Monthly Archives: August 2006

Handicapping Dancing With The Stars 3

The season premiere of Dancing with the Stars 3 is still weeks
away, but it’s never to early to predict a winner. Here’s a list of the
couples competing — and where I’d guess they are likely to finish. From
last place to first, they are…

11. Shanna Moakler and Jesse DeSoto
Strengths: Shanna has been in the press recently (for the breakup of her marriage to Blink 182’s Travis Barker).
Weaknesses: Shanna’s best known for an MTV reality show about her marriage and
the inevitable divorce that followed. Her partner, Jesse, is new to the
show and therefore isn’t bringing his own fan base with him.
How They Could Win: They can’t.

10. Tucker Carlson and Elena Grinenko
Strengths: People will tune in to see if Tucker wears one of his trademark bow ties. Hardcore DWTS fans already know Elena because she’s Tony Dovolani’s current professional partner and used to dance with Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
Weaknesses: Tucker’s conservative-bordering-on-caricature political views make
him a polarizing figure. That doesn’t doom him, since viewers
can’t vote against anyone, but it limits his pool of potential voters.
Plus, there may not be a huge crossover between the MSNBC and Reality TV fans.
How They Could Win: They can’t.

9. Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff
Strengths: It’s novel to put Slater from Saved By the Bell in a dance competition.
Weaknesses: Mario will split the teenage nostalgia vote with Joey Lawrence.
Karina is another newcomer to the show without a preexisting fan base.
How They Could Win: Kelly Kapowski and Mr. Belding start a nationwide grassroots campaign.

8. Jerry Springer and Kym Johnson
Strengths: It’s novel to put Jerry Springer in a dance competition. Kym is a previous winner of the Australian version of Dancing with the Stars.
Weaknesses: Jerry’s not as funny as previous DWTS older guys John O’Hurley and George Hamilton, so he won’t be able to joke his way around his aging joints.
How They Could Win: In a sane world, they can’t.

7. Joey Lawrence and Edyta Sliwinska
Strengths: Joey’s been in showbiz his entire life, so he’s surely had dance
training. Edyta spent last season working around George Hamilton’s
physical limitations, so this season she can go all out.
Weaknesses: The novelty of watching the guy who said, “Whoa!” on Blossom dance won’t keep Joey in the competition for long.
How They Could Win: Joey turns out to be a great dancer and a nice guy, and he takes the Drew Lachey road to the championship.

6. Monique Coleman and Louis van Amstel
Strengths: Monique is on High School Musical, so she can obviously dance. Everyone loves Louis, and he’s a fantastic choreographer.
Weaknesses: Monique has little name recognition with anyone who’s not a teenager.
How They Could Win: Monique dances perfectly and comes across as a real sweetheart in backstage interviews and practice clips.

5. Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke
Strengths: Emmitt’s one of the most well-known stars in the competition. Cheryl
is a star in her own right, and an Emmy-nominated choreographer to boot.
Weaknesses: Like previous DWTS
athletes Evander Holyfield and Jerry Rice, Emmitt may not be a natural
dancer. And he’s stockier than Jerry, so his moves may not look as
elegant or fluid.
How They Could Win: By dominating the popular vote.

4. Willa Ford and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Strengths:
Willa is young, blonde, and beautiful, which worked for Stacy Keibler
last season. Max knows how to create dances to best showcase his
partner, and he’ll really be able to ramp up the sex appeal, now that
he’s not partnered with someone who recently gave birth. Max’s rabid
fans will try to keep him around for longer than his sixth place finish
last season.
Weaknesses: Willa’s not one of the biggest stars on the show, and her appearances in Playboy and the Lingerie Bowl may not sit well with some viewers.
How They Could Win:
She dances beautifully and responds gracefully to negative criticism
(unlike Stacy), and Max continues to be the tough guy with a heart of
gold.

