Who is the most maddeningly cute singer + singer couple on the planet at the moment? Could it be Ben Gibbard and Zooey Deschanel? Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton? Tim McGraw and Faith Hill? Aimee Mann and Michael Penn? Beyonce and Jay-Z? Steve & Eydie? Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez?
Hold on... ding ding ding... we may have a new winner, incoming. It's the newly engaged Jason Mraz and Tristan Prettyman, who were captured on video a few days ago singing his hit "Lucky," which in recorded form was a duet with Colbie Caillat. If you are not a pop romantic, or otherwise have an aversion to pretty men and women, you may want to avert your gaze:
What are we to make of their prospects from this performance? First of all, it may be a good sign that he takes the high part, showing that they are not locked into inflexible gender roles. When Prettyman misses a note and says that she can't really hear Mraz, they both laugh it off and continue, rather than breaking into a "You never listen to me" fight—another positive sign for the couple. In all seriousness, though, their harmonizing is practiced and strong, and we wouldn't even mind hearing more duets out of the couple, if they should take this act off the house party circuit and on the road.Mraz and Prettyman have been an off-again, on-again twosome for years, having worked together professionally as long ago as 2002, when they toured and co-wrote the song "Shy That Way." Published reports had them dating and breaking up in 2006. But they were seen on stage together again last month—dueting on "All I Want for Christmas is Us" (below)—and then, on Dec. 23, Mraz tweeted, "SHE SAID YES."
But what exactly did they say yes to? Being patient, apparently. "We both see this being a long engagement, but would love to get married in the next two to three years," Mraz told Us Weekly shortly after the official betrothal. But a few days ago, he put some additional qualifications on the date-setting. "We can't get married until [gay] marriage is equal and legal... I think giving people the right to marry will be a huge movement in civil rights."Mraz is not the first guy to try pulling this "We'll get married as soon as the gays can" gambit. Brad Pitt said much the same thing back in October ("Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able"). This may be a deeply principled stand... or it may be the equivalent of "Sure, I'll go on a diet, as soon as the government makes organic vegetables affordable for the poor." We do hate to imagine that Tristan might spend her breakfasts fingering that rock on her hand while she studies the morning paper for news on the No-on-8 appeal, but perhaps they are as harmonious on this as they are in song.
What's remarkable to remember is how modest a hit "Lucky" was when it was released as a Mraz/Caillat duet. Though it often pops up on the PA at grocery stores and coffeehouses, the tune peaked at No. 48 on the Hot 100 and barely cracked the adult-contemporary top 10.
It's continued to have a life in other forms, though, too. Mraz re-recorded it as a combination English/Spanish duet with Ximena Sarinana, with a video that replaced Caillat's shots with her ringer's.
And then in an October 2010 episode of Glee titled "Duets," Quinn and Sam won the contest with the song. So it has turned out to be somebody's lucky number. In that televised rendition, she begins the song doing the fingering on the neck of the guitar for her partner, an instance of sugar-shock induction that makes the Mraz/Prettyman version seem positively hardboiled by comparison.
In any case, after the Glee exposure, you have to wonder whether the Mraz/Caillat recording could be a much bigger hit if it were re-released now. Or do you think Mraz should cut a new version with his betrothed? Does "Lucky" make you feel luckiest when it's sung by Mraz with his professional partner or his personal one, or by the Glee kids? And how cute will Mraz's and Prettyman's kids be? This last is a rhetorical question, but feel free to weigh in on that one, too.
- Jason Mraz
- Tristan Prettyman
- Colbie Caillat