Not that anyone was asking for it, but CBS’ Rock Star: INXS promises to revitalize INXS by finding the Aussie band a new lead singer. Given that they haven’t had a U.S. hit since the first Bush was in office, this is a near-impossible task. And sadly, this dull show won’t help the cause.
The concept — American Idol with guitars and tattoos — is welcome. Surprisingly, though, the problem with this competition series isn’t a lack of talent, it’s a surplus of it. Forget howling at missed cues or flat notes; the wannabes here are proficient enough to fly through the classic-rock nuggets with (semi-) professional ease. Which leaves the show without that schadenfreude that makes the early rounds of Idol so delicious.
We’ve come to expect more drama from reality TV expert Mark Burnett. And INXS aren’t going to step into the personality vacuum anytime soon. The boys from Down Under are thoughtful, articulate, and caring. Contestants are eliminated with this tame couplet: ”I’m sorry, but you’re just not right for our band, INXS.” Simon Cowell, you are being paged.