This is a refreshing diversion from the main plot, featuring the first real song in quite some time.
I can’t help it if I make a scene
Stepping out of my hot pink limosine
I’m turning heads and I’m stopping traffic
When I pose they scream and when I joke they laugh
I got a pair of eyes that they’re getting lost in
They’re hypnotized by the way I’m walking
I got them dazzled like a stage magician
When I point, they look
And when I talk, they listen
Everybody needs a friend
And I’ve got you and you and you
So many I can’t even name them
Can you blame me? I’m too famous
It’s supposed to be an absurdly catchy pop song, and it certainly succeeds, reminding me most of “Party in the USA” with a dash of Pop Taylor Swift.
Anyway, Steven catches Sadie singing along with the radio and compliments her voice.
Steven: I didn’t know you could sing!
Sadie: Nobody does. So, um, do you need something?
Steven: Oh, I was just helping Mr. Smiley hand out fliers for Beachapalooza this year. You should sign up!
Sadie: Uh, why?
Steven: Uh, because your voice is beautiful!
Sadie: Aw, anybody’d sound fine singing along with that song. It’s so cheesy, and dumb, and catchy, and, and…I know every single word.
Steven: Perfect! Now you just need a routine. I can help you put one together!
Beachapalooza is a local talent show where just about everyone in town does their respective thing, so she figures it won’t be anything too serious.
Sadie: Yeah. You know what? Yeah! Who cares, right? What am I afraid of? This could be fun!
Steven seems to be intent on making a star out of her, but Sadie is equally intent not to do anything too complex or fancy – she’s just out to have fun and share her talent with a silly pop song.
Steven: How about something flashy, and sparkly! Or wait – what do you think should be your gimmick?
Sadie: Woah, no no! No gimmicks! The singing’s already a stretch.
While I’ve been performing in various ways for pretty much my whole life, even I would get a bit antsy about singing a solo like that, especially when you’re using a CD for accompaniment (seriously, having live accompaniment is so much easier, if you’ve got a decent one).
Then her mom gets home.
Turns out she’s Barb the Mailman, and a very forceful personality.
Sadie: I’m going to sing a song for Beachapalooza.
Barb: What? Oh, Sadie, you’re gonna sing?
Barb: Then come on! We have to start planning now! Steven, help me find an outfit!
Sadie: Uh, you know, I can probably do this by myself…
Barb: It’s no trouble, we’d love to help you out, right Steven?
As they’re going through her closet, they find evidence of various hobbies she had as a kid which apparently didn’t last more than a season (ballet, swimming, softball). It’s not unheard of for someone to try out a bunch of different things as a kid to see what sticks, except it seems that none of these actually stuck, and her only apparent interest these days is maybe schlocky horror movies.
Barb: Well don’t you worry! Me and Steven will figure out your show for you! We’ll make sure the world will hear your voice!
So Barb and Steven plan out her routine (and are clearly having a ton of fun with it), while Sadie appears increasingly uncomfortable (not least because she’s unaccustomed to heels).
Barb: I think we did an excellent job!
Steven: We just need to tell Mr. Smiley to add her name to the flier.
Sadie: Uh, maybe don’t put my name on it?
Barb: Yeah…what if she was a surprise?
Steven: That’s a great idea! She’ll be a mystery final act!
Yeah, this is clearly not what she thought she was signing up for. That’s a makeup job that only a kid and a woman who lived through the eighties would cook up. Also she’s very uncomfortable showing her midriff, which I cannot blame her for. Also the gallons of glitter.
She takes a brief mom-free opportunity to grab a drink of water, and after she accidentally washes off her lipstick, it gives her the thought (and the motivation) to dunk her head in the water cooler and wash off all the gunk.
Steven: Sadie, why’d you do that?
Sadie: Because! You’re just as bad as my mom!
And naturally that’s right when Barb shows up again.
Sadie: Please, Mom, don’t make me do this.
Barb: Make you? You said you wanted to sing!
Sadie: Yeah, I did! I did, I did! Just like I say LOTS of things! Like, “Hey Mom, swimming looks fun” – then bam! Suddenly I’m anchoring a 400 meter relay for the Beach City Seals! “Hey Mom, I thought signing up for softball would be nice!” Six birthdays later, I am still getting nothing but kneepads and batting helmets! “Hey Mom, I wanna sing in this year’s Beachapalooza”, and what do I get? This! I just thought, for once, I’d get to do things my way, but you came in and took over everything like you always do!
Barb: I just wanted everyone to know how talented my daughter is!
Sadie: This is not your daughter.
Barb is basically the quintessential stage mom, more concerned with her daughter “winning” than she is with her daughter. To be fair, she seems to think that’ll make Sadie happy (like how she’s always bringing home stuffed animals for her that she doesn’t actually care for). Sadie’s more interested in participating in and experiencing different things than being the best at them.
And since this is Steven Universe, of course they manage to realize this before it’s too late (barely).
Sadie: Ah! How did I let this happen? I don’t wanna do this!
Steven: You never did. It was always me.
It might not have been a terrible idea for Sadie to just get up on stage and sing a song, but it quickly turned into a whole production that was a lot more than just stepping out of her comfort zone.
Fortunately, such a performance is right up Steven’s alley.
It’s not even “do something embarrassing to help a friend in a pinch” – he totally pulls it off, skirt and all, and it is amazing.
Nanefua: That mystery guest bit had Steven written all over it.
She has a heart to heart with her mom, and after that she and Steven start jamming together, which is much more her speed.
Haven’t you noticed I’m a star?
I’m coming into view as the world is turning
Haven’t you noticed I’ve made it this far?
Now everyone can see me burning
Until next time…