Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The first cut is the deepest

(Wait a second... Isn't this really the second elimination? What about the horrible spectacle of Bindi Girl who slaughtered "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"? The one who made an embarrassingly long noise; sort of a groaning 'uhhhh.....' as she sank to the floor. Dave Navaro remarked, "That was sexy for about the first few seconds, then... I don't know." Thanks for that little window into your mind, Dave). Did that not happen? A figment of my feverish mind?

It's a new day in the Rock Mansion~ the contestants are feeling their feelings about the first elimination, and we are there.

They are once again around the banquet table, toasting. There could be a drinking game here where you simply take a drink every time they toast or are seen drinking- let's drink along with the wannabe rock stars! You'd be loaded before the first commercial break.

Let us have a moment of silence, for Neil is the first sacrifice on the altar of INXS. From the way the contestants are carrying on, you'd think they took him out and shot him instead of politely telling him "I'm sorry, but you're just not right for our band, INXS". Now that he is out, Neil is suddenly elevated to sainthood, and apparently he was the glue that held all of them together. Brandon sadly reminisces about how Neil was him roommate, and Ty, raising the bar for theatrics, sobs and proclaims that "His energy not being in this house is going to be huge". Jessica matches him for tears; she was in the bottom three and interviews how she felt it was her "last chance" to prove herself, and she was "fighting for her life". K responds to Jessica's hysterics with his preferred take, "I felt like it was my last chance to blow Dave Navaro!". If we all remember, Jessica's ass did save her from elimination (perhaps I should not use the words "ass" and "elimination" in the same sentence, although K did tell me that most musicians' insults contain some sort of scatological reference. We also watched the "Remaking Vince Neil" special on VH1 this weekend, and K's special name for the show was "Polishing the Turd").

Back to our table scene...Most of the rockers are crying. Except of course, for J! D! Fortune!, who has most definitely been cast as the villain of the show. They are editing the hell out of the footage to let us see how scheming, manipulative and dishonest he is. I'd say they are setting us up to see him get the boot this week, but I think they will take the usual tactic and keep him around because of how hilarious his delusional plotting and poor reimaginings of every song he tries to sing are proving to be. Also, Brandon notes at one point that J! D! seems to have a bit of a drinking problem, and he becomes even worse at communicating with everyone once he's had a few.

So, J! D! turns the conversation to his favorite topic, Himself. He seriously wants to know if everyone's okay with him after his alienating declaration of how superior his knowledge of the INXS catalogue is... he bounced on his daddy's knee, earnestly reciting, "It's the one thing... you are my thing...". Everyone gives him the hairy eyeball and again register their irritation at his attitude. Several contestants interview that they are on to the fact that he's just "playing to win", and Marty proclaims, "The game is on". The game of Rock?

We are treated to a Very Special Moment with Mig, who is shown on the phone with (I assume from his wedding band) his wife. This is obviously meant to be an intimate conversation, but Mig is carefully posed on a balcony chaise lounge, flanked by torches and candles, and we can see the shimmering lights of the City of Angles far in the distance, as if Stardom itself is beckoning, just out of reach... K moans, please let a car bomb drive into the house and just end this all... he's starting to get really dark at this point with his commentary- thing is, K has quite a bit of experience as a musician himself touring with different bands for many years, and now works with musicians in his current job. He has a very definite point of view on how they think, act, and treat other musicians. Here's a sampling of K's special rant on the "challenges" that they should really be handed.

He launches into his tirade~ " Give them some real rock challenges... make them live for a month in the house with no food... Ramen noodles, nothing but Ramen noodles. That's what being in a band is all about. That, and pushing the van when it breaks down. See who can push the van farthest. Try carrying a bass amp up a flight of stairs. Drop a bass amp on your foot. Try being left behind at the gas station. Chasing the bus down the freeway. Get strip searched going through London..."

This week's Rock Clinic is Stagecraft! This "clinic" amounts to the group sitting around with 2 members of INXS, and reviewing their own performances from the last 2 weeks on video. The INXS guys offer comments and criticism, but the f'd up thing is that the contestants start commenting on each other's styles of working the stage... this seems wrong since they are supposed to be learning from INXS, not saying shit to antagonize each other.