3. Sara Evans and Tony Dovolani
Strengths:
Sara’s a country music star, and there’s no shortage of rabid country music fans
in the U.S. Tony’s an international ballroom champion, and he’s got a
chip on his shoulder after finishing in third last season.
Weaknesses: Tony built up a lot of ill will by being snotty with the judges last season.
How They Could Win: Sara just may have enough fans to counter those viewers who refuse to vote for Tony.

2. Vivica A. Fox and Nick Kosovich
Strengths:
Vivica is the biggest mainstream star ever to appear on the show, and
she’s so excited to participate that she spilled the beans long before
the cast was officially announced. Nick is a super pro, and the two of
them will look fabulous together.
Weaknesses: Vivica’s extremely popular, but are her fans loyal enough to take her all the way to the top?
How They Could Win: Vivica’s popularity stays high and she dances her heart out.

1. Harry Hamlin and Ashly DelGrosso
Strengths:
Harry spent all last season on the sidelines as Lisa Rinna’s supportive
hubby, earning him plenty of goodwill with the show’s largely female
audience. It doesn’t hurt that he’s also really handsome. Ashly got a
raw deal when she got saddled with Master P as a partner, and there are
a lot of viewers eager to see her dance with a real contender.
Weaknesses:
We don’t know if Harry can actually dance. Fortunately for Harry,
viewers have the same question about every other contestant, as well.

Of course, these rankings are based on everything but
dancing ability, and then there’s the often unpredictable audience
vote. I’ll rerank the contestants following the first elimination show
— after we’ve actually seen them dance — and we’ll see just how off I
was. Joey Lawrence may dance off with the trophy after all. Whoa,
indeed.

Week 7: Elimination Show

The inevitable day finally arrived; Zayra was eliminated from Rock Star: Supernova. Believe it or not, her elimination was actually a shock. Why would Supernova boot scantily-clad, over-the-top Zayra instead of milquetoast soccer-mom Patrice?

Brooke Burke recapped last night’s performance show and then introduced new footage filmed at the mansion after the rockers returned. In the footage, Ryan, Toby, Magni, and Lukas worried that Storm might have enough fans to keep her out of the bottom three, even though Supernova hated her performance. Storm reviewed a video of her ill-received version of “I Will Survive” and felt that the band exaggerated how bad it was.

After the footage aired, Dave stood by his negative comments from the night before, but said that he knew that Storm might be the only one of the rockers emotionally strong enough to withstand such harsh criticism. Storm said that, while “I Will Survive” isn’t her favorite song, it’s somebody’s favorite song, so she just tried to do her best.

Instead of handing out the traditional encore, Supernova announced a special surprise. Earlier in the week, the rockers were given the lyrics and music for a new Supernova track. They rehearsed with the band in the studio, and Supernova picked their favorite singer from the rehearsals to perform live with them. For the remainder of the series, one of the rockers will perform a new song with Supernova each week.

Dilana won tonight’s Supernova performance, saving us from having to endure an encore of “Cat’s In the Cradle.” The track was called “Leave the Lights On.” It’s a catchy tune, reminiscent of “Bang a Gong (Get It On).” There were even slutty-looking dancers on stage, a staple at Motley Crue concerts. The dancers did a nice job distracting from how much Dilana’s raspy voice didn’t work with the song.

Then it was time for the traditional encore. Ryan got to reprise his creepy, cool version of “In the Air Tonight.” I think it’s safe to declare his voice the best, not that it’s any guarantee he’ll win the Supernova job. But it may win him a nice solo recording deal, which is probably what he’s really hoping for anyway.

When Brooke announced the contestants eligible for elimination, the early bottom three, Zayra, Patrice, and Toby, were joined by Magni and Storm. Dave said he was surprised that Magni was there, and, despite the fact that he didn’t like what Storm did, thought she sang well enough to have stayed out of the danger zone. This week’s final Bottom Three were as follows:

Zayra – “Razorblade” by Blue October
This was the first I’d ever heard of this song, and the first time for Supernova as well. It was crazy and intense and hard to listen to — kind of like Zayra in song form. It was a bad idea, because it wasn’t a rock tune, but I imagine it was Zayra’s way of saying ‘good-bye.’

