It’s Movie Night week on “Duets,” so fingers crossed for “Up Where We Belong” and “Take My Breath Away,” right? And no “My Heart Will Go On,” please Lord.
1. Jennifer and John, “My Heart Will Go On,” “Titanic”
Oh lordy. I am really skeptical they can do this song justice because vocally, it’s big time. It also makes me want to vomit, as a piece of music. So I’ll try to be objective. Vocally, the pure tone on the verses is lovely, for both of them. When they start the harmony, I wish Nettles would back off just a smidge because she’s overshadowing the melody line, but it’s pretty. On the big “You’re here, there’s nothing I fear,” it would’ve been nice to hear more of John.
Overall, though, that was pretty strong and coming on a song I hate, that’s a high compliment indeed. He is, of course, at the top of the leaderboard. I think he’ll stay up there.
2. Kelly and Jordan, “Take My Breath Away,” “Top Gun”
Yes! Love this song. Also, how adorable are Jordan’s parents? The adorable-est. Anyway, the arrangement is too rock-y for my taste. The backing music and the sped-up tempo is not doing the song any favors. This could’ve been a much bigger “moment” for Jordan, but they’re kind of blowing it. Also, she was really hard to hear on the opening verse. The harmony is nice, but Jordan keeps getting swallowed up. Overall, not my favorite Jordan performance, not even close. In fact, may be my least favorite. They really could’ve done something neat if they’d stuck closer to the original, I feel.
Quddus makes a Maverick and Goose joke and it’s like – Jordan doesn’t even remember that movie, dude. You know what would have been hilarious? If Quddus came up to her and went, “Jordan [sniff] you stink.” Heh.
3. Robin and Olivia, “Stayin’ Alive,” “Saturday Night Fever”
Yet again, Robin has picked a song I think is a terrible choice. It is way too high, the words are way too fast. He chose this because he likes to sing in falsetto all the time, not because it showcases her. He’s a terrible mentor and she should’ve gone home last week.
Naturally, Robin takes the lead on the verse, wailing in his falsetto like he’s Barry Gibb. But he is no Barry Gibb. When Olivia comes in, it’s still totally weak. They do not have the chops to pull this off. The Brothers Gibb could effing sing, y’all. They could go into their falsetto and pump it out and not sound breathy at all. And these two can’t. Olivia’s solo is a hot mess – they don’t have the breath control to handle all these lyrics. I will give them on thing – they look great. But this is not “Look Great With the Stars.”
It’s very telling that they cut to Kelly during the performance and she has a rather disconcerted look on her face. Olivia should wind up in third on the leaderboard, but she doesn’t. She hops Jordan. I’m actually OK with that – they were both pretty bad.
4. John and Bridget, “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” same-name movie
This is a great song choice for them. Bridget is a very underrated singer in this competition, definitely the best female singer. The harmonies on the chorus are kind of weird, but Bridget is handling her business with the melody. She sounds particularly good on the bridge. Not too much to say – it was good. Not blow-me-away good, but solid. She should solidly be in second behind John (and then she is, good).
5. Jennifer and J Rome, “I Will Always Love You,” “The Bodyguard”
Interesting that Nettles takes on two enormous songs – she’s got balls. Go big or go home, indeed. J Rome starts off alone, a capella, and it’s beautiful. Really gorgeous. When Nettles comes in, it’s almost like they’re hybriding the Whitney and Dolly versions, which is neat and actually works. The harmonies are awesome. And the final chorus, where J Rome steps out for the “AND I” part – great. Goosebumps. I haven’t loved him every week (he’s good, but I haven’t been over-the-moon about him), but this week he totally earned the top spot.
At this point, things are not looking good for Kelly’s partners. Because if it’s Jordan/Olivia in the bottom, they’re not going to send Robin’s second partner home before Kelly loses one of hers. And if Jason biffs it, then one of Kelly’s goes home for sure.
6. Kelly and Jason, “Come What May,” “Moulin Rouge”
This is a wonderful song, but I’m nervous about Jason’s voice being powerful enough for it. Except what I should have been worried about was him being breathy and flat on the verse. This is way too low for him – did they have to do that so he could hit the high notes? I hate that. It means the song’s too big for you.
On the chorus, it gets better, but he still can’t really keep up with Kelly. And he seems to completely lose his part a couple times. Yikes. What a mess. Olivia may have just gotten saved. Though Kelly Clarkson just sang the hell out of that song. So good for Kelly. But Jason? No.
Predictably, Jason is at the very bottom. Yeah. I would be pitting him vs. Olivia, honestly, but Jordan was no great shakes either.
Jason sings “Mamma Knows Best,” which is not a song I’m familiar with. Jordan sings “And I’m Telling You.” Based on body of work, we’d keep Jordan, though they both did pretty well in their sing-off song.
But the judges keep Jason. Wow. That surprises me, frankly. What do you think, “Duets” fans?