A reminder: Do NOT take any discussion or reports from here into the regular forums. What happens in this thread, stays in this thread.
So, here it is: Week Two. Matt is no longer with us, Brooke looks stunning in an orange gown, and I am stationed in my favorite spot – smack dab in front of the Rockers Pod. (Turns out I was standing next to Dilana’s boyfriend, who seemed like a really cool dude. Very appreciative and supportive of all the Rockers, not just his g.f.)
Anyway, for all you lovers of the House Band (and isn’t that everyone?): We were treated to an impromptu performance of Zeppelin’s Rock And Roll before the taping began. Rafael sounded HOT on the guitar, and Paul can do a mean Robert Plant. TPTB could make a House Band number a regular part of every taping, as far as I’m concerned. What a great way to get the crowd pumped up! And now it’s on to the show:
Magni – My Generation (The Who)
Magni obviously paid attention to last week’s criticism and started off the show with a fairly strong performance. Dave complimented him on getting rid of most of the “Vegas”-like stuff, Gilby gave him props for listening to them, and Jason thought it was “awesome”. Tommy said it was “ho hum” and that he liked the “ho” but it needed more “hum” (or something like that). NOTE: Tommy was pretty obviously feeling no pain this evening, so most of his comments were either in outer space or in the gutter. Even then, they were usually spot on. I will, however, be curious to see what makes it on air.
Jenny Galt – Tainted Love (Soft Cell)
Last week I could barely remember her. That’s not the case tonight - but I can’t say that’s necessarily an improvement. I just did not care for this performance at all. To begin with, her voice does nothing for me. What’s more, this was one of those arrangements where the song suddenly turns into Full-Throttle Rock about 2/3rds of the way through. Too bad the first part is so meh. But I’m in the minority once again, as the band seemed to love it. Dave even invoked the spectre of the recently-departed Matt by saying that he should’ve done something similar to the Duran Duran song. I personally would’ve preferred hearing Matt’s Planet Earth again….
Jill Giola – Violet (Hole)
Wearing a white wedding dress and carrying a bunch of roses, Jill screamed and spazzed her way through the song. Dave criticized her for aping Courtney Love, saying that he found watching her performance “uncomfortable”. To which Jill responded that she had never seen C Love (but Dave didn’t seem to buy it). Gilby, on the other hand, dug the performance, but felt there was a lot of screaming – not singing – going on. Jill, on the defensive, said that she choose the song because it was “out of [her] box” and that she wanted to show the “dirty, filthy” side of her. Jason liked her energy, but Tommy Lee only seemed interested in whether she was wearing panties or not.
Zayra Alvarez – You Really Got Me (The Kinks)
This was an improvement over her performance last week (no weird flamenco or cape dresses), but, bless her eccentric little heart, in no way, shape or form was it right for Supernova. Dave said that she is bizarre enough to have a good career. Jason is still in love and gave her a big Thumbs Up. Tommy thought she was sexy and confused, to which Zayra responded that all the singers are confused because they don’t know what SN wants. “We are showing you a buffet [to chose from]”, she said. But things got really fun when Gilby asked her, straight up, whether she had ever heard one of their respective albums? No, Zayra responded, as she was in diapers when they were popular…. Buh-bye, Zayra.
Chris Pierson – Take Me Out (Franz Ferdinand)
I had no major problems with Chris’ performance tonight. Was it great? No. Was it decent? Yes. Is it right for our band Supernova? No. Though later on in the show, Gilby would profess that Every Single Rocker still had a chance at this gig, I took that comment with a whole boatload of salt. I am sure that Chris’ days are numbered. It’s only a question of how long he can delay the inevitable. Dave questioned his “authenticity”, saying that he doesn’t feel that Chris has really been himself on stage yet. Jason agreed with Dave. Tommy liked it, but told Chris to go easy on the vibrato.
Dilana – Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash)
I was expecting a “rocked out” version. Instead, Dilana played it very low-key, with an almost Middle Eastern sound to it. Props to her for changing it up – and also for not “rocking it out” in the final third, as some might have done. It was a beautifully controlled and beautifully sustained performance. Not only is she good, she is smart as well (for choosing something that was so different from last week). Dave and SN were, once again, beside themselves: “Incredible” “Amazing” “Unique” “Mesmerizing”. They get no quarrel from me.
Josh Logan – With Arms Wide Open (Creed)
He’s interesting and I really kinda like him. But I honestly didn’t dig his version of this. I’m gonna have to agree with Dave on this one: This was an average performance from someone who seems more suited to an “Indie Art Band” than to Supernova. Gilby, however, thought he did a great job on a song Gilby had never heard before (!), while Jason told him to watch the “Stevie Wonder” ad-libbing stuff. Tommy thought it was “funky”.
Phil Ritchie – If You Could Only See (Tonic)
This was one of my favorite performances from Brandon last season (despite his weird fall to the floor), and Phil did an okay job with it. However, coming after his two previous mediocre performances, it probably won’t be good enough to keep him out of the Bottom 3. Dave and the SN guys claim to love his voice, but still have problems with his performance skills, interaction with the House Band, etc. Tommy, questioning Phil about his song choice, admits that he loves Tonic, especially with Gin in it. (Badda-boom!)
