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Celebrity Duets


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Celebrity Duets will premiere on a one-time-only special night with a two-hour episode Tuesday, Aug. 29 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX (encoring Thursday, Aug. 31 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT on FOX).

Beginning Thursday, Sept. 7 (9:00-10:00 PM ET Live/PT Tape-delayed), CELEBRITY DUETS will air LIVE in its regular Thursday night time slot.

CELEBRITY DUETS pairs recording superstars with celebrities not famous for singing in hopes of their making beautiful music together. Grammy Award-winning and No. 1 artists Cyndi Lauper, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, Randy Travis, Brian McKnight, Macy Gray, Patti LaBelle, Kenny Loggins, Chaka Khan, Richard Marx, Michael Bolton, Clint Black and Aaron Neville, among others, are scheduled to perform alongside celebrity partners on CELEBRITY DUETS. In addition, legendary composer, arranger and producer David Foster will serve as a judge for the weekly singing competition. Celebrity competitors, additional recording superstars and other show participants will be announced.




Xena, Carlton, Queer Guy and Cheech Just Duet

Hot on the heels of ABC's unveiling of the new Dancing with the Stars lineup, Fox has ID'd the wannabe crooners who will partner up with pros (listed here)(EDIT: see below) and compete on Celebrity Duets, premiering Aug. 29. And they are: Lucy Lawless, Cheech (minus Chong) Marin, WWE champion Chris Jericho, Olympic gymnast Carly Patterson, Fresh Prince's Alfonso Ribeiro, Queer Eye's Jai Rodriguez, actor/comedian Hal Sparks, and Back to the Future's Lea Thompson. Now call me conservative or naive, but as opposed to Monday's DWTS news, I am predicting zero wardrobe malfunctions here. Just a bleeding ear or two.

Posted by Matt Mitovich 08/15/2006 10:21 AM


Which Celebrities Will Just Duet?

At Fox's TCA Press Tour presentation, the lineup of actual singers for the new Celebrity Duets reality competition, debuting Aug. 29, was announced. Those who will pair up with and advise wannabe-singer celebrities (to be announced/poked fun at later) include Cyndi Lauper, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, Randy Travis, Brian McKnight, Macy Gray, Patti LaBelle, Kenny Loggins, Chaka Khan, Richard Marx, Michael Bolton, Clint Black and Aaron Neville.

AUG. 15 LIST UPDATE: "Clint Black, Michael Bolton, Belinda Carlisle, Taylor Dayne, Peter Frampton, Macy Gray, James Ingram, Wynonna Judd, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Kenny Loggins, Richard Marx, Brian McKnight, Aaron Neville, Smokey Robinson, Randy Travis, Dionne Warwick, Lee Ann Womack and others," per Fox.

Posted by: Matt Mitovich 08/15/2006 10:42 AM

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TVGuide.com Exclusive: Duets' Big Little News

In a Wednesday-afternoon interview, Simon Cowell shared with TVGuide.com the latest addition to the judging panel for Celebrity Duets, his new reality competition premiering Aug. 29 on Fox. "I can tell you exclusively that we have just signed Little Richard," says Cowell. "I'm really thrilled." The music icon joins multiple Grammy-winning musician/producer/composer David Foster and an as-yet-to-be-confirmed female on the show's judging dais. What's more, Cowell reveals, "We just confirmed Gladys Knight" as one of the pros who'll partner with singing celebs. For more on Duets, as well as the changes ahead for American Idol and America's Got Talent, check out the complete TVGuide.com Insider Q&A with Cowell.(EDIT: see below)

Posted by Matt Mitovich 08/17/2006 8:10 AM


Courtesy of: TV GUIDE, INSIDER

Simon Spills Celebrity Duets' Secrets

by Matt Webb Mitovich


Little Richard is a big get for Simon's Celebrity Duets.

