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Review: Duets – Episode 7: And Then There Were Three


Although I was sad to miss and recap last week’s episode, I was frolicking around Disney World and was constantly haunted by this show. Promotional posters are on Disney buses and in Hollywood Studios, and I may or may not have been photographed with one. I also rocked some awesome 3D glasses and took in “MuppetVision 3D,” which only served to prove that yes, John Legend and Fozzie Bear are one-in-the-same, except the Muppet has more personality.

Based on the recap at the beginning of tonight’s episode, it seems I didn’t miss much last week except for Olivia (finally) getting the boot and Kelly Clarkson wearing a boot. Apparently the amateurs took on standards, or songs no one wants to hear anywhere but an elevator. I yawn just thinking about it.

We’re kicking off this week’s show with a performance from our superstars, singing “Get Ready” by the Temptations. I had no idea that lyrics of this song included “So twiddle dee-dee, twiddle dee-dum.” I guess you learn something new every day. Fozzie is dressed like Fonzie and Jennifer Nettles is rocking quite the large fedora. Robin Thicke‘s hair looks even more ebullient than normal. Must be all that Porsche-crashing he’s been doing lately. Speaking of crashing, Kelly took quite the tumble in concert and is now being carried around by some hot male backup dancers due to a broken foot. Tough life.

The 3 J’s (John, Jason, J.Rome) and Bridget hit the stage to find out their fates. Having taken no lessons from Ryan Seacrest, our host Quesadilla spews out the results like the possessed girl from the Exorcist in that infamous pea-soup-vomit scene. John and Bridget are the bottom 2, and Bridget is eliminated. Apparently, she sang “Unforgettable” last week. Too bad she didn’t make it through this week to sing “Ironic.” Ultimately, to win this show, your name must start with a J.

J. Rome and Carmen San Diego are up first with “Breakeven” by The Script. Although it’s a decent performance, it’s far from J.Rome’s best. Considering that his musical wheelhouse seems to be soul and R&B, this pop-rock track makes little sense. Equally nonsensical: the metallic fringe on his vest. All of the judges praise J. Rome and blahblahblah, it’s obvious who the show’s producers wants to win.

Jason Farol and Kelly Clarkson are up next, taking on Jason’s choice “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul, which saved Jason from elimination in a sing off a few weeks prior. They sound great together, but it’s hard to tell if it’s because of Jason or Kelly or the weird sparkly pendant she is wearing around her neck. Unfortunately, they choose to sit on stools while performing. Sue me, but I was hoping for some dance moves a la “the Sprain,” made famous by Screech and Lisa Turtle at The Max. Jennifer loved it, John didn’t and Robin wished it was naughtier. No surprises there.

The Jennifer Nettles show continues with John Glosson. They tackle “The Prayer” by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion, and thankfully, Jennifer has lost the fedora. Instead, she has become a country singer, singing Italian Opera. I suddenly feel like I’m in the backwoods of Alabama and my fourth-removed second cousin’s third wife is ordering Manicotti, yet pronouncing it “Monnagutt,” like a Sopranos cast member. Overall, they still sound great together, and I can imagine a CD from John being chock-full of these kinds of ballads that make old ladies (see: Claymates) swoon. When he extends himself into the up tempos, he comes off too cheesy a la Derrick on Full House singing “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

Although this show is all about the duets, it’s time for some solo performances and J. Rome is up first with Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” It’s slick and polished and cruise-shippy and everything you’d expect from him. He’s confident without coming off conceited, but it’s pretty clear that J. Rome thinks he’s got this competition signed, sealed and delivered. We shall see.

John Glosson continues his quest for domination of Adult and Christian Contemporary radio with “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts. He may look like Graham Elliott from MasterChef, but he certainly pulls off a convincing Gary LeVox. In fact, he out rascals the Flatts with this performance, causing Jennifer to throw up her arms and proclaim that she “feels like a stage mom!”

Up last is Jason Farol with “Runaway Baby,” by Bruno Mars, and it’s nice to see him tackle a contemporary song. Although he is sometimes drowned out by the music, his swagger and stage presence have grown in leaps and bounds since this show began. He performs the song much like a runaway baby, jumping up on the audience and jogging around the judges.

