Friday, September 01, 2006

Celebrity Duets

Have you ever wondered how it would sound if Cheech Marin sang a duet with Randy Travis? Or how it would be if Lucy (Xena: Warrior Princess) Lawless sang with Michael Bolton? Yeah, me neither.

But that didn’t stop American Idol's Simon Cowell from presenting this show featuring 8 celebrities not known for singing sharing duets with accomplished music stars.

Along with Lawless and Marin, the celebrities include: Alfonso Ribeiro (best known as Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air), Hal Sparks (late of Talk Soup and Queer as Folk), Olympic Gold Medal winning gymnast Carly Patterson, actress Lea Thompson, WWE wrestler Chris Jericho, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s Jai Rodriguez.

The lineup of music stars for the first show was impressive enough. Along with Travis and Bolton they included: Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Lee Ann Womack, James Ingram, Peter Frampton, and Destiny's Child's Michelle Williams (who suffered the indignity of being upstaged by her duet partners.)

Future shows will feature stars such as Chaka Khan, Kenny Loggins, Patti LaBelle, Clint Black, Macy Gray, Cyndi Lauper, Aaron Neville, Taylor Dayne, and Richard Marx.

Wayne Brady…often looking uncomfortable as he tried to pump life into this cheesy spectacle…is the host. And the requisite panel of 3 judges includes a perky Marie Osmond, a befuddled Little Richard (sometimes I wasn't sure if the “architect of rock and roll” really knew where he was), and a bemused David Foster (too solicitous and too gentlemanly to really be the snarky one he’s apparently supposed to be.)

It’s all very familiar (it looks like the show was broadcast from the American Idol stage), all very predictable (some of the celebrities did okay…Rodriguez and Ribeiro especially…and some were, to use a word Cowell would have dragged out, horrid…Patterson and Jericho were troopers but….), and all very dull.

Cowell…who spent the summer trying to convince us that “America’s got talent” by showcasing finger snappers, rapping grandmothers, and strange winged Russian guys…is going to keep cranking this stuff out (I’m sure it took him all of 5 minutes to “create” Celebrity Duets) for as long as the audience buys into it. Make him stop…just say “no”, people!

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