Thursday, August 31, 2006

Falling Star

Despite a string of memorable performances and the biggest growth process of all of the contestants, the Dark Horse's star fell, and Ryan Star was eliminated from Rock Star: Supernova.

A fetching Brooke Burke announces that last night's vote produced the most amount of votes in the two years of the show. I am not surprised in the least. The massive amount of voting last night drop-kicked the server for a bit.

In the recap, Brooke says that Dilana offers a heart-felt apology. Funny, but I didn't actually hear her say the words "I'm sorry" there. Just that she fell hard and that she'll come back stronger. She did say she'll never hurt them again, so I guess that counts. As far as the performances go, Brooke lauds the strong performances from each performer but notes that Toby stole some thunder from Storm. Toby toasts to everyone kicking ass last night but notes that half of them will be in the bottom 3. Storm thinks it will be her leaving. Ryan is preparing himself for the bottom 3 but isn't prepared to leave. Toby thinks it will be a shock if Lukas makes the bottom 3, but Lukas thinks he could be but that he'll take it like a man.

Dave Navarro congratulates the rockers for the best performance show they've ever had. He notes that Storm Large has never been in the bottom 3 but that every week she stands up she seems like she wants to sing. Storm says that any chance to rock out with the band is good for her and says she wants to be in the bottom 3 so she can "kick the snot out of something." Dilana says she will cry tonight when someone leaves. Magni and Dave bust out their proverbial measuring sticks and start in on the verbal sparring. Dave gets the last word and tells Magni that he's been lying all this time and he DOES have a say in the voting. Magni immediately gets up and pretends to leave.

After the fun and games, the the band chooses Lukas Rossi to sing a new Supernova song, "It's On." And the third time is a charm, and we finally see a glimmer of hope out of the Supernovans. I'm not sure I see a lot of chemistry with Lukas and the guys like we did last year with JD and OB: INXS, but the song was the best of the three we have heard so far.

Before the encore is chosen, Gilby Clarke announces that the remaining rockers are going to go with him to Gibson for a songwriting clinic, and each of them will write a song with him. Which makes Ryan's departure all the more bitter because that guy is a great songwriter. But anyway, Toby Rand gets the encore and brings an immense amount of energy, running all over the studio to sing, including the very back where the stuffy suits sit. They even get up on their feet and are waving their arms.

The initial bottom 3 members are called out, and it's Ryan, Storm and Lukas. They all take it with smiles while the audience boos. Others join them in the bottom 3 - Toby and Dilana. They are less than enthusiastic but take it well. Only Magni is safe, and once he realizes that, he yells out a very surprised "WHAT?!" while the others congratulate him. The Iceman was saveth!

The first member of the final bottom 3 is Ryan. He promises to "blow their minds", and he sings "Baba O'Riley". And proceeds to make a big mess out of it. Literally. He takes a bottle of champagne and sprays it all over, and Toby runs over to take a swig and then takes the bottle to the rocker pod. Ryan is concentrating so much on creating a show that his timing is way off, especially as he climbs up on the tall speaker. And when they cut to a displeased/bored-looking Gilby you just know Ryan is in deep trouble tonight.

Storm picks "Helter Skelter", continuing her trend of not picking anything that was recorded in the last 20 years. She sounds good on it, though, and wanders through the crowd to sing on the Supernova pod and finds herself on Tommy's lap. Smart girl.

The final member of the bottom 3 is not Toby, so one of the long-time front-runners will be making their first bottom 3 appearance. It's Dilana. She gives Lukas a kiss on the cheek on her way up to the stage to sing. This is fallout from Dramalana. "This is my redemption", she promises. This is a last-minute choice for her, and she's going to sing "Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads, which she dedicates to herself. This makes me a bit uneasy. Haha. She sings the opening a capella before the House Band kicks in, and then she starts making some very weird animal sacrifice noises in this song, and none of the Supernovans look happy at all. It is a very odd choice, that's for sure. The crowd doesn't seem that into it either. I think Storm is the only person in the room who knows this song, which is not a surprise, as she is the encyclopedia for obscure songs.

Supernova comes back with a decision, and Gilby offers up praise for Ryan's performance, saying it was one of the best audience receptions they have seen, but they wonder if he's the right fit for the band. He tells Storm that she has been solid but they haven't seen much growth. And he tells Dilana that in her out-of-left-field choice she got a little lost, but she's built up a lot of credit with them. Gilby then turns it over to the Tommy-hawk, who starts with Ryan, saying he's shown the most growth in 9 weeks ... but ... he's the next to go. The other boys look shocked, the audience boos. Dave tells Ryan that he's the most evolved contestant they've ever had on the show and that he knows he'll do great. Ryan thanks Dave especially for his support. Ryan's parting words to Supernova, however, have a tinge of bitterness, and he tells them that with him as their singer, he thinks they could have made 20 more years of good music (20 more years? I have yet to hear one minute of good music!), and he's sorry for that but he respects their decision. He is going to go back to being a solo artist, and he'll see them on the record charts "because that's where I'll be hanging out." Oh boy. That's what they say on American Idol, Ryan, and that never happens. I sincerely hope he has a better fate than those suckers. Ryan may not have been right for Supernova, but from what I have heard so far, that's not a bad thing.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Under Pressure

With only the best of the best remaining in the competition, the Top 6 on Rock Star: Supernova stepped on the stage this week knowing they'd have to be at the top of their game. A few rockers performed with the weight of some ill-suited song choices "chosen" by the fans, while one in particular had to deal with the aftermath of some serious mistakes that harmed not only herself but others in the process. Would the pressure get to the rockers, or would they rise to the occasion?

Lukas Rossi
"Lithium"

Tammy: Lukas tinkered with the arrangement this week to suit his tastes, and the result was more punk rock, and definitely very 'Lukas'. There is just no competing with Lukas' stage presence. He runs about like a man possessed, and has the crowd in the palm of his hand. For covering a song by a band that he hates, he certainly looked like he was in love with his own interpretation! Another charismatic performance.
Overall score - 9.4
Liza: I wasn't really thrilled with the arrangement. The piano sound in the beginning just seemed wrong for this song - like it made it too melodic or something. And with Lukas not singing it melodically and singing a bit staccato (especially the 'hey-hey-hey" part), it just felt weird to me. He does have a way with the crowd, though.
Overall score - 8.0

Magni
"I, Alone"

Tammy: Magni is stepping up his game as the competiton gets stiffer. He ain't ready to go home just yet, and it shows. He brought a new level of intensity this week, and his stellar vocals, as always, was his main selling point this week. Magni stayed true to the original version of the song, which may be a bit of an issue down the road, as he is yet to show what 'unique' qualities he can bring as the lead singer of Supernova.
Overall score - 9.2
Liza: That is the only "problem" I have with Magni. He has not shown much originality yet, but he's probably the best singer in the competition, not to mention the most stand-up person in the game. Anyone who can react as calmly as he did to getting cut in the head by shrapnel from Dilana's temper tantrum is a total saint. In regards to this performance, I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this. Magni sounded great on both the soft and hard parts of the song, and I loved how he waded through the crowd to sing at the Supernova pod and how he sang in Tommy Lee's face.
Overall score - 9.3

Ryan Star
"Clocks"

Tammy: Holy mother! Watching this performance, Ryan already performs like a 'Star' (stupid pun, I know). Leaping on the piano? Jumping from the piano? Sliding across the piano? Hot! Hot! Hot! It will be positively sinful to be denied another week of his crazily energetic performances. He is such an entertainer!
Overall score - 9.7
Liza: It may not have been his best vocally, although it was still very good, but the sliding across the piano thing to do the famous piano solo more than made up for it. That was the hottest thing I have seen on that stage this year. Wow. The piano slide on his belly was a little bit awkward, but I totally dug what he was trying to do there. 'Clocks' isn't a rock song, but Ryan did all he could to rock it out. The passion he puts into his performances is great to see.
Overall score - 9.3

Storm Large
"Bring Me To Life"

Tammy: This was probably Storm's best performance since 'Anything, Anything', but Toby did seem to steal a bit of the limelight as she performed. The song didn't always sound like it was a comfortable vocal fit, but Storm sold the song as only she can. Another quality performance
tonight!
Overall score - 9.0
Liza: Storm got screwed here on the song selection. The song is so not suited for her, and she had to sing the opening an octave lower. That's crazy! She did the best she could under the circumstances, but unfortunately she messed up a few words, had trouble with some of the notes and got upstaged by her backup singer. She helped Toby more than she helped herself, I'm afraid.
Overall score - 7.8

Toby Rand
"Rebel Yell"

Tammy: I'll have to admit, that at the beginning I was not so much digging this version of 'Rebel Yell', as in my mind Lukas has done a version which is difficult to top. Toby seemed to stick too much to the original version for my liking, and at times his singing didn't sound so hot (he actually sounded better on Storm's song, I think). But when he brought those fangirls up on the stage, he instantly lifted the energy in the room and his performance took off, and it was fun to watch. Another prop? Yes. But I'll give him a pass on this one since he has given me my new
favorite catchphrase. EVS!
Overall score - 9.0
Liza: Who would have thought that the Aussie would be the one that could make those lyrics recognizable?! Lukas had a great performance with it in week one, but I never knew what the heck he was singing, and his "More, more, more!" always sounded like "Raw, raw, raw!" Toby sang (and enunciated) well here. The performance, and especially bringing the fangirls up on stage, encompassed all that Supernova seems to be about - a rollicking good time. It's amazing how much Toby's stock has increased in the last two weeks.
Overall score - 9.3

