Monthly Archives: July 2005

INXS Finally Got It

I’m glad summer reality shows are easy and cheap for networks to make, because it’s hard to see promising dramas and comedies dropped because they didn’t draw enough viewers. I still haven’t gotten over how quickly Roar and Danger Theater came and went. And yes, I am aware that Roar does not hold up over time, but the 20-year-old me will still fight you for disparaging her precious Heath Ledger.

It’s halfway through the summer, everyone’s caught up in Rock Star:INXS fever. Well, not really, but let’s pretend, since MSN did decide to link to it on their front page. Wednesday night’s elimination of two contestants, Heather and Daphna, addressed one of the show’s glaring flaws (the other being Kirk Pengilly’s dastardly moustache): too many contestants. Of all the singers on the show, maybe a few would be able to do a decent job filling in for Shower Rod, er, Michael Hutchence. Instead of just making it an extended competition between a handful of contestants whom we’re able to see develop, we’re given 15 wannabes. Many of them aren’t even really rock singers, and the rest of them are chicks.

Seriously, Heather? Like she ever had a chance. Her voice is comparable to Janis Joplin, and by that I mean she sucks. And Daphna? Her tone was clearer but what image was she trying to project? Her circus performer wardrobe took the focus off her singing, at least until she ruined “Rock the Casbah.” All the other losers who’ve gotten the boot thus far have also been wildly inappropriate for INXS.

Who’s left? Tara’s got a great career ahead of her performing at Six Flags, and Deanna looks like an older Joni Mitchell. Suzie belongs on Old and Busted American Idol, and J.D. and Brandon look like they should be working at a gas station. In fact, let’s just eliminate all the Canadians right now, and not just the ones on the show. Jessica actually has a decent voice, but she’s a barista. C’mon.

The final four should be Marty, Mig, Jordis and Ty. Marty can rock, and he’s a frontman, not a solo artist with a backup band. But I haven’t seen his band, The Lovehammers, perform yet, so he can’t win. Ty has great stage presence and can sing anything, but he’s a little too musical theater. I bet he’d make a helluva Rum Tum Tugger, though. That leaves Jordis and Mig. Jordis is the best singer in the competition, with natural stage presence and tons of charisma, but she won’t win. It’s too risky to pick a girl when they’ve got Mig, a shirtless Aussie who’s probably the fourth Farriss brother anyway. He’s a good singer with enough charm to be marketable. After the show’s over, any other well-known band looking for a lead singer should snatch Jordis up in a heartbeat. Personally, I’m pulling for RATT to boot Stephen Pearcy and let Jordis take over. That’d be way cool, junior.

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This Blog’s For You

Ah, reality television… I think of the years before reality TV, and it saddens me. I’d spent so many years fulfilling my need to feel superior to others by humiliating people I actually knew. How many people’s feelings could’ve been spared? How many parties might I have been invited to?

The Real World provides such easy marks, it’s hard to find it completely satisfying. Big Brother seems like an even bigger magnet for less entertaining famewhores. Survivor offers great opportunities to criticize groupthink, especially the inability of individuals to actually act in their own best interests, despite what they might tell the camera.

However, no program manages to fully capture all that is best about reality television the way that The Amazing Race does. The show’s compelling format helps; it’s a game show that takes contestants all around the world. Throw in sleep deprivation and an irregular dining schedule and you’re in for some spectacular meltdowns. Almost every couple on the race reaches some kind of breaking point, but none has fallen apart as dramatically as Colin and Christie of TAR5. The most dominant pair of the season, the couple’s paranoia and bickering got the best of them in the Philippines.

Colin & Christie’s late arrival to a clue box got them yielded by eventual winners, Chip & Kim. The yielded team was forced to wait a predetermined period of time before continuing the race, and by the time they finished and hopped in their taxi, Christie was begging their driver to run down pedestrians.

The next task required teams to use an ox to find a clue in a muddy field, one person driving the ox’s plow while the other leads. All the other teams had finished and departed before Colin & Christie arrived, giving them no example to follow. Colin proceeded to drive the ox by himself because Christie 1) didn’t think she could help, and 2) didn’t want to get muddy.

As the ox dragged Colin all over — and, at times, outside — the field, Colin quickly lost his mind. He started screaming at the ox and at Christie, who’d been less than encouraging, herself. Colin cried out, “My ox is BROKEN! This is bullsh*t!” And then he quietly muttered, “Oh God, I hate you.” Whether this was directed at the ox or Christie, only Colin really knows.

Watching this episode of TAR5 was the greatest television experience of my life. Never has one man’s tragedy been so hilarious. So, Colin, I dedicate this blog to you in the hope that some other reality show contestant will fall apart even more completely than you did, and that you will be able to watch it all, smug and content in your living room, just as all of us watched you.