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Who's singing on Fox's "Celebrity Duets''?

The Mercury News
15 August 2006

On Monday, we had the field for "Dancing With the Stars.'' Today: Which celebrities will risk ridicule on Fox's new "Celebrity Duets,'' which begins Aug. 29?

A quick recap of the format for the new series, produced by Simon Cowell: Lucy_1 The ''stars'' are matched with such musical artists as Belinda Carlisle, Smokey Robinson, Macy Gray, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle and Randy Travis in a singing competition. That's pretty simple. But as potentially embarrassing as "Dancing'' is for those who take part, trying to sing (and sing well) on national television when it's not really what you do for a living has the potential for been a cringe-worthy exercise in self-abuse.

But the list of contestants released by Fox suggests that the show may have actually found at least some folks who can carry a tune. Actress Lucy Lawless ("Xena,'' "Battlestar Galactica,'' above) regularly sings with a rock band. Jai Rodriguez of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy'' was in the Broadway cast of "Rent.'' And actress Lea Thompson ("Back to the Future'') has done musical theater.

The others making the cut: comedian Cheech Marin; pro wrestler Chris Jericho; Olympic gymnast Carly Patterson; Alfonso Riberio of "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and Hal Sparks from "Queer As Folk.'' We can't testify to their singing abilities but we can hope for the best.