If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to grow up as the child of a legendary musician who everyone cares about, you’re in the same boat as most of the contestants on MTV’s new show Rock The Cradle.
For your viewing pleasure, MTV has lumped together 9 offspring of rock and pop stars that you’d nearly forgotten about. It’s a line up that has me asking, “What’s happening in the lives of the little Springsteins and Bon Jovis of the world?” But, ok, so instead we get the daughter of one of the members of the Doobie Brothers and Al B. Sure’s son. Whatever, we’ll take what we can get.At the show’s dramatic onset, the premise is laid out for us: After admiring their parents’ successful careers (from afar, through stories recounted by their nannies and a collection of well-intentioned birthday cards mailed from London and signed “I’ll be there for the next one, poopsie. Love, Pa.”), these kids are eager to make a name for themselves as performers in their own right. They’re ready to “step out of the shadows” of their famous parents, says the host. And what better way to separate themselves from their ‘rents than to participate in a show that defines each of them as Son or Daughter of So and So, puts their parents in the VIP section of the audience, and invites Mom or Dad to comment following the performances.
Even more questionable than the contradictory goal of the show is the bewildering selection of chucklehead Ryan Devlin as host.
As master of ceremonies, Ryan’s main duties are to make badly timed jokes no one laughs at and to pounce on contestants at the conclusion of their performances, smothering them with creepy hugs and squeezing their shoulders tightly. To be honest, every time this twerp hopped on stage I tuned out and invented nicknames for him. So far, I’ve come up with Skippy McBobblehead and Tiny von Tightsweater.
And then there are the judges. Belinda Carlisle, who is so relevant to today’s music scene.
A small, tanned lawyer who apparently discovered Britney Spears.
Some dull woman who is a stylist or something.
And a choreographer dressed like a sales rep from Enterprise Rent a Car.
On with the show!
JUST CALL ME JESSE MUSCLES
First up is Jesse Money, daughter of rocker Eddie Money, who sang “Two Tickets to Paradise.” Could his daughter be as entertaining as her dad’s song performed at drunk karaoke?
The answer is no. Not really. With bony hips exposed and Dad watching proudly from the audience, Jesse stands in place and flatly yells her way through “When I’m Gone” by Three Doors Down.
HOLD ME WHEN I’M HERE, LOVE ME WHEN I’M GONE. MY TUMMY IS BARE, I NEED TO CUT MY HAIR. LOVE ME WHEN I’M GOOOOONNNNNEEEE!
The judges were moderately impressed/trying to be nice since she was first up. Small Tan Lawyer said he was unsure she possessed the sparkling star quality to make her stand out. Well, STL, what she lacks in charisma she makes up for in sheer VOLUME OF HER VOICE.
Next up we have Landon Brown, pre-Whitney son of Bobby Brown. As Smirky Smirkerson (that’s host nickname #3) introduces us to young Landon, father Bobby is weaving around in the background, his eyes watery and bloodshot, his laughter uncontrollable and alarming. During the produced video segment on Landon’s life, the poor kid’s like “I saw my dad about 3 times when I was little. And then he went to jail a lot.” I’m sad to see ol’ Bobby hasn’t fully cleaned up his act. No, I know he’s supposed to have gone to rehab or whatever, but does that ever reeeaallly work?
But Landon, clearly used to his dad’s embarrassing antics, calmly takes the stage to sing Seal’s “Crazy,” while dressed in an outfit that is just one tie style away from Pee Wee Herman.
NO WE’RE NEVER GONNA SURVIIIIVE, UNLESS WE GET A LITTLE CHAIRY
Landon, good song, bad voice. Like really, pretty darn bad. Though he would probably sound great doing a drunken karaoke rendition of “Two Tickets to Paradise.”
The third, and most unusual, performance of the night belonged to Chloe Lattanzi, daughter of the inexplicably popular Olivia Newton John.
Ok, I’m gonna have to be the asshole here, and just go ahead and ask the question on all of our minds: Is that your real face? It’s fine if it is and it’s fine if it isn’t…it just has the look of someone who had a lot of work done, but at your age I can’t imagine that’s the case. (Although, now that 21 year old Heidi Montag is hacking her face to bits, I guess anything goes.)
