Damn you, INXS. You brainwashed nearly every girl I went to high school with into liking guys with Michael Hutchence's long hair and savoir faire. And, in 1987, that sure wasn't me. So I'll admit I had it in for this series from the get-go. Come on... INXS? "Never Tear Us Apart"? Rock lite, maybe; not really rock star. But I was wrong, man. Finally, a musical reality show that I can get behind! Sure, Idol had Allman alternate Bo Bice, but he was an anomaly like a successful Christian rock band. Here, we get nothing but rock-and-rollers, and it's nothin' but a good time.
Jordis: Yeah, she may be a bit young to front such a, shall we say, mature band, but she turned in a soulful "Baba O'Reilly." Daltrey would be proud.
Marty: Seems like a nice guy, doesn't he? But those Jennifer Wilbanks eyes he was working during his performance of "You Really Got Me" got me a bit disturbed.
Tara: Since Randy Jackson isn't here to say it, allow me: I wasn't feeling this, dawg.
Neal: It's like Jagger in '69! This guy even looks like him. I've always thought that to be a truly great frontman, you had to be slightly effeminate. Look at Mick, Axl and Freddie. Well, maybe Mr. Mercury was more than slightly effeminate... but that's why he was so mega, man. Neal's my early pick as the one to beat.
Daphna: Those lips! That look! Sultry Daphna's definitely got that Gina Gershon thing going on. Wait, doesn't Gina have her own band? Hmmmm...
Ty: Two words. Right. On. Neal, meet your competition.
Dana: Oooh. Dana, Dana, Dana. No doubt you can sing, but why pick such a slow tune as Dylan's "Knockin'on Heaven's Door"? Bob at his most mumbling would have sounded better. I'm worried.
Deanna: Of course, one of the ladies had to sing "Piece of My Heart." It's so overplayed that I just can't get into it. Still, the performers' Obi-Wan-like guru, Dave Navarro, is impressed, so I see Deanna sticking around.
MiG: MiG? What kind of name is that? Is it like the Russian fighter jet? If so, very rock and roll, guy. And despite what was said by Navarro (who I'm agreeing less and less with as the night goes on), your "Teen Spirit" was solid, bro.
Jessica: "Celebrity Skin" was Courtney Love's most kick-ass song, and Jessica nails it, infusing it with that sense of danger that's been missing thus far. And she moves like a minx.
Wil: At first, I was digging him. But then I realized that I just really, really like Bowie's "Heroes."
Heather: "Burning Down the House" did just that, didn't it? With all that ink and those fiery red locks, Heather could easily spark flames as front woman of INXS. Somebody bring me some water.
Brandon: Rock and roll is part talent and part flash. And Brando definitely has the flash. Let's see how he does with a different song tomorrow. "Rock and Roll All Nite" should be rolled right into the grave. Gene Simmons, I'm so over you.
J.D.: So, J.D., a week ago you were living in your car? Who are you, Jewel? If so, expect that Grammy soon, hoss. It seems to have worked for her. But to me you came across as a bawdy Elvis impersonator. Who shouldn't be touching his audience.
Suzie: Hey, anyone can mess up lyrics. I'm sure that in some altered state the Black Crowes bobbled the words to "Remedy," too. But it serves you right for scaring poor Marty earlier in the evening by asking him if he has polyps on his vocal chords. That even had me looking inside my throat for nodes.
For the most part, I'm super impressed by all the hopeful Hutchence heirs. Too bad one is about to be expelled from rock-and-roll fantasy camp. And... it's Dana. No shocker, but it's still a shame. Especially since (according to her cbs.com bio) she's acted in Sinful Obsession, Intimate Nights and Stripper Wives. Which just happen to be my three favorite films.