A Dose of Reality: Rock Star: Supernova - Week 5
by The Trades Staff
Published: August 2, 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: Another week of tedium on Supernova. I wish they would just dispense with the obvious losers. I guess it's a fair deal for the contestants to have the option of trying to make amends, as in Jill's case, or another week to look trashier, as in Brooke's case. Is that Lukas stuck in the back? Note that he is all in red in an otherwise mostly black peanut gallery.
Raul says: With Phil gone - amid a cloud of rumors regarding his commitment to the competition - we get one step closer to finding a lead singer for the super group Supernova. In the video package we learn that whoever does a cover of "Higher Ground" (the Stevie Wonder song previously covered by the Red Hot Chili Peppers) will be doing it with Tommy Lee on drums. After some discussion, Josh gives up his claim to the song and Patrice gets her chance. But she immediately starts feeling the pressure of having to perform with Tommy Lee and snaps at Ryan. Will she crack under the pressure?
Patrice - "Higher Ground"
Sheila says: Speaking of trashy, look at Patrice. Think back to week one and look at the difference. Maybe someone gave her some drugs, or maybe she just got Dilana to do her hair and make-up. Obviously her voice cannot keep up with Tommy Lee's drumming, and I think that in her eagerness to "fit in" she forgets there is a whole audience out there.
Raul says: It makes sense that Patrice would go for the Chili Peppers interpretation of the song. But her performance seems as mediocre as ever, enhanced only by the wild drumming of Tommy Lee. As we've seen over the past two weeks, performing with a member of Supernova artificially enhances the band's opinion of a contestant's performance. Dave Navarro makes a blanket statement about Patrice and directs it to all the contestants. "There are eight of you," he says, that would be overshadowed by Tommy Lee and the rest of the band. Dave - like the rest of us - knows that there are only a handful of potential winners in this competition and right now we're just going through the motions of eliminating the dead weight.
Josh - "Santeria"
Sheila says: Josh does that Raggae thing proud. I love his voice during "Santeria", but in that hat he looks like he should be seeking a boy band. This show at least will draw some attention to him, since he will probably never age and never be a hard rocker.
Raul says: Oops! Missed a beat at the start, there, Josh! But he quickly recovers. Josh, who has been going all "coffee house" since the beginning of the season (and who wisely surrendered "Higher Ground") to Patrice, adds extra layers of reggae to this ska tune from Sublime, showing off talents we didn't know he had. I don't know if it helps his chances with the band - or the viewing audience - at all, but it was certainly a breath of fresh air.
Dilana - "Can't Get Enough"
Sheila says: Dilana must spend a fortune on her wardrobe; leather doesn't come cheap. Note how it is okay for her to flash her ass in front of Supernova. Even Gilby approves (Jill, take notes). It's easy to see why they like her. She really is one of them, but it would be a pity if she were selected since that's all there is to her.
Raul says: Looks like we're starting off the night with the big guns. First, we get Tommy Lee on drums. Now Dilana performers third-up (when usually she and her wild antics are kept for the denouement of the show.) This song from Bad Company is a rock staple playing on all the oldie rock stations out there and I wonder if Dilana is going to do anything different with it. Nope. She goes straight up the middle, delivering a faithful - if unimpressive - rendition of the song. Where Dilana deviates is in her performance. She recruits a guy from the audience to carry her around the crowd on his shoulders, all the way up to the rear stage where Supernova is watching. She is - of course - praised mightily by the bad for her gutsy performance. Me? I'm still trying to figure her out.
Toby - "Pennyroyal Tea"
Sheila says: Toby gets the Nirvana song o' the week. No better, no worse than any other of his performances. There is just nothing enigmatic about him. I secretly think they keep him around as the token Australian.
Raul says: It seems to have become obligatory to cover a Nirvana song every week on this show. But the songs are becoming progressively more obscure. "Pennyroyal Tea" doesn't have the edge of "Come As You Are" or "Smells Like Teen Spirit". It's much more sad and plaintiff than the more popularly known Nirvana songs, but with all the same emotion. Toby successfully conveys that emotion but gets dinged by Dave Navarro for going into the audience immediately after Dilana did the same thing. Supernova is more supportive of Toby, which they'll have to be, as America won't vote for Toby after this performance (it doesn't pack the rock punch of other performances). Toby had been encouraged in past weeks to change it up, and he delivered, at the price of perhaps ending up in the bottom three.
Zayra - "867-5309/Jenny"
Sheila says: Advancing from a covergirl for Playboy to Penthouse, Zayra is still just spooky to me. I really don't think anyone cares that she can't sing. Somehow the term "for a good time" fits her. Wanna bet that at least a few thousand Zayra groupies call 867-5309?
Raul says: No one's fooling themselves anymore about Zayra. She's here for the sex appeal, and nothing more. Supernova keeps her around week after week only for the boners and the chance to see what she'll wear next. In that sense, she does not disappoint this week. She wears what appears to be some kind of animal print swimsuit... with a cape... and chains. The song is another thing entirely. Whoever thought that including this song by one-hit-wonder Tommy Tutone in the roster also thought it was wise of Matt to sing a Duran Duran the first week. Zayra does wonders with the arrangement. She keeps the lyrics and tosses out everything else, putting the song to an entirely new rock beat. It doesn't really work for her (but, really, anything she sings doesn't really work for her.) I'd like to see Lukas give this arrangement a go. Dave and Supernova are so stunned by the performance (and their collective boners) that we need to cut away to a commercial before we hear their comments. The band mentions that Zayra stayed last week and Phil went home because - surprise! - Zayra changes things up and they're always eager to see what she'll do next. But, eventually, we have to bring this back to a singing competition. And on those merits alone, Zayra should have gone home weeks ago.