As reported earlier this week, Lucy Lawless, Cheech Marin, WWE champ Chris Jericho, Olympian Carly Patterson, Fresh Prince's Alfonso Ribeiro, Queer Eye's Jai Rodriguez, Hal Sparks and Back to the Future's Lea Thompson will put their pipes to the test on Celebrity Duets (premiering Aug. 29 on Fox), where they will be paired with the likes of Clint Black, Peter Frampton, Macy Gray, Wynonna Judd, Patti LaBelle, Aaron Neville, Smokey Robinson and Dionne Warwick. (The complete list of pros can be found here.)(EDIT: see last post) To spill additional dish on Duets

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I was looking forward to this until they added Little Richard as a judge. Although I acknowledge and respect this man's contribution to music overall, he gets on my last nerve. Perhaps he'll be toned down for the show but I doubt it.

At least, the celebs chosen as the "amateurs" aren't really a "true" amateur status because they all have various levels of singing talent and past vocal experiences:

"Xena's" Lucy Lawless has played Rizzo in "Grease" and fronted her own band for a nanosecond. "Fresh Prince's" Alfonso Ribeiro has been known as an amateur crooner for quite some time and starred on Broadway as Willie in "The Tap Dance Kid."

"Queer Eye's" Jai Rodriguez first became known to most theatregoers from his amazing portrayal of Angel in the long-running musical, "Rent." However, he also played on Broadway as Carmen Ghia in "The Producers" and was part of a Special Benefit Broadway Performance of "Hair."

"Back to the Future" and "Caroline in the City" actress Lea Thompson portrayed Sally Bowles in the Broadway Revival of "Cabaret." "Queer As Folk's" Hal Sparks is the lead singer and guitarist for a metal band, Zero 1, previously called The Hal Sparks Band.

Cheech Marin has sung in some of his comedic films as well as on the television series, "Judging Amy" and he appears to be able to carry a tune. WWE champ Chris Jericho and Olympic Gymnast Carly Patterson are a complete mystery so that might just add to the drama or surprise standout talent, either way.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Courtesy of: TV GUIDE, INSIDER

Celebrity Duets: An Inside Look

by Megan Cherkezian


Hal Sparks, Wayne Brady, Lucy Lawless and Carly Patterson, Celebrity Duets

You've seen them dance. You've seen them lose weight. You've even seen them ice-skate. Now it's time for celebrities to grab a mike and start singing. The contestants on Fox's Celebrity Duets will have a little help from well-known recording artists such as Clint Black, Macy Gray and Chaka Khan, so we're hoping the audience will be spared the torture of another William Hung. But with Simon Cowell wearing the executive-producer hat, anything is possible.

The show (premiering Aug. 29) is hosted by Wayne Brady and features eight celebrity "nonsingers"

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Courtesy of: ZAP2IT

'Duets' Puts Celeb Crooners to the Test

Cowell promises more good than bad from 'non-singers'

By Rick Porter

August 29 2006


Simon Cowell

The first episode of "Celebrity Duets" will not feature an "American Idol"-style montage of famous people singing horrendously and generally making a spectacle of themselves.

But it's not for a lack of material, according to "Duets" creator (and "Idol" judge) Simon Cowell.

"It's the same kind of thing that happens on 'Idol' -- a lot of people who obviously think they're fantastic in the shower," he says. "We put them in a recording studio and they were absolutely hopeless."

Humiliating celebrities in front of millions of viewers would probably be bad business for both Cowell and FOX, which premieres the show at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday. Whatever audition tapes or footage exist, then, will probably never see the light of day. Besides, Cowell reasons, viewers would probably rather see good singers.

"Mike Darnell [head of reality programming at FOX], he was very clear with me from day one," Cowell says. "He said, 'One of the reasons I'm going to make this is that these people have to be good because otherwise, it's not a show you're going to want to watch.' We want some fantastic performances and some surprisingly good performances."

"Celebrity Duets," which premieres Tuesday, will pair people like actresses Lea Thompson and Lucy Lawless, "Queer Eye's" Jai Rodriguez and former WWE champion Chris Jericho with a roster of recording artists that includes Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, Brian McKnight, Belinda Carlisle and Randy Travis, among others. The "non-singers," as Cowell calls them, will have had some time to prepare for their duet, but the audience won't know who the celebs are paired with until they hit the stage.

