'Duets' Recap: Suspicous Voting?
by, 05-28-2012 at 06:11 PM (1442 Views)
This past week ABC began its nine week summer series, Duets. I have actually been looking forward to this show simply because I do enjoy musical series. The premise of this one has four well known singing stars auditioning regular types for two spots as their duet partners. Each of the two then perform onstage with their celebrity, the song sung being one of the singer's well known hits. Then, in an odd bit of judging, the stars rate each performance.
The singing sensations for this show are Kelly Clarkson, Robin Thicke, Jennifer Nettles, and John Legend, who actually came in late to the series, replacing Lionel Richie who reportedly had to back out due to scheduling conflicts.
Clarkson has a powerful voice. Her career since winning American Idol has been highly successful, but I have not always been a fan. I did not watch that first season of Idol, but I started watching in the second season and I recall at the time that there was a big deal that happened when Clarkson refused to let them use her songs on the show. I remember thinking how ungrateful she was. Time passed and Clarkson suddenly went country, performing with Reba McEntire. She got a lot of criticism for that, but she didn't seem to mind and I thought it was great. What I've learned since is that she's gone through two managers who apparently wanted to make her the world's biggest singing sensation while she only wants to be a successful singer while also being happy. Somehow, in all of the disputes and things I've read, I have a new appreciation for Clarkson. I like her on Duets, too. She looks to be having a lot of fun.
Thicke was interesting to watch. I've read he's not convinced he is as much of a star as others say he is. I agree with him and applaud his desire to get out there more. I like that he is open about it. He's had some personal problems, but when I look at him, I see his parents -- Alan Thicke and Gloria Loring. I have to like him and hope he gets his life together. I liked that during the show, he, like Clarkson, sometimes stood up during the performances from the other duet teams and clapped and otherwise showed their enjoyment.
Jennifer Nettles is the powerhouse behind Sugarland. She does a lot of individual things as well which makes me wonder how long Sugarland is destined to be a country staple.
I don't know much about John Legend, but he was smiling a lot during the show. I wish they had acknowledged his joining the show late.
Here's the problem with the show itself. It is that voting thing. The final performance of Clarkson and her second choice was pretty darn good, but in the rating, it was second to the last, with Clarkson's other duet partner at the bottom. It had the Idol winner reacting with, "That's a little suspect."
Thicke agreed, quickly adding, "I didn't put you there," while Nettles and Legend both just smiled, neither offering any comment. Suspect? Oh yeah!
Who the heck thought the judges should judge when they are in the competition themselves? Heck, over on The Voice, finalist Tony Lucca would have received zero every time from Christina Aguilera. It is just not smart.
What the show should have done is let that studio audience vote. That would have been the smart thing. Let them decide how they viewed the performances, but not the celebrity singers. I was highly hesitant when I first learned that was the plan, and apparently, I had good reason to be critical of it.
The songs were sometimes awesome and sometimes not so great. Aside from the voting, I still like the basic concept, but for some reason, there is a lack of spark in Duets. I can only hope something ignites in the future, and that Nettles and Legend get some gumption and rate the singers honestly and not so that their choices top the board.