In early episodes, Johnny said he felt underrated. The best remedy for that? Proving people wrong by coming up with the goods -- and that is just what Johnny did in Episode 3, and now again in Episode 4, writing in a genre foreign to him -- rap.
This was a tough challenge and I was really impressed with how all the contestants stepped up to the plate for their hook challenges. I relied heavily on our expert guest judge, Rodney Jerkins, and it was fun getting his take on who he felt should win the hook challenge.
When it came time to pick teams, this episode I began to see some strategy take place. I definitely saw the hook winners pick people based on their strengths -- like Sonyae putting her feelings aside and using Nick for his strength as a rock guy, so she could fulfill the second challenge of incorporating a different genre of music into the rap.
But I also saw a new strategy emerge -- I think people started to pick what they considered weak members for their team, as an insurance policy in case their song came in last, in the hopes that the weak person would be the one to go instead of them. I can't know for sure, but I think this is also why Sonyae picked Melissa over Amber. Who knows? What do you guys think?
I know Melissa can be wacky, but I like her and feel her ideas are from a unique perspective -- just very unformed. If someone with lyrical talent and more mainstream sensibilities would take her seriously, they could ground some zany ideas into something original. However, it doesn't seem like anyone is at a place where they feel they can take the time to do that with her yet, which is understandable. I know everyone is very focused on keeping themselves alive on the show, and rightly so.
Although the judges may not always pick my favorite hooks from the hook challenge, I can usually see why their choices have potential. To me, Jackie's hook was more of a spoof on the hook challenge itself, to the tune of Weird Al Yankovic, than a witty/smartass rap that might've been penned by Luda or Missy. I really don't think it had the potential to be more, and the other songwriters knew it when they hoped not to be on her team. That said, I'm sure this episode was hard to judge, being that only one contestant really had rap experience. It's too bad we haven't seen Sonyae and Jackie work together - if they could put egos aside, Jackie's skill for recognizable structure would marry well with Sonyae's relatable lyrics.
re: Sonyae picking Melissa over Amber. I'm guessing that she was focusing on how she lost when she was writing with Amber for "Love it or Hate It'...and won with Melissa in "Paint this Club".