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'Duets' Recap: Where's the Party?

Jennifer Nettles is proving to have the team to beat as another contestant is eliminated

June 14, 2012 9:55 AM ET
duets
J Rome performs on 'Duets.'
ABC/KELSEY MCNEAL

As Duets plods along, it's come to the point where we feel worse for the celebrities involved than the contestants on the chopping block. While the amateurs certainly don't have an easy task at hand, the stars are the ones fighting a bloody uphill battle that's risking their reputations and verging on public humiliation.

This week, one star really crashed and burned onstage. Usually we're all about watching trainwrecks, but Duets has now proven some things are just too painful to witness. Who knew such a promising premise as "Party Songs" would yield the worst results yet? 

Without further ado, here is a rundown of this week's chart rankings and which contestant went home.

1. J Rome and Jennifer Nettles
It was another week at the top for J Rome, even though Kelly Clarkson reprimanded him for basically impersonating Michael Jackson during his rendition of "P.Y.T." Hey, we'll take it, considering how lacklustre and even downright messy some of the other performances were. But at this point, we feel like Jennifer is actually detracting from his appeal with her questionable wardrobe choices (gold racing stripes, anyone?) and cringe-worthy dance moves. Sorry, Team Nettles fans, but we only speak the truth.

2. Bridget Carrington and John Legend
Team Legend's only hope for winning this thing earned her highest ranking with probably her least deserving performance. That's not to say it was "bad," it just wasn't her best. But again, compared to everything else that went down, it soared above the rest just for not being a hot mess. At the very least, she looked great while singing Donna Summer's "Last Dance." If there were a Best Dressed award, she'd get our vote. But there isn't, so Number Two will have to do for now.

3. John Glosson and Jennifer Nettles
These two may be the best-suited duet partners on the show, with perfectly harmonized vocals and equally cheesy stage presence that somehow works. Of course, Jennifer made a point of saying that anyone (ahem, Robin Thicke) who didn't love John's moves during Tom Cochrane's "Life Is a Highway" was an automatic "hater." Hey, now! We think he belongs in the top three. We just don't think he's a good dancer, k?

4. Jordan Meredith and Kelly Clarkson
We're totally rooting for this chick, but her take on Joan Jett's "I Love Rock N' Roll" was disappointing. First of all, the soulful country arrangement didn't work – all it did was strip away everything that's raw and fun about the song. Secondly, there wasn't enough attitude or energy, and the poor girl looked terrified that she might topple over in her six-inch heels. After going barefoot last week in her best performance yet, you'd think they'd ease her back into the whole shoe thing with a pair of sensible combat boots or something. It was just plain cruel. As an experiment, may we suggest putting J Rome in some stilettos next week and seeing where he ranks?

5. Jason Farol and Kelly Clarkson
For the "first time ever" – you know, all of four weeks – Jason wasn't in the bottom two. It wasn't because he got any better or anything. He just didn't suck as much as the two contestants who ranked below him. In all fairness, he's not terrible; he's just not compelling to watch. At all. Despite him seeming genuinely uncomfortable singing the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," the judges dug it. Robin even said Jason was "percolating" with potential. We say he'll be singing for his supper again next week.

6. Meleana Brown and John Legend
After coming out of the gate swinging as a last-minute addition, it seemed like Meleana was gonna give everyone a run for their money. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. She nosedived right into the bottom with the biggest disaster of the night, Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone." She isn't totally to blame, though, as John was obviously waaay out of his element. While they both looked happy as clams letting loose, they were horribly pitchy. It was almost unlistenable, making us feel bad not for her but for him. The stars are clearly putting themselves out there just as much as the newbies. Unlike, say, Dancing With the Stars, where you can blame a bad performance on them "being out of their element," this should be his element, and he should have known better. Really, he's the one to blame for everything being just wrong, wrong, wrong here.

7. Olivia Chisholm and Robin Thicke
With his last duet partner dragging the very bottom, it's not looking good for Team Thicke. But like John Legend, Robin really only has himself to blame for choosing Al Green's "Let's Stay Together." Yes, a ballad . . .  during "Party Songs" week. Huh? (Of note: Not one of the judges pointed this out, which was rather annoying.) While he could have controlled what they sang, there wasn't much he could have done about Olivia's thin, pitchy vocals or the fact they had zero chemistry, as usual. Again, this performance just made us feel bad – for the celebrity. This show is truly ass-backwards. 

Solo Showdown
The bottom two, Meleana and Olivia, faced off in an a cappella showdown in order to save themselves from elimination.

First, Meleana sang a horribly pitchy rendition of "Saving All My Love for You." What happened to the effortless songstress who took the top spot in her first week out? An apparition, apparently. Her weak showing basically meant Olivia really had to bomb in order to blow it. But Olivia held it together just enough while singing "I Can't Make You Love Me" to squeak by for another week, sending Meleana packing after the judges' super-secret vote.

Now Teams Legend and Thicke are down to just one contestant each, leaving Teams Clarkson and Nettles in the lead. It's Nettles' competition to lose at this point.

Last week: Finding Inspiration?

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