Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Rock Star: Hero(ine) takes a fall

Since everyone in the world including Patrice knew that she was going home from "Rock Star" tonight, the most interesting part of the elimination show wasn't the debut of Supernova's second song (though it was slightly catchier) or the presence of Toby in the bottom three only a few minutes after he sang with Supernova. It was Dilana, the clear front-runner from week one, taking a couple of image hits. (According to people in the taping, the bit about talking to reporters went on for more than a half-hour, with Dave and the band all savaging her.)

The honest to the point of rude side of Dilana isn't a surprise to me -- even back in week three, she was dogging all the male contestants to any reporter who asked -- but the double pile-0n was. Maybe the producers felt they had to do damage control after everyone said that her singing with the band last week made the rest of the season a waste of time, or maybe she really is getting on everybody's nerves and they need to start laying the groundwork for her eventual defeat.

I still think the final two comes down to Dilana vs. Lukas, but for argument's sake, let's look at the chances of each remaining contender after the jump...

THE FAVORITES: Dilana and Lukas
"Lithium" and "Zombie" established Dilana as the most original, compelling contestant this season, and she's looked pretty comfortable jamming with both Gilby and the entire band. Working against her are an apparently abrasive personality (though that didn't exactly hurt J.D. last season) and the fact that, as Magni pointed out in the Mansion segment, she's really plateaued. Feels like it's been a month since her last really memorable performance ("Time After Time"?).

And speaking of J.D., we have Lukas as this year's token homeless Canadian assclown, the polarizing figure whom you either love or despise. He definitely has the stage presence down, and he's shown on a few songs like "Creep" that he can really sing when he wants to. Plus, Tommy digs him and Jason seems to view him as a pet project. On the downside, his "Celebrity Skin" was by far the worst performance by any of the remaining contenders, and the producers may try to nudge Supernova away from picking him to avoid making this season feel like a rerun of year one.

He and Storm are the sanest, most professional people left, as well as the best pure singers. He's also a good guitar player (though not in the class of the guy from the House Band, who was amazing on "Fire" and has repeatedly outclassed Gilby by an order of 10). Plus, Newsted loves him. Pick him, and you don't have to worry about headaches on the road and in the studio -- or about being upstaged by a singer who's too charismatic or distinctive. But by the same token, he only occasionally comes off like a bonafide rock star ("Fire" being one of those rare occasions). If they're expecting the frontman or woman to actually draw in a significant audience, I don't know that he's the guy.

THE DARK HORSES: Ryan and Toby
I've been pretty clear about my boredom with Ryan, but the band doesn't seem to feel the same way. Of the three originals that have been performed so far, "Back of Your Car" sounded most like something Supernova might actually play. Toby, meanwhile, can sing, had nice on-stage chemistry with the band, and will arguably have the most female appeal of any of the remaining men. The fact that he was chosen second to play with the band suggests they're taking him more seriously than I have. (That, or, again, reaction to Dilana with them last week scared them and the producers into picking someone who obviously isn't going to win.)

It pains me to say this, since she's my favorite, but if Storm is in the bottom three next week, I think she goes home. Again, she's a mature, talented pro -- and, judging by her interactions with Navarro and the band, she'd be a lot of fun to have on the road -- but she's only knocked one song out of the park ("Anything, Anything") and has spent every week since singing songs that aren't remotely the sort of thing this band is going to do. She has to absolutely kill it next time, and if they're only singing one song each on Viewer's Choice week (last year, I vaguely recall that everyone got to do two, one chosen by viewers, one an original), she could be in trouble, because two of the choices ("Changes," "We Are the Champions") are ballads, one ("Bring Me To Life") has been done, like, 12 times already this season, and the fourth ("Anything, Anything") is something she's already done twice. If a second song is on the table, she needs to fight, shove, bully, whatever to either do an original or play with someone in Supernova.

What does everybody else think? Are my rankings way off? If you were one of the three chuckleheads in Supernova and you had to make the choice right now, who would you pick?


Anonymous said...

I don't know who I'd pick, but I can see Toby fronting the band after tonight. I think they picked him to sing because he was the best fit on the song (his voice was perfect for it--too bad the song was kinda sucky and forgettable). I can also see Magni fronting for the same reasons you give.

