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Rock Star: Supernova

 

August 28-30: Bring her to life

 

Monday, August 28: After the elimination show, everyone at the mansion has a very quiet dinner, with Dilana afraid to say anything that might get her in trouble.  Finally they hash it out a little, and basically Ryan keeps acting like a whiny toad about the situation, while everyone else eventually tries to comfort Dilana.  The cameras, of course, keep rolling even when Dilana wants to be alone, so when she notices a camera following her near the pool, she gets up and smashes her glass on the ground just as Magni approaches her.  A piece of glass bounces up and hits Magni in the forehead.  This is an accident, folks, but Lukas and Ryan bitch about it for a bit.  The cameras finally get the shot they're looking for - Dilana crying in Storm's arms - and we are hopefully over and done with that drama for now.  Sheesh.

(That said, I will admit that this was probably one of the more compelling instances of reality TV for me, because for a moment I felt like I was seeing something, you know, real for a change.  Blast you, Mark Burnett.)

The next day, the rockers get their photos taken for In Touch magazine.  The one who is the most uncomfortable with this is Magni, who the magazine's editor claims has a hard time pretending for the camera.  Whatever.  Dilana feels like crap at the beginning, but by the end of the shoot she's back to kicking and sticking her tongue out and being a general rocker chick.

This week is fan selection week as far as songs go.  Fans were given four songs to choose from for each rocker - three that the contestant had sung before, and one that another contestant sang (to save on royalties, no doubt).  Needless to say, the fans picked ones that other contestants had done before.  So they are singing the following songs:

Lukas - Nirvana's "Lithium"

Magni - Live's "I, Alone"

Ryan - Coldplay's "Clocks"

Storm - Evanescence's "Bring Me To Life"

Toby - Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell"

Dilana - Tracy Bonham's "Mother, Mother" [what's not said is that she performs this song with her own band, so she's extremely comfortable with it already]

[Note that this is the performance order, according to people who have attended the taping - the songs were revealed to each person in a slightly different order.]

The show closes with Lukas revealing to the house band that he doesn't like either "Lithium" or Nirvana, but he's just doing this song for the fans (as if he has a choice).  Band leader Paul says that Lukas's version at that point is not as memorable as Dilana's was - which means he'll probably be very good on performance night.  Dilana says she's ready to get back on the stage and "kill it."  Ryan struggles a bit with the falsetto on "Clocks," and I think, "No one should perform Coldplay on this show."

Over closing credits, we see the In Touch photographer snap group photos of all the rockers.  Then he suggests that they do a group photo with everyone naked.  Thankfully, we are all spared that sight.  That many tattoos would be way too distracting [*snort*].


Tuesday, August 29: Brooke's fashions have gotten excessively boring now that her pregnancy has started to show.  Tommy Lee's pink cowboy hat is more exciting.  Maybe she should talk to Heidi Klum at Project Runway.

We waste fifteen minutes playing practically the entire reality episode.  We find out that Magni cuts himself worse shaving than the cut he received after Dilana broke the glass, and Dilana says that she's going to rock the [expletive deleted by CBS] out of the place tonight and that she'll never speak badly about her friends again.  Dave says it's time to move on.  Which, you know, this show won't do.  [Edited out by CBS, according to people at the taping: Jason saying that he calls "bullsh*t" on the whole reality editing of Dilana's mistake, because he was there and he knows what really happened; Storm saying that this should be a rock show, not a soap opera; and Lukas saying that he feels bad that the show felt it had to splash Dilana's pain on national TV.  Guess what, folks?  It's a reality show.  This is what you signed on for.  Deal with it.]

Tonight the singers are all performing songs that were chosen by their fans from a list specific to each singer: three songs were ones the singer had done before, and one was a "wild card" song that was performed by some other singer on the show.  Needless to say, the "wild card" songs were the ones that were chosen for each person.

Lukas Rossi (sings Nirvana's "Lithium"): In a pre-taped segment, Lukas tells us that he's just a hard-working musician who likes basketball, video games, and drinking beer, and that he used to flip chicken wings at Hooters.  Yeah, great resume, dude.  That said, I like this arrangement of "Lithium."  It's not better than Dilana's version at the beginning of the season - just different, with a softer edge on the verses, thanks to a new keyboard part.  This is also arguably Lukas's best performance to date, with (shock!) some decent enunciation, at least until the last chorus, when he reverts to "rowr" mode and sticks out his tongue.  Put it back, please.  Dave says he's awesome, Tommy was captivated, Gilby calls it his best performance so far, and Jason thinks it was dynamite.

