Rock Star: INXS (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Rock Star: INXS is the first season of the reality television show Rock Star where 15 contestants competed to become the lead vocalist for the Australian rock band INXS.
INXS enjoyed great popularity through the 1980s and early 1990s, but in 1997, frontman Michael Hutchence died. The band attempted to continue with alternate singers, but remained largely dormant until this show. The winner of the series, J.D. Fortune, was announced on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 and became the band's new lead singer. Following the series, on November 29, 2005, the band released the studio album Switch with J.D. Fortune on lead vocals.
Contestants were housed in the Paramour Mansion, and squared off in a singing contest featuring well-known rock songs. Each week, viewers voted for their favorite contestant. The three contestants with the least number of votes performed an INXS song the following night. The members of the band then decided which contestant would be sent home, with lead guitarist Tim Farriss invoking the show's catchphrase "you're just not right for our band, INXS" to the departing contestant.
The show originally appeared three nights a week on CBS. The format consisted of a half-hour behind-the-scenes episode on Monday, a one-hour performance episode on Tuesday and a half-hour elimination episode on Wednesday. However, on August 3, 2005, CBS announced the behind-the-scenes episode would move to Sunday nights on VH1 effective August 7, 2005 due to low ratings in the United States. As the show continued, the ratings improved. This prompted the expansion of the Wednesday results show to one hour for the duration of its run. The winner, J.D. Fortune, was announced on Tuesday, September 20, 2005.
Runner-up Marty Casey and his Chicago-based band Lovehammers were invited to open for INXS on their 2006 tour.
The show was executive produced by Survivor's Mark Burnett and was hosted by Brooke Burke and former Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro. Other producers were David Goffin (American Idol), Lisa Hennessy (Eco-Challenge) and INXS managers David Edwards and Michael Murchison were executive producers. Conrad Riggs was co-executive producer. The show was edited by A.J. Dickerson and Scott C. Wilson.
Five musicians made up the house band that backed the 15 contestants during the show. The house band was made up of Paul Mirkovich, Jim McGorman, Nate Morton, Sasha Krivstov, and Rafael Moreira.
Three contestants reached the finale: Mig Ayesa, Marty Casey, and J. D. Fortune. Fortune was considered by many the underdog of the three as he established a renegade image during the competition. In the finale, Ayesa, Casey, and Fortune each selected a song that was performed previously on the show. Ayesa chose Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", Casey chose Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here", and Fortune chose The Rolling Stones', "You Can't Always Get What You Want". Based on these performances, INXS eliminated Ayesa.
With the competition down to Casey and Fortune, each performed an INXS song with, for the first time on the show, all five members of INXS. Casey performed "Don't Change" and Fortune performed "What You Need." INXS announced Fortune was the winner.
During the competition, Casey and Fortune performed two original songs that became fan favorites. Both songs would receive multiple encores during the competition. Casey's original song was called "Trees" and was described by host Dave Navarro as a song that he could imagine being heard on the radio "today". In fact, the song received some radioplay as a result of its exposure on the show.
At one point in the competition, the remaining eight contestants were challenged to write lyrics to melody written by Andrew Farriss. They were divided into two teams of four. When Fortune did not see eye to eye with his team (which included Casey), he decided to venture out on his own and write his own lyrics. At first, Fortune's move was considered to have jeopardized his chances of winning the competition (since it was perceived he couldn't work in a team), but it was this move that resulted in his creation of the lyrics of "Pretty Vegas." This song became a favorite of both fans and INXS and played a major role in Fortune winning the competition. It also became the first single from their new album Switch.
Top 15 finalists
The following is a list of songs performed by each finalist during the competition. The number represents the week in which the song was performed. Except for the second week, each week one finalist was asked to perform an encore performance of the song they performed the night before, noted as an "Encore Performance".
Each week the three finalists who had the lowest total audience votes were asked to perform an INXS song of the band's choice, noted as a "Bottom 3 Performance". This was the case for every week except for the first and last ones. After everyone performed one non-INXS song in the first and last episodes, the band chose one contestant to be eliminated out of the entire group. There was no voting for the bottom three.
In the seventh week two contestants were given the chance to perform original songs (Mig & Deanna.)
For the ninth week performance episode each contestant performed an original song as well as a non-INXS song. In the elimination episode that week all the remaining contestants plus Dave Navarro performed as an ensemble with INXS on their new track Us, as the opening act for that week's encore.
For the tenth week performance two songs were chosen by INXS to be performed by each of the remaining contestants.
The ages given below were the ages of the contestants during the recording of the show.
J.D. Fortune - 32 years old, born September 1, 1973 in Mississauga, Ontario, but raised in Salt Springs, Nova Scotia (Winner, selected to be the lead singer of INXS, 9/20/2005) Formerly lived in his car.
1. American Woman (The Guess Who)
1. California Dreamin' (The Mamas & the Papas) - Encore Performance
9. Us (INXS) - Ensemble of remaining contestants with INXS
10. Trees (Marty Casey) - Encore Performance
10. Creep (Radiohead)
11. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
11. Don't Change (INXS)
MiG Ayesa - 35 years old, from London, England (born in the Philippines, and raised in Sydney, Australia) (Eliminated thirteenth, 9/20/2005) Best known for his role as Galileo Figaro in the musical We Will Rock You: a Tribute to the Music of Queen.
1. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
1. All Day and All of the Night (The Kinks)
2. Walk This Way (Aerosmith)
3. Lola (The Kinks)
4. We Will Rock You (Queen)
5. All Right Now (Free)
6. Baby, I Love Your Way (Peter Frampton) - Encore Performance