I can't for the life of me figure out what they see in Ryan or Lukas. They're both huge poseurs and they both suck suck suck! Ryan's original song was derivative crap and Lukas was bloody awful last night. Bah!

I do hope Dilana learned a lesson in humility tonight, even though I agreed with everything she was saying about the others. Lukas and Ryan can take their hypocritical reactions to her criticisms and shove them up their sexist asses. But she does need to tone it down if she really wants to win.

As for Dave and the band saying how she can't be dissing her peers--oh, puh-leeze! Musicians diss each other all the damn time. What kind of rockers do these guys think they are if they can't stand a little controversy and smack-talk? Oh, yeah, the BLAND kind. Sheesh.

Tami P said...

I have to say that I've been a Dilanna fan since the beginning of the season--until last night. That really disappointed me. For someone with such great talent, and obvious lead in the competition to have such disrespect for those 'under' her shows a distinct lack of professionalism, in my opinion.

I've always liked Magni, but didn't think his style really fit what the band apparently wants to do--until the last couple of weeks. Now I can see him as a possibility.

Same with Ryan.

Toby I'm still kind of on the fence about. I liked his salvation performance last night, but his performances seem to sway too much still for my taste.

Lukas--A friend of mine calls him 'skunk boy'. I liked him a lot at the beginning of the season, but for the last thee weeks he's gotten on my nerves to the point of wanting to scream, and run and hide everytime he takes the stage.

Patrice going home was no surprise at all. Good singer, not at all the right type for these three guys. Again, my opinion.

Storm, I really think is in the same catagory as Patrice. Beautiful woman, great singer--just not right for this band. I can see her going home next.

bill said...

Alan, looks pretty accurate to me. For awhile, I've felt the final four would be Dilana, Lukas, Storm, Magni. I'm ditching Storm and adding Toby.

I'm really beginning to like Toby--personally and as a choice for the band. He's shown some development as a performer, looks good on stage, and works well with the band. He comes off as an inexperienced, goofy kid, but he has done some fascinating arrangements demonstrating he has some musical chops.

I think Dilana is still the frontrunner, Magni is the safe choice, and Toby is the interesting one.

With the Dilana quotes I thought it was interesting that they left out her comment from the webisode(sp?) about how she felt Patrice should be next to go or didn't belong in the house. Then there's the issue with her nonapology apology: "I apologize to all those who were offended." It would be interesting to hear some behind the scenes dirt to know if the band is trying to kill her fan support.

Any early word on if they're bringing the show back next summer? More people are talking about it this year, so I'm guessing ratings are up.

Anonymous said...

So Dilana has clay feet like the rest of us. She can be small-minded, arrogant and mean-spirited. But then, look at the job she's trying out for. These are all *positive* qualities in a rock star. A while back Dave told Lukas that he looked arrogant on stage, but "we like that."

However unpleasant her comments, Dilana was factually correct in everything we heard her say. The brilliant House Band carried Ryan every step of the way, as they carry each and every contestant in each and every song. The two Supernova songs pale in comparison & they should note this & quietly stop performing.

Back to Dilana, when Dave complimented Ryan on his comfortable stage performance, he said "I got laid." Now we see Ryan and Dilana sniping at each other meanly. Dare we speculate? Tryst gone bad?

But it's all in the editing. We see one percent of the conversations & get a few hints from Alan. We really have no idea what these people say to each other.

Storm is a hoot. I've grown very fond of her belligerant attitude, and she can sing. I'm sorry Toby got picked as the last bottom 3 person instead of her. I wanted to see her sing. So did she. Watching herself psyche up for the experience was like watching a tractor lumber to life & settle down to a rumble.

Steve B

Adam said...

That Storm wasn't in the bottom three this week, and Magni and Toby both were, speaks well for her chances.

Of the remaining six, regardless of his improvement in the competition it seems clear to me that Ryan just isn't a good fit for this band -- they need a more charismatic, engaging, open frontman-or-woman, and he doesn't give off that energy. And the more I think about it, I don't think Lukas will win, because Supernova strikes me as a band that wants to have an "American" feel to it, and Lukas is too Euro in his vibe.