Brandon is criticized for.. leaning forward? J! D! jumps in and declares, I see you as very tall! And when you lean forward, I can't see that! Brandon looks like he wants to throttle J! D!, which he already did want to do after the stupid incident exhaustively covered already about J! D!'s vast knowledge of INXS music. BTW, I noticed something really funny- you can totally tell that all the footage is shot out of sequence because Brandon's beard keeps appearing and disappearing. His hair grows and shrinks too! Maybe he's like that Chrissy doll we used to have where you push the button in her navel & can lengthen & shorten her hair at whim?

Ty is again reminded on how theatrical his performance is, and how it seems really calculated. INXS shares how Michael was always a spontaneous performer, and how they in fact never rehearsed so they could just follow how they felt when playing and be fresh every time. Ty snots, "Point very clearly made last week". He then swishes his train and adjusts his tiara, vows to go in another direction this week.

Jessica is criticized for her posturing, and there's something said about how they'd like to point her in a different direction... K finds this highly amusing, as they could be pointing her is a few very lewd directions.

Hands down best commentary on Daphna's stage style- she of the crouching, squatting walk across the stage in giant, shiny leather pants. INXS asks her, where did that walk come from? She sparkles, "I don't know! It just comes naturally." Obviously she thinks they approve; she's shot down in flames as they tell her, "You look like Graucho Marx". K shouts out, "You look like you're trying to take a shit and walk at the same time!". Which, he correctly notes, is a special talent all on its own.

INXS asks J!D! if anyone ever told him he seems cocky... K asks back to INXS, "Did anyone ever tell you you have a little round clown nose?". My giggling fit makes me unable to hear the rest of this segment before commercial time breaks the tension.

Song choices! J! D! is obviously loaded again, clutching a glass- he is shown tiptoeing into the room with the assignment board festooned with sheet music, and bumps into the rest of the wandering rockers lurking outside the door. They glare at him and he tries to turn the ugly mob to his side by whining about how he'd noticed the songs in there for a full hour and didn't go in to peek. I don't think they buy it.

Songs start getting passed around. Ty chooses "Everybody Hurts", the gayest REM song ever (and that's saying a lot). I'm sure this will really show them how NOT THEATRICAL he can be. He declares, "It's time to step up his game". Can you hear Keith Richards wanting to step up his game as he shoots heroin into his eyeballs? I thought not.

Brandon chooses "Tempted", and we get to spend time with him in the rehearsal with my favorite guys, the House Band. The keyboard player points out that he's missing all of the melody, and asks if he could please be less nasal. Brandon whines, "I can't really do that, sing melodically. It's just really hard for me..." K says, "That's what the lead singer is supposed to do... sing a melody...". Seems pretty obvious but not for Brandon.

Jordis (who earlier has a really funny moment alone with J! D! out on the patio... she first wants to sing "We are the Champions", and J! D! really really peeing-in-his-pants wants this song. He does a whole transparent manipulative "I have to try to hard to be where you already are, and I really need this song.." I.e. You are so amazing and please let me have this chance, oh Battlefield Earth girl. She shrugs and says, "Whatever, no problem" and picks another song. He keep following he around and asking, Are you mad? Do you want the song back? She keeps giving him the brush off, like get out of my face you little weasel.) picks "Gimme Some Loving" and we see her singing it very well with the Band. I note how she doesn't suck, and K points out, yes, but remember John Belushi was able to sing this pretty well, too.

J! D! is shown first outside and in his room singing "We are the Champions", and you can see the major train wreck potential. We are left with him trying to convince the House Band to rearrange the music to be a "Trip Hop" version of the song... They try, but it totally doesn't work. The Band leader says, "This is just not serving the song at all" and asks J! D! if he could just try it straight. J!D! looks like he's going to cry, and yup, it gets worse. Again, we can see that Freddy Mercury really was pretty special to hit all those notes and make the song not suck. The show ends with House Band leader laughing off camera, telling us how incredibly awful it was... I'm breathless to see the next show!

G'day and Crocodile Dundee to everyone,

1 comment:

Swollen said...

I saw the show last night. I can't wait for tonight. I would pay good money if I had to, to hear what that guy is going to do to "We are the Champions." I pray that the house band doesn't talk him out of his delusions about changing it. Nice recap of the show, you really sum it up perfectly!