The WB's Superstar USA Recap-5/18/04
Once More With Feeling
Welcome back to another exciting edition of “The WB’s Superstar USA”. Yes, I know we just did this yesterday, but like the show that inspired it, “Superstar” will be having two episodes a week throughout its duration. After watching Wednesday’s show, I am wondering if they had to try to stretch out the footage to accommodate two shows a week. A full ten minutes in, they were still recapping the previous episode. As a weary veteran of such classics as “Paradise Hotel” and “Forever Eden,” I have seen my share of repetitive footage. However, “Superstar” seemed to take the idea to completely new levels by covering Monday’s episode point by point.
As an aside, I was also disturbed by the orange sunburst, fading effect they used to separate each scene. Did it remind anyone else of the all-seeing eye of Sauron? No? Ok, moving along then…
After the recapping has ended, our real show begins with a sketch of Brian McFayden in Philadelphia, reenacting the famous stair scene from “Rocky”. Well, that’s what I hear anyway. Since I am one of the three people on the planet who has never actually watched that classic movie, he could have just as easily been in the mood to run up some stairs and I wouldn’t have known the difference. Thank goodness he clarified, saving me the embarrassment of saying he should jog on his own time.
At the audition in Philly, Brian gives us a peek into the holding room, where hopefuls are slurping down honey, practicing their dance steps and otherwise preparing for their imminent auditions. For anyone late to class, these contestants do not know that “Superstar” is actually an elaborate hoax. Instead of trying to find the best singer, they are actually looking for the singer who is not only devoid of talent, but also delusional enough to believe they are great.
If I Were A Betting Man…
Frank, the first audition of the day, seems to fit these criteria like a glove. Frank has a rail-like appearance that is only accentuated by the dark, form-fitting turtleneck that he has chosen to wear. He introduces himself to the judges and begins to sing a Faith Hill song while dancing and gesticulating in odd, abrupt movements. Honestly, his singing voice failed to even capture my attention as I watched his marionette body jerk spastically by its invisible strings. Frank was obviously just what the judges were looking for and they pass him through to the next round.
Laurie, the next contestant, is so bad that I don’t even recognize her song choice until the last few words or it. When the judges send her on to the next round, her enthusiastic response causes a moment of squirminess for the judges, which Briggs tries to alleviate by laughing that they had a connection in that she sang her heart out for him and he lied to her. As Laurie continues to cry and hug the host in her excitement, my own conscience feels a small twinge of compassion. Thinking quickly, I promise it copious amounts of alcohol for the next episode and it settles back down.
Several years ago, I went to see a friend of mine play at a small bar in the backwoods of Appalachia called “Buford’s”. All the drinks at Buford’s were served in plastic cups and the stage was surrounded by chicken wire in case someone did sneak a bottle in to throw at the performers. If you’ve ever seen “Blues Brothers,” you have a good idea of what I’m talking about. What does this have to do with our show? Well, our next contestant Rochelle looked like she would have been more than comfortable up on Buford’s stage. Her over processed hair and black leather halter dress probably make her a crowd favorite. Rochelle's singing proved to be as bad as her fashion sense as she butchered, “Survive” for the panel of judges. Barely able to contain their mirth, the judges give Rochelle the green light to the next round.
We find out Philadelphia had some real talent hiding in the wings as we are shown a montage of good singers being sent packing by the judges. It’s at this point that I begin to wonder if there is a back door to the audition room. If I were in the holding room listening to the other people practice and they sent someone like Frank to the next round, it would raise some serious questions in my mind as to the kind of competition I had entered into. However, these doubts don’t seem to tug at any of our competitors, as the auditions continue unabated.
After the parade of decent singers, Mario brings the competition back into focus with his triple threat of appalling singing, bad dancing, and a terminally dorky appearance. Peeking out from under his aviator glasses and stringy hair, Mario yowls the lyrics to “Celebration” and flails around the stage in an awkward attempt at dancing. In what I suspect is an effort to keep from laughing, the judges begin to dance around their table and then clap and cheer Mario on through his big finish. They quickly advance Mario to the next round and he goes outside to celebrate his victory with Brian McFayden. As he departs, the well-coiffed host names Mario as his pick to be the first Superstar. I’ll place my bet on the table with Brian’s.
Get With This
Heading down the coast to Orlando, the judges are anxious to find out if the Sunshine State has its own share of bad singers. With his boy band looks, the first singer, Chad, probably gave them a moment’s pause. However, they soon learn that their fears are unfounded as Chad begins to scream his song selection with little hint of actual singing. His intensity and cocky attitude win over the Vitamin C, who tells him not to lose his special “thing”.
Next up was a young rapper named Herbert, who had an interesting approach to his craft. In a monotone voice, he repeated the lyrics “you can get with this or you can get with that” no less than a dozen times. The judges praised him for “rockin the mic” but claimed to be bothered by his name. To help his image, they proposed coming up with a more suitable stage name. Pointing out his resemblance to the character, “Urkle”, Briggs suggested the name “Curkle” might be a good choice. Nodding in oblivious agreement, Herbert says, “thank you” and moves on to the next round.
The fashion-challenged Claudia was also given the green light and then we were treated to Joe the Rocker. His spittle-filled rendition of “Mony, Mony” captured the judge’s attention immediately, but Vitamin C decided to have some additional fun with Joe. She asked him to replace all of the “yeah’s” in the song with “no’s” so that they could explore his other dimensions. After his hilarious attempt, he has moved on to the next round.
Several earsplitting auditions later and Nina finishes out the day. Her stiletto boots, mini skirt, and mess shirt would seem more at home on a stage with a pole. However, she declares her love for the universe and says she wants to share that love with everyone. Something tells me she already has shared quite a bit of that love. Anyway, she punctuates her screeching performance with a series of body-stroking dance moves and high kicks and the judges think she is perfect to go to Hollywood.
Well friends, that ends the first round of auditions for “Superstar USA”. Join me next week as the field is narrowed and only the bad will survive.
Care to sing me a tune? Stargazer@fansofrealitytv.com