Do you think any of these contestants realize what an amazing opportunity lies before them? Let’s see: concert halls jam packed with eye candy, amenities only the celebrity elite can afford and the possibility of fronting a rock band that, if only for a moment, will rocket them to the last page of Rolling Stone. It’s instant stardom. Just add booze, tattoos and a hint of lyrical talent.
I didn’t even have to hear the first note of music to know this show was going to rule. It’s “stripped down night” and just as the name implies, Tommy, Dave and the two cute brunettes in the front began taking off their clothes. You silly lads. Not that kind of stripped down. That comes later on tour.
Tonight there will be no peeling the paint off the walls with Pete Townshend windmill theatrics. The synthesized taps on the keyboards will be replaced with Beethoven-like melodies and Tommy Lee’s double kick bass drum will not be going for a 360 degree spin over the stage. It’s time to see who has “it”. Vocals that is. We already know the ladies have taught abs and the guys have big guitar picks.
But wait! As if living vicariously through the stage performances wasn’t enough, we’re treated to flashbacks from the wannabe’s trip to Vegas. Supernova thought it would be fun to dangle the carrot of what is to be by flying them on a private jet to Sin City. The booze was flowing, the Cristal was iced and at various times the contestants took the chance to blatantly kiss the ass of their future employers. I wonder if they had to leave their hair gel at the gate?
Upon arrival everyone piled into their respective Honda Pilot’s and headed to The Hard Rock Café where they would be performing New Year’s Eve at a intimate hall called The Joint. It was here that the jitters gave way to excitement and the reality of performing for a couple thousand horny drunks became sobering.
But the gang did not stay sober for long. Rock Star Partying 101 was to commence in the penthouse suite. Toby summed up the night pretty good by simply saying “I’m smashed”.
Groupies were flown in. Circus clowns came billowing out of a toy car and cowboys in ass-less chaps hogtied Zayra and Jason Newsted together and forced them to reconcile their differences. What? You missed that part? Stick with me my friends. I have connections.
Stripping The Songs Isn’t The Only Thing Getting Naked
But the fun only lasted for a day and it was time to get back to work. After knocking back a few bottles of Motrin, the gang get down to business and figure out their selections. Who was going to step up and perform with Gilby? Toby spoke up real quick and claimed it before a few others (knowing they were being filmed) shakily raised their hands in order to avoid the wrath of Navarro. Dilana was the only one to challenge the Tobster and a compromise was settled. Toby had to run around the pool naked as a jaybird. Looks like Dilana had the last laugh. She just wanted to see Toby’s longneck…guitar.
The other little treat in store for them was the chance to perform an original song. Zayra was quick on the drawl while the other’s trembled at the thought that this could send them home tomorrow night. After a few moments of thinking, Ryan wants to do it. Both of them realize that because they have been in the bottom three a few times, they knew this could save them. Ok, I’ll buy that. Zayra doesn’t even offer a chance for Ryan to perform jumping jacks in a jock strap or some other crazy stunt. She just takes it.
One thing about Zayra is she takes risks. Maybe not the most calculated risks but you can’t argue that she has been boring. The again, Jill took risks too and look where she ended up. 8th and Broad Street.
La Isla Bonita- Z’s Spanish Lullaby
I’m looking forward to Z’s performance. She’ll be singing in Spanish which means I don’t have to worry if the lyrics make sense. I can just sit back, relax and take in the sounds.
Dressed in a floofy red skirt and black tank top, Zayra looks a little Salma Hayek-y. It’s tasteful for her look and doesn’t distract from her song. Wow, there’s a first time for everything.
As my lavender incense burns, Zayra sings Lluvia De Mar with confidence and a hint of mystery. Translated into meaning Rainy Days, Z puts a few rays of sunshine onto the stage and she sounds beautiful. Eeek!
The band all agree that she sounded great. Tommy Lee remarked that maybe the style wasn’t right for the band but it was a good performance. Gilby still wants her to get out there on a rock song and bring it home.
Magni- Shooting For The Stars
With a freshly shorn noggin and riding high from a family visit, Magni appears to be unstoppable. And deservedly so I might add. I’m really glad David Bowie songs are getting some airtime these last few weeks. And I’m really, really glad that Magni got a chance to cover him.
Starman is a great song, full of mystery and thought. Magni does a wonderful job with the aide of violins and acoustic guitars. He looks good in an off white suit and black v-neck. His vocals shine through and I’m putting this rendition right up there with Seu Jorge’s cover.
Gilby loved it and chides him for not getting the crowd involved in a sing-a-long. Tommy Lee thought it was awesome and asked if this was the most dressed up he had ever been. It’s lighthearted all around and it’s hard to criticize a bad performance.
