A Dose of Reality: Rock Star: Supernova - Week 3
by The Trades Staff
Published: July 19, 2006
My name is Raul Burriel, a veteran of last season's Rock Star: INXS recaps. Joining us for this round table is Sheila Franklin.
Raul says: With a handful of singers quickly pulling away from the pack, it's time for the stragglers to prove their worth or get lost. Brooke Burke - wearing an outfit that makes her look pregnant - tells us that song selection this week was especially heated among the contestants. With Chris gone, we have more time to see clips from the online-only "house" episode of Rock Star: Supernova, and we soon discover that Brooke wasn't lying. As group leader Toby was trying to lend some semblence to the chaos of song selection, others were grabbing sheet music and running. We already knew that some performers were getting sunk by their song selection. It's also become clear now why some performers, when given the opportunity to perform a "last ditch" song on elimination night, choose to sing a song previously performer by another contestant: they're trying to stake their claim to a song that had wanted the first time around.
Sheila says: I wasn't really thrilled with the confrontations at the beginning of the last Rock Star: Supernova results show. The contestants know that they are being videotaped and Supernova knows that they know, yet when they deal with the issues in them, both sides seem a tad defensive. It's almost as if the contestants are supposed to beg forgiveness for having expressed their emotions to each other after the criticisms.
I am still partially convinced that Supernova will select a female to become a member of their band. I think there is waaay too much ego involved here in dealing with a male front. I already see signs of them clashing with both Toby and Lukas, two of the most talented of the men. I also note that so far they have dispensed with two "chick-magnets", Matt and Chris. And let's face it, Vegas loves young pretty women.
Patrice - "Helter Skelter"
Raul says: Here we have the Beatles like most people don't know them. This song is hard, edgy, and without any kind of pop element. Patrice was determined to sing this song and she got her wish. She delivers a performance that obliges me to go back and see what she's done before. I clearly don't recognize this girl from the past weeks. This girl is good! She's been flying under the radar until now but her performance tonight catapults her into the lead group.
Sheila says: Patrice seems to be improving every week, both vocally and visually. I admire her voice and her energy during her rendition of "Helter Skelter", but I still don't feel she is grungy enough.
Josh - "Come As You Are"
Raul says: In past weeks, Josh has suffered from the fact that he's not a rock-and-roller. Saddled with songs he can't deliver on, he's been languishing. This week, he put his foot down, grabbing this Nirvana classic and refusing to relinquish it. He comes on stage with an acoustic guitar and wearing a smarmy smirk. He delivers a blues-y rendition of this plaintiff cry for love. Band-wrangler Dave Navarro tells Josh that he loves the performance (I kept expecting the electric guitar explosion that never came) but he'd like to see Josh "change it up" and "bring something heavy and ugly". "I totally hear ya, man," Josh says. Do you? Do you really? Because they've been telling you this for three weeks now, and you still haven't given them what you want. "Just remember, man," Dave says, "that these guys will be playing at Wembley, and not a coffee house." THANK YOU! Oh man, I thought I was going mad! I thought I was the only one who saw Josh as the singer-songwriter type of musician I know he is! He cannot - and will not - win this competition trying to turn Supernova into his type of band. He must adapt to them, not the other way around.
Sheila says: Josh is still too nice and good-looking. He would never be able to hold his own with Supernova. He just doesn't come off the rocker type. If Josh could have grabbed any song, he should have chosen something a bit tougher than "Come As You Are".
Storm - "Just What I Needed"
Raul says: Surely this wasn't Storm's first... or second... or third choice. What exactly were the producers singing, forcing someone to sing a Cars song? Yeah, it's funny to try to see someone "rock up" this new wave classic, but for the unfortunate performer who gets stuck with it, well, he's just screwed. Storm does two things that save her. First, she borrows from Zayra and totally sluts it up, wearing a sheer top and black leather (or is it rubber?) bra. Second, she doesn't take herself seriously. There's a lot more electric guitar to Storm's version of the song, but we still detect that new wave vibe, keeping faithful to the original. Tommy Lee is left stunned. Everyone else loves it. Entertainment Weekly has picked Storm as one of the front runners but questions whether "Tommy Lee would rather play in a band - or in bed - with her." Certainly, his reaction to this performance suggests the latter.
