A Dose of Reality: Rock Star: Supernova - Week 4
by The Trades Staff
Published: July 26, 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.
Sheila says: I find that it really helps to watch the MSN reality episode before I watch the network show. This way I get watch all the back-stabbing and Lukas-sneering up close and personal. And Dana is now playing nice with Ryan. These two are clearly too affable to get through to the finals.
Tommy Lee gets goose bumps when the first team performs in the challenge. But of course. Therein lies his two faves, Dilana and Lukas.
There are still almost too many bad singers to really make this much of a contest. For example, the dreadful off-key styling of Phil and Zayra make me not want to listen to whatever they wrote.
On to the competition...
Raul says: Sheila did a great job last week recapping the results episode of Rock Star: Supernova. I just wanted to add a few of my own comments. Foremost, I wanted to say how impressed I was with Dana's performance. For weeks she had been playing the bright eye ingenue. Finally she rocked out with a performance of "High Road Easy". If you haven't heard the song before, I'm not surprised. It's by Sass Jordan of my home town of Montreal. I know her music well, but I doubt anyone south of the border does. As an aside, I wanted to point out that Sass Jordan is currently the "celebrity judge" on Canadian Idol (that's right, she's taken up the mantel of Canada's Paula Abdul!) Josh also rocked out during last week's result episode (finally!) He proved that he can front this band... if he wants to! That left Jenny as the odd-man out. That leaves Lukas as the last Canadian on the show, and he's currently a front runner. We'll see if Canadians can win this competition two years running.
This week, Supernova visited the contestants at their mansion and played some of their demo tracks to give them a feel of their type of music (for those who were still clueless... Zayra, I'm looking at you!) As Gilby Clarke said, "There's no more excuses."
Lukas - "Bittersweet Symphony"
Sheila says: Lukas' performance of "Bittersweet Symphony" is simply Lukas. His spotlight bit was decent and he said he did it for the music, but we know better, don't we? And look, he is playing the gee-tar!
I watched Lukas tonight, since he was conspicuously placed where you couldn't miss him. He never moved, never got into anyone else's performance, never applauded his fellow competitors. And he sure can't handle criticism. That pegs loser, no matter how good his voice is.
Raul says: I wonder if Lukas chose this song to prove he could make anything sound good or if he got shafted. Either way, he managed to make this song enjoyable. His arrangement added plenty of edge to this symphonic tune by the Verve and his voice completed the package.
Zayra - "Call Me"
Sheila says: Zayra said in the reality episode: "I need this!" What's up with that? Either you have it or you don't. It's like a movie. Even the best script in the world cannot help a crappy actor. If she is such a hot net search, I suggest that instead of singing "Call Me" she calls Playboy or the nearest porn studio.
Raul says: I heard her sing the first line of this Blondie staple and proclaimed aloud "Oh good! She's going home this week!" She wore a skin-tight metallic blue spandex suit (it was shocking the first time... now it's just slutting it up for votes) and played the sex angle. Dave Navarro urged her to immediately undertake a solo career. Perhaps with less singing involved?
Dana - "About a Girl"
Sheila says: Looks like Dana took a Lukas-anger lesson and borrowed some black shoe polish for make-up. She seems to think that and performing a Nirvana song equals success. What hot rocker hangs on a stool?
Raul says: Dana growls like she has laryngitis as she belts out an acoustic version of this Nirvana song. Looks like Dana is finally getting the right idea and Supernova agrees. Dave Navarro says she's finally "damaged enough" to be a rock star.
Patrice - "Remedy"
Sheila says: Patrice, on the other hand, is still looking mighty mainstream. I really like her voice, but she is like so much porridge that is neither too hot nor too cold. She will skate by on that voice for a while, I think, but is obviously not Supernova material.
Raul says: The Black Crowes is always an easy selection for someone wanting to shine on this show. It's hard to do one of their songs and come off as tepid. Yet, Patrice manages this incredible feat. Dave Navarro and Supernova look bored to the point of being offended.
Toby - "White Wedding"
Sheila says: Toby's rendition of "White Wedding" is satisfactory but I still think I have seen him in every cheapo club I have ever been in. And unfortunately, he wasn't the headliner.
Raul says: Last week Toby sang Soul Asylum's "Runaway Train" in hopes of showing off his vocal range. He got stung because Supernova only wants to hear him rock. Toby got the message and this week he gives us Billy Idol. The tempo is sped up to almost double-time. Toby's arrangement strips any possible new wave elements from the song. It sounds like I'm hearing Motorhead do a Billy Idol cover. It's a small, unpretentious performance that may have just put Toby ahead of Lukas in the competition.
