When it comes to reality TV, if it’s not Brett Michael’s Rock of Love or NBC’s Biggest Loser, then I can’t be bothered. I could never really sit through the The Real Word or Survivor, and I really can’t stand American Idol.
But tonight, I caught the premiere of MTV’s new reality series, Rock The Cradle, a live musical competition show where the contestants are — get this one — the adult children of music legends and rock stars!
Check out this line-up of nine competitors: Landon Brown (son of Bobby Brown), A’keiba Burrell-Hammer (daughter of MC Hammer), Lara Johnston (daughter of Tom Johnston of The Doobie Brothers), Chloe Rose Lattanzi (daughter of Olivia Newton-John), Crosby Loggins (son of Kenny Loggins), Jesse Money (daughter of Eddie Money), Jesse Blaze Snider (son of Dee Snider), Lil Al B Sure (son of Al B Sure), and Lucy Walsh (daughter of Joe Walsh of The Eagles).
Before each contestant does their live performance, we’re shown prerecorded footage with them and separate ones with the parents, so it’s part music competition, part Behind The Music. In this part of the show, we get to learn about the less-famous progeny, most of which have the same story: they have a famous parent who did drugs/was off on tour during their childhood/went bankrupt — and the song they chose to sing was a message to said parent. Then we’re treated to the contestants rehearsing with the show’s house band — now this is where the real entertainment begins and we learn that just because the parents are talented, doesn’t mean their kids are, too.
Hey, not every famous music progeny can be Wolfgang Van Halen, ya know.
You know what I really love about the show? I love that these music royals don’t realize how truly mediocre they are. They believe they have talent.
Perhaps it’s not fair to judge the contestants so harshly, but how I see it is the fact that they were born with an unfair genetic advantage for talent means that they have much more to prove than the average American Idol contestant. At least Bobby Brown’s son from his pre-Whitney years knows this and says this much in his interview footage.
But forget about what I think, let’s see what the parents think! To add to the awkwardness of the scenario, the camera constantly flashes to the contestant’s famous parent in the audience suffering through their beloved yet talentless offspring’s croning. Then the host, whoever this Ryan Seacrest wannabe is, will ask the parent what they thought of their child’s performance. Umm… how the hell are they supposed to answer that? “Well, I think, I can’t believe I procreated such crap.” Nope, they grin and bare it like the supportive parents they never were when these kids were growing up. Maybe if the parents had been on tour a little less and at home to give their kids some music lessons, this would be an entirely different show.
To be fair, not everyone totally sucked. Hammer’s daughter had potential and maybe with some work could really be a good singer, as could Jesse Money. Money’s problem was that she kept doing that shaky voice thing, but if she ditches that, she can totally be a rock goddess. Crosby Loggins’s Elvis Costello cover was enjoyable, and though he was visibly nervous, he did turn out a nice performance that was — most importantly — in key! Plus, he came out and played guitar during his song, which was really cool. Jesse Snider too was in key (very important here), plus he had stage presence, just like his Twisted Sister frontman Dad. I’ll admit, I’m a little bias when it comes to this contestant because, yes, I’m a Twisted Sister fan and I remember back when I was a kid in the 1980s I had a heavy metal magazine that had Dee Snider holding his baby son. Now, to see that little boy as an adult who’s proudly following in his father’s footsteps was actually touching for me.
Well, it’s only week 1, maybe the performances will improve. Honestly, I kinda hope they don’t because it’s the trainwreck factor that drew me in and will keep me coming back each week.
Official site: MTV Rock The Cradle