I put off watching Duets until the weekend because it’s getting just a little too predictable. The “somebodies” pair up with the “nobodies” for what seems to be more and more of a weekly schmaltz-fest of song and prance. And if you’ve been watching, every week one performer by the name of J Rome continues to land at the top of the chart. Not that his sustained ascendancy isn’t merited. He is the best all-around performer of the “nobodies.” J Rome possesses in abundance the requisite goods: great voice, good looks, humility (a genuine sweetness reality TV generally abhors), charisma and that special something that connects with both Jennifer Nettles and audience. No doubt the judges get that part right. But this kinda “Duets featuring J Rome” weekly revue has, for me, become a weakly review. Yawn. Sigh. What else is on?
So eventually I scavenge a stolen moment (measured in hours) to watch the week’s Duets themed Movie Night (resist gag reflex) on Sunday via DVR. And it isn’t helping that the talented Meleana Brown was sent home last week. But to my delight the riveting John Glosson breaks open the show with Titanic‘s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ and makes me recognize real improvements from the amateur artists and the audio production (trust me, I know both these things very well). Fast forward (yes, I watched all of the performers!) to the star of the show, the irrepressible J Rome, who laid into Whitney Houston‘s ‘I Will Always Love You’ from The Bodyguard [click here to check it out]. He hit the stage with near perfection alongside the equally impressive Jennifer Nettles. No schmaltz or cheesiness to taint this edition of Duets. Who knew J Rome could raise his game even higher? Who knew he would raise the game given his continued chart-topping dominance? All-Pro, All Day. Total revelation.
This weeks’ Duets is an augmented progression from live reality show to live concert. Yeah! The show’s producers could have coasted by remaining so-so (a.k.a. aiight). But it would be difficult to find a viewer who believes J Rome deserves anything less.
(photo: jouwell photography}