Magni (sings Live's "I Alone"): Magni wants people outside of Iceland to vote for him because he looks better than all the other men left (but presumably not the women).  As for the song...I don't know.  I don't like this particular song, because it basically relies on screaming the chorus, but I guess he performs it well, based on the reception by the crowd and Supernova.  He's back to being a little bland as a performer for me, although walking up to Supernova and screaming "I alone!" in Tommy Lee's face was giggle-worthy.  Dave (who is playing the Paula Abdul role tonight) thinks he was "killer," while Gilby says that Magni finally gave them that "extra something" he'd been asking for (I guess Gilby really wants to scream at Tommy, too).  Tommy wishes that Magni had gone all the way to the back of the room to sing when he was meandering in the crowd, but Magni says that the lighting back there was too low for that.  Okay, he's got some sense.  Unlike...

Ryan Star (sings Coldplay's "Clocks"): Ryan refers to his "dark horse" status (courtesy of Dave) and says he's coming into his own.  Um...okay.  On to the singing, which is typical Ryan anger-face angst-boy.  I've never quite been sure what this song is about, but I'm reasonably sure it has little to do with jumping up and down on top of a grand piano and later slithering across it on your belly.  Ugh.  Between the guitar throwing last week and this week's piano leaps, I would say Supernova shouldn't hire this guy because they would have to replace half their instruments every night.  Dave predictably thinks the "dark horse" of the competition was "killer."  Gilby calls it a great performance.  Jason, in the first semi-critique of the night, says that he "kind of lost the plot" when Ryan got out from behind the piano.  He's roundly booed for this statement, then shakes his head like the audience is insane.  They are, Jason.

Storm Large (sings Evanescence's "Bring Me To Life"): Oh, dear.  Why was this even on the list of songs for her?  She's never sung it before, she's uncomfortable with it, and it's not suited to her deeper voice at all.  Plus she makes the mistake of allowing Toby to sing the guy's part, and he's much more interesting than her.  Folks, go to youtube.com and look up "Storm Large" and see one of her many concert videos, because those are far more representative of what she can do than this song and because you probably won't see her again after the elimination episode.  Dave thinks she pulled it off, while Gilby thinks that Jill's previous performance was much more memorable.  Jason gives her an A for effort.  Ouch.

Toby Rand (sings Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell"): Toby says he's the joker at the mansion, which we all know.  And, unlike Lukas, he knows how to enunciate the words to this song.  In fact, he sounded a heck of a lot like Billy Idol, and after all the anger and heavy singing so far tonight, I'm grinning and nodding along as he bops around the stage.  Then, because he cannot seem to get through a song without some sort of gimmick, he pulls a bunch of girls on the stage and lets them dance around him and paw at his shirt.  I hate this, but I recognize it as a smart move because that's the sort of thing Supernova (or specifically, Tommy Lee) likes.  Dave says he "believed" Toby.  Gilby claims Toby took his performance to a whole new level.  Tommy just wants him to take the girls back to his dressing room for a party, and Toby wisely points out that they'd probably have to check some I.D.s first.  Heh.

Dilana (sings Tracy Bonham's "Mother, Mother"): Dilana is determined to do well for her fans, and she certainly delivers.  I haven't seen that much raw passion in her since her first performance on the show.  Whether that's a good thing or not, I'm not sure - I mean, does it take having a breakdown for her to bring that intensity to her performances? - but it's either very compelling or very scary, depending on your point of view.  She even plays guitar (a guitar that's almost as big as her tiny body), and, unlike Ryan, she treats the instrument with respect when she puts it down.  Thank you.  I really did want to run on stage and push the hair out of her face, though.  It was like she was behind a multi-colored mop.  Dave says, "That might be my favorite performance in both seasons."  Tommy has to bring up her press snafu again, but at least it's by acknowledging that he's the king of mistakes and that it's "a lesson in life."  Gilby says there wasn't a bad part in the performance, and Jason thinks it was really good.

My ranking:

1) Dilana - I wouldn't call it perfect, but it had the most believable passion of the night.  I'm thinking she's too good for Supernova.
2) Toby - All-around fun.  He would have tied with Dilana if he hadn't brought the girls on stage.
3) Lukas - His best performance so far.  I would like to hear his arrangement of the song with Dilana on vocals.
4) Magni - Not compelling, but better than...
5) Ryan - Angst works better when you don't resort to theatrics
6) Storm - Ugh.  Sorry, sister.

