Okay, so I had high hopes for the new Rock the Cradle reality show on MTV. Aside from the fact that I saw all the posters in the NYC subway, but couldn’t find any real info before the show started.
So I watch some of the show and learn that the show is another performance-based music reality TV show. The twist is that the contestants are children of famous recording artists. This also means that you get to see the kids, as well as the famous parents each week:
A’Keiba Burrell, daughter of rapper MC Hammer
Landon Brown, son of R&B singer and renowned bad boy Bobby Brown
Lara Johnston, daughter of Doobie Brothers’ singer Tom Johnston
Chloe Lattanzi, daughter of singer Olivia Newton-John
Crosby Loggins, son of singer Kenny Loggins
Jesse Money, daughter of rocker Eddie Money
Jesse Blaze Snider, son of Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider
Lil B. Sure!, son of R&B singer Al B. Sure!
Lucy Walsh, daughter of Joe Walsh, guitarist for the Eagles
In theory, this should be a cool show, but I already have a problem with the concept. For one thing, the talent pool is very small. The main requirement to be on this show is that you have a successful and famous musician parent. While having musical bloodlines is helpful, it says nothing for actual talent in action. It reminds me a bit of children who are born into wealthy families. They didn’t themselves earn the money that brought the family into wealth, so without actual parental intervention, the children may not totally understand the value of money, much less how to build wealth from scratch. With a rock star parent traveling hither and thither while you’re growing up, how does Junior really get to build the serious credentials?
For example, if these particular contestants were auditioning against the contestants of any of the Rock Star reality TV shows (Rock Star: INXS or Rock Star: Supernova) on talent alone, I have to wonder whether they would have made the final cut. The singers in the Rock Star reality show franchise had to hone their talents with years of paying dues on the stage, and in the clubs. Without mommy or daddy to give them a hand, their raw talent has to rise to the top. That means that their confidence was hard-earned. And when you consider the HUNDREDS of singers who auditioned for a Rock Star slot, you understand just how good that you’d have to be. Sorry, but it’s hard for me to be as impressed.
BUT, having said all of that, I may still tune in. MTV is the pioneer of reality shows, which means that the producers will provide lots of other reasons for you to watch, such as emotional storylines and rivalry drama. I just can’t promise to tune in regularly like I did with Rock Star: Supernova (the TV show, not my CD 😉
I did notice one very cool thing in Rock the Cradle. If you were a fan of the Rock Star reality shows, you’ll notice that the house band backing the contestants is made of most of the house band used in both Rock Star reality shows. I was very happy to see Paul and the gang working again, although they’re still in Cinderella mode. The second Rock Star show was originally going to be about finding a lead singer for them. Instead, the show became a search for the lead singer of an all-star rock band featuring drummer Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe), bassist Jason Newsted (Metallica) and guitarist Gilby Clarke (Guns N’ Roses). Once the big names were involved, the house band remained the house band. But that’s the business, right?
From what I’ve seen so far, though, my money is on Jesse Blaze Snider. He’s got the look, the cocky rock and roll swagger that’s needed, and he’s already been performing with his own band Baptized by Fire (aka BFX). This is not the first time he’s been on a stage, and whatever he doesn’t have, he’s willing to fake. He’s talented and hungry – I like that.
However, I’ll stay open to the possibilities. Let the games begin!