Music producer David Foster -- who appeared as a guest coach on "American Idol" last season -- and singers Little Richard and Marie Osmond will serve as judges. The audience will get to vote for their favorites starting next week, when the show moves to Thursday nights. Wayne Brady hosts.

Cowell wants the judges to be as honest as he is on "Idol," even if that means bruising an ego or two.

"You know the rules" as a participant, Cowell says. "You know you're going to get praise or not. Every one of them was prepared for that when they entered into the show. Certainly with David, I mean they'll get a very, very honest critique each time because David, probably more than anyone else other than me, knows what he's talking about."

The "non-singers" in "Duets" aren't complete novices. Jericho has fronted a heavy-metal band called Fozzy, and Rodriguez, Lawless, Thompson and fellow contestant Alfonso Ribeiro all have some musical theater experience. Still, Cowell thinks having them sing with legends like Robinson, LaBelle or Gladys Knight could be a daunting task.

"They're treating this very, very seriously," Cowell says of the celebrity participants. "They'll be as prepared as they can possibly be, but that can all fall apart on the night with nerves. I think the point where when you're on stage and you've started a song, and then you look behind you and on walks Gladys Knight -- I mean, that's a scary moment."

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Ok' I'll admit I watched it. My wife insisted I watch it with her (pretty good excuse huh!). Now it hit me why I dislike watching talent reality shows. For the most part everyone sang OK despite hearing a wrong note or some singing a quater step flat. I have to admit I was suprised by Cheech Marin, not great but far from being bad. The gymnast chick was the worst of the bunch yet survived til next weeks round. Chris Jericho whom I was rooting for was a little bit better, not by much, but better non the less and yet was given the boot from the worst judging panel I've ever seen on any reality show.

The judges..Marie Osmond. Little Richard and David Foster..nuf said.

I think it's moving to Fridays next week which is fine with me since I'll be out watching my son at football games and won't be forced to watch this reality nonsense.

If any one cares I though the guy from Queer Eye did the best and will probably win it, if Duets doesn't get cancelled before then.

This show is pretty bad IMO.

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Steven . . . once again I find we are pretty much in agreement. I can't believe they didn't send gymnast Carly Patterson tumbling out the door. Chris Jericho was better and much nicer eye candy (at least for me). It's not the greatest show but this is the one place I am ashamed to admit we part company in agreement.

~ Hanging my head in shame ~ It's one of my guilty pleasures.

I miss Wayne Brady on television and it's great to see him emcee the show! Jai Rodriguez was my pick even before the show aired because he will always be my Angel from "Rent." Plus, I've also had a small crush on Hal Sparks since his days on "Talk Soup."

I thought the best ones would be Jai and Alfonso Ribeiro and I agree they are the frontrunners. I really thought Lea Thompson would do better but I was slightly disappointed with the women's performances. The judges were pretty much useless to me. Little Richard often made no sense at all which even fellow judge David Foster brought up again and again.

On the plus side, I thought they got some pretty decent musical acts to pair up with the celebs . . . some even legends in the likes of Gladys Knight and Smokey Robinson. I could have done without Peter Frampton because he didn't really blend with any of his duet partners. Can't wait to see the train wreck coming in the way of a duet with Macy Gray. Great soloist but a duet partner?

I'm probably going to keep watching because I adore a few of the key people on the show . . . yeah . . . that's the ticket! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

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Celebrity Duets is Off-Key

Well, Celebrity Duets is no But Can They Sing?, and thank god for that. It still isn't a great show, but at least I don't have to see Bai Ling singing off-key and doing bizarre things to "Like a Virgin." (I'm still scarred from that.) The producers were wise enough to pick stars who could at least hold a tune or had some background in the musical industry despite the fact that they are "celebrities not known for singing." Actually, I do know Jai Rodriguez more for his vocal talents than for his ability to hand out theater tickets and dole out "culture" advice on Queer Eye. The first time I saw Jai was in the Broadway production of Rent as Angel, and I also saw him in the fabulous off-Broadway Zanna, Don't. In Rent he sang, and danced, in heels! This competition should be a cakewalk compared to that. I did a little poking around in my husband's brain (he knows lots of normally useless information, he was even an alternate for the World Series of Pop Culture), and off the top of his head he knew that Alfonso Ribeiro had been on the Great White Way in The Tap Dance Kid, that Cheech has a kids album out (and of course sang "Born in East L.A."), that Lucy Lawless performed in the Xena musical episode, Chris Jericho has a rock band and Lea Thompson was the front woman of the band in Howard the Duck. (I never would have known that last one.) Carly Patterson and Hal Sparks were the only two people who we didn't think had some singing experience. (Please tell me if you know of something.)