Chloe’s rendition of INXS’s “Never Tear Us Apart” was, in a word, wrong. She lept from octave to octave, her lows like Ursula the Sea Witch and her highs like the breathy panicky squawks one might hear coming out of a girl being chased by a bee. Somehow she managed to make the whole thing sound as though she was singing with a German accent.
I JUST GET BLOATED WHEN I EAT SUSHI
Belinda Carlisle gave her a 9.5 and complemented her unique vocal stylings. The other judges gave her about 5 points a piece, and then hummed and hawwed and stared down at their notes, waiting for the moment to pass. But don’t feel bad for Chloe. I almost did until she started going off about her broken ear piece.
“My ears went out. My ears went out!”
“Yeah, well, I didn’t think you picked the right song for yo–”
“But no, my ears went out! I couldn’t hear!”
“Well, yes, but besides that you just aren’t very talented.”
“I couldn’t hear! My ears went out! My ears went out!” Ohmygodshutup.
The winner of the night was definitely Lucy Walsh. She’s the daughter of Joe Walsh, who was in The Eagles (and therefore partly responsible for the abominable tune “Hotel California”). In her introductory interview, Lucy says that growing up was hard because her friends and classmates always wanted to hear about her dad. Really? How did they know who he was?
RAINBOW BRITE OR AN EXTRA IN A BAD MOVIE ABOUT THE FUTURE?
Lucy explains that her dad isn’t into her decision to take her music career to MTV and the voting public. And so he’s not coming to the shows. Who knew Joe Walsh was such a butt?
I’M NOT SURE WHAT I SHOULD DO WITH MY HANDS
And he missed a good performance too! Up until Lucy’s turn at the mike, I was beginning to wonder how this show could be 100% bad singing. But she had a nice voice and a good presence on stage. She does a lovely rendition of Don Henley’s “Heart of the Matter” (backstabbing by picking the work of a different Eagle?). Nice work, Luce! You get to be my favorite so far.
After she sang, Spritely Elfenbop (#4!) jumps on stage, tackles her, and then totally puts his foot in his mouth. “So…where’s your dad?” Forehead slap. Didn’t you read your notes? Her dad doesn’t want to be here. He isn’t “into the whole reality thing.”
Lucy responds, unfazed. “He can’t be here. He’s touring Europe.” Suuuure. It’s sad, really. I suddenly picture a childhood where she offered up “He’s touring Europe” as an explanation for his absence at birthday parties and parents night at her elementary school. Well, Luce, you’ll show him. You were awarded the “untouchable” position in tonight’s competition, which means you can’t be voted off the show this time.
Moving on to our next contestant.
NOT AARON CARTER
Meet Jesse Blaze Snider, son of Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider. As Jesse gives us the run down of his life leading up to this moment, he seems like a nice enough kid. “I’m my dad’s biggest fan.” “I’ve always loved music.” Yaddi yadda. But then he comes to the stage dressed like this:
ROCK AND ROLL, BRO!
I’m not sure what I liked least about Jesse Blaze. His lack of shirt? The gold necklace bouncing off his smooth chest? His leather pants? The fringe along the hem of his leather pants? The backflip he did at the conclusion of his performance?
DUDE YOU LOOK AWESOME. NEXT WEEK I’M LEAVING MY SWEATER AT HOME!
The judges were mostly impressed. Except for Belinda. But who cares what she says anyway?
Look, Jesse, you seem like you could be a cool guy. Just stop doing stupid things and you’ll go far. It’s that simple.
Remember Al B. Sure? I barely do, and I’m sure the 14 year olds watching this program have no idea. But then when they showed the clip of his music video, I was like, “Oo! Oooo! I love this song!”
LET ME TELL YOU HOW I FEEL ABOUT YOU NIGHT AND DAY
So then I actually got excited to meet Al B. Sure’s boy, Lil’ B. Sure. Gee, cool name, sport.
HEY MAN, YOU GOT SOMETHING ON YOUR SHIRT
I’m not totally behind Lil’ B’s reason for getting into the music biz. He explains “I sang in a talent show and all the girls went crazy. And then I was like, this is what I want to do.” It’s a little shallow, but if it gets him some lovin, who am I to judge?
