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Rock Star: Supernova


July 10-12: Girl, you really got them going


Monday, July 10:  Sheesh, these reality episodes are boring.


We waste three minutes recapping what happened before.  Now, back in the mansion, everyone toasts the recently departed Matt.  Then they toast Phil and Chris for making it through.  Dilana starts showing her nerves by saying that she now feels a lot of pressure since she was asked to do the encore.  Okay, never, ever admit that on camera, honey.  Especially not twice.  Because now we're all going to think you're a wimp.


Everyone talks on and on about how important song selection is.  Yeah, okay, we get it.


Jenny doesn't like Lukas playing head games and was bothered by him singling her out for the bottom three without saying anything to her before or afterwards.  Awwww.  My heart bleeds for you.


The rockers are presented with their own acoustic guitars, courtesy of Gibson, who tells them in a P.S. to their congratulatory note, "Tune it your f*cking selves."  This is the most amusing point of the show.  The most morbid point is when Magni takes his new guitar back to his room and plays an acoustic version of "Planet Earth" in honor of his now-departed roommate, Matt.  Can we move on to the songs now, please?


At song selection time, half the rockers don't even know most of the songs that are on the board.  People pick songs and then realize they're not right and try to switch their selections with others.  Dilana loves Johnny Cash and picks "Ring of Fire," then realizes she's never heard it before.  It's no big surprise when no one will switch with her.  Zayra chooses Hole's "Violet," realizes she's got absolutely the wrong voice for it, and switches with Jenny for the Kinks' "You Really Got Me," which is still the wrong choice but at least doesn't require too much screaming.  Lukas nabs Coldplay's "Don't Panic" to show his "softer" side.  Dana thinks she'll do well on Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild," which, you know, makes me giggle.  Phil will sing Tonic's "If You Could Only See."  Chris has Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out."  Magni's got the Who's "My Generation."  Someone is singing the Killers' "Somebody Told Me," but it's not revealed who.  Which leaves five songs that we don't know about.


At rehearsals with the house band, Magni performs a straightforward rendition of "My Generation," which means he'll probably be forgettable tomorrow night.  Zayra sounds like crap.  When Chris performs "Take Me Out," he meanders around the melody a little, and band leader Paul says that he's way too confident of his abilities.  Dilana arranges a "sensitive" version of "Ring of Fire," which sounds interesting but sort of flummoxes the house band.  Drummer Nate says that she'll either get no votes or every single vote.


After the credits, we see that the best practical joke Toby and Lukas can pull on Chris to congratulate him for making it through another week is to pour a glass of water on him while he's sleeping and then tackle him.  Silly boys.  Don't they realize that real rockers would use alcohol?



Tuesday, July 11:  Was Rock Star nominated for an Emmy?  Because Brooke is dressed as if it is - in a red, formal gown with (of course) a plunging neckline.  Oh, yes, honey, you're much too classy for this show.

My top two are marked with an asterisk (*), while my bottom two are marked with a plus sign (+).  Everyone else is in the "I really don't care enough to rate you" category.

Magni (sings the Who's "My Generation"):  He starts off with shades.  Is he going for the bald Bono look or something?  I'm not that excited by the singer, but the bass player is great.  Tommy thinks the performance is ho-hum - he likes the "ho," but needs more "hum."  Uhhhh...okay.

Jenny Galt (sings Soft Cell's "Tainted Love"):  It begins as sort of a slow, churchy thing, then switches over to rock, and her voice doesn't particularly suit either one, especially with that weird, faint vibrato of hers.  Gilby wants to see a "heavier" side of her, and Dave says she needs to eat something.  Message here, anyone?

