Reality TV Recap: Rockstar: Supernova - the Top 10

BlogHer Original Post

Welcome to my first BlogHer Reality TV Recap.

And welcome to Rockstar: Supernova - the search for a lead singer for a newly formed "supergroup" consisting of metal stars, guitarist Gilby Clarke, bassist Jason Newsted and drummer Tommy Lee. We are now one third of the way through the second season, and I confess that I am not connecting with Supernova. They call performances "awesome" that seem merely OK to me. They neglect to rave over the single-best performance of the night. Occasionally they give incisive and helpful critiques, but mostly they seem to love total dreck.

Here's the blow-by-blow from Tuesday's Top 10:

1. Dilana sang Won't Get Fooled Again by the Who (with Gilby Clarke on guitar)

Dilana simply has this going for her: a level of comfort and confidence in herself that transcends any need to "perform" with a capital 'P'. She seems grounded and that allows her to sometimes simply stand and sing, and yet hold your attention just the same as if she was a whirling dervish...perhaps more. Vocally, she was in full Janis Joplin mode...full of power and ferocity. I think next week we may see the softer side of Dilana again, just so she can remind folks that she's not always completely fierce!

2. Jill sang Mother, Mother by Tracey Bonham

Well, Jill did OK with this song, but not great. She seemed to take to heart the comments about "over-singing", so she was way scaled back, sacrificing her usual power for more "character." The problem is that the song actually has two levels of intensity built right in: the verse, where the singer is trying to act like everything's OK, and the chorus where the singer's insanity really breaks free of her self-control. Jill didn't capture that rawness. And she's got the pipes to do it. So, I would say it was a plus that she showed control and commitment to a song's emotion and meaning. But it was a negative that she held back when her power would have been perfectly appropriate.

3. Ryan sang Paint It Black by the Rolling Stones

Well, Ryan has certainly conquered the problem he had in early weeks when his energy didn't pop in until about halfway through a song. And he's gotten vocally stronger too. But truthfully? I thought he looked like a cartoon character up there. It was over the top in a way that didn't seem authentic to me (very much like Lukas always seems to me. Complete with unnecessary make-up.) And this is where Supernova and I diverge because they just loved it.

4. Storm sang We Are the Champions by Queen

Once I got past being distracted by the thick layer of shiny-pink lipgloss she was wearing (is this rock, or is this bubblegum pop you're singing, Storm?) I started listening to the song. And again, don't get the enthusiasm expressed by the band. I thought it was Bo. Ring. It's really not that great a vocal melody...it achieves range simply by shifting octaves.And I'm sorry, but am I the only one who thought her furrowed brow of consternation made her look constipated, not champion-ish? The S.O. agreed with Supernova, not me (in fact all night he was a lot more impressed than I was by the performances.) Maybe I was just cranky last night without realizing it.

5. Zayra sang All the Young Dudes by Bowie

Huh? What'd she say? Did she actually ever sing any portion of the actual song with its actual lyrics? I agree that some of her vocal obligatos over the chorus were well-delivered and even occasionally on-key. I also agree that the hat and shoes were, um, visually striking. But, so? I am over Zayra in a big big way. At some point having a good voice really ought to be included on the list of her attributes. And so far, it ain't.

6. Josh sang Interstate Love Song by Stone Temple Pilots

Well, Kermit's back. And he is singing flat too. No idea why Supernova might have liked this lackluster, one-note, vocally unimpressive performance. I would just about send Josh home on this one, because he's just way less interesting than Zayra, even if he can sing better.

7. Magni sang When the Dophins Cry by Live

Wow. Where was he hiding this version of himself all season? This was, to me, the absolute, no questions asked, how can they choose anyone else, encore-worthy performance of the show. His voice was completely stellar...the best vocal performance of the season so far. Now, that's what a falsetto should sound like, dudes. And if you can't sing it like that, then keep it in your pocket. No need for a crazy outfit, no need to ramble all over the stage, just a guy standing there with his guitar, a great voice, and some real intensity. I don't know why Supernova were positive, but not over-the-top with their praise, because I thought it kicked ass! [And I loved seeing his little baby in headphones too:) ]

8. Patrice sang Instant Karma by John Lennon

Here's another one. I thought this was Bo. Ring. Her vocal line sounded almost atonal. Her face was fixed in this weird frozen smily face that seemed wholly inappropriate for the song. Why she bothered to play the guitar I don't know (in fact, I often wonder why they play on a song if all they're going to do is strum...it's not like it is impressive, and it constrains them from moving around as much.) Once again both the S.O. and Supernova did not react with the same scorn I felt. They're wrong of course :)

9. Lukas sang Creep by Radiohead

What. Ev. Er. That's what I felt by the end of this performance and the incomprehensible raves delivered about it from the band. His falsetto was terrible. He was sharp on the big notes. His vibrato was wobbling out of control. And his basic schtick, leaning over on the mic, for example, didn't change at all. Yes, finally we could understand some of the lyrics he sang, and yes, he eschewed the growling for some actual singing. But maybe he should go back to the growling. I am flummoxed by the lack of criticism leveled at basically anyone last night!

10. Toby sang Burning Down the House by the Talking Heads

This song rocked because the house band rocks. Toby's vocal were acceptable...on key and all. But he exhibited exactly NO facial expression or emotional involvement with the song at all. And I really didn't need him to remind me of last year's winner, JD Fortune (or Ass-Crack Man as I used to call him) with that stupid megaphone trick. Toby was a blah close to a blah night.

All I want is for everyone to at least look like they actually know what they're singing about while they're singing...is that so wrong?

Bottom line:

My bottom 3 would be: well, it's actually hard to narrow down, but I guess I'd go with Zayra, Josh and Patrice. I think the audience might swap Jill in for one of those, since they seem not to like her much, and the song she chose is relatively unknown. I'd send any of these three home and be happy. If it were on voice alone, it would have to be Zayra. If on appropriateness for the band, Josh. But for me if on total package which combines talent with how fun they are too watch regardless of fit for the band, I'd have to say Patrice.

Let me look at this another way. There are only a few that I think have any shot at winning:
Dilana
Storm
Magni

And although Magni made some inroads with last night's performance, right ow it seems the same as it has seemed since Week One. This is Dilana's to lose.

UPDATE (and spoiler if you haven't watched last night's elimination show yet): It was Ryan, Jill and Josh in the bottom 3 and in a "shocker", Supernova axed both Jill and Josh.

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