News Segment


September 16, 2006

He may be a reality TV star, but twelve hours after the Rock Star: Supernova finale, reality had yet to set in for winner Lukas Rossi. “It’s mind-blowing,” he told us in a hangover haze while sitting poolside at new bandmate Tommy Lee’s house, where he’s crashing. “I’m just surprised anyone cares about a little punk from Toronto.”

So are we! But like the hundreds of thousands who tuned in to see Tommy, Gilby Clark and Jason Newsted critique a glorified karaoke contest of freaks and geeks, we too were secretly captivated by the show and its two front-runners: the deep-voiced and dreadlocked South African Dilana Robichaux, and the emotive Lukas, who impressed both the judges and viewers with his intense delivery covering songs like Radiohead’s “Creep” and the Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.” Sure, he must have ravaged the local Sephora for eye shadow and glittery lipstick on a weekly basis, and maybe the whole sunglasses-at-night thing is a bit played out, but the act paid off for the twenty-nine-year-old high school drop-out. And Tommy, for one, called it early on. “As soon as I first saw him, I thought, ‘That’s our man.’ It wasn’t necessarily about finding the best singer or the right look, it was about finding the guy — or girl — that could front this band . . . and Lukas is that person.”

Judging by his behavior at the show’s wrap party later that night, it seems Lukas has taken to his new rock star role quite naturally. Flanked on all sides by L.A.’s dimmest and drunkest, Lukas handled the ladies like he’d been negotiating groupie advances forever. To say that he liked the attention would be a major understatement. Even growing up, Lukas tells us, he didn’t have pictures of his favorite bands the Cult or Smashing Pumpkins on his bedroom wall. “I wanted to be the one on the poster!”

And now that he may have that chance, this former line-cook at Hooters isn’t wasting any time. He’ll soon head into an L.A. studio to lay down vocals to almost a dozen already-written songs and one or two of his originals. And after that, the Supernova tour, which kicks off in December and features Dave Navarro’s Panic Channel and the ridiculously rockin’ Rock Star house band (fronted by the season’s four runner-up contestants) as openers.

No doubt, it’s a dream come true, but fame has its price and even on this first celebratory evening, Lukas paid it when he was accused by of leaving his girlfriend stranded outside of the Geisha House doors. Not cool, right? So being the stealth journos that we are, we tracked Lukas down the next night in the smoking section of the Henry Fonda Theatre where he, Dilana and finalists Tony Rand and Magni Asgeirsson came to see Supernova producer Butch Walker play with his band, the Let’s-Go-Out-Tonites. Lukas’s response to the item? “No comment.” Tommy Lee has taught him well, indeed.

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