And hey, Lil ain’t half bad! I mean, his performance was pretty solid, except for the very end. He sang all but the last word of a sentence, then he queued the drums, and the lights, and paused. And now’s the part where he’s supposed to belt out the final note, and blow everyone away. Instead he kind of cooos this little “youuu.”
The judges scores ranged from 6 to 9, and Small Tan Lawyer said he had the best vocals of the night.
Man, this is getting to be a long show. How many more have we got here? Three! Are you kidding me? Jeeeeeesh.
Ok, so in case you care, the next one up is little Lara Johnston.
She’s the daughter of Tom Johnston, a member of The Doobie Brothers. “Who are the Doobie Brothers?” you ask. Well, I don’t know, exactly. I know they’re a band. And probably my parents listened to them. I imagine they carried over to the next generation about as well as The Barenaked Ladies will to our future children.
“And shouldn’t her last name be Doobie?” Yes. It should be, but it’s not. And that was her first mistake.
Her second mistake was trusting her dad when he said she was a talented singer. Her third mistake was selecting an Avril Lavigne song. And her fourth mistake was this dress.
I’M WITH YOUUUUU. I’M ALL BLUUUEEEEE.
The judges weren’t fans of her’s either.
And now we reach the point of the show where I realized it wasn’t an hour long, but an hour AND A HALF long. I was starting to get fussy, but I persisted in watching, though I allowed myself to be distracted by my cat, my dog, and the urge to fix myself a snack.
Ok, so who’s up next?
Ah yes, M.C. Hammer’s daughter, A’ Keiba.
STOP. HAMMER TIME.
A well spoken, nicely dressed college student, I’m sure no one believes her when she tells them her dad’s too legit to quit. But before you go thinking she’s way too normal, let me mention that her last name is Burrell-Hammer. Hammer!
She takes to the stage with “I Love You I Do” from Dreamgirls. On key and peppy. Good work, Ms. Hammer. And all of the judges reward her with excellent marks, except for rent-a-car sales guy who holds back and gives her a 7.5. “Tough love” he says. He wants to give her room to get better. That doesn’t really make sense, but ok whatever.
MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE WORN A SKINNIER TIE
Hey we’ve made it to the last contestant! Is anyone else still watching this?
It’s time for Crosby Loggins. His dad, Kenny Loggins, was responsible for the theme songs for Top Gun – “Danger Zone”- Footloose, and Caddyshack. And anyone who makes a gopher dance like that is okay by me.
I’M ALRIGHT. NOBODY WORRY ‘BOUT ME.
I know, you aren’t supposed to judge the kids based on their parents. No matter how many novelty 80s movie songs they wrote. But Crosby is just stinkin’ sweet and loveable anyway. And, or at least it seems in the interview, painfully nice. I may cry if he loses.
“THE DANGER ZONE PUT CEREAL ON THE TABLE EVERY DAY” – ACTUAL QUOTE FROM CROSBY LOGGINS
His performance may have been a little vanilla. And I don’t know why he chose to sing Elvis Costello’s “Peace Love and Understanding” when he could have picked any of his dad’s gems.
The judges gave him and ok score, and stupid Belinda dished out the worst backhanded compliment of the night. “You’re secretly sexy.” Oh whatever, Belinda. You’re secretly washed up. Or, no, you’re outwardly washed up.
And at last…the show’s over! Tiddlywinkerston (nickname #5) gives the viewers all of the necessary info so they can vote for their favorites.
Aaaand we wait…
All in all I was pretty entertained. In case I haven’t made it insanely clear, I thought it was too long. But I think (I hope) it will only be an hour long from now on.
I sort of thought this show was going to be one of those ones where they put everyone together in a mansion in the Hollywood hills and stock the kitchen with booze. And then make them compete in the last 10 minutes of the show. I still wish that’s what it was because that would be roughly 500% better. Just imagine it: Chloe locking herself in the closet and sobbing, while Jesse Money and A’Keiba Hammer fight over who has the better fake last name.
But sadly, all we get is the singing. MTV missed a good opportunity for some great trashy TV.