we’re all about authenticity.
While the Middle East burns this summer, and global warming continues its deadly ramp up, both of these tragedies unimpeded by any forward-thinking or enlightened policies from the Canadian government, we’ve been busy watching two reality shows. One is So You Think You Can Dance. The other is Rock Star: Super Nova. (I’ve been watching Felicity on my own.)
The shows are a fascinating study in contrasts. One features extremely lithe, sexually diverse young people who can do amazing and wonderful things with their bodies. The other features thin but oddly wrinkly, sexually disoriented, young (in most cases) people who can’t stop sniping at each other and can do wonderful things with a stick of eyeliner and some blush.
Several of the contestants in So You Think You Can Dance are not traditionally attractive, but they have in common open, eager faces to go with their open joints. They are always touching and holding each other with a lovely physical naturalness. The show is designed to show viewers how the routines are put together. We get to meet the choreographers and see their faces as their dancers succeed or fail. It’s an excellent show. James and I have been using commercial breaks to practice our moves, which so far are limited to certain arm waves found in contemporary dance routines and a couple of head bobs seen in hip hop. So You Think You Can Dance makes us wish we could and it makes us admire those who can. There’s something very real about the contest, just as there is something very genuine about the skill on display in Project Runway.
Rock Star: Super Nova could be renamed: Rock Star: Super Poseur. It reminds me, rather painfully, of the various phases in my life in which I’ve attempted to be something I’m not. These things included but were not limited to: a new waver, a hard rocker (type), a punk rocker and, for a brief but memorable time in the early 90s, an exceedingly fashionable person who dressed only in green.
One of the problems is that everything the aspiring Super Novans do seems so awkward. They sit around that long dining room table smoking and drinking wine, looking for all the world like their feet don’t quite reach the floor. There’s the punk guy trying to act alienated and angry and just succeeding in looking like he needs acting lessons, the obviously bland types trying to pull off enigmatic and not succeeding, the suburban-style bombshell trying to act like she’s some other, cooler kind of bombshell.
They all sing well enough but their relentless sucking up seems the antithesis of real rock and roll. (You will note that the last sentence is evidence that my inner poseur is very much alive and well. The thing about having an inner poseur is that you have to keep her close, take care of her, LISTEN TO HER. If you don’t she might escape, dye her hair red, get a full-sleeve tattoo, and next thing you know you’re auditioning for YA Author: Extreme Badass.)
I was surprised to find that I quite like watching the actual Super Novans. Tommy Lee, Gilbey Clarke, Jason Newsted are all peculiarly charming. I’ve loved Dave Navarro both seasons. He is probably my fave reality host, though I couldn’t say why. It may have something to do with his eyebrows. My guess is that Super Nova been having these urgent meetings with each other and their agents to make sure that the amount they’re being paid for appearing on the show will make up for the fact that they’re going to have one of these people as their front-man/woman. It must be nerve-racking.
There is something about all but one of the contestants (I do like one of them) that makes me want to challenge them to an arm-wrestle. If I feel that way, I can just imagine how the boys from Super Machismo feel. My guess is that by the time the band has chosen, the lucky winner will have been completely and permanently taken over by their inner poseur. He/she will only be able to pout, snarl, throw up those hand symbols rock stars use, and windmill one arm while standing close to someone holding a guitar. After the contractually-obligated first album has been released, the winner will find his/herself unemployed and unemployable, standing in the welfare office in full make-up wondering WTF happened.
If that happens, I’d like the fellows in Super Nova to know that I’m available as a replacement. I’m a versatile, long-term poseur/fraud, I’ve got some hot new dance moves AND I have a tattoo, which I always regret when I wear my pink pumps, which don’t look good with it at all, but still. My singing’s no hell and I’m a bit long in the tooth for the job, but at least I won’t make you look old by comparison. If things do work out with your new lead singer, maybe I’ll give some thought to buying my inner poseur a ticket to the show.