2008 wasn’t quite the boom year for televised music talent shows that 2007 was, though I doubt anyone was particularly upset by not having Grease: You’re The One That I Want in their lives again. One of the few music-related TV offerings out there, CMT’s Can You Duet, proved to be really charming; even more surprisingly, it actually centered on music.
While nearly every other show shoehorned its contestants into song choices ranging from befuddling to outrageous, Can You Duet went through its short run without a single theme week, mostly allowing the contestants to choose their own music, including songs they wrote themselves. While half the series consisted of the judges trying to find pairings that worked, my favorite act was the adorable husband and wife act Joey + Rory, who, for obvious reasons, started out the show together. Joey + Rory ended up in third place, but bounced back with a record deal with Vanguard, Billboard country chart action for “Cheater, Cheater” (the clip of them performing it on the show is above), and a series of ads for Overstock.com. Whether these acts will prove themselves viable in the country market remains to be seen, but at very least, CMT proved they could put on a talent show that wasn’t embarrassing to the contestants, the viewers, or music in general.