But it isn't really the odd group of B- and C-list talent that this show has compiled, or even the mixed bag of professionals assisting the "non-singers." I can't even blame the weirdly over-enthusiastic Wayne Brady. I just think there is something really unengaging about the show. The first sign was that after the first three performances I started fast-forwarding through the judges' comments. Marie Osmond may be a little bit country, but she's more than a little bit annoying on this show. If she used a form of the word "relate" one more time, I was going to throw something at the screen. I saved my poor TV and just skipped it, instead. Little Richard was unintelligible and David Foster was just there to do his best Simon Cowell impression. I also thought the fact that they made a big deal about keeping the guest singers a secret was really lame. Yes, I said lame. I'm regressing to my '80s vocabulary, but if Chris Jericho can look like Rick Springfield from the "Jesse's Girl" era, then I can use unhip lingo. (Of course he did get sent home, so I'll refrain from doing it any more, just in case.) I'm not surprised he was sent packing. They are clearly not looking for a rocker in this competition. That's what a show like Rock Star: Supernova is for. And seeing the intensity that those non-celebrities put into their performances earlier this evening only made this light fluffy series seem more ho-hum. I might give it another episode to up the energy and cut down on the padding and the off-putting judges' commentary, solely because I want to support former Queer as Folk star Hal Sparks (he needs this gig until there is another "I Love the Whatever Decade" to do) and to see what Queer Eye's Jai sings next. Other than that, I could take it or leave it.

Posted by Angel Cohn 08/29/2006 11:47 PM

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Ratings: How'd Duets Do?

Tuesday's two-hour premiere of Fox's Celebrity Duets averaged 8.13 million viewers, with the audience swelling each half hour

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Celebrity Duets Viewer Voting Starts

For the second episode of Celebrity Duets, the seven remaining celebrities will be paired with a different recording superstar among Grammy Award-winning and No. 1 artists Clint Black, Belinda Carlisle, Peter Cetera, Taylor Dayne, Dennis DeYoung, Macy Gray, Wynonna, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Kenny Loggins, Richard Marx, Brian McKnight, Aaron Neville, Dionne Warwick and others.

After the live performance episode on Thursday, September 7 (9:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), viewers will vote for their favorite celebrity performers, with the outcome announced live on the next evening

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7 Cut To 6


Lea Thompson

Tonight, a celebrity gets sent back to their mansion! Unless it

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And the two that went home was Cheech Marin and Jai Rodriguez! Someone else is going to have to inform the group about the finale because I'm tired of wasting my time with this one! I would have been happy if either Jai or Alfonso won the contest but not to have Jai in the finale at all is beyond my comprehension!

Instead, we'll be subjected to Lucy Lawless 'less' than stellar breathy vocals and Hal Sparks shrill and oft-tune screams to challenge the only true talented singer left in the running. If Alfonso Ribeiro doesn't win the entire season now, there will be no justice at all in sitting through this pitiful reality series.

It's shameful to see Jai leave after he gave the performance of the night by matching vocal wits with the great and powerful Patti LaBelle. Even seasoned veterans of song are afraid to go up against the mighty LaBelle in a vocal tete-a-tete. Yet, there Jai was holding his own and even impressing Lady Marmalade herself.

The finale claims to have numerous 'surprises' but when Jai was sent home, the 'wind beneath my wings' seemed to fly out the window. I have a strong suspicion this series will not be back on Fox's network schedule next season. I guess the only saving grace is watching Alfonso reprise his Carlton dance if he wins the finale!

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Who Will Win Celebrity Duets?


For the Celebrity Duets Finale performance show, the final three celebrities sing two duets each. For her first performance, Lucy Lawless sings

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