Rock Star: INXS 7/19/05 Recap: How to Lose Friends and Generally Make an Arse of Yourself
Welcome back to Rock Star: INXS, ladies and gentlemen! It seems we have all the right ingredients for a great show tonight. Once again, some great songs will be performed, and the world will vote to help INXS choose their new frontman or frontwoman. However, tonight it seems that some of the song choices are perilous! Will the performers be able to pull them off?
The lovely Brooke Burke walks onto the stage, accompanied by two giant strands of beads, welcomes everyone to the show, and gives us a quick recap of yesterday’s episode at home with the rock stars. (However, she didn’t tell it nearly as well as my good friend Speedbump did, whose recap you can read here.) The last episode was all about improving the contestants’ style, and Dave Navarro seems to be dressed in a dead caribou tonight to drive home the point. So, let’s get to the performances!
Kicking off things for us tonight is Marty, who’s performing The Romantics’ “What I Like About You.” Marty’s brought back his frenetic energy and robotic, nearly-spastic dance moves and really works the audience into a frenzy. He also works his hair into a frenzy, as it’s completely frizzing out midway through the song from all that head-banging.
Dave applauds Marty for a great opening performance, and says he loves his stage presence and persona. INXS drummer and fashion expert Jon commends Marty for working the stage, and Kirk tags on an “Awesome.”
Following Marty is Daphna, who’s looking good again this week in a pair of leather pants, but she’s toned down the eye makeup and has her hair pulled back from her face as was recommended last week. Daphna performs Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself For Lovin’ You,” and she does a bang-up job of it. She belts several lines in her “power voice,” but is much more successful in controlling her pitch. Her performance is augmented by some slithery dancin’ and a kick into the air.
Dave, who seems to be falling for Daphna, gives her props for a “kick-ass” performance, saying that she could scratch her fingernails on a chalkboard and he’d still be compelled. INXS bassist Garry concurs, but gets down to the crux of the matter, adding “hubba hubba!” Tim remarks that he loved her kick, loved her style, and wants to see her continue to extend herself.
Next up is Ty, who will be performing The Killers’ “Somebody Told Me,” another one that will have the crowd going insane because they know the words. Ty’s augmentation of his style seems to be the addition of three chains hanging from his belt—one looking suspiciously like a tail. Ty does a good job, throwing in all his usual trademarks such as carefully-planned, dramatic collapses to the stage, but it seems just a bit below his last two performances.
After Ty is finished, Dave asks Ty if he’s had a lot of theater experience. Ty replies, “a little,” and Dave smiles and says, “it shows.” The crowd claps, but Ty looks offended by this comment. Garry suggests, in slightly more diplomatic words, that Ty likes to ham it up, and Kirk suggests that Ty try to diversify his next performance. Now Ty looks downright furious! Please don’t make him angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
Cuts Like a Knife
Suzie’s ready to rock and will be singing The Police’s “Roxanne.” You know, back when Sting made relevant music? Suzie gives a great performance, though the song is a little disappointing when it’s sung by a woman. That range, for a guy, sort of gives you the feeling of boldly going where none have gone before. That said, though, Suzie gives the song a great dose of emotion and very technically clean vocals, so a big thumbs up to her, overall. And I’m not just saying that because she could easily kill me in a single punch with that massive ring she’s wearing.
Dave praises Suzie’s performance, saying “you nailed it!” Jon says that her style has improved, and she sang the song more seriously, which in turn made her a bit sexier. Woo hoo! Tim concludes by saying she should be proud of herself.
With Aerosmith’s incredibly verbose “Walk This Way,” it’s MiG’s turn on stage. He had his doubts whether or not he’d be able to remember all of the song’s rapid-fire lyrics . . . can he do it? Why yes he can, and he does so with panache! MiG misses not so much as a syllable, and he sounds incredible. At the thunderous conclusion of the song, MiG crashes to the stage in a heap. Who can blame him? The crowd, especially JLuvs, goes wild.
Dave is both surprised and delighted that MiG got every word in the song perfectly, and Tim is very impressed and excited that MiG is continuing to improve.
Now. I’d like you all to throw your mind back exactly 24 hours ago, when Neal admitted, on national television, that he didn’t know what “melodic” meant. Remember that? Good, because Neal is up now, performing Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69.” Neal has brought his Gibson SG onstage and plays the opening bars to the song. Then he opens his mouth. I can only surmise that Neal tried to look up “melody” in a dictionary, but accidentally turned to “malady.” Nobody really admits to liking Bryan Adams, anyway, so when you sing one of his songs that flat . . . yeesh. I really don’t know what to tell you.
Dave, too nice a man to crush poor Neal’s dreams off the bat, says he liked the way Neal stood and delivered the song . . . with flair! Yay flair! Garry reiterates their suggestion from last week—that Neal sing a more melodic piece—and asks if Neal thought he did that. “Yeah, man, I rocked it out!” replies Neal. The shocked look on Garry’s face displays a terror ghastlier than a thousand ghouls.
Oh no! Career Suicide on TV? Wait Until the FCC Hears About This!
Following Neal’s future “most embarrassing moment,” it’s up to Heather to repair the damage and keep the show rolling. She’ll be doing so, we hope, with The Rolling Stones’ “It’s Only Rock and Roll.” Heather has put a lot of gravel into her voice for this one, and the results are rather exquisite. She sings the song wonderfully, and brings her performance up a notch, too.
