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TV Review: Rock Star: Supernova – Season Finale

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Rock Star: Supernova has ended more than their season and the competition, it looks like the very name, "Supernova" may be a thing of the past. For the time being, for me, the name remains the same.

The choice has been made on Rock Star. A lead singer from the pool of the fifteen original contestants has been chosen. I predicted Lukas Rossi to win the competition the first night I watched the show, written in my commentary, Rock Star: Supernova First Light.

Entering the Rock Star: Supernova final four finale, the format at first confused me — down to four? Last season on Rock Star: INXS, the finale featured the top three contestants. Reviewing the results of the past few weeks of Rock Star: Supernova, Week Nine had Ryan Star, Dilana, and Storm Large in the bottom three with Ryan Star "tommyhawked" from the show. It was then announced that Magni carried the highest numbers of votes for the night, followed by Toby Rand. Week Ten, Dilana once again revisited the bottom three, joined by Storm Large and a surprise bottom three visitor, Lukas Rossi. Week Ten had The Iceman and the handsome Australian Toby Rand with the highest number of votes. Also, in the weeks prior to the finale, there had been discussion about a dual elimination in Week Ten. Instead, only Storm Large went home to sleep in her own bed.

One reason for two contestants from Rock Star not being sent home the tenth week could be as simple as the producers wanting to fill the last show with more material. One other reason, that if two had been sent home in week ten, the resulting finale would not have been as dramatic. Considering on Rock Star: Supernova there has been a big drama played out involving one of the finalists, Dilana, a finale without one of the main ratings cash cows, and biggest on-line draws would not be as exciting, or as possibly profitable. Week Ten was Dilana's second trip to the bottom three, so she'd have been the natural one to exit along with Storm Large. That would leave the finale with Lukas Rossi, Toby Rand, and Magni.

The Final Four show voting results were announced indicating bottom two of the week, Magni and Toby Rand. Magni delivered another hot performance of "Fire" and Toby Rand rocked out with Billy Idol's "White Wedding." Gilby Clark played hatchet man to deliver the news that Magni was the next to leave, but for some reason, he did not look surprised. No disrespect to dear Toby, but I think if he’d have come out and just farted into the mic. Magni would have still been selected to go home. Tommy Lee remained silent, hiding behind ridiculous black sunglasses. The '80s Corey Hart song, "Sunglasses at Night" began running through my mind, "I wear my sunglasses at night, So I can so I can, Watch you live and breathe your storylines,(And) I wear my sunglasses at night, So I can so I can, Keep track of the visions in my eyes…"

Moving on, this is when the show really began to take an awkward slant. Focus switched abruptly, like a massive editing chop had taken place. The show continued without any indication Magni had ever been there. (This was the 'Top Four Elimination Show', right?) Considering the previous two weeks' outcomes, and then the show going with a final four concept, a fitting way to run this would have been to have the bottom three in votes compete, then Supernova eliminate two, then have the top two compete one more time.

The format, as it stands, reeks with set up. This was designed to set-up the elimination of a certain contestant. Regardless, they would have achieved their desired effect without it looking so cheesily manipulated. Adding to the choppiness of this finale, the producers trot out the 'look-back' vignettes, recapping highlights of the remaining three performers. With Magni just booted off, and in the middle of this show, it felt really odd and misplaced.

The show resumed staged like the start of a whole new episode, with Dilana and Toby and Lukas having their sing-off. This time (and no surprise for me), the handsome and adorable Aussie is sent packing, with Dilana and Lukas still standing. Tommy Lee and the guys in this now unnamed band showed their love and appreciation for the two remaining, and it was obvious how much Tommy Lee and company favored them. A commercial break was ordered so they could ponder their decision one more time, and if you got up, you missed yet another misstep: CBS ran a Survivor commercial, which had snippets of Lukas singing as the winner. I’m thinking as I watched it, well that’s one massive commercial spoiler.

The show resumed with Tommy Lee encouraging a shouting match between the Dilana and the Lukas camps in the audience. This promoted his lead in to eliminate Dilana. She seemed genuinely surprised at the outcome. Lukas sang the “Supernova” song, “Be Yourself,” complete with odd camera edits. Lukas switches from white plastic sunglasses (he wears his sunglasses at night, too) into smoke colored shades. As viewers, we don’t see the when or the why of this switch and it is edited to look like they all ran down there immediately to perform. Just one more thing that contributed to the herky jerky feel of this finale.