+ Jill Gioia (sings Hole's "Violet"):  Like a bad car wreck - screech, screech, scream.  I suppose the writhing performance style suited the song, but that pseudo-wedding dress just bugged.  I mean, sheesh, it's not a good sign when you walk out on stage and Supernova starts laughing at you.  Dave says he's uncomfortable with the Courtney Love imitation.  Jill claims she doesn't know how Courtney performed it, but this performance was her own.  Dave then points out that Courtney wore the same outfit on the album that included "Violet."  Jill should know that, since in the reality episode she said she loved this song.  Doing!  And then Gilby points out she screamed more than she sang, and Tommy wants to know if she's wearing panties.  It can only go downhill from here, folks.

+ Zayra Alvarez (sings the Kinks' "You Really Got Me"):  From Courtney Love to Catwoman.  Someone get these people a stylist, please.  As far as the song itself goes, it's an interesting arrangement.  Too bad Zayra can't sing it.  But hey, when all else fails, thrash around.  Gilby says that she doesn't have a clue as to what Supernova is about and asks her if she even owns any of the albums the three guys have put out.  She says she's "heard of" their music and that she was "in diapers" when their albums came out.  Okay, you are so gone in the results show.

Chris Pierson (sings Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out"):  Zzzzzzzz.  Oh.  Did he sing something?  I guess so, because Dave is talking about him needing a certain level of authenticity.  Chris gets credit for at least wanting some constructive advice about how to improve.  But he is drowning in his own mediocrity right now.

* Dilana (sings Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire"):  Hardcore country/Johnny Cash fans may hate this eerie, atmospheric arrangement, but we enjoyed it.  It was at least different enough to make me sit up and pay attention.  I just wish she would have set it in a slightly higher key, because she was really scraping the earth to reach those low notes in the verses.  And please put your tongue back in your mouth, darling.  Dave thinks it was awesome, Tommy points out that everyone loved it, and Gilby declares her "unique."  Indeed.

Josh Logan (sings Creed's "With Arms Wide Open"): Okay, adding a "soulful" voice to Creed just doesn't work for me, and neither does meandering aimlessly around the stage.  And this is the second year in a row that a singer is refusing to open his arms for the chorus.  Is anyone even paying attention to the words?  Dave thinks that Josh is one of the greatest singers he's ever heard (don't get out much, do you, Dave?), but that the performance was kind of average.  Jason warns him against injecting too much Stevie Wonder into his singing.  And, yeah, it's true - Stevie and Creed just don't mix.  But most people know that.

Phil Ritchie (sings Tonic's "If You Could Only See"):  I'm with Jason on this one - quit floundering around on stage, plant your feet on the ground, and "crush it" for a change.  In fact, just like Jason, we had to close our eyes to appreciate the song at all.  Phil has a decent voice, but I don't like watching eels on stage.

Storm Large (sings Cheap Trick's "Surrender"):  Tonight, she decides to imitate Dilana's performance from last week.  Sorry, dear, but you don't have enough body piercings.  It falls flat because she's just not being herself.  Dave thinks it was like a Broadway performance of Cats and says she must have character but not be a character.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that he's seen Cats, and yet he thinks that Josh is one of the greatest singers he's ever heard.

Patrice Pike (sings Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box"):  I'm not really a fan of seeing these contestants sing and play guitar at this stage of the competition, but she at least looked comfortable doing so, and the vocals were fine.  Gilby appreciates that she's being herself (unlike Storm, presumably).  Tommy wants her to break her back and sling the guitar lower, whereupon she reminds him that she's only 5'2" - there's not that much lower the strap could go.  Hee.

Lukas Rossi (sings Coldplay's "Don't Panic"): Okay, he and Josh should have switched songs, because his rough, borderline shouty singing suits Creed far better than it suits Coldplay.  He probably has the best stage presence of any of the male rockers up there, though.  Dave thinks Lukas has a foot in today's music and the music of the future.  Errr...that's the future of music?  Despite Tommy telling his bandmate to shut up, Jason points out that Lukas is constricting his voice too much and needs to take care of his instrument better than that.  Since Jason has gone on record in a magazine interview saying that they're looking for a singer who knows how to care for his/her voice over the long term, Lukas would do well to take that advice to heart.