Dilana
"Mother Mother"

Tammy: Dilana's voice sounded much softer and less harsh again this week, and seems to have brought back the 'scary' Dilana that so many people loved. I was never one of those people, however. She did exude a surprising level of confidence this week, considering the microscope that she's been under. But then again, this is a song that she has RECORDED in the past, so maybe it's not so shocking afterall. I do take issue with the producers somewhat giving her a 'free pass' with this being her wildcard song choice. EVS, Rock Star producers! But it was a good performance, if you like that sort of thing. Which I don't. The leg over Sasha's shoulder seemed very unspontaneous, which bugged.
Overall score - 8.7
Liza: It cracked me up that she had to stand on that speaker to put her leg over Sasha. The other thing that cracked me up was her literal interpretations of the song that just reminded me of Ace Young of American Idol. She didn't show any "permanent scars", but she did pretend to smoke and hike up her skirt when the lyrics called for it. That's so cheesy. Oh, and she brought back her crazy chicken dance. All those laughable moments aside, though, I thought she sounded great.
Overall score - 8.0

Who Should Be Bottom 3
Tammy: Storm, Dilana...uh...Magni? Sorry Magni!
Liza: Storm, Dilana, Lukas

Who Will Be Bottom 3
Tammy: Storm, Toby, Ryan
Liza: Storm, Ryan, Magni

Who Should Be Eliminated
Tammy: Storm
Liza: Storm

Who Will Be Eliminated
Tammy: Ryan. I really hope I'm wrong.
Liza: Storm and Ryan. Which would totally suck.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Emmy Fashion

I kind of snoozed through last night's Emmy Award broadcast after seeing who won by accident (You'd think you'd be safe checking your Yahoo Mail, but Nooooo, they have to put headlines in the news that say who won. Bah). The best part of the show is always the fashion anyway.

Best Dressed
Once again, Evangeline Lilly (Lost) is at the top of the list. She is sporting a great-fitting purple strapless, and she looks glamorous and girl next door all at the same time.

Best actress nominee Debra Messing (Will & Grace) also looked stunning in a white strapless despite her pale complexion.

Best supporting actress nominee Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl) looked elegant and sexy in a great black lace dress. And I still can't get over the fact that this chick is such a success in Hollywood right now despite her not-so-humble beginnings in such trash as Poison Ivy: The New Seduction and Tomcats. I guess if Michelle Pfeiffer can overcome Grease 2 ...

Gray's Anatomy's Katherine Heigl brought old-school Hollywood glam and carried the torch for her fellow cast-mates who were not so much bringing the glam, which brings us the ...

Worst-Dressed
Ellen Pompeo's tight pony-tail seemed all kinds of wrong, and there's the matter of her dress, which just fit her badly. For someone that skinny to look like she can barely breathe in her too-tight dress is crazy. And Kate Walsh's dress is so not flattering in the front. Her too-straight hair needed some oomph.

And Sandra Oh? OH NO.

What is with the entertainment journalists? Collectively, they were the most badly dressed group of the bunch.

Kimberly Caldwell of the TV Guide Channel is no fashion Idol. And I thought her last too-sharp haircut was bad. What is that thing that died on top of her hair?

Dana Devon of Extra wore some bizarro pink short dress with some black stuff hanging off it. It looked like something out of Fredrick's of Hollywood.

Vanessa Minnillo of MTV is such a cute girl. WTF is she wearing?!

The most WTF dress, though, was worn by Kyra Sedgwick. From the stomach up, it looked pretty. And then you looked down and you see an explosion of chiffon and tissue. It looked like something Bjork would wear.

The other one that was really bad was Phoebe Price. But since I don't eve know who that is, I feel a little bad. I'm thinking she was just photographed because she was wearing a fug dress.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

CityWalk Update

Update: I uploaded all of my videos from the Rock Star CityWalk concert on YouTube. All of the links are in the blog entry below.

I also put up photos in Photobucket. Since I was mostly video-taping this event, most of the photos are just from the end after my camera died. I got some great stuff of Storm climbing the tower on stage, and an awesome one of Ryan smiling (Yes, he does smile!)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Rockin' Universal CityWalk

The Top 6 finalists on Rock Star: Supernova had their first public concert tonight at Universal CityWalk. Last year's third-place finisher, MiG Ayesa, opened the show, singing about four or five songs. We also had a few treats from members of the House Band and from an 80's cover band.

Ryan Star was the first rocker to perform, and he started with the awesome original song he performed on this week's show, "Back Of Your Car". He said that if he had sung this here the week before, no one would have known it. He accompanied himself on electric guitar. Without the House Band. Ahem. Tonight, Ryan was nothing without his band. Snicker. Oh, and Storm joined him on backup midway through the song, and she harmonized with him nicely on the "Whoah-oh-oh" part of the chorus.

I figured it would be one and out, but surprisingly, after he finished his song, Ryan was joined on stage by the 80's band (out of their 80's costumes), and they played "Blister In The Sun" (!!!). I always kind of identify this song with Claire Danes bopping around to it on My So-Called Life, so it was different to hear Ryan's take on it, which was, of course, a bit edgier. I liked it, though! And it's great to see him on a song that is more fun than the usual songs he chooses. He was really trying to be interactive with the audience on this one, even having the girls in the front sing/scream into the mic.

Next up was Toby Rand, who opened with "White Wedding", which was really good. Then he was joined by Magni, and the two sang a pair of U2 songs - "Where The Streets Have No Name" and "With Or Without You". These two need to team up with the House Band after the show is over and create their own super-group. Those two guys sound so good together, and they have such great camerarderie with each other and with the guys in the House Band. And Magni is soooooo talented. He played lead guitar later in the show when he sang "Fire". LEAD on that iconic guitar riff. He also played guitar for Dilana on "Zombie". If Supernova is considering hiring two singers for this band, one of them HAS to be Magni because he can bring so much to any group musically.

Storm Large went up next with Dramarama's "Anything Anything". Incidentally, Richard Blade had said earlier in the night that the lead singer of Dramarama said he was disappointed he wasn't in town for this because he wanted to see Storm perform this. She didn't stage dive (that could have been ugly considering she was wearing a hot pink short dress), but she did just as good of a job with it as she did the first time. Her second song was The Clash's "Should I Stay Or Should I Go". Excellent performance!! I can't remember if someone sang this song on RS: INXS last year; if someone did, Storm's version kicked its ass. Oh, wait. It was Jessica. And of course Storm's version kicked its ass. Jessica was only good on INXS songs. LOL.

They saved the most popular rockers for last - Lukas and Dilana. And yes, Dilana still got lots of cheers even after Wednesday's debacle. She also got some jeers, though, and that didn't happen with anyone else.

Lukas was the man in demand, and he delivered the goods in a big way, singing "Rebel Yell" and reminding everyone why he was one of the front-runners after week one. The performance was ridiculous! In a good way. This was Lukas at his finest - the energy level was off the hook. And he even got all of the available House Banders up there to perform with him. It was his only solo performance, but it was one of the best ones of the night.

Guitarist Jim McGorman mixed things up after Lukas with a solo acoustic performance of his own. He did a sound-check earlier in the evening, singing "Summer of '69" with Paul Mirkovich singing backup a bit, but on the stage for the main show, Jim sang "Jessie's Girl". He's a good singer! But I shouldn't be surprised, since he sounded so great with Dilana on "Time After Time" on the show. And they reprised "Time After Time" on the CityWalk stage (without a prior soundcheck, which I guess is impressive). DJ Richard Blade was pumping Dilana up to the crowd the entire time. Seemed a bit like damage control to me. And interesting that they save her for last; it seemed like they were trying hard to show that they still want her in the competition.

After Dilana sang "Time After Time", they brought Magni back for a solo, since he shared his time with Toby. They got him to play "Fire", which he sang on the result show Wednesday. This time, though, lead guitarist Rafael was not there, so Magni did it himself. I love this guy!

Dilana came back for one more song and kept Magni up there to play guitar on "Zombie". I can't remember if this was before or after the performance, I think after, but she called him "Kojak", and the crowd "ooo'd" at her. I said out loud, "Shut UP! Dilana!" I think Magni actually called her a name on the mic in response, jokingly, but probably not really. Heh. I missed what he said, though. Anyway, Dilana topped herself on this performance, climbing the tower onstage. Unless she was on the thing, you can't see her too well on the clip because 1. she's so damn short, and 2. everyone kept getting in my way.

Before the rockers could all came back onstage to close the show, Dilana asked them all to get up there to sing Happy Birthday to this little girl. Now I don't know if it's her accent or if she was really saying this, but when Dilana was asking them to get on stage, she called Lukas by name, and it came out sounding like "Luke-ass". Not trying to start a fan war (as if one hasn't already started!), just saying my first impression when I heard her say it tonight.

After the birthday serenade, Dilana had a surprise for everyone, and it was the rockers singing "Sweet Child O' Mine" together. This was no cheesy Idol group-sing, although there was a bit of cheese of a different variety. Lukas, Toby, Dilana and Storm all climbed the towers. When Storm was up on the tower, Ryan playfully grabbed or pretended to grab her ass. Hee! Everyone but Dilana shared a mic. Just kidding. I think she did share with Magni. But I don't think anyone else even tried to share with her. She might shoot them in the head, you know. Unfortunately, my videocamera crapped out by that point, so I only got half the song.

