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Rockstar: Supernova - Week 9
Wednesday, Sept. 13 2006, 17:13

Week 9 and with Patrice gone it looks like we are down to the cream of the crop. Any of the remaining six - Magni, Lukas, Toby, Ryan, Storm or Dilana could front Supernova. This week, once again, the performances were ace. If last week's worst was an impressive ***/5, then this week the worst performance probably warranted ***1/2.

But first of all there were some dramatics. The verbal pounding Dilana got from the band, and the others, regarding her behaviour at the "media clinic", finally caught up with her and for the first time we saw the usually calm Dilana lose her head. Emotions were running high when she stormed away at the sight of a camera moving towards her back at the mansion. Her decision to immaturely smash a glass on the ground led to a fragment hitting Magni on the head and causing him to bleed down his face.

When Storm told Dilana what had happened to Magni she fell in to an uncontrollable emotional collapse, barely able to talk. No one could believe it. "She's had one of the sweetest rides out of any of us," Toby said. Lukas intimated that perhaps Dilana was showing she could not cope with the pressure and that the band would see this as a reason not to put her in front of them. I thought it was a bit of an unnecessary thing to say, competition or not. He pretty much stopped to her level. I've never heard Magni, Toby, Storm or Ryan say anything negative about anyone in the house.

After the apologies a more sedate Dilana gathered with the others in the song selection room. A large TV screen told them that the Internet fans had picked the songs for them this week - giving them tracks already performed on Rockstar by others. I have to say that this disappoints me - and I was to be disappointed further during the elimination round for the same reason. I've heard these songs already. I'd like to hear new songs now.

With the songs chosen by others, there was no bickering... on to the show...

The final six. You can click on the hyperlinks to see the actual performances.

The recap
6. Magni (I Alone) - The Live classic makes a return to the stage after Ryan's disappointing performance back in week 5 (the last mediocre one from him). Magni is placed last by default really. The performance was pretty good, plenty of presence and energy. But I still think there's something about this song that just doesn't work live. Even when Live do it. On that basis I give Magni a thumbs up.

5. Storm (Bring me to Life) - The third appearance of this pretty decent song from Evanescence and Storm decided to get some help singing a very difficult song from Toby, who took up backing vocal duties. Gilby made the point - but Toby took some of the focus off Storm with his energetic turn directly behind her - I remembered him more than her. Pretty cool effort but once again it was just Storm - sexy, talented, beautiful voice, bow-leggedness, dirty grimace. I'm not sure there's enough there...

4. Ryan (Clocks) - After tonight the list of great Ryan performances can't be counted on one hand anymore. You can add "Clocks" to "Losing My Religion", "Paint it Black", "In the Air Tonight", "Enjoy the Silence" and "Back of Your Car". Starting out with a curious piano and vocal intro, he soon leaped in to action with the full band, jumping up on top of the piano and belting out the first verse before leaping to the stage and going total loco. He returned to the piano with a suave slide across the top again before finishing up there on his knees. Quite spectacular. Dave loved it ... Gilby loved it (his face during the performance was priceless) ... Jason didn't. He made the somewhat valid point that Ryan "loses the plot" when he leaves his comfort zone of the piano. He received some boos for it too, to which he didn't look very pleased. Jason is a bit arrogant.

3. Lukas (Lithium) - "I don't even like Nirvana," Lukas complained when forced to do "Lithium". There was also the added needle of the fact that Dilana did a great version of this at the beginning of the series. But he need not have worried because he pulled out a brilliant version, slightly re-arranged with a harder, punkier edge. His vocals were great and his performance was surprisingly assured considering he wasn't keen on the song. In the pre-song interview (which you can see above) he said: "Before I came here I was working at Hooters, man. I was flippin' chicken wings." Nice interview - showed the other side of this moody singer.

2. Dilana (Mother Mother) - Jill did an ok version of this back in week 6 but it always looked like Dilana would greatly improve on it despite her rather emotionally black week. Indeed there was nothing to fault in it and it was a staggering performance considering the background against which it was performed. There was some cool guitar work, a few high kicks, some head-banging, gymnastics with the bass player and the usual incredible vocals. Everything about her on-stage performance oozes legitimacy, credibility and cool. Dave said "out of two seasons of Rockstar, that might be my favourite performance". He's probably not far wrong - it was great. She's still a bit of a fake though.

