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Rock Star: INXS
July 25-27: Everybody hurts
Monday: This episode could have been entitled "J.D. is an Ass," because that's how he acted through the whole thing. Whining until he gets Jordis to switch songs with him, then realizing that he can't handle Queen and whining to try to get her to switch back. I realize that these Monday episodes are edited to the max, but he certainly gave enough raw material to hang himself. Mike says, "Is his name J.D. or J.R.? 'Cause I think someone is going to shoot him." My prediction is that he'll crash and burn during the actual performances, because his trip-hop version of "We Are the Champions"? Sucks big time.
I guess Satan was busy corrupting souls somewhere else, because only Garry and Tim from INXS lead the "clinic" this week. They show everyone their performances and give suggestions for improvement. Apparently Jordis, Marty, and MiG (that's really the way he spells it) are perfect, because we don't hear any comments about them.
Who exchanged slut-wear Jessica with that mousy thing? And why don't we just end this competition right now and name the house band the winner? Because they're, like, twenty times better than most of these contestants.
That said, MiG rose a few notches in my estimation because of his concern about his wife in London...and because during the credits he blew J.D. away with his own take on "We Are the Champions" and then threw out a variation of J.D.'s slam: "These guys [the house band] do this because they have to. I do it because I love it." Bwah!
Tuesday: Funny how Dave Navarro gets more applause than INXS. Hmm...
Almost everyone has pitch problems tonight, so I'm not going to comment on that too much. I think it might be a monitor issue, which is hardly the fault of the contestants.
Jordis ("Gimme Some Lovin'"): I finally see why people like her. She gets the audience involved and does a great rendition of this song. If Dave hadn't pointed out that she'd dropped a line, I'd never have known. I thought to myself, "She could have won A.I. with that performance," and then it hit me: she's like a really rocked out Kelly Clarkson. Yikes!
Suzie ("Superstition"): Another good performance, and I agree with Dave - she's grown a lot in these past few weeks. She looks like she's having fun. I like the harmonica, too, although I wasn't always sure that it worked.
Jessica ("Because the Night"): Slutty Jessica is gone, and to me, this song just wasn't that exciting because her voice alone is b-o-o-ring. I think she toned it down too much, but the guys think it's an improvement, so what do I know? And how many birds did she pluck to get that many feathers on her chest?
MiG ("Lola"): Props to him for starting off with "London be strong!" and then singing a rendition of this song that actually makes me like it. He spreads his legs so far at one point that I think his jeans will split, and my eyes are plastered to the screen. INXS wants him to be more spontaneous, whereupon he peels off his jacket and tosses it in the audience. In the process, he reveals one fine looking chest. Yummy. Lo-lo-lo-lo-lo-LA!
Brandon ("Tempted"): Well, he gets some of the notes, anyway, and he does sound a little like Paul Carrack. But mostly it was a whole lot of blech. INXS tells him that a future clinic will involve vocal training, which will "help" him, and I start giggling because that's such a slam and he doesn't realize it. Hee.
Ty ("Everybody Hurts"): I confess, I don't much care for R.E.M., but this rendition was really heartfelt. I wasn't at the point of tears that everyone else seemed to be, but it was nice to see someone show this kind of emotion. And he sat with the house band at the beginning to show that yes, he could be part of a band and not just a soloist. Good boy.
Heather ("If It Makes You Happy"): It doesn't. At all. She sounds like crap. We find out she's been sick, but as INXS points out, you may have to do whole tours where you're sick, so you have to learn to deal with it. Definitely at risk this week.
J.D. ("We Are the Champions"): He does the traditional arrangement, but it still sucks. He says it's because his sister is in the audience and he hasn't seen her in two years, boo hoo hoo. Satan has fun pointing out that INXS told him to tone down the cockiness, so of course he chooses this song. Ugh. Oh, the smirk on Jordis's face when J.D. was singing? Priceless. [Note: These concerts aren't live, and one thing that apparently got edited out was Satan saying, "I hope you enjoyed your little family reunion, because that shit just cost us $50,000." Bwah!]
Deanna ("Give a Little Bit"): She got to pick first this week, and she chose this song? Oh, well. She looks comfortable on stage, and the performance is fine, but it's nothing to write home about. Next.
Daphna ("Rock the Casbah"): What the...? Singing a Clash number in an evening gown? Singing harmony the whole blasted time? Hoo boy. INXS is right. She murdered that song. I need to gargle with some mouthwash to get the bad taste out. Ptooey!
Tara ("Suffragette City"): I think she might be at risk to be back in the bottom three because her performance is almost as dull as Jessica's - although at one point I thought she was going to take off her jacket to show off her lacy black bra, which I'm sure the boys would have loved. Shudder.
Marty ("Lithium"): Nirvana is another band that I just don't get, but I will say that Marty's performance was one of the best of the evening. Anyone else notice that he's channeling J.D. a week after the fact? Last week, he was the manic J.D. from week 1. This week, he's the intense J.D. from last week. God help him next week.
I think there was enough to differentiate the contestants this week that I can attempt some rankings. So here goes, best to worst:
10. Heather (cutting her some slack because she's sick)
Actually, anyone in the bottom six could go, and I wouldn't care. Just leave MiG and his chest, okay?
Wednesday: The band gives props to Ty, Mig, and Jordis for their performances, and then asks Marty for an encore of "Lithium." His performance is just as intense as the previous night's, only now I'm really listening to the song and giggling, because the words are so silly. Anyway, underscored by stupidly dramatic music, Jessica, Daphna, and Heather are named the bottom three.
The INXS drummer and bassist join the house band for the women's last-chance songs. Daphna performs a so-so rendition of "What You Need," Heather slaughters "By My Side," and Jessica performs a passable "Elegantly Wasted," which is enough to keep her safe for another week. In a "shocker," INXS eliminates both Heather and Daphna. When you think about it, though, this isn't really surprising, because this show has been struggling in the ratings department, and CBS probably informed the band that they'd have to hurry things along. However, no one has informed the other contestants of this possibility, so everyone is stunned, and Suzie in particular has become a fountain of tears. [*rolls eyes*] J.D. is acting all buddy-buddy with everyone, and I'm thinking, "Just leave already." Hmph.
Next week, I fully expect all of the bottom three finalists to be asked to leave. [insert evil cackle here]
Review © 2005 by Patricia Lowhorn. For comments, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 18-20 Review | Rock Star Index | July 31-August 3 Review