Ryan Star (sings the Rolling Stones' "Jumping Jack Flash"):  Eh.  Kind of dull in the beginning, and marginally better when he goes out in the crowd to sing.  But he's reminding me of "J.D. Lite" - same looks, less fulfilling - and joining the audience smacked a bit of desperation, frankly.  "Look at me, I'm different from the others!"  Tommy wants him to be a little more like Mick Jagger.  I would settle for just interesting.

Dana Andrews (sings Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild"):  Oh, dear.  I like her voice, but she is just so inexperienced on stage that the overall performance isn't very convincing.  And she looks so young that when she flirts with the house band, they look like they're afraid of being sent to jail for taking liberties with a minor.  Jason thinks she's clay that they can mold, while Gilby wants her to give them some really dirty rock.  Tommy just declares her "born to be mild."

* Toby Rand (sings the Killers' "Somebody Told Me"):  He picked the right song for his voice, performed it with the right amount of energy, and didn't have to resort to gimmicks to impress everyone.  And the confused look on his face when Dave said, "Vocally, you are dialed" was an added bonus.  Thank you.

At the start of the voting, Jill, Chris, and Zayra were in the bottom three, which is probably about right.  I would have put someone other than Chris there, but he's probably the least memorable of the men right now.  Oh, well.


Wednesday, July 12:  Tonight Brooke is wearing a black top with lots of holes and lots of mesh.  Dave lusts after it.


We get treated to a tape of the rockers back at the mansion, where the ones who were criticized whine about how pissed they are, and Toby (who was praised, so therefore has nothing to be pissed about) reminds everyone that they're there to learn.  Funny, I thought they were there to audition for a band.


Back at the show, Supernova and Dave ask the pissed-off rockers (Chris, Zayra, Jill, and Lukas) if they want to elaborate, and all of them now change their tunes and decide they want to kiss butt.  Weenies.  Toby's self-proclaimed attempt to "keep people grounded" and his excellent performance the night before lead to him having the encore tonight.  He sings "Somebody Told Me" rather distractedly, but the vocals are still fine, and he gets the audience to sing along.  He's borderline cocky, but he's kind of growing on me.


The bottom three end up being the same as last night (Jill, Zayra, and Chris), although Brooke tries to manufacture some tension by saying that Jenny was in the bottom three at one point, too.  Yawn.


Jill performs a very nice rendition of Evanescence's "Bring Me To Life," where she actually sings instead of screams.  Of course, we have to see plenty of shots of a ticked-off Zayra, who sang this song last week.


Zayra, who seems determined tonight to show that she has absolutely no command of the English language, stumbles through a convoluted explanation of why she wants to sing the exact same song she sucked on last night, the Kinks' "You Really Got Me."  It's both marginally better than her previous performance (she seems to have learned the melody) and horrifyingly worse (at various times she screams, squeals, and jerks around the stage, then ends by breathing heavily in the microphone).  Gilby giggles, and even Brooke looks at her as if to say, "You have got to be kidding."  Get off the stage already.


Chris does a touching acoustic rendition of Tonic's "If You Could Only See" and manages to pull off the best vocal he's done so far.  I'm thinking, "Okay, now he's in his element, and we can start to expect better things from him next week."


But then Supernova decides that the person to go home is not the obvious Zayra, but...Chris.  They use the excuse that he's been in the bottom three twice now.  So it really doesn't matter how well you do in the bottom three performances?  If you're sexy and you make them laugh, you'll stay in?  Please.  Why not just admit that you guys are horny and be done with it?


Oh, well.  At least I can get the disillusionment phase over with early, before I really start to care for anyone.




Review 2006 by Patricia Lowhorn.  For comments, e-mail tricia@lowhorn.org.


July 3-6 Review | Rock Star Index | July 17-19 Review