Tag Archives: Meleana Brown

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

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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

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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.

Review: Duets: Third Time’s the Charm

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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 – It Takes Two (Again)

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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.