It was almost déjà vu when the first performance on this season's Rock Star reality TV show came from a potentially badass rocker chick belting out a Who classic. Only -- unlike last season which featured that exact same scenario -- the nostalgia those aging mates from Down Under who still go by the name of INXS offered this music fan was blatantly missing. So I was left watching the perfect ensemble of what you'd think typical rock star wannabes should look and act like on a reality TV series.
Now, über-reality TV producer Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice) has teamed up with the semi-obnoxious yet slightly likeable (and most definitely laughable) Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee. Lee's hoping to find a lead singer for his new band, Supernova, and you can't really fault the guy for allowing the record-buying and concert-going public a say, too. After all, we shouldn't assume the show is based solely on talent. (If that were the case, Marty Casey would be fronting INXS instead of the better-looking, Michael Hutchence-mimicking fella who landed the last gig). Lee's partners in crime are, interestingly enough, Jason Newsted, late of Metallica, and ex-G'N'R-er Gilby Clarke.
My main rub with this show is it's just too predictable, not to mention slightly cheesy -- American Idol for rockers. The 15 contestants don't exactly run the gamut of uniqueness, including the staple Southern belle who'd never flown on a plane before. One element that has improved: the show's Web site, www.rockstar.msn.com, thanks in part to its redesigned Crüe/G 'N' R motif. But again, I wonder where they got the idea for the new look from?
Also new this season, just like it's mainstream counterpart, we'll be seeing a weekly "celebrity judge" that includes the likes of Moby, Rob Zombie, Macy Gray, Slash and last year's winner, J.D. Fortune.
Isn't it a shame what low album and concert sales will make our rock stars do these days?