1. Toby (Rebel Yell) - Technically this might not have been better than Dilana's but his improvement in the last fortnight can't be ignored and he is deserving of the recognition. Lukas did this earlier in the season and I think this might have been better. Vocally he nailed it with the low parts in the verse and the higher parts in the chorus. Toby has tons of charisma to partner with his singing talent and with his performances getting better honed, he's put himself back in the running again. But here is where he clinched it. During the mid-section he pulled about half-a-dozen women up from the crowd to jump excitedly behind him. What a great visual and the band absolutely creamed themselves about it. Definite contender for one of my top ten favourite performances of the series.

It's gonna be a tough job picking a bottom three from the above as there were no bad performances at all. I figure Magni will find himself there for a third time, Storm will struggle to stay out and it'll be a toss up between Toby and Ryan as both have had flirtations with the bottom three.

The next night
Due to a "recording malfunction" I missed the first 20 minutes of the show but I tuned in just in time to see Lukas perform "It's On" with Supernova - another new song! Let's hope the third song is as much an improvement over the second that it was over the first.

Thankfully, again, it was. Pretty good chorus and an excellent mid-song bridge too. They've gone 180 degrees from where that first awful track "Leave the Lights On" was. If they have any sense they'll leave that as a B-side. Lukas did a good job and it was interesting to see him front the band. There is star quality there, for sure.

Toby deservedly sung the encore for his storming version of "Rebel Yell" (Lukas got the encore with his performance too - is this song the secret to success??). But would it all go wrong for Toby - would he be in the bottom three?

The bottom three at the end of the show were revealed. Ryan, Storm....and Lukas. Lukas' first time in the bottom three. But there were to be more added by the time the phone lines closed. Also finding themselves in the bottom three at some point were Toby and ... Dilana! Dilana also making her debut in the bottom three, clearly a fan backlash after her vindictive behaviour of the previous couple of weeks.

The only person not standing was Magni, causing Dave to ask if presenter Boooke Burke had said "everyone with hair stand up". However, only three of the five were up for elimination and with Lukas and Toby taking their seats it was indeed to be a first bottom three appearance for Dilana along with repeat appearances for Ryan and Storm.

Ryan performed, yawn, The Who's "Baba O'Reilly" - a song already performed by Dana. He did a charismatically strong performance, adding a little bit extra to it with some champagne guzzling! Ryan really is cool.

Storm was next, performing "one of the first punk rock songs ever written" - "Helter Skelter". Got to say I was ultimately disappointed with her rocky performance (when you've seen Aerosmith perform this it's a hard act to follow) although her rampant personality and ad-libbing added something extra to it.

"Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads was Dilana's effort and, um, what a time to pull out your worst performance. Gilby said "you looked a little lost there". I wonder if she arrogantly only half-prepared the song thinking that she would not be chosen? The band looked utterly bemused by what they were seeing - even Tommy looked shocked by how poor it was. Jason just did that curious glare that is getting a bit trying at this point. "I screwed up ... this is my redemption," she said before she performed. Well I think I must have screwed up too and watching this was my redemption!

For me the elimination was a shock - Ryan was sent home. His last seven performances were all excellent and he's been the most consistent person on the show in the last 4-5 weeks. I think the band were a little dubious that he could carry off the "rock star" thing and they may have had a point but I would have as little faith in Storm and I thought he has been consistently better than she was. I wonder were they paranoid about having Dilana there on her own with four other guys amid possible charges of sexism?

Ryan sounded a little distraught about it, making some rambling reference to the fact that he and the band could have made 20 years of great music (Tommy Lee with his shirt off in his mid-60s!??!). But overall it was upsetting to see Ryan going because he went from also-ran to A-list in the space of a few weeks. When I compile my top ten performances he could have three performances in there.

How they rate
05. (05) Storm - Possibly kept on to lend some female assistance to Dilana but I would be surprised if she is in the Final Four.
04. (03) Magni - I still think Magni is A-list but Toby's improvement and the fact that Magni hasn't delivered anything that memorable has seen him lose a place this week.
03. (04) Toby - I suggested last week that it might be too late for him but "Rebel Yell" was his best performance and on the back of his excellent "Layla" too, he can't be ignored.
02. (02) Dilana - Obviously her mental state needs to be analysed and the band may worry about getting involved with her no matter how talented she is. There is also the obvious concern about her song-writing ability with Gilby none too impressed with her "cliché" approach to lyric writing. This is me pushing the boat out but if Dilana appears in the bottom three next week there is a slight chance that they may decide to cut her loose. Watch this space.
01. (01) Lukas - Lukas clings on having seen off the threat of Ryan "The dark horse" Star. The other dark horse he now has to contend with is Toby.

Next week will see the singers play a "set" - two songs each, one of which is to be an original song. This could be a killer show! Dope! Woo hoo!

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