Going back to MiG's performance. He started his set with "Wrapped Around Your Finger" by The Police, played an original song that's not on the upcoming album, "Life on Mars" by David Bowie, "Kiss From A Rose" and the single, "Baby I Love Your Way". Apparently, Peter Frampton plays on the track! Hmm ... lots of covers for the "Thrilla from Manila" (as he jokingly called himself). And then Richard Blade asked him to play a song with the 80's cover band. His request: an INXS song! So they played "Don't Change", which we never got to hear MiG do on the show. Cool!! Oh, and Richard Blade also made him sing it shirtless, so yeah, MiG's abs and one of my favorite INXS songs. can't beat that!

I've got lots more vids and pics, but it's hella late, so I'll share those later this weekend.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Bo Knows Rock

Bo Bice and Kimberley Locke performed at a Saturn corporate event last night in Hollywood. I've never been to one of these things before, but KIIS was offering up these tickets to its KIIS VIPs, so I traded in some points for them. Turns out that the other Clear Channel stations here were doing that as well (KIIS, KOST, KBIG, Star), which is very interesting and quite ironic considering they don't even play Bo here. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come?

So the tickets say the thing starts at 7. Kimberley didn't even get up on stage till 9 or so. She sang just 4 songs - three from her new album and Eighth World Wonder. I like her new stuff - her first two songs were a bit disco light - but I'm not sure that it's something that is going to get a lot of radio airplay. "Supawoman" might though; it kind of sounds like Rihanna's new song, which I HAAAAAAAAATE but all the radio stations apparently love because they play it all the damn time. Anyway, Kimberley sounded great and looked really cute. She had the audience sing the chorus of Eighth World Wonder near the end, and partly due to the small size of the audience (and possibly due to some people not knowing the song), you could barely hear anyone. But since this isn't exactly an easy song to sing (I have seen Kimberley struggle with it herself ... on American Idol a few years ago) and it's rather high-pitched, it's probably a good thing. Heh.

After a break, Bo finally came on (after 10, I think!), and he opened with "The Real Thing". He introduced it by thanking the fans for making it No. 1 on TRL. Now where is that second video, RCA?! Anyway, this may have been the best I've ever heard Bo sing this song. It seemed like every time he sang it on TV, he was sick or something, but last night his voice sounded so strong. After that, he sang his current single (that I have never heard on radio) "U Make Me Better". I've always thought this was the song on his album that would be the big hit. It's catchy as hell and has a great hook, but sadly, it hasn't been. But who knows ... maybe it will blow up all of a sudden. He needs another video and airplay in New York and LA. I totally wanted to say something snarky at Barry Manilow look-alike Gary Spears (the KBIG DJ who introduced Kimberley and Bo onstage) about it, but I'm not the type to get all Claymate-y about things.

Anyway ... back to the show. Here's something cool that happened. After he sang U Make Me Better, Bo got on the mic and proceeded to thank just about everyone in the building. Literally. He thanked the audience, Saturn, the security, the caterers, the servers, the set-up crew. I don't think he thanked the person who owned the building the event was in, though. What an ass. Just kidding! Bo is such a gracious guy. Some singers don't even thank the band or their crew, but Bo does this and thanks everyone else involved in even the smallest way. That's awesome.

Next song up was one of his originals (and I only know this because I know this, not because he said it or anything!), "Whiskey, Women & Time". I spent most of the song trying to figure out what other song it sounded like, and near the end I think I finally figured it out. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong (and I'm sure someone will!), but I think parts of it sound like "Like A Rock" by Bob Seger.

After that, Bo does guitar change #3, and it's "Sweet Home Alabama" time. WTF?! Already?! Jeebus. Short concert, eh? But I think the Sweet Home Alabama/Freebird hybrid was pretty much the length of about 4 songs, so I guess it wasn't as short as a five song set could have been. So Bo is singing the Skynyrd, and he's just beaming. And then he's just wailing on the guitar, and he and his bandmates are going nuts with the headbanging and hair flying all over the place and just setting the guitars on fire. It was quite a sight! Bo started to look a bit like Captain Caveman. Heh. But it was awesome.

Gawd, could I sound any more like Chris Farley right now?!
Chris Farley: "Do you remember that time when you were with the Beatles?"
Paul McCartney: "Yeah."
Chris Farley: "That was awesome."

I need a new word.

So all in all, it was a good show from both. Kimberley has a great voice. Too bad she had to sing to backing tracks because the difference in performance between her and Bo was night and day due to the live band. Not that she wasn't engaging herself. Bo is a kick-ass (there's my new word) performer - so engaging and likeable. The singing was kick-ass, the guitar-playing was kick-ass. The length of the show was not kick-ass. I think I may have to go to that concert in October in Anaheim so I can see a full set. They were promoting that concert in the venue, by the way. They had postcards set out at the tables (with logos from the aforementioned local radio stations on there ... hmmm ...). Interestingly, there was nothing from Kimberley's people, even though she has an album due out in October. Who's doing her PR? 19Evil?!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Wild Horses

A dark horse in the Rock Star: Supernova competition stampeded out the gate last week with the intent of catching up to the front-runners. Would Ryan Star be able to maintain his dark horse status with an original song this week?

Patrice Pike
"Beautiful Thing"

Liza: Unfortunately for Patrice, Gilby's dog looked more interested in the song than Gilby did himself. It was interesting enough, I suppose, and she looked like she had a blast performing it, but I thought the song was a bit too poppy for this band. It had elements that reminded me of "Perfect Day" by Hoku, which can't be a good thing for Supernova.
Score: 7.5
Tammy: Patrice did seem pleased after her performance, but I suspect that's more because she knew that she'd at least be going off this show having showed her songwriting chops. As far as songs go, it wasn't bad. The trouble is, she still isn't particularly fun to watch, and her voice has a quality about it that grates on me somehow. I think I would have enjoyed the song more if someone else had been singing it.
Score: 7.8

Magni
"Smells Like Teen Spirit"

Liza: First of all, big props to the House Band; they truly are amazing. And Magni sounded really great during some key moments in the song, especially the growling part in the chorus. He did struggle, a bit, with breath control, but overall, he fully captured the spirit of the song.
Score: 8.5
Tammy: Magni really did sound amazing during the chorus of this song. But I have to agree, there were some moments that really didn't work. It definitely was one of his stronger performances, however, and the crowd seemed to love it. I wanted to be jumping around next to them!
Score: 9.0

Ryan Star
"Back Of Your Car"

Liza: Whoah. Ryan on FI-YAH tonight! That might have been the most energized anyone has ever been on that stage. He was so pumped up singing that song he croaked a few times, but I'd pretty much give him a pass on that because this ain't American Idol, and rock and roll like that, well, it ain't pretty (Ha). I'll admit to being a bit biased because I have heard this song before, and I already loved it, but honestly, I think this is one of the best original songs, if not the best original song, I've heard on this series.
Score: 9.6
Tammy: What she said. Ryan raced about that stage like a man possessed, and absolutely tore it up. Each week he seems to be topping prior performances, and at this rate, if I were one of his competitors, I'd be very nervous. The boy is on an upswing. 'Back Of Your Car' was a great, catchy rock song, and it looked like OB: House had a ball playing it. Loved the 'dance' move with Jim. Heh.
Score: 9.7

Storm Large
"Cryin'"

Liza: She's right; she CAN sing anything. What I liked about this performance is that she brought not only the vocal prowess but the stage moves and moxie as well. She's got the total package, but Gilby's right; she needs to go a step beyond and just blow it out of the water next time. She's more than capable of doing so.
Score: 8.8
Tammy: Storm seems to have been just getting by on the strength of her fanbase in the last few weeks, and not delivering the performances that she can. But that's nothing that a trip to the bottom three wouldn't fix. That would be enough to put a bit of 'fight' in anyone. Seems to have worked for Ryan. 'Cryin' was one of Storm's better performances of the competition, but didn't have the 'wow' factor of 'Anything, Anything'. With a close competition like this, she needs more than good, she needs to make it impossible to deny that she could front this band. At this point I'm not convinced. Convince me, Storm.
Score: 8.8

Dilana
"Every Breath You Take"

Liza: What you may see here may be the result of reality show backlash, but I'm mega-critical of Dilana right now because 1. She screwed her fellow rockers over during the press junket, and 2. SOMEONE has to be critical of her; Supernova and Dave never are! So here we go. I really didn't like the heavy breathing part in the beginning, and the eyelashes did her a disservice because her eyes are usually so expressive, and those ridiculous things shielded her eyes most of the time. Some of her stage mannerisms were reminding me of Jill, though, and that is not a good thing for me. On a positive note, her voice sounded really good on this song.
Score: 8.2
Tammy: Her voice did sound less harsh than usual, but for me the result was that she sounded more bland. Isn't there a happy medium? There really wasn't a lot that I liked about this performance. Or anything, to be exact. I've never been a fan, but this Dilana seems like a complete 180 from the scary 'Lithium' Dilana. Has she just ran out of tricks? She also was upstaged by her eyelashes. I agree, instead of making her eyes look bigger, you could barely see them beneath those things! And the repeating of 'Dilana, Dilana, Dilana' toward the end of the performance...what on earth was that? Sending a (not so) subliminal message to Supernova (hire meeee...hire meeeee...)? Ugh.
Score: 7.2

