Rock Star
Are You Ready To Rock?/Matt Sings The Wrong Song

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Hey, out there, are you ready to rock? I said are you ready to fuckin' ROCK? What's that? I can't hear you! No? You're not? Okay, I'll give you a minute. Take your time.

So, full disclosure: I didn't watch Rock Star: INXS because I was busy with other shows last summer. So I hope to bring an outsider's perspective to recapping this, the second season of Rock Star. Because really, what other choice do I have?

Wednesday

Brooke Burke walks out onto a stage amid a screaming, cheering crowd of maybe several hundred. The venue where this is being held is sort of a combination between a small auditorium and a vampire's lair. Because heavy metal and horror-movie décor go hand-in-hand. It's standing room only, because there are no chairs. People are pressed right up against the edge of the runway that thrusts out into the crowd. And I say "people," but what I really mean are "chicks handpicked to wind up on camera a lot while their boyfriends languish in the anonymous back rows." Brooke asks if we're ready for "another amazing season" of Rock Star, even though it's only my first. And then they play a clip. Oh, good, this is where they recap the whole first season for all the people who didn't see one second of that but plan to sit through the whole thing this year, i.e., me. This will be handy. But then all they show is one moment from last year, the one where J.D. Fortune was crowned the new lead singer of INXS and was then immediately led off-camera to have his belt and shoelaces confiscated. He interviews how cool his new gig is, and then we're moving on. No time, people! Brooke tells us that for this season, they took 25,000 auditioners from around the world and narrowed them down to fifteen finalists. And they just happen to be here tonight, sitting in their own little Peanut Gallery off stage right. I'm really going to have to come up with a more rock & roll name for that little area. Or you are. We'll go with Peanut Gallery for now. The crowd greets the finalists enthusiastically despite having no idea who any of them are. Seems a bit weird to have finalists three minutes into the season, no? Brooke tells the finalists that in three months (really?) one of them will be the lead singer for "the most incredible new rock & roll band to emerge in years: Supernova." More cheering.

A film montage introduces Supernova, narrated by Tommy Lee. Clip of Jason Newsted playing bass with Metallica. Clip of Gilby Clarke playing guitar with Guns N' Roses. Clip of Tommy Lee playing drums with Mötley Crüe. The three of them walk down the street in the present day, looking like they just got mugged walking out of a job interview. Then they're jamming in the studio, and it's actually kind of weird to actually see Tommy Lee behind a drum kit again. Seems like it's been a while since he was famous for his musicianship. He describes Supernova as a "clash of stars." And I have to say that as much as I mock, I must admit that Supernova is an ideal name for this project. You've got "Super," referring to the "supergroup" concept, combined with "Nova," which literally means "new star," who may well end up a "superstar," combined into one word that refers to the most spectacular explosions in the universe. It's perfect, really. Other than the fact that there's already a band with that name, but let's not nitpick. Jason Newsted interviews that he's been friends with Tommy and Gilby for years, and that Tommy called him to ask him to be in his band. Supernova does some more studio work, and producer Butch Walker sits behind the board like I'm supposed to know who he is, which I don't. Gilby interviews that Supernova is not a heavy metal band. Tommy tells us, "We're looking for a rock star." Shots of crowds, Boston, crowds, New York, crowds, London, Reykjavik, crowds, Sydney, Toronto, a bar marquee announcing the auditions, and some face-pierced redheaded chick shrieking "Oh, yeah" onstage tell us what American Idol takes a month to convey: they went all over the world auditioning singers. Gilby says he knows that their singer is one of the finalists. Which is good, because the season finale would be a little awkward otherwise. Tommy tells the finalists, "Hang on, baby. Hope you brought your helmet." Right back at you, dude. Supergroups are a dicey proposition at the best of times, but the fact that nobody's admitting that the driving forces behind this one are Mark Burnett and the Codger Broadcasting System makes this one especially iffy.

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Rock Star

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