Sunday, September 30, 2012

X Factor US 2: Live Auditions Ranking [UPDATED]

Here's an overall ranking of the X Factor US Season 2 Live Auditions based on my reviews of the episodes! This post will be updated every episode just to see how these contestants stack up with each other. It will also serve as a good recap of the auditions so far. Haha.


The Voice 2: Blind Auditions Ranking [UPDATED]

Since I posted this with X Factor US, why not do the same thing with The Voice? Haha. So yeah, here's the overall ranking of The Voice Blind Auditions also based on my reviews of the episodes! This post will be updated every episode just to see how these contestants stack up with each other and also serves as a good recap of the auditions so far. Haha.

Note, however, that the auditions that they featured via montage will not be part of the rankings since I don't think there's enough basis to make an impression about them. So, there's that. Haha


X Factor Philippines: Top 4

Willow Smith. Chris Brown. Justin Bieber. Journey. Can you spot the difference? Haha.

So, it’s a big week! Who will falter? Who will prosper? Who will get lazy? Who will remain irrelevant?  Who will pick a ridiculous song choice? Who will pick a song older than Allen, KZ and Gabriel?

Traditionally - at least, with American Idol - I spend the week before the Finale analyzing the contestants in-depth. I like to note their strengths and weaknesses considering one of them will be the winner of X Factor in one week.

Here goes nothing! Dim the lights. Cue the music. It’s time to look at the performances.

DISCLAIMER: I am no expert, but this is my opinion - to each his own - and yours will be in the comments below! Haha.   

Friday, September 28, 2012

X Factor US 2: Live Auditions Part 6

Finally! We're done with the live auditions. Frankly, I'm completely underwhelmed by the auditions this season. This season is likely to be a total dud. Then again, I also felt the same way after the American Idol auditions last season and that turned out to be really good. Heck, I was really impressed with Melanie Amaro, Drew Ryniewicz, and Jazzlyn Little last season and I hated everything about X Factor US Season 1. So, there is still hope.

Anyway, let's get on with the final set of live auditions.

Music Premiere: Diamonds - Rihanna

.. and yes, we have ourselves another Rihanna track - this girl seriously needs some rest. Haha. Diamonds is her lead single off her seventh studio album set to be released in late November of this year.

With Rihanna, I guess you just don't know what to expect no? I was seriously expecting another club banger a la We Found Love and Where Have You Been - heavy on euphoric beats and pulsating club rhythms - but instead, we get a mid tempo track that's relatively light but still has that incredibly catchy hook. This is definitely a nice change of pace from her usual hectic dance beats and it's really refreshing to hear a song that's built around her voice and not the other way around. Great.

Listen to the song after the jump!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Music Premiere: Die Young - Ke$ha

Listen to her lead single, Die Young, which will be part of her sophomore album Warrior due for release on November 30, 2012.

While I'm not a big fan of Ke$ha, I find most of her songs entertainingly trashy and ridiculously catchy. Yes, there's nothing wrong with a mindless pop song, but Die Young is a little underwhelming. I think the song lacks a certain spark compared to her previous materials despite her distinctive sing/talk signature. It's still catchy, but I feel like Ke$ha can do better than this. To quote a friend, "the song doesn't have that Drunk-Pop + Dumpster Diva feel I enjoy." That said, radio will eat this up instantly. Oh, is it just me or is the opening riff sounds a lot like Flo Rida's Good Feeling? Haha.

Listen to the song after the jump!

Music Premiere: Begin Again - Taylor Swift

As part of DAM NATION's new "segment" - and since I don't think I'll continue with the monthly playlist since that screwed up my previous blog - I thought of another way to feature new songs released by big artists today.

Here is Taylor Swift's second single, Begin Again, off her upcoming fourth studio album Red to be released on October 1, 2012.

Her new song is actually a nice contrast to her first single, We Are Never Getting Back Together, as this is less pop and more country - if only for the mandolin and pedal steel mixed into the production. I think it's a lovely bittersweet song that may not exactly be a total departure from her previous materials melody wise, but it's lyrically more mature in the veins of Safe & Sound and Ronan. Plus, Taylor sounds great in this song.

Listen to the song after the jump!

X Factor US 2: Live Auditions Part 5

Sigh. If only we can get on with the auditions without the "unscripted" drama. Seriously? It came off clever the first few episodes, but the whole things is getting a little tiring. I don't know. A couple of people in a montage of contestants who got through deserves MORE airtime than the unnecessary drama.

And, why did they end the episode with a little kid dying? Haha. Not cool.

