By now, you might be sick of singing competitions. After Jessica Sanchez was robbed of a win (sorry but you know it’s true) on “American Idol” and Jermaine Paul was crowned the winner of “The Voice,” you might wonder if these shows will eventually run out of credible singing talent. Well, Sanchez certainly proved that the contestants with the most star potential don’t always win – hey, Jennifer Hudson – and we’ll have to wait and see on Paul.
But the latest entry into the singing competition game adds yet another twist. On “Duets,” aspiring singers get to sing with the top-notch talent who are also the show’s judges. Former MTV veejay Quddus is the host, which is surely a big break for him.
“Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson, Sugarland lead singer Jennifer Nettles, John Legend and Robin Thicke are the judges, mentors and duet partners who have to choose two singers who best fit their voice and who have the vocal chops to win. It’s sort of a competition within a competition. Since the judges vote on each other’s picks, it makes for some potential scheming considering that the group could decide “Survivor” style to conspire to vote off each one of their strongest singers to help themselves win. So far there’s no Levine/Aguilera like feuding going on, but we’re only one show in. (If it happens, I’d pick Robin Thicke vs. John Legend – two competitive guys likely to try and roll over the sweet Southern lady singers who are on the show with them.)
Last Thursday night’s debut featured the same kind of heart-warming stories that the other shows have in droves. One of Kelly Clarkson’s picks, Jordan Meredith, was a super fan who almost passed out when she was face to face with her Idol (capitalization intended.) One of Jennifer Nettles’ picks was a gospel singer from her small hometown of Douglas, Georgia. John Legend’s pick, Bridget Carrington, is an IRS auditor who took great advantage of her opportunity with one of the best performances of the night. Robin Thicke, unsurprisingly, chose two Black female singers, one of whom he pulled from the gospel ranks. He stands to gain the most from the show. Despite several albums, he’s still searching for the kind of mainstream success the others already enjoy.
As far as singing shows go, “Duets” has potential. The two hours went by quickly and it was interesting to see who the judges kept on top of the leader board. J Rome, a singer in the Trey Songz vein, was the first to perform and no one grabbed the lead from him, although he didn’t seem to the audience or the viewers to necessarily be the strongest singer. Team Clarkson was at the bottom by show’s end, though she and Meredith had one of the episode’s strongest duets.
If you enjoy the singing competitions, “Duets” gives them a little bit of a new flavor, although there are plenty of duets with the famous coaches on “The Voice.” But the four singers here are all big fan favorites and it is interesting to watch how other voices sound on the hits these artists made famous. Despite the low first time scores, Team Thicke and Team Clarkson both have some interesting singers, as does Team Legend, who apparently loses one of them after the first show. He’ll have to go back to the drawing board, so we’ll see if he helps or hurts himself with his next pick. Given the weakness of summer TV programming, “Duets” might be one of your better choices, if only as a temporary fix until the real singing competition powerhouses, “Idol,” “The Voice,” and “The X Factor,” return.
“Duets” is on ABC on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET
Watch the full season premiere of “Duets” here.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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