Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Rock Star: All singing, no talking

So, thanks to the glories of wi-fi and unobtrusive ear buds, I was able to watch all the "Rock Star" performances in the press conference ballroom before and in between sessions. Now, all I have are the actual performance clips, so I don't know what the judges said (though I hear they were much harsher than last week) or what the order was. So alphabetically speaking (by first name), more talk after the jump...

Chris on "Take Me Out": There are days when I prefer Marty Casey's version of this on the show last year to the Franz Ferdinand original. No danger of Chris overtaking either one. Far and away the most boring voice there; even with Matt's Duran Duran gaffe, Chris shoulda been gone last week.

Dana on "Born to be Wild": Good voice, but I don't believe her sexy bad girl thing at all.

Dilana on "Ring of Fire:" So is every female contestant obligated to wear a black cape at some point this season? When she dropped the thing and saw her in the Stevie Nicks witch costume, I think a little of her weird appeal was lost to me, because it feels less unique. Still, she has more magnetism than most of these people, and even with her accent showing through more this week, I'm just fascinated by the sound of her voice.

Jenny on "Tainted Love": Apparently, Jenny was sick last week, which helps explain the pedestrian vocals. I always like new arrangements, and while her voice is still no great shakes, a vast improvement on last week. Also, oddly, working the Stevie Nicks vibe.

Jill on "Violet": Okay, so last week my only concern was that she sounded a little too much like a Janis Joplin impersonator, and this week she comes on stage to do a Courtney Love song wearing a tattered wedding dress and holding a bouquet? No. Just no. Find your own damn personality, or I don't care what a great voice you have.

Josh on "With Arms Wide Open": Not his speed at all, and though he tried to turn it into a Josh Logan Joint with the smiling and the scatting and the syncopation, you could tell this wasn't his deal. I think he knows he's not going to win and is in it for the exposure, but if he can't find some way to seem credible on the harder stuff, he won't be around long enough for any label to take interest.

Lukas on "Don't Panic": After last week's beautifully drunken incoherence, Lukas goes all mellow and even tries to enunciate everything. Still, I like the weird little hobbit, and appreciated someone finding a way to sing a Chris Martin song so that it doesn't sound like a Chris Martin song minus the falsetto.

Magni on "My Generation": Dude is acting way too cool for school, and while cool is an integral part of rock, his feels practiced rather than earned. An improvement over his "Satisfaction," but I can't shake the feeling that his every gesture and facial expression seems to be screaming, "Why do you not all kneel before Magni?"

Patrice, "Heart-Shaped Box": The guitar distracts her at first, so much that she swallows the opening line. And given how often she stopped playing and left things to the House Band, she may have been better off without the thing. Good but not great vocals, and not as angry as I wanted with this song.

Phil, "If You Could Only See": I'm now bored by the whole ragdoll affectation, and the song is too sedate to begin with for him; it's like Garrity sleepwalking on "Rescue Me," only not funny.

Ryan Star, "Jumping Jack Flash": MSN really started giving me crap about this point, so I heard all the vocals but only saw occasional progression of the video. I prefer him a little more hostile like this, and without the guitar to tie him down like on "Iris."

Storm on "Surrender": She's got this powerful, husky voice and those amazing green eyes, and I wish she would stop trying to make every performance be about her exaggerrated facial expressions. Because when she stops trying to hypnotize you through the camera, she's really kick-ass. Also liked changing the "rolling on the couch" line to "doing it on the couch."

Toby, "Somebody Told Me": Ain't nothin boy band about this. Aeally good, faithful arrangement but not an imitation. Not only better than Ty's version last year, but the best of the night, hands down.

Zayra, "You Really Got Me": Why does she sound Russian? And why does she sound like a strangled cat? And then someone having an orgasm? Another one where the video was giving me problems, but it sounded awful.

What did everybody else think? And any particularly good non-performance moments I missed?


Anonymous said...

Although she was not as bad as Chris or Phil (or Josh, in my mind), Zayra is a real chance to go if in the bottom three tonight methinks ... based on her comments alone during the non-performances moments.

Right after she sang, she was asked by, I think, the band member who-is-not-the-Metallica-guy-nor-Tommy-Lee if she has ever even HEARD one of their albums and she replies that she has heard OF their music! THEN she followed it up by saying how she was in diapers when their albums were released.


dark tyler said...

Judges were definitely tougher this week. And there I was afraid we had three Randy Jacksons in our hands. Best judge line of the week, Tommy Lee to Dana after her trying too hard on Born to be Wild: "I got four words for you. Born. To be. Mild." That girl freaks me out with this weird Kelly-Clarkson-and-Rachel-Bilson-rolled-into-one feel.

Lukas and Dilana sure stand out so far. The guy that did Killers without actually sounding too much like them is pretty good too but I wouldn't be able to point him out in a line yet.

Anonymous said...

Chris can't sing worth a damn. Jill needs to have her head examined for dissing Courtney Love in front of one of her friends (Dave).

As for SuperNova, Jason needs to keep his trap shut, Tommy was obviously on something (and he was funny as heck, too), and Gilby is starting to impress me with his comments.

Was this show as big a trainwreck last season? I'm beginning to regret I passed on it.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Now, is it true that when Zayra was in the bottom three last night and had to pick a new song to impress the band, she instead chose to sing the same damn song that landed her in the bottom three? Unbelievable. Especially since she didn't go home. I know Chris has as much business being in a singing contest as I have at the Home Run Derby, but at this point, they're obviously just keeping Zayra around for the drama.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's true, and it was slightly better than the night before, which is to say, it sucked less. They also asked her to clarify her comments about whether she knew their music or not, and she babbled without ever answering the question. She's got to go next.

Jill acquitted herself well from her Courtney-impersonation disaster. She straightened her hair and showed off some impressive pipes on that damn Evanescence song that I used to think was sung by a man with a high-pitched voice. I hate that song, but Jill did a good job with it.