Duets Season Finale: The Winner Is... [Updated]

Just like its charming/ridiculous “exploding mirrorball” logo and mid-2000s dance-club theme song, Duets wrapped its first season tonight with a vibe that was more about low-wattage summer fun than a serious coronation of the next big Billboard chart topper.

That doesn’t mean, however, that the contestant most likely to actually score a significant radio hit didn’t take home the big prize: The title of Duets champ and a contract with Hollywood Records.

Yes indeed, J Rome, who towered over the competition since Week 1 like the Empire State building transported to an Iowa corn field, prevailed over fellow Jennifer Nettles prodigy John Glosson. Kelly Clarkson’s man Jason Farrol, meanwhile, wound up in third.

The season finale, unfortunately, led with its climax: Kelly and Jennifer teaming up (finally!) for a duet of Eurythmics’ “Would I Lie to You?” These women hit notes with the ease and efficienct of Helio Castroneves driving his sedan to the grocery store. Also: Why has nobody ever covered “Would I Lie to You?” on a reality singing competition?

Because John Legend and Robin Thicke are probably paid too much to sit on their keesters for a full hour, each one teamed up with his highest-placing contestant for a duet: John and Bridget Carrington offered a serviceable “Gimme Shelter,” but I drifted off midway through into a daydream where it was covered by Kelly and Fantasia), then Robin and Olivia Chisholm put their awkward/sexy stamp on “Fever.”

Finally, it was time for the Top 3 to take one last turn at the mic. John and Jennifer got big and bombastic on “For Good”; Kelly played the piranha to Jason’s minnow on Elvis’ “Heartbreak Hotel” (damn, she has range!); and finally J Rome tried to erase the notion of his relevancy by pairing up with Jennifer on DeBarge’s “Rhythm of the Night.” The dual fist raise at the end made me wince, but the guy really is very talented, and sweet to boot. “What can you not do?” John Legend asked our eventual champ.

Everything except make “Rhythm of the Night” sound current, would be my answer.

And now it’s your turn to hit the comments with your opinions. Did J Rome deserve his victory? If not, who should’ve prevailed? And are you rooting for a Season 2 pickup for Duets, or is this a case of “one and done”? I’m kinda leaning toward Option B, though it’s been great to have the original American Idol back on my screen every week, and I’ve gotten a chance to discover Jennifer Nettles’ raw talent in the process.

Anyhow, sound off below, and for all my reality news, interviews, and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Hugh says:

    One and done. What a load of underwhelming crap. Get Kelly judging on Idol asap.

  2. FGP says:

    Duets was underwhelming at best. The amateurs would not have made it past initial auditions on those other singing shows. I felt like J Rome was poised to win from the beginning not because he was the next big thing but because he was far better than his competetitors. Loved Kelly and Jennifer, John and Robin not so much.

  3. angelstorm says:

    The main thing about Duets for me was the stars not the amateurs ! Granted J Rome (though his name is ridiculous) was by far the best of the amateurs but really the show for me was all about Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Nettles !

  4. Loretta says:

    Jennifer and Kelly brought great energy and enthusiasm to the show. It’s only bright side!!

  5. James says:

    This show felt so rigged from the start, and I hope if there’s a second season, they find a better way to get to their finales – the judges voting in those first few weeks was horrible. While some could argue Jason didn’t have the best vocals out of the three, I think his sound and his style was more original. JRome and John have pretty universal sounds, and while their vocals are insanely good, I would much rather have seen Jason win because of that originality and unique voice.

  6. I couldn’t get passed episode 1 because the whole judging thing made no sense at all.

  7. B says:

    Kelly Clarkson was the ONLY reason I watched this show, I think either John or Jason should have won. I hope they figure out the flaws in the show and fix it. Almost does seem like J Rome was set from the beginning.

  8. chris says:

    Jrome was the obvious winner from the start, i wouldn’t have minded if jason farol won — but i do wonder if this record deal will go anywhere — the voice winner didn’t even sell somewhere around 9,000 copies in it’s first week but the sing off winner sold more.

    the show won’t be back, the almighty demos are too low.

