Monthly Archives: July 2006

Week 5: Reality Episode

Zayra was as surprised as the rest of us when she survived another elimination on last week’s Rock Star.
So how does she plan to reward Supernova’s faith in her at this week’s
performance show? By turning the poppiest 80’s hit of them all,
“867-5309,” into a punk rock song.

After Phil’s elimination, the
wannabe rock stars raised a glass to him. According to their comments,
Phil was much cooler than he came off onstage. Zayra admitted that, if
the band had voted according to their personal taste — and not based
on who they thought wanted to be in the band more — she probably
would’ve been out.

Later, all of the men hung out in the
billiard room bemoaning the fact that fewer men than women now remain,
and vowing to show the women just who wears the leather pants in the
mansion. Married guy Magni wisely kept his mouth shut during the
discussion.

Magni’s wife sent him a video from home. Since he
left Iceland for California, their infant son has learned to walk.
Tearfully, Magni said the video was the fuel he needed to keep
competing.

The next day, Jason Newsted stopped by the mansion to
coach the rockers on the finer points of performing. As a group, they
watched videos of last week’s performances, much to the dismay of
several contestants.

Patrice knew that “Remedy” was not her
finest work and was eager to prove herself this week. Dilana felt that
her vocals on “Time After Time” were terrible and actually cried,
despite rave reviews from her competitors.

Jill took the
harshest criticism from Jason, and several of the rockers laughed at
the footage of Gilby running away from her during their performance of
“Brown Sugar.” As a defense mechanism, Jill wouldn’t stop talking and
rationalizing. Tired of listening, Lukas and Toby played a game of
tic-tac-toe.

Lukas was the first person to find the new batch of
songs the following day, and he immediately took all of the sheets off
of the wall and brought them out by the pool. Not having to stand in
front of the wall and negotiate relaxed everyone, making song selection
an easy process.

Josh initially wanted to sing “Higher Ground”
by Stevie Wonder, until he realized that Tommy Lee would be playing
drums for the song. Josh assumed that Tommy would want to do, in his
words a “Hot Red Chili Peppers-style” (sic) version of the song, and he
gave the song to Patrice.

As Patrice walked around the house
after song selection, Ryan asked how she felt about performing with a
rock legend. A tense Patrice told Ryan to quit saying Tommy Lee’s name
in her presence. Always eager to fight, Ryan told Patrice that this was
the first and only time he’d uttered Tommy’s name. Patrice backed off,
but Ryan still walked away shaking his head and muttering “bitch” under
his breath.

House Band rehearsal showed a few of what should be
the more disastrous performances tomorrow night. Ignoring Supernova’s
advice to bring the rock, Josh chose the ska song “Santeria” by
Sublime. To make it as un-rocking as possible, he supplied his own beat
box effects. If only it were Rock Star: The Fat Boys. Not only would Josh make the band, he’d have a sweet role in Disorderlies 2.

Zayra,
likewise ignoring the advice to rock, chose “867-5309 (Jenny)” by Tommy
Tutone. As if following a Blondie tune with another 80s hit wasn’t bad
enough, she insisted on changing the song’s rhythm to make it more punk
rock. Band leader Paul said, “Zayra has taken everything that was cool
about the song and gotten rid of it.”

Guitarist Jim suggested
that it would show more of her skills if she would just perform a song
straight for once instead of always rearranging things. She insisted
that a straight performance wasn’t her style, and the band caved to
Zayra’s demands — content to play the song her silly way, so long as
they were also free to giggle.

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DwtS Offseason Update: 7-28-06

DWTS at the Emmys
Dancing with the Stars faces off against stiff competition in the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program category at the 58th annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The other nominees are Project Runway, Survivor, American Idol, and The Amazing Race.

Half of the nominees for the Choreography award are dances from DWTS.
Tony Dovolani earned a nomination for his Jive to “Wake Me Up Before
You Go, Go,” and Cheryl Burke earned nominations for her “Thriller”
Paso Doble and her “Save a Horse” freestyle routine.

Cheryl talked about her Emmy nominations with the Philippine News. The awards ceremony will air Sunday, August 27 at 8/7c on NBC.

Another Emmy Nominee Speaks
Nick Kosovich, nominated as co-choreographer with Cheryl for the “Thriller” routine, said in an interview with NYUSABDA that part of being Tatum O’Neal’s partner was attending AA meetings with her! Nick also confirmed that he’ll be returning for Season 3. (Thanks to Raphael Pungin for posting a link to the interview.)

Third Pro Confirmed
Maksim Chmerkovskiy will be joining Cheryl and Nick for another season of DWTS. Apparently, producers wanted to add Max’s brother Valentin to the cast of pros, but Val’s schedule would not permit it.

