Featuring: Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles, John Legend, Robin Thicke
Network: ABC, Thursday nights
Original Telecast: May 25, 2012

So close on the heels of the AMERICAN IDOL and THE VOICE finales, ABC gets into the musical competition game with DUETS.

At two hours, the series premiere proves to be a bit unwieldy like many competition shows, but the premise is at least somewhat different – four superstars Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, Robin Thicke and John Legend pick two contestants apiece to be their duet partners.

The title allows them to go, “let’s duet” (get the pun) and then they perform before the other judges. The three judges grade them (secretly) on performance and presentation and then there’s a ranking board for all eight performers.

And then – they get to perform again next week.

I’m not sure if there is an elimination component, though that’s likely, this being an eight-week series. The winner does get a Hollywood Records recording contract.

Of the eight selected, the contestants are actually quite good – though the better contestants didn’t place as high as they should have.

The duets were actually quite good, with each celebrity getting to work and groom their partner.

However, the staging of the duets is quite awkward. The stage is too small and it just looks weird with the celebrity and partner facing each other and singing their hearts out. Yes, it makes it more intimate, but it also comes off a bit cheesy too.

The Celebrity Lounge – a circular area for each Judge, is ABC’s obvious attempt at recreating the spinning chairs from THE VOICE.

The host is some guy named Quddus from TOTAL REQUEST LIVE, but I kept thinking he was Quattro from the TOTAL RECALL movie. Where was his little Mini-Me bursting through his chest? That’s the guy I want talking.

Quddus kept the show moving smoothly, but honestly, I wasn’t connected to too many of the contestants. Only a couple stood out with Jason Farol (a Clarkson pick) doing quite well (even though he didn’t place very high on the board).

Time will tell if DUETS can come into its own, Great pains have been made to make it different, but it might have been better if ABC waited a couple of weeks for audience to get over IDOL burn-out. The show has star power and potential, but it comes down to the contestants and if they can’t register with the audience, DUETS may end up another noble musical competition failure.

AGREE? DISAGREE? LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK – COMMENT BELOW!

Related Link: TV Review -DUETS – Season 1 – “Classic Duets”

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TV Review -DUETS – Season 1 – “Superstars Greatest Hits”  – Series Premiere

 

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Comments:

  1. Please have me as a contestant I really am a great singer and it is a dream for me to preform. Please please pleas

    Mailayah
  2. Please put me on the show it has always been my dream to perform on a stage! Please please please do this for me!

    Mailayah
  3. THE JUDGING BY THE SUPERSTARS IS NOT RIGHT…YOU NEED TO HAVE IMPARTIAL JUDGING…KELLY’S SINGERS SHOULD HAVE BEEN AT LEAST ON THE TOP TWO…IT DOES NOT WORK THIS WAY…DO SOMETHING TO MAKE IT FAIR….I WOULD LOVE THIS SHOW TO MAKE IT…BUT NOT THIS WAY…..

    Patti
  4. WHAT….I DO NOT WHAT TO BE A CONTESTANT… MY OPINION ON THE FIRST SHOW…..

    Patti
  5. Lame show – obviously fixed since the best performers were on the bottom….

    PattyO
  6. I gave this show a try and was very disappointed. I agree with what someone else said you need a fair and impartial judge. The celebrity secret vote is ridiculous.

    Jen
  7. I wanted to like this show but it was just awful. Makes no sense to have the coaches, who are competitors, judging the other judges’ singers. Also – they don’t show the coaches actually coaching. What makes “The Voice” interesting is to hear what the coaches tell the singers and to see how the singers evolve. On Duets, they just sing. Plus Robin Thicke is so in love with himself it’s hard to watch. He reminds me of a younger Donald Trump. Not going to watch this show again. Ugh.

    LuAnn
  8. Yes, the secret vote is crazy. Why would any of the scorers rate anyone elses performances higher than their own? Too easy to rig, and yes, Kelly’s singers definitely should have been rated higher. Very unfair!!!
    Cheryl

    Cheryl
  9. I was really interested in this show and then when I saw the first episode I was very disappointed. Kelly Clarkson’s contestants should have been on the top not the bottom. You could tell by her face that she was surprised by the final results. The judges are not impartial and the scores are secretive which will lead to the demise of this show unless they make some changes.

    Karen
  10. This show to me is an abomination in the music industry. Let me clarify three facts here:
    1. The scoring system is egregious. My advice to Kelly, score all other three with Zero and you come right on top for episode 2.
    2. The quality of the singers picked lacked so much experience, talent, or even potential. Please, the quality you get from the Voice and American Idol? It’s like comparing a Ferrari to a pedal bike.
    3. Judges – their comments are really insincere and very sad. So corny, they even give standing ovations to absolutely average performances. Note to proper judging, stand only if you get performances like Jessica Sanchez, Joshua, etc. Please give some credibility to the music industry!

    Overall, I am not disappointed. I am angered, insulted, and depressed that the music industry is being maligned and tainted by this failed attempt to get into this. ABC, there is still time to cancel the show permanently.

    Joy
  11. I agree that the whole judging thing was weird. No real constructive criticism at all. How are these people suppose to progress? They need an impartial judge and/or the audience as a control. I cannot believe that John Legend’s female partner beat out BOTH of Kelly’s parters! Both of the ladies had by far the best duets of the night IMHO!!! Wish we could vote!!

    Linda
  12. PLEASE let me know how I can get the piano music for the Duet: How Great Thou Art

    Marie

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