During every Tuesday performance show, I find myself wondering what Dave Navarro is whispering to INXS guitarist Tim Farriss who, incidentally, is looking more and more like Sammy Hagar to me. The two of them are often seen chatting in a damn-near huddled embrace. Maybe Dave's asking him what kind of pomade he uses? Or if he's seen Eddie Van Halen lately? Most likely, though, he's asking Tim the same question I asked myself last night: Can you believe how good the contestants have become? Those performances were so solid that I'd have paid top ticket price (including those obscene Ticketmaster surcharges) to see them live. Here's who rocked what:
MiG: Mighty MiG's take on "We Will Rock You" is some killer Queen for sure. And why wouldn't it be? The guy's been a regular performer in the London production of the Queen musical. Almost seems unfair to the others, doesn't it? But, hey, no one ever said rock and roll was fair. Look no further than Creed's success for proof of that.
Deanna: If they ever make a Melissa Etheridge musical, I know who's playing the lead. Deanna's "I'm the Only One" is note perfect. And she's even working her way through the audience, sauntering right up into INXS' Persian perch. Move that hookah, guys, 'cause you're getting a private show!
Marty: Anyone who can make Creed's "With Arms Wide Open" sound this good deserves some kind of compliment. I'm just not sure that "You're blossoming" which is what Tim tells Marty after his able performance is it.
Ty: Mr. Mohawk has consistently wowed me with his powerful pipes. But, unfortunately, his run through the Foo Fighters' "Everlong" is sounding a bit restrained. While Dave Grohl screams the chorus, Ty's trying to sing it, and it's sounding (to borrow the title of a Captain Beefheart album) as safe as milk.
Jessica: The Violent Femmes' "Blister in the Sun" is a tough one to sing, mostly because it's almost impossible to sound as creepy as Gordon Gano does in the original. But Jessica reinvents it and scores. This may finally be the performance that keeps her out of the bottom three.
Brandon: "If You Could Only See" by Tonic is instantly forgettable, but Brando's recently improved voice makes his version stick around a little longer. But what was with the I'm-falling-down-like-I'm-having-a-stroke stage move? If they ever make "Stroke! The Musical," I know who's playing the lead.
Jordis: "The Man Who Sold the World." In a word: sublime. Jordis is without a doubt the female front-runner.
J.D.: I so wanted to hear the Box Tops' version of "The Letter." Not Joe Cocker's. If I wanted Cocker (or just some good old-fashioned writhing), I'd have séanced in John Belushi. Still, I must admit, J.D. done good.
Tara: If Sting floated me this "Message in a Bottle," I'd throw it back at him. Bon voyage, Tara.
Suzie: I feared Suzie would make "Get Back" sound like it was being performed by a cut-rate Beatles tribute band. You know, the kind where Paul plays bass right-handed? But instead she sounded fab and was secure enough to let the house band shine on.
Almost all the rockers improved this week in both voice and presence. Which makes picking a bottom three as hard as trying to pass through airport security with an aluminum-foil-wrapped cucumber. But, all that aside, I'll say Tara, Ty and Jessica are nearly tapped out.