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Duets recap: Sandwiches, Skittles and Robin Thicke

The four coaches’ personalities start to show as all seven contestants (plus a new one!) duet once more

Posted on

Kelsey McNeal/ABC


Current Status:
112 minutes
Limited Release Date:
Marie Bello, Andre Braugher, Paul Giamatti, Huey Lewis, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scott Speedman
Bruce Paltrow
Beacon Films, Inc., Beacon Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Seven Arts Pictures
Buena Vista Pictures
John Byrum
Comedy, Romance, Drama

There are some television shows out there with subject matter that doesn’t quite match up with the title. Cougar Town is not about cougars. The Big Bang Theory has nothing to do with the big bang. And Happy Endings is decidedly not about happy endings. But Duets is not one of those shows. No, Duets is about… duets. And not much else.

Week two of ABC’s awkward turtle of singing competitions may or may not have solidified your decision to tune in or out in future weeks. The lack of personality development of any of the show’s eight contestants is perhaps cause for hesitation before awarding the show a coveted slot on mama’s DVR. An even more egregious lack of joyous banter between coaches Jennifer Nettles, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson and Robin Thicke may sing out a worse fate for the experimental program.

No singers were eliminated last week, and the same goes for this week, so we’ve still got plenty of time before we have to say goodbye to one of the eight amateurs whom — let’s be real — we never really got to care too much about anyway. Don’t most of these singing shows spend oodles of time on their audition process? Duets seems more like a vehicle for the four coaches to shine, with the amateur artists ostensibly competing in the more appropriately named America’s Next Top Backup Singer. Before I spew any more vitriol towards the banality of Thursday’s sophomore episode, let’s go through the night’s standings and remember just how uneventful this evening was (made all the more interesting by my recapping snack of Cheez Its and boxed wine, which has more or less the same amount of personality as Robin Thicke).

1. Meleana Brown and John Legend (Last week: N/A)

Tied for first was Hawaiian Meleana Brown, who replaced last week’s number two performer Johnny Gray due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Meleana immediately stole the show, leaning against Legend’s piano in a sparkling gown and crooning with her coach as if she’d been doing it for years. She seemed immensely comfortable onstage with Legend, much more so than other contestants felt with their coaches. “You know when you’ve got a sandwich with too much onion?” Robin began, launching into some metaphor about mustard proportions and cheese availability, essentially thereby comparing Meleana to a sandwich (on a Hawaiian roll, probs). Kelly, being the voice of reason that she is, simply responded, “What?!” And thus, America learned that Robin is the Drunk Blake Shelton of Duets.

NEXT: The best press John Travolta will get this week