Toby Rand
"Layla"

Liza: I liked his arrangement, and he really showed a nice combo of vocals and stage presence tonight. I think this was my favorite Toby performance this season. I just wish he would stop with the gimmicks, this time going shirtless with EVS written on his chest. However, I LOVED when he went over to the rocker pod and got the crowd involved. That part was awesome!
Score: 9.2
Tammy: The song really picked up when Toby went over to the rocker pod. Without that, I'm not sure how well I would have liked the performance. Toby's vocals have never really impressed me...he seems rather limited. Like Liza, I would like to see a gimmick-free performance, and just rely on whatever talents he possesses. But...overall, it was a pretty good, high energy performance.
Score: 8.8

Lukas Rossi
"All These Things That I've Done"

Liza: Lukas was so inconsistent in this performance. At times, his vocals sounded awesome (like in the beginning), at other times, the mushmouth came back. One minute he engages the audience, including the ones in the balcony, then the next he's shutting them out by turning his back to them. I guess he's continuing his love affair with Nate the drummer, or perhaps with himself with the looking at his reflection in Rafael's guitar.
Score: 8.2
Tammy: The moments when he turned his back from the audience didn't really detract for me, because they were filled with entertaining little bits, like the quick 'hair check' in Raf's guitar, or a few twirls in front of the drumkit, which were all for the audience at home. It works for me! What didn't work for me tonight were his vocals. I agree, he sounded fantastic at the beginning, but didn't sound especially strong after that, almost like the key was too low for him or something. His impressive ability to work the stage helped to downplay the problems with the vocals, but not enough.
Score: 8.4


Who Should Be The Bottom Three
Liza: Patrice, Dilana, Lukas
Tammy: Patrice, Dilana, Lukas (as much as it pains me to admit it)

Who Will Be The Bottom Three
Liza: Patrice, Toby, Magni
Tammy: Patrice, Toby, Magni

Who Should Be Eliminated
Liza: Patrice
Tammy: Patrice

Who Will Be Eliminated
Liza: Patrice
Tammy: Patrice

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Benji SchWINNER

In a rare reality moment for me, my favorite actually won a talent show. After 5 seasons of watching my favorites bomb on American Idol, summer viewing has been gratifying, first with JD Fortune winning Rock Star: INXS last year and then tonight Benji Schwimmer winning So You Think You Can Dance season 2.

I spent the whole finale show bracing myself for a Travis Wall victory, thinking that a vote split between Benji and Heidi plus the judges' backing of Travis would turn the tides towards a Travis victory. Not that there would have been anything wrong with that. Travis is a fantastic dancer and he basically won the finale night. But Benji had me from his Dance of Death in Las Vegas and continually entertained me in everything that he did. His joy for dancing was so infectious and palpable. He's the kind of dancer that can transcend the dance world, and I hope that he doesn't waste his talent in that Celine Dion show. Take the cash and the SUV and run, Benji!

The finale brought back all of the Top 20 dancers for several group and duet performances. The Top 4 of Benji, Travis, Heidi and Donyelle each got to pick their favorite partner performances to reprise. Benji picked the mambo with Heidi that started with their signature donut drop. Heidi picked her contemporary with Travis, and Travis selected his Paso Doble with Heidi. Donyelle unsurprisingly picked a dance with Benji, but I expected their Too Much Booty hip-hop or the cha-cha, but instead she picked their Hairspray Broadway routine, which was performed even better than the first time (I think Donyelle's injury seriously hindered her the first time around).

The four finalists each danced a solo. Heidi went first and surprised with a non-Latin dance to I Love Rock and Roll. And then she was given her fate as not the winner. Which she totally knew. Because this all happened with like a full hour to go in the show. Donyelle also was given the same treatment a little later and went out in tears after telling the judges and audiences that she quit dancing right before she went on the show and that after this she cannot stop.

The judges also got to pick some other dances. Mary Murphy paired up newly out real-life couple Natalie and Dmitry for a Latin dance, and I hope they are better as a couple off the dance floor because that wasn't all that good. Their Samba rolls seemed pretty stiff to me. But then again, what do I know ... I say that based on what I saw on Dancing With The Stars. Ha! Mia Michaels picked Ivan and Allison's contemporary to "Why", which was lovely. Great song. Brian Friedman had Travis and Martha reprise their Broadway routine that made Nigel pronounce them as the favorites in week one, and Dan Karaty picked the ever-popular Tranji nerd hip-hop for the last performance. Which left the two finalists in t-shirts, shorts and tube socks pulled up to their knees as they awaited the announcement of the winner. Heh.

So Benji reacted to the win by dissolving into tears, which brings him full circle since he collapsed in a puddle of goo after being told he made the Top 20. Celine Dion taped a congratulatory message that reminded me of her stint on Deal or No Deal. And then the damn Tivo cut off. Doh! Luckily, I was still able to watch the rest of it on live TV since I was only about 10 or 15 minutes behind. Anyway, they dropped confetti, and Dmitry and someone else threw Travis on their shoulders and carried him around as if he won, while Benji was congratulated by other finalists on stage. Sadly, we saw no Benjelle finale kiss (oh well), and Kelly Clarkson didn't come out to sing A Moment Like This while Benji danced around. And thankfully, Taylor Hicks didn't come out to sing Do I Make You Proud. Because that would have made me wretch.

My other summer talent show favorite is Ryan Star on Rock Star: Supernova. I have no delusions that the boy is going to win the show. It's going to be either Dilana or Lukas Rossi, perhaps Storm Large. If Ryan knows what's good for him, if he gets to the end of the show, he should sing some song that's totally inappropriate for the band so he gets booted. Because he does not want to front Supernova. Not after hearing their craptastic song they had Dilana sing with them. Eeks! Zayra got eliminated this week, and while I will miss her theatrics and stage antics, I know she is better off this way. And now that I think about it, maybe Dilana with her lotion and thong lyrics will fit in just perfectly with Supernova.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Stripped

After an motivating and raucous trip to Las Vegas, site of Supernova's debut concert on New Year's Eve, the rockers went from the flash of Sin City to performing unplugged on the Rock Star stage. Would they be able to transition?

Zayra Alvarez
"Lluvia De Mar"

Tammy: While this was a lovely song, and Zayra sang passionately and (mostly) in tune, part of her appeal, for me, are her crazy antics which are so entertaining to watch. Tonight she was more seriousand was lacking her usual spark that makes her performances so memorable. Her choice of a song, which is so not Supernova, practically screams that she has no intention of becoming their new lead singer. Which is fine, because she's better doing her own Planet Z thing anyways.
Score: 8.5
Liza: Singing her original song, Zayra sounded the best she has ever had in the competition. Unfortunately, the song just doesn't fit in this competition. It's beautiful, but a Spanish ballad just is not roit for Supernova. And I agree, she's more entertaining when she brings the crazy.
Score: 8.9

Magni
"Starman"
Tammy: Looking very Miami Vice clad in a white suit, Magni has a bit of a step down from last week, and he never seems particularily comfortable covering this Bowie tune and appears almost relieved when it's over (that makes two of us). This is a song on which Magni could have shown a lot of personality, and instead sang it straight, making for a bit of a ho-hum performance (read: boring).
Score: 8.2
Liza:
Gilby nailed it in his critique. Magni's solid. Sometimes he's spectacular, like last week. This time, I thought he was "just" solid. He sounded a bit muffled in the beginning, but took it
up a notch later on. I'm not a fan of the song, but I'm a fan of Magni. He's just such a likeable guy.
Score: 8.0

Patrice Pike
"Message In A Bottle"

Tammy: Speaking of ho-hum. Patrice delivers another lifeless performance this week and might as well pack her bags right now. She's never seemed to match the intensity of 'My Iron Lung, and it's hard to understand why. It's difficult to watch her struggle each week, because based on that previous dynamic performance, it appears she's capable of much more, and yet is unable to tap into it when it matters most. Perhaps she needs the fire lit under her that a trip to the bottom three would provide.
Score: 7.5
Liza: Tommy Lee's look mid-song said it all. He was obviously bored. I usually am when I watch Patrice, so I feel his pain. I didn't even think her vocals were all that great. She certainly has sung better than this. Bottom line is the girl is very forgettable.
Score: 6.8

Lukas Rossi
"Hero"
Tammy: Seated in what is more a kitchen chair than a stool, Lukas this week chooses to sing one of the most overplayed songs in recent years and manages to put his own unique spin on it. The stripped down version of 'Hero' emphasizes his vocals and highlights the lovely softer quality which he possesses. The performance was hindered by the odd seating arrangement, however, as his physicality is one of the most entertaining aspects of his performances. Still, an incrediblty charismatic performance.
Score: 8.8
Liza: I agree that the arrangement emphasizes his vocals, but for me, that isn't a good thing, because Lukas closed up his damn throat again. He hit this one really bad warbly note that made me totally cringe. On a positive note, I really liked what he did with the arrangement, and he made a Chad Kroeger song tolerable for me, and that is saying a lot. Hee! On the seating arrangment. It made him look about 4 feet tall.
Score: 7.8

