Review: Duets – It Takes Two (Again)

Ladies and gentleman, it’s time to du-et again!

Our trusty host Quinoa is back to remind us how this show works. Except no one knows. What we do know is that a quartet of super talented “superstars” (Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles & Robin Thicke) chose a bunch of moderately talented amateurs to sing with. The stars then score the performances on their mysterious judging tablets of doom and their partners’ faces appear on a Family Feud-esque leader board. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s start the show.

First up are Kelly Clarkson & Robin Thicke with a duet of the Michael Jackson/Jackson 5 track, “State of Shock.” Not gonna lie, this performance has me in a state of shock. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that John & Jennifer were left out, or if its Robin’s sleeveless V-neck and surprisingly lovely biceps, or the fact that lyrics to this song include the words “catatonic” and “supersonic”, but Krobin are getting a little too freaky for ABC. Seriously, Reba would not approve of this…and I think I’ve been impregnated through my television.

After a quick recap of last week that left Team Kelly at the bottom of the scoreboard and Team Jennifer’s J. Rome at the top, we’re ready to get to the “classic” duets.

John Legend and Bridget Carrington take the stage first, covering the George Michael & Aretha Franklin hit “I Knew You Were Waiting.” The only thing I remember about this girl from last week is her penchant for ginormous hoop earrings. The only thing I remember after this performance is that Robin Thicke says she looks like Skittles…and she still wears giant hoop earrings. She’s the only person who sang so far so she’s in first place.

Next, we head to rehearsals with KC and the J’s (Jordan & Jason), who aren’t too happy about being in 7th & 8th place. Jordan and her pink hair are up first with the Steven Tyler/Pink duet “Misery.” I’ve never heard the song before but for obvious reasons, I’m going to assume that Jordan is taking on the role of Pink this evening. The performance is a clear improvement over last week and shows more of Jordan’s soulfully gritty voice. For now, she nabs second place.

Jennifer and (the-robbed-of-first-place-last week) John Glosson are up next with “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and it has a very strong Rascal-Flatts-meets-Sugarland vibe. John may be one of the only amateurs on this show who can truly go note for note with his mentor, and this performance proves his vocal prowess once again. The performance isn’t flawless, as some of his motions are rather distracting. Also distracting: Jennifer’s bedazzled space creature getup and the spinning giant record on stage that’s trying to hypnotize us into believing we actually like this show.

Robin Thicke and Olivia Chisholm are going to sing “Where is the Love?” and I’m expecting the Black-Eyed Peas. Instead, we get Olivia complaining that she can’t remember the lyrics when there are few actual words other than “where is the love.” Yikes, this performance is painful, and there is no love on that stage. Perhaps Robin hid it in the hideous shirt he clearly stole from the set of “Growing Pains.”

Next up is the alarmingly aloof John Legend, whose partner Johnny Gray is now as mysteriously MIA as Kelly and Jessie were during “Saved By the Bell’s” Tori episodes. He holds open auditions and narrows his new contestants down to a guy named Mario, who appears to be a Hispanic version of John Glosson, and a girl who resembles Lilo (minus Stitch, unfortunately). Ultimately he chooses Ohana and goes with Meleana Brown. The aloof one and his lovely lips hide behind the piano while his sparkly new partner riffs the heck out of “Endless Love.” The song choice is an ironic one, since Legend jumped in as a last-minute replacement for Lionel Richie. I can’t help but miss Lionel…except for the fact that John has nicer lips. Robin Thicke compares this performance to a sandwich, while Kelly and Jennifer’s comments are simply a twang-off to see who has a thicker country accent. All sandwiches aside, Lilo steals first place!

Kelly and last week’s lowest scorer, Jason, are up next, duetting on Mariah Carey & Brian McKnight’s “Whenever You Call.” With all the publicity that Kelly’s “new” body is getting lately, I’m just wondering why she didn’t change out of that unfortunate & unflattering dress. Jason has a great tone to his voice, and completely shines on the bridge of the song. His biggest weakness on this show is also his biggest strength, and that’s the mere fact that he’s tasked with performing with Kelly Clarkson’s golden vocal chords each week. He’s the most adorable and likable contestant of the group, and I have a feeling that if he makes it to the live shows, he’ll easily be grabbing America’s votes.

Last week’s top scorer, J. Rome , is up next, performing “You’re the One that I Want” from Grease with Jennifer Nettles. Although I feel like this performance is more suited for Robin Thicke’s hair and hip-thrusting, Jennifer and J. Rome are convincing as a sort of unconventional Danny & Sandy. With J. Rome rocking his varsity jacket and Jennifer dressed like some sparkly version of Ursula from “The Little Mermaid”, this performance is cheesier than the dairy aisle at Whole Foods, but it works in a weird way. While J. Rome is a far cry from my usual country-boy cowboy crushes, I have a huge crush on his swagger (but not his birth mark.) J. Rome ties Lilo for first place and it’s safe to say that we have our clear front-runner.

Last up is Alexis Foster, whose performance I couldn’t stand last week. This week, she awkwardly holds her microphone like an ice cream cone and forgets to wear pants while singing “You’re All I Need to Get By,” (Fun fact, Kelly Clarkson sang this on the first live show of American Idol before Simon even liked her). The human version of Jimmy Neutron, Robin, is on his third outfit of the night (a silky white blazer that makes him look like a creepy ice cream man), and he has a distracting gold microphone. He also has the weakest and most unlikable team, but somehow Alexis and her no-pants-dance rank in 6th place.

Quidditch reminds us that our first amateur will get the boot at the end of next week with 2 of them facing off in something mysterious and ominous called the “Duets Showdown.” Then, somewhere in the future where Jennifer Nettles’s space vests are considered normal, America will get to vote. Huh? This show has the worst voting system since Florida in the 2000 Presidential Election.

With that said, we love the cheese…Bring on Episode 3 and the ominous Duets Showdown!