Patrice – “Celebrity Skin” by Hole
Lukas forgot the lyrics when he performed this a few weeks ago, but he was still better than Patrice. She scooped up to every note and butchered the verses, screwing up a few words herself. She even stole Dilana’s move and went up on Supernova’s mini-stage. This did nothing but highlight Patrice’s total lack of originality.

Magni – “Creep” by Radiohead
The lyrics to “Creep” seemed to describe Magni’s Bottom Three debut: “What the hell am I doin’ here? I don’t belong here.” He proved his point further by showing Zayra and Patrice how to sing and perform a rock song.

Storm seemed angry and confused that Magni went into the Bottom Three instead of her. She was ready to rock. Fortunately, Magni was never in any danger of going home.

Gilby complimented Zayra on her willingness to take risks, but the axe fell on her anyway. Dave said she’s one of the most compelling performers from either season of the show, and that she’ll have a successful solo career. Jason promised he’d remain one of her biggest fans.

Next week’s performance show will air an hour later, at 10/9 c. Fans can now vote online for songs for an upcoming all-request show, choosing between three previously performed songs and a new “wild card” song for each rocker. It’s too bad we’ll never get to hear Zayra butcher her “wild card” song: “We Are the Champions (a.k.a. Somos los Campeones).”

In memory of Zayra, here is her final performance, which pretty much epitomizes her:

Week 7: Performance Show

It was all or nothing on tonight’s performance episode of Rock Star:
Supernova
. Ryan gave it his all, and Dave and Tommy wore next to
nothing.

Brooke Burke, dressed like a ’60s flight attendant,
introduced footage from the rockers’ trip to Vegas and their
contentious song selection. Yet again, Dave Navarro was disappointed
that only a handful of the contestants fought to play with Gilby Clarke
or to play an original song.

Brooke announced that the
contestants would be giving “stripped down” performances, accompanied
by a string quartet and the House Band on acoustic instruments. Dave
and Tommy Lee stopped listening once they heard Brooke say “stripped,”
and used the occasion to take off their shirts. During a commercial
break, producers forced them to cover up.

Zayra – “Lluvia de Mar” by Zayra Alvarez
Wearing
a black sequined bra and an enormous red hoop skirt — sans the actual
hoop — Zayra’s original song seemed especially well-suited for the
string quartet. However, it didn’t seem at all suited for Supernova.
It’s too bad, since it was a really pretty song. Tommy Lee liked that
the song had elements of Massive Attack, but admitted that it probably
wouldn’t work for the band. Gilby loved the song but wanted to Zayra
rock out next time.

Magni – “Starman” by David Bowie
Magni
is evidentally a Bowie fan. This is the second Bowie tune he’s
performed, and he dressed in a white suit, paying homage to the Thin
White Duke. If he doesn’t win this competition, he’s going to film an
Icelandic remake of Labyrinth. Magni’s performance was solid,
as always, and Gilby said the only thing Magni missed was an
opportunity to get the crowd to sing along. Magni may not have gotten
them to accompany him on this tune, but I know he could get a crowd to
help him sing, “The power of voodoo. Who do? You do. Do what? Remind me
of the babe.”

Patrice – “Message in a Bottle” by The Police
Patrice
is still on the show? To change up her performance, she added some
extensions to her hair. She gave a competent but uninspired performance
— her specialty. Gilby looked like he was struggling to stay awake.
Dave said that he knows she’s better than this performance.

Lukas – “Hero” by Chad Kroeger
Monsignor
Lukas sported a priest’s collar and rosary to go along with his mohawk.
He spent the entire song seated, playing guitar. He did a fine job, but
from the crowd’s reaction, I’m guessing it went over better live than
on TV.

Storm – “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
This
is how I imagine Liza Minelli would perform this song. Storm certainly
didn’t half-ass it, including some drunken stumbling and growling. But
there was nothing she could do to save this song. The audience loved
it, but Supernova hated it. Tommy said it was “sauteed in wrong sauce,
and I want my money back.” Gilby gave the sound advice that everyone
should just pretend they’re already singing for Supernova when they
perform. That might be easier if Supernova didn’t assign the
contestants Gloria Gaynor songs.