Storm Large
"I Will Survive"
Tammy: Oh my. This is all sorts of terrible. It appeared that Storm never really decided upon an arrangement, and had three or four versions at once, as she threw in growling, a diva note at the end, and had an overall lounge singer quality as she sang. Add to that the misguided pantsuit and bizarre drunken stage moves that only Lukas can pull off, and it just appeared that Storm was flailing about, hoping that anything she did would work under the 'something for everyone' mentality. The end result was a bit of a mess.
Score: 6.8
Liza: The song did start out like a lounge song, didn't it? That is becoming kind of a trend for her. and it didn't get much better. This was easily Storm's worst performance. But I can't really fault her for this because I don't think ANYONE, even master re-arranger JD Fortune, could have turned this into something decent for this show. Whoever put this up on the board is sadistic.
Score: 5.0

Toby Rand
"Solsbury Hill" (with Gilby Clarke on acoustic guitar)
Tammy: Toby looked a wee bit terrified to be performing with Gilby, and seemed like he was waiting to exhale throughout the song. While he started strong, vocally seemed a bit off towards the end and sounded a bit rough. The bongos were an interesting touch. While they didn't really add to the performance, they didn't really detract from it either. They were just...there. Kinda like Toby himself.
Score: 7.0
Liza: Would it have helped if he was playing the bongos naked? Heh. I actually quite liked it. I thought his vocals were tailor-made for this song and that he did a great job on a really difficult song. I loved the bongo drums bit, although I suspect that Tommy wasn't too thrilled with the possibility of someone out boating the show on percussion.
Score: 9.0

Ryan Star
"In The Air Tonight"

Tammy: Ryan once again is working his 'intense' vibe, and has chosen the perfect song with which to showcase himself. 'In the Air Tonight', while not as strong as his earlier 'Losing My Religion', was nonetheless one of his strongest performances on the show and proved that he can't be counted out quite yet, even after a trip to the bottom 3 last week.
Score: 9.2
Liza: Yes, this song was perfect for Ryan. And Ryan looks perfect tonight too. Yowza. And he even smiled! What I really liked about this was that he showed a nice variety of intensity and softness. The stage lighting was great too, and big props to Nate for that killer drum solo. What Gilby said about Ryan's voice being strong and cutting through ... I think that's an interesting point because some of the others don't have the ability to do this as well as Ryan does.
Score: 9.5

Dilana
"Cat's In The Cradle"
Tammy: Remember as a child, when everyone at the dinner table would be munching away, and you'd watch as they'd merrily eat their, oh I don't know, broccoli, for instance, and so you thought, 'hey this must be good, look how much they like it!' So then you'd take a bite, can barely swallow it, and wonder what kind of crack your family is on to be liking this stuff? Dilana is my broccoli. I just do not get the lavish praise thrown at her. Every performance sounds the same. Tonight, we got the addition of some mucked up lyrics, and needless 'c'mon' and 'woo's screamed at us for good measure. Meh.
Score: 7.7
Liza: BWAH!!!! I kind of agree, actually. Goose bumps? Um, okay. I mean, her voice sounded great on this (except on those low notes in the first verse), but she mucked up the most well-known lyric in this song! "The cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon" became "The cat's in the cradle and the silver moon". And she threw in an inappropriate Diana DeGarmo-like "Come on!". Other than that, and disregarding Ryan, Zayra and Toby's performances, it was the best of the night. Snort.
Score: 8.7

Who Should Be The Bottom Three
Tammy: Dilana, Storm, Toby
Liza: Storm, Patrice, Lukas

Who Will Be The Bottom Three
Tammy: Zayra, Storm, Patrice
Liza: Patrice, Zayra, Toby

Who Should Be Eliminated
Tammy: Patrice
Liza: Patrice

Who Will Be Eliminated
Tammy: Patrice
Liza: Patrice

Monday, August 14, 2006

Whoah! Celebrity Dancers Revealed

Former teen hearthrob Joey, er, Joe Lawrence is one of 11 "celebrities" chosen to compete in the third season of Dancing With The Stars.

Joe, the former co-star of Blossom, will be paired with Edyta, who previously partnered with Evander Holyfield and George Hamilton. Finally Edyta is not saddled with lead-footed partners. As a former musician (cough), Joe has some semblance of rhythm. For proof, or for a great laugh, see his video of "Nothing My Love Can't Fix." WHOAH!

Another formerteen hearthrob competing is Mario Lopez, otherwise known as AC Slater on Saved By The Bell. Mario will be dancing with a new dancer to the show, Karina Smirnoff. I think I vaguely remember him dancing a bit on Saved By The Bell, but I'm picturing super cheese with dimples boy.

Without seeing any of these people dance, the top two contenders right now have to be Harry Hamlin and Emmitt Smith.

Harry, the star of LA Law and Clash of the Titans, has tons of familiarity with DwtS viewers, having been in the audience supporting his wife and season 2 fourth-place finisher Lisa Rinna throughout the season last year. Harry also has the benefit of being paired with Ashly Del Grosso, one of the most popular returning dancers, who was cutely paired with Joey McIntyre in season 1 and unfortunately paired with the too-cool-for-school Master P in season 2. Harry and Ashly can coast on their popularity alone for weeks.

Emmitt, the future NFL Hall of Fame running back from the Dallas Cowboys, is paired with Cheryl Burke, who helped Drew Lachey win last season. Cheryl won quite a few fans on her own and seems to be a terrific partner and choreographer. And if NFL fans were the ones voting for season 2 runner-up Jerry Rice, Emmitt should receive just as many, as he is almost as popular and beloved as Jerry.

Speaking of Jerry, there's another one in the competition. Jerry Springer. No really. I guess he is filling the John O'Hurley/George Hamilton "old guy" role. He will be dancing with Australian Dancing With The Stars champion Kym Johnson.

Tony Dovolani, who partnered with Stacy Keibler last year, gets another beauty in country star Sara Evans. Hopefully for her, Tony has brushed up on his choreography skills. Because he pretty much single-handedly dropped Stacy down to third after his horrific disco freestyle.

The biggest celebrity on the show is movie star Vivica A. Fox. She is paired with Nick Kosovich, who danced with Tatum O'Neal last year. Girlfriend is fierce. I wish she were paired with Maxsim Chmerkovskiy instead, but Maxsim, who paired with Tia Carrere last year, is with Willa Ford this season. Willa is a one-hit wonder from the early part of this decade who scored a hit with "I Wanna Be Bad". I think she is more famous for dating Nick Carter in the Backstreet Boys' hey-day.

The last returning professional dancer is Louis Van Amstel, who was previously partnered with Trista Sutter to horrible results and Lisa Rinna to fantastic results. Louis will dance this year with High School Musical co-star Monique Coleman.

Rounding out the cast are MSNBC news anchor Tucker Carlson (with Elena Grinenko, former professional dance partner of Maxsim) and former Miss USA and Hanging with the Barkers star Shanna Moakler (with Jesse DeSoto).

Friday, August 11, 2006

Chen-Bot's Nice Button Malfunctions

On his birthday, no less, Kaysar Ridha got evicted from the Big Brother house for the third time in a year. And it got worse. Immediately after leaving the house, during his interview with Julie Chen, he found out that his friend James Whine, I mean Rhine, stabbed him in the back on his way out.

I was shocked that CBS and BB treated the most popular player in BB history with such carelessness, kicking the man while he was down. Kaysar wasn't even the target this week; he was just the replacement for the bigger target, Janelle. There shouldn't have been a reason to get the villain goodbye. During his post-evicition interview, the Chen-bot couldn't wait to deliver the news that James was being a snake. First, she set him up with the question of whether it was hard to be up on the block with his friend and ally James. Kaysar replied that he wanted to fix things after last year's falling out and show James that they were on the same team. Kaysar didn't want to campaign against James. The Chen-bot then almost gleefully reveals to him that James was in a secret alliance with Danielle, Boogie and Will, and they were working to get out Janelle. The Chen-bot quoted James as saying Janelle was "a stupid bitch" (normally I would be giggling at news reporter Julie Chen saying these words, but to do it to Kaysar right there was just cruel) and "this Anna Nicole Smith wannabe is probably the dumbest person to every play the game."

Kaysar looked like someone kicked his puppy while punching him in the gut. The hurt was palpable. He said he was disappointed and "I played for the team, but the team didn't play for me."

Then Julie continues to pour it on, showing Kaysar the houseguests' goodbye message. Erika is crying in hers, but that shouldn't mean jack squat because she cried in Alison's, for crying out loud. Janelle states that he was 100% completely loyal to their alliance and vows to take out the float herd. Boogie does an I-told-you-so about James. Will piles it on by saying that I told you so wouldn't cut it - "I told you James was going to peel off ... and he did. With me." And then Kaysar's "friend" James goes on a delusional and extremely hypocritical rant about how Janelle screwed him (well how could she not screw him - James had a side deal with just about everyone in the house; there were maybe only 1 or 2 people she could have nominated if she wanted to avoid screwing James. Now whose fault is that, Dumbass?!) and "single-handedly destroyed our group". James also said that he "gave you guys four weeks of chances, and you stabbed me in the back every chance you got". WTF?! James himself was HoH one of those four weeks. And he was gunning for Chicken George a week after bitching about Kaysar not nominating Chill Town. And a week before bitching out Janelle for not nominating Chill Town. Who he has a secret alliance with.

James is a lunatic. And an ass.

And the Chen-bot was way too happy to stick the knives further into Kaysar's back.

