J.D. Fortune is INXS’ new lead singer; show rebounded with strong music because it was not Idol

INXS’ new lead singer is J.D. Fortune, a 32-year-old from Toronto who lived in his car before appearing on Rock Star: INXS. Previously, he was best known for wearing a go fuck yourself t-shirt on TV and slipping it by CBS’ censors. During the show’s finale, Tim Farriss, INXS’ guitarist, said, “J.D., you are right for our band. However much this means to you, it means much more to us because tonight we become a complete band again.”

J.D. told E! Online, “We’re a band now. We’re complete. That’s an amazing thing. And I don’t think age has anything to do with it because music is a language, and if you speak it fluently you can speak to other people in that language. And we all speak it fluently.”

Chicagoan Marty Casey was the runner-up, and could get to tour with INXS, the band announced. Host Dave Navarro also told him, “Dude, if you ever need a guitarist, call me.”

During the series’ run, it was initially low-rated, and even lost one episode a week to VH1. But it managed to rebound. It’s now in the top 10 among 18- to 49-year-old viewers, averaging six million viewers every week. The New York Times reports that “the reason for the turnaround is the music.”

Executive producer David Goffin says that the show was able to license great music because it was not American Idol. “From a music standpoint, the musicians who write these great songs either a) feel bad for the people who butcher these songs, and/or b) don’t want their music to be associated with people who could potentially sing it very badly.” Producers “had to prove that this was not going to be a William Hung-esque show,” he said.

Rock Star: INXS: Recaps: Finale [MSN]
INXS fame for Fortune [Sydney Morning Herald]
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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.