Storm Large – Surrender (Cheap Trick)
Storm treads water this week. She wasn’t bad, but I was a little disappointed that her performance was so reminiscent of last week’s Pinball Wizard. It had a “been there, done that” feel to it. Dave also wasn’t crazy about it, and he criticized her for being a little “too Broadway”. (It reminded him of Cats.) Gilby, however, liked the overly-dramatic part that Dave didn’t; whereas Jason found her energy “infectious” but her voice a little flat. Tommy thought it was “good”.
Patrice Pike – Heart-Shaped Box (Nirvana)
Yet another in a string of disappointing performances from the women tonight. As loathe as I am to make comparisons to last year, I still have to say that Jordis did this song 100 times better than Patrice. It sounded to me like she was flat at the start, and her whole performance was lackluster. I think her playing the guitar was a mistake, as it kept her rooted to the spot and limited her interaction and effectiveness. At least it did to me, but what the hell do I know? Dave and SN liked it for the most part, saying it was “well done” and noting that she seemed “comfortable” with the guitar (though Tommy thought she should wear it slung lower).
Lukas Rossi – Don’t Panic (Coldplay)
Like Dilana, Lukas also had the good sense to change it up this week. Though not as radical a change-up as hers, it was still enough to show that Lukas is the real deal. Dave rhapsodized about how Lukas had a foot in all these different genre doors, while Gilby spoke of how Lukas had “something special” that he hoped wouldn’t change too much in pursuit of this gig. Jason was concerned about the “constricted” vocals Lukas sometimes produces – because of the damage it might do to Lukas in the long run. All Tommy had to say was “Let’s get on a tour bus”. (Gee, do ya think Lukas might be considered one of the front runners at this point?)
Ryan Star – Jumpin’ Jack Flash (The Rolling Stones)
Remember last week when I said that every episode of Rock Star had to have a WTF? Moment? Well, Ryan has delivered it twice in two weeks! I just don’t get this guy. Everything about him screams “poser” to me. I may not like some of the other Rockers – but he’s the only one who I simply Do. Not. Believe. I thought his rendition of JJF was a complete joke – including the cliché move down into the audience. I still can’t believe the praise he got. At least Dave admitted that the beginning of the song almost put him to sleep (though he liked the rest of it). But, really, only Tommy had a discouraging word to say, as he proclaimed it “a little PG for me”.
Dana Andrews – Born to Be Wild (Steppenwolf)
You know how, when you are growing up, you’re told that if you can’t say anything nice about somebody…? Well then, I guess I have nothing to say about Dana.
You have got to be kidding me, right? Dana singing Born to Be Wild??? Is this a sign of the Last Days or what? It was all so cutesy and coy, with Dana trying to act all "sexy" and "wild". I personally thought this performance would have been an embarrassment on American Idol. Granted, she’s got an incredibly strong voice. But everything else about her is Just So Wrong that I don’t care how much fishnet she is wearing. (Maybe I should listen to her with my eyes closed, as Jason said he has to do with Phil.) I’m flabbergasted she got the kudos she did. At least Tommy Lee, seeing clearly through whatever haze he was in, only had 4 words to say about it: “Born to Be Mild”.
Toby Rand – Somebody Told Me (The Killers)
Now, this is more like it! This is the kind of performance I come to see! I had liked Toby’s version of Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door last week and pegged him as one to watch. This week, he did not disappoint. Toby just frickin’ killed on this song! Great growly vocals: high octane and just drippin’ with testosterone. He garnered probably the biggest crowd reaction of the night; the cheers just went on & on. There was some minor criticism from SN about his need to work the stage better, but only after they admitted that his voice sounded great and acknowledged that the audience adored it. Toby, in turn, said he hoped the band would consider him as an opening act when they were touring with Lukas. <snerk>
The show ended with a few fairly long, off-camera statements from both Dave and Gilby. Dave wanted to remind everyone how, at this time last season, all the signs pointed to Jordis. Then they shifted to MiG, and then Marty. But JD ended up winning. So none of the Rockers should think that anyone has this thing in the bag. Dave also said the band was very interested in the goings-on in the Mansion and in how the Rockers interacted with one another. (Contrast this with statements by INXS last year that what mattered to them was what went on on the stage and not in the house.) Gilby ended with the comment I reported before about how anyone of them could still win this thing.
Well, there you have it. Since the show ran extremely long again (slightly over 2 hours), I expect 95% of all comments will end up on the cutting room floor. The Supernova guys talk ten times more than INXS ever did and are providing some real feedback to the Rockers – even if you don’t end up seeing most of it.
Obviously, I think it should be between my three faves: Dilana, Toby, and Lukas. All three have turned in very strong performances these first two weeks. Because of the crowd’s reaction tonight, however, I’m going to give the edge to Toby – unless Tommy’s burgeoning Lukas Love wins out.