I’ll say this for the third week of Duets: something finally happened, meaning that somebody finally went home. It was getting hard to imagine that very many people were going to stick with this show in the absence of real stakes.
But a show that has parceled out information about its very rules in dribs and drabs may soon have to answer another question: what happens to a “superstar” (the preferred Duets term) once all of their duet partners have been eliminated? Robin Thicke lost Alexis Foster on Thursday, which in itself wouldn’t be alarming – somebody had to go first, after all – except that his other singer, Olivia Chisholm, doesn’t look like she’s going to be able to last much longer either. Advising Olivia to basically do Beyonce karaoke on “Crazy in Love” (with Robin actually doing the Jay-Z intro, making an already bad idea incomparably worse) probably should have backfired even more than it did.
Robin is already exhibiting an attitude regarding the scoring of his singers. He tried to fire Alexis up by making the pitch that the two of them were underdogs, based on his relative lack of success on the pop charts. Yes Robin, we know it had to be soooo hard making a go of it in the music industry as … uh, the son of Alan Thicke. The real problem here is that he made lousy initial decisions in his choice of singers (the scoring has been pretty fair these last two weeks), and is facing the prospect of being a mere bystander as soon as next week.
In fact, it’s not too big a stretch to wonder if only Jennifer Nettles and John Legend will be represented in the final four. Jennifer’s protégé J. Rome is emerging as the obvious class of the field, nailing the cheesy “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” this week as a tribute to his late grandfather. But her other singer, the dramatic gospel belter John Glosson, isn’t far behind. And John’s ladies, Meleana Brown and Bridget Carrington, continue to impress as well.
The wild card might be Kelly Clarkson. If she can get one or both of her partners (Jason Farol and Jordan Meredith) to the live shows, her personal popularity could help them survive. The key is making them last till then, which won’t be easy. Kelly seems to have picked the two least experienced performers, and they have had obvious problems keeping their nerves under control. But Jordan in particular made a few strides with the judges this week, so there may be hope here yet.
The two lowest scorers had a “solo showdown” at the end of the two hours, with Jason and Alexis each singing a cappella without their partner. Jason’s choice of “Me and Mrs. Jones” was a little jarring, since he looks barely old enough to date, let alone sleep with some guy’s wife. But he was still preferable to Alexis and her oversinging. Robin’s advice afterwards was for Alexis not to give up on her dreams, find somebody who will help her make the record she’s capable of making, and … er, yeah, none of this is going to happen for her.
So does J. Rome have this baby in the bag or what?