Rock Star: INXS 9/20 Finale Recap - You Complete Me
What a fun ride this has been, huh? Ok, perhaps not as fun as getting a wedgie on a slip-n-slide…but pretty darn near close. What started out as an eye rolling musical competition knock-off, has instead transformed into an endearing tale of coming of age rock star wannabes. We laughed, we cried- we even shook our fists at the television screen. But I think we can all agree that the final three contestants were worthy of being such. Now that I’ve got my fuzzy bunny slippers on, lets get down to business…
Memories…All Alone In The Moonlight
As always- against the wishes of true reality television fans- every season finale must contain five to seven minutes of “let’s see how we got to where we are today” type footage. Yes, never mind giving us loyal viewers some new stuff.
I must admit that I’m pleasantly surprised at the musical montage that accompanies the journey that played out over the last eleven weeks. It was a good reminder of how many great songs were sung. From Bob Marley to The Four Non Blondes, we were treated to an eclectic musical symphony of sounds that left many of us reminiscing of days gone by.
Remember Dana, Neil and Tara? Yeah, me neither. Maybe this flashback thing isn’t so bad after all? I’m not going to spend any time delving into the past of the early contestants but I did want to point out on observation that I noticed throughout the show. Was it me or did the early group of wannabes have a pissed off look on their face every time the camera panned on them? I’m sure it sucks knowing they will go down in the annals of reality show history as a punch line or asterisk, but c’mon this show opened some serious doors for otherwise forgettable voices.
Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moe
What was fun to watch was how all three finalist’s transformed over the course of the show. JD, for example blew some serious chunks in his first stage performance that landed him in an early uncooked batch of the final three. Then there was his bonehead comments that bashed his fellow contestants, insinuating that he was the only true fan of INXS. It wasn’t until week five or thereabouts that he went from being a schlep to…well, he‘s still a schlep- just with a better act.
Marty just about blew his vocal chords through his nose before he even became a fan favorite. This screaming and intense musician was coined “the mad conductor” due to the flailing of his arms in erratic choreographic-like fashion. Throw in his free flowing silken blond locks and hideous job of applying eyeliner and he is a shoe-in for the next Mel Brooks mad scientist spin-off. Yet in the early vocal clinic, Marty re-taught himself how to control his voice, and as the weeks progressed a new and in control Marty emerged that capped with a wicked performance of Wish You Were Here.
And then there’s Mig. Everybody’s favorite Aussie. He’s the rock star equivalent to Teddy Ruxpin- sweet, cuddly and harmless. Mig entered the house as the best theatrical performer and will be leaving the show as the best theatrical performer. To Mig’s credit (along with his fan base), he had never landed in the bottom three until last weeks results show.
Determined to prove he was no flash in the pan, Mig mesmerized the audience and the band with What You Need, proving he could sing, dance and gyrate in a spray painted-on pair of leather pants that were last seen in Nurse Debbie’s Naughty School of Learning. Which coincidentally is airing on late night Cinemax. Check local listings for air times.
Give My Regards To Broadway
Brooke Burke, always looking as pure as the driven snow, gives us the low down for what lies ahead. Mig, Marty and JD will sing the songs they have chosen from the season‘s catalog. Afterwards, the band will cut one of them. The remaining two will each perform on stage with INXS. Based on the final performances, a winner will be announced. Sounds easy enough, right?
Mig is the first one up to the plate. His final song choice is Bohemian Rhapsody. Mig felt that he had to sing this song as a way of closure. He had sang this song in theater and wanted to put the ‘period’ at the end of this chapter.
Well Mig fans, you’re in luck. His performance was spot on and vocally superior for a song that requires such control in the vocals. I liked it- but more in a Broadway-esque Mama Mia/ Hairspray kind of way. The only thing missing were jazz hands and a kick ball change step. Mig did ham it up for the obligatory head bounce during the instrumental parts, but it just seemed so cliché to me.
