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Rockstar: Supernova - Week 7
Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2006, 10:30

Another week down but surprisingly the quality slipped a bit for me this week. Out of the eight performances I wrote off two of them as being this side of mediocre. The news from last week's behind the scenes was that Zayra and Ryan fought for the right to perform their own composition. Ryan was pretty much emotionally blackmailed in to letting Zayra do it but since the trap-door is wide-open, she has nothing to lose.

For Toby, the chance to perform with Gilby was make-or-break for him. Dilana expressed interest in performing with the guitarist for the second time (on Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill") but I think she did this more for show given the criticism that the wannabes have taken for not fighting to perform with the Supernova stars each week. She eventually agreed to hand over the tune if Toby ran around the swimming pool naked. He did. Thank God for pixelated camera effects.

So first of all let's run down the eight performances from the weekly audition and rank their performances as per my own tastes. You can click on the hyperlinks to see the actual performances. Note that this was an acoustic week with a string section accompanying all performances.

The recap
8. Patrice (Message in a Bottle) - This just didn't work at all for Patrice. I've liked some of the stuff she has done recently in the same way that I liked Chris Farley movies - not a bad way to waste time but there's not too much satisfaction to be gleaned from it either. Sting's vocals are never going to be easy to do and indeed she struggled through the chorus, making several notes sound like they were being played at the wrong speed. The crowd didn't look to be particularly in to it either and while the band weren't that scathing they didn't seem to be overly-impressed either, Gilby was disappointed that Patrice didn't mess with the arrangement enough. It could be too late for her though as I doubt she will survive this week.

7. Storm (I Will Survive) - On the last behind-the-scenes, Storm was shown to be having sleepless nights about what she was going to do with this tired and over-played Gloria Gaynor classic. What she did - a semi-dirty, "slightly-messed-up" arrangement - did not go down well with the band at all. The crowd ate it up but Dave said "I hated that". Tommy said "I thought that was sautéed in wrong sauce and I kinda want my money back". Not only was it not funny but it doesn't even make sense. Gilby agreed: "I didn't like it either". I think she'll survive this (ironically!) but it was a "spanking". I don't think it was as bad as they made out though.

6. Toby (Solsbury Hill) - I like Toby but he seems to be morphing more and more in to Robbie Williams every week - but with a better voice. This is of course a quite brilliant Peter Gabriel track that was not easy to perform and he did an admirable job. He sung it well, punctuated the performance with some yelps and played tom-toms at the end! Not bad but he does seem to have lost the sheen of his early performances.

5. Zayra (Lluvia de Mar) - You're kidding me? Up to fifth place and Zayra only appearing now? Well, this was a strange performance. Definitely her best but that is because she performed her own Spanish-language song, "Lluvia de Mar". She really looked at home, was spot-on vocally and clearly passionate about what was a really beautiful song. Lovely dress too. But strangely her best performance also underlined that Zayra is not for this band - like we needed another reminder. Actually, and I don't mean this as a slight on her, it would be a brilliant Eurovision entry. If only Dallas were in Europe.

4. Magni (Starman) - What is it with all the Bowie music? The band continuously go on about how they are a "dirty" rock band but yet they keep wheeling out Bowie songs for the contestants? Where's the Guns N' Roses, Aerosmith or Motley Crue songs? Anyway Magni came out in a white suit and once again did the business with another engaging, note-perfect turn - I especially loved the way he sung "let the children lose it" - beautiful vocal. I'd probably use this description for the three contenders coming up but he is extremely charismatic on stage and that's a quality that is key to getting this gig.

3. Ryan (In The Air Tonight) - Proving that short, bald men write great music too, Ryan threw his unpredictable talent at Phil Collins' 80s classic. Ryan has received praise for "changing it up" for the last three weeks and he once again was successful here, adding recently-revealed intensity and charisma to his excellent vocals. The echo-effect (microphone reverb?) on his vocals added to the atmosphere and the repeated shots of the pretty red-head in the front row looking overawed surely added to his growing mystique.

2. Lukas (Hero) - Oh I really don't like this song - that lad from Nickleback sung it, didn't he? Lukas actually made it more interesting than it has any right to be despite sitting on his ass, playing the acoustic guitar. what was interesting was that instead of the grim snarl of previous weeks, he actually forced a smile and looked to be genuinely enjoying himself. The odd bum note probably ensured that he finished second in my list this week but it was pretty much awesome.

1. Dilana (Cat's in the Cradle) - Hmmm. It's getting difficult to find the right placement for the top three or four. I must have swapped Lukas, Ryan and Dilana around several times before settling on their final positions. Dilana just has it all. She's got an amazing voice - great in a high or low register as Gilby said - presence, sexiness, a connection with the audience. It's like Tina Turner meets Linda Perry (of 4 Non Blondes) - bit better than the Bonnie Tyler comparison that someone suggested to me last week! It's really hard to see past the top four but each week it becomes more and more obvious to me that Lukas and Dilana are heading for a final week showdown.

