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Celebrity Duets 09.08.06 Reveal Show #1

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Tonight is our first Reveal show, where we find out where the votes fell.  And we find out that the format for this show is a bit different than most TV talent competitions in some aspects and similar in others.

Starting tonight's Celebrity Duets off with a warm greeting, is host Mr. Wayne Brady. He quickly goes into the recap of last night's performances and this includes, showing us the judges bumping off Non-Singing Celebrity (NSC) Chris Jericho and the judges fave moments of the previous night's show.

We now have seven NSCs left standing:  Lucy Lawless, Cheech Marin, Carly Patterson, Alfonso Ribeiro, Jai Rodrigues, Hal Sparks and Lea Thompson competing for the winning spot and a $100,000 donation to the charity of his or her choice.

Oh dear, up next we have all of the remaining Non-Singing Celebrities on stage to give us a group sing… a Rendition of Blondie's "One Way Or Another".  Schmaltzy?  Yes.  Cute?  Almost.  Necessary?  NO!

As with the first two shows, each performance is prefaced with an interview with the NSC.  There is a difference though.  On the first of each week's two shows, the pre-song vidclip is of our Non-Singers talking about their process without clueing us in on who their partner will be.  And that suspense is carried thru as each song starts out with only that performer on stage, being joined shortly by their professional partner.  The emphasis on the Reveal night is, now that the identity of said pro is known to us, in how each pair worked together and the Celebrity Singer tells us their opinion of what it's like to work with their other half.

We also learn that the format for every week's reveal is that each NSC and that week's singing partner share another duet with us, this time with the pro starting the song and the NSC joining them.  Afterwards, we are told whether our NonPro is safe or in the bottom three of the lowest votes.  I like the way that the show's producers have formatted the show.  It is one of the things that makes it different from other singing competitions in TVille.

Lucy Lawless/Kenny Loggins.  We find out that this is Lucy's dream duet, and that Kenny can be a stern taskmaster, an opinion she is in agreeance with.  Kenny comes out on stage, guitar in hand and Lucy soon enters into the song with him.  Again she showed good interaction with Kenny and that she was having the time of her life…very cool!!  I'm thinking that she's a real contender here, showing ease of grace on stage as well as growth as a newbie singer.  Her voting status:  SAFE.

Carly Patterson/Anita Pointer.  Anita tells us in the pre-song that she "thinks she [Carly] is gonna surprise everyone".  I agree as she proves that the previous night's strong performance wasn't a fluke.  She and Anita once again harmonized well together, she is gaining confidence in her abilities and both singers were enjoying the experience.  Her voting status:  BOTTOM THREE.

Alfonso Ribeiro/Jeffrey Osborn.  Mr. Osborn tell us, in responding to Al's admitted worry over remembering lyrics by saying "I got songs, people still don't know what I'm sayin'".  Both singers start not on stage but singing from the audience, the first to really incorporate involvement with the studio viewers.  It was a fair performance for me however, despite the fact that Alfonso has a pleasant enough voice.  What I'm looking from him is his personal involvement with the song.  Singing is an age-old method of storytelling with the cream of the crop knowing that sometimes the most important part of the tale is in how it is told.  His voting status:  SAFE.

Cheech Marin/Clint Black.  Clint clues us into the fact that "singing with Cheech is surreal, he's such a huge icon".  Mr. Black gets points from me with that compliment.  I'm thinking that Cheech is also one that is taking this show seriously, he's kickin' his style up a notch or two…he's showing us that he doesn't have to half sing/half talk his way through a song.  I'd like to see him stay around to see where this journey takes him.  His voting status:  BOTTOM THREE.

Jai Rogrigues/Brian McKnight.  The pre-song vidclip shows Brian giving Jai some advise, "Just be yourself.  I'm here to lean on" and he gives us his opinion:  "I think it's gonna be pretty good!".  To me, it turned out that was an understatement.  Their version of "Shining Star" gave me the chills (my highest reaction) as both worked the audience well without compromising their vocals and how good they were at harmonizing together.  His voting status:  SAFE.

Lea Thompson/Belinda Carlisle.  Belinda sez "Lea probably would have made a good Go-Go.  She has the right spirit for it".  Accustomed as B is to being a lead singer and solo performer, I feel like she is not used to playing well with others, which to me is what makes her duet with Lea weak.  Too bad for Ms. Thompson because her voice has potential and she's putting out a lotta energy on stage.  Her voting status:  ?

Here's a fresh twist.  With one final duet to go for the night, we're told that we won't hear what Lea's status is until after Hal's song.

Hal Sparks/Wynonna (Judd).  Ms. W lets us know that she's not one to take herself too seriously during her pre-song interview: "I think we both complement each other beacause we are both rock stars in our own minds".  This bit of humility is an unexpectedly funny/sweet touch.  And both celebs brought those inner stars out in good style as their interaction together was once again solid.  Totally dug that Hal encouraged the audience's clap-along participation.  Nice going!  His voting status:  ?

Just who will be the last NSC to join this week's bottom three?  Don't hold your breath quite yet…"We'll find out after this break".  I really do hate this suspense extender… won't some show end the cycle?

Wayne's back onstage and reminding us that Carly and Cheech are in the bottom three.  Who will join them?  Hal is absolutely surprised when Lea's name is announced…he obviously thought he'd be the one to be added to the bottom.

Carly Patterson is given reprise when we find out that she will not be eliminated this week.  So… then, who is it going to be?

Say it with me now:  "We'll find out who the first to be voted off the show, after the break".  SIGH!

Finally, Wayne is back and his query of "May I have the envelope please" is a throwback to those early years of televised award shows. 

And now we are treated to another twist.  The bearer of said envelope tonight is country singer Toby Keith, with geetarbox in hand.  Hhhmmm, he's making his film debut as an actor in the movie Broken Bridges which opened today, sings the title song (as a duet coincidentally, with co-star Lindsey Haun).  Could this be a cheesy cross promotion or just a happy melding of media?  Not too hard to connect those dots, is it?  More than that, c'mon already… I wanna know the final results!

After the inevitable additional commercial break, we are finally given those results.  The first Non-Singing Celebrity to leave us is Ms. Lea Thompson.

Catch you next week, same bat time/same bat channel as the remaining six start the process all over again. 

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