Review: Duets – Episode 5: Cinemeh – Duets Gets 2 Thumbs Down

Grab you popcorn, boys and girls, “Duets” is off to the movies!

After a brief recap of last week’s “dramatic” show that sent Meleana packing, our very monochromatic host, Quackerjack, tells us, “Tonight, it’s about to go down.” Um, okay. Basically that means this show will be more of the same, with mediocre performances, glimmers of greatness and the worst scoring system since the figure skating event at the 2002 winter Olympics (2 gold medals!). It’s worth noting is that this is the last week of the ominous sing-off and starting next week, America will decide who stays and who goes. Ya know, if anyone is still watching this show by next week…

Anywho, first out of the gate are Jennifer Nettles and John Glosson. Jennifer casually mentions that “aesthetic-wise,” John doesn’t “speak to one of the judges.” I’m not positive, but I think she just called him fugly. They are going to be tackling Celine Dion’s overwrought and overplayed “My Heart Will Go On.” This song still gets on my nerves, ever since a local radio station would play it for every spot on their nightly countdown when I was in about 7th grade. Shut up Celine, shut up Jack and just let go already. Gosh. Jennifer feels that John should just accept the fromage factor, and he is like a can of Cheeze Whiz squirted atop a log of Velveeta on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Also, can someone please explain to me why Jennifer is wearing a burgundy velvet pantsuit over a shirt made of tin foil. Tin foil shirts and queso aside, he gets a standing ovation, the judges praise the vocals, and he takes first place.

Jordan’s parents show up to rehearsal, as do Kelly Clarkson‘s curtains in the form of a dress. Her dad tells us that “Since U Been Away” was a very popular song amongst his family. Oh Daddy Pink-Hair, you just butchered the song worse than Meleana did last week. They’ll be tackling the typical-80s power ballad “Take My Breath Away.” I’m immediately hoping we stay true to the original rather than Jessica Simpson’s painfully breathy cover that hit radio in the early-2000’s. The performance is lacking any real oomph and the song doesn’t play well as a duet. Kelly occasionally tossed in some harmonies, but she clearly tries to let Jordan shine, but unfortunately, our pink-haired heroine falls short and barely glistens. Frankly, I’m bored and only find myself wondering how Kelly appears to lose about 10 pounds per episode of this show. Whatever diet she’s on, sign me up! The judges are lukewarm on the performance, and Jordan falls behind John.

Olivia Chisholm faced elimination last week, so Robin and his punny self chose “Stayin’ Alive” for this week’s performance. I immediately find myself praying for irony with this song. Has Robin’s wedding ring always been so giant? Are Olivia’s bangs real? Do the dancers on this show actually enjoy backing up Robin Thicke and his creepy falsetto? All questions aside, for the first time ever, his John Travolta hair makes sense. Despite giving “WTF?” faces throughout the performance, all of the judges give rave reviews and Olivia jumps ahead of Jordan. Frankly, if THAT was Staying Alive, I want to die.

Next up is Mr. Muppet Mumbler, John Legend, and Madame Hoop Earrings, Bridget Carrington, with the Tina Turner classic “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” It’s the best song choice of the night so far, but something about Bridget screams “backup singer” and not “superstar.” I just don’t think she connects well with the audience. She and John have decent chemistry, but if John was Zack Morris, she’d be his Stacey Carosi in comparison Alicia Keys’ Kelly Kapowski. Also, there is something extremely awkward about her pronunciation of “love” in this song. It actually sounds like she’s saying “What’s loaves got to do with it?” The answer to that just might be everything if you’re Katniss and Peeta. The judges all like the performance…blah, blah, blah…She’s in second place.

Man, this show is not holding my attention tonight. I’m honestly more entertained by the commercials, but they bring up SO many questions and feelings. Is Brave about a Scottish Reba McEntire in the Hunger Games?! Who will Emily pick on The Bachelorette and what the heck is The Glass House about?! I wish my name was Sade Baderinwa. Should I be embarrassed by how badly I want to see Magic Mike? Is it really going to be 100 degrees tomorrow? Gosh, I think I have A.D.D.

Oooh shiny object! Oh it’s Jennifer Nettles and her metallic shirt! J. Rome and Jennifer are tackling “I Will Always Love You” by the late, great Whitney Houston. Moment of silence, por favor. Their rehearsal clip is hilarious and my bff, J. Net, offers to help the always apathetic John Legend find some empathy before singing her advice for J. Rome in some weird country-meets-Broadway-meets-cartoon-character voice. I’ve always wondered what a Whitney-Dolly version of this song would sound like, and this is it! All kidding aside, J. Rome knocks this song out of the park. Maybe we should just end the show now, crown him winner and put us all out of our misery. The camera cuts to Kelly, who clearly gives J. Rome the highest score possible on her judging tablet of doom. She may be able to sing, but methinks her generous scoring is unintentionally sabotaging her own contestants. She raises her hand to speak first except she speaks so fast that I have no idea what she says aside from something about her heels, “pffft,” and “I love you.” The other judges praise him as well, and John Legend fake cries, but surprise, surprise, J. Rome is in first place.

My adorable teenybopper crush, Jason is up next. Kelly says what I’ve been saying all along and that’s that if he makes it to the live shows, America will love him. I agree. He’s got something that most of the other contestants (See: Bridget) lack. It’s almost a Bieber-lite vibe. Go Jason go! They’ll be taking on “Come What May” from Moulin Rouge, which is a movie I have never seen. Kelly, on the other hand, admits that she’s seen it 13.5 times, which has clearly affected her brain, as she tells the camera she hopes Jason impresses “Jennifer, John and Paul.” Clearly, she doesn’t know where she is or how she ended up on this train wreck of a show either. I’m glad they chose this song instead of “Lady Marmalade,” because despite his cuteness, I doubt Jason can rock a garter and bustier. They sound good together, but the clear issue is that Kelly overpowers Jason once again. The judges give him a tepid response and he tumbles down the leader board to last place.

Unfortunately, tonight’s acapella showdown is now an awkward civil war between Team Kelly, as Jason and Jordan face off, with one of them advancing to the live shows and the other clamoring to extend their 15 seconds of fame on Twitter. Jason is singing a song called “Momma Knows Best” that I’m unfamiliar with, but for the first time, I agree with Fozzie Legend on Jason’s pronunciation. He’s got a cool tone and rasp, but I cannot understand a dang word he is saying. Jordan then tackles “I’m Telling You I’m Not Going,” which is gutsy due to the grandiosity of the song, but I can respect her telling the judges that she ain’t leaving…If only it were that easy.

Kelly is speechless for the first time ever on this show and practically twitching over the prospect of sending one of her kids home. The other judges praise them both with lots of cheese and clichés before we learn that they have booted our favorite pink-haired contestant. Robin Thicke has a major case of the sadz over this elimination, and Jordan makes the faces of someone I would not want to meet in a dark alley.

Thinking of great movie songs, I just realized I’m disappointed that no one sang “Somewhere Out There” from the Fievel movie. Le sigh. Next week, we’re taking on the songs of the past decade, so I’ve got my fingers crossed for some decent music. However, this is “Duets,” so I shouldn’t get my hopes up. Going into the live shows, J. Rome is clearly the “I’ll Have Another” of this competition. It’s his contest to lose. We shall see…