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.
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