'Duets' Recap: A Pitchy New Game - Rolling Stone
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‘Duets’ Recap: A Pitchy New Game

Viewers finally get to vote as the contestants sing contemporary hits


Jennifer Nettles performs on 'Duets.'


We didn’t think it was possible but, somehow, Duets went from bad to worse by moving into a live format this week.

In the first round of live performances and – finally! – viewer voting, virtually everyone was off their game. We’re not sure what was in the water, but listening to the top five sing the biggest songs of the past decade was about as rewarding as flushing money down the toilet. Well, at least the chart and judges’ super-secret votes are gone, right?

Now the contestants are at the mercy of viewer votes, which meant no one was sent packing this week but someone will be booted at the beginning of next week’s show. At this point, only Jennifer Nettles‘ team is fully intact; everyone else’s squad is down to one member and facing total extinction. (What do the superstars do, then? Lounge around in their futuristic chairs, wondering when the camera will look their way again?)

Unless something goes horribly awry, here’s how we think things will shake out next week with the first elimination, based on who received the least viewer votes.

Should Be Safe
John Glosson and Jennifer Nettles: After learning John has a wife (surprise!) and is an event and wedding designer (not as surprising), he and Jennifer proved they’re the best-paired duo on the show. Their rendition of “When You Say You Love Me” by Josh Groban might not have been the most exciting performance or the most well-known song, but at least it was on key, which is a lot more than we can say about any of the other performances.

J Rome and Jennifer Nettles: Based on past performances alone, J Rome is most likely safe, but this definitely wasn’t his best week. His rendition of David Guetta and Usher’s “Without You” was too deep for his voice so he sounded pitchier than usual. And don’t even get us started on how distracting Jennifer’s gawky spider moves and comical trout pout were. But big congrats to her on having a bun in the oven and still “dropping it low,” as Robin Thicke pointed out, in five-inch heels and parachute pants.

Could Be in Trouble
Jason Farol and Kelly Clarkson: We’re disappointed that the judges decided to keep Jason over Kelly’s better partner, Jordan Meredith, who was sent packing last week. Jennifer Nettles dropped a hint as to why, though, after his so-so performance of “Mercy” by Duffy: they think he’s gonna get little girlies’ dialing fingers going, but we can’t imagine his awkward pelvic-thrusting and marblemouthed vocals are what will save him. If he sticks around, it’s because his partner is Kelly, plain and simple. (By the way, what’s up with her new bleached-blonde bouffant? We already miss her girl-next-door look.)

Bridget Carrington and John Legend: Beyonce’s “Halo” started off on the wrong foot when John’s vocals dipped too deep and he seemed strained. From the get-go, their voices never really meshed on this song. Although Bridget looked and sounded decent, it may not be enough to keep her in the competition much longer. That said, it would be a small travesty if she sings her last note before Jason or Olivia Chisholm.

Needs to Go Home Now
Olivia Chisholm and Robin Thicke
We’re totally clueless as to how this woman made it this far. Week after week, she’s been ridiculously pitchy and totally devoid of personality, and she and Robin have zero, zilch, zip chemistry. Her rendition of Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” was by far her worst showing yet. While Robin may be easy on the eyes, our ears can’t take this aural assault any longer. For the love of Simon Cowell, America, send this woman home!

LAST WEEK: Stayin’ Alive


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