Magni - "Heroes"
Sheila says: Magni gets the coveted half hour slot to keep away channel surfers. The "Iceman" really knows how to work a camera. His rendition of "Heroes" makes him one of mine still. And why is it okay for Dana to hug-a-bench and not him? Hopefully, Supernova will play back tonight's tape and get a reality check.
Raul says: Electric guitar in hand, Magni gives us a sound-alike version of David Bowie's "Heroes". It's uncanny how much he sounds like Bowie. Supernova is very critical about Magni's decision to take up a guitar and stand still on stage rather than approach the audience. Magni's response is that he didn't want to put on the blue spandex and run around. Magni gets bonus points in my book for that.
Ryan - "I Alone"
Sheila says: A lot of rockers are simply screamers. So when Ryan starts out "All Alone", you can detect his slightly off-pitch voice. When he gets into it some basic screaming, he manages to camouflage it. I didn't really appreciate he lack of respect for the drums, though.
Raul says: I was very concerned by Ryan's decision to do a song by Live. I was afraid that doing this song would imperil him and - worse yet - save Zayra for another week! But we're saved! While not on par with the best performances tonight, Ryan manages to rock it enough to save his skin. He erases all sympathy from the song, and most of the melody, screaming his way through it, putting out raw energy.
Jill - "Brown Sugar"
Sheila says: Jill, Gilby and some "Brown Sugar" are up next. I hope he doesn't bump her like he did Phil. She might fall of the stage. Quite the opposite. She is literally, dare I say it, humping him. Being a married guy, of course he would say he didn't like it. I don't buy it, though.
Raul says: Gilby takes up the lead guitar for this performance and he and Jill do a little bit of grinding on stage. Sure, she sounds pretty good but never has a pairing on stage looked more awkward.
Phil - "One Headlight"
Sheila says: Phil, are you wearing Dockers, dude? It's not just the head-bobbling that bothers me. You name it, it irritates me, and I am wondering why he is still here.
Raul says: Phil's performance last week of "White Rabbit" was saved by Jason Newsted playing bass. This week, he gives us a baffling rendition of the Wallflower's "One Headlight". The arrangement doesn't change from the original yet Phil sings it like he's never heard the song before and is missing his cues. Supernova has greater concerns. Dave Navarro says he misses the intensity from last week. "I want to make sure it wasn't all this guy," Dave says, pointing at Newsted. Indeed, if Dave had seen the same performance we all did, he would know that it was all Newsted.
Dilana - "Time After Time"
Sheila says: Dilana the magnificent performs Cyndi Lauper. I am a longtime Lauper fan and even though she delivers the harmony and that final high line, she is just Dilana to me. Give her the damn contract already and be done with it.
Raul says: Dilana doesn't do anything crazy with her arrangement. She goes purely acoustic, stripping the song down. He voice sounds oddly manly at times but for the first time since this competition began, I actually liked a performance by Dilana.
Josh - "No Rain"
Sheila says: Josh is so cute! Too much so to make all the way through to the end of the competition. There is no way he can be evil enough and would have made another primo candidate for American Idol.
Raul says: You're kidding me. Could he have picked a more "pop" song? Well, I suppose he could have done "Time After Time" instead of Dilana. I think what Josh is trying to prove is that he can bring energy to his stage performance. If that's his goal, he fails miserably as he sings the song like he's apologizing. When speaking to the band after his performance he admits to what I suspect he's been trying to do all along: bend Supernova more towards his type of music rather than bend himself. With an attitude like that, you might as well not show up next week.
Storm - "Anything, Anything"
Sheila says: When Storm said, "Top down, cold beer, rebellious, good times, the essence of rock 'n roll," I think she hit the nail on the head. She was an excellent finale choice and her version of "Anything, Anything" was top-notch. I dug her voice and her faith in the audience when she moshed it. I imagine that she will be chosen to perform tomorrow night's encore.
Raul says: Vocally, I can't fault Storm's version of this Dramarama song. But her stage performance is crazy theatrical, punctuated by strained faces and showy strutting. Only the stage dive at the end saves her.
Sheila says: Phil, Dana, and of course Zayra are immediately expendable to me . When they announce Jill in the viewers' lowest of the low, my hunch is that the bible thumpers on the East Coast are the first to reach the telephone. The moral: Don't hump the band that feeds ya and nice guys finish last.
Raul says: It's time to send Zayra home. Hopefully, Josh will decide to leave voluntarily. The current bottom three based on initial votes is Josh, Jill and Zayra.
Find out who got eliminated in this week's results recap.
Previous Episode Recaps
Week 3 | Week 3 Results
Week 2 | Week 2 Results
Week 1 | Week 1 Results