Fresh off their last challenge (with my personal favorite, Jackie, going home) the songwriters are surprised by a new challenged coming without a chance for respite. Jewel is wearing a yellow dress that would be very pretty if only it fit right.
Jewel has them writer their names on a paper. She will pick two names out of a hat at a time to determine the teams. Jes and Scotty, Nick and Johnny, and Brian and Sonyae. Only Johnny seems disappointed. They have two hours to come up with as many hooks as they can.
Not surprisingly, they mostly separate so that each person is really working alone with a bit of input. Jes attempts some sort of rap/Kesha thing that Scotty pretends to like. Only Sonyae and Brian try something different–she writes lyrics while he creates the melody. Unfortunately this does not work so well. Johnny has no interest in talking with Nick so he ignores him as much as possible no matter how much he asks. After two hours, Team Jes and Scotty have 9 hooks (only 2 of which are Jes’s). Sonyae and Brian only come up with one song.
They get news that they have something special. They meet the co-founder of the writing camp that the winner become a part of.
Team Scotty and Jes are asked for a male pop R&B song and Scotty, realizing that Jes will be no help, steps up. He gets some good feedback about it (could be good for Bieber if made slightly younger).
Team Sonyae and Brian are asked for a young female soulful voice. Sonyae does some talking around (because their one song is actually pop) and Brian intends to play it different with the hope that Sonyae can adapt to the change. He ends up liking it but wants them to get bigger in the way that Beyonce’s voice could deliver.
Team Johnny and Nick come in and Nick looks like he’s going to kill him. They learn that Gavin Degraw is actually in the studio writing so they join him. Their challenge is soulful Top 40 that suits Gavin Degraw. Johnny goes first (with Nick glaring at him the whole way). Gavin likes it and then leaves. Nick thought they would both get to go so he is not happy.
Jewel comes to talk to them and says that the team challenge is to take the song pitched and turn it into a full song.
Johnny is concerned about Nick’s inability to adapt his style for Gavin Degraw. (In addition the a general mutual dislike that makes it hard for them to work together.) By the end of their first hour, things are not going anywhere. (However, Nick’s style is fairly similar to Gavin Degraw so Johnny should stop being SO grumpy–and I say this without liking Nick.) Nick blows up at Johnny finally and pretty much steps out of the room.
Sonyae tries to remember the phrase “hindsight is 20/20” but Brian is useless. Despite this, they seem to be making some progress. Since Sonyae doesn’t play an instrument, Brian feels the need to take up the instrument slack.
Scotty wants Jes to be more hip hop/R&B which is unlikely. He thinks she’s the weakest link in the competition which might be true. Scotty feels like he has to pick up the slack for Jes though she doesn’t notice.
Time to face the judges:
Team Scotty and Jess are up first with “Love You Down.” Scotty thinks the song fits for a slightly more grown up Bieber than his first album. The truth is, though I don’t love the song, I can see Justin Bieber singing it.
Team Sonyae and Brian are next with “Stranger to Love.” They wanted to make it a little different for Beyonce by adding a bit of rock to the song. Again I can imagine her singing this, though it doesn’t build the way I would have hoped. (This is another case of knowing Beyonce can do big things with her voice and wishing she did those things more often.)
Team Johnny and Nick are last and Nick remains seated for it. Johnny has even dressed like Degraw for the performance. Their writing consultant from earlier is bopping along to the song and Nick has a smug look that I am unsure how to interpret.
The judges deliberate while Johnny and Nick fight it out. Once they are brought back, Jewel has all three teams come up. Everyone was happy with their teamwork except Nick and Johnny who say this was their worst writing experience ever. One song nailed it this week and the winner is…Brian and Sonyae. They brought emotion and good lyrics.
And the weakest song had no hit potential. That is Nick and Johnny, whose song has no hit potential. Scotty and Jes were sent back with a “good job” and a “not quite a hit.” They think it was Biebs friendly and had a good melody. But not quite hot enough.
They ask if they captured Gavin Degraw’s style but Nick says he wasn’t involved at all. Nick provides his own possibility and says he was ignored. Nick gets dirty. They are told that the song was a lyrical cesspool. The judges end up disgusted and Kara says they have shown the ugliest in each of them. They let their egos get in the way. Ultimately, Nick is safe and Johnny is sent home. Johnny looks shocked.
Nick goes backstage and acts like a jerk. Everyone is as surprised, even the judges who thought Johnny could win. Nick goes as far as to give Johnny a final scolding with a compliment buried inside.