ABC’s ‘Duets’ week 4 review: Major Meleana Brown controversy

What happened?

Thanks at least in part to the NBA Finals airing this week, “Duets” was forced to air at a special time Wednesday — and with a theme that was all about party music. Within its shortened (but appreciated, considering that the show doesn’t need to be two hours) run time, there was a mix of strong performances and disappointments.

Now … who’s ready to party?

The duets

1. J Rome (Jennifer Nettles) – Is anyone really surprised at all that the judges all loved J Rome this week? The guy is clearly the most polished performer out of everyone on the show, and he also was perfect for Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing”).

The only way we can see J Rome losing is if people are just bored out of their minds about him being good, and they forget to vote.

2. Bridget Carrington (John Legend) – Did Bridget do great this week? Definitely, but the real concern we have for her is that she does not pop off of the screen in the slightest. This could doom her in the long run, even if John’s team is looking incredibly strong at the moment.

3. John Glosson (Jennifer Nettles) – “Life Is a Highway” is the perfect song for John to sing — it doesn’t really show off much in the way of vocals, but it suited both him and Jennifer well. John is doing a good job of hanging in there, but he may need a breakout performance to get into the top two.

4. Jordan Meredith (Kelly Clarkson) – As strong as John’s team is, Kelly has two people who are obviously shy and don’t quite know what they are doing on stage just yet. “I Love Rock and Roll” was a disappointment in that there really wasn’t anything special about it, and Jordan needs to find a way to tap into her inner confidence stat.

5. Jason Farol (Kelly Clarkson) – One week after nearly getting kicked off the show, Jason had to start things off during the show with the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.” Did it really work? If you like stretched-out vocals, then yes.  The biggest issue with Jason’s voice is that there isn’t enough in the way of substance there. We buy him as a nice guy, but not yet as an entertainer.

6. Meleana Brown (John Legend) – Wait … why is she this low? There were some issues here, but we actually thought it was a really brilliant move for her to cover “Since U Been Gone.” We didn’t think was deserving of the bottom two in any shape or form.

7. Olivia Chisholm (Robin Thicke) – Olivia is Robin’s only person still on the show, and it is unfortunate that she really isn’t that great a singer. Her pitch is all over the place, and the problem for Robin (and the show’s format) is that Alexis Foster actually was his better singer — and she is now gone.

The solos

Meleana Brown – We already said that she shouldn’t have been in the bottom two to begin with, and this was another reminder. The acapella performances are a little awkward on a show about duets, but this was close to flawless.

Olivia Chisholm – Meanwhile, this was not good. It was frustrating even to listen to, since it was screechy, out of tune, and far inferior to what her competition did.

The elimination

Honestly, there was some concern on our end that the “superstars” were going to both sabotage John while at the same time making sure that Robin Thicke still had a team member.

Ultimately, our concern was justified. Meleana going home is the biggest tragedy we have seen since Drew leaving on “The X Factor” last year over Marcus Canty when the mentors all dog piled her to get her out of the competition. Did this show just lose some of its integrity? Definitely. It was a stunning end to an episode that now feels quite frankly like a 90-minute equivalent of an eye roll.

What did you think about the elimination this week, and are you happy that producers finally forced some upbeat music in this week after ballad central? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment box below!

Photo: ABC

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