LOS ANGELES -- Walking down Melrose Avenue in simple denim jeans and red undershirt, Storm Large looks like a supermodel. Six feet tall. Thin, yet lush figure. Blond tresses.
It's hard to believe the 37-year-old Portland singer is instead a finalist on the hardscrabble CBS reality series "Rock Star: Supernova."
The last of 15 original contestants, after a Sept. 13 finale, will be the lead singer in a hard-rock band formed by Motley Cre drummer Tommy Lee, Metallica bass player Jason Newsted and guitarist Gilby Clarke of Guns N' Roses. The three rockers also judge the contest.
The trio, with their new lead singer, will be called Supernova. The group will record an album, then embark on a world tour with an inaugural performance on New Year's Eve in Las Vegas.
Competitors came from Iceland, Australia and South Africa. Since the competition started June 25, Storm has made the final seven, spilling her into the 15 minutes of national fame that a reality show can bring.
Yet she is no stranger to a wide cross-section of Portlanders; her fans range from barely drinking age to some born in the 1940s. They've seen her bawdy torch band, Storm and the Balls, at Wilf's at Union Station, the Aladdin in Southeast Portland and Dante's, the free-for-all downtown nightclub.
Shopping last weekend in the bright sun of Southern California, two things are clear about Storm. The blond tresses are new, thanks to Hollywood-style highlights from makeup experts. And a life confined to the mansion where the competitors live (except for these fashion excursions) and rehearsals, performances and obligatory parties have dropped 15 pounds from her frame.
"It's OK, it's just my TV weight," she says in the boutique where she is joined by Supernova stylist Miles Siggins.
With the competition getting fierce, Storm is looking for any advantage. On this trip, it's trousers, a T-shirt, a jacket -- a look -- for the song she's going to sing for this week's competition. "It is crunch time," she says.
During the competition, the contestants are allowed no incoming phone calls, very limited calls out (to radio and print media) and no Internet access. They receive mail from a few friends and family members pre-approved by the show. . . .