Magni - "Clocks"
Sheila says: Oh Magni, you are, dare I say it, better than this competition. Get together with The House Band and go on the road. I will be in the front row with the rest of your groupies. Bringing his family here renews my faith in rockers that sometimes appear like so much ego.
Raul says: If someone can pull off this song by Coldplay, Magni can. And he starts off spectacularly well. He seems to have some trouble with the falsettos near the end, but still delivers a solid and ultimately likeable performance. Supernova agrees. Gilby calls Magni awesome. Jason says that Magni continues to set the bar for this competition, week after week. It looks like after a stumble on the opening week, Magni has launched himself into the lead group, along with others such as Toby, Lukas and Dilana. Let's hope Magni keeps up this level of performance.
Jill - "Don't You (Forget About Me)"
Sheila says: I sense an oust going on. Jill's performing "Don't You (Forget About Me)" is g-rated at best. Gilby is sneering, Jason strokes his beard, and Tommy Lee probably went out for popcorn. A dismissal by all three is almost like a kiss of death from the Godfather.
Raul says: Somehow Jill managed to avoid the bottom three last week (lucky her - Gilby was about to press sexual harassment charges!) and scores a high-recognition song which - if performance moderately well - will always score high viewer votes. Jill tries to prove she's a real rocker by juicing up the song with a lot of electric guitar and screaming, but she only succeeds in proving she can't rock at all. Dave says that her performance would have been a good time to go get a snack or go to the bathroom. Gilby is - once again - made uncomfortable by Jill. I'm beginning to feel really bad for Gilby.
Ryan - "Losing My Religion"
Sheila says: Ryan can really play piano. Who'd a thunk it? This is clearly his element and his best peformance. His voice, his emotion, his soul all come through. I guess he did have an ace up his sleep. This was a good time to play it.
Raul says: We keep coming back to R.E.M. songs, but whether they're actually a rock-and-roll band is questionable. Ryan knows he's currently not in the lead group and knows he has to do something different. On a baby grand piano - with absolutely no accompaniment - Ryan delivers a stripped down and heartfelt interpretation of this song which leaves Dave Navarro and Supernova awe struck.
Lukas - "Celebrity Skin"
Sheila says: Leave it to Lukas to take us back to standard rock n' roll, but after Ryan, it's almost mundane. Doesn't he look a lot like Eddie Munster grown up?
Raul says: Lukas takes this song and throws it out there as if to say - to Jill in particular - THIS is how you do a Hole song! He struts around properly for the song but spends a lot his time with his back turned to the audience, the camera and Supernova (something Gilby calls him on.) Dave says its his least favorite of Lukas's performances, but given all of Lukas's past performances, that's not a big knock against the kid.
Storm - "Changes"
Sheila says: Storm's interpretation of Bowie's hit is right on the mark. She has strong vocals, is comfortable on stage, and is even teary-eyed. I see her making Supernova classier for Vegas.
Raul says: In case you're uncertain from the arrangement, yes, this is David Bowie's song. Storm delivers what borders on a lounge version of the song. There are no rock elements to this performance and I come dangerously close to seeing Celine Dion doing this arrangement. Mostly, Storm just stands there in a black pants-suit singing "ch-ch-ch-changes", but somehow it's not lame. Dave and Supernova have even better things to say ("Your best performance so far.")
Dana - "Baba O'Riley"
Sheila says: Finally there's Dana, who is just screechy and brings shame to The Who. It appears that she will do anything for the "sake of the band". I bet she even gets that tattoo. It will make a fine story to tell her grandchildren since her parents will probably ground her.
Raul says: Dana's still needing to build up her rock "cred" so going for a catalog rock song is wise. Everyone else is rearranging pop songs and stripping down classics. Dana gives us a faithful cover of the original Who song (you know, the "teenage wasteland" song). She's finally starting to shake off that naive innocence. At least she's not sucking as much as others.
Sheila says: My bottom three for the week are Zayra, Toby, and Jill. Viewers agree with me; that has to be a first. But then I would just cut to the quick and say ta-ta to most of the contestants. Talk about a long, hot summer.
Raul says: There's little to say this week. It's obvious that Zayra shouldn't be here. And Jill is quickly becoming just as annoying. There's little doubt they should both be in the bottom three, and indeed they are in the initial bottom three, along with Toby, who took a risk and is paying the price. If he's still in the bottom three tomorrow night, that means Toby gets to perform a song of his choice (everybody wins!) but Supernova isn't dumb enough to send him home. Please do us a favor. Send Zayra home.
Find out who got eliminated in this week's results recap.
Previous Episode Recaps
Week 4 | Week 4 Results
Week 3 | Week 3 Results
Week 2 | Week 2 Results
Week 1 | Week 1 Results