We go to the superstars for some last comments. Robin was blown away by Jason, John loved Jason’s energy, but would choose to sign J. Rome to a record deal. Jennifer and Kelly both love everyone and are just.so.happy.tonight. I’ll have whatever those two had before this show, and I’m also demanding that they duet next week.

It’s hard to believe that there’s only one week left, and although the prize for winning this show is even blurrier than the Lost Boys’ food during the food fight scene in “Hook,” someone is going to win something! J. Rome is the safe bet, but I’m putting my money on Jason Farol to take the (multicolored and randomly appearing) cake. He’s got the charm and appeal, the underdog story and Kelly Clarkson on his side. Although KC’s endorsement didn’t quite work for Ron Paul, I have a feeling Jason Farol may fare better with the American voters. Only time will tell!

Review: Duets – Episode 6: And We’re Live!


It’s a big week Duets fans (yes, all 3 of you), we’re going live! The contestants’ careers, or 15 minutes of fame, are no longer in the hands of the superstars, but have been entrusted to the American people! Yes, the same American people who voted for Taylor Hicks and Lee Dewyze…

Moving right along, the show begins with something I will nerdily admit that I’ve missed the last few week’s: a performance from the judges. The fab 4 hit the stage to riff their way through George Michael’s “Freedom,” which clearly fits perfectly with the night’s theme, Song of the Millennium. Erm, what? Also, Robin Thicke may have tried to dress like 80′s-style George Michael, but instead, he looks much more like “90210″-style Dylan McKay, ready to break some hearts at West Beverly High. Speaking of West Bev, Kelly Clarkson has transformed from Brenda Walsh into Kelly Taylor between tapings. Well played, KC.

Our always SO EXCITED host, Quetzalcoatl (Google it.) points out how much the superstars have changed, even more than I just did. Since last week’s episode, big things have happened, like Robin Thicke growing a beard. My BFF, Jennifer Nettles announced that she’s having a baby and I took up knitting in the hopes of being able to make some booties in time. Kelly Clarkson somehow found a time machine that transported her back about 7 years to exactly what she looked like in 2005, and John Legend, is still dull. And muppet-like.

Quddus reminds us that Jennifer Nettles is now the only superstar with 2 contestants left. Now that we know she’s pregnant, it’s obvious she’s been singing for two all along. Interestingly enough, her unborn fetus still has more charisma and talent than Robin Thicke.

First up tonight is Jennifer Nettles and John Glosson, who we learn has A WIFE and a wedding design store. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. He’ll be taking on “When You Say You Love Me” by Josh Groban, and once again, he and Jennifer sound great together. However, it’s more of the same, and I think I’d love to hear this song if I was in an elevator or a dentist chair wearing one of those iron vests that protect your organs from radiation damage. Anyway, Johnny G is way more mega-church than Madison Square Garden, and there’s nothing wrong with that. As the song comes to a close, there’s some theatrics and for a split second, I think they might make out. Now I’m just super uncomfortable and find myself trying to decide if John looks more like Slimer or the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man. I’m thinking the latter.

Next up is Robin Thicke and Olivia “Why the heck are you still on this show?” Chishholm. Seriously, why is Jordan gone and this Beyonce by-product still on my television? If Beyonce was an organic, farm-raised chicken, Olivia would be all the leftover pieces that they grind up into pink slime to make into a school lunch chicken nugget. Robin has chosen one of the best songs of the last few years, and considering that this is a country music blog, I should be excited by his choice of Lady Antebellum‘s “Need You Now.” However, they kill it, and not in a good way. Olivia mentions that this song will show off her strong voice, but instead, it sounds like she’s singing into a tin can. Robin Thicke is certainly no Charles Kelley, except for the fact that they both wear exceptionally tight pants. On certain parts of the song, namely the extended “nows,” Olivia’s sounds like her vocal chords are in a losing battle with a small goat. Now-ow-ow-OW, my ears. The judges try to be nice, but it’s obvious they hated it. I did too.

As we cut to commercial break, I’m wondering if ABC borrowed the superstars’ chairs from that terrible dating show, “The Choice.” Is THAT how Jennifer Nettles got pregnant? Quddus, where do babies come from?

