Thursday, August 11, 2005

Rock it baby yeah!

When I first saw the promo of Rock Star: INXS I thought, "Oh God! Not another reality show!". I even find the promo annoying and thought that INXS has become a sell-out. Why can't they find a new member at their own time? But noooo... they have to search throughout the globe and make a huge 15 week audition process out of it. You can call it The Apprentice: Rock Style. And of course they just have to drag Dave Navarro into it.

So with...

A little bit of old school to keep it real (INXS)
A dash of cute factor to draw in the girls (Dave Navarro)
A pinch of skin to draw in the guys (Brooke Burke's very short skirts), and
A whole pot of desperation (the 15 contestants and INXS trying to top Michael Hutchence's suicide),

we have the complete recipe of a perfect reality talent show and I didn't give it a second thought.

But I stumbled upon it one day and I was pulled by the great songs performed by these unknown performers. I may not be an expert in the rock scene. I may not know what's hot and what's not when it comes to evaluating rock music, but I'm always a sucker for live band performances and theirs were pretty good.

I was also curious as to how they're going to pull it off. Like other reality talent shows, they also rely on SMS voting to determine who's in and who's not. So what happens if INXS is stuck with someone they don't really like?

What they actually do is the voting will determine who are the people at the bottom three. And then out of the three INXS will kick one out (or two of they fell like it). The bottom three will have a last chance to proof themselves by performing an INXS song the band chose for them. Nice plan, a balance of public approval and professional recognition.

What the contestants sing every week is another ingenious plan. They get a limited number of songs, very limited. If there are 10 contestants left, they will get 10 songs to chose from. That's it. From my point of view this gives a lot of room for the contestants to sabotage each other. If they know that a competitor wants a particular song so bad, they could easily fight for the same song. Or they could innocently say that "You would be great doing this! I can totaly see you rockin' doing this song" knowing full well they would bomb. But so far I haven't really seen it played out openly.

The songs given to them to pick from are the best of the crop. They are songs from legendaries David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Beatles, and Nirvana to new school rock bands like The Killers, Tonic and Hoobastank; from slow rocker like Bryan Adams, Squeeze and Pat Benatar to non-rocker like Seal. INXS know what they want - diversity.

Another reason why I find this show interesting is that the voting always reflect the performance. The bottom three are always the people who gave the weakest performance. It doesn't matter if you gave the best shows that people had ever seen in the weeks before, if you bombed one night, you'll be on the INXS chopping block. A clear example happened with Ty. He is obviously INXS favourite and has given a lot of strong performances before. But he failed to shine when he did Foo Fighter's Everlong in week 4. So down to the bottom three he went but redeemed himself when he did INXS' Kick. Jessica however is not one of the strongest contestant and she's been at the bottom three twice. A great performance of Violent Femmes' Blister in the Sun saved her from the third strike.

After this morning, the show is left with 8 contestants and I can say there are no regrets. The ones who go are always the ones I won't miss. These 8 deserved to be there (except for Jessica, I hate her) and the show gets hotter every week with only the best left to continue the fight and belt out great songs with gusto.

While Jessica, Deanna and Marty are just biding their time before they go...

I like to see MiG, JD and Suzie survive till the end.

But my money is on Ty, Jordis and JD to be the final three. The rest is up to INXS.

And when I say 'my money', it's just a figure of speech. I never really voted. They're doing fine without me anyway.

If I've managed to get you interested or you don't know what to do in this current state of emergency, you can watch Ro.... wait wait wait let me put on my announcer voice first...

Catch Rock Star: INXS on Star World (Ch 70) at these times:
Reality Show and Performance Show Live on Wednesdays 9AM (Repeat at 9PM)
Result Show Live on Thursdays 9:30AM (Repeat at 9PM)

Or you can log on to


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