ROTTEN ROCK STAR REALITY TV: PART ONEROCK STARINXS

(For the life of me, I have no idea what good, other than piles of cash they don’t need, could come out of having your family life exposed to the public via a hour-long reality television show each week.  It seems that a good portion of the last decade’s television budgets have been spent on finding some famous rock star and exploiting his family – the fall of Rome had Gladiator battles to the death – we have this garbage.  Maybe it’s a lot like the aging sports star that signs a final contract with the wrong team for that last pile of real money before they retire.  Is this the case with aging rock stars?  Do they need to squirrel away some money on the backs of dumb sheep bleating in front of their instruments of Technological Valium (TV)? Whatever the reason, the last thing anyone ever got from these shows was ‘reality’.  This week, we here at rockandrolljunkie.com will take a closer look at the phenominum that is rock star reality TV.  We all get sucked into it from time to time – even I had a rotten drug-induced binge with Poison’s Bret Michaels and his Rock Bus, and we all spent a little time with Ozzy on his elliptical machine – it all makes me feel really dirty.  Here’s the first filthy installment. – FATS)

Rock Star: INXS

INXS enjoyed great popularity through the 1980s and early 1990s, but in 1997, frontman Michael Hutchence died. The band attempted to continue with alternative 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 Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro. Other producers were David Goffin (American Idol, On the Lot, Eco-Challenge, Combat Missions), Lisa Hennessy (Eco-Challenge) and INXS managers David Edwards and Michael Murchison were executive producers. Conrad Riggs was co-executive producer.

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.

A.J. Dickerson and Scott C. Wilson were among the many video editors of the Tuesday performance shows. Scott C. Wilson did the final mixes on the Tuesday performance shows.