Is it just me or is time just flying by on this season of Can You Duet (CYD) on CMT? As host Lance Smith intro’d tonight’s Top 5 duos, he reminded us that we are three short weeks away from “two people who will walk away with their ultimate dream, a record deal.” How did we get to week five so quickly?
Next on Lance’s agenda was the judging panel. First he gave a nod to Big Kenny, singer/songwriter and one half of the duo Big & Rich. Next up was Scott Borchetta, founder/president/CEO of both Big Machine Records (Taylor Swift, Trisha Yearwood, Jack Ingram) and and its sister imprint label Valory Music Co. (Reba, Jewel, Emerson Drive). The winning pair will win a contract on Big Machine. After Lance acknowledged Naomi Judd he segued into the fact that she and her daughter Wynonna were this week’s mentors. He asked Ms. Naomi, “How did it go?” She said that according to her daughter, it “was the most amazing group she’d ever seen. She was blown away.”
As you might remember, Wynonna and her mom definitely know their way around country music duos and what it takes for one to make it in the business. After all, together they performed as The Judds, winning numerous awards from the Academy of Country Music as well as the Country Music Association. Between the years of 1985 and 1992 the pair won five Grammy Awards as “Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.” They’ve recorded six studio albums, gathering many gold and multi-platinum sales awards. To top all that, Wynonna has a very successful career as a singer/songwriter on her own. With all that going on, I was looking towards the two of them working with each duo during the mentor sessions. We would be shown part of each get-together just prior to each act performing on stage.
Lance’s big deal of the night was to remind everyone of last week’s tweak to the rules of the show. After each performance the panel of judges would talk about what they had just seen and asked to vote yes or no as to whether or not a pair should be advanced automatically to the next round. If all three agreed, then that duo was safe. If not, then they would have to wait until the end of the show for the final results when we would all find out who would leave.