Lukas Rossi, new job: lead singer for "Supernova." Tuesday night, last night of the competition phase, Luke performed Coldplay's "Fix It." He said the song brought his Dad to mind, the problems they have experienced. He also did an acoustic version of his original, "Head Spin." His performance was delivered Rossi-style — Luke glammed out with more glitter eye make-up than my daughter's Brat dolls. Overall, I have to hand it to him, he is definitely an effective showman. He convinces and he sells his songs. His tour with the band formerly known as "Supernova" will give him tremendous exposure and allow him to further himself musically. Hey, I understand why he won, I get it, I picked him to take this on night one.

Dilana, close, but no cigar. It seems Dilana has been miraculously cured of her torn calf muscle and was in full robust form this week, traversing the studio audience in the last competition performance night. She excelled in her rendition of "Roxanne," picking a style fit for her voice. Bringing up the other contestants to accompany her on backup was brilliant and a very sweet move. She also did her original song, "Super Soul" and attempted to do some damage recovery by stating it was not actually a 'screw you' song, but really a song about freedom. Apparently a lot of folks bought that convoluted rationale; she entered decision night with the highest number of votes. Dilana was very upbeat and confident in her attitude on the decision night and, from what I heard from an attending audience member, there was a mishap when the winner was announced, and a misunderstanding regarding who was actually chosen at first. I am sad for her. She very obviously wanted this gig for what it's going to be worth. Dilana is a talent; she has garnered a big fanbase from exposure from this show, and through this, she should be able to obtain success on her own. We need some great female rockers in the rock music scene today.

Toby Rand, handsome, energetic, talented, and upbeat came in third place. His performances the last night of the competition was inspired. He performed Radiohead's "Karma Police" and his original crowd pleaser, "Throw It Away." He pulled Magni on stage with him to play guitar, saying he did not want to do it without him and called him a "great man from Iceland" and "the real deal." I love his attitude, his talent, and abilities — he will go on. Perhaps a uniting of he and Magni would be a good thing to consider. They certainly worked well together at CityWalk. During the decision night, Toby seemed much more subdued. Of course, that could have been nerves, but it was almost like he knew. "EVS", Toby and may good luck and fortune follow you.

Magni, the beautiful, talented man from Iceland. It has been an incredible bonus to discover him through this reality show offering from Mark Burnett Productions. Tuesday night, during the last night of competition, Magni performed Deep Purple's "Hush." More than likely, it was simply a coincidence, but I had, in fangirly fashion, written him on his MSN blogsite and mentioned that I thought his playing some Deep Purple would be killer. I had another song in mind but this choice turned out to be a better one.

He accompanied himself on guitar and gave up some great energy and vocals. He is a natural on the stage, without gimmicks or pretense, just awesome and real rock 'n roll. In the theme of performing originals, he performed his original song, "When the Time Comes," and I really loved his delivery of this song. This was one of Magni's hardest hitting rocker nights and I ate it up like good cake. The only problem being, it was over too soon.

Magni did not win this because of a lack of abilities, but because of a bad band fit. Tommy Lee had an idea and a vision in his mind at the onset of what he wanted in a frontman. Magni did not fit that image, no matter that he was the best singer of this competition with the most powerful vocal drives. I'm hoping this will encourage Magni to leave Iceland and give it a try Stateside.

Tommy Lee pointed at Lukas at one point during this season and said, "That's a ___ Rock Star!" This is a prime example of why Magni did not win this competition — Tommy Lee’s personal conception and definition of a Rock Star.

In closing, most likely within the next week, news will emerge revealing the choice of a new title for this reality show band.. They could very likely get around the legal issues by simply calling themselves, "Rock Star: Supernova". Maybe the addition of "Rock Star" would be sufficient to alleviate conflict of ownership. Regardless, this group plans to put out a CD and do a tour, and that may very well be the end of this venture. It did make for a piece of decent Summer entertainment. Rock on.

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  • http://blog.myspace.com/tinkie101 tink

    ACK!!! I’m still in shock over the final decision, as I’d pegged either Magni or Toby from the get-go to win. Following Toby’s growth as an artist during the season kept edging him (in my mind) closer and closer to the top spot.

    Plus, I felt that both Dilana and Lucas had done serious harm to their chances because of their attitudes during the songwriting session(s) with Gilby.

