Robin Thicke, the impressively coiffed son of Growing Pains star Alan Thicke, made his primetime TV debut on the May 24 series premiere of Duets. How did the soulful R&B singer and his two proteges fare against the competition offered up by fellow superstar mentors Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles, and John Legend and their partners?
Reasonably well, as it turned out. Robin opted to go with two ladies as his partners: Charlotte's Olivia Chisholm and "angelic" gospel singer Alexis Foster.
He performed first with Olivia, selecting his hit "Lost Without You" for their grand debut. Olivia didn't have a super natural stage presence; some of her movements looked awkward and clipped. But her voice is lovely and rings clear like a bell. And the two of them have excellent, palpable chemistry.
Show host Quddus joked that he felt like he was interrupting something and their "real" connection. John said she sounded "really sexy" and likened her voice's "subtle, sexy approach" to that of Aaliyah. He told her to just own it. Jennifer asked where she was from, and called her voice "authentic." Kelly said she'd give her left leg to look like her, and called her sound "so sexy." She too encouraged her to "own that even more."
Robin's duet with Alexis, a rendition of "Magic," followed later in the show. While Olivia at least seemed comfortable with performing, Alexis looked terrified at worst and ill at ease at best while on stage. She definitely needs to work on her performance skills. She has a great set of pipes, but the two lacked a real connection, and the whole thing was just very tentative from start to finish. It felt like Robin was carrying the performance.
The superstars, however, must've seen something very different in her debut. Kelly called her voice "beautiful." John appreciated her "clear as a bell tone." Jennifer grooved along and said it was "fantastic." She liked how Alexis got the crowd going.
By the time the Chart was complete, Alexis placed an impressive and overscored third, while Olivia wound up in fifth.
What's on tap for Robin Thicke next week? More Duets 2012, of course. Watch as he sings classic tunes with Olivia and Alexis.