Patrice- Sending Out An S.O.S. To Stay Alive
Patrice has got to knock this performance out of the park. She’s been in the bottom three a few times. It’s not looking good.
With a classic song by The Police, Patrice attempts to whip the crowd into a frenzy with Message In A Bottle. She starts out a little shaky, trying to figure out where she was going with this. Taking a cue from Gilby, she urges the crowd to sing the chorus. I don’t know if it was my sound but all I heard was the chirp of crickets. Oh Patrice, as T’Pau once sang Don’t push too far/ your dreams are china in your hand. As the song nears the end, Patrice gets a little oomph and ends strong.
It’s not that it sucked. It’s just that we’re getting some strong performances from the others. Dave noticed her slow start but commended her for a good finish. He wants to see her get up in somebody’s face. Gilby was hoping for a more original performance.
Lukas- A Hero’s Welcome
How is Lukas going to top last weeks festival of emotions? Oh, I don’t know. How about strapping on a guitar, pulling up a chair and spiking his hair to the stratosphere? Sounds good to me.
Even though it’s an unplugged night, Lukas rocks Chad Kroeger’s Hero. Dressed in a post apocalyptic preacher outfit, Lukas hammers home this song. It would be cool to see him do this song with the band at full bore but you can feel him singing on the edge as if he’s just bursting.
Dave loved the stripped down version. Tommy hates when people sit down to sing. Gilby loved his voice. Jason kept it real and let Lukas know that he doesn’t want Lukas to lose the things he has learned vocally.
Storm- Will I survive This Week?
My first thoughts upon hearing Storm’s song selection was “she’s a gonner”. She still may be, but not without a fight.
Throwing a left hook to the rock song selections, Storm rearranges I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor. At first, I’m having flashbacks to the disco revival as a young twenty something in Boston. Yep, if you were going to get in good with the ladies, this was the song you charged the dance floor in order to show your sweet and soft side. However, true to Storm being Storm, she manages to put a halfway killer rock twist to it.
So here’s where I and Supernova come to a screeching halt in agreements. Dave points out that last year Marty made Britney Spears work, Dilana put a spin on Cyndi Lauper but with this unusual pick, Navarro Hated it with a capital H. Tommy pulls out the funniest line ever with “I thought that was sautéed in wrong sauce and I kinda want my money back.” For those of you who didn’t watch it, the crowd loved it and I’m sticking with the crowd.
Toby scored the Supernova player of the week song with Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel. To Tommy Lee’s chagrin, Gilby sat down on an amplifier and strummed out some tasty chords. Toby sounded good- as good as the other hundred Gabriel covers. He gets some props for adding a little bongo action at the end of the song.
Naturally the band loved it. One of their own was playing. After Toby saying that Panic Channel (Navarro’s band) kicks ass, Dave replies that his performance was the best one of the night.
Ryan- Can You Feel It?
You know what? This guy ain’t so bad. Once the laughing stock of the contestants, Ryan has been getting hotter than a cat on a hot tin roof these past three weeks.
Ryan takes the already sullen and spooky lyrics of Phil Collins’s In The Air Tonight and keeps the tradition of keeping you waiting for more. Ryan is clad in all black with a thigh length coat. It’s simple. There’s no need for feathers or a painted face to make this song happen.
In true fashion, house band drummer Nate Morton does the obligatory crescendo drum lick that makes this song so popular. I even stop to air drum. Heck, I bet three quarter’s of the folks at home did the same thing.
Dave loves it. He proclaims this performance to be the best of the night (sorry Toby) and being newly single, throws some love to the blonde violinist. Gilby has been enjoying the transformation and thought his voice was strong. Jason gave his approval as well.
Dilana- Move Over Ugly Kid Joe
I’ve been looking forward to Dilana performance the most. I’m intrigued by her. I like her voice in that sexy six-pack a day smoker kind of way. It’s raspy at times, she can get low yet kick into high gear with a flick of an ash.
Covering one of the most underrated songs, perhaps, Dilana leaves us weak in the knees with her incredible performance of Harry Chapin’s Cats In The Cradle. With a torn black dress and flared sleeves, rainbow streaked hair and the cutest facial piercings, I could just pinch her little cheeks. She keeps the song in a low register until the end when she opens up the pipes and lets it go. Like every other performance she does, I’m left speechless and wordless on how to describe her. It’s a great show.
After two tries, Dave officially proclaims Dilana as having the best show of the night. The audience erupts. I erupt. It’s a utopian experience. Dave is glad his father is in the theater or else he would be an emotional wreck. Jason enjoyed her modern day twist on an old classic song. Gilby liked how she was strong in all of her vocal ranges.
As we close out the show Patrice, Toby and Zayra are in the bottom three. Catch y’all tomorrow. The results show proves to be a doozy...