As regularreaders of Reality Rocks well know,my bar for bad TV is set soooo low, it'spractically subterranean. I'll happilyspend a lazy Sunday watching a day-long marathon of For The Love Of Ray J or GoneCountry 3, not caring even as I feel my brain-stem cells die off one by one as the daygoes on. But there was one reality show at which I always drew the line of goodtaste. And that show was Rock Star: INXS.
Yes, Iwas postively addicted to Rock Star: Supernova and I stilldesperately hope that a season of RockStar: Velvet Revolver or Rock Star: TheDarkness is in pre-production now. But back in 2005, I honestly found the idea of replacing aDEAD lead singer--in particular a dead lead singer who died at age 36 underdubious and perhaps downright depraved circumstances (we shall never know for sure what went on in Michael Hutchence's hotel room the night he died)--via an Idol-styletalent show truly disgusting. And besides, INXS'siconic Michael Hutchence was not an easy man to replace.
That beingsaid, the show went on despite my one-woman boycott, and the surviving membersof the '80s Aussie band eventuallyawarded Michael's mic to winner J.D.Fortune, who like many reality TV contestants was living out of his car beforehe auditioned for the show. The revamped INXS lineup then went on tomoderate post-show success with their new Hutchence-soundalike frontman, the aptlytitled album Switch, and the single "Pretty Vegas":
But apparently,now Fortune's fortune has run outagain.
See, J.D. recentlytold Entertainment Tonight Canadathat INXS abruptly fired him without warning and "with a handshake"at a Hong Kong airport, and now--afterserving almost two years with INXS--he is penniless and back to living in his car.
"Fromthe street to the air back to the street again. It is only me," he said.
While Iobviously did not support the Hutchence-less INXS, I must admit I do feel badabout how things have panned out for J.D. If what he is saying is true (INXS's publicist has refused to comment so far), then thisfurther reflects on the poor character of the bandmates who elected to dishonor Hutchence by replacing him with a reality-show wannabe in thefirst place.
However, regardless of the somewhat tasteless way in which J.D. initially landed his INXS gig, after 23 long months with the band he probably deserved better treatment than this.
Meanwhile,J.D. is reportedly flat broke partially because he spent much of his own money on hisupcoming solo album, The Death of aMotivational Speaker--which, I think, would also make a good title for a VH1Celebreality show chronicling J.D.'s downfall and attempted comeback. Or hey, maybeJ.D. can just audition for Rock Star:Velvet Revolver or Rock Star: TheDarkness after all.
I just hope there'sno season of Rock Star: INXS 2 in theworks.