As Dave Navarro says, it’s Black Wednesday again, the day when we can all come together to disagree about who isn’t right for Our Band: INXS. Apparently it’s also called Black Wednesday for another reason – this seems to be the night everyone has chosen to wear black leather. Black leather is of course well-known as the best way for aspiring and/or aging rock stars to say “look at me, I’m bad”. As a side note, Democrats in my state legislature have a similar tradition – on Wednesdays they all wear camel-hair suit jackets. Which somehow isn’t quite so cool, and I think if they switched to black leather, much more interesting bills would get passed.
As an obligatory comment, I must point out that Brook Burke is also wearing leather – as in pants, which hang unflatteringly off her bony frame as she stands throughout the show in a legs-apart, butt-thrust-back stance that’s probably meant to look coy and flirty and winds up looking like she has to pee. She’s topped the leather pants with a sheer, shiny pink shirt thingy that looks like she stole it off a skanky mermaid.
I Want To Be One Of Those Reclusive Stars
Anyway, on with the show. The Tuesday night performance show saw the five remaining contestants showcase both an original song and a cover of an old favorite. At some point they also did a photo shoot for Levi’s jeans. Mig, JD and Susie managed to work the sex appeal, while Jordis was uncomfortable with the whole thing. Foreshadowing sighting number one.
Also, this week was JD’s birthday. Woot. *waves a sparkler* He celebrates by getting his fellow singers into a cake fight, after which everyone gets drunk and Susie appears to have drunk champagne off JD’s toe.
During Tuesday night’s show, INXS loved JD’s, Marty’s and Susie’s, but thought MiG’s ballad was boring. Dave asked Jordis if she’s lost the fire for this competition. That’s foreshadowing number two.
Now, Dave settles into the role of interrogator. He says he noticed she wasn’t happy during the photo shoot, and points out that if she were to front INXS, photo shoots would be part of the deal.
Jordis says the photo shoot felt rushed, that she was whisked through makeup and thrust out amongst scores of people staring at her. She thinks that with some experience in photoshoots, she’ll figure it out. But I wonder why she’s ok on stage with thousands of people staring at her, and not in a photo studio when the eyes number only in the dozens? What part of “singing on stage” does she not understand?
Dave tries to buck her up, telling her, “If I saw a photograph of you mowing a lawn, I’d be riveted.” That’s a sad statement on Dave’s aesthetic tastes, or perhaps he left out the part about “If I saw a photograph of you mowing a lawn and I was high, I’d be riveted.”
Anyway, moving on to Susie, Dave puts a picture of her looking sexy up on the screen for all to see and says she’s been through a transformation on this show. I for one would like someone to show me a clip of Susie in the first show, because I just don’t remember what was so different about her. Maybe I’m the only one – Susie says she’s heard a lot about her “transformation” and finally has had to agree that she has, indeed, transformed. Can we get a thesaurus up in here, stat?
To JD, Dave says his photos looked great, yadda yadda, he’s not even going to talk about those. Why did they take them, then? What Dave really wants to know is what happened at the birthday party, and why wasn’t he invited? JD resists the urge to tell Dave he didn’t get invited because he’d hog the women. Instead, he says the singers work hard and he wanted them to play hard.
Cheese R Us
I guess not everyone gets their own conversation with Dave. Because Brook throws her bony hip in to tell us it’s encore time. This week, the audience chose who gets an encore. Under the usual order to raise their hands if they think it’s them, Marty and JD both acknowledge thinking they deserve one. As a matter of fact, they both got the most votes, but JD got MORE most votes, and he gets the encore.
But—only after he gets upstaged by everyone else. Dave says that JD earned the encore, but that his “opening act” will be INXS, and the rest of the contestants, and the House Band, and Dave, all singing that new song of INXS’s, called “Us.”
I’d missed the episode where we first heard this song, so it’s lameness is new to me. Really, it’s a very cheesy song and I would not buy an album for it. I hope the contestants are looking at this and thinking twice about whether they really want to front a band that’s in the twilight of its career and producing pap like this.
They have to have rehearsed this performance, anyway. Because everyone seems to know when it’s their turn to take a chorus or a verse. Susie does an awesome job at one point, MiG hits some weird high notes, and that’s about all I’ve got on this one. JD finally gets to reprise his song, “Pretty Vegas”, which is ok, Brook flogs a CD of the show’s best songs, and we’re done with this catch-up stuff.
An Overdose of Nerves
Well, mostly. We’ve still got to wade through any house drama. At the mansion after Tuesday night’s show, the rockers’ self-reviews are mixed. Susie doesn’t think she did the Bonnie Raitt song justice – too much nerves, too much pressure. MiG is also a jangling ball of nerves, which he claims he’s struggling to suppress. He thinks it’s because the end of the competition is so close.
Jordis thinks JD did well and so SHE’s nervous – she feels like she’s blowing this chance, and she doesn’t know why she gets the shakes and performs badly. “Now I’m just tripping over myself.” MiG tries to comfort her, saying it’s hard to be in the middle when you’re used to being on top. But Jordis is starting to wonder whether she is indeed right for OB:INXS.
After seeing this clip, Dave asks Jordis about it. She says she came to do her best, and she forgot why she was here, and now she wants to go back to doing what she does best.
