Aside from the sublime Project Runway on Bravo, the reality show that’s hooked me in this summer is the perfectly trashy Rock Star: Supernova. I say perfectly trashy because there’s enough talent on the show to be watchable and entertaining, but it also has enough trashy elements that you can feel justified by sitting back and watching the awkwardness unfold. It’s not quite car-wreck television on the level of America’s Got Talent, but it ain’t Runway, either.
What makes it awkward is the co-host, Brooke Burke. A surgically-enhanced model who has all the charisma and personality as a pile of cold mashed potatoes, Burke’s job is to wear revealing clothing, handle the introductions, and to throw the show to commercials. She also makes clumsy banter with the other co-host, Dave Navarro, who’s far more at ease with the proceedings and doesn’t take himself nearly as seriously. The Supernova of the title is a ‘band’ made up of Tommy Lee, Gilby Clarke from Guns ‘N Roses, and Jason Newstead from Metallica, who all judge the contestants on who is best-suited to lead their ‘band’. (Note that I use quotation marks around the word ‘band’. This is intentional. If they last longer than a few network promotional gigs, I’ll be shocked.)
I don’t need to explain the rest of the show to you. It’s all standard reality-show fare – each week the contestants perform, one person is eliminated, Tommy Lee acts like an idiot. Those who are left:
Josh, Patrice, and Ryan. None of these are even remote contenders – Josh and Ryan are boy-toy filler and Patrice looks more like a soccer mom than the lead singer of a band. I won’t even bother linking to them.
Dana: the ingenue. Too young and inexperienced to be a serious contender. Give her a few years of singing in smoky, badly-lit bars, and a stint or two in heroin rehab, and she’ll be ready.
Jill: the slut. She has marginally more talent and a decent voice but she’s far too short and perky to lead a rock band made up of forty-something burnouts. Has already angered Gilby Clarke for grinding on him while performing onstage – he called her actions tiresome. I’m assuming his reaction to that would have been different had the cameras been off.
Zayra: the nutjob. A lanky, mentally unstable Puerto Rican woman who CANNOT SING, Zayra’s been a Black Widow who’s lived in the bottom three ever since the start of the show, but always escapes elimination for some reason. My theory is that the producers like that she talks back to the band members and want her around for the entertainment value. She seems like the kind of woman who will gut you with a broken beer bottle when you’re not paying attention to her.
Toby: the sure thing. Handsome, talented, and speaks with an Austrailian accent that all the girls love. Pros – sings well, is articulate, and will attract backstage groupies like nobody’s business. Cons – will attract groupies away from Tommy Lee, which will ultimately be his downfall. Even though his singing style approaches Creed at times, he’ll be tough to pick against, and is probably a top five candidate.
Storm: the dark horse. She’s got two strong things going for her – she’s pretty, and the girl can sing. Good energy, too. Last episode, when she really wanted to make a good impression, she was winding herself up before going on stage, looking as if she was about to be fired out of a shotgun. Her one problem is her theatrics – she sometimes sings expansively, as if she’s on a Broadway stage. Good candidate for the top three.
Delana: the witchy woman. Her look can best be described as punk voodoo priestess. She has more ink and piercings on her body than everyone else on the show put together. Her singing ability is suspect – her voice sounds as if she’s smoked cigars and drank bourbon since the cradle – but she has an undeniable charisma. Despite her looks, she is actually supportive of the other contestants, coming off like a bit of cub scout leader to all the young’uns. Also, she could probably drink Tommy Lee under the table. She could win it all in an upset if she gets lucky.
Magni: The pro. Quiet, studious, and intense; ideal qualities if you’re looking for someone fronting a band full of aging prima-donnas. He has an excellent, versatile voice and never seems to make a mistake. Could be flying too far under the radar, though – he needs to appear dangerous. Also, he’s Icelandic, which will count against him, the general assumption being that the island is too small to have anybody from it who is more talented than Bjork.
Lukas: the favorite. The man’s got a unique and undeniable charisma, almost a swagger, and at times seems like a man among boys. He’s got his own style, is self-confident, and has the most expressive eyebrows you’ll ever see. It’s pretty obvious that the rest of the contestants don’t like him and see him as their primary threat, while he seems not to care less. He sings well but forces his voice into a gravelly tone, which others have called him on. If he loses, it will be because of his own arrogance, but he’s my pick to go all the way.