Here we go!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Glee Music 4: Makeover (Episode 3)

 Not going to lie, musically, this episode is a little week. I can't really hate any of it, but everything's rather underwhelming. Good thing, I'm looking forward to the actual episode than the music. Anyway, Enjoy!

A Change Would Do You Good
I like the faster arrangement, but somehow the whole thing sounds weird. I don't know if it's the song or the production as it overpowers both Rachel and Brody. I think they sound good together, but I want to hear how they sound on a better produced song. 6/10

Celebrity Skin
Just like what I wrote last episode, one shouldn't be critical about Brittany's vocals because she's obviously NOT a singer. With her, it's all about the actual performance. So while I find her snarling tone a bit strange, it's fun and that's pretty much all it has going for it. Oh, and Sam's quite decent here. 6.5/10

Everybody Wants To Rule The World
I love Tears for Fears, and I think Blaine sounds pretty on this song - it feels like something straight out of a John Hughes movie. Haha. It gets a little dragging toward the end, but that's me nitpicking. 7/10

The Way You Look Tonight/
You've Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile
That a long title no? Haha. This mash up is adorable, cute, and theatrical. I think Isabelle (Sarah Jessica Parker) sounds lovely and the song is also a great fit for Kurt's voice. Possibly the strongest song in this episode. 7.5/10

The Voice 3: Blind Auditions Part 7

Is it just me or has this thing been going on forever? Haha. I don't know.

Somehow the talent this season has been a little lackluster. You may argue that The Voice has better set of contestants than, say, X Factor US, but let's also consider the fact that almost all the singers in this show are practically pros - hence, no joke contestants like the other reality singing show. But, I digress.

Anyway, let's get on with the contestants

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Glee Season 4: Celebrity Skin Sneak Peek

Watch the full performance of Celebrity Skin by Brittany and Sam. This is part of Glee's Episode 3 entitled, Makeover, where Sarah Jessica Parker will guest star.

As for the performance, I actually enjoyed it. Never thought Glee would even dare touch a '90s grunge ditty, but this works for me. I mean, it's very amusing even if it involves zero dancing. That said, I wouldn't listen to the song without the visuals. Haha. Enjoy!

Glee Season 4: Makeover Preview (Episode 3)

Here's the preview for Glee's next episode entitled, Makeover, where Sarah Jessica Parker will appear as a guest star (Isabelle Klempt). Oh, and the campaign showdown between Brittany and Blaine for Student Council President begins. Can't. Wait.

The Voice 3: Blind Auditions Part 6

Hmm. This episode was a tad underwhelming. Sure, there were a couple of interesting auditions, but nothing particularly awe-inspiring. I mean, we saw good vocalists with zero charisma and then there were some who's overwhelmingly charismatic but not the best singers in the bunch.

So, who do we root for: the good singers or the pop stars? Well, this is The Voice, so we already know the answer to that. Haha.

Anyway, let's go on with the blind auditions, shall we?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

X Factor Philippines: Top 5

.. and then they're suddenly down to five! Exhausted yet? I am. Haha.

Again, another underwhelming night. This show had so much promise. What happened? The episode was a little flat and thezzZZzzZZz....Huh! What? Sorry. I fell asleep. Haha.

Oh, and what is going on with the themes? I feel like they fired Lito (Lito is the imaginary name for the person who I believe sits in a house made of candy just thinking up themes) and hired a monkey in his place. "Revivals"? Seriously? It's like a cover of a cover. What's next? "Songs That Glee Can't Cover" or "Songs That's Pure Gibberish". You are X Factor Philippines. One of the most talked about reality show on television in the country today. How about this: The 2000s! or maybe this: Apo Hiking Society! How is it I'm doing your job for you, Lito?

Anyway, here we go! Let’s enjoy the review, and let’s not be distracted. Even if Charice looked ridiculous with that gap in her eyebrow. What are you trying to prove? Haha.

DISCLAIMER: I am no expert, but this is my opinion - to each his own - and yours will be in the comments below! Haha.   

Saturday, September 22, 2012

X Factor US 2: Live Auditions Part 4

Again, three worthy auditions in one episode. Really? I guess, with X Factor Us, it's all about the drama no? That's not to say I didn't enjoy the episode, because there were a couple of interesting things that got me relatively hooked. Two words: Britney Spears! Haha.

Anyhow, shall we proceed?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

X Factor US 2: Live Auditions Part 3

Best episode of this season yet. I know. I know. We've only been through three episodes, but still. Haha. I love that they focused more on talent this time and again, I enjoyed the judges. Demi Lovato seemed more comfortable and Britney Spears looked gorgeous in that white dress. LA Reid was feelin the music and Simon Cowell was actually funny for the most part. Haha.

Anyway, let's get to it!

