Review: Duets – Episode 8: Finally Finale: And the Winner Is…

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve made it to the finale of “Duets.” We’ve suffered through some terrible performances, some horrible judging and Robin Thicke‘s hair, but here we are, stronger than ever. I’m hoping that this is the episode where Lionel Richie FINALLY decides to show up. Although my Magic-8-Ball says the outlook appears grim for that happening, I can guarantee that a boy whose name starts with J will win this show. And may I take a moment to point out, that as I predicted in my very first blog, we’re down to Team Kelly and Team Jennifer.

We get a brief recap of the season and then the dancers come out flying faster than they do during the dreaded choreography round on “So You Think You Can Dance.” Oooh, it’s finally happening! We’re getting the duet I’ve dreamed about all season between my future BFF, Jennifer Nettles, and Kelly Clarkson‘s vocal chords of steel. They’re singing “Would I Lie to You?” by the Eurythmics, and although I had hopes for something country (cough “Does He Love You?” cough), beggars can’t be choosers. Not surprisingly, they sound fantastic together, but their outfits definitely leave something to be desired. Fresh off her stint as Carmen San Diego last week, Jennifer is now moonlighting as MC Hammer with a pair of low-crotched baggy and sparkly pants. I know she’s pregnant and all, but I’m thinking she started on the special maternity pants a little too early. Also of note, last week, KC was milking a foot injury and being carried around by male dancers, and tonight she’s hopping around like Tigger on crack. However, she’s traded in her heels for a pair of black Payless-esque flats, and due to this, appears to be a good 4 feet shorter than Jennifer. In fact, at one point, I wonder if Jennifer is going to eat her.

Oh look, there’s our trusty host, Quiznos in a tuxedo to remind us that it’s a “special, special night.” I’m wondering if it’s his prom afterwards. The judges’ bowling alley booths are once again filled with people we forgot existed. There’s Jordan (looking fantastic, I might add) and the girl who butchered “Since U Been Gone” and the girl that never wore pants (still not wearing pants)! Yay, the gang’s all here. Where’s Johnny Gray? Does anyone even remember him?

Since she was John Legend’s last standing amateur, Bridget “Hoop Earrings” Carrington is back to take the stage. She and John perform “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones and I am frightened by how John’s eyes pop out at one point during this performance. In that moment, he transforms from Fozzie to one of those plaid-pajama-wearing, puppy Peeper Pals. Much like during the competition, Bridget continues to be unremarkable and now we know why America gave her the boot. She looks nearly identical to one of the show’s backup singers, and I think we may have found her future…

My disdain for our next pair was not hidden over the course of the show, so I will try to contain my excitement as Jimmy Neutron and the human incarnation of a Bratz doll, Olivia Chisholm, take the stage. I just think that if people liked her, she wouldn’t have been eliminated. And if people liked Robin, he’d be famous. She’s awkwardly sprawled out on his piano and they are falsetto-ing their way through “Fever.” Would it have been too much to ask for a cheery rendition of the “Growing Pains” theme song? I think not.

Since this show is actually a finale for a competition, it’s time to focus on the Top 3. Super sassy John Glosson is up first, looking much like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man in a VERY unfortunate shiny jacket. Clearly he and Jennifer shop at the same stores. We get a recap of John’s “journey,” which reminds us that he sang a lot of cheesy ballads and is the one person on the planet with less rhythm than Jennifer. They take the stage and perform a really pretty rendition of “For Good” from Wicked. I know very little about how this song fits into the musical, but I do know that the show is about witches. I really wish Jennifer had painted herself green for this performance. We go to the judges who “ooh” and “ahh” over John once again. Q-bert asks John Legend if he feels emotional tonight and he feigns human emotion. In reality, he’s about as feeling as Olmec on “Legends of the Hidden Temple.”

Jason Farol is up next with Kelly Clarkson, and they’re doing a soulful, smoky version of the Elvis classic “Heartbreak Hotel.” The video montage shows Jason’s growth and Kelly’s makeover. It’s crazy what a little bleach, a boyfriend and a few trips to the gym did for that girl. They sound great together, and we’re finally at a point where Jason seems truly comfortable on stage. It’s kind of sad for him that this show is ending just as he is reaching his stride. The “superstahs” all point out his growth, while Cadoodle makes a terribly awkward joke in which he compares Jason to Tom Cruise. Um, for some reason, I doubt that Jason practices Scientology, jumps on couches or wants to marry Joey Potter.

We cut to our fearless host, Quirky McTuxerton, standing in the audience, surrounded by a biker dude who looks like he hasn’t showered in weeks and a giant cowboy hat. He introduces the next recap and we learn that J. Rome, his mole and Jennifer are singing “Rhythm of the Night” by El DeBarge. I immediately deem it an odd pick until one of my Twitter friends remind me that DeBarge once sang to Punky Brewster (Here’s the Youtube link if you need a good laugh). I’m not going to lie, I can see that Punky & J.Net are kindred spirits, so it makes an ounce of sense. This performance is cheesetastic, complete with Little Ricky impersonators awkwardly banging bongo drums around the stage. Also, at some point during this show, the judging tablets of doom multiplied and each judge now has 2 tablets- that they aren’t using. What is happening on this show?! It doesn’t matter, everyone loves J.Rome.

At this point, the results almost seem like an afterthought, but someone has to win that coveted record deal with Hollywood Records. The 3 J’s join Quailman on stage, and our host is just so excited that I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see him wearing his underwear outside of his pants and a belt on his head. Anyway, he quickly reveals that Jason finished in third place and this competition is now a civil war between both members of Team Jennifer. Clearly, the winner of this show is actually Ms. Nettles.

There is a dramatic pause, some moody music and then it’s revealed that…John Glosson STILL has a wife! Just kidding! J. Rome wins! If this was Nickelodeon “Guts,” he just conquered the confetti and crazy lights of the Aggro Crag faster than all the others. The also-rans and superstars rush the stage, and they all sing “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” like this is an episode of “The Brady Bunch” and they are just one big ol’ happy family. If they wanted a classic cheesetastic song, I would’ve suggested “Friend Forever” by the Zack Attack. (Hey, it wouldn’t be a Duets review without a “Saved By the Bell” reference!)

Unfortunately, I was wrong in predicting that Jason would nab the win on the strength of his adorability and his mentor, but I was also wrong when I predicted that Kelly would win “World Idol” and instead lost to a Norwegian plumber. So, what do I know? J. Rome is the winner of “Duets” and my Thursday night’s just opened up. Clearly, I need a hobby, or for “The Voice” to come back.