This week, the remaining top eight appeared to be recovering from their visit to Sin City. The group toured "The Joint", the site for the New Year's Eve Supernova concert inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, were treated to a penthouse suite, and partied heartily. This week's song selection scuffle was one of the most entertaining yet, with Toby Rand being randy and getting naked for the honor to play with Gilby Clark. Yes, talk about commitment.
The elimination show began with a different twist this week. Instead of opening with an encore, Supernova opted to debut one of their songs the group and the contestants had worked on during the previous week. Dilana was selected to front the guys in this first debut performance. Supernova plans to utilize this approach as a way to gauge crowd approval, as well as their own reactions, playing as a working group with the chosen contestant as the lead singer. Tommy Lee and the band stressed they had not picked a winner already, stating this was only a test. The song was not quite what I was expecting from the band, but Dilana did a decent job, and she looked great.
Encore this week went, once again, to the intense Ryan Star. He performed Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" with passion and conviction, and proficiently showcased his vocal strengths.
Bottom three this week – Zayra, Patrice, and a big surprise to me, Magni.
This was a tough week – deciding the order of the contestants on the scoreboard – partly due to the fact most seemed a bit off their game. I attribute this condition to Las Vegas as well as throwing some blame on song selections. Gloria Gaynor, disco diva queen, mixed with rocker band creates a conflicting juxtaposition, like peanut butter on a cheeseburger. What will we see next, Lukas singing "Muskrat Love"?
Speaking of a conflicting mix, Supernova finally ruled that Zayra Alvarez was not the right talent to front them, and she got the Tommy hawk this week.
Ryan Star is my choice of front runner. Surprised, anyone? I watched and re-watched all of the performances; tough call this week (for me, at least). Ryan did a brilliant rendition of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight". I can imagine how very well he'd perform that one accompanying himself on piano. The guy has a great voice with excellent range. I'm also pleased to see his on-air attitude has mellowed toward his fellow contestants. Big help for him this week – no hairy hoodie – I hope he burned it, although he might consider selling it on eBay.
Dilana hit number two this week for two reasons: one, she flubbed her lyrics (and not one of the Supernova guys caught it), and two, the return of the 'witchy-poo' outfit. She sang "Cat's in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin, which, according to Dave Navarro, gave him chills. (I'm thinking the air-conditioning must have been on high and his nipple rings grew cold.) I did not get chills from the performance, but to Dilana's credit, she did deliver it with style, providing a modern rocker feel to the song. Her pronouncement, "I'm The One!" made me cringe thinking about the last time The One was utilized on a reality show. Bad reference; it's one title she should not associate her name with…
Magni is in third due to the song he selected. "Starman" by David Bowie, was just not a good choice. During footage from Tuesday night's program, he made the comment, "How I hate hungover song selection" and it showed. The song just did not allow enough of his Magni-ficent vocal prowess to shine through, and for that reason, I was disappointed in his performance. I thought he made great eye candy in the off-white suit he wore paired with a black t-shirt, but feeling the audience preferences, it wasn't a popular choice with them. During elimination – his first time in the bottom three – Magni performed "Creep" by Radiohead, a tune Lukas Rossi sang last week. Magni gave it soul, depth, emotion; this song showcased his amazing vocal talent. He has one of the best voices I have heard in rock in a long while. He brings U2's Bono to mind, that's how massive I'm perceiving this man's talent to be. The Iceman is fiery hot.
Lukas Rossi ended up at number four this week, performing "Hero" by Chad Kroeger. Lukas gave a stripped down performance (no, he didn't run around naked like Toby), seated in a simple chair with his guitar. I thought he performed the song well; overall, the vocals were good, but he lapsed somewhat into that clenching delivery Newsted doesn't approve of. I'm thinking Lukas delivered the song in this style to add rawness and edge to it, make it more his song, and take it outside of Kroeger's delivery. I liked Lukas's interpretation; Lukas gave "Hero" deeper intensity, added fierceness and more edge than Kroeger's version of his own song. Lukas has a sizeable following, but he needs to change it up to shock everyone and make it into the top spot. The Iceman is gaining ground.
Storm Large gave the Gloria Gaynor song "I Will Survive" an interesting change of pace. First watch, I did not like it; second viewing, I appreciated the artistic license she ran with and worked into the song. She obviously thought it out, from the spotlighting, the pin-striped suit, the out of the box vocal treatments. I mean, it's Gloria Gaynor, what can a rocker chick really make out of this song other than somewhat of a parody of the original? Dave Navarro declared he hated it, but after some of the comments he made throughout the show, I decided to not pay him much attention this week. After all, every performance from Toby on was "the best performance of the night". Word of advice, Navarro, wait until they're all through then make your pronouncements. I was struck how none of the guys liked this version, not one "got" what she was spinning for this song. Two things true: Ms. Large can sing, and she can handle the pressure.
Toby Rand lands in sixth place this week, even though he laid bare his body for the TV audience. Shy, not he. Toby showed his ultimate commitment to the band by taking up Dilana's dare that he run around the pool naked to get to play with Gilby Clark. (That sounds so wrong.) I thought his delivery of "Solsbury Hill" by Peter Gabriel felt rushed. He galloped through the song, possibly anxious to get to the bongo part, which he did do well and I liked. Good touch, mate. Tommy Lee was fascinated with Toby's running bare foray through the pool area. Three times, T. Lee said, "Nice a**". Toby seems a likeable guy, with a good voice, has a nice a**, but he pales in comparison to Magni.
Patrice Pike comes in seventh. I envision her next on the tomahawk chopping block next. She has talent, that's a definite, but she's not a sparkler, she doesn't emote enough fire, and Supernova will wash her out.
Zayra Alvarez bids adios this week. She pulled the original song selection. Zayra knew her time was very limited with Supernova and wanted to have her music heard, so she did her song, "Lluvia de Mar". I was happy Ryan let her have the spot, perhaps he, too, knew it was only right. She sang it beautifully, movingly. Zayra should be proud of her time on the show. As she said in her departing speech to the band, having her original material out for the world to hear, 'golden'. Perhaps she'll visit Deep Ellum in Big D to celebrate lasting as long as she did. Si, Chica, pura oro.
Josh Logan: Eliminated
Jill Gioia: Eliminated
Chris Pierson: Eliminated
Matt Hoffer: Eliminated