The Wrath Of A Suzie Scorned

Whoa, Suzie was pissed when she was voted (well, not-voted) into the bottom three on tonight’s Rock Star: INXS. Can’t say I blame her. She made the wretched R.E.M. song “Losing My Religion” almost listenable on Tuesday night’s episode, and she’s got cool hair.

Any aspiring female singer could stand to learn a thing or two from Suzie. She performs with economy while still connecting with the audience, as if she’s channeling all her conserved energy into her voice. That physical restraint adds an air of importance to the movements she does make. Tonight, when she started jumping during the second chorus of INXS’s “Bitter Tears,” it was at a climactic moment in the song, set up by her choice to keep her feet on the stage while she built up the crowd’s energy during the first two verses. Her movements enabled her to really tell the story of the song.

Holy crap, where did that come from?

I guess I can really appreciate Suzie after tonight’s performance because she showed herself to be a total pro. She was seething the whole time she listened to Jessica and Brandon perform, knowing full well that she’s much more polished than either of them and has the chops to hang around for a while. Yet when it was her turn to sing, she seized the moment, giving an excellent performance of a song that is near the bottom of her vocal range when trying to sing quietly. She won the crowd over and belted out a helluva rocker, and she knew it. We’re used to seeing Suzie cry at the end of every Wednesday show (and she didn’t disappoint tonight), but she left the stage beaming because she knew she’d given the performance of the night. Any music fan should be able to appreciate Suzie’s showmanship.

Tonight’s elimination round was a display of contrasts. Suzie was charming, Brandon was creepy, and Jessica was the underdog you’d rather see fail. Jessica needs to stop whining and acting like she’s waiting for the axe to drop. Give us a reason not to hate you, Jess, and we’ll stop. It’s too bad she’s right in believing that she’s next to go because it’ll keep her from trying. And it’ll keep her from seeing this as a chance to learn from singers like Jordis and Suzie who consistently demonstrate how to win a crowd and make them love you.

And then there was Brandon. The guy has tons of potential, but he’s convinced himself that he likes the way he is now, and unfortunately he’s got enough people around him who agree. No one challenges him and he lacks the will to change, so he’ll never be as good as he could be. When Indiana Pacer guard Reggie Miller retired a few months ago, I can remember another basketball player saying, “He achieved his potential; I can’t give him any higher compliment than that.” It’s true; if we reach our potential, we’ve done the very best we could do. Right now, Brandon’s unwillingness to process the criticism INXS gave him has kept him from improving. Shaving your beard doesn’t count as learning. And by not even trying to achieve his potential, he’s done one of the worst things people can do: thrown away talent that others can only wish for.
Good riddance.