And after this, more buttons began to malfunction. During the HoH competition, Howie was eliminated after failing to buzz in on a question. Except that he totally did. He was the second person to hit the buzzer. It didn't work. But he was eliminated from the competition because he was last. A couple of questions earlier, Boogie also had his buzzer malfunction, and he didn't provide an answer, but Julie didn't call him out or ask for an answer as she did with Howie. Boogie was eventually eliminated, so that controversy was averted.

But ... Howie has a legitimate beef about his elimination because he clearly hit his buzzer. And the BB producers agreed because they did a re-do. So will Erika remain the HoH? If you're trying to stay spoiler free, tune in on Sunday. If you want to know, go check out any of the BB fan sites. It's worth it. Heh.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Dancing In Heaven

The performance finale of So You Think You Can Dance put me in quite a conundrum. I have been rooting for Benji Schwimmer to win since the first week of partnering. The guy is such an entertainer - terrific dancer, great personality. He is a showboat. He will never have Tommy Lee telling him, "Show me some boat, bitch!" (Heh. I love that line.)

On tonight's show, however, Benji got out performed by Travis Wall, who received raves for all the dances he performed. Benji was praised for his samba with his cousin Heidi, which was not only lively but highly entertaining, but he got ripped for his Viennese Waltz with Donyelle. The criticism was not unwarranted. I'm no dancer, but even I could see the technique was lacking, although I was in awe by the velocity of the partner spin at the end. I enjoyed Benji's high energy solo a lot, especially with the stage dive.

Travis danced a contemporary with Donyelle, which was lovely, and his disco with Heidi had a ton of tricks (she impressed me more than he did in that dance, although I do recognize that doing those lifts are more him than her). But the deal-breaker for me tonight was Travis' solo. It was breathtaking with his spins from his knees and the backhandsprings. In my eyes, Travis won this night.

But if you look at the season as a whole body of work, I have to give it to Benji for drawing me in the way he did. He owned the competition up until the final two weeks when Travis (with help from Heidi) closed in.

Earlier in the week, my fiend David asked me to vote for Travis, but I didn't really want to; I wanted Benji to win. And then I saw the performances tonight and decided to vote for ... NOBODY. David, it's my compromise, mmkay? And believe me, I wanted to vote for Benji after hearing the judges pimping Travis by saying he stood out in the group number at the end. He did when he walked out looking like a superstar, but he was the first to walk out, of course he'd stand out! I didn't think any of them stood out more than the other in the actual dancing. I just didn't like that last bit of pimpage at the end. Reminded me too much of American Idol and seeing the judges throw the non-Chosen Ones under the bus on finale night.

So who should win next week? Should the winner be based on one night or on the whole season? I don't know. I'll be cool with any of them winning; these were my favorite four.

Can't we just have a tie and let Travis have the Celine show and Benji the cash? :)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lightning Strikes Twice

With a trip to Las Vegas with the band awaiting the surviving members of tonight's Rock Star: Supernova result show, the stakes increased. And the band decided to decrease the amount of competitors by dropping both Josh Logan and Jill Gioia from the competition in a double elimination.

After a strong set of performances, the rockers toasted themselves at the mansion for a job well done. But drama couldn't stay away for very long, as Jill took the other women to task for not choosing the song with Gilby Clarke, conveniently forgetting that she didn't either. As Lukas Rossi and Toby Rand look on with amusement, Storm Large takes exception and shoots back that she doesn't need to prove to herself or Gilby that she can stand up there with him. She didn't choose the song because she wanted to do "We Are The Champions". Zayra Alvarez notes that picking a song that doesn't suit you just to play with one of the band members is like hanging yourself.

Back in the studio, Dave Navarro asks Storm what makes her so sure that Gilby knows she can hang with him, and she is a bit flustered for the first time and acknowledges that she doesn't know. Gilby tells the rockers that playing with them is about seeing if they have chemistry with the band, and it's disappointing that no one wanted to play with him (considering that Phil Ritchie, Patrice Pike, Jill, and now Josh have had less than success with pairing up with the Supernovians, is it any wonder? - Tammy).

Encore time, and the band says they had difficulty choosing between such great performances, so they have two encores. First is Lukas, who gets his first encore and repeats his stellar performance of "Creep". Magni becomes the first to earn multiple encores, and this time does "The Dolphins Cry" plugged in with the House Band.

Brooke Burke next announces the rockers who were in the bottom 3 at some point during the voting period. She calls up Jill, Josh, Zayra, Patrice and Ryan, the latter announcement getting loud gasps of "WHAT?!" The first rocker in the final bottom three is ... not Zayra, who is told to sit down. It's Jill. She decides to sing "Respect" because rock is based on the blues, and she wants to rock it out. And what she does instead is oversing it like she's on American Idol or at a wedding reception. Her vocals are spot on, but seriously, if Supernova booted Matt for doing Duran Duran, you'd think they'd offer up the same punishment for doing Aretha Franklin the way Jill did.

Next up singing for his life is Josh, making Tommy the hatchet-man in more ways than one, since Josh is the second consecutive singer to play with Tommy and land in the bottom 3. Josh sings "Shooting Star" by Bad Company and head bobs while playing guitar, which is partly what landed him in the bottom 3. The difference this time, though, is he sings very clearly this time, without the nasal affectation that hurt his singing voice on "Interstate Love Song". Rounding out the bottom 3 is Ryan, who went from earning the encore last week to hitting the bottom 3 for the first time this week (Is it wrong that I loved how his landing in the B3 was met with boos by the crowd...Patrice probably felt a wee bit unpopular...heh). Jason Newsted wonders if he's confusing people with his two different sides. Ryan, who says "this should be fun", chooses "Enjoy The Silence", the announcement of which brings a roar from the crowd. He hopes the crowd cheers as loud after he's done. And they should because the way he modernized that song was wicked! He even survived nearly falling off the stage when he either lost his balance or some idiot fangirl tried to pull him down from the stage.

After noting that Ryan's movements on stage are a bit questionable (I'm guessing it's the herky-jerky lurching backward thing), Supernova tells him that he want to see him have another chance and sends him back to safety, leaving Josh and Jill to face the chopping block. Hatchet-man Tommy Lee says "this has never happened before" and cuts both Josh and Jill. Tommy apparently didn't watch Rock Star: INXS last year when INXS dropped both Heather and Daphna on the same night. The two take it well, and Josh (who looks more relieved than upset) breaks the tension by asking "Does this mean I can't go to Vegas?" With that, Jason tells them that their spirit will be missed and that they will do just fine after this.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Selling The Drama

Week after week, you could always count on Zayra Alvarez to bring the dramatics to Rock Star: Supernova. But in the Top 10 show, not even a gold lame' catsuit with monster platform stilettos and a huge top hat could top the dramatics from an unexpected source.

Dilana
"Won't Get Fooled Again"

Liza: Loved Dilana's look tonight. She looked stunning. And she looked totally natural up there playing with Gilby Clarke. Like Dave Navarro said, it was like seeing a rock show, not an audition.It was a bit weird to hear her singing with Gilby, though, since her voice is much huskier than his (haha).
Score: 9.7
Tammy: I think I may have been watching a different show. This was Dilana's most average and surprisingly ho-hum performance. She looked very good, but she was outshone by several performers tonight. The song didn't seem like something that Dilana was comfortable with.
Score: 8.3

Jill Gioia
"Mother Mother"
Liza: And on the complete opposite spectrum, Jill comes up with the worst outfit possible. The half-up, half-down boots made her look about 3 feet tall. Her makeup was an abomination. And her movement on stage is so bizarre and awkward; at times she looked like she was doing interpretive dance. The whole thing just came across as desperate.
Score: 5.5
Tammy: I think we know what Avril Lavigne will look like in 15 years. I actually liked her makeup and hair, however. But the hair seemed to be putting on a show in itself, what with her frequent head tossing. The jump off the stage was a cool trick, and she seems desperate to win this band over. She is just so not right for this band, though, and her vocals suffered as she flailed about the stage.
Score: 7.3

Ryan Star
"Paint It Black"

Liza: Performance art? "Interesting" was about the only thing I could think of immediately after watching it. I don't quite know what to think, but I do appreciate the unexpected dramatics and uniqueness. I mean, if I can dig Zayra's dramatics, I certainly can dig Ryan combining that fabulous voice with the dramatics.
Score: 8.0
Tammy: I thought this was freaking AMAZING. Once I got past the initial 'WTF is this?' moment, I just thought it was the coolest thing ever, and Ryan is definitely doing everything he can to not just be 'another competitor'. This boy wants to be remembered, and he definitely accomplished that with this performance. The leaps, the makeup, and the
strong vocals thoughout all added up to something spectacular.
Score: 9.8

Storm Large
"We Are The Champions"
Liza: This is a HARD song to sing. I know this because I tried and failed miserably during karaoke. And because I watched J.D. Fortune crash and burn on this last year. I was getting a bit worried for Storm in the beginning, but she sang it well. And the part where she harmonized in the middle was flat-out AWESOME and even got the normally stone-faced Ryan Star on his feet.
Score: 9.0
Tammy: Storm did well, but I didn't think she knocked it out of the park. This is a song that calls for theatrics, and since she's been criticized for doing that while she performed, she kept that aspect to a minimum. She did an admirable job, but is capable of doing better.
Score: 8.5

