ABC’s ‘Duets’ review: J Rome’s Whitney Houston cover lifts Movie Week

How invested should we be?

Is “Duets” still registering on the TV radar? Now that we are one week away from the live shows, we wish we could say we were more excited for it. Last week’s elimination was akin to someone slashing our tires, and we don’t really know the contestants well enough to care for them.

The good news was that this week was Movie Week — the bad news is that most of the songs could have felt a little bit less like an R-rated movie that was watered down on basic cable with all of the funny parts taken out. Were there exceptions? Yes, and it came to us courtesy of the show’s longtime favorite.

1. J Rome, “I Will Always Love You” (Jennifer Nettles) – As cynical as we are about “Duets” sometimes, this will go down as one of the best singing-show performances we have seen in the past year. It was on par with what Jessica Sanchez did with this song on “American Idol,” and you could feel the emotion in every single note.

Alert the presses — J Rome is a star, and he may have a shot at a career after this show.

2. John Glosson, “My Heart Will Go On” (Jennifer Nettles) – When it comes to big ballads, this has to be somewhere at the top of the list. Some people find it beautiful, and others find it corny. While John has always been someone notorious for laying on the cheese, we can’t deny that he did a beautiful job here with a song that has to be among the hardest out there to sing. Can we also say that we were happy there were no “king of the world” references here?

3. Bridget Carrington, “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” (John Legend) – This was the week that we really started to cheer for Bridget. We actually saw her have fun! Tina Turner’s hit was not the most challenging vocally on the night, but what was great about it is that she remembered that this is about a performance more than just a vocal. Well done.

4. Olivia Chisholm, “Stayin’ Alive” (Robin Thicke) – We don’t have any idea in the world why Robin decided to come out and emulate the Bee Gees rather than just take his normal voice and show it off. It distracted from this performance, and made it feel even more karaoke than it actually was.

Ultimately, Olivia still has a lot to do to win us over after she was bizarrely kept in the competition last week over someone far superior to her in Meleana Brown.

5. Jordan Meredith, “Take My Breath Away” (Kelly Clarkson) – Jordan’s performances are like betting on black — sometimes you win big, and sometimes you lose. There’s never really any middle ground, and this performance unfortunately fell tothe latter. It was too strained, and it did nothing to change the original song.

6. Jason Farol, “Come What May” (Kelly Clarkson) – Jason gave what was an imperfect performance, but we actually didn’t think it was as horrible as the “superstar mentors” made it out to be. What we really think is happening here is that Jennifer, John, and Robin all realize that Jason is a good-looking guy, and that is kryptonite if he makes it to the live shows.

The sing-off — Kelly vs. Kelly

Jason Farol, “Momma Knows Best” – It was a solid vocal, but was it anything special?

Jordan Meredith, “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” – In using the Jessica Sanchez comparison again, the teenager did a far better job on “American Idol” with this than Jordan did here.

The elimination

Considering that Jason has been in danger almost every week of this competition, we were ready to write him a eulogy here and send him on his way. However, the judges made a shocking decision and kept him over Jordan. Did they just shoot themselves in the foot for the live shows? It’s possible, since we now feel that Jason is a major darkhorse to win the entire competition.

Going into the live shows, who are you rooting for?

Photo: ABC

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