'Rock Star' contestant now a 'Singing Bee' regular
INXS wanna-be Deanna Johnston says this singing job is more fun and pays better.
By RICHARD HUFF
New York Daily News
Joey Fatone isn't the only familiar face on NBC's summer hit "The Singing Bee."
Eagle-eyed viewers have also spotted singer Deanna Johnston, who performs on the show, but who first won national attention as a contestant on CBS' "Rock Star: INXS."
"I went to Los Angeles to do a gig, and a friend said, 'You should audition for this game show coming out,'" Johnston said.
She knew from "Rock Star" that she never wanted to be a contestant again. "The Singing Bee," however, was OK.
"This was more TV exposure, money, and obviously it's fun to be part of something like that," she said.
"That" being the No. 1 show last week and a breakout summer hit. NBC has added the show to its fall lineup.
In each episode, contestants must complete the words to popular songs. Johnston and a group of singers perform the tunes, and the contestants pick up where they stop.
For Johnston, "Singing Bee" provided another shot at expanding her music career.
"You're being watched by millions of people," she said. "Singing is singing."
Being on "Rock Star: INXS" was awesome, but she doesn't want to go through that again.
"I wouldn't trade it for the world," she said. "It's focused, difficult, stressful. It's a continually stressful period of your life."
The upside was that it brought her family together to watch the show, and, based on e-mails, helped inspire others. It also helped build her confidence.
It took a while, though. "After getting off 'Rock Star' they said goodbye, you're not right for the band, and dropped me off at home," she said. "It was difficult. You're doing somebody's wedding and people say, 'Weren't you on 'Rock Star'? How come you don't have a big contract?"'
Eventually, the disappointment wore off, partly because she knew she wasn't right to lead INXS.
"The main thing is you want to build a fan base," she said. "You want to be heard and the industry to hear from you. Winning just locks you into their wacky contracts."
And, because she lost, she now finds herself on "The Singing Bee."