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 fewest 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. The VH1 episodes are also included in this collection.
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. The show was Directed by Michael A. Simon
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.
Three contestants reached the finale: Mig Ayesa, Marty Casey, and J. D. Fortune. Fortune was considered by many the underdog of the three as he established a renegade image during the competition, while Casey was considered the favorite due to his popularity with voters. In the finale, Ayesa, Casey, and Fortune each selected a song that was performed previously on the show. Ayesa chose Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Casey chose Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”, and Fortune chose The Rolling Stones’, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. Based on these performances, INXS eliminated Ayesa.
With the competition down to Casey and Fortune, each performed an INXS song with, for the first time on the show, all five members of INXS. Casey performed “Don’t Change” and Fortune performed “What You Need”. INXS announced Fortune was the winner.
During the competition, Casey and Fortune performed two original songs that became fan favorites. Both songs would receive multiple encores during the competition. Casey’s original song was called “Trees” and was described by host Dave Navarro as a song that he could imagine being heard on the radio “today”. In fact, the song received some radioplay as a result of its exposure on the show.
At one point in the competition, the remaining eight contestants were challenged to write lyrics to a melody written by Andrew Farriss. They were divided into two teams of four. When Fortune did not see eye to eye with his team (which included Casey), he decided to venture out on his own and write his own lyrics. At first, Fortune’s move was considered to have jeopardized his chances of winning the competition (since it was perceived he couldn’t work in a team), but it was this move that resulted in his creation of the lyrics of “Pretty Vegas.” This song became a favorite of INXS and played a major role in Fortune winning the competition. It also became the first single from their new album Switch.
Top 15 finalists
The following is a list of songs performed by each finalist during the competition. The number represents the week in which the song was performed. Except for the second week, each week one finalist was asked to perform an encore performance of the song they performed the night before, noted as an “Encore Performance”.
Each week the three finalists who had the lowest total audience votes were asked to perform an INXS song of the band’s choice, noted as a “Bottom 3 Performance”. This was the case for every week except for the first and last ones. After everyone performed one non-INXS song in the first and last episodes, the band chose one contestant to be eliminated out of the entire group. There was no voting for the bottom three.
In the seventh week two contestants were given the chance to perform original songs (Mig & Deanna.)
For the ninth week performance episode each contestant performed an original song as well as a non-INXS song. In the elimination episode that week all the remaining contestants plus Dave Navarro performed as an ensemble with INXS on their new track Us, as the opening act for that week’s encore.
For the tenth week performance two songs were chosen by INXS to be performed by each of the remaining contestants.
It’s easy to cut down the premise of this show, but to say that the singers have no talent is just plain moronic. Anyone watching this series can see how talented these people are. At least this show isn’t as lame and exploitive as many other “reality” shows. This isn’t American Idol, people aren’t being cut down and ridiculed. The comments made when rejecting someone are along the lines of “You’re just not right for our band.” Maybe that’s the problem. Today, when confrontational TV seems to be all the rage, this show just isn’t mean enough for some people. Great ups and downs drama and pure excitement through out the course of the season.
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