Toby – “Solsbury Hill” by Peter Gabriel
Gilby
perched on top of a piano to play guitar. Toby’s voice doesn’t have
much gravity so it sounded disconnected from the rest of the song at
times. And then, he actually played the bongos. Dave said that it was
the best performance of the night, but it just seemed competent to me.

Ryan – “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins
Ryan
was wise to drop his fur hoodie in favor of a long black jacket.
Embracing the creepiness of the song, Ryan stood at the edge of the
stage and stared straight into the camera for the whole song. I walked
back and forth in front of the TV, and I swear his eyes followed me —
just like this century-old portrait of my husband’s
great-great-grandmother that his parents used to have. The song and
Ryan were basically a perfect match, and it was one of the best
performances of the season.

Dilana – “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin
This
was fine, but Dilana’s no Ugly Kid Joe. Dilana’s already shown that she
can make slow songs intense, so it would be nice if she did something
really rockin’ next week. But with the way she’s picked songs, expect
to hear her belting out “Seasons in the Sun” or “The Lady in Red.”
Supernova loved it, because they’re planning on having their concerts
consist of about ten straight covers of “Home Sweet Home” in a row.

The Early Bottom Three:
Patrice
Toby
Zayra

It’ll
be a shock if Storm doesn’t slip into the Bottom Three at some point,
and Magni and Lukas may join her there if people forget about their
performances.

I don’t know if there’s anything that Patrice can
do to save herself tomorrow night. My vote for the encore goes to Ryan.
I don’t know that there’s anything he could do to improve on his
performance, but I’d sure like to see him try.

Week 7: Reality Episode

Some of the rockers learned a hard lesson on this week’s Rock Star: Supernova reality episode: don’t get drunk in front of your potential employers.

As
promised on last week’s elimination episode, the remaining eight
contestants traveled to Las Vegas with Supernova. The private jet they
flew in was basically a bar with wings, allowing the impressionable
kids to lay the foundation of the following day’s massive hangover.

After
touring the stage at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel, where Supernova
will give its debut performance on New Year’s Eve, everyone went to
party in the penthouse suite. Complete with its own bowling lane, the
suite was the kind of place where all of the contestants aspire to puke
in the bathroom regularly.

While Dilana used the opportunity to
pitch Tommy Lee on why she’s right for the band, Lukas and Toby ignored
all good sense and got totally hammered. Jason Newsted was not happy
about having to babysit the drunken Toby. Mercifully, Toby and Lukas
were both passed out on the floor by 10:30 p.m.

The next day,
the rockers dragged themselves to their beds in the mansion to sleep
off their hangovers. Only Dilana was up and about, celebrating her
birthday by torturing her exhausted housemates. She poured water into a
sleeping Lukas’ bellybutton, stuck her finger in it, and then put her
finger into his mouth. She then lashed Toby’s legs together, although
he avenged himself later by shoving birthday cake in her face.

After
a long nap, Ryan wandered into the billard room and found this week’s
songs. A note informed the rockers that they would all be giving
unplugged performances, accompanied by the House Band.

This
time, Gilby Clarke was going to play on the Peter Gabriel song
“Solsbury Hill.” Toby was ready to fight for the song, and his unlikely
opponent was Dilana, who’d just performed with Gilby last week. She
agreed to give up the song only if Toby ran around the pool in the
nude, which he did, protesting against the unseasonable cold front
which moved in over the mountains and settled right around his genitals.

Storm
posited that Dilana staged the fight as a strategic move and didn’t
really even want the song. As when she schmoozed with Tommy in Vegas,
Dilana seems to be making every effort to secure herself the gig with
Supernova. The song Dilana ultimately got, “Cat’s in the Cradle,” was
better for her voice than “Solsbury Hill” anyway.

