lyrics that Rebecca decided seemed too much like something a woman would sing. Was that too obviously an expression of her distaste for Clay's homosexuality? Rebecca substitutes lyrics about how Jide, who immigrated from Nigeria as a toddler, feels that he has betrayed his heritage. I cringed at the way they blithely imposed that self-criticism on him.
The early stage of the task was "American Idol" meets the "Apprentice," with sets of three contestants sitting at a table like the AI judges and hearing singers audition. Too bad there were no clips of them telling singers they were simply horrible. The team that lost actually picked the better singer. Chez Althouse, we laughed a lot at the singer who wasn't Jide when he sat down at the piano and started banging and howling. Did he think he was Elton John?
The other thing that made us laugh a lot was Miss Universe. They made a big show of introducing her -- Trump owns the "Miss Universe" contest -- and then they went on to this music task. "Apparently, Miss Universe has nothing to do with the task." "I guess they just couldn't think of a task to go with 'Miss Universe.'" So, she just stood there. The camera shows a close up of Rebecca, as if she's thinking, Yeah, okay, I get it. She's prettier than me. Screw you.