September 20, 2006

Boob Tube Report: Rockstar Supernova

First of all, let me say that once again I was disappointed but not surprised at the outcome of the RockStar competition.

First of all, if it were a normal audition process and the group was judging based on talent alone, there would not even be a question; Dilana would have gotten the job, and gotten it quickly. She wouldn't have had the opportunity or pressure to self-destruct in the manner we were (lucky us) treated to in the last few weeks. She would have had time - and hopefully training and experience - to learn how to handle the press better.

But there were two problems.

One is that in this case she DID have the pressure and opportunity to implode, and did so. That demonstrably alienated some of her fan base, and possibly gave the then-called Supernova gents a bit of a pause. It sounds as though Gilby stuck by Dilana as a choice, and that Dave Navarro would have chosen her as well. I'm not surprised - they seemed to me the most musically focused and emotionally grounded of the judges.

The other problem, and perhaps the most significant one, is the Peter Pan factor. I don't know how to get past that, except by starting with a band that already has female members.

The fact is that rock is one area where boys are allowed to stay boys for an unnatural period of time, and when a group of Neverlanders have been together for a while it's hard for them to believe that a female isn't going to Harsh their Mellow. No matter how Rockin' a Babe their particular Wendy might be, no matter how much they might love and appreciate her finer qualities, when push comes to shove the Lost Boys just can't help but suspect that sooner or later she's going to get in the way of their Groove.

The Peter Pan factor was particularly clear last year with the elimination of Suzie and even more with the earlier elimination of Jordis (and with their choice of J.D., who had attitude to spare but couldn't carry a tune in a bucket).

The issue was handled more subtly by this more sophisticated and experienced (should we say 'senior'?) group. But the open expression of the question, 'Can a woman front a rock band?' was telling in a competition in which the woman in question was so significantly advanced in terms of skill and performance when compared to the other contestants.

The real question isn't whether a woman could front a rock band. The real question is whether a group of Guys can handle having a woman in a position of equal authority hanging around when they are doing Guy Stuff.

If they weren't going to pick a Wendy, the guys did well enough in choosing Lukas. He's a powerful performer, an interesting and endearing and freaky little troll, and seems like a sweet guy. I really liked Lukas, myself, and thought his original was far and away the best of the songs offered by the finalists.

But as much as I enjoyed Lukas' performances in sets of one or two, he doesn't have a great deal of versatility. I suspect that listening to him for an entire album (much less a two-hour concert) would get on my nerves pretty quickly - or perhaps worse, bore me.

Dilana should have been the clear choice. It's too bad that two of the Neverlanders weren't able to overcome their fear of Growing Up.

Tommy Lee's statement couldn't have been more appropriate:

"Lukas, you're our Boy."


Anonymous Crystal said...

You took the words right out of my mouth!!

9:31 AM  
Blogger renee said...

I was shocked they chose Lukas, in part because of the reasons you gave. I thought they'd pick Toby - he has the more pop-friendly style and songwriting that we saw. He also is a pretty boy who would attract a lot of young women that Tommy could glom on to. Having said that, I'm not sure I agree with your assessment that if they had just chosen Dilana that she would have been afforded the opportunity to handle pressure better. The pressure would have been there in the form of the press and pressure to perform either way - at least this way they found out what she's made of. It's not just how she handled the press, but I thought performance-wise she stumbled for a couple of weeks after that, too. I also saw Tommy Lee on a chat show a few weeks back talking about their trip to Las Vegas and how Dilana got so blotto she passed out and had to be carried back to her room. Hypocritical, of course, but I knew right there he wasn't going to pick her. And I'd have to disagree with you about J.D. I really liked Jordis and went to see her perform a couple of weeks ago, but I thought J.D. was a perfect fit for INXS. I saw them in concert and am even more sure of that after seeing them together.

4:30 PM  

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