As the
Dilana/Toby battle ensued outside, Ryan and Zayra argued indoors over
which one of them would be the sole contestant allowed to perform an
original song this week. Zayra said that this might be her only chance
to perform an original song for Supernova, but Ryan wouldn’t relent.

Toby
finally suggested that Ryan’s best hope at staying out of the bottom
three was to completely own a legendary rock tune — specifically, “In
the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins. After practicing the tune with Magni,
Ryan agreed that the moody song suited him perfectly, and he gave the
original song to Zayra.

Zayra’s original song is in Spanish,
which will only emphasize that her voice is that of a poor man’s
Shakira. And Toby’s victory over Dilana may not serve him well, either.
In rehearsal with Gilby and the House Band, he couldn’t nail down
“Solsbury Hill’s” odd rhythm signatures.

But the most doomed
rocker of all might be Storm. In a fit of insanity, she chose the
Gloria Gaynor disco hit, “I Will Survive.” It’s nearly impossible to
turn into a rock song, and Paul Merkovich and the rest of the House
Band struggled along with Storm as they tried to work out a viable
arrangement. If only they had the aid of the mansion’s resident
rearrangement superhero: Zayra!

DwtS 3 Celebrities Announced

The big day has finally arrived! ABC announced the celebrity contestants for Dancing with the Stars 3 this morning. There were few surprises on the list, due to the many rumors circulated about the cast — all of which happened to be true.

The celebrity cast for DWTS 3:
Emmitt Smith – former Dallas Cowboy
Vivica A. Fox – Kill Bill actress
Harry Hamlin – L.A. Law/Veronica Mars actor
Mario Lopez – Saved by the Bell actor
Shanna Moakler – former Miss USA, Meet the Barkers
Tucker Carlson – conservative pundit
Joey Lawrence – Blossom actor
Jerry Springer – legendary talk show host
Sara Evans – country singer
Willa Ford – pop singer
Monique Coleman – High School Musical actress

I’ll have more DWTS posts later this week, handicapping the contestants and revealing some of their professional partners.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in getting in DWTS shape, ABC is looking for a woman to train with a professional partner, following the same routine as the celebrity contestants. Applications must be submitted by Wednesday, August 16th.

Week 6: Elimination Show

This week’s Rock Star: Supernova elimination show kicked off
with a recap of the performance show. When I saw Josh perform last
night, I assumed that Tommy Lee had planned to play drums on
“Interstate Love Song,” no matter who picked it. But upon a second
watching, I got the feeling that Josh was singled out, as if the band wanted
to give him a chance to show he could lead them — or at least one of
them — before giving him the boot.

After the
recap, we saw footage of what happened after the performance show. Back
at the mansion, Jill picked a fight with Zayra and Storm for not
demanding to play with Gilby this week. Both Zayra and Storm felt that
their best strategy was picking the best song for them — not just the
right to play with someone from Supernova. It’s a decent argument,
considering performers have been booted for picking the wrong song, but
none have been kicked off for not playing with a member of the band.

Storm
and Zayra asked Jill why she didn’t fight to play with Gilby again. She
said she proved something the last time she played with him. Saying
what everyone was thinking, Storm told Jill that Gilby totally ripped
her for her inappropriate actions on stage. Storm then said she was in
no rush to pick a song just because she’d be accompanied by Supernova’s
guitarist: “I know I can play with Gilby, and he knows I can play with
him.”

Back at the studio, live, Dave asked Storm how Gilby could
possibly know this without having played with her. Storm backtracked
and confessed that Dave made a good point. She said she hoped that her
history would give Gilby confidence in her ability. Storm then promised
not to hump Gilby onstage, as Jill had, if only because it might “break
your back.”

After making peace with Storm, Gilby announced that
all the contestants who survived elimination would go with Supernova to
Vegas after the show. They’d be going to the Hard Rock Casino to check
out the stage where Supernova — with their new lead singer — will
debut on New Year’s Eve.