Uh oh! Looks like Dave is falling for Heather, too, as he says that he’d like to crawl into a little cocoon and “metamorphisize” with her. Wait until Carmen gets ahold of these little hussies! (Ha! I bet you never thought you’d be hearing that phrase, did you?) Tim states that Heather just keeps getting better.
Last week, he blew everyone away with his arrangement of “California Dreamin’,” so will J.D.’s arrangement of Alanis Morrisette’s “Hand in My Pocket” do it again? J.D., with shirt and tie, launches into his song, to which he’s added the classic Bo Diddley beat in the accompaniment. He does a nice job with the song, once again showcasing the best ranges of his voice, and he gets plenty of audience response. Once again, he does a good job of not grabbing anyone in the audience, probably because he’s got one hand in his pocket . . . and the other one’s flashing a peace sign. *groan*
Though Dave says the arrangement worked, he picks up on the rhythmic similarity to George Michael’s “Faith” immediately. Hmmm . . . did he watch last night’s episode? INXS keyboardist describes J.D.’s performance as “cookin’,” and Garry tosses J.D. big kudos by believing that he has the most focus out of the performers. Things couldn’t look better for J.D., right? J.D. responds to Garry, stating that while the other performers are learning INXS’ songs, he already knows them because he loves them. Oh! Well then, it’s brown-nosing, is it? There goes J.D.’s rapport with any of his fellow contestants. I hope he enjoys arranging his songs . . . all alone!
Next up is Tara, who’s fought for her song selection, Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid.” Though Tara moves around on stage a lot more than in previous performances, she still looks a tad stiff, and she’s wearing a split skirt, yet still dons a “power stance.” Let’s just say that the front row got more of a show than they bargained for! Her vocals are pretty good, adding the mournful, wretched Black Sabbath screams in appropriate places. Her makeup is undoubtedly a tribute to Ozzy Osbourne . . . the similarity is striking!
When she’s finished, Dave asks why she picked the song, and she replies that it’s one of her favorites and an early metal classic. Plus, it’s quite different from “Take it Easy,” no? Andrew says that she blew that one right away, and Tim nods, adding that she’s got a lot of guts.
Since Tara came out on top in the battle of “Paranoid,” it’s time to see what has become of Deanna, who gave up the song. She’ll be singing R.E.M.’s “The One I Love,” which no one seemed to want. This still baffles me! Deanna really does a nice job with the song in terms of vocal performance, but you can tell she still hasn’t succeeded in “feeling” the song, which rather sucks the meaning right out of it.
Dave, who’s apparently gone to the managerial technique of just asking questions, asks Deanna how she felt about performing a song with different flavors to it. “It was all right. . . .” Deanna replies, not very convincingly. Tim says that he’s a big fan of R.E.M., loves the song, and thinks she nearly pulled it off. Not quite. Andrew reiterates the emotional aspect of the piece, and thought she could have “gone more soft.” Shame Deanna had to hear what good friends INXS is with R.E.M. after trashing R.E.M.’s song! How embarrassing . . . at least Michael Stipe could hide his face in his hair in moments like this.
Now it’s Jordis’ turn, and she’s looking to continue her string of successes with both INXS and the people. Her song choice is “The Reason” by Hoobastinks. I guess I don’t really need to tell you that I abhor that song, eh? But if anyone can turn this piece of radio-friendly power ballad trash into something compelling, it’s Jordis. As she launches into the piece, I notice that it’s less whiny in the vocals than the original . . . it has a line, shape and sensitivity . . . why, it’s become a real song! Miraculous!
Dave says that he’s never been a fan of that song . . . but now he is! Jon says that Jordis looks beautiful tonight—stunning—and says he loves her voice. Kirk sums it up nicely: “Big hair, big belt buckle, big voice, big future.” Our critics’ darling has done it again! Now go dwindle back into obscurity, Hooba.
Well, There’s Always the Classy Outfit of Skin
With our episode nearly complete, it is Jessica’s turn on stage, and she will be performing the Jimi Hendrix classic “Purple Haze.” Funny, this week was all about rock star fashion, yet Jessica seems to be wearing the same thing . . . next to nothing. Hmm. Maybe what not to wear is as important as what to wear? Discuss. Jessica does a decent job of the song, but her vocals are rather distracting . . . she can’t seem to hold a vowel out without distorting it. The band, though, saves her with their uncanny imitation of the Jimi Hendrix experience. It’s frightening, really.
Back to his inquisitive nature, Dave asks Jessica why she chose the song. She replies that it was “something different” and “something she always wanted to do!” Garry must burst her bubbly bubble when he intones that it wasn’t as different as it could have been.
Finally, it’s time for Barefoot Brandon to close out the night with his rendition of “Sweet Home Alabama.” Brandon, too, has brought his guitar onstage, but he ups Neal’s great idea by singing in tune. Thankfully, he’s forgone the Davy Rockett look that he was threatening last night and gone instead with the “hobo playing a guitar with a quarter for a pick” look. Or perhaps the “Sirius Black on the lam from the Dementors” look. Ah, but who cares? Brandon does a great job.
“A great song for you and a great performance!” cheers Dave. Kirk says that his timing was better in this performance, perhaps due to his simultaneous guitar-ing. If he can lose the guitar and keep the timing, he’ll be nigh unstoppable!
And that’s curtains, my friends! Who was your favorite in tonight’s performances? Be sure to tune in tomorrow to see who’ll be packing their bags and who is still destined for stardom!
Metamorphisize with me at Mantenna@fansofrealitytv.com