First "Rock Star" performance episode I've been able to watch in its entirety, as aired, since the season premiere, and it was a pretty solid one, I thought, albeit with two fiascos and one invader from Mars. (And no, it wasn't the person singing the Bowie song.) Singer-by-singer breakdown, in order, after the jump...
Patrice, "Higher Ground": I hate to say it, because I like her voice, but I would definitely put her in the group of 8 people Dave think would just disappear in front of Tommy. (The three who wouldn't, IMO, are Dilana and Storm, because they kick ass, and Zayra because she's an insane freakshow.) Even with the faux-hawk and the pointing and the singing directly to Tommy, she still got way overwhelmed by him. (The constant cuts to him drumming didn't help, but even in the wide shot I was more focused on him.) She and Magni both have signed leases to the middle of the pack, and this sure isn't going to lift her out of that. If she somehow winds up bottom three tomorrow, I wouldn't be stunned if they sent her home.
Josh, "Santeria": The most in his element Josh has been since the opener, but that element is all wrong for this band and this show. I understand the real reason Supernova dumped Phil last week is because he gave a newspaper interview where he admitted his only reason for going on the show was to publicize his own band and that he didn't want to win; Josh may not be quite that dumb, but Gilby, Jason and Tommy have to be bright enough to see that Josh is only in this for Josh and has no realistic chance of working with them. Fun performance, but so what?
Dilana, "Can't Get Enough": Not as blow your mind amazing as some of her earlier numbers like "Lithium" and "Zombie," but she showed that she can be almost as good when the song doesn't call for her to scare the daylights out of the audience at home. I prefer corset-wearing growly witch Dilana to leather-clad up-tempo Dilana, but that was still entertaining. Is there any chance at all that the guy who gave her the piggyback ride doesn't work for the show and didn't rehearse that with her?
Toby, "Pennyroyal Tea": Maybe it's because this was the only song of the evening I didn't know, but I wasn't feeling this. Toby had pretty clearly established himself in that group of four (with Dilana, Storm and Lukas) that was significantly ahead of the rest, and this was bland enough to maybe slide him back to Patrice/Magni country.
Zayra, "867-5309 (Jenny)": She should have gone home at least twice before now, but I've gotta admit I occasionally enjoy her sideshow, and this was one of those times. Awful, awful vocals, but the arrangement was better than I was expecting after seeing the House Band slag it during the webisode (the first time I watched one this year), and Zayra's superhero meets stripper costume and moves made me laugh, and laugh and laugh. I don't even find her that attractive (as opposed to the Supernova guys, who all clearly want to jump her), but in terms of people I want to see on my TV for a while, I'd rather be stunned/appalled by whatever the hell she's going to do next than sit through some of the more competent but bland performers. And speaking of which...
Magni, "Clocks": I'm glad that the show is flying his family out to see him, since I can't imagine him winning, unless Jason (who seems way more impressed with him than anyone else) has a whole lot of pull. Magni's good, don't get me wrong, and his voice has a kind of poor man's Bono quality even when he isn't wearing the Bono shades, and if I saw him at a bar, or even opening for a bigger act, I'd be perfectly happy with him. But I have yet to hear anything special from him, and choosing the most boring song of the millennium sure didn't help, even though he sang it well (outside an ill-planned attempt at a falsetto two-thirds of the way through).
Jill, "Don't You Forget About Me": Two minutes of shrieking. Next.
Ryan, "Losing My Religion": When I heard he was doing this, I laughed, because the guy already was way too mopey and now he was singing the mopiest song the very mopey R.E.M. ever recorded. But he made it work by changing the arrangement and making the tone angry instead of mournful. In the webisode, he comes across like a complete dick, but this is two strong performances in a row; if Toby's not careful, Ryan could usurp his place in the Big Four.
Lukas, "Celebrity Skin": Was there a single lyric he got right? Either he was creating entirely new words or he was transposing lines from Verse A into Chorus B. At least he had the decency to cop to it, but that was bad, bad, bad. Plus, the more he does it, the less interesting the Tipsy McStaggering becomes, because it comes off like the act that it is.
Storm, "Changes": I've enjoyed ballsy rocker chick Storm much more than others (her "Anything Anything" has been in constant play on my iPod for the last week), but this was a nice change of pace. Could have been cabaret, but she has too much charisma for that, even in the black suit and the mood lighting. The lack of over-emoting (the one downside to her up-tempo stuff) also helped. Great voice, great presence, can stand up to the band and seems like the most sane person in the house; what's not to like?
Dana, "Baba O'Riley": Jordis' rendition of this in season one is one of my favorites from this entire series. This wasn't as good, but it was a lot better than I was expecting from Dana. She's always had the voice, but she seems to have made the leap to where I almost believe her when she's acting tough and rebellious. Like Ryan, she's moved up several notches in the last few weeks.
What did everybody else think?