Friday, August 05, 2005

We are family - I got all my sisters with me

So, on with the RockStar:INXS performance episode. Again, no notes were taken, so I might not get all the song names right, or critique in order of appearance. I've got a bad case of Bride Brain. On with the show!

This time, we start off the show right away with a performance... as the camera pans over the crowd and Brooke Burns starts shouting "welcome to blah blah INXS blah blah", a familiar "Boom Boom clap" drum & audience/band noise overwhelms us... yes, it's "We Will Rock You", by Queen. I wonder how Mig persuaded them to let him open the show like this, even before the credits & introductions? The powers of Mig are strong.

He does very well, hits all the notes & works the stage well. The crowd is loving the Mig- he is positively Mignetic! The house band seems to really like him too- they definitely play better depending on the song & performer. You can tell they're just going through the motions with some of the rockers. When the lead guitarist walks upstage playing the big Brian May solo, he & Mig have fun making Rock Face and Guitar Face while the solo lasts. INXS and Dave Navarro (damn, why are you here, man?) all give Mig big thumbs up- one of them takes a swipe at J!D! Fortune! by remarking how "We will Rock You" leads into "We are the Champions"that was performed last week... they all snigger as the camera cuts to J!D! looking constipated. INXS guy says that unlike that performance, Mig would have made Brian May & the rest of Queen proud. Go on with your bad self, you Mignificent Mig!

Next, we have Deanna, who sings "I'm the Only One" by Melissa Etheridge. After seeing Monday's rock clinic vocal coach rip her to shreds and all but tell her to give it up, you know she's got something to prove. She's off in the beginning with the low notes, but once she hits the chorus she starts really belting it out, throwing around her hair and looking mighty strong... then, she moves to the front of the stage and down into the crowd- they scatter from her path and she jumps up onto the sacred Banquet of INXS and Dave Navarro, and screams the choruses till the end right at them, waving her arms and striking a fierce stance. They stare, looking just a little scared- Deanna is pretty statuesque and looks like she could pick up Dave Navaro and snap his little lollipop body in half. When the song finishes, she tunnels back through to the stage, stopping to hug a woman in the audience. When she jumps back up onstage, she pants, "That's my sister, she's right there...". One of the guys cracks, "Wow, your sister, and you managed to not lose it?". The camera cuts to a reaction shot of J!D! Fortune! who looks to have just eaten a rotten lemon. They give Deanna props for a powerful performance, and warn her to watch her timing on the song if she decides to do something like that again.

Next, we have Marty, who sings a Creed song, "With Arms Wide Open". Marty once again turns in a very good performance- I think Creed is awful, and he makes me not hate the song, so it must have been a good performance. He does the standing still thing for most of the song, but does a strange arm-wave "mad conductor" thing during a solo moment when he isn't singing. It's a little too Marcel Marceau for me. DN and INXS praise his performance, and remark on how much he's been improving every week. They like him, they really really like him!

Here's where I get fuzzy on the order- I think Brandon sings next. He does that Tonic song, "If you could only see". I had originally thought Brandon was a shoo-in to win this thing, but I'm starting to waver. He really doesn't have much of a range, and as a house band guy noted on Monday, he has a real problem with rhythm. He's still doing the stooping over thing, which diminishes his tallness (as noted by J!D!) and looks awkward. For some reason, DN and INXS still give a weak performance a solid thumbs up, and say how he has benefited so much from the vocal clinic...maybe the TV distorts the sound, because I really didn't hear it. I'd say he's made a definite move from average to mediocre.

Ty time! He has the Foo Fighters song, "Everlong". Something happened to Ty at the vocal clinic, because he sounds really different this week, and I don't mean in a good way. On one hand, he sounds more masculine than he has before, and more rock appropriate in his moves (read- not gay) but he also loses his stage presence along with his vibrato. I have to agree with the theatrical thing they keep throwing in his face, but when he's not doing that thing he just gets kind of forgettable. Flamboyance is a good rock quality- so what if it's not totally macho? They give him props, DN notes that he did pretty well since he only just heard the song for the first time a few days before. Someone must have been slipping the guys some happy pills along with their cocktails, because their judging this week is way more cheerful and supportive. Did I mention that the editors are going crazy this week showing reaction shots from J!D!? I know they're trying to give us a little drama story, but I just feel really bad whenever they show him because he's so obviously wanting everyone else to fail. I wonder if they are allowed to watch the show in the Rock Mansion? If they are, they would for sure be aware at this point of his "Evil Scheme"...

