First of all, can I give a resounding "Boo!" to the "Rock Star" producers for padding the hell out of what could have been an awesome show. You're down to six contestants. You've squeezed as many as 14 performances into an hour; why not let everybody go twice, once with the Fan's Choice and once with their own (whether an original or something from a list of covers)? I didn't need the biographical clips.
Also, the Fan's Choice gimmick was pretty lame. Every contestant had four choices: three songs they did before, and a Wild Card that another contestant (or, in the case of "Bring Me to Life," two contestants) had done. Of course everybody was going to pick the Wild Card, even if the song wasn't really a good fit for the contestant, simply because it would be new for them. It really feels like the music budget has been drastically lowered from season to season, or am I remembering year one's musical diversity a little too fondly?
Anyway, on to the performance-by-performance breakdown:
Lukas, "Lithium": In the webisode, he complained about not knowing the song and not even liking Nirvana (another lame element of the Fan's Choice, since "Mother, Mother" is something Dilana has done in her stage shows for years, whereas Lukas, Ryan and Storm all got stuck with songs they barely knew), but I think that worked for him in coming up with a very tight new arrangement. He made the verses plaintive rather than frustrated and angry, then brought the energy on the chorus before shifting gears back for the next verse. I don't know if this was Lukas' best performance, but it was up there.
Magni, "I Alone": I'm not sure his vein has ever throbbed this much, and I'm starting to worry; I want the baby to grow up with a father, you know? This was very typical Magni: great energy, great vocals, and 100% faithful to the original version. I like the guy a lot (he and Storm are easily the most appealing personalities left), but I want to see him mix a song up, just once, to show there's some creativity to go with the singing and guitar-playing talent. Also, I don't know what Gilby's talking about in terms of Magni suddenly displaying star quality, as I can think of at least three other performances of his that were at least this good, if not better.
Ryan, "Clocks": I want him gone, not just because I dislike him personally (I love how all of a sudden he's so sensitive about being slagged by Dilana when he was ripping the hell out of Dana and Patrice in the early weeks), but because he feels so practiced and phony. Even as he was kicking out the piano stool and doing his Luke Duke slide across the hood or busting out his Michelle Pfeiffer in "Fabulous Baker Boys" impression (minus the red dress, sadly), I can't shake the feeling that it's all been calculated to within an inch of its life. And I'm sure somebody like Lukas spends just as much time rehearsing every lurch and stagger and lip quiver, and yet it feels natural when he does it most of the time. Plus, Ryan's performance style is so humorless and doesn't feel like a good match for the band.
Storm, "Bring Me to Life": Oh, Stormy, I have a very bad feeling about this. First, where everybody else gets a biographical clip about how swell they are (or, in Dilana's case, about how determined she is to atone for her mistakes), hers is all about her struggles with this song. Second, it's, I think, her fifth ballad in a row at a time when she desperately needed to do something up-tempo and rocking, ala "Anything Anything" or "Surrender." Third, the band's clearly losing interest in her, as evidenced first by the "I Will Survive" pile-on and now Gilby's "I won't remember that tomorrow" slam. Even if she kills it in the bottom three tomorrow (and here's where not having been bottom three the last two weeks -- when she could have kicked ass on a song of her own choice and would have been safe because Zayra and Patrice were still around as cannon fodder -- is going to hurt her), I think they've already made up their minds about her. Which is a shame, both because I thought she sang the hell out of the song even when you factor in the degree of difficulty -- and her voice blended really well with Toby's -- and because I just enjoy watching her, and not just from a lecherous standpoint. I don't care if she wins -- I don't care if any of them win -- but I would have liked to see her make it to that final night. Ah, well. Maybe she'll at least get to sing with the band tomorr -- ah, who am I kidding? Sigh...
Toby, "Rebel Yell": Has he displayed this lower register before and I just missed it? Because he sounded great here with the deeper voice, and was really in command of the stage, even before he pulled a Springsteen and started pulling the paid dancing babes out of the front of the audience. After last week's jam with the band and tonight, I can genuinely see a scenario where he could win this. Given what little we've heard of Supernova, he seems like a better stylistic fit than either Lukas or Dilana, plus he'd be an easier guy to deal with on the road and would help these four middle-aged guys attract a younger female crowd.
Dilana, "Mother, Mother": This was the best I'd heard Dilana in weeks (and it oughta be, given how well she knows the song), but WTF with Navarro's comment that it was the best performance of the two seasons? Hell, it probably wasn't even the best of the night (I'd give that honor to either Lukas or Toby). Still, the angry song fit her like a glove and allowed her to display a more powerful, less raw side of her voice on the verses. And, of course, it neatly concluded the whole Fall and Rise of Dilana storyline that the producers have been working so hard the last two weeks.
What did everybody else think?