Stay Tuned
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Monday, August 28, 2006

Simon Cowell's Newest Experiment

You had to know I’d get to this one eventually; I just needed to catch up.

After watching “Dancing With the Stars,” Simon Cowell was inspired to do the same thing with singers. Thus, “Celebrity Duets” was born.

Celebrities will perform each week, paired with a different recording artist. Just like “Idol,” viewers will vote for their favorite with the outcome announced on a live results show the next night. However, the judges will eliminate the first celebrity. The winner will receive $100,000 for their favorite charity.

If you’re expecting a train wreck, though, you’re going to be disappointed. All of the eight celebrities participating have singing experience and did audition for the show. They are: Chris Jericho (WWE World Champion), actress Lucy Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Battlestar Galactica”), actor Cheech Marin (“Cars,” “Nash Bridges”), 2004 Olympic Gold Medal-winning gymnast Carly Patterson, actor/director Alfonso Ribeiro (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “All of Us”), Jai Rodriguez (“Queer Eye”), actor/comedian Hal Sparks (“Queer as Folk”) and actress Lea Thompson (“Back to the Future,” “Caroline in the City”).

The biggest surprise with this show is the list of heavy hitters Simon has gotten to perform. In fact, the singers are much bigger than the celebrities. Here’s a partial list of who we can look forward to: 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, and Lee Ann Womack. Some of them haven’t had a hit in quite a few years, but it’s still a very impressive list. Apparently, they’ve been paying attention to the power of “Idol.”

But in case you’re worried that this is going to get too serious, Simon has enlisted an eclectic panel of David Foster, the tough producer that berated the Idols last season, Marie Osmond, and Little Richard!

A favorite of mine—and a fantastic singer himself—Wayne Brady will host.

There’s a fine line between compelling and cheesy with this kind of show, but I think Simon will be on the right side of it.

And even if he isn’t, you know you’ll be watching…

“Celebrity Duets” premieres Tuesday, August 29th at 8 p.m. on FOX, before settling into its regular Thursday timeslot September 7th.