Posted by Marc Rosenberg at 11:53:46 AM on July 6, 2006
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Ok, so maybe I wrote CBS and the latest Rockstar off too early.
After watching Rockstar: INXS last year -- and it ended up being a really fantastic competition -- I was convinced when the announcement of a second season of Rockstar came -- with Tommy Lee's name attached, it was a no-brainer that it would end up a victim of the Sophomore slump.
Seriously, Rockstar: Supernova?
Not to mention the fact that the band would consist of the Ex-Motley Crue drummer Lee, ex-Metallica/Flotsam & Jetsam bassist Jason Newsted and former Guns and Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke. What could possibly come of this show?
If the first episode is any sign, a lot more than I anticipated.
I was absolutely surprised and pleased with the 90-minute premiere. The initial lineup of 15 finalists are not perfect, but in my opinion, already more polished than last year's group. The spectrum of personalities and voices vary greatly, but I believe already have a leg up on last season's singers.
Moreover, I think the majority of this year's contestants will mesh better with the newly "to be-" created supergroup of Lee, Newsted and Clarke. Sitting in the judge's area along with return host Dave Navarro and Supernova producer Butch Walker (formerly of Rolling Stone Magazine fame), they all seem to get along really well together. Whoever is named Rockstar will join a group that already looks to have its act together.
Then again, we are talking about Tommy Lee. Anything -- good or bad -- is possible.
Let's take a look at the performers and their choices for Week 1. some were fantastic, some were solid...and a few were absolutely horrible. Remember that while some of them knocked it out of the park in week one, they could prove a one-trick pony come next Wednesday.
CBS was smart enough for Season 2 to provide video of each perfomance online. CLICK HERE to watch each performance, read the reviews below and tell us who YOU think should go on and who should go home. CBS online is also providing an online only reality episode each week to see life behind the scenes at the Rockstar Mansion, rehearsal time and more. You can also read the premiere episode recap online as well. I do recommend watching the performances for to get a first impression of the acts.
WEEK ONE PERFORMANCES (Don't forget -- you can watch each performance online at http://rockstar.msn.com/)
Best of the Crop:
1) Toby Rand - The Australian native was my absolute favorite of the week, making a great first impression with an acoustic version of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." Hands down musically the best performance of Week One, along with...
2) Josh Logan - A fantastic performance from thr Manchester, NH native. Logan belted out a soulful version of The Black Crowes' "She Talks To Angels." Logan and Rand definitely have what it takes.
3) Lukas Rossi - What he barely lacked in vocals, Toronto's Lukas Rossi absolutely more than made up for in talent, capping off the premiere ep with a fully-energized version of "Rebel Yell" by 80's rocker Billy Idol. Can he capture the same energy covering other musical genres? I think so, but time will tell.
4) Patrice Pike - In my opinion, the Austin, Texas is native is the standout female lead of the finalist. Anyone that can take Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody To Love" (not a favorite of mine) and totally rock the house with it earns my approval.
Great Sound or One-Trick Pony? TBD:
5) Dilana - Quite an interesting performance from the African-born singer. She commanded the stage with Nirvana's "Lithium," definitely a bold first-song selection. And she pulled it off. However, my wife and I agreed -- can she tone it down next week?
6) Jill Gioia - An energetic cover of Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart." Unusual song selection from the New Yorker, but she pulled it off and probably earned another week on stage.
7) Matt Hoffer - Chicago-born Matt Hoffer went with Coldplay's "Yellow" for his first performance of the series. Surprisingly, he pulled it off (with the exception of a few high notes).
8) Zayra Alvarez - The Dallas-born singer wowed the crowd -- and Jason Newsted -- with a rendition of Evanescence's "Bring Me To Life." Not the best, certainly not the worst. She'll stick around.
9) Ryan Star - I'm not a big fan of the Goo Goo Dolls. I was however, impressed with this New York singer's version of "Iris." He should definitely hang around for the early stretch.
Holding Their Own:
10) Dana Andrews - While I'll stick to my initial impression that she would be more comfortable on American Idol, the "Georgia Belle" did, in fact, hold her own in singing the Melissa Ethridge hit "I'm The Only One."
11) Storm Large - Yes, her first name is Storm (that's the story she's sticking to at least). And she deserves to see another week of action. The Oregon native was bold enough to go first, and while she didn't blow the roof off the joint, she certainly performed a solid rendition of The Who's "Pinball Wizard."
12) Jenny Galt - Average cover of Nickelback's "How You Remind Me." Nevermind that the song is overplayed, but the Vancouver native just didn't seem to have the edge that most of the other rockers possessed. Not a bad voice, but I can't imagine her fronting this band.
Send 'Em Home:
13) Magni - Proclaiming himself as one of Iceland's Top 10 rockers, Magni was less than stellar cover the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction." I can't imagine anyone got any satisfaction from his performance. Maybe he deserves another week and the benefit of the doubt. But in this group of finalists, it could only delay the inevitable.
14) Phil Ritchie - The Ocean City, Maryland native fell the victim of poor song selection. A great song in Living Colour's "Cult of Personality," but it fell completely short.
15) Chris Pierson - Absolutely Brutal. BRUTAL. The Atlanta native and former athlete's cover of The Police's "Roxanne" made me cringe, and I wouldn't be shocked if Sting came to the show tonight to punch his lights out. For the love of G-d, send this guy home!
Tune into CBS tonight to find out who earned the tonight's Encore performance, who ended up in the bottom three and who will be the first to leave the competition.