    • Denise says:

      I would rather they bring back The Sing Off!!!

      • Sophie says:

        Yes! I loved The Sing Off! I was so sad after hearing it was cancelled. Sara Bareilles and Ben Folds need to find gigs judging another singing competition. They both gave constructive criticism with ease.

  9. Penney Phelps Wallace says:

    I loved it! All of the stars were so charming! I loved seeing and hearing the stars sing together and with their partners.I loved watching the contestants grow. It ended with the contestants placing the way I thought they would. I thought John had the best voice but J Rome was the complete package. Jason did really good but to little to late. I hadnot listened to a lot of Thicke or Legends music, but will now. They were both incredibly classy and charming, not to mention talented! Talk about complete package! Can’t wait till next season!

  10. IdaRed says:

    Jennifer Nettles and John G were my reason for watching. Aside from John G and J Rome, the other amateurs were just that, amateurs who would benefit from many more years of vocal training. It was painful listening to them tonight and I found myself hitting FF through everything but Kelly and Jennifer, Jennifer and her two finalists and the announcement of the winner. Slept through whatever cheesy song Thicke and Legend sang. Congrats J Rome. You and John were clearly the obvious final 2. If there IS a second season I too hope they come up with a better voting system.

  11. B J Hawk - Florida says:

    J Rome is not an amateur as he has been doing this for MONEY with the Michael Jackson Revue in the U.S. and Europe. I saw him with Cirque De solei and the Michael Jackson Revue.in Jacksonville, Florida. He has a fan club on youtube with over 150,000 members. He was set up to win from week one.. He is good but no amateur. All that said, John Glosson who does not sing for a living has the best voice – just needs more stage presence. Hope someone with an ear for talent realizes this and gives John the break he deserves. Jason got better as the show went on though I thought that he regressed some in week 8. Good luck to them all and for those saying J Rome was by far superior, I say you are tone deaf.

  12. J Clark - Atlanta says:

    I agree with B.J. Hawk…… J Rome is a professional. Not sure how he got in as an “amateur”.. In any case John Glosson, J Rome and Bridgette were all good enough to win American Idol – but they don’t have the tattoos, blue hair or nose rings required.

  13. Becky - San Fran says:

    John Glosson was the best voice hands down. He just wasn’t as “pretty” on stage as Jason or J Rome and that prejudiced the audience and judges in their voting. Not every great singer is “pretty”. Bette Midler and Barbara Steisand and Meat Loaf for example.

  14. hr says:

    Get the 3rd eye mole removed jrome….show was crap & destroyed any chance of kc being on idol…her singing 10; a judge 3

  15. Marianne says:

    Yawn. Essentially the same winner as 2 x The Voice. Meh – – regarding the show AND the winner.

  16. Erin says:

    I wanted to like this show so much… I love Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Nettles. Unfortunately, something seemed off. I could never put my finger on it, but I eventually had to fire the show. Send Kelly and Jennifer over to American Idol!

  17. J Rome totally deserved it and I will check out his post-show music. I think the judges and host on this show were great and it did a lot right that Idol, The Voice and X Factor never could. But it definitely needs more to become a hit TV show.
    In the end, I did end up liking Kelly, Jen, John and Robin more atleast?

  18. Mszue says:

    I just have to comment on how amazing Jennifer Nettles was…I was completely unaware of her and she was absolutely the best mentor…with Kelly a very competent one as well. Their final duet was really really good. What made/makes Nettles so good is that she actually mentored and duetted…there was constant eye contact and support for her protege’s that gave them obvious confidence and authenticity. Kelly is great too…Legend was fine but I came away thinking that Robin Thicke is a complete horses a**s, to be honest. No eye contact with his singers, phoney sexiness….icky actually…really did not like at all….jmho

  19. Callie Dawse - Ft. Lauderdale says:

    J Rome is good, not great. John Glosson has a chance to be great. In other words J Rome is as good as he will ever get and John Glosson has star potential.