Duets Review: “The Superstars Greatest Hits” (Season 1, Episode 1)

Reality TV. It’s something that either torments you, seduces you into enjoying it, genuinely entertains you or something of all of the above. In a world of televised singing competitions like American Idol, The Voice, The X-Factor and so many more, ABC has decided that a new show involving competing singers was called for and so Duets was born.

The showed opened in a familiar manner (that suspiciously reminded me of the The Voice) with a lovely rendition of Let Me Entertain You sung by four superstar legends including John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, Robin Thicke and Kelly Clarkson. While the song held some bright moments it simply didn’t compare to the vibrant performance of Crazy by the judges of The Voice in their first season. In fact, a lot of the performances, despite being duets with four great singers, were quite underwhelming.

However, there were some moments in the show that did stand out to me. For instance, Robin Thicke is hilarious. Several times throughout the episode he had me laughing and he also had great chemistry with the host Quddus, who was another bright moment on the show.

While not the best host I’ve ever seen, he had far more charisma that The Voice‘s Carson Daly, who continually annoys me. He appeared comfortable on stage and didn’t appear to be following a script with his questions or praise for contestants.

All that being said, where Duets truly shone was in the set up of the show. With very little seen of the audition process, short biographical moments introduced quickly and at the right time, and none of the horrendous auditions that American Idol is so famous for, Duets moved right into the competition with already chosen singers. The absence of five minute sob stories seeking audience attention was extremely refreshing and Duets accomplished this task even better than The Voice has.

In the coming weeks it shall be interesting to see if Duets is able to increase their viewership. Despite the flaws, I think that the show does have some promise. Of course, the performances will have to be stronger, Kelly Clarkson will need to do more than say that a performance was sexy and the Sci-Fi judges chairs will have to go, but there is hope for the show and I’m willing to spend some time “doing it” with Duets.