Sheila says: Storm just oozes that sex, doesn't she? Her performance of the Cars' hit with that mic stand is almost pornish. I could swear I see Jason and Tommy drooling.
Lukas - "Let's Spend the Night Together"
Raul says: Judging from Lukas's reaction during song selection, he didn't want this song. But if you can't do the Stones, then you can't be in this band. Lukas is one of the top two performers in this competition right now, along with Toby. Lukas's performance here will either solidify his placement or drop him back down with the also-rans. Rather than try to impersonate the Rolling Stones, Lukas reinvents the song with an interpretation that should make Mick sit up and say "Why didn't I do that?" When speaking to Toby about his song selection, Lukas said that he could do a song where he had to sing "ba-da-da-da da-da da da da." His solution? He just omits those lyrics from his interpretation. Dave Navarro and Supernova love it. "If ever we had to cover a Stones tune," says Gilby Clarke, "that's how we would've done it." Now, lose the purple eyeshadow and the metrosexual wardrobe and we can get you to sign the contract right now.
Sheila says: Lukas is doing the Mick Jagger strut again. He is so egotistical and demonstrative that he fits right in with Supernova, but I still see some personality clashing in his future. And I think he really is going to destroy that voice. Perhaps one of his idols is Michael McDonald, who admits to deliberately doing just that so that he would always sound distinctive.
Jill - "All Right Now"
Raul says: Jill had wanted "Helter Skelter" but Patrice got her way. Instead, Jill is fortunate to get this 70's bar rock song from Free which should help her showcase precisely the talents Supernova is hoping to see in their future frontman (or frontwoman.) Jill changes nothing about the song's arrangement, coming out like a little firecracker and giving us an authentic concert performance that you could imagine seeing in an arena or stadium. "That's the first time I could imagine us behind you," says Gilby Clarke.
Sheila says: Jill looked a bit nervous at first but seems to have gotten into it eventually. I notice she also did the stereotypical kick-the-mic-stand-routine. I like her voice but don't think this was one of her better performances. Come to think of it, neither was last week's. Do some homework and practice, girl.
Ryan - "Fortunate Son"
Raul says: Sure, it's country rock, but this CCR classic has enough edge and electric guitar to make or break a Rock Star hopeful. The song's tempo appears somewhat accelerated from the original, making it even more rock-and-roll. Ryan comes out at the top of his game and only goes up from there. The band does not question his singing ability but his stage presence is heavily criticized.
Sheila says: I like Ryan's anger and it fits this CCR song. He just doesn't stand out to me vocally or in his showmanship. Twirling a drumstick is just not that impressive unless you are in a high school band.
Phil - "White Rabbit"
Raul says: Jason Newsted takes up the bass guitar and joins Phil on stage for this psychedelic blast from the past by Jefferson Airplane. For a change, Phil's vocals don't seem nearly up to snuff. I think he does the whole song off key. But he's helped eminently by Newsted whose bassline gives the song an edge it's never had before. Newsted also checks into Phil a few times to get him moving and stir up his inner rocker. Navarro and the band love the performance, but I'm left wondering just how much this performance would have sucked if Newsted hadn't been there to help in the delivery.
Sheila says: Mommy, make him stop! I feel like I am watching a kid from the "Make a Wish Foundation". I don't know what Supernova can possibly see in Phil besides the fact that he's not much of a threat to their manhood. I loved it when Jason almost knocked him over. Shame on me.
Dana - "It's My Life"
Raul says: The baby of the group chooses a Bon Jovi song in hopes of delivering a performance that will shake the stigma that she isn't experienced enough. Of course, choosing a Bon Jovi song immediately dashes those hopes. She looks like Shakira on stage. Tommy Lee says she's hot (no question there) but she still needs to "bring it." Last week she sang "Born to be Wild" and still couldn't rock. What hope does she have?
Sheila says: Watching Dana perform "It's My Life", I am contemplating sending her an e-mail to apply for American Idol after a few more singing lessons and a couple more birthdays.
Toby - "Runaway Train"
Raul says: This Soul Asylum rock ballad is one of my least favorite songs of all time. The fact that Toby had to sing it suggests to me that the most mature contestant let everyone else had their pick of songs before he chose, and he was shafted with the last song on the list. Certainly Toby "rocks it up" but even he can't do much with this song. Dave Navarro feigns falling asleep as Toby performers. He's accused by Navarro and the band of not "cranking it up" and Toby is left having to make excuses for his song selection. He promises that he'll crank it next week (yay!) and let's not fool ourselves, even if he's in the bottom three this week, Supernova won't be sending him home.