Week 4: Elimination Show

Space case Zayra seemed like the obvious choice for elimination on this week’s Rock Star. Even she thought so. And Supernova admitted that they can’t really see her fronting their band. But the band shocked everyone when they sent wobbly-headed Phil home.

After Brooke narrated a brief montage of clips from last night’s show, Tommy again praised Storm for her stage dive. Patrice defended her boring performance, saying that she was aiming for consistency.

Dave asked Zayra where she got her performance show space suit, and she said she stole it from his wardrobe. Gilby told Zayra to pick a really heavy rock song next week and avoid any pop numbers.

Phil tried to blame his lousy performance on a weak set of songs to choose from, but Dave pointed to Dana and Dilana for having given strong, stripped down performances.

During footage filmed at the mansion after the performance show, Jill still didn’t understand why Gilby was uncomfortable with her dry humping him. Dana was pumped about her performance, but Dilana and Ryan said it wasn’t Supernova’s job to teach her how to be a rocker. She protested against her good girl image: “I’ve worn combat boots. I’ve worn a denim skirt.”

Back in the concert hall, Gilby went after Jill again for not absorbing his advice, learned through years of experience. “I played with Heart. Ann Wilson never had to stoop so low as to hump me to get her emotions out.” Nancy Wilson, however… total slut.

Gilby also said that the hyper-sexualized female rocker is the kind of cliched thing that you see at a Holiday Inn. Still not willing to accept any blame, Jill said, “but everything’s been done in rock n’ roll.” The band did not appreciate that comment, and Gilby wondered if everything would end in an argument if Jill was a member of their band.

Dana said that she was tired of being picked on, and that she was learning more from her housemates when they kept their mouths’ shut. Dilana, who’s made several efforts to help Dana, looked hurt.

The encore went to Storm, as predicted. When she lets go, she’s a lot of fun to watch — showing that you don’t have to do a Rolling Stones song to channel your inner Mick Jagger. Even the perpetually scowling Lukas smiled during the encore.

The early bottom three, Zayra, Jill, and Josh, were joined at some point during the voting by Phil and Patrice. The final members of the bottom three were as follows:

Patrice – “My Iron Lung” by Radiohead
The guys in the band liked the song choice, which meant Patrice would survive the cut no matter how she performed. But she seemed really comfortable on stage, and she even ventured into the crowd. Hopefully she’ll pay attention to how badly Jill’s combative attitude was perceived by the band and be a little more gracious next week if she gets criticized.

Zayra – “I’m Not an Addict” by K’s Choice
Zayra stuck with her outer space wardrobe, wearing a silver mini-kimono. She toned down her stage antics, and was accompanied only by Raphael on electric guitar. Zayra often has trouble with her diction, and she has moments that make you think she’s completely tone deaf. But then, when she gets the chance to pick her own material, she has moments of such power and beauty that I get chills. She’s not right for this band, but Zayra could do great — or terrible — things on her own.

Phil – “Smoking Umbrellas” by Failure
Phil was totally stunned to be in the bottom three. He should take it as a clue that his head bobbing turns people off. I’m not familiar with this song, but if the way he sang it was how it was supposed to sound, it was a bad choice. It just sounded like he was singing off-key the whole time. Although he couldn’t entirely keep his head from bobbling around, he did give an energetic performance.

All three of the performances were pretty good, so it came down to who the band thought was most committed to Supernova. They felt that Phil wanted to win the show more than he actually wanted to be a member of Supernova. Absolutely every one of the rockers, including Zayra, looked stunned that Phil was cut instead of Zayra.

After the show, Patrice said that Phil’s elimination was a wake-up call for the rest of the contestants. Rockers who thought they’d come on the show just to promote themselves better keep their bags packed.

Week 4: Performance Show

This week’s Rock Star: Supernova performance show had a bit of
everything. Storm blew everyone away with a song nobody had ever heard
of. Dilana became Dilauper. Josh and Patrice treated us to their
special brand of soulless white soul. Dana came off as a little
unhinged, which worked for her. Live made Ryan come alive. Jill’s
onstage antics with Gilby drove him to file a sexual harrassment suit
against her. And Zayra wore her planet’s equivalent of the little black
dress: a shiny, blue, rubber jumpsuit.

The show opened with a
clip from the reality episode, which showed the contestants hearing a
medley of Supernova tracks. After the clip, Gilby said he was excited that Supernova
had gotten to share some of their music with the contestants, who now
have a better idea of what kind of music the winner will be singing. Then it was on to the night’s performances.

Lukas – “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve
Lukas
belted out the song with his signature growl, and this week, he
strapped on a guitar — though it was more prop than instrument. Tommy
said the version was heavy, but it sounded like the original to me.
Jason still wishes Lukas would “open up” his throat when he sings.