Our next performance is Jordis, who chose "The Man who Sold the World", by David Bowie. Oh. My. God. She walks out, stands still and does the almost impossible on a show like this- she sings the hell out of this song, and makes it as powerful and special as Mr.. Bowie's.We are now very clear about who is the best singer on this show. She has a gorgeous control of her voice, and also packs a real emotional quality into her performance. Last week we saw Tara sing "Suffragette City" and really make hash out of it- I wince every time I think of her little hip-cocking pose at the end, ugh. Jordis, you might want to try to get yourself off this show as quick as possible- you are way too good to be competing for a lame opportunity like this. You deserve much much better. The INXS guys and DN are stunned too- they fall over themselves telling her how amazing she was; she accepts the praise with a genuine smile & remarks how the song really moves her. She mentions again how it reminds her of a friend who died, and she says to the camera that she wants the guy's family to know she's thinking of them and remembers her friend. Again, Jordis, you are too good for this. Yet AGAIN, the camera shows J!D! off to the side- he now has the unenviable position of having to follow this show-stopping performance. He looks appropriately sick and terrified.

So, J!D! does "The Letter", which he plotted and schemed to get, even though no one else really wanted it (Suzie said she liked it, kind of). Hate to say it, but he does a good job- however, if I would give him an 8 out of 10, I'd also have to subtract 7 points for what a douche bag he is. DN notes it sucked having to follow Jordis, but hey! It was his best performance yet! Oh, Dave, you giant whore. The INXS guys also give good marks, but if they do watch the Monday episodes (which they mentioned earlier in the show they do) don't they see that this guy would be terrible in a band because he obviously can't get along with anyone? Sorry to slip into corporate speak, but if you're in a band, you need to be a team player. If you can't, you become Steve Perry. Or Dennis DeYoung. Alienating the rest of the group as you shove your ideas down everyone's throat- I don't believe for a second that all of Styx was on board with the whole Mr.. Roboto thing (even if Styx sucked before this, the whole song-story of the futureworld of Mr. Roboto really put them over the top into the hall of Shame).

Jessie girl is up- with "Blister in the Sun". Ugh. She's got the really annoying habit of "acting" through her songs- making faces & gestures along with the words. She does try, and does her usual I'm-so-sexy-look-at-me-stroke-my-inner-thigh, but still looks to me like a "Girls gone Wild" outtake. When she finishes, INXS and DN note that she did pretty well with a song that really doesn't show off much singing- hey guys, who picks the damn songs? Oh right- Random McShuffle. DN says, "we've seen you do good performances, but where's Jessie? We need more of your personality". Jessie says with much exasperation, "This is it. This IS my personality. I don't know what else you want from me...". you know the answer to that, Jessie- what they always want from you...

Oh, shit- I can't remember what Tara sings. She's not very good. That i can remember. When she finishes, they note that she's got a successful career already (really?) and ask her rather pointedly how she feels about singing cover songs. She smirks and says, she liked the previous week's song, and this one, and she thinks she's finding herself...damn, it's going to make me nuts, I can't remember her stupid song. Any way, FORESHADOWING. MAJOR FORESHADOWING.

Last but sort of least, is Suzie singing the Lennon/McCartney classic, "Get Back". I'm surprised they can use this song- do they have to pay licensing fees to use the songs? I mean, the Beatles can't be cheap. It's (big sigh) okay... but as is later noticed, much of the song is solos from the band. So, eh... end of show.

Usual voting cues from Brooke Burke... tune in to see what gets the boot!
Got no more Aussie anything. Peter Jackson? Peter Jackson!


No comments: