Reality Rocks - Archive

A Rock Star Supernova Finally Blows Up: Dilana Returns!

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

Three years ago I was somewhat obsessed with Rock Star: Supernova--the Dave Navarro-hosted, American Idol-like talent search for the singer of a NEW "supergroup" formed by Motley Crue's Tommy Lee, Guns N' Roses' Gilby Clarke, and Metallica's Jason Newsted. And much of my obsession centered on Dilana, a South African, neon-dreaded, facially-pieced, sandpaper-throated rock goddess who wowed me and her judges/prospective bandmates with her first riveting, hoodie-shrouded, seemingly possessed performance of Nirvana's "Lithium."

Dilana got all the way to second place on the show, but I suspected in the end she would not win--sadly, I knew there was no way a bunch of smelly tattooed rock dudes like Tommy, Gilby, and Jason were going to let a girl share their groupie-infested tour bus. Guylinered Adam Lambert prototype Lukas Rossi, the ultimate winner, was more their style, and a better fit for their band.

However, Dilana's defeat was likely a blessing in disguise, since the reality rock band was ill-fated before the Rock Star: Supernova finale even wrapped. (They had to change their name from just plain Supernova to Rock Star Supernova after another band named Supernova sued; Tommy's Crue bandmates then sued Tommy's manager for signing him up for reality shows they felt made him look "foolish"; and no one bought the one Rock Star Supernova album, despite the fact that it was actually pretty good.)

And now Rock Star's loss is American Idol's gain, as two season 8 Idols have openly cited Dilana as an influence.

First, Dilana was the catalyst for one of Adam Lambert's big watershed moments on AmIdol: His controversial "Ring Of Fire" cover, one of the most talked-about performances in Idol history, was in fact inspired by Dilana's Middle Eastern-vibey rendition of the song on Rock Star: Supernova, a fact that Adam himself has mentioned in many interviews. "I am stoked that Adam Lambert from American Idol chose to use my version of 'Ring Of Fire,'" Dilana told the press after watching Adam's performance. "It's an honor knowing that my arrangement and 'Kashmir' version of the Johnny Cash classic 'turned him on' to the point where he wanted to use it on the show."

And now it has been revealed that an original Dilana song, "Holiday," has been covered by season 8 Idol chick-rocker Allison Iraheta for her forthcoming debut album, Just Like You. Allison's recording has yet to leak, but here is a live acoustic version by Dilana herself that will give Allison fans a taste of what's to come (the song will also be on Dilana's upcoming album--which, ironically, will feature Motley Crue's Mick Mars on guitar):

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Much like how season 6 Idol semi-finalist Jared Cotter is just now experiencing some real musical success with "Down," the number-one hit he co-penned for Jay Sean, Dilana is a reality TV runner-up finally getting her winning moment. A rock chick to idolize, indeed.

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