    I’m still not convinced that the right choice was made…will Lucas have the wherewithal to deal with the high-end pressures that will come along with being a member of this group?? Considering that Gilby, T-Bone and Jason have had their share of working with divas (or in this case would it be divos?) in the past, a low-maintenance singer should have been high on their list of “must have” qualities in filling the bill.

    However, you can’t argue with the band’s position that Lucas, he of the most votes during the final polling, should get the spot as it’s a strong marketing ploy.

    BTW…how ’bout that Ryan Star. Congrats to him for winning the vote as to which previously dumped RS contestant should get the final show’s encore performance…and the car he nabbed for that doesn’t suck either!!!

  • Rob

    First off, thanks for the weekly updates Jewels, I’ve enjoyed reading them.

    Up here in Canada, the Global TV feed was messed up. The first half of the show was a recap of the season and about 25 minutes in, it cut to the “live” show, minus Magni. I had to watch the show again at 9 to see what happened with Magni, although it was easy to figure out.

    I was happy to see Lukas win this thing. I’ve been pulling for him all summer. He’s a friend of my wife’s, so I was a little biased, but I really think he was the right choice for this band. Great to see him go from playing crappy bars in Toronto to the big time. He’s worked hard for it.

    Magni was too polished and I thought Gilby’s assessment was bang on. Can’t think of a better way for Magni to get free exposure to North America, so I think he made out well for himself despite not being chosen for SN. I heard Magni say that he’s been given a few offers but didn’t feel comfortable elaborating on them yet.
    I was really surprised that Toby didn’t make the final two. Dilana was strong at the start of this thing, and I thought it would come down to her and Lukas, but I thought she was below average the last 3 weeks and that Toby raised the bar significantly. She really lucked out, scoring a fine supporting cast for her album. She’ll do well. I like her, I just don’t love her.
    Toby, I don’t know what the future holds for him. He’s a great performer and is a very likeable guy. I kind of see him fading away. Who knows.

  • http://www.jewels-richardson.blogspot.com Jewels

    Regarding Ryan Star and the whole Verizon text vote thing to bring him back as fan fave, just does not ring true for me. How coincidental Burnett pulls him aside right after he’s axed and announces he wants to cut a CD with him – then has this ‘bring back your favorite’ contest? meh. This was a stunt to promote $$ and the CD by Star. That’s why I skipped it in the write up. This was about the Final Four not Ryan. Burnett just found a way to pimp his boy and the CD. The car should have gone to one of the Final FOur not the sixth one cut. Well, what do I know anyway, plus this was Burnett’s bucks.

    I understand your being a fan of his, tink, I’m not knocking Star, just this manipulated arrangement. Rock on ’til next year!

  • http://www.jewels-richardson.blogspot.com Jewels

    Hi Rob, always good to hear from you, man. I heard about that issue from a few Canadian friends. Lukas was the guy for this band hands down. Realizing what Tommy Lee is about and where he was coming from regarding what he was wanting to do with this band, Lukas was the best fit.

    Lukas’ story a touching one too, I can relate to some of what he’s lived and man, he’s a tough guy to continue to push and never give up. There’s been a big brouhaha over his win – on-line with huge protests, yadda yadda. The writing was on the wall about Luke winning this, as plain as the glitter on his face! ;) For fans to not get this, they were not paying attention. He played this game very intelligently. Regardless of his education level, this is one smart guy. I’m going to follow the news on this now unnamed band out of curiousity to see what Luke does with it.

    Oh I typo’ed the title of Coldplay’s tune, it’s “For You”. I don’t know what I was thinking. Fingers going one way and brain the other.

    Rob, about Magni, I just fell in love with the man’s voice, his heart, personality, his talent; more up my alley so to speak.

    It’s been great hearing from you, and thank you.

  • http://www.jewels-richardson.blogspot.com Jewels

    I have to go buy a lottery ticket; the band finds a name..read my last paragraph in the commentary. (I just freak myself out.) LOL

  • Rob

    Any other predictions? You should start your own blogcritics “Psychic Hotline”.

  • http://www.jewels-richardson.blogspot.com Jewels

    Very funny Rob! hmmmm. You may not watch American Idol, it’s not as good as Rock Star IMO, but I’m solid with that show too. This last season I picked Taylor Hicks to take that in the audition phase. It was a shoo-in.