Since the band couldn’t decide on just
one encore, Supernova chose two people to sing. Lukas was first up,
reprising “Creep.” Magni got the second encore. After performing “The
Dolphin’s Cry” solo on performance night, Magni changed up his
performance and asked the House Band for backup. He greeted the House
Band, saying, “I missed you guys.” After the song, he high-fived
drummer Nate.

Brooke then named the contestants who’d spent some
time in the bottom three since the performance show. Last night’s early
three, Jill, Patrice, and Zayra, were joined by Josh and Ryan. All were
asked to stand. When Brooke asked Dave if he was surprised by those
standing, he said that many of the same faces keep popping up, so he
wasn’t surprised at all.

Zayra and Ryan looked pissed to be
standing, but Zayra was quickly told to take a seat. Magni had to grab
her and put her on a bench, otherwise she would’ve kept jumping up and
down triumphantly all night.

Jill – “Respect” by Aretha Franklin
This
was an obvious, awful choice. And there was no way Jill could keep
herself from oversinging it. Paul played harmonica on it, driving the
nails into her coffin. Supernova looked suitably unimpressed, and
Patrice and Ryan each wore and expression that said, “You guys can’t send me home before her.”

Josh – “Shooting Star” by Bad Company
Defying
Tommy’s advice, and the will of millions of viewers, Josh elected to
play his guitar again. And again, he stood still as a statue, apart
from his distracting, Phil-esque head waggling. It might be appropriate
for a coffee house, but not for a huge venue. Too bad, since this was
the best he’s sounded — and on a rock song at that.

Ryan – “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode
Jason
was surprised to see Ryan in the Bottom Three, but speculated that last
night’s performance confused the audience more than it showed Ryan’s
diversity. He didn’t take any guff for his song choice, but I’m not
sure why Duran Duran (which got Matt booted in Week 1) is less
appropriate than Depeche Mode. Ryan sang more angrily than ever.
Supernova dared not eliminate him for fear for their personal safety.

After
their deliberations, Gilby admitted that there was disagreement in the
band about who to cut. But there was no disagreement on who to keep. As
expected, Ryan was sent back to the group, leaving Jill and Josh in
front of the firing squad. Tommy said that he was taking the
competition to the next level, and he axed both of them.

Jill
thanked the band for the opportunity, although not as succinctly as how
I just wrote it. Josh admitted that he probably wasn’t right for the
band, even though he appreciated the chance to try out. And the
self-promotion from performing on TV didn’t hurt either.

Week 6: Performance Show

Gilby Clarke and Tommy Lee should’ve easily stolen the show with their special performances on this week’s Rock Star: Supernova. But, once again, that honor went to Zayra’s wardrobe. Her most mundane article of clothing was an enormous top hat.

The
show began with footage from the reality episode, with special emphasis
placed on the contestants’ reluctance to perform with Gilby. Dave
Navarro said that, if he could, he’d give Dilana the job right now just
because she was the only one who pursued the chance to perform with a
Supernovan.

Dilana – “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who
With
her hair back and makeup toned down, Dilana is a very pretty girl. That
won’t hurt her chances. Dilana did a fine job singing, but the song
arrangement plodded along. Gilby added some weak backing vocals,
prompting Supernova to eliminate him from the band. But the band was
impressed by Dilana, and Gilby said she had erased any doubts about
whether a woman could front the band.

Jill – “Mother Mother” by Tracy Bonham
This
song stinks, so it did Jill no favors. But she the made the most of her
hair extensions, swinging her head around like…well, like a girl
pretending to front a heavy metal band. Jason Newsted said that she
lost the power in her voice by running around like an idiot.

Ryan – “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones
Ryan
upped the theatrics this week, sporting a hoodie with a horse mane on
the hood and wearing black eye makeup. Trying to make a Zayra-like
spectacle of the song, his ridiculous look distracted viewers from his
vocals. Honestly, I can’t remember how well (or poorly) he sang. When
Tommy called the performance “interesting,” Dave retorted, “That was
the shit and you know it!” Maybe it was great in person, but on TV the
performance looked stupid. However, like Zayra, Ryan gets credit for
mixing things up.