Zayra Alvarez
"All The Young Dudes"
Liza: Huh. Who let Daphna Dove back into this competition? Zayra brought out the zany costumes once again and somehow managed to walk in those crazy stilletos. Bonus points for that, I guess. I thought her vocals sounded relatively good (emphasis on the relative), and I love that Magni played with her; that was a nice touch.
Score: 7.4
Tammy: Zayra usually can make up for her weak vocals with her sass onstage, but tonight she seemed a bit 'off', and wasn't up to the usual level of cosmic insanity that we're used to seeing. Perhaps the shoes can be blamed for that. This might be last time we see her particular brand of crazy on the Rock Star stage, unless alien planets are suddenly allowed to participate in the voting process.
Score: 6.7

Josh Logan
"Interstate Love Song"
Liza: Josh got a big surprise when Tommy decided to join him. But unfortunately for Josh, it just emphasized his own mellow-ness, and the sharp contrast was unnerving. It didn't help that he dropped a line, picked up Phil's head bobbing and Lukas' mush mouth.
Score: 7.0
Tammy: The head bobbing did bug and seemed very out of place with this song. Josh just wasn't convincing singing 'Interstate Love Song', and didn't rise to the challenge of having Tommy onstage with him.
Score: 7.4

Magni
"The Dolphins Cry"

Liza: WOW. Accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, Magni sounded incredible! I think that was the vocal performance of the season. Too bad his adorable baby had the sound-reducing headphones on. He would have heard quite the treat.
Score: 9.8
Tammy: The best Magni has been all season! Last week his vocals were nothing impressive, but this song seemed like a perfect fit for The Iceman. Wow, indeed!
Score: 9.5

Patrice Pike
"Instant Karma"
Liza: Patrice is sporting horrible hair for the second week in a row, but this kind of music really suits her. She sounded good and looked very comfortable and natural up there singing this type of song.
Score: 8.4
Tammy: This is the best Patrice has sounded on Rock Star, aside from 'My Iron Lung'. Choosing to play the guitar seemed like a poor choice, as it cut down on her showmanship as she performed. And yes, she really does need some sort of hair intervention.
Score: 8.8

Lukas Rossi
"Creep"
Liza: How well did Lukas do? You just needed to see Dilana's face to find out. Her stone face as the judges gushed said it all. And even though I like Dilana, I couldn't help but laugh because you just know that she "helped" Lukas pick that song with the expectation that he would crash and burn. I fully expected Lukas to nail this song in the face of the challenge, and he did. The high notes were a bit problematic, and his Peepers movements still make me laugh (and not in a good way), but the rest of the song was terrific.
Score: 9.7
Tammy: I both got chills and felt lightheaded watching this performance. Lukas killed this song, and completely erased the memory of 'Celebrity Skin' away. What a performer! As he staggered across the stage and hit the money notes, he had the crowd in the palm of his hand. Winner of this show or not, the boy is already a rockstar.
Score: 9.9

Toby Rand
"Burning Down The House"

Liza: That was a hard act to follow, and Toby looked like an amateur after Lukas. And then he completely lost it by bringing out the bullhorn as if J.D.'s mojo would rub off on him. Um, no. And the sirens were just gimmicky. The only part of the whole gimmick I liked was having Zayra
bring it to him like she was presenting a prize on the Price is Right.
Score: 7.0
Tammy: For me, this was Toby's best performance of the season. For once, he had some personality onstage, and completely sold his song with his high level of energy and intensity. The bullhorn didn't offend, but he had to know that anyone who brought that thing out during any performance this season was going to get the 'JD already did that' card pulled on him. Silly boy.
Score: 9.4

Who Should Be The Bottom Three
Liza: Jill, Toby, Josh
Tammy: Jill, Zayra, Josh

Who Will Be The Bottom Three
Liza: Jill, Toby, Zayra
Tammy: Jill, Zayra, Patrice

Who Should Be Eliminated
Liza: Jill
Tammy: Jill

Who Will Be Eliminated
Liza: Jill
Tammy: Jill

Saturday, August 05, 2006

BB Live Feed Spoilers - Spinning A Tangled Web

WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS. If you don't want to know what is going on in the live feeds for Big Brother: All-Stars, don't read this! (thanks to Mortys TV, Hamster Time, and TWoP for all the juicy details)







Thursday's episode of BB: All-Stars ended with an endurance HoH competition. After the show went off the air, the rules to the contest changed a bit, and the houseguests had to hang from the ropes of the spiderweb. With Will and Boogie already out, James was next to fall, then Kaysar, Marcellas and Chicken George. Beefcake Howie tried to hang in there, but he couldn't last. As soon as he had to drop off, Danielle told Erika to drop and she'll keep her safe, so Erika dropped, leaving Danielle as the HoH winner.

Never one to refrain from stirring the pot, Danielle concocted a plan to get rid of Janelle and throw the Season 6 alliance into utter turmoil. She enlisted her not-so-secret alliance partner James (who seems to be working deals with every person in the house. Typical James. Some things never change) into being a pawn against Janelle. The thinking here is that James is the Veto King and can prevent Janelle from saving herself in the veto competition. Stupidly, James agrees to this. And wasn't it just last week that Danielle was villifying Janelle for putting up Erika, saying that you always put two people up who you want to go home? Uh, yeah.

So after Danielle makes her nominations, James goes into the bug room with Janelle, Howie and Kaysar to stew over the nominations. What makes the Season 6 crew so beloved is their attitudes. Even while being attacked, they can laugh about it. They started throwing hats around, reacreating their scene from last season after Jen screwed Kaysar over with her nominations. The hat throwing escalated into a pillow fight and giggle fest. Anyway, James pretends to be pissed and bitter and apparently does an Emmy-award winning performance in convincing the rest of S6 that he is with them when he's secretly plotting their demise.

They discuss who will play for veto, and neither Howie nor Kaysar would commit to removing one or the other. Kaysar tells Janelle that he won't say he'll play for her (or James) because he doesn't want to favor one over the other, especially if he doesn't end up winning the veto. So if they say they'll play for Janelle but then don't win, James will see that as a slap in the face, and it will break up the alliance. Howie and Kaysar are playing a team game. Janelle misinterprets this as they won't use the veto if they win, so she chooses Marcellas to play for her. The hell?! Not only is it dumb because Marcellas either won't win or won't take her off the block, but it also exposes Kaysar and Howie in case someone does come off. If Kaysar or Howie won the veto, they are at least safe. And there's no way Howie would not take Janie off. I thought Kaysar probably wouldn't either.

Until later that night when he was having a rant-fest/heart-to-heart with James. From reading the transcripts, you can pretty much tell that Kaysar has been carrying a massive amount of guilt for what happened with James last season and that he promised himself that he would not make James feel like the fourth wheel in their alliance. And that's why he wouldn't commit to Janelle that he would use POV on her. He's also very angry at Danielle for screwing James over. Hearing all of that and knowing that in a conversation the other day, Kaysar (and Janelle as well) said that he had a serious case of depression after the show ended last year, it was just heartbreaking to know that James is screwing him over. And I'm sure it pained Kaysar to not throw himself on the sword (AGAIN) for Janelle. And for what? Loyalty to a snake? Pfffft.

Kaysar just isn't meant to play this game. He's too good and too honorable, and he naively thinks that if you treat someone with respect, they will respect you back. I wish it were like that, but sadly, it isn't. And he ends up looking like a fool because he trusts the wrong people. If James had any ounce of the integrity he claims he has, he'd feel guilty about this whole thing and work it hard to get Danielle to not nominate Kaysar after Janelle wins veto (Nominate Marcellas! He's a snake!). And if he doesn't do this, I hope his ass is grass on Thursday. It would serve him and Danielle right.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

All About Mia

Benji, Heidi, Donyelle and Travis made it to the finals of So You Think You Can Dance. But not before judge Mia Michaels ripped Heidi to shreds, tore into Donyelle and pointed out Benji's limitations. On a result show. When they weren't judging.

And you thought Nigel Lythgoe was the mean judge.

The result show the week before the finale is supposed to be a celebration of the contestants' run in the show. On American Idol, the Top 3 result show is always where they show hometown footage. It's the most feel-good show of the whole season. They don't do hometown footage on SYTYCD (and it would be foolish to do so, especially since five of the six finalists are from Southern California. It would be like the sad "homecoming" footage that was Katharine McPhee's video.), so you'd think that at least the judges could talk about how great the dancers are and all that.

But no. I think it started with Nigel saying Natalie was great but that she lost some of her spark when Musa left. And Mia retaliated by throwing Heidi under an Army tank. After Nigel and Mary praised Heidi for being the most improved dancer in the competition, Mia agreed that she was the most improved but that she is shocked Heidi was still in the competition because she's not versatile. Mia went on to insinuate that she dumbed down the choreography for her and Travis' first contemporary number. In last night's show, Mia praised Heidi to the high heavens. So I don't get where these comments are coming from, especially on a night like this. And the way she said it to was so smug and evil. She had this shit-eating grin on her face while she said "I AM shocked you are still here", and if you were only watching her talk, you'd have thought she was praising her or that there was a joke coming. Heidi put on a brave face, but you could tell she was devastated. Thank goodness Cat shut the convo down or Mia would have continued to flatten Heidi.

