Thursday, September 07, 2006

Storm Kicked off Reality Show; Wins Contest

In a stunning victory for the lithe chanteuse of Portland's Storm and the Balls, singer Storm Large was eliminated from competition in the race to front Supernova, a metal supergroup from bands popular 10 years ago. (Sidebar: how sad is it that the story doesn't even rate a mention on KOIN's website, and it's the #1 show in Portland in that time slot? Clue-less. Say what you will about the interface, at least The O has a story up...with pictures from Dante's, no less.)

Don't cry, honey--Storm got out just in time. The big problem with winning the game and becoming the lead singer for Supernova is that you have to then record and tour with these three dudes. When Jason Newstead is the most stable personality, you might as well invite Pete Doherty to join. At least with INXS you knew that they were a real band with a following (if not also a 10 year catalog of declining quality and the sense of being passed by), and you understood why they needed a new singer--the last one asphyxiated himself trying to come harder.

This band is more of a publicity stunt, as if Mark Burnett has suddenly become Malcolm McLaren, and they were all trying to keep Tommy Lee awake through the show until he could hit again. I have no special insight into Lee's condition, but something with that boy went progressively less right the longer the show went on. Yes, they can play, but what they're collectively creating is nowhere near as good as what was done in their previous bands.

I have come to realize that in money/bragging rights type of reality shows, it's indeed best to win. But in the talent shows, I'm less sure that's true. The contracts that winners on American Idol are under are massive and restrictive for the first couple of years. If Taylor Hicks had taken one look at that dumbass Ford commercial and said "I'm not going to do it," they'd have filed papers on him faster than Pamela Anderson on Tommy. Meanwhile, the sickly crooner from Richmond has independent deals he can wangle himself, and he can choose whether to be part of the machine.

OK, maybe it's a little sour grapes to poo poo the band now, after Storm has been eliminated. But I've always thought winning American Idol was a set of golden handcuffs, and the slapped-together nature of this band makes me think the same dangers would await her and she'd find herself shilling for Coors Light. And her inner 14 year old would want to kick her ass.

And clearly her visibility and stature are sky-high, well above any previous accomplishments. Rather than take the deal offered by Supernova, she'll be afforded to entertain a variety of opportunities, one assumes. (As soon as the show's ban on her image gallery is lifted, and they can find a way to handle the traffic, she'll be one of the most Googled people in the country. There are some pretty spicy photos that most of America hasn't seen. Storm's Portland act never made it into the show...!)

So congratulations to Storm for going as far as necessary to establish a national profile, but not so far as to end up fighting off Tommy on the tour bus ride to Sioux City. We thought you were the most professional, even tempered, enthusiastic and versatile performer left, and while we probably won't get to keep you for long, we're ready to welcome you back.