Up With Suzie

This week’s Rock Star clinic gave INXS their best look yet at how the remaining contestants would fare as lead singer of INXS. Contestants were brought into the studio with Andrew and Jon Farriss to record vocals for a new INXS song. Even though the task was pretty straightforward, it was interesting to see who blew it and how. Jordis decided to rework the melody, which probably wasn’t the best move, since they obviously wrote it that way for a reason. Marty screamed, though the song didn’t call for it, and J.D. didn’t bother to rehearse. All the proclamations of wanting to be the lead singer of INXS don’t mean squat when you can’t be bothered to learn the lyrics, J.D.

The Farriss brothers gave off a sense of growing concern that some of their early picks may not be right for the band. Jordis has arguably the most vocal talent in the house, but when asked to interpret new material, she writes vocals with a range of only a few notes. Marty and J.D. give strong live performances, but Marty isn’t comfortable singing (versus screaming) and J.D. is immature. It’s not INXS’s job to teach J.D. how to be a professional, and they may not have the time to shape Jordis or Marty into the singer they need to front the band.

Considering that INXS is currently recording parts of their new album, it’s a safe assumption that most of the vocals and lyrics are already written. What they need is someone who can perform songs the way INXS wants them to be sung. Based on tonight’s clinic, their best options are Suzie and Mig, with the edge going to Suzie. Her vocals get stronger each week, and she has a certain quality that makes you want to like her. She went from one of my least favorites early on to far and away the performer I most look forward to watching.

Tuesday night’s performance show looks like this:
~Suzie’s got a chance to wow everyone with her rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” complete with a choir to back her.
~Ty also gets the choir for what will undoubtedly be a silly version of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones. Keith Richards will be spinning in his grave.
~Marty can save himself with a toned down performance of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.” But he’s sure to have all of America’s guitar-playing college guys saying, “I’m way better than him, dude. I totally rocked that song at open mic night at the Java Hut.”
~Jordis picked the boring John Lennon tune, “Imagine.”
~Mig does “Live and Let Die” by Guns N’ Roses, er, Paul McCartney. Mig, when you’re worried that “Bohemian Rhapsody” will remind everyone that you’re a theater guy, it’s not a good idea to replace it with the theme to a James Bond film. “View to a Kill” by Duran Duran would’ve been so much better.
~J.D. sings “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis; it’ll sound exactly the same as the original, minus the jumpsuit.