Hitting the stage next are Kelly Clarkson and my TV boyfriend, Jason Farol, taking on Duffy’s “Mercy.” Since the last show, Jason has found some serious swagger, while Kelly found a bottle of peroxide. If she was Miley last week, this week, she is most definitely Hannah Montana. Their performance starts with Jason front and center, hips a-swiveling, while KC takes on backup duties before joining him up front for a full out duet. Together, these two slay the song. I’m not sure where THIS Jason has been hiding the last few weeks, but I’m glad he finally showed up. He picked the right moment to shine and if there were any girls watching tonight between the ages of say 12 and 40, I bet he scored some votes. A tweet from Reba appears on the screen supporting Team Kelly, and I file that under “things not shocking.”

John Legend and Bridget Carrington are up next to take on “Already Go…” I mean, “Halo” by Beyonce. Somewhere, Ryan Tedder is cackling in a stack of money. The way Fozzie sings is totally distracting and someone needs to let him know that he doesn’t need to open his mouth so wide when he sings to prove he’s articulating. Instead, I’m just waiting for him to throw a pie at us or something. Bridget shines here and all of the judges praise her, and for the first time, I’m a Bridget fan.

Last but not least is front-runner J. Rome. He and J. Net will be tackling “Without You” by Usher and David Guetta, or Gwedda if you ask Jennifer. I think that’s a kind of cheese. This video package only reaffirms my desire to be BFFs with Jennifer. This song definitely plays to J. Rome’s strengths and style as an artist, but the performance itself feels like it just lept off the CMT Crossroads stage. J. Rome is smooth and a decent dancer, but Jennifer looks like a marionette who just got her strings cut and found out she can move her arms and legs freely. It’s awkward yet oddly entertaining. The judges love J. Rome once again, and in what must be the utter display of love or an attempt to knock him in the vocal chords, Kelly hurls her sparkly heel at him.

There we have it…the first live episode is a wrap! Although it’s pretty clear who SHOULD go home, it will be interesting to see who actually does. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be shocked to see John Glosson get the boot. He sang first, was rather forgettable and may fall prey to Jennifer’s fans being forced to split their votes between two contestants. However, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the chicken nugget, Olivia, to get kicked out of this Happy Meal.

Who did you vote for, and more importantly, whose flame should be extinguished on “Duets” island?


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…


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.

Sara Evans Performing the National Anthem at the NBA Finals


Sara Evans will perform the national anthem in front of millions on Thursday, June 14, prior to Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

You can catch Evans’ performance live on ABC beginning at 8:53 p.m. EST.

Review: Duets: Third Time’s the Charm


It’s time to du-et again! As you enter the theater, we ask that you move all the way across your row, filling in all available seats. Welcome, ladies and gentleman, to the “American Idol Experience” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Seriously, if you’ve ever seen the attraction, you’ve seen this show…except the Disney version has a better voting system. To further prove my point, Jennifer Nettles & John Legend open the show with a rousing performance of “Music in Me.” I honestly couldn’t make this up. If you’ve been to the Idol Experience in Disney, you’ve participated in a dance break to this very song, led by Idol-winner Jordin Sparks. I hope the Duets studio has taken a cue from the theme park attraction and installed armchair audience voting devices so we can shatter the judging tablets of doom.

After a brief recap from our host, Kudos (Do they still make Kudos bars? I loved them in elementary school…), we’re off running with Team Robin. Sir Fluffy Hair sits his team down for some “girl talk.” What’s the deal with this guy? One second he’s grinding against their legs, and the next, he’s trying to braid their hair and play Dream Phone. Robin also declares that he was “born an underdog.” Dude, you’re dad was on “Growing Pains” and your mom was a singer who starred on “Days of Our Lives”…Underdog my butt. His first partner of the night is Alexis Foster, who once again forgot to wear pants. She’s tackling “Killing Me Softly” and the only thing I can think about as this performance begins is how their silhouettes look like those creepy commercials for that new reality show, “The Glass House.” Robin’s falsetto adds nothing to this song, but his creepy grunts and moans add even less. They’re killing me softly with this song.

Jennifer Nettles and Graham Elliot from Master Chef are up next. I’m confused as to how he escaped Gordon Ramsay’s clutches, but that’s the only joke I’ll make about John Glosson who takes us to church with “How Great Thou Art.” Jennifer tells us “you can’t rush Jesus” and I want her to be my best friend – except, I’d be embarrassed to be seen out in public with her because she has a penchant for wearing weird clothing. Tonight is no exception as she appears to be wearing some variation on angel wings. The outfit is fitting since John is performing in honor of his deceased brother. They sound all kinds of incredible together. Kelly remarks that she’s secretly plotting on how to get him off the show, and once again, therein lies the problem with a voting system where you judge your competition. Despite that, he jumps to first place and it’s clear that those threats were in jest.

