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Rockin' Out
Travis Eberle

If you've been keeping up with the OTB column (and if not, where the hell have you been?), then you know that I pick a show on the air, say whether I like it or I don't like it, and prattle on for about 500 words as to why I like it or I don't. 

This week is no exception, except that the show in question is already done.  J.D. Fortune won the worldwide talent search to front INXS.  Recall back to a few months ago, where I was bagging on American Idol for all I was worth.  I originally felt the same way about Rock Star, and then I actually sat down and watched the Concert Show.  I figured out the problem.  I'm not big on the standards, pop singles and what-have-you.  I dig guitar riffs, thrashing drums and powerful vocals.  Rock Star IS my American Idol.

Now I'll address the whiners who complain about the format.  Guess what, kids, when YOU have a famous band and are sans a lead singer, you can do whatever kind of talent search you like to pick the lead singer.  The planet got to vote on the bottom three, and INXS cut the chaff from the wheat.  In the very end, they got to pick the eventual winner.  And that's really how it should be.  It's their band, after all.

Special mention should be paid to casting.  Originally I dismissed the lovely Brooke Burke as another babe in a short skirt who couldn't host.  I got the first part right, but she proved herself capable onstage behind the microphone.  Would I cast her as host for "The $1,064,000 Question"?  No, but she's good enough for me.  Dave Navarro is also a worthwhile add: he lifts up the contestants each week with good advice and helpful pointers, but is also able to lay it out when it needs to be.

So, there's one more point to address.  INXS now has their lead singer for as long as they want to keep them.  So, there's no real reason to have a sequel, the naysayers say.  I don't think so.  Don't call it "Rock Star INXS," just call it "Rock Star: Season Two."  Give the eventual winner a recording contract with a house band, a smallish tour and a cash prize.  It's such a good show that I don't want to see it off the air just yet.

If you missed out, shame on you.  You missed something special, in a time when many shows are becoming one and the same.  Maybe next time you'll be lucky and catch something in those first few weeks and enjoy it all the way through.  I'm thankful I got that chance.

Travis Eberle played piano for ten years, then gave up.  If you know someone in the Seattle area who gives cheap lessons, email him at


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