Preliminary voting showed that the bottom three were Storm, Ryan, and...Lukas?  Well, that won't last.  He's got one of the biggest online fan bases, so they'll pull him out of there.  My guess is that Magni may end up being there instead, or even Dilana if the whole reality stuff has really damaged her.  But I will giggle when Lukas finally has to stand.  Hee.

 

Wednesday, August 30Brooke seems to be repeating herself with her leather vest and denim skirt.  And everyone else is back in black, except, of course, Dilana, who has a blue top on.  Ho-hum.

At the mansion after the performance show, the rockers are worried about who will be in the bottom three.  Back at the results show, there's some meaningless banter about this.  Then we get to Supermediocre's third debut song, "It's On," which will be sung tonight by Lukas.  Notice that what we don't see this week is a clip of each of the rockers singing this in the studio.  Hmmm...

Remarkably, I kind of like this drivel.  Maybe it's the fact that a couple of House Band members are playing along, and Gilby's microphone is turned down so I can barely hear him "singing" backups.  Or maybe my mind has just been numbed by what's gone on before.  It's too bad I can't understand most of the words through Lukas's mumbling.  Oh, well.  I'm not getting any particular chemistry between Lukas and the band - I think Dilana and Toby did better in that regard.  But whatever.

Tommy announces the winner of a Windows Live Space competition, who is Rob Carlos.  Rob will have the joy of coming to the finale.  I'm sure he's thrilled.  [They apparently had to re-shoot this announcement because Tommy kept saying "MySpace" instead of "Live Space."  Take that, Microsoft!]

Gilby announces that next week, he will help each person who is left to write a new Supernova track.  Obviously, he doesn't trust them to do it themselves - hee.  Then Tommy announces that Toby has the encore with his version of "Rebel Yell."  [What was edited out was them admitting that they chose the encore by using Rock, Paper, Scissors - which doesn't bode well for their decision-making process when they pick a new lead singer.]

We interrupt this review to ask, "Why is Dilana wearing silver horns?  And why is Lukas sitting through Toby's song while the other contestants leap up when he joins them?"

Now Toby will demonstrate why Magni was right not to run to the back of the audience, because he's totally lost in the lack of lighting.  But he has fun and gets the audience to sing along, and there are no dancing chicks on stage, so it's all cool.

The only person not in the bottom three at some point last night was Magni, who is stunned.  So am I.  In fact, Brooke later announces that he received the most votes last night.  Wow.  Go, Iceland!

Ryan is the first person to land in the actual bottom three.  He sings the Who's "Baba O'Reilly."  Funny how Dana, the person he kept dissing earlier in the season, also sang this song.  For some reason, he feels the need to scream the entire thing, pop open a bottle of champagne and share it with his fellow rockers, and leap off a very tall amp, all with the same dark, angry face.  Gilby looks bored.  Go away already.  Both of you.  The audience, however, loves this, and we find out later that this song got the biggest response of any song on the show so far.  Guess someone sipped a little too much of that champagne.

Storm is next.  She sings the Beatles' "Helter Skelter."  Now, this is the rockin' Storm I've wanted to see for the past five weeks or so.  Yeah, it's a little screamy, too, but she's got a helluva lot of charisma when she's really into a song.  And I'm sure Tommy loved her walking up to him and falling in his lap.  She ends by collapsing into the arms of her audience, and they love her.  We all do.  Okay, some of us do, anyway.

The final bottom-dweller is...Dilana.  No big shock, after how much her "evil" backstory has been featured over the past week.  She sings the Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer," dedicating it to herself.  Um...the lyrics fit her situation, I guess, and she sings it pretty well, but it's a song no one really knows, and it's kind of too quirky for this competition.  She's also not quite as compelling as usual, mostly just stomping up and down the stage and turning her back to the audience a la Lukas.  Supernova seems puzzled.  So am I.

After deliberations [which in reality took the usual 25 minutes], Tommy tells Ryan that he's good, but not good enough, and is thus going home.  Supernova is roundly booed.  Ryan says that he could have made 20 years of good music with Supernova, and his "good luck" to them sounds for all the world like he's saying, "You're going to suck now without me."  Oh, Ryan, Ryan.  They'll suck no matter who they choose.  Brooke then cheerily tells us that Ryan could be back - apparently, one departed rocker will be allowed to return to sing during the finale, based on an online vote.  Gee, can I vote for last season's Marty Casey?

 

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

 

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