So my tip for bottom three are as above - Patrice, Storm and Toby. It's possible that Zayra may slip in there, not because her performance was bad but simply because it's obvious she's not going to win the competition.

The next night
The first surprise of the night was the news that Supernova were going to perform for the first time ever! They showed clips of each of the eight remaining contestants in the recording studio putting vocals on the band's original track, "Leave the Lights On". Back on the show, the band selected Dilana to perform on stage with them. And I'll tell you something - not even her talent can save this one. If this is a sign of things to come, Supernova can kiss goodbye to any success outside of the initial publicity. It was the blandest rock song I've heard in ages - possibly since Slash's Snakepit's dire "Five O'Clock Somewhere" album in 1994. The band need a songwriter - and that might be Lukas. But anyway, long way to go.

The encore performance went to Ryan once again with "In the Air Tonight" and that was probably a fair decision given the progress he has made in the last three weeks.

By the end of last night's show, Zayra, Toby and Patrice were in the bottom three. Over the next 24 hours Storm and ... get this ... Magni (!!) were in the bottom three at some point. Yeah, that just doesn't make sense. Haven't they got phones in Iceland? When the lines closed the bottom three were Zayra, Patrice and, yes, Magni. I'm amazed, I really am. I take it that's the power of the Australian vote lifting Toby above Magni. My tip here? Patrice.

So here we go. Zayra is first up and after her best performance last night with an original tune, she decides to take another risk and perform a song by a band called Blue October called "Razorblade". What followed was another bloody good performance. Hey, I'm digging her now. She's like a Latin Dolores O'Riordan. There's life in this young dog yet, purely for entertainment value.

Patrice was next with Hole's "Celebrity Skin", a tune that Lukas made a hash of a few weeks ago. She actually did quite well, taking a now-familiar walk over to where the band were and getting right in their face. You know, that performance could have saved her.

Magni (call a nurse for me, seriously) also took a tune that Lukas did before - only last week actually - "Creep". This guy just oozes class, strutting around the stage, nuzzling in to Patrice and Zayra as he sang the appropriate line "What the hell am I doing here?/I don't belong here". He finished the track by lying flat out on the stage before sitting up to address the crowd on an intimate one-to-many basis as he finished off the track. Brilliant - very different to Lukas' vocals but wouldn't it be boring if we were all the same?

Time to pick our loser. "You were brilliant last night and you were brilliant tonight. You are so far from going home," Gilby told Magni. What a relief. God knows why he was voted in to the bottom three anyway as he has been consistently good since the second week.

The verdict on Patrice? "You have potential for Supernova," Tommy told her. Stick the fork in Zayra - she's done.

I have to say I'm actually sorry to see her go. I agree that Zayra did not have potential for Supernova (which is essentially what Tommy was saying in the above line) but she grew week after week and finished with her two best performances. Her wildcat and unpredictable performances became better honed and more finely tuned towards the end and it's possible that she may find some sort of fame, albeit under the radar. Expect a MySpace community to rally around her any moment....now!

For Patrice it's another chance that I doubted last week she'd get but her "Celebrity Skin" was pretty good. She will probably only win if everyone else on the show dies but it's probably right in the cold light of day that she is here longer than Zayra.

How they rate
07. (07) Patrice - She was in the bottom three due to a fairly crap performance but saved herself with a fairly good one. Common sense dictates that she will be next to go.
06. (06) Storm - It was an unmitigated disaster for Storm but the public like her, as do I. Actually she's starting to look like Geri Haliwell.
05. (04) Toby - The slide continues for Toby after a competent performance but I just don't see the same progress that I've seen in the others.
04. (05) Ryan - He's reeling off some memorable performances these days and "In the Air Tonight" was another. He has replaced Toby at the bottom of the A-list.
03. (03) Magni - Another great week for the Icelandic who might suffer from the Canada/America bias towards the stars above him. More importantly though the band love him and that'll ensure that he'll survive any elimination round until the last few weeks anyway.
02. (02) Dilana - Great performance this week and she did her best with a dire Supernova original. I have a related reason for Lukas being number one...
01. (01) Lukas - Even the clips of Lukas singing "Leave the Lights On" in the recording studio sounded "dope" (as Tommy might say 100 times a show). A few weeks ago when the singers were asked to put their own melody and lyrics to the chords on "Leave the Lights On", the band picked Lukas' out as the best. And it sounded better than what the band wrote themselves in my opinion. I think he has the character, flair and ability that the band need to be successful.

Week seven in the bag. It was dope! Seriously.

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