'Duets' Recap: The Final Four -- America Leaves One Star Partnerless
'Duets' Recap: The Final Four -- America Leaves One Star Partnerless
Jenn Lee
Jenn Lee
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
Tonight's the first night of eliminations, but first, a Superstar duet with Jennifer Nettles and Robin Thicke (who will probably not grace the stage again tonight, unless something unpredictable happens). The ever-chipper Quddus announces tonight's song theme (the incredibly bland "The Standards") and then gets straight to the results! We have to hear four amateurs perform tonight, after all.

The Elimination Results
Quddus invites the five remaining hopefuls on stage and addresses Jason first. "America voted," he says to the endearing Jason, "And tonight... you are safe." Jason's many female fans and many-membered family erupt in applause. Onto Olivia, who is swiftly announced as being in the bottom two (unsurprising). J Rome is safe (obviously), so it's down to John and Bridget. Even with the show's attempt to build the anticipation with Special Elimination Music playing in the background, there's no shock when Bridget is announced at the other member of the bottom two. I'm not sure if the show is to blame, but somehow Duets has emerged as the most predictable singing competition of all time.

Between the two ladies, Quddus reveals the ultimate results: Olivia Chisholm is going home. Everyone gives a courteous awww, even though we all saw it coming. Robin joins his last remaining partner on stage to describe her as "an amazing human being" and that "she has a long way to go" (in a good way, he means).

John Legend's Duet: "Unforgettable" with Bridget Carrington
Olivia needs to say her goodbyes during the commercial break, because as soon as we come back, the show must go on with Bridget's duet. After rewatching her "Halo" performance from last week, Bridget thinks she could have been better (she has clearly taken on the perfectionist attitude of her mentor). But this week, she feels good knowing she's singing the song John sang at his very first talent show (which he obviously won).

With Bridget in her canary yellow satin gown and John in his favorite place on the piano bench, the two pull off classy with ease. I know it's the nature of the song, but after a while it's almost too tranquil for me, like a night-time lullaby. But Kelly disagrees, saying it's her favorite performance of Bridget's, citing their classic sound and effortlessness. Robin says pretty much the same thing and Jennifer gets more specific by noting Bridget's "poise" and overall polish on stage.

Jennifer Nettles' First Duet: "God Bless the Child" with J Rome
Unbelievably, J Rome is feeling the pressure, though he is clearly the one to beat in the competition. Perhaps he thinks America may have a different opinion than the Duets judges (though I'm doubtful of that). He's so anxious his eye is twitching! But Jennifer is good-natured as always and loves that their song choice speaks to what it means to be successful, which she thinks is "inevitably coming" for her partner.

Like the previous duet, the performance is slow and easy, and both Jennifer and J Rome are able to play up the understated elegance that comes with a Billie Holiday standard. But unlike the previous duet, the two end the song with a couple resonant notes. The song brings Kelly--who has fractured her foot and is on crutches--to stand three times during the performance. She goes on to say J Rome's talent goes beyond the context of their show and is on an award-show caliber, if not better. John, who was a bit more critical of the amateur last week, says J Rome just "murdered" that classic, and he means this as the highest praise.

With only four Duets performances tonight, there's more time for the actual stars of the show (that's the Superstars) to perform, so it's time for Kelly and John to sing Ray Charles' "You Don't Know Me." Afterwards, Quddus jokes, "Now it's time to hear from our amateurs!" Oh, Quddus.

Jennifer Nettles' Second Duet: "Georgia On My Mind" with John Glosson
This week the Georgia native and her mentee go back to their home turf in a song that celebrates their shared community. John, like pretty much every amateur on this show, is far from overconfident and hopes he can nail the song.

John starts off the song with high notes that showcase his sweet-sounding tone and you can see his love for his home in his performance. Though he doesn't come off as effortless as J Rome (his only competition in the show), he also seems enthralled in his performance in a way that is unique from the Duets chart-topper and fellow Nettles partner. Robin thought the song was perfect for John's voice and also praises Jennifer's performance. Kelly, however, had a hard time hearing him, perhaps due to a mic issue, but she loves his voice, so she's "sure you did awesome." John provides the only semi-interesting comment of the night by rating the amateur's performance on a syrup scale (due to his comment from last week), saying it was "just the right amount," like waffle-houses-in-Georgia right amount.

Kelly Clarkson's Duet: "Feeling Good" with Jason Farol
Jason is continuing his slow progression from timid youngster to confident heartthrob and is relishing the bigger spotlight Kelly is shining on him. He is, however, worried about the one big note in the song. We'll see if he can conquer it on stage.

While Jason does exert more confidence and command of his stage presence, the performance itself isn't that memorable. Kelly tries to fight for her partner in taking the blame for a pitchy mess up, but it seems there was no need, as John says he's genuinely impressed with Jason's improvement from the beginning of the show. Jennifer echoes this compliment, including his improved chest area, which she has noted was a bit stiff in past weeks. Robin acknowledges Jason is still "adorable," but he misses the soul of his previous performances.

What did you all think of tonight's performances of the classic standards? Do you think Bridget can manage to stay on the show next week, or will the top three be all-male?

(Image courtesy of ABC)

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