Show Stopper
Show Stopper
Season 8
Number 12
Writer Matt Partney,
Corey Evett
Director Sam Hill
Original Airdate January 11, 2010
Previous Episode: Delko for the Defense
Next Episode: Die by the Sword

Show Stopper is the twelfth episode in Season Eight of CSI: Miami.


When America's Sweetheart bursts into flames during a concert, the CSI's expose the dark side of pop stardom.


A concert given by pop star Phoenicks ends tragically when Phoenicks herself bursts into flames in the midst of a pyrotechnic burst. Phoenicks’ personal doctor, Allan Beckham, has her taken away by paramedics, even though it’s clear she’s already dead. When Dr. Loman does finally examine her, he finds she didn’t breathe in any of the smoke from the fire, indicating she was already dead when she burst into flames.

The man responsible for the pyrotechnics display insists they’re safe, and Phoenicks’ manager Julian Diehl tells Horatio the young superstar, whose real name was Phoebe Nichols, had no enemies. In the lab, Walter and Ryan discover metal wiring on the dress Phoenicks was wearing, prompting Ryan to question the dressmaker, who insists the wiring wasn’t part of the dress she made. Travers analyzes the wiring and discovers it came from a stun gun. The cause of the fire was caused by the charge from the gun which ignited Phoenicks’ makeup.

Dr. Loman confirms the COD was a heart attack as a result of the stun gun attack, but when Ryan approaches with Phoebe’s medical records and he and Loman discover inconsistencies between the records and the body of the dead girl, they realize that the girl in the morgue is not Phoebe.

Julian Diehl admits to Horatio that the dead girl is Vanessa Patton, Phoebe’s double. Phoebe up and quit on him, so he disguised one of her backup dancers as her and continued the tour. Phoebe’s mother, Melanie tells Horatio and Calleigh that she hasn’t spoken to her daughter in six months when the girl fired her as her manager.

In the AV lab, Dave Benton reconstructs the concert from pictures from people’s cell phones and sees a young man, Robbie Ferguson stealing a bracelet from Phoenicks. The CSIs bring him in and he tells Ryan and Jesse that he used to be part of Phoenicks’ entourage until she totally changed and shut him out. He denies owning a stun gun or actually hurting her. Calleigh searches a Phoenicks fan site on the internet and finds a house owned by Phoenicks’ production company that the CSIs hadn’t yet searched.

Once she and Jesse arrive at the house, Calleigh broaches the subject of a discrepancy in the Hummer’s mileage log that Stetler asked about. Jesse was using the car at the time. Jesse promises he’ll take care of it, and gets upset when she continues to press him about it. Calleigh drops the subject. The two of theme enter the house and discover the real Phoebe Nichols, heavily drugged and chained to a bed.

While Jesse continues to search the house, Calleigh accompanies the girl to the hospital. Horatio and Tripp arrest Dr. Bennett, who was responsible for drugging Phoebe and keeping her locked up. He admits that he’d been told to keep her there for three to four months by Phoebe’s manager, Julian Diehl. Diehl tells Horatio that Phoebe didn’t want to perform anymore; instead of letting her fade into obscurity, he found a way to keep Phoenicks going. He denies any involvement in Vanessa’s murder.

Calleigh recovers a GPS device from Phoebe’s arm, which is traced to her mother, Melanie. Melanie insists she used it to keep track of Phoebe after she felt she was losing her and had thought the device was no longer working. She claims Julian Deal shut her out of Phoebe’s life and that she had no idea that her daughter was being held prisoner. Warren goes over the bracelet Robbie tried to take from Phoenicks and finds small micro tags on it from the stun gun.

From the tags, the CSIs get the serial number of the stun gun–and trace it to Robbie. Robbie tells Horatio that he didn’t mean to kill Vanessa and they wanted show the world she was a fake. When he uses the word “we,” Horatio realizes he has a co-conspirator: Phoebe’s mother, Melanie. Melanie insists that she did it for Phoebe, but Phoebe finally confronts her mother, saying she just wanted fame. Robbie and Melanie are arrested.

Phoebe makes the decision to go back to her roots, playing small acoustic shows as opposed to big stadium pop concerts. Jesse apologizes to Calleigh for being short with her. He finally opens up to Calleigh, telling her that he was following a woman whose husband got away with killing a woman in Los Angeles as well as Jesse’s own wife.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Christian Clemenson as Tom Loman
  • David Lee Smith as Rick Stetler
  • Christopher Redman as Michael Travers
  • Wes Ramsey as Dave Benton
  • Lucy Hale as Phoebe "Phoenicks" Nichols/Vanessa Patton
    • Gabriella Roberts as Young Phoenicks
  • Jackie Debatin as Melanie Nichols
  • Brennan Elliott as Julian Diehl
  • Erik Scott Smith as Robbie Ferguson
  • Alan Ruck as Dr. Allan Beckham
  • Paul Tei as Jed Gibson
  • Jill E. Alexander as Lydia Cassel
  • Christine Adams as Nancy Thurman
  • Michael FitzGibbon as EMT
  • Juan M. Fernandez as Male News Reporter
  • Judy Echavez as Female News Reporter


  • The episode is heavily inspired by the JT LeRoy hoax.

See Also[]

CSI:Miami Season 8
Out of TimeHostile TakeoverBolt ActionIn Plane SightBad SeedDude, Where's My Groom?Bone VoyagePoint of ImpactKill ClauseCount Me OutDelko for the DefenseShow StopperDie by the SwordIn the WindMiami, We Have a ProblemL.A.Getting AxedDishonorSpring BreakdownBackfireMeltdownMommie DeadestTime BombAll Fall Down