After lauding him with praise, and having Dave Navarro dub him the "Dark Horse," the band decided to send Ryan Star home on last week's Rock Star: Supernova. Perhaps it was his wild jumping and performing that changed their minds, but they gave little to no explanation for their surprising decision. Ryan told them that they were making a mistake, and he'd be seeing them on the charts. TVGuide.com caught up with the New Yorker to find out why he went home and what it is like sharing a name with an American Idol contestant.
TVGuide.com: What the heck happened on Wednesday night?
Ryan Star: I don't know, you tell me.
TVGuide.com: Usually they give an explanation. We didn't see one. Did they say anything else to you off camera?
Ryan: No. There was nothing said, it was kind of like, "We love you, man, you are growing, you've impressed us." Then they go, "Storm, you are not impressing us, we're kind of done with you." Then "Hey, Ryan, go take a hike." What this show is amazing at doing is: "What you see is what you get." It is really genuine.
TVGuide.com: So no constructive criticism?
Ryan: No. If anything I gave them constructive criticism.
TVGuide.com: Right. You didn't just thank them in your parting words like everyone else. That was refreshing.
Ryan: What I said, I meant. That's kind of how I'll leave it with them. I didn't thank them for making me grow into somebody I wasn't. I am still the same person I was going onto the show. I thank them for the opportunity, but as far as everything else, I was just there to do my thing.
TVGuide.com: When you signed on, did you know it was Supernova, or did you just want to do Rock Star?
Ryan: I found out who the band was and thought it was cool. If it was another band, I probably wouldn't have done it. Mostly I've got to say that I love Dave Navarro and I thought if it was cool enough for him to be on, then it was cool enough for me to be on. I was this indie guy from New York going on a TV show. It was a very hard decision to make. I was the last person in because I almost turned it down.
TVGuide.com: Even though you didn't win, you are happy with the way it turned out?
Ryan: I am talking to you today. The odds of me talking to you without this experience are a lot lower. I didn't win the grand prize, but sometimes things can go a few ways. The grand prize might not be first place all the time.
TVGuide.com: You've got some fans who are fairly stunned.
Ryan: Yeah, [Supernova's] got some explaining to do for a lot of people. The message boards are blowing up and I know my website [RyanStar.tv] is just going crazy. I feel the love out there from all the fans.
TVGuide.com: Are you single, dating, married...?
Ryan: I've actually had a girlfriend for some time now. When they started the show, I think they called me "the single guy," but now I'm ending the show with a seven-year relationship.
TVGuide.com: Did you rehearse the piano slide for Tuesday's show?
Ryan: I did not rehearse it. If you see my face right before I do the slide, I'm kind of like, "Uh-oh, I've got to play piano!" So I threw the mic over my neck and I jumped right over the piano to get there in time. It was freakin' awesome, I loved it. That's the stuff I can't do at a solo show because if I'm not playing, no one is playing. It was as fun as it looked.
TVGuide.com: The Supernova guys seemed to think your performances were off-the-wall, but I thought it was fun to watch you be crazy on stage.
Ryan: I think that is what it is about. Otherwise you could just put some headphones on and close your eyes.
TVGuide.com: Are we going to get to hear that great original song that you performed on an upcoming album?
Ryan: Well, "Back of Your Car" is on iTunes, and it has been one of the most downloaded songs. It is also on my website, which is where people are buying the record. It is so exciting because I'm feeling some serious support out there, and people are really loving the record. Every one in three records [I sell], I get back an e-mail right away that says, "Thank you, it moved me and changed my life." I'm going to get to work right away on getting something more proper out.
TVGuide.com: I saw some online clips of you working with the House Band and you were very into the craft of the music and the details.
Ryan: Oh, yeah. I respect a guy like Magni, who goes in and just wants to rock with the house band. But I've been doing this forever, and I get in there and whether they like me or not, I'm like, "Hey, Nate, don't hit the snare the third time, hit it the second time." They call me "Micro" because I manage them a little bit, but what do you think Eric Clapton would do if he went up there with those guys? Do you think he'd just be like, "Hey, on two?" No. There is something about being a leader and a frontman and those are the responsibilities you have. Hopefully, Supernova finds someone like that.
TVGuide.com: Do you think Supernova has a chance for long-term success?
Ryan: I made it clear last night when I told them my thoughts. I apologized to them for not being better because I felt like I was their ticket to having that kind of career.
TVGuide.com: So that's a no?
Ryan: That's a "take it as you want."
TVGuide.com: Were you a fan of the Supernova music you got to hear?
Ryan: [Pauses] It was a really fun experience for me. The first time we heard the music, it was my childhood heroes, and I went in there and I was like, "Hey, guys, this is a supergroup, and I want to make this chorus better." They were totally cool with opening up. It was really fun to try to put my two cents into the mix.
TVGuide.com: So do you ever get confused with American Idol's Ryan Starr?
Ryan: I've never heard of her, who is that? [Laughs] Just kidding. Here's the story: I was home and someone was like, "Turn on the TV, there is this girl whose name is Tiffany Montgomery and she just changed her name to Ryan Starr on American Idol." Out of nowhere she changed her name to my name. It was like, "What the hell just happened here?" I was getting calls from everyone I have known since nursery school asking what was going on. Supposedly she and I are going to meet up and fight over [the name]. She definitely knows who I am now. The greatest thing about going on the show is that now people can tell her, "Hey, isn't that the name of the guy on Rock Star?"
TVGuide.com: But Ryan Star is your real name?
Ryan: Star is my middle name, actually.
TVGuide.com: Then I think you should win the fight, you've had it longer.
Ryan: Yeah, it's on my birth certificate. My brother and sister wanted my first name to be Star when I was born because, funnily enough, they thought I would be a singer. They gave me the name Star and my parents moved it to my middle name because they didn't think it was cool, thankfully. I've gone by Ryan Star out of respect for my brother and sister's wishes.
TVGuide.com: They must be so proud.
Ryan: I have a really great family. I don't have a sob story to share with you to make good news, but they've grounded me my whole life. I'm centered because of them, and I miss them terribly because they are my family and my life.
To keep tabs on the latest twists and terminations from your favorite unscripted shows, read TV Guide's Reality Check column.
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