Zayra – “Call Me” by Blondie
It
was hard to listen to Zayra and not be distracted by her skin-tight
space majorette outfit. Once she warmed up, her vocals were pretty good
— for Zayra. As bad as she is, she has improved each week. Dave, in an
attempt to encourage her, I think, told her to get started on her solo
career right now.

While Zayra is a pretty girl, every time
Brooke stands next to her, all of Zayra’s flaws are magnified. If I was
her, I’d fight to make sure I was never the last performer before a
commercial break.

Dana – “About a Girl” by Nirvana
Dana
went acoustic for this song, the second performer of the night to wield
a guitar. She finally figured out how to make her voice sound gritty.
Dave was complimentary: “You are finally looking damaged enough to be a
rock singer. There’s nothing worse than a… well-balanced rock singer.”

Patrice – “Remedy” by the Black Crowes
Patrice
performed with all of the enthusiasm of someone who’s been performing
the same set of covers in Vegas for 20 years. Dave said, “I’m getting
bored,” and encouraged her to change up her performance a bit. When
Patrice asked Dave if he follows his own advice, he responded that he
already has a job; she doesn’t.

Toby – “White Wedding” by Billy Idol
This
song is great raw material for a talented singer. Toby did the song
justice. He’s starting to really look like he could front a heavy band,
interacting with the crowd and the House Band. Jason said that this was
his favorite performance from Toby thus far.

Magni – “Heroes” by David Bowie
Yet
another guitar-playing contestant. The band wanted more energy from
him, but admitted that his vocals were flawless. Magni defended his
choice to stand relatively still behind the mic stand as the best way
to pay tribute to an amazing song.

Ryan – “I Alone” by Live
Ryan
was criticized last week for looking like he wasn’t having any fun on
stage. So this week, he came out angrier, yet looser, than ever, and it
totally worked. The band was impressed.

Jill – “Brown Sugar” by the Rolling Stones
Jill
couldn’t stop grinding on guest guitarist Gilby, and he called her out for it. He said
that, when women in rock resort to overt sexuality, “it’s cheap and
it’s weak.” Newly single Dave said, “If it was my band, we’d be
grinding for hours on end.”

Phil – “One Headlight” by The Wallflowers
Phil’s
spastic head movements are still his biggest problem, and even Tommy
worried that people might not be able to watch 90 minutes of Phil’s
bobble-headedness. I get motion sick after watching him for two
minutes. If he ever becomes famous, someone will make an immobile-head doll in his likeness.

Dilana – “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper
Dilana
sat for this one, accompanied only by Jim on guitar, and drew the whole
audience into her performance. She sounded wonderful whispering the
verses of the song, and then stood up and transformed into typical Dilana during the
chorus, making the offer to “catch you” sound more like a threat. As
the band praised her, she graciously brought Jim back out for a bow.

Josh – “No Rain” by Blind Melon
It was a flat, passionless performance that left Jason shaking his head. If Josh winds up in the bottom three again, he’s dead meat.

Storm -“Anything, Anything” by Dramarama
Storm
was the only contestant who even knew this not-quite-a-hit from the
mid-’80s, but there was no way anyone could’ve performed this better
than she did. Near the end of the song, Storm chucked the mic in the
air and dove into the crowd. She’ll be getting the
encore tomorrow night.

Early Bottom 3:
Josh
Jill
Zayra

Of
the other contestants, Phil and Patrice are the most likely candidates
to dip into the bottom three at some point during the voting.

My
vote went to Storm. She finally showed what she was capable of, and her
skimpy, but not slutty, outfit showed how ripped she is.

Week 4: Reality Episode

Last season’s songwriting clinic produced tragic results for the eardrums of Rock Star: INXS fans. Mercifully, Supernova
contestants wrote songs significantly better than the Ty Taylor
debacle, “Stop Go.” However, my two-year-old niece also writes songs
better than “Stop Go,” and she’s stealing lines from the Wiggles.

The
day after Jenny’s elimination, Gilby Clarke informed the contestants
about the songwriting clinic. They’d be split into three teams, and
each team would come up with lyrics and a melody to accompany a track
otherwise written and performed by Supernova.

Dilana, Toby, and
Magni, the winners of the first three encores, were named team
captains. The captains picked their teams, with Lukas being chosen
first overall. Pop princess Dana was left for last.

Dilana’s
all-star team of Lukas, Ryan, and Storm listened to the track and got
right to work, banging out the chorus in a matter of minutes. But their
progress was stymied when Lukas lost focus and left the room in a
futile search for beer.

Toby, Phil, Patrice, and Zayra were
making progress until Patrice accidentally erased their copy of the
track. But by then they’d already settled on what they thought was the
key to their success — singing through a megaphone. It worked for J.D.
last season.

The only team with a chemistry problem was Magni’s
crew. Jill started to suggest lyrics immediately, while Magni insisted
that they listen to the track a few times first. When she said that
wasn’t the way she liked to work, Magni responded, “I honestly don’t
give a rat’s ass.”