Jordan Meredith is up next, tackling Miranda Lambert‘s “Mama’s Broken Heart” alongside of her idol/mentor/life coach, Kelly Clarkson. It’s clear that Jordan took Kelly’s advice to heart this week because this isn’t the same girl who has been on the show the past few weeks. She braves all kinds of foot fungus by performing barefoot, but they bring the sass hardcore. At times, they both appear to be possessed by some sort of man-hating, foot-stomping demon, but seizure-inducing stage lights aside, this performance is actually pretty fantastic. My only problem is that I feel like Jordan’s tattoo needs a microphone of its own and that the show should be renamed “Trios” to accommodate its performance. Jordan jumps into second place.

John Legend and competition latecomer Meleana Brown are tackling Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You,” and our Lilo-lookalike looks like a different person this week in her sleek white pantsuit. The way John Legend moves his mouth distracts me during this performance and he looks like some sort of odd puppet. Stitch, is that you? They sound great together, but the performance falls a little flat for me. Not good, not bad…just meh. It’s meh-ness puts her into third place.

I think Olivia Chisholm might be the most boring contestant on this show, so she opts to take on one of the most charismatic performers and iconic songs, Beyonce and “Crazy in Love.” Dressed like the “Dancing with the Stars” mirror ball, she takes the stage alongside of Fonzie Thicke. Fonzie takes on Jay-Z’s portion of the song and it comes off like some cheesy hype man at a Bar Mitzvah somewhere in New Jersey. The performance is surprisingly entertaining, but I’m not sure whether it’s due to Olivia or the fact that she picked a great song and has a swarm of backup dancers.

J. Rome & Jennifer are singing “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” and he’s dedicating it to his deceased grandfather. This is going to be emotional for him. It’s also going to be emotional for me because this song always reminds me of Zack and Kelly’s breakup at the prom…Damn you, Jeff! While it’s hard to compete with Jessie and Slater, Jennifer and J. Rome slay this song. How am I supposed to write a snarky review with performances like this?! Jennifer, J. Rome and the rest of the superstahs are all a blubbery mess and if I had a a heart, I assume I would be as well. J. Rome takes first place for the third week in a row.

The Bieber-squeal-worthy Jason Farol is up next, and we learn that he auditioned from his car so his parents wouldn’t hear him singing. KC brings in Jason’s dad who gets all teary-eyed as the two tackle one of the most over-covered songs on the planet, “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. They sound great, but Jason needs some of the confidence juice that Kelly gave Jordan to really shine. In the most baffling critique of the night, John the Muppet criticizes Jason’s pronunciation. Hello, Pot, meet Kettle

Closing the show is Miss Hoop Earrings herself, Bridget Carrington with Mr. Mumbler. For the first time, we see the “Duets” band on the stage and these two deliver another solid performance. Kelly says that this girl shines so bright, but I think that it’s just her tinfoil-striped dress. She falls squarely in the middle of the board, grabbing fourth place.

It’s now time for the ominous “show down” between the bottom two. Jason and Alexis must each sing acapella for a chance to stay in the competition. Jason is up first with a rather impressive version of “Me and Mrs. Jones” that stuns Jennifer Nettles. Methinks she wants to be his Mrs. Jones. Pantsless Alexis takes on “Natural Woman” and it’s all kinds of pitchy. In my untalented and untrained opinion, Jason should stay and the pantsless wonder should be sent home. First, the judges give a cheesy, cliche-filled “don’t give up” talk to the contestants before taking to their tablets of doom to send someone packing.

Our host Caboodle, wearing an unusually shiny suit, needs to take some lessons from Mr. Seacrest and work on creating the elimination tension in the studio. For a second, it looks like Kelly Clarkson thinks that SHE is the one possible being voted off the “duets” island. Nope, our first casualty is Team Robin member, Alexis Foster.

Duets, you’ve redeemed yourself tonight. In fact, I suspect that if this episode had been the first of the season, this show would be a much bigger hit. The judging is still flawed and John and Robin’s teams sorta blend together, but consistent contestants like John and J.Rome and underdogs like Jordan and Jason make it worth watching. They also make it clear that the best contestants are those whose names start with J.

