Celebrity Duets Premiere Review

Posted: August 30, 2006 in Uncategorized

So by now it’s probably obvious I watch a lot of TV. I try to be discerning but in the end I watch a ton of everything. I resisted the first couple of seasons, but eventually gave in to Idol the last 2 seasons, so now I’m kind of into these singing competitions. I was even one of the 17 people who watched The One. I’ve also seen a number of other reality shows and competitions; in fact I was a big fan of the “original” – MTV’s Real World.

But I digress, last night’s premiere of Celeb Duets added a slight new twist on the AI+Dancing with the Stars format. The twist being that the duet partners were arguably much bigger stars than the so-called “celebrities” (mostly B-listers and has beens). This made for an interesting dynamic throughout the evening and kind of makes you wonder how it’s all going to turn out (not so much the competition, but ratings and popularity-wise). Chris Jericho was horrible, but he looked good so I guess that counts for something. I felt bad for the people who had to sing with him, it was painful to listen to.

If I had to lay odds right now, I’d say it will be a showdown between Xena and Jai from Queer Eye. Xena was head and shoulders above the other 2 women (both literally and vocally), and Jai was clearly the best of the men. That would certainly make an interesting finale for the gay and lesbian fans. As for me, I’m still rooting for Hal Sparks, but I think at best he can get to maybe the final 4 (since I’m guessing I’ll say… Alfonso, Hal, Jai and Xena).

The judges are interesting. Little Richard was clearly brought in for the Paula Effect (i.e. saying drunken non-sensical things and throwing off the timing of the otherwise clockwork pace); my friends reminded me he is even sitting in Paula’s middle spot. David Foster had some useful comments but mostly got overshadowed by Little Richard’s antics. Marie Osmond was actually very good and I agreed with most of her opinions, and I liked that she balanced her praise with some critical suggestions. Still I think I’d prefer to see her duet/sing; I think she’d at least do a much better job than the Destiny’s Child chick.

Speaking of which, it did seem a little odd to go from a legendary vocalist like Gladys Knight to “that third Destiny’s Child girl.” I mean, come on, give us some Beyonce if you’re going to go that route! The other “legends” were a bit hit or miss. I liked Smokey and James Ingram, but Townsend, Travis and Womack did nothing for me. Michael Bolton seemed off. A nice blend of people they found but I think it would be more interesting to have more singers famous for their duets. I wonder if it will be the same people throughout the series, or if they will bring in others. Doesn’t Whitney need some exposure? Ooh, how abotu Dolly Parton or that raspy “Love Lift Us Up Where we Belong” guy? What’s Kenny Rogers doing? Donna Summer?

Anyway, I had a good time watching the show, some decent performances mixed in with some cringe-inducing nausea. Thank goodness for DVRs, though, as I don’t think I could have stomached a full 2 hours of it.

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