Movie Review: Resident Evil: Retribution

When I saw the trailer a few months back, I felt the need to watch this film. I enjoyed the franchise in general, but somehow this one fell short from what I actually expected it to be. Sure, there were a couple of good parts in this movie, but the mediocrity certainly overwhelmed me a bit.
The story was unbelievably thin, the writing was almost non-existent and I hated how the whole story was summarized and explained through narration within the first few minutes of the film. It could've easily been shortened to 30 minutes.

Glee Season 4: Oops.. I Did It Again! Sneak Peek

Here's the full performance of Oops.. I Did It Again! by Rachel Berry, which will air this Friday as part of the second tribute episode for Britney Spears.

While I LOVE the recording mostly because of the fresh arrangement of the song to suit Rachel's voice, the performance is actually even better. This is absolutely fantastic! This is by far the sexiest we've ever seen Rachel perform. Simple as it may seem, it's sexy without going too risque, it's well executed and made good use of props - and by props I mean, Brody, the tables and her legs.

Oh, and Cassandra July gives outstanding b*tchfaces! Haha. Enjoy!

Glee Season 4: Hold It Against Me Sneak Peek

Here's the full performance of Hold It Against Me by Brittany and Kitty, which will air this Friday for the Britney 2.0 episode.

I love the dancing, but the camera work is too choppy that it didn't do her any justice at all. I mean, these are professional dancers in the real world right? Do they really need to use all these cuts and editing to make them look good? To me, Brittany's I'm A Slave For U is her best performance yet. Oh, and the best part of this video, KITTY! Haha. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Voice 3: Blind Auditions Part 5

To be brutally honest, I'm a little bit underwhelmed with this episode. The talent is there, the banters between the judges are still present - Christina is fitting in with the panel really well now compared to the previous seasons - and there some pretty interesting song choices. However, I just didn't feel excited with anyone. Oh well.

Let's start!

Glee Music 4: Britney 2.0 (Episode 2)

Another Britney episode! I admit, I was a little iffy when I heard the news, but listening to the featured music this week, who am I to complain? I somehow enjoyed the Britney songs in Season 2, but I love the risks Glee took with the arrangement of most songs this time. Tribute episodes, save for the Michael Jackson episode, are usually a mess, but I'm hoping that this one will be good enough.

Wow. This version is SO good, it's not even funny. I think the arrangement is spectacular and the 3-part harmony between Tina, Sam and Joe is just delicious. Sam sounds good, but Tina owns this song. As for Joe, I laughed at his line "living in sin is the new thing". Guess someone changed his ways. Haha. 9/10

On paper, a Justin Bieber/Britney Spears mash-up sounds like a complete train wreck, but it's not as horrible as I initially thought. Not my favorite song in this episode, but it's decent, to say the least. I think Blaine and Artie sound good regardless. I wonder why they didn't include Sam in this song. 6.5/10

Crazy/(You Drive Me) Crazy 
 Gorgeous. I think the songs work really well together, it's nicely arranged and the vocals from both Jake and Marley are pretty solid. It may sound a little boring to some, but I actually like this. Not crazy about it, but still. 8/10

 Marley's version of this song is quite lovely. For me, there's something about her voice that brings a different air and freshness to a song that's very appealing. Sure, it's not as powerful as Rachel's, but I love that quality of sweetness in her tone. 8.5/10 

Gimme More
It's Britney bitch! Haha. Brittany is clearly not the best singer in the group - she actually sounds flat and dull for the most part - but I digress. With her, it's ALWAYS about the actual performance. To be fair though, I think she's sounding better as the song progresses. 6/10

Hold It Against Me
To be brutally honest, although this cover sounds decent, I think Till The World Ends is a much better song choice for Brittany. I don't know. Not a big fan of her voice on this one - it's as if she was badly autotuned. But again, it's ALWAYS about the actual performance when it comes to Brittany. 5/10 
Oops.. I Did It Again
I hated Rachel's rendition of Baby One More Time, but this is pretty fabulous. The arrangement is by far the best thing about this song. See, my favorite Glee songs are when they twist the original version and make it sound fresh and they did just that with this iconic Britney tune. Oh, and of course, Rachel vocal is flawless. 8.5/10

What a pleasant surprise! I admit, this sounds way too overproduced for my liking, but it's a fun, catchy cover. Plus, Unique sounds fierce on this one with Tina and Marley providing great background vocals. Nice. 7.5/10

The Voice 3: Blind Auditions Part 4

Hmm. I think I like this episode better than the last time. The talent pool got better and I liked the fun banters of the judges in this episode. No one - not even Christina - got into my nerves. Haha.

