ABC’s ‘Duets’ review: J Rome, Jason Farol stand out in first live show

We are live!

For the first time ever since this season of “Duets” started, the show went live Thursday night — and America is finally going to be taking over from the terrible voting system that has screwed over a few good singers in the past few weeks.

Unfortunately, it also seemed at times that the live voting ended up making a few singers a little bit nervous on stage — as if performing with a superstar in the music industry was not hard enough.

John Glosson (Jennifer Nettles), “When You Say You Love Me” – More than this being a great performance by John, it was a smart performance. The guy knows that he is fantastic doing ballads, so he pulled another one out from his bag of tricks. Of course he hit all of the right notes, but it didn’t really have a “moment” that you would hope for.

Olivia Chisholm (Robin Thicke), “Need You Now” – Wearing a dress that looked like it had a giant stain of blood on the front, Olivia promised that she was going to make America realize that she has a much bigger voice than anyone thought going into this performance. Did she? If you mean by “bigger voice” that she was breathy, sure. At least we do give her some credit for taking a risk.

The problem Olivia has is that her voice is more of a whimper in a competition where there are a few contestants who have a roar — and she just doesn’t have the showmanship of Robin Thicke.

Jason Farol (Kelly Clarkson), “Mercy” – Before we say anything else, shouldn’t we comment on the fact that Kelly doesn’t really even look like Kelly anymore? She actually took on the role of a backup singer for at least the first half of the performance, which was clearly the most fun that Jason has had on this stage all season. He’s still not the best singer, but he’s likable enough — and now that he’s made it to this stage — the “cute guy” vote could carry him into the finale. Watch out J Rome!

Bridget Carrington (John Legend), “Halo” – Bridget did a great job with a song that has to be one of the saddest that we have heard in years. This may not have been a splashy performance, but it felt professional — and isn’t that what you are going for at the end of the day? It didn’t feel like a cover song, and that should be enough to keep her around.

J Rome (Jennifer Nettles), “Without You” – J Rome closed out the show, and he had the challenge of trying to live up to expectations that are through the roof — at least when it comes to this show. Unfortunately, David Guetta was not so great of a song choice for Jennifer, and much of her part of the song felt a bit off — even if J Rome and his mini-mustache proved yet again that he is the most talented of all the contestants, and should be the winner of this competition after the last duet is done.

Who was your favorite from the first live show, and did you dig Jason’s dance moves more than John Legend did? Be sure to vote in the poll below, and share your thoughts in the comment box!

Photo: ABC

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!