Mia also picked on Donyelle, criticizing her for not improving in the show, saying that Donyelle started the show like a "lightning bolt" and has just stayed the same the last few weeks. Mary leaped to Donyelle's defense, bringing up Donyelle's toe injury, and Mia argued back that everyone else has been injured as well. And then they started mock cat-fighting, which led to Nigel propping an elbow up on the table and leaning on it while shaking his head in embarrassment.

When it came to Travis, there weren't enough words in the dictionary for Mia to praise him, saying it would be a priviledge for her to choreograph and work with him for the rest of his career. Apparently, they have worked together in the past, so she's not exactly impartial. Not that Travis doesn't deserve the praise, but it reeks of favoritism to me when she has nothing bad to say about him while tearing down the others. She was gushy when it came to Ivan as well, which is fine, but when you talk about Heidi, who has been one of the best dancers on this show, especially in the last couple of weeks, not being versatile and say absolutely nothing about Ivan not being versatile, that's kinda messed up.

And with Benji, she started off by saying that she was going to start with a negative, as if she felt like she had to criticize. She pointed out that Benji has limitations as a dancer and that she was disappointed in realizing that when she worked with him. But despite that, he's a star and "pretty friggin' special". I'm not down with critical comments in a non-judging portion of the show, but at least she tried to balance it with Benji. She should have done the same with everyone else. There was no balance with her comments for Heidi and Donyelle.

The winner of this show is going to get a one-year contract to dance on Celine Dion's show in Las Vegas. That's Mia's show. It's pretty damn obvious that she wants Travis to be the winner. By throwing the other three finalists under the bus like that, I think she may instead achieve the opposite effect of what she wants. But then again, I've been calling Benji for the win since early in the competition.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lose Yourself

The Top 11 performance show of Rock Star: Supernova found some of the favorites losing steam, another contender losing herself in front of Tommy Lee, one losing his composure, and one losing his religion while finding himself.


Patrice Pike
"Higher Ground"

Tammy: Paired with Tommy Lee this week, Patrice had to step up her game to be able share the stage with the dynamic drummer. Did she? Not really. Patrice did her best to stand out, with her mohawk and frequent visits back to the drumkit, but she seemed very limited vocally on this song and failed to bring any real energy to the stage. Fairly lacklustre overall in comparison to her killer 'My Iron Lung' performance last week.
Overall score - 8.0
Liza: Patrice was on stage for this performance? Wow. I hardly noticed. All eyes were on Tommy to begin with, and she didn't do much to bring some of the attention around her way. I wasn't even all that impressed with the vocals.
Overall score - 7.2

Josh Logan
"Santeria"

Tammy: Josh 'played it safe' this week and stuck to his bluesy vibe, with a result that was spectacular. He appeared completely comfortable and engaging, and vocally was the best he's been on the show. Though he's no 'rocker', there's no questioning the boy's talent.
Overall score - 9.5
Liza: Ahh, here's the Josh I love. This was a perfect fit for him, and he proved his worth tonight. He still hasn't proven that he's the right fit for the band, but I'd rather hear this kind of singing than some of the caterwauling I heard later on in the show.
Overall score - 8.9

Dilana
"Can't Get Enough "

Tammy: On a rather 'meh' song, Dilana did her best to 'rock it up', and gave the judges a minor lapdance midsong (as if they somehow needed to be won over when it came to her). Dilana was just okay tonight, though she does provide some of the more entertaining moments of the show.
Overall score - 7.8
Liza: While I was glad to see a more happy song come out of Dilana, I've gotta say that she's not quite suited for those happy, fun songs. She's best when she's being intensely dark and sinister. But she did well with it, and I liked how she worked the entire floor. The pants, though, well, that's another story. Ew!
Overall score - 8.3

Toby Rand
"Pennyroyal Tea"

Tammy: Toby seems to be stuck in a rut. Every performance seems to be the same, from the death grip on the mic, to the way he works the stage. He'll need to dig deep to bring something new, because at this point he's getting predictable, and it's doubtful that two hours of that would provide much excitement.
Overall score - 8.0
Liza: Yeah, I'm kind of with you on that one, Tammy. I thought he had fantastic vocals, but I was not feeling the wandering into the crowd thing on THAT song. And I was not nearly as enthused about his hugging the stranger at the end as she was. I thought it was really cheesy to do that.
Overall score - 8.1

Zayra Alvarez
"867-5309"

Tammy: Vocally, Zayra continues to have her issues (okay, I'd be hard pressed to find a week where she didn't. And yet...it's difficult not to watch this girl. She owns the stage, and has a baffling level of confidence, considering that this is a singing competition, and that particular area is not so much her strong suit. Hopefully she sticks around for a few weeks longer, as she has half the package, which is more than many of them.
Overall score - 8.4
Liza: As I said about Josh, I'd rather see some of the unpredictability and stage show (and outfits!!) that Zayra brings than the caterwauling of others. I have done such a 360 in regards to this girl. I wanted her gone right away, and now I want her to stay a few weeks more for the sheer entertainment value. As far as the performance goes, I kind of dug that arrangement. She definitely turned it into her own, as she always does!
Overall score - 7.8

Magni
"Clocks"

Tammy: This seemed like a poor song choice for Magni. Vocally, it was an ill fit, and he seemed lifeless as he sang. Overall, very forgettable. Looking very sharp this week, however.
Overall score - 8.0
Liza: I thought Dave and company went a bit overboard on their praise for Magni's vocals. His falsetto made me cringe. Great song, though, and the whole bit about missing his family was touching. If there was any question of Magni's desire to be in the competition, he gave the perfect answer. I also gotta give Magni some props for not buying into the whole boys vs. girls bullshit. He seems like an all-around good guy.
Overall score - 8.0

Jill Gioia
"Don't You (Forget About Me)"

Tammy: After a performance like that, Jill will be hoping we'll forget. It was a forced, oversung mess that stank of desperation. Once again, Jill got the smackdown from the judges, which is unfortunate, because she seems like one of the few who actually wants this gig.
Overall score - 6.7
Liza: Oof. She may as well have changed the lyrics to "Please Do (Forget About That)". That may have been the single worst thing I have seen on this stage this year. It was screechy, it was pitchy, it was too loud, it was sung all kinds of wrong. And her stage antics scream Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader. And you know it's bad when Storm, the most supportive rocker there, can hardly muster up any applause.
Overall score - 3.5

Ryan Star
"Losing My Religion"

Tammy: The show instantly goes from 'meh' to 'WOW' as Ryan appears midstage in front of a piano and performs with his usual passion and intensity, enrapturing the other rockers in the process. It's obvious that behind a piano is his comfort zone, and he was able to channel a performance that will be remembered as one of this season's highlights.
Overall score - 9.7
Liza: Wow is right. That was chill-inducing. It was brilliantly sung and played. I loved the part where he banged on top of the piano. If you liked this performance, go buy Ryan's CD Songs From The Eye Of An Elephant. I just got it the other day. I saw a YouTube performance of Ryan singing "Losing Your Memory" in concert, and I bought the CD on the spot. It was a good impulse buy.
Overall score - 9.8

Lukas Rossi
"Celebrity Skin"

Tammy: From the get-go this performance seemed a bit off as Lukas struggled with his lyrics and kept turning his back towards the audience and running back to the drumkit. Vocally, Lukas seemed to have taken the criticism from last week to heart and there was considerably less 'growl' in his voice (I liked the growl, but apparently it's not roit for Our Band: Supernova, so I guess that's all that matters).
Overall score - 7.4
Liza: Dude, I felt like I was intruding upon a moment between Lukas and Nate the drummer. It may as well have been just Lukas and Nate in the studio there because that's who Lukas kept singing to. Nevermind the audience! And the few times he actually faced the audience, he had his eyes closed most of the time. It was heavily distracting.
Overall score - 6.8

Storm Large
"Changes"

Tammy: Though this performance had some lovely moments in it, the intro, which I imagine was supposed to be soulful and deep, came across as a bit...boring. I thought she could have sang that part better and added a bit more nuance to it, as the overall result was rather blah. Still, one of the better performances of the night.
Overall score - 8.6
Liza: Marcia Cross, I mean Storm, sounded great, and I liked the arrangement, even if it did sound a bit Broadway-esque. It was a nice change from the usual crazy eye, and, as Dave said, she showed her vulnerability and heart.
Overall score - 9.0

Dana Andrews
"Baba O'Riley"

Tammy: Dana suffers tonight from the inevitable 'who performed it better' comparison as she performs a song that Jordis Unga absolutely nailed in the first season of Rock Star. Though she did an admirable job, Dana still comes across as a little girl who's playing dress up and doing everything she can to prove that she's 'rock'. She's like Ashlee Simpson, except that she can, you know, sing.
Overall score - 8.2
Liza: Heh. Ditto to all of the above. Dana's outfit made her look like she was in a high school airband contest or something. The vocals were well done, but anyone who watched Rock Star: INXS last year can't help but unfavorably compare Dana to Jordis, whose kick-ass performance of this song launched the season with a huge bang.
Overall score - 8.0

Who Should Be Bottom 3
Tammy: Jill, Lukas, Dilana
Liza: Jill, Lukas, Patrice

Who Will Be Bottom 3
Tammy: Jill, Toby, Zayra
Liza: Jill, Zayra, Patrice

Who Should Be Eliminated
Tammy: Jill
Liza: Jill

Who Will Be Eliminated
Tammy: Jill
Liza: Jill