While the finalists on High School Musical: Get in the Picture switch up their personalities for a challenge, it doesn’t take long for the unnecessary drama to revert to business-as-usual status.
Gathering in the classroom after TJ was sent to the chorus, Bailey tells Stan (and everyone else) about her dream in which he had feelings for her. Not to be outdone, Shayna immediately reminds him of a dream she had where he was her boyfriend. He didn’t seem to recall that, but went along with it anyway.
Nick Lachey enters and presents their next challenge – trying on someone else’s shoes. While the chorus goes off, the remaining contestants are taken to the gym where there are mannequins dressed up as various archetypes (hippie, goth, disco, etc.). Acting coach Rob Adler explains to the final five that they will assign each other an archetype that should be as different from their actual personalities as possible. They’ll then have to perform "A Whole New World" from Aladdin in the corresponding personality style.
Tierney is given "Rocker"; Isaiah gets "Folk"; "Disco" goes to Christina; James is immediately assigned "Hip Hop" (his reaction? "I am the absolute epitome of Hip Hop…if all other good Hip Hop artists died."); and Stan….Stan gets "Goth." No one is particularly happy with their assignments which Rob sees as a positive. Stan is the most vocally uncomfortable via confessional.
As the Final Five get their make-overs, TJ acclimates himself to life in the chorus. He’s taking it in stride and looking at the positive aspects of the situation. Enter choreographer Tiana Brown who’ll be teaching them about modern dance. TJ likens he and Anthony performing the moves to Shaq and Chris Farley doing them. Awesome. He later adds that his eyes have been opened by the experience and he feels that he’s getting a better education and advantage by being there. TJ is totally my favorite.
Meanwhile, Stan is still tweaked about being the Goth kid which Tierney finds a little funny. She tells him to "be a man and wear this [black] nail polish" that she puts on him. She’s also doing his eye make-up. Comedy. Isaiah helps James with his Hip Hop swagger and his outfit. To add a wrinkle of superficial drama, Tierney admits that she and Stan have a harmless flirty relationship while Stan believes she’s "feeling him" but not saying anything about it. Yawn.
The re-costumed kids come out to a mini-concert complete with an audience. Tierney, who’s totally digging her look, is the first to sing with the band. She definitely nailed it. James is next with a sing/rap version of the song, which he did solid with. Isaiah says if had just one more hour of rehearsal he’d totally nail it. Speaking of Isaiah, his Folk bit was great. Tierney says he reminded her of Kermit the Frog, all "Rainbow Connection" and whatnot. Christina Discos it out next and also kills. Last up is Stan with his Rock/Goth version. He was so over the top it totally worked. I’m impressed – great job by everyone. They all learned an important lesson on not judging people by their covers and Stan even got some feedback by a Goth kid in the audience, which helped him understand things that much more.
Coming into the library with the chorus, they’re still dressed up and everyone freaks out (especially the girls over Stan’s "scary" Goth look). Anthony is extra down because he would’ve loved to have done this challenge. He shares with TJ that he still feels like he’s being left out like in the 9th grade, and that all the popular kids are the ones left. But mostly he feels like being put in the chorus made him miss out on the chance to make his parents super-proud of him. TJ gives him some words of encouragement but they may not have helped as much as intended.
The next day in class, Nick quizzes the group about the 80’s. They know so embarrassingly little but that’s going to change. They’ll be performing a medley of 80’s tunes and have to "walk a mile in the shoes" of a kid in that time. Tierney and Stan aren’t into that decade so much but too bad. They need to suck it up.
The storyline is recreating an 80’s prom. It’s very important that they emote so Rob and vocal coach Jen Malenke go through the lyrics to make sure they understand and connect to the emotional context. Jen tells Tierney to make sure she really shows those emotions and James to get in touch with his confidence.
In the library, the chorus joins the Final Five but Stan and Tierney break off to have a little tete a tete. She says that someone asked if there’s something more than flirting going on and she said no, much to Stan’s dismay. She straight up tells him that she doesn’t want to get in the way of him and his girl with the boyfriend aka Shayna. Good for her. Afterwards, Tierney talks to Shayna (and Bailey’s there for some weird reason) and she essentially tells her what was going on – that she doesn’t want to be involved with Stan if he’s all flirty and private but then when everyone else is around, he’s focused on Shayna. Which gives Shayna the opportunity to try and play the victim which Tierney does not feed into. Meanwhile, Stan laments about the situation and ironically calls it "so high school" to TJ who doesn’t seem to care that much. I’m with you TJ.
Enough of that crap, on to the performance! Beforehand, Isaiah is having a crisis of confidence which James helps him snap out of. Nick introduces the number, which starts out with "I Need A Hero." Christina is the lead singer of the house band while Tierney and Stan play love interests making up after a fight. He enters with Pat Benatar’s "We Belong." How could they not have heard of this song? It’s in freaking commercials! Next up is "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by The Police followed by "It Must Be Love" (never heard this one by Madness before) and "Jesse’s Girl" (YES!). Oh. My. It ends with the greatest song ever made – Rick Astley’s "Never Gonna Give You Up" – with bits of the other songs woven through at the end.
A good job overall and the judges had issues with different people – Tierney and Stan got named by Rob and Jen respectively. I thought Isaiah was a stand-out and James did really great character work. And the judges partially agree as Isaiah gets the Best Performance. Christina is the first name he reads followed by Tierney and finally Stan. Poor James is off to the chorus. Personally I’d have sent Christina to the chorus since she didn’t really stand out to me. But it’s way messed up that they make the kids read off the list. That’s like telling them to kick their friend in the stones.
Do you agree with the judges decision? Do you care about the supposed "love triangle" between Shayna, Stan and Tierney? Who do you think is going to win? Am I the only one depressed when they didn’t know stuff from the 80’s?