Dave then homes in on JD. He says JD has been off his game lately but that last night he turned it around. Right round, baby, right round. JD says he’s stopped the game-playing, and remembered that he came here to join INXS. What’s up with everyone suddenly remembering their original motivations? Before you know it Brook is going to remember she signed on to play a useful role in the show rather than be a vacuously pretty talking segue. Heaven help us if that happens.
Presumably Dave also asks MiG a question, and I don’t know what it was but MiG says JD whipped up the crowd with his rockin’ Vegas song, and so MiG was like a “lamb to the slaughter” coming after it with a slow ballad.
I Will Taunt You
A Second TimeEvery Damn Week
Finally, Brook says it’s time to get to the votes. Is it? Is it really? Or is it time to tease people with “early results” and commercial breaks? I think we all know the answer to that one.
Brook, as usual, asks the rockers which one of them thinks they will be in the bottom three. Susie and MiG raise their hands, followed by Jordis. Hiding a smile of delight at the half-hour of torture she’s about to inflict, Brook then announces a new twist – she’ll announce the first-to-last rankings of all the rockers based on those “early results”. Oh, well, won’t that make them feel great? That’s like saying to a politician, “Here’s how bad you were losing before any of the votes actually came in.” Because that’ll make so much difference on Inauguration Day, when the loser can say, “Well, you know, early on I had those three precincts in the bag.”
The order, from most early votes to least, is: Marty, Susie, JD, MiG, and Jordis.
I Could Only Have More Fun Passing a Kidney Stone
Now for the FINAL final three. Did I mention how stupid the early votes are? Even though in at least one case they’re right – Jordis is our first real member of the real bottom three.
Garry says the band knows she’s talented, and that she just needs to be herself. They assign her “I Need You Tonight.”
And, that’s about the worst song they could have given her, although it helps prove that Jordis isn’t right for INXS. She looks like she’s trying to look like she’s having fun, which means she looks really uncomfortable. And she’s not good at the sexy thing at all, and that song IS sexy. Also, she fumbles the lyrics once. All in all, not an impressive performance.
However, upon being questioned by Garry after, Jordis says that felt good and that she had the most fun up on stage that she’s had in a while. She adds that she hopes she’s the right person for the band, and that she wants to stay.
Number two in the bottom slot is … Susie. See how helpful those early votes are? Pffft. Jon tells Susie she’s been on a roll lately, and by this point in the competition it really doesn’t matter what happens because the majority of rockers are going to be in the bottom three. They assign her “Never Tear Us Apart.”
That’s a good song for Susie, and she handles it well, although she swoops up and down on the notes – technical term, “swoops” – and makes it a bit more screamy than the original.
Jon says Susie has been in the bottom three so many times, does she really think she can lead the band? Susie says yes, eventually – she has trouble pronouncing the word “unequivocably.” Or “unequivocally.” Whichever.
What, He Wouldn’t Bring World Peace?
Now, for the last of the bottom feeders. Will it be MiG, who’s never been in the bottom three? Or JD, or Marty? Survey says… JD. At this point in my notes, I’ve written “Jordis is gone” but now I can’t remember what JD did to make me foresee that.
Kirk says JD’s performance was worthy of an encore, and that it’s “mystifying” why he’s in the bottom. Ha, that’s a pun! Because they’re assigning him to sing “Mystify”! Ha, get it? *sigh*
I love “Mystify,” and JD does a good job with it, sounding – to me – a lot like Michael Hutchence. He does a weird finger-snapping thing and is wearing too much eyeliner, but sings just fine. However, I cannot forget, when watching him, that he’s an Elvis impersonator. I don’t know whether it’s because I KNOW that, or because the things he does actually remind me of Elvis.
Kirk asks where JD would take the band musically. Sidestepping the question, JD gives a beauty-pageant answer: “I would take you guys into my heart and I would give you back everything you’ve given me in the last 25 years.” Oh, barf. I can’t believe no one called him on that crap answer – Kirk says it’s “wonderful.”
With all three performances down, Tim points out that while these eliminations are tough, things aren’t going to be easy once they choose someone to join the band. Rigorous practices, rehearsals, photo shoots, press junkets and other hazing will have to be endured.
He also says that from now on, “it’s about our music and who is right for our band.” Does that mean the rockers are only singing INXS songs from here on out? That would make sense. I mean, Nirvana covers are all well and good, but…
How Can We Love You Unless You Go Away?
Anyway, it’s cuttin’ time, and – surprise surprise – it’s Jordis. They say she just didn’t bring it tonight. They’re all huge fans, she’ll be a huge star, and they’ll be the first to go buy her records. I’m actually a Jordis fan too, and while I agree that she sang sucky tonight and isn’t right for INXS, I’m hoping there’s some backstage record deal in the works.
Dave continues the “You’re fired but” lovefest. “I absolutely adore you,” he says. “I love you.” Jordis better watch her back for Carmen. Dave adds that Jordis is a legitimate star, that he knows he’ll hear her on the radio, and that “you and I are going to make music one day together.”
Jordis is in tears. Incoherent, she thanks the band and babbles teary goodbyes to the rockers. Tim thanks her for putting herself into this, and calls her over for the obligatory private goodbye.
And that’s all, folks! Tune in Sunday to see how dramatic the mansion is with only four people in it, and Tuesday to hear the last four sing… something else.
You know this recap was cool. I wrote it wearing black leather. email@example.com