September 21, 2005 12:09 AM by Joe Blackmon
In the beginning, we didn’t think too much of J.D. Fortune. We compared his dancing style to “the Seinfield episode with Elaine doing her horrible little dance with the kicks and the thumbs up.” We accused J.D. of copping an attitude when he told INXS in regards to the other singers, “while they’re learning the INXS songs, I know them because I love them.” After a lackluster performance of “Suspicious Minds,” we even asked “Is it time for J.D. Fortune to go?“
But somewhere along the way, J.D. Fortune grew on us. Maybe, it was because he was the first one to treat the show like the competition it was. Maybe, it was because his rebellious antics started to amuse us. From wearing an obscene t-shirt to kissing Dave Navarro to starting a food fight, J.D. Fortune livened up the show.
Another big reason that J.D. Fortune grew on us is that he quite simply became a better performer during the course of the show. The J.D. Fortune that electrified the crowd with his rocking original song “Pretty Vegas” was a far cry from the nervous guy with the awkward dance that started the show. Watching J.D. grow during the course of the show made us start rooting for him to succeed.
However, the main reason we wound up liking J.D. Fortune was never more evident than it was in the Rock Star: INXS finale. At the beginning of the show, Dave Navarro asked J.D. if he thought of driving his new Honda Civic into the pool, and J.D. replied “I did, but then I thought where am I going to live if this doesn’t work out.” All three performers did great during their individual performances, but there was something in J.D.’s eyes that said he wanted it more. You could see J.D.’s heart pounding after INXS eliminated MiG and put Marty and J.D. into the final two.
On stage performing with INXS, both Marty’s performance of “Don’t Change” and J.D.’s performance of “What You Need” were incredible, but J.D. worked hard to spotlight the band during his performance. As Marty and Mig stood on stage awaiting INXS’ decision, J.D. was sweating bullets. Watching J.D. collapse on the stage after INXS selected him for their band showed just how much he really wanted it. We couldn’t help feeling good about seeing a guy go from living in his car to fronting one of the most famous rock bands in the world. It was also good to see INXS invite Marty Casey to possibly be an opening act for their world tour, because Marty will undoubtedly go on to a very successful career in his own right. Rock Star: INXS gave us one of those rare real life happy endings.