The other night, I watched the new singing competition show Duets. Honestly, I was expecting a serialized version of the first time Gwyneth Paltrow insisted we take her seriously as a singer. It’s been over a decade and I still haven’t given up hope.
The show opened with a flashy opening number by the four celeb judges: Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, and Robin Thicke. As the four sang a rousing song asking if we the audience would allow them to entertain us, two thoughts occurred to me. First, where is the dancing monkey and elephant on a unicycle? That’s instant entertainment.
But also, that these are probably four of the most agreeable people in the music idustry: Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Nettles are both from the South and have that Southern twang to prove it; John Legend was home-schooled by his seamstress mother in Ohio; and Robin Thicke is half-Canadian (need I say more?). Basically, these are the nicest kids in town. I’ve never watched American Idol or The Voice, but I’m pretty sure that the talent of the contestants is only barely equal in importance to the inter-judge sniping. Simon and Paula? Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera? That gets the ratings and sells the tabloids.