The theme for this week’s “Duets” is Party Songs, which … should prove interesting, since those don’t tend to have much harmony going on.
One more finalist is going home this week, which means we get another a capella sing-off and then the group is whittled down to six. Unless Olivia Chisholm really steps it up this week, she’s our vote to leave.
1. Kelly and Jason, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” Rolling Stones
Jason has such nice tone, we hope he can pull one out this week. When they start, he’s a little thin, but he ramps it up pretty quickly and it’s better, but then he starts verse two and it’s thin again. It’s like he needs Kelly for confidence, because he’s pretty weak without her. And when she sings alone, she draws attention to how weak he was because she’s so awesome. Hmph. Definitely better than last week, especially his stage presence, and when he sings with Kelly, he’s pretty good. Should keep him out of the bottom, but we don’t expect him to stay at the top of the leaderboard all night long either.
We agree with Jennifer Nettles that that was his best so far. It was, though it may not be one of the best tonight.
Robin’s a creeper about Kelly’s boob-shake – everybody drink.
2. John and Bridget, “Last Dance,” Donna Summer
We suppose this was a party song in the 1970s, but it’s not what exactly springs to mind, ya know? Anyway, they sound awesome together on the opening slow part. And they look like they’re about to have their last horizontal dance, ifyaknowwhatimean. When the fast start kicks up, it gets a little boring, but that’s the song’s fault – it’s very repetitive. So maybe not the best song choice, but they sound very good together.
It’s hard to decide whether to jump her over Jason because of her sound, or keep her below because the “performance” factor wasn’t as good. We’d probably jump her over Jason, but it’s close.
Robin actually says something good, praising her sound but wanting to see more personality and passion in her performance. The judges do indeed hop her over Jason.
3. Jennifer and J Rome, “PYT,” Michael Jackson
When he starts out alone, J Rome’s similarity to 80s-era Michael is striking. It’s almost a shame when Nettles comes in on the chorus because she’s too twangy, it’s so jarring. When they sing together and she’s singing lower, it sounds great, but when she echoes him on the chorus, it’s way too country. This also isn’t much of a duet and while we’d love to hear J Rome sing this on his own, that’s not the point of the show. Hmm. This one is also showcasing the problem of a singer with a heavy twang picking an R&B guy to duet with.
Honestly, we think we’d stick this at third so far. It wasn’t bad at all, but it was a little boring and the sound wasn’t great. The judges jump him to the top, which is fine. Again, he wasn’t bad. But it’s not what we would’ve done.
4. Robin and Olivia, “Let’s Stay Together”
“Last Dance,” fine. But “Let’s Stay Together” is really stretching the definition of “party song.” Anyway, Olivia starts the song off way too breathy and thin and Robin does the same on his part. Singing quietly doesn’t mean it has to sound unsupported, guys. This is pretty weak, honestly – and they are taking way too long to get to the part everybody knows, the “good or bad, happy or sad” part. Olivia also sounds like she’s pitchy in parts – anybody else hear that? And then when it finally gets to the “good or bad” part, it’s totally soulless and boring. And then Olivia breath-s at the end “Letssss stay togetherrrrr” like she’s got laryngitis. Booo, terrible.
Kelly praises her breath control, which – no. She’s just unsupported. But Kelly also hear the pitchiness.
Well, this did nothing to change our minds that Olivia should go home, but probably the show won’t let that happen because then Robin would have nothing to do for six weeks. Which would serve him right for choosing such terrible songs (and partners who were not that strong). But anyway, there is no reason why this should be above anyone who has gone so far. Thankfully, she is not.
5. Kelly and Jordan, “I Love Rock and Roll,” Joan Jett
Interesting choice for girls who have such high voices. Joan Jett just has such a low, throaty sex voice and Jordan and Kelly don’t have that. Case in point, the song starts off in a totally weird arrangement that we’re not fans of. This song should be rougher, this is way too Britney version. It’s also lacking a lot of panache and this is like the ultimate chick rock party song. Hmm. We love Jordan’s voice, but this song isn’t really doing it for us. We’re put her second to last at this point.
Our rank right now would be Bridget, Jason, J Rome, Jordan and Olivia. The judges put Jordan above Jason, which is interesting.
6. John and Meleana, “Since U Been Gone,” Kelly Clarkson
It starts off a little low for Meleana, but that is probably so she can hit the big notes on the chorus. Speaking of the chorus, does it sound off to anyone else? Hmm. So, Meleana is hard to hear on the verses and then the chorus doesn’t quite work. Yikes. Meleana is way too nasally stretching for those big notes, especially on the bridge. She’s no Kelly, that’s for sure. This was pretty bad, you guys.
We’d put her just above Olivia. The judges agree and that’s where she lands. Thank goodness.
7. Jennifer and John, “Life is a Highway,” Tom Cochrane
This is a total party song, if a little cheesy. But it both flatters Nettles and John’s voices and it has a nice harmony built in on the chorus, instead of them having to create one. This is definitely a duet of some white country folk rockin’ their little butts off, but it’s good and fun, especially when John really busts it out at the end.
We’d put that one right at the top – for sure he’s not in the bottom. It’s hard to say whether to go for pure sound or performance too, because Bridget really had the best sound, but was very boring.
This week we’ll give it to the sound, so we’ll go Bridget, John, Jason, J Rome, Jordan, Meleana and Olivia for our final order. We end up with the same bottom 2 as the judges, though, so that’s fine.
Meleana goes with “Saving All My Love For You,” which is a bold choice but she does beautifully. Olivia goes for “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and she just doesn’t have the smokiness to pull it off. She also still sounds way too breathy and has some pitch problems. We give this one to Meleana easily, but will the show let Robin Thicke lose both his partners this early on? Hmm.
And nope, the show doesn’t do it. Now, was it legit that the judges thought Olivia was better? Or did the producers tell them to vote a certain way? Or did they decide independently that they can’t let Robin lose both his partners this early? It’s interesting to speculate.
What do you think, “Duets” fans?