TV Singing Shows ‘Duet’ Again

There was scarcely a breather between one singing competition ending Wednesday and a new one starting Thursday. ABC’s entry into the field “Duets” cobbles together parts of “The Voice,” including mentors picking singers for their team and sitting in unwieldy swivel chairs.

In this case, the judges are picking singers with whom they can duet – so it’s not exactly the best singers they’re seeking, but the ones whose voices best blend with their own. “Duets” did a good job casting the stars – all fairly well known representatives from different fields such as John Legend, Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland and Robin Thicke, with one of them a graduate from “Idol” itself, first season winner Kelly Clarkson.

They each are responsible for their own auditions, so they fit it in while they’re on tour, or in the case of Nettles, someplace where they’re receiving a 4-H award.

There’s not a lot of extensive auditions; they have each settled on two singers and let one of them go. The one who advances (they each inform them by using a terrible catch phrase: “Let’s u-et!”), sings a duet version of the mentor’s hits (none of which were recognizable to me), and the remaining judges all go on about how wonderful it was (the art of honest criticism seems to have died out).

It’s not clear how things will proceed over the next nine weeks – they’re already at a point, with two singers for each judge that “The Voice” found itself in weeks into its own season.

But there’s so little drama or much of anything going on, it’s hard to watch for two hours. The chairs don’t even swivel.

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