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Speak And Spell's Editors muse about the importance of spelling and the length of songwriting sessions.

By DJ Kandrew

Life is like a box of songwriting sessions -- sometimes you're in it, sometimes you're also in it.

That seems to be the lesson Kara DioGuardi was telling us this week. When you're talking ish about your fellow contestant, when you're in the back of van en route to the motel, when you're holding hands with your fellow contestants -- you're in the songwriting session.

Number 1 Word That Inspires Road Trips

This week Kara and Jewel arrive to challenge the gang to write hooks inspired by the open road. Travel! Think about all the great art inspired by travel, from Kerouac toHostel you can find whatever you genre you choose in the open road.

So when the songwriters get key words to inspire them things should have been easy. Except for tires. . . how is Nick supposed to write a song about tires? Nick gets tires and is really not pleased. Ourselves, we'd take this opportunity to write an update of Journey's "Wheel in the Sky," called "Tires in the SKy" but he refrained.

Personally, there were a lot of other road trip words we were surprised weren't in the mix: gas station, lost, extra socks, really lost, road bingo, beef jerky, rest station. . . .etc.

Besides the analogies hidden in wheels, something else was vexing Nick. It seems Jackie Tohn's emotional inspirations where a little too in-depth for his liking. Thus when she began the process of talking about how her perfect her inspiration word was he had to (had to) make giant "wrap it up gestures" as though she was the accepting the foreign director award at the Oscars (those people are always rushed).

Kara, having eyes, noticed and called Nick out. Saying he was currently in a songwriting session and considering his goon behavior she probably wouldn't work with him again. Surprisingly later in the episode Nick gets his his business together and actually writes with Jackie without turning very loud violin music over her while she's listing important people to thank, so at maybe he listened. . .Number 1 Cause of Car Sickness With a Bullet

The gang then hits the open road to polish their tunes. Though they will eventually be stopped and have time to write while not in motion everyone gets right to it in the car -- including Jes who puts her keyboard in the backseat -- spanning the entire backseat.

Essentially the keyboard is now functioning as a second seat belt so I think it's actually safety-wise preferable, but I cannot think of a quicker way to make oneself car sick than penning a song while actually pinned into your seat by the ivories. Her team should get bonus points for writing under such duress. I can't even begin to enunciate how carsick this would make your editors. We kept a bag close-by during this entire scene, just in case.

Number Won One Speller

Oh man, do we love Melissa. Melissa could be our generation's Joni Mitchell. Each stanza she creates is a watercolor of bliss. What more delights can she give to us. "Wine covered hills"? Incorporating altitudinal changes into her song? Why won't the gang listen to her. She's a Stanford grad! She knows how to spell. Don't silence her voice. There is far too much imagery the world needs to know.

Number 1 at Holding Hands

Oh snap, did someone want a love song because you're getting one! Look at Jes and Johnny making adorable music together! By music, we just mean hand-holding and dramatically sliding down doors after talking to each other, but still. This is only the beginning of their cuteness, we hope. She's got a little Jenny Lewis-y vibe going so perhaps they can Rilo Kiley it up together -- or Jenny and Johnny actually, since that's a band that's still together.

Number 2 John Mayer Song

Your editors love Johnny (editor, really just Kim), so when he blew the roof off of the hook competition with "Going To Where I Need To Be" we (she) were (was) thrilled.

The final version was wonderful -- perhaps you would even call it a "wonderland" of a road-trip song. Yup, "wonderland" because it was exceptionally John Mayer-esque. Thankfully the sound was the only thing Johnny (another coincidence) swiped from Mr. Mayer and not the strained facial expressions. No one wants to see that as a performance trend. In the end Jackie's gang didn't live up to their hook. Nicks greatest contribution, a sweet little riff was buried amongst goofy lyrics about not believing in losing sleep, as though it was Santa, drug the song down. And after Jackie mentioned Karen was maybe a little useless (while still holding her hand in solidarity, of course) it was Ms. Country Club that headed home. Adios Karen, we'll miss your "Southern spice." Next week the gang is writing rhymes for "Darkchild" (Nana -- it's impossible to say without thinking of the "Say My Name" shoutout) Randy Jerkins. This could get awkward

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