Next week, we’re tackling party songs on Wednesday, so put on your party pants (even you, Alexis!) and join us for more tears, more cheese and more obscure Saved by the Bell references!


Review: Duets Four-Star Premiere


Although some of the show’s details were as well-guarded as Fort Knox (uh, insanely complicated judging system, I’m looking at you), ABC has been hyping its new singing competition “Duets” for weeks. By combining the superstar power of Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles (of Sugarland) and Robin Thicke, ABC was attempting to create the musical equivalent of Captain Planet’s Planeteers. With each superstar wearing their unique “ring,” they have the potential to combine to form a musical super force, evidenced by the show’s opening number of “Let Me Entertain You.” Clarkson brings a powerhouse voice and a uniquely unaffected charm, while Robin Thicke is the perfect combination of smug and sexy. Jennifer Nettles seems like the ideal next-door neighbor with her twangy drawl, but she’s a force to be reckoned with on stage, and John Legend mellows out the panel with his cool charm and smooth vocals.

The show quickly launched into the live music, focusing only a bit of time on the audition process, which seemed to be random and at the superstars’ discretion. Team Jennifer hit the stage first and although we may have snarked a bit over her partner J. Rome’s cheesy photo on ABC’s website, the New Jersey native proves to be a vocal powerhouse, shining alongside Nettles on the Sugarland song “Tonight.” The audience and the judges love it (a common theme of the evening) and the show is off with a bang. We’re only one performance in and I’m already convinced that ABC picked the perfect ambassador to make country music shine on this show with Jennifer Nettles.

VIDEO: Jennifer Nettles & Kelly Clarkson Talk Duets


The first ladies of ABC’s upcoming singing show “Duets,” Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and country music’s favorite adopted daughter, Kelly Clarkson, sat down with “Access Hollywood” to discuss their new reality TV endeavor and what will make them each a great judge.  While Kelly feels that her own reality past prepared her for his mentorship role because she was once in the contestant’s shoes, Jennifer’s strength as a judge lies in her honest opinions and genuine excitement for the performances each week. She admits that she loves that she can “get in the trenches” and perform with the contestants, while Kelly loves the unexpected collaborations and themes that she describes like an awards show.

Well, we don’t know about you, but we’re sold and will be tuning in! Will you?

Let’s Duet! Jennifer’s and Kelly’s “Duets” Partners Revealed!

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ABC’s “Duets” has unveiled the partners for its debut season’s celebrity cast. “Duets” is a singing competition that pairs individuals with well-known recording artists and gives these aspiring singers the opportunity to duet with somebody who is already atop the charts.

Singing with Sugarland’s lead vocalist, Jennifer Nettles, are J Rome and John Glosson. J Rome hails from Maryland, where he began singing under the influence of Gladys Knight & The Pips, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan. J Rome has been posting his own performances on YouTube since 2007. John is from Georgia and grew up singing in church choir and continued in that sector throughout college. Typically only a group member, John is now trying his hand at becoming a soloist.

Pairing up with country music’s favorite stepchild, Kelly Clarkson, are Jason Farol and Jordan Meredith. Jason is a native Californian with roots in jazz and blues. By combining these styles with R&B, Jason discovered his own unique style that undoubtedly caught Kelly’s attention. Jordan grew up in a small town in Wisconsin, being sung to by her father, which ignited her love for music. This love for music is widespread, as Jordan can be found singing along to country, pop, and rock music no matter where she may be.

We wish all the “Duets” contestants good luck and look forward to seeing their talents evolve through the coaching of Jennifer Nettles and Kelly Clarkson. Which duets are you most looking forward to and why?

VIDEO: Carrie Underwood Performs on Dancing With the Stars


While most celebrities on “Dancing with the Stars” wear their dancing shoes, reigning country queen Carrie Underwood put on her ‘goodbye shoes’ Monday night for a performance on the hit ABC show. Looking as stunning as ever, Carrie performed her smash hit “Good Girl,” joined by her rocking band and 4 dancers.

It’s been all perfect-10′s for Carrie lately who scored a second week atop the Billboard Album Chart this week with her album “Blown Away“!

Missed Carrie’s performance? Check it out right here!