It's a stripped-down show in more ways than one, as the House Band goes acoustic for the night and is joined by a string quartet. We get to see bits of the trip to Vegas, but only in incoherent snippets. Which is probably how the Supernovices remember it, too. As for the actual songs, Zayra kicks things off. She chose to sing one of her original songs for Supernova, and it's her best performance yet, despite being (a) in Spanish, and (b) completely wrong for Supernova. Magni sports a white suit and a killer Bowie impression to croon "Starman," but it's Patrice who gets thumped for not doing more with the Police's "Message In A Bottle." Lukas sings "Hero" by Chad Kroeger and gets a hard time from Tommy and Jason for sitting down and growling again, respectively. Nobody comments on the priest's collar he's wearing. Storm's Cake-inflected double cover of "I Will Survive" calls that statement into question for her, but she takes the harsh criticism in stride. Toby does Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" with Gilby on guitar and himself on bongos; we learn that Dilana let him have the song in exchange for a naked dash around the pool at the Rock Star Mansion. Supernova is impressed with Toby's commitment, which suggests to me that Dilana really needs to stop trying to manipulate her fellow contestants. It always just backfires on her, and Wile E. Coyote? Not a rock star. Singing "In The Air Tonight," Ryan plays to his strengths, namely, standing still. And Dilana sings that durable ode to crappy fathers, "Cats In The Cradle." I'm going to go hug my kid now. The initial bottom three? Patrice, Toby, and the perennial non-favorite Zayra. Funny how a bottom three suddenly starts making a dent now that there are only eight contestants left.
Not too much post-performance drama to rehash this week, now that Jill's gone and Storm knows how to act like a grown-up. The major development early on is that Supernova has chosen one of the Supernovices to front them for their debut performance on tonight's show. Amid many unconvincing protestations that this doesn't mean the competition is over, they bestow that honor upon Dilana. Who, disappointingly, kind of coasts through it. There's also an encore, and that goes to Ryan for the second time in three weeks. Last night's initial bottom three (Patrice, Toby, and Zayra) are joined in the bottom five by Magni and, for the first time, Storm. Zayra and her Bond Girl outfit sing the appropriately titled "Razor Blade" by Blue October, and she's only mildly horrible. Also making a third bottom-three appearance, Patrice breaks the Hole curse with "Celebrity Skin." Although she tries it in a key that's way too low for her, she at least remembers all the words, unlike some people. And of the three bottom-three virgins still standing, it's Magni who is called to sing for survival. His version of Radiohead's "Creep" compares less favorably to Lukas's past performance than Patrice's did, but it's quite emotional and moving. He's safe, of course. Supernova finally decides that it's time to quit humoring Zayra, and she makes a classy farewell. A few more weeks and this might actually turn into a competition.
Shout-out this week to that other band called Supernova, who recently filed a preliminary injunction to prevent our boys from recording or performing under the name "Supernova." The injunction also has a deadline for a hearing right around mid-September. So we'll see how that works out.
Wearing a purple minidress, Brooke welcomes us to "a stripped-down acoustic hour of Rock Star Supernova, with our string quartet." And there is indeed a string quartet sitting on stage left, sharing the space with an acoustically equipped House Band. The string players all raise their instruments to acknowledge the crowd's applause, except for the cellist. Apparently she hates applause. Brooke introduces the Supernovices. The Nut Gallery looks strangely empty tonight with only eight of them left. We get long close-ups on Magni and Ryan for some reason. Brooke also introduces Supernova and Dave, who is busy shrugging out of his jacket. Of course he doesn't have a shirt on underneath; it's Dave. Brooke asks him what he's doing, and he acts all literal about the concept of "stripped down." Not to be outdone (ever, at anything), Tommy whips off his own t-shirt. Gilby and Jason don't feel like playing that, though. Brooke congratulates Dave on his new album with Panic Channel album dropping "today," and then it's time for the Supernovices' week in review.
We're reminded that Gilby told the Supernovices last week that the ones who survived were going to go with them to Vegas and check out the venue for their debut gig. And then, where we usually get Mansion footage, there's private jet footage, as Supernova and the Supernovices act up in the passenger cabin. And now we see the real reason for last week's double elimination: there wasn't room for nine contestants, even if one of them was Jill.
On the tarmac at McCarran, they're greet by the promoter for the New Year's Eve show. "Let's have some fun," the guy says stiffly. Yeah, good luck with that. Not that we'll ever see him again. The group caravans up the Strip to the Hard Rock, and thence to The Joint, the concert venue on the premises, which Magni describes as "the bomb." We get a quick look at the place. And, I'm sorry, but I've played bigger rooms than that. Ryan calls it "intimate, but it felt like an arena, too, at the same time." He's half right. Jason assembles the Supernovices on the bare stage, and tells them to take it in. Storm imagines it "thick with people, screaming and sweating." With a phalanx of sturdy Teamsters earning union scale at the edge of the stage, one assumes. The group then decamps to the Hard Rock's penthouse suite, which has a hot tub and a bowling alley. Tommy gives his version of a toast: "Put it in fourth gear and pop a wheelie." After that, things get kind of indistinct, with dancing and groupies and Jason all but holding a blotto Toby upright. Looks like someone had one too many Foster's, mate.