Review: Duets – Episode 4: Since U Been Terrible

It’s week 4 of “Duets” and even though we’re sending someone home tonight, everyone’s got their party pants on. I’m anxiously awaiting the opening number and wondering which combination of judges we’ll receive. It’s a total let down when there’s no performance from the judges sans amateurs. I had my fingers crossed for an epic pop-countrified duet from Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Nettles, but am sorely disappointed. Dear Duets Gods, please make that happen. Amen.

We launch right into a brief recap and Quasimodo tells us that the chart is “fresh” this week. Does that mean that the last three weeks were combined together into a cumulative score to make up the leaderboard? That would make sense, but then what happened to Johnny Gray’s (who?!) score? Is Quddus just making up the rules as we go along? I still don’t get it.

The teenybopper in me squeals for Jason, who is opening with The Rolling Stones classic, “Satisfaction.” Kelly attempts to give Jason dancing lessons, and I’m sorry Miss Clarkson, I am fo’ real…Anyway, I love you and all, but I am one of the five people who has seen From Justin to Kelly. Dance ain’t your strong suit. Once they hit the stage, I’m wondering why Jason always rolls up the sleeves of his jackets. Why bother to even wear a jacket if you’re just going to roll up the sleeves? Anyways, this is far and away Jason’s best performance and he works the stage pretty well. When we go to the judges, we learn that, once again John Legend forgot to take his happy pills.

Next up is John Legend, Bridget Carrington and her giant hoop earrings. I find myself hoping that her ears don’t get stretched out. She and John talk about how the tears won the show last week, and surprise, we learn that John is not much of a crier. In fact, he’s not much of an emoter at all. Apparently his designer forgot to install tear ducts when they created him. When she hits the stage, Bridget replaces her signature hoops with simple studs, but she instead sports a giant flower on her neck and some sort of cape. This outfit would make Lisa Turtle proud. They are singing Donna Summer’s classic, “Last Dance” and the dancers behind them seem to think it may be their last time on the stage. This song reminds me of all those awkward middle school dances where the boys would wait for this song to finally make a move. And by move, I mean an awkward minute of swaying a ruler’s length apart before some awkward fast dancing. Anyways, the judges talk about how hot John is, and all I can think about is how he looks like a Jim Henson creation. Sigh, Bridget steals first place away from my imaginary TV boyfriend, Jason.

We learn that J.Rome doesn’t want to be rich, he just wants to be a positive person. That’s a good start because I doubt the winner of this show will become rich. He is singing Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T.” under a disco ball that is seriously the size of Pluto. (Does anyone know the current status of Pluto’s planethood?) It’s clear that J. Rome is clearly the most comfortable of all the contestants on stage and studied at the school of MJ. It’s good in a total impersonation sort of way, but this wouldn’t be a full “Duets” recap if I didn’t comment on Jennifer Nettles’s outfit. Today her striped pants scream lion trainer at the zoo. I feel like she needs a top hat and maybe some tap shoes. The camera cuts to a cringing Kelly Clarkson, and I wonder if she’s having flashbacks to Justin Guarini’s fro-flipping rendition of this song back on Season 1 of American Idol. Seriously, imagine if that guy had won Idol. I reckon that the world would be a much sadder place today. Surprise, Surprise J. Rome takes first place yet again, and I’m left to wonder if he’s paying off John & Robin.

Robin Thicke only has one partner left so he brings his son Julian to rehearsals. Julian is totally adorbs and I would vote for him if I could, and maybe the kid is the reason for Robin’s Jimmy-Neutron-do. He and Olivia Chisholm are performing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” and I’m not sure what kinds of weird parties Robin goes to, but I certainly wouldn’t declare this a party song. The stage is all smoky and there are fake(?) martinis on an oddly placed table. Robin and Olivia are both breathy and underwhelming, despite the overwhelming amounts of smoke emanating from the stage. Maybe the dry ice got in their lungs because this is.not.good. This performance has little in the way of redeeming qualities and I only hope that when Olivia inevitably gets voted off in the next few weeks, Robin bestows his golden microphone upon her. She takes last place.

Jordan Meredith is up next, tackling “I Love Rock and Roll” by Joan Jett. I hope this performance ends up more like drunken karaoke than Britney Spears in “Crossroads,” but it falls somewhere in the middle. For this performance, it seems ol’ KC borrowed one of Jennifer Nettles space vests, but I’m even more distracted by the dancers running around the stage like they’re playing Guitar Hero. Jordan seems to have lost some of her confidence from last week, but she has adopted Kelly’s awkward habit of clapping with her elbow. The judges blame the restraint on Jordan’s heels and although I appreciate her hygienic decision to wear shoes, there’s a happy medium between bare feet and hooker heels. Wardrobe, get this girl some Converse, stat.

John and Meleana are tackling a secret song by one of the judges and I’m immediately praying they don’t tackle a Kelly Clarkson song. It just doesn’t bode well…and here they go with “Since U Been Gone.” Well, clearly they go to the same parties as me. Yikes, perhaps this should be called “Since U Been Terrible.” At times, it actually sounds like they are singing this song underwater. Seriously, It takes guts to massacre a Kelly Clarkson song when you’re standing 5 feet away from her. Neither John or Meleana have the range to do this song justice, and no one would’ve blamed Kelly Clarkson if she flung her judging tablet of doom at them. She barely squeaks in ahead of Olivia on the scoreboard.

Last but not least, we have Team Jennifer’s John Glosson, who is rehearsing wearing the brightest green pants I have ever seen. Seriously, chartreuse does not even begin to describe them. They are singing “Life is a Highway,” and I wonder if this performance is going to prove what I’ve suspected all along – that he’s just Gary LeVox in a mask. If you were wondering what a duet would sound like between Rascal Flatts and Sugarland, this would be it. Vocally, he’s stellar again, but he moves like that creepy Oogachaka Baby that was all the rage when the Internet was first invented and Ally McBeal was on TV. Despite the awkward dancing, he’s safely in third place.

For our acapella showdown, we have John’s partner, Meleana Brown up first with “Saving All My Love For You.” I can’t claimed to have a trained ear, but this sounds flatter than Flat Stanley. Robin’s partner, Olivia is up next with “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” and frankly, she doesn’t. Despite the fact that she’s singing acapella, she almost seems to go all Milli Vanilli with a skipping track, as she repeats “don’t patronize me” three times. Ironic.

By some odd twist of fate (or perhaps producer interference to not completely eliminate Robin so soon), Meleana bites the dust. If “Duets” was Fight Club, Meleana broke the first rule. You don’t sing a Kelly Clarkson song on a reality singing show. It almost always means certain death.

Next week, we’ll take on songs from the movies. The preview shows J. Rome tackling Whitney and we can only hope that John Glosson opts to take on “Pool Party Madness” from the classic, From Justin To Kelly. Until next week…..