Rock Star [2001]

For music fans who found American Idol heavy on the syrupy ballads, Rock Star: INXS added volume to a similar premise--even if the goal was to become the new lead singer of INXS. (At the very least, there are more tattoos.) That said, this DVD doesn't include episodes from the program, but rather performances, each preceded by an explanation from the performer as to the reason they chose that particular song. Although the show featured 15 contestants, this disc concentrates on the six finalists: Jordis, Suzie, Marty, Ty, Mig, and J.D. The other nine can be glimpsed in "Behind the Scenes," in which they get made up, warm-up backstage, etc. The music section begin with J.D.'s quasi-metallic "California Dreamin'" (the Mamas and the Papas) and ends with Suzie's ambitious "Bohemian Rhapsody" (for the most part, she pulls off the operatic Queen opus). Ironically, the strongest performances are two of the least bombastic: Marty's solo acoustic "Mr. Brightside" (the Killers) and Jordis's "The Man Who Sold the World" (David Bowie by way of Nirvana; she also covered "Heart Shaped Box"). The DVD includes Rock Star winner J.D. Fortune's first live set with INXS--five songs in which he sounds a lot like the late Michael Hutchence. (Sensitive viewers should be advised that "Casting Interviews" and "Too Hot for TV" contain profanity and nudity.) --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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