Rock Star
It's Nothing Personal/Chris Doesn't Cut It

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M. Giant: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Nice Job. Get Out.

Jenny's doing "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell. My old band never did quite nail this one for some reason. One time, we even tried it with me singing from behind the drum kit, which was stupid because officially I neither sing nor play drums. But we're talking about Jenny now. No guitar for her this time, but she's behind the microphone stand again. It starts out slow and quiet, which gives us plenty of time to be distracted by how unnecessarily closely the camera's zoomed in on her face. She looks kind of uncomfortable, actually, with her shoulders bunched up next to her head the way mine are when I walk into a Wal-Mart Christmas week. The song slowly picks up in the prechorus, and by the time she's reached the chorus, she's pulled the mic off the stand and is working her way down the runway, looking marginally less uncomfortable but still kind of stiff. The band rocks it out, with crunchy guitars in place of the '80s synthesizers on the original. Tommy's on his feet, dancing like the drunkest uncle at a wedding. The drawback is that after the slow verse, now she only has time for one chorus, so it seems like it's barely gotten started before it's over. Gilby says that he wasn't into the beginning so much, but he liked the end. Jenny says that she was "looking for contrast." Which she got. I would submit that contrast in and of itself isn't necessarily a good thing, particularly when you end up with a contrast between "not very good" and "okay." Jason likes the new arrangement she worked out with the House Band, and I agree. I would agree more if there had been more than two minutes for a slow build from zero to rockin'. Dave tells her, "Great job, making an old song work." And then, because she's standing alone onstage in a midriff-baring top, he remarks, with a smile, "You look like you're starving. Go get a sandwich." Dude, that's...kind of rude. Jenny laughs it off (for now) and leaves the stage, and Dave has no idea what he just did to my forums.

Brooke's introduction of Jill recalls Jason's comparison of her to a stick of dynamite. We get a glimpse of her waiting in the wings, dressed in a flouncy, knee-length wedding dress and veil and holding a bouquet of roses. Uh-oh. Looks like she decided to try and upgrade from conventional explosives to nuclear, but is likely to just end up radioactive. Brooke tells us that Jill's singing a song by Hole, as if we couldn't tell by Jill's costume.

And, now, this is just disappointing. Because in this week's webisode, there was a little scene where Zayra initially ended up with "Violet," and Jill was trying to help her out by singing it to her. And she sounded awesome, better than the original, just belting it out there in the Rock Star mansion. Meanwhile, in another room, Josh and someone else were like, "Is that Zayra? It sounds really good. Ah, that means it's Jill." Which is why it's sad when she comes out in her little kinderwhore outfit and Gilby just laughs at her. The song starts and she bride-walks down the runway during the first verse, but then she ditches the veil and she's screaming and lurching around, throwing her roses into the audience (hope you de-thorned those, lawsuit-bait), jumping up and down and generally making an ass of herself. It's great Halloween karaoke, but it's not a good performance, and pitch-wise she's as flat as Courtney herself. But then it goes to a Madonna at the 1984 MTV Video Awards kind of place when she winds it up flat on her back, her skirt up around her waist so we can all see her black granny-panties. That's what folks in the music biz call a "grace note."

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Rock Star

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