Last night was probably my favorite performance by both Toby and Magni.

Philip said...

Here are my thoughts:
Toby has the best voice of the men. It is clear and precise without a hint of an accent. He obviously has good stage presence. When they were showing the rockers singing the song in the studio, Toby's voice stood out over everyone else. Everyone else sounded as if they were drowned out by the rest of the band. Lukas did that "marbles in throat" singing. When are they going to kick him off?

After last night (drama included), I like Magni, Toby, and Storm the best.
I can't read Ryan so I'm still up in the air when it comes to him. Although my respect for him is rising after last night.
Dilana's star started falling last night (plus I heard somewhere that before this, she was kinda like Melissa Ethridge in her musical style and everything).

Anonymous said...

I *want* Magni to win. He seems the most well liked in the house. Zayra having him play guitar with her, Toby singing with him last night, Magni wiping the blood off of Patrice's face after her performance (did anyone else catch that?)... But I'm very worried he'll go next week. He's been in the bottom three two weeks in a row and the band seems to really focus on that. There are no easy boot-offs left, which puts Magni in danger. He needs a fantastic performance this week or he's in trouble.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Unless it's a staring you in the face kinda thing like with Patrice (who, even in the weeks when she wasn't in the bottom three, usually had to stand up), I don't know that the band is going to make choices based on number of times in the bottom three anymore. Look, they dumped Josh the very first time he was there, because he clearly wasn't their guy.

It helps to have a champion in Supernova. Jason clearly loves Magni and Lukas, Tommy loves Dilana and Lukas, and while Gilby's harder to read, he's also into Dilana. I think they all personally like Storm (and Tommy blatantly wants to get in her pants), but there have been several times where one of the judges said they're not sure she's the right fit for them. So even if she's a bottom three virgin next week or the week after, I could see them tossing her in favor of someone they think can actually front the band.

BTW, I really don't care who wins, since A)I haven't been impressed by either Supernova song, and B)It's blindingly obvious that this band has exactly one album and tour in it before the guys go their separate ways, so it's a short-term gig at best. All I'm interested in now is enjoying the TV show, which means I want my favorites to stick around as long as possible.

Anonymous said...

I saw that, Sue. It was a real "awww" moment for me :-)

steve b, I think Dilana & Ryan have been sniping at each other all along. The boys banded together long ago to make it a "boys vs. girls" competition, and Ryan & Lukas especially have popped out with some arrogant, sexist crap, especially directed toward Dana. The SN guys pretty much encourage that shit with their own sexism (such as Tommy telling Storm he wants to see more skin, or having the grinding dancers perform with SN last week). Yet they get all fussy because Dilana speaks her mind? Get real!

Anonymous said...

I don't want Magni or Storm to win, because I like them and don't want to see them subjected to being in Supernova, but hope they are able to take the boost in recognition and do their own things on a higher level. I originally felt the same way about Dilana, but after hearing her original lyrics to the SN track, she probably would be better off singing for SN than on her own. The less likable Dilana becomes, the more I think she is right for Supernova. At this point, the real winners may be the #2 or #3-- the singers who get through the finals, but don't get selected to join the band.

Alan Sepinwall said...

You may very well be on to something, davesboa. That, or it's the cigar is just a cigar theory: Dilana did something that they knew would make for juicy TV (especially on that hourlong results show), so they put it on.

Davy said...

This week's show left me confused.

When Toby sang with Supernova my partner and I said that THAT sounded like an album I'd buy. But his showing in the bottom two puts him in danger.

I've long thought Magni a frontrunner, and his Fire, while more a spotlight for the band, was incredible. He's a safe choice for the top two.

Ryan keeps climbing. I didn't agree with Supernova's assessment of "In the Air Tonight," but his original was pretty good. Not sure of his chances.

Storm and Lukas need to start auditioning for THIS band. They've each had a good performance or two, and they're both great singers, but it's like they're not in the competition. Do they realize where they are?

Dilana was so far ahead of the rest, but she HAS plateaued, and now she's crashing and burning on TV, too. I think the pressure of others coming into their own is getting to her.