The Art Of The Graceful Exit

I can’t say that I was sorry to see Tara go on last Wednesday night’s Rock Star elimination, but the way she departed exemplified one of the best attributes of the show. She didn’t quit. Tara gave what she thought was a great performance of the INXS song, “Beautiful Girl,” despite the fact that she had to know she was going home that night. She chose to go out with her best because, even though it may not have been right for INXS, it may be right for someone else.

Most of the contestants seem to understand that how they behave and the character they display on TV will have consequences in their real lives. Good behavior matched with good performances will bring a receptive audience to a show. Bad behavior invites hecklers. Rock Star is a nationwide audition for any band looking for a lead singer, whether it’s a garage band just starting out or an internationally famous band whose singer has auto-erotically asphyxiated to death. Um.

Rock Star will continue to be an interesting show as long as the contestants consider it an audition first and a reality show second. It’s the same thing that makes The Amazing Race work so well; teams view it as a race around the world more than a reality show. Survivor’s major flaw is that contestants don’t have anything to keep them busy so they create characters. After the first few seasons, most of the truthfulness and relatability was gone. Rock Star contestants are lucky in that only 30 minutes of offstage material airs each week; they don’t have time to develop offstage alter egos. The format of the show saves the contestants from themselves.