Sheila says: Toby's rendition of "Runaway Train" is ho-hum. He says he wanted to bring emotion to this song. I think he just brought boredom. If he has talent, I didn't see any tonight.
Magni - "Plush"
Raul says: Magni looks and sounds less "European" with every performance but all he does with this song is prove that he'd be the perfect lead singer for a cover band. This song sounds identical to the original Stone Temple Pilots version (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, since it's already pretty damn "rock".) He doesn't move from his spot on stage, but who can blame him with that busty girl in the audience right by the stage? The band likes the performance but it just didn't make me want to dive into a mosh pit.
Sheila says: Magni, the Iceman, gets less pop and more rock ‘n roll every week. He must be hanging out somewhere at night to take lessons and has now become one of my faves. And it probably won't hurt Supernova to have a little intercontinental pull.
Zayra - "Everybody Hurts"
Raul says: You know Zayra's in trouble when her number one asset is her sexuality and she comes on stage in a full length dress with a mock-turtleneck collar. This song is death for whoever sings it. I can't imagine Zayra knowing what she was getting into when she chose it. The arrangement sounds like I'm listening to Enya. Really, could you picture Tommy Lee and Gilby Clarke behind Zayra performing this number? Both Dave Navarro and Gilby Clarke tell Zayra that they believed she should have gone home after last week's performance but praise her for what she did this week. I sincerely hope that voters disagree.
Sheila says: From one of the best to one of the worst. Zayra's pretty, comes off innocent, and you almost forget just how off-key she can be before she gets to the chorus of "Everybody Hurts".
Jenny - "Drive"
Raul says: Jenny comes on stage with an acoustic guitar that looks as big as she is. I'm not sure why she has the guitar at all as the rest of the instrumentation on this Incubus song totally drowns up her acoustic strings. It's a sleepy, uninspired performance. Gilby says it sounds "a little on the Lilith Fair side." Yup, that hits the nail on the head.
Sheila says: Jenny seems to be hiding behind that guitar again, and is more Joni Mitchell than Incubus. The girl just has no chutzpah.
Dilana - "Zombie"
Raul says: Joining Storm - and, of course, Toby and Lukas - on Entertainment Weekly's list of stand out performers is Dilana. Some people were impressed with her performance of Nirvana's "Lithium" in the first week of competition, but I was taken aback by her awkward stage presence (EW in fact writes that she moved "like a chicken having an epileptic fit.") This week she shows her lack of sanity by choosing a song by the Cranberries. Worse yet, it's the one song by the Cranberries that doesn't sound anything like all the other songs by the Cranberries (and not in a good way!) Clearly her dancing has African elements in it, but her appearance and movements look like she's some kind of malevolent voodoo priestess coming to get you. To be frank, she makes this song sound better than the original version, but when the original is so awful, that's not tough to do. Dave Navarro and Supernova are glowing about her performance. Dave said it gave him chills. Gilby says he doesn't want to take away from her moment. I frankly don't understand what they've all been seeing in her since week 1. Let them suffer the consequences should they choose her to be their lead singer.
Sheila says: I am really afraid that there is a contract in the works for Dilana and that Supernova will offer her the gig. She seems to think so too, as she kicks and waves around that tambourine, then actually thanks the band in "Zombie", the finale of the evening. Pity.
Raul says: It took three weeks, but we finally came through with a solid round of performances. For the first time this season, we had more good singers than bad ones. My only disappointment was that we ended with Zayra, Jenny and Dilana (especially Dilana!) The initial bottom three from early results puts Jenny, Dana and Ryan on the lowest rungs. I feel Ryan is in the bottom three only because of the criticism he received from the band and there are one or two others who could easily take his place. But I'd be comfortable with any of those three going home.
Sheila says: My producer's formula still seems to be holding true. Throw out strong talent and the pretty in the beginning and end of the show, toss the mediocre into the middle, and get Jason to play bass in the second half to discourage channel surfing. My choices for the bottom three this week would be Phil, Zayra, and Jenny. Let's see if you agree with me.
Find out who got eliminated in this week's results recap.
Week 2 | Week 2 Results
Week 1 | Week 1 Results