Rock Star: INXS -- week 9

Fare ye well, Jordis. The youngest contestant on Rock Star: INXS was sent home this week (although she told the other contestants she would see them in two weeks; what was that all about?). There's no doubt that we will see more of Jordis in the future. Her week 4 performance of "The Man Who Sold The World" was nothing short of stunning. It truly looked like a star was born that day. Unfortunately, her star faded fast over the next 5 weeks. She was never able to match the brilliance of that performance again, and she stumbled badly when she performed "Dream On" during week 7.

Of the five performers this week, Jordis was the least satisfying. Her performance of Queen's "We Are The Champions" was unspectacular. Her original song "Try Not" was the least impressive of the five (though it was more INXS-like than three of the others). And her Wednesday night performance of INXS' "Need You Tonight" confirmed what I thought last week: her voice is not appropriate for INXS. But at age 23, Jordis still has plenty of room -- and time -- for growth, both personally and musically. If she can regain her passion and work on her consistency, she could become a major star in the near future. We've already seen and heard her sound like one once.

This week turned out to be far more interesting than I thought it would be. Besides doing covers (the results of the unexciting "All-Request Week" poll), the five remaining contestants all wrote and performed original songs. Marty got my vote this week. His song "Trees" sounded like a Killers-style modern-rock hit. Marty never was my personal favorite in this competition. But if INXS is looking for someone who will update their sound for the 21st century, Marty could be their man. Also, it was wise of him to tone down the Foo Fighters' "Everlong" for an acoustic rendition. We've already seen him do the '90's grunge thing too many times.

JD was a close second. If this were the first time I'd seen him, I would think he was great. His song "Pretty Vegas" was the most INXS-like song in the bunch, and it had a personal stamp as well. He certainly did better with Nirvana's "Come As You Are" than Jessica did during week 5. And his Wednesday performance of INXS' "Mystify" was solid. Unfortunately, we've seen too much inconsistency from this man. And his antics continue to be off-putting. On the Sunday reality episode on VH-1, he tore apart his birthday cake and started a food fight, and the five contestants proceeded to party like rock stars in the mansion. (Whoever had the task of cleaning up the mess was hopefully well-paid). This seemed to confirm what I've felt about JD all along. He's too unpredictable. If he tours with INXS, he'll probably be trashing hotel rooms and causing other problems as well. I know that any publicity is considered good publicity in today's show-biz world. But as a long-time fan of INXS, I do not wish to see them get stuck recording and touring with a troublemaker.

I enjoyed Suzie's performance of "I Can't Make You Love Me"; it was certainly better than Deanna's. Her r&b original "Soul Life" wasn't very INXS-like, but that's the only thing that worked against it. However, I was not impressed with her Wednesday performance of "Never Tear Us Apart". I thought she sang the INXS song all wrong. What happened there? Mig did well with "Hard To Handle". But I've got mixed feelings about his original song "Home In Me". It was a good, conventional rock ballad, but (as Tim Farriss pointed out) it was not INXS-like at all. Tim Farriss said that's important at this stage of the competition. No kidding! I suppose Mig should be proud to have never made the bottom three, but that also means that we have yet to hear him perform a single INXS song. And the contest is almost over!

One thing that all of these five contestants can tell their children is that they performed with INXS on television. All five members of INXS took the stage on Wednesday to perform their new song "Us", employing all five contestants to sing. Dave Navarro took part in it as well. They acted as if this was a mostly spontaneous decision, but it sure seemed rehearsed to me. Not that I'm complaining. The ensemble was good.

In case you haven't heard, a CD containing performances from the show is going to be released on September 20th, which will be the day the show concludes. It contains 17 tracks -- one apiece from all 15 of the original contestants, and one more apiece from Jordis and Mig. Yes, that includes Jordis' performance of "The Man Who Sold The World". Sign me up!