A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this country music competition show -- in which hopeful twosomes compete for a major recording contract -- is a lot like American Idol . It highlights the hard work that goes into succeeding in the industry, and the judges offer lots of constructive criticism and actually work with the contestants to improve their performances. Overall, the content is on the milder side, but there's some infrequent strong language ("hell" and "ass"), a bit of sexual innuendo, and -- unlike -- on Idol occasional visible drinking and smoking. Watch out for tension-filled arguments in later episodes, too.
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What's the story?
In latest would-be American Idol CAN YOU DUET, aspiring country music pairs work hard to become a harmonious duo both on and off the stage so they can survive each phase of competition. Each performance is judged by country singer Naomi Judd (half of superstar country music duo The Judds), renowned voice coach Brett Manning, and award-winning songwriter Aimee Mayo. At stake is the chance to compete live on stage and win a major recording deal.
Is it any good?
Unlike Idol, Can You Duet's judges spend a lot of their energy actually assisting with the vocal development of each pair of contestants, as well as providing lyrical and performance advice. But while the competitors are spared from sharp, Simon Cowell-like insults, the real tension comes from learning how to grow creatively and perform as a twosome rather than just focusing on individual talent. For some that means redefining their already established musical act. For others it means building a professional and personal rapport with another singer after splitting from their original musical partner to pursue their dream -- a decision that can potentially stir up feelings of guilt and disloyalty.
Hosted by Rossi Morreale, the show highlights some of the unique challenges that go into producing a winning duet, as well as the hard work that goes into creating a successful country music performance. While the series' content is fairly tame overall, there's some occasional strong language ("ass," "hell"), mild sexual innuendo, and occasional drinking and smoking. That makes it little iffy for young kids, but mature tweens and teen country fans will find it entertaining.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it takes to become a country music star. What additional challenges does a country music "duo" face (over a solo performer) when trying to break into the industry? How do judges (and audiences) know when two talented people shouldn't sing together? Is there a certain sound or look that they need to have? Families can also discuss their favorite country musicians. How did they get their big break? Would you ever want to try a competition like this? Why or why not? How does this show compare to American Idol? Which do you like better? Why?