Josh played peacemaker, going after Jill when
she left the room. But it was Dana’s ideas for the chorus that finally
got them working together as a group. Magni correctly guessed that he
was the only one who’d actually written with a band before.

The
members of Supernova dropped by the house the next day to listen to the
teams’ songs. Tommy Lee was most impressed by Dilana’s team after they
performed their rocking melody. Toby’s team created a more eclectic
sound that the Supernova described as “quirky” (rarely a
compliment–Crispin Glover is also “quirky”) but “entertaining.” And
Magni’s group produced the best harmonies, and the band appreciated
their gospel-like sound.

The clinic was not a true contest, so
there were no winners. And the only prize for participating seemed to
be a few clues as to what direction the band planned to take. Tommy
said the band would be veering away from bluesy sounds. Supernova
played some of their other tracks for the contestants, and the music
sounded poppier than anything the members had played in previous clips.

At
song selection the next day, contestants found a note from Gilby which
stated that he’d be playing guitar on “Brown Sugar” by the Rolling
Stones. After some deliberation, it was decided that Jill would perform
with Gilby.

Whenever Rock Star contestants want to show
their tough side, it seems they sing a Nirvana song. This week, Dana
fought for the Nirvana song, “About a Girl.” The rest of the girls
fought for Blondie’s “Call Me.” Zayra was able to persuade the others
that it was her only way to stay out of the bottom 3.

The only
rehearsal footage shown was of Jill with Gilby and the House Band. When
Jill suggested changing the song’s key to something better for her
voice, Gilby joked with her, “You singers kill us.” Almost inevitably,
a key change makes the singer sound better and the guitars sound worse.
But, since the show is about singers, Gilby sucked it up and consented
to the change.

Week 3: Elimination Show

Three of the shows least rockin’ performers landed in the bottom three of the latest Rock Star: Supernova. Josh and Dana fought to
stay on the show, while Jenny seemed resigned to elimination. The band
rewarded her unenthusiastic effort by sending her home.

At the
mansion after last night’s performance show, Dana complained that the
Supernovans were picking on her, and she asked the other women what she
was doing wrong. Dilana told her to get dirty, “open your legs”
onstage, and don’t worry about being pretty. Alongside Storm and
Dilana, Dana watched a video of her “It’s My Life” performance. Dana
admitted that she finally saw why the band had been tough on her.

In
another room, Ryan, Toby and Lukas also watched Dana’s video. They
weren’t impressed. Ryan said that Dana was good but didn’t belong on
this particular show.

At the elimination show, Dana asked Ryan
why he hadn’t said that to her face. He responded that he had told her
not to sing the Bon Jovi song, but that she ignored him.

After
Ryan and Dana sorted out their differences, the band asked Magni to
give an encore performance of STP’s “Plush.” His gigantic glasses also
showed up for the encore.

Host Brooke reminded viewers that
Dana, Jenny, and Ryan were the performance show’s early low-vote
getters. As the evening of the performance show wore on, Josh and Zayra
also spent time at the bottom. As always, the final bottom three was
revealed one at a time, just before each performed.

Jenny – “Vasoline” by Stone Temple Pilots
With
her skull belt buckle and knee high socks, Jenny looked a lot like
Avril Lavigne. Unfortunately, producer Butch wasn’t around to
appreciate it. Jenny took the stage with slumped shoulders, as if she
expected to be eliminated. Jenny jumped around and tried to rock, but
the song didn’t suit her, and Supernova scowled during the entire
performance — not a good sign.

Dana – “High Road Easy” by Sass Jordan
This
was obviously not the first time she’d performed this song, and she was
much more comfortable than she had been during any previous
perfomrance. Dana really saved herself by choosing a song she knew she
could rock. Her voice was on, and her confidence boosted her stage
presence.

Josh – “Heart-Shaped Box” by Nirvana
The
vocal coach totally messed with Josh’s head by telling him not to move
his jaw from side to side. He’s stopped opening his mouth at all, and
has been singing with his teeth clenched. He did his best Kurt Cobain
impression during this song, which should send the band the message
that Josh can sing soul or karaoke, and nothing in between.

After
the performances, Tommy called himself “Hatchet Man” and hemmed and
hawed and whined that eliminating people sucks — exactly like he did
in the previous elimination shows. This week, he mixed in some Jaws
sound effects, making the elimination process even more drawn out and
uncomfortable than it needed to be.

Dana was told she was safe. And then Jenny was given the boot. Tommy told her, “You just didn’t cut it, baby. It’s okay.”

Jenny
was gracious in defeat and said that the show taught her not to always
make safe choices. She felt that being a part of the process “was the
best slap in the face” she’d ever gotten.