Storm – “We Are the Champions” by Queen
This
song has made plenty of competent singers look terrible, but Storm
totally held her own, turning out the best non-Freddie Mercury version
of the song I’ve heard. She’s gotten better with each week, and she’s
the only woman who poses a credible threat to Dilana. Tommy said that
he was afraid the band had spooked her from doing her crazy eyes, but
Storm promised to “spank the crap” out of Supernova next time. She then
laughed maniacally until the commercial break.

Zayra – “All the Young Dudes” by Mott the Hoople
Holy
crap. Wearing the tightest gold lame catsuit in the universe, Zayra
looked like a crazy carnival barker in a top hat and the tallest
platform heels I’ve ever seen. Her vocals were even pretty good, as
she’d rearranged the melody to display her voice to best advantage.
Magni was nice enough to accompany her on guitar.

Dave said that, if this were Rock Star: Planet Pluto,
Zayra would win for sure. The rest of the guys were a little skeptical
about her vocals, but she said he was happy with her performance. And
her outfit.

Josh – “Interstate Love Song” by Stone Temple Pilots
Josh
got a surprise when Tommy decided to play drums for the song. Josh
sounded fine, but he spent the entire song rocking from side to side
like a pendulum in front of his mic stand, as he played guitar. Tommy
said the guitar “froze up the funk.” Dave said that while Josh was
good, good might not be good enough at this point in the competition.

Magni – “The Dolphin’s Cry” by Live
This
is the lamest song in the history of rock n’ roll, but more on that
later. Magni shushed the crowd before playing a solo acoustic version
of the song. He sounded great, and his baby boy listened from the crowd
wearing an enormous pair of headphones. Gilby said Magni’s perseverance
while living apart from his family was an inspiration to everyone.

If you like this song, head butt the person next to you right now to
earn back some of your rock credibility. A song about sobbing cetaceans
is the kind of thing a 10-year-old girl would write if she could put
out an album. It would be a nice accompaniment to songs like, “(I Wanna
Go To) Piercing Pagoda,” “Pony Slumber Party,” and “You’re Not My Real
Mom!”

What’s even worse is that writing bad rock songs about
sappy social and environmental themes is hardly a new idea. White Lion
did it almost 20 years ago with songs like “When the Children Cry” and
“Little Fighter!” The only reason it was okay when they did it was
because it was the late ’80s and they had a Danish lead singer. Live
has no excuse.

Patrice – “Instant Karma” by John Lennon
There’s
something about Patrice that always feels a little anemic unless her
energy is cranked to eleven. This was another underwhelming
performance, made more awkward by her plastered-on cheerleader smile.
The band gave her a pass because they appreciated her song choice.

Lukas – “Creep” by Radiohead
Hey,
Lukas can actually sing. And I even understood the words. This was the
right performance at the right time to save Lukas from falling out of
contention. Jason was especially pleased; this is what he’s wanted to
see from Lukas since the beginning.

Toby – “Burning Down the House” by Talking Heads
Thankfully,
Toby didn’t try to do a David Byrne impression. His straight rock
version made me appreciate the song even more. He couldn’t resist the
lure of the of the megaphone, handed to him on stage by a cloaked
Zayra. To make the megaphone gimmick more interesting, he wrapped it in
an Australian flag and ended the song with the megaphone’s built-in siren effect. Dave told Toby that he was good enough without the props.

Toby
may want this more than anyone else. It’s just too bad he wasn’t on
last season, because there’s no way that INXS would’ve let him go. And
it’s nice to see Toby, Magni, and Zayra helping each other out. It’s
like all of the foreign exchange students hanging out together at
school.

Early Bottom Three:
Jill
Zayra
Patrice

Josh
is the only other one who should be in any trouble, although Ryan could
wind up in the Bottom Three if his equine goth look wigged people out.

My
vote went to Storm. “We Are the Champions” is such a hard song to sing,
and she deserves tons of credit for doing it justice. But I’m guessing
the encore goes to Lukas.