So now it’s JD’s shot at making it to the big leagues. We’re treated to a flashback of his first performance. And yes, while his Elvis days are probably just a distant memory, I forgot how much he emulated The King in that first performance with his crotch gyrations and quivering upper lip. You’ve come such a long way, my friend. The lip quivering has finally taken a back seat to more gyrating.
JD is singing You Can’t Always Get What You Want. I’m always a sucker for the “start out quiet and finish with a bang” kind of songs. JD doesn’t disappoint. The amazing house band kicks in halfway through and we’re settled in for a fun and visually eye catching performance. His arms are doing the usual bendy and twisty psychedelic impressions.
Vocally I didn’t think it was his best but hell, when you can command a stage with a strong musical arrangement, uninhibited dance moves, and make the throngs of giggling fans in the front row weak with a simple bat of an eye…I’d say that’s a perfect trifecta.
I’d speculate that Marty has gained the most from this experience. Because of that, he has chosen to sing Wish You Were Here- the song that shot him straight to the top of the favorites.
There’s something about Marty that makes you wonder what’s really going on inside his head when he sings. Does his heart hurt? Has life’s awkward moments jaded him and left him cynical? Or is he just trying to remember his lyrics? Who knows, but one thing’s for sure: he lays whatever it is on the table and lets you inside.
This was my favorite performance of the three to this point. I’m not just saying that because I happened to favor the lad but rather…oh who am I kidding. It was a kick ass song and he sang it as good as the first go around. As an added bonus, he even slipped in a little of his “mad conductor” moves which I have dubbed “the praying Marty”.
At the end of the three performances, it is Mig who is not right for the band. Tim Farriss was right. All three of them will have amazing careers when this is over regardless of who wins. I wish Mig well and look forward to seeing him again soon.
The Future Is Now
So now what happens? INXS has sat on their asses long enough and is ready to jam with Marty and JD, that’s what. Marty is first up. We’re treated to a fun laser show as the band fires up Don’t Change. Marty is back with his antics. Utilizing the whole stage, he alternates from control to screaming and even throws in a few 80’s dance moves to fit in the guys.
Following a good performance is JD singing What You Need. There are no laser’s this time around, but we do get some rockin’ cowbell. I have to say that when I closed my eyes, it was Michael Hutchence. He sounded eerily similar and then everything became clear.
As a side note, I’ve been laughing hysterically all season long at the
models “fans” in the first two rows of the stage. Somehow watching these uber-blonde nymphs with blinding white teeth and enough silicone to cover a hot air balloon has become a show within itself. Their clumsy lip-synching and robotic dance moves have been a highlight during some of the more forgettable performances.
However, on this the final song of the competition, a real rocker has made her way to the front. The teased dry hair from too much Auqua-net, the acid washed Sergio Valente jeans and the ripped, off one shoulder baby blue t-shirt that read New York City in silver glitter kind of gave it away. But bless her heart- she truly knew the words and wasn‘t going to let anyone ruin her night.
Now Come Hug Papa
After a commercial break, it’s finally the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Tim Farriss does a pretty good job of keeping the suspense. He breaks it down like this:
“JD: You sing with passion and you’re an amazing performer.”
“Marty: You adapt and change. You have become a riveting front person.”
But only one person is right for the band and Tim says, “JD……..(insert long pause as to build up anticipation)……you are right for our band, INXS.”
Mayhem ensues. Cars are overturned, beer bottles are broken over everyone’s skull and cats and dogs are living in harmony.
Tim has one last bit of news for Marty. Seems the band digs him. Enough to possibly have him open for INXS on their world tour. It’s a great second place surprise and might I add probably a better career move.
Now that the band is complete, JD takes the stage to front their first single Easy Easy. It’s true to the INXS recipe for success. Heavy on the bass, simple drum beat and catchy lyrics. Only time will tell if this is the re-awakening of a great band.
And thus, our journey on this musical yellow brick road is complete. On behalf of the other amazing and talented FoRT writer’s, I’d like to thank you for joining us each week as we navigated this tangled web of melodic delight together.
Until the next time: stay tuned, stay happy and stay groovy…
Thought you should’ve been the next Rock Star? Email me your audition tape to: email@example.com