'Duets' Recap: Party Times Can't Hide a Suspect Elimination
'Duets' Recap: Party Times Can't Hide a Suspect Elimination
Jenn Lee
Jenn Lee
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
After last week's emotional episode (and first elimination), it's time to lighten the mood with this week's theme: party songs!

Kelly's First Duet: "Satisfaction" with Jason Farol
Kelly's still skeptical about Jason's perpetual place in the bottom two, and she's determined to break the trend by working on Jason's stage presence. With party songs, it's all about pumping up the crowd, so Jason needs to work on his moves. "He needs to own his body!" declares Kelly. Jason, for his part, is feeling a connection to the lyrics of the song and hopes to get some satisfaction from the judges this week.

Jason definitely steps it up a notch with his relatively more confident performance and slicked back hair. The Superstars unanimously agree: this was his best performance yet. Jennifer encourages Jason that being young means he has great potential to grow and Robin says he's "percolatin'." Jason's obviously placed at #1, but the feeling in the studio seems positive - perhaps he won't stray too far from that spot once the night is over.

John's First Duet: "Last Dance" with Bridget Carrington
Bridget has been squarely in the middle so far, but ever-competitive John feels she should have gotten a higher score last week. He's come to the conclusion that it's because their duet wasn't the "most sentimental," but claims he's not a crier like Jennifer, so that's just not going to happen for them.

The two start off with a very romantic mood, what with their matching magenta accents and the fake night skyline behind them. Then the chorus and beat kicks in and I'm impressed with Bridget's ability to strut her stuff across the stage while maintaining her booming vocal ability. Jennifer agrees, citing Bridget's great runs at the end and Robin loves her passion when she performs. Kelly thought it was cute and sexy, but wished Bridget would quit looking at John and out into the audience. Bridget is put at #1, and already we're fearing for Jason's fate tonight.

Jennifer's First Duet: "P.Y.T" with J Rome
It's clear J Rome is the one to beat in this competition and this week he's taking on Michael Jackson, which, if he can pull it off, will continue to launch him into the absolute frontrunner. Last week, J Rome made everyone cry, so this week he wants to make everyone dance (talk about versatility).

Jennifer's partner starts off the hit with an admirable Michael impression. His voice, his moves, his style - he's clearly a star already. It almost seems like J Rome is the Superstar and Jennifer is his vocal support, and the two seem to really be enjoying their time on stage, which shines through. Kelly loves J Rome, but felt he was just impersonating the pop legend rather than making it his own. John said it was a "little nasal" vocally, but we all know they're just nitpicking at this point. J Rome is #1.

Robin's First Duet: "Let's Stay Together" with Olivia Chisholm
Robin brings in his young son Julian to lighten the pressure Olivia must be feeling after her teammate Alexis got the boot last week. It's a nice gesture and Robin really seems to engender a sense of family and care for his remaining mentee. Hopefully it will be enough to keep Olivia in the game (which seriously begs the question, if Olivia goes home tonight, what the heck will Robin do for the rest of the season?)

Robin and Olivia, like John and Bridget, play the roles of sexual tension through song and while they both look great and it's a sultry performance, there's something that just seems to be missing with Olivia. Perhaps it's that shade of timidity she just can't shake? Something just doesn't pop when she's on stage. John thinks her voice is super smooth, but that it needs some strength to complement that tone. Kelly praises Olivia's breath control, but advices her not to hesitate, lest it come off as the P word ("pitchy" - the Duets curse). Unfortunately, Olivia is placed at #4.

Kelly's Second Duet: "I Love Rock 'N Roll" with Jordan Meredith
You'd think after Jordan's breakthrough performance last week, she'd be pumped going into the next song. But she's set the bar high for herself, which means the nerves are back. She's going to have to put them aside if she's going to conquer the anthem to rock 'n roll.

In the slow first verse, Jordan brings out that coy persona she played so well last week, but once the partying beat comes in, I'd say she could afford to be more into her performance. Maybe it's the heels she's wearing - those have to go. Of course Jennifer and John agree, telling her to just sing barefoot every time, if that's what makes her comfortable on stage. Robin misses the sultry, bluesy strength he saw last week, and I'm inclined to agree. Surprisingly, she manages to stay safe when she places at #3 on the chart.

John's Second Duet: "Since U Been Gone" with Meleana Brown
John has a risky surprise idea for his duet with Meleana this week - they're going to sing one of the Superstar's songs. Hmm, I wonder who it could be? (Hint: her songs top the pop charts for a reason.) Meleana's surprised, but impressively willing to rock out and take the risk with John (who seems to be taking a risk himself with the song choice).

When they come out singing the verses to one of Kelly's beloved singles, she's giddy with surprise. But what about Kelly saying her songs are really difficult to sing as duets, as we learned the first week? It seems to apply, because Meleana and John sound like they're struggling to make this impassioned anthem into a workable duet. Kelly's just impressed they attempted her difficult hit, while Robin is "swimming in a barrel of emotion" after witnessing John and spunky pop mix. But just because they took a risk doesn't mean it pays off: Meleana is #5 - but that means, for the first time ever! Quddus reminds us, Jason is safe!

Jennifer's Second Duet: "Life is a Highway" with John Glosson
John's been Jennifer's second talented contender, but not quite as beloved as J Rome, which might have to do with the fact that he isn't as versatile. So Jennifer wants to show everyone her second partner can be FUN, too. But already John seems hesitant - he's a more ballad-type of guy and party songs just aren't his thing. But Jennifer works her fun-loving magic and somehow gets John to even move with the music a little.

Though I was apprehensive, I actually really like how John puts his own ballad-y twist on the song, making it his own while still evolving with the upbeat song. (Side note: I love how Jennifer is always so wonderfully exhausted when she heads back to her Superstar chair after a duet.) Kelly felt it was the perfect song for John specifically and Robin starts a speech on how, if the voice is good enough, dancing ability is not necessary. Now for the moment of truth: John is #3! Here is the final Duets chart of the night:

  1. J Rome (Jennifer)
  2. Bridget Carrington (John) 
  3. John Glosson (Jennifer)
  4. Jordan Meredith (Kelly) 
  5. Jason Farol (Kelly)
  6. Meleana Brown (John) 
  7. Olivia Chisholm (Robin)

Solo Showdown: Meleana Vs. Olivia

Meleana starts with "Saving All My Love for You" and Olivia follows with "I Can't Make You Love Me." I feel like Meleana has done better in her duets than Olivia, but I think I liked Olivia's a cappella a bit better. It's a tough choice. Then it's time for the Superstars to say everything positive they can to encourage the amateur who will leave once Quddus reveals the results ("Never give up on your dreams"; "beautiful job"; "both fantastic"). Finally, the time comes - the person going home is...

Meleana! Which means Olivia is safe (and Robin still has a Duets partner!) Does anyone else suspect a possible rigging going on behind the scenes? What would happen if Olivia had received the lower score? Robin can't just sit and twiddle his thumbs for the rest of the season. Perhaps the show creators should have thought this one out a little better. What do you all think?

(Image courtesy of ABC)

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