It's no secret: I wish I were a rock star. Perhaps that's why I've taken to this show like a groupie to an all-access pass. I guess rock stars really don't use "perhaps," though... I'll have to ask Navarro for help with that. In the meantime, while I practice my Ace Frehley poses in front of the mirror, let's run down last night's performers and see if they gave INXS what they need.
Heather: First off, from what perch are INXS watching their prospective singers? From the ambience, it looks like they're reclining in a Marrakech opium den. Anyway... here I thought "Somebody to Love" was going to be the Queen tune. Instead, I have to settle for the Airplane classic, which Heather, in skin-tight leather pants, nails as slickly as Grace herself.
Marty: Mr. Nice Guy takes on "Take Me Out." But why affect a British accent, mate? Sure, it works for Green Day's Billie Joe, but one faux foreigner in rock is enough.
Daphna: Much like Heather's leather, Daphna's Slash-like top hat is very rock. And, man, can this girl shake it. Those moves were straight out of the Pussycat Dolls' repertoire. If this INXS gig doesn't pan out, maybe you should consider calling Carmen Electra. I'm sure Navarro can get you her number.
Suzie: After Monday's lyrical bungle, it's nothing but redemption for Suzie Q, whose enticing interpretation of "Call Me" had me reaching for the phone. But holy skirt! Nothing like giving the first few rows their own private show.
Brandon: Who knew Johnny Damon could sing? Oh, wait... it's just Brando, knocking the timeless "Hard to Handle" right out of the park. He smoked it as well as the Black Crowes ever did, on stage or on their tour bus.
Jordis: It's always dicey when a woman covers a song popularized by a man, and vice-versa. But She of the Natty Dreads gave Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box" an urgency it hasn't had since St. Cobain first laid it down during the In Utero sessions.
MiG: This cat doesn't have the most memorable voice, but, damn, does he have stage presence. And, sometimes, nothing else matters.
Deanna: "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" Based on her pigtails alone, I'm all for staying. Sure, pigtails might not yell "rock and roll," but they definitely scream "hot." Add Deanna's ability to put a little bit of soul into this Clash classic and you have one of the night's best performances.
Wil: Jesus Jones help him, cause I fear he's gonna need it after that sleepy-eyed version of "Right Here, Right Now."
Jessica: Did she sing? 'Cause all I see when Jess performs is a big neon sign blinking S-E-X. Easily the best stage presence of all the ladies. She's so dangerous on-stage, she scares me.
Tara: Throw down some sawdust and bring in the line dancers; this just turned into Country Star. Really, why would the producers throw the Eagles' "Take It Easy" into the song pool? To trip up a contestant? Fortunately for Tara, she didn't let herself get entangled in the twang.
Neal: Shirts are for the weak, and seldom do they have a place on stage. Look no further for proof of this than Neal, who tests this Axiom of Rock as he tears through CCR's "Fortunate Son."
Ty: All right! Ty's going to belt out "Heartbreaker." Finally, some Zeppelin! Oh... it's Pat Benatar's "Heartbreaker." Grrrr... Still, the mohawked man kicks it with another near-manic performance. And I mean that in a good way.
J.D.: Ever wonder what it'd sound like to hear Elvis sing "California Dreamin' "? Wonder no more, man. Sorry, but I just can't shake the idea that J.D. leads a double life as an E.T.A. (for the uninitiated, that's "Elvis Tribute Artist"). There's just too much swiveling going on for me if I wanted swiveling, I could find it in Vegas at either the Legends show or the Bunny Ranch. Or so I've heard.