That being said, I'm sick and tired of these sob stories. Sure, they experienced something sad, but I would rather just hear these people sing. It seems like every contestant needs to have something bad in their past to get some screen time. No, I don't have a heart. Haha.

Anyway, let's start!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Voice News: Usher and Shakira IN, Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera OUT

It looks like The Voice will be a twice a year event for NBC no? According to TVLine, Usher and Shakira will temporarily replace Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera in the next season of The Voice, which will air in Spring - yes, that soon! Haha. NBC, however, assures fans that both will be back on it's Fall season. 

As for Adam Levine and Blake Shelton will be back this coming Spring with Usher and Shakira. It's interesting to see Blake come back for the next season as he has been publicly complaining about the time The Voice takes out of his life. Haha.

To be honest, I'd rather have a whole different set of judges/mentors for Spring to make things more interesting and will keep the show fresh because I personally think that the banters between the current judges are getting stale and redundant. Let's have Adam, Blake, Cee Lo and Christina as Fall judges and four new judges for the Spring cycle. But that's just me. Thoughts?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Idol News: First Look At The American Idol Season 12 Judges' Table

Look at that! The new-ish American Idol judges' table composed of Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson with, of course, the incomparable Ryan Seacrest. So, yes, it's official just like the blog I posted the other day. I'm now thinking, if the world will end today, Randy Jackson and the cockroaches will be the only ones surviving. Haha. It's silly, but whatever.

See you January 2013 for American Idol, guys! Can't. Wait.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

X Factor Philippines: Top 6

Somehow, I saw this theme, Eraserheads and Rivermaya, coming. Haha.

I'd have to say that half of tonight's performances were mediocre at best, and if anyone tells you otherwise, I want you to slap them in the face and then say, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean it! You just make me so mad sometimes." Haha. Then, explain to them that this might be one of the more uneventful nights of X Factor Philippines ever. Maybe it was just me.

Anyway, enough rambling, on with my rankings!

DISCLAIMER: I am no expert, but this is my opinion - to each his own - and yours will be in the comments below! Haha.  

Saturday, September 15, 2012

American Idol 12: Meet The Judges!

After all the rumors, American Idol now has a brand new panel for it's 12th season - well, it's not entirely new, but I digress - Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson.

I admit, I was ECSTATIC when I learned that Keith, Mariah and Nicki are all joining the panel, and then they decided to bring back Randy Jackson - this guy is like a cockroach that survives when everyone else is dead. Haha. I hate Enrique Iglesias for turning down the offer, now we're all stuck with the most inarticulate and boring judge they have ever had. Yes, he killed any enthusiasm I had with the rest of the panel.

Anyway, the American Idol 12 auditions will start this Sunday so expect the official announcement and "reveal" of the new panel any time soon. Thoughts?

X Factor US 2: Live Auditions Part 2

What? Just three good auditions in one episode? Do they have a scarcity of talent? Is this due to the backstage stuff that takes too much unnecessary time? I admit, I'm still enjoying the documentary style of the whole audition process, but I somehow feel that things are now becoming a bit scripted and fake.

I seriously want this season of X Factor US to succeed, but they have to do better than two good auditions in an hour!! Come on, X Factor!

Anyway, let's go on with that three auditions, shall we. Haha.

Friday, September 14, 2012

X Factor US 2: Live Auditions Part 1

I hated the first season of X Factor US with a passion, but Season 2, I think, is off to a great start. A home run on a million levels by comparison to last season.

For one, there's no Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul, and instead we have two relatively relevant artists replacing them - Demi Lovato and Britney Spears. That alone is already a VAST improvement from last season. I think Demi is adorable and gives good critiques, but I didn't expect Britney to be a great judge. Tough but fair. Plus, the chemistry between all four judge is fantastic!

Also, the no-host documentary style of the audition feels fresh - something that I didn't expect and possibly what separate them from the other talent shows. There are moments where it seems a little staged, but whatever. I just wish they improve on the ratio of talented contestants as six "good" auditions in two hours feels short.

Anyway, on with the auditions!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Voice 3: Blind Auditions Part 3

Wow. Filler episode anyone? I'm now more convinced that NBC just added a third episode of The Voice this week just to make a piss on X Factor US' premiere. I mean, there's nothing special in here to merit a third episode in one week. Everyone were pretty mediocre, if you ask me.

Anyway, let's start..

Glee Season 4: Call Me Maybe Sneak Peek

You know how the remaining glee club members fight for that lead part on New Directions? Of course, sing the most overplayed song of the year, Call Me Maybe. Haha.

I like Glee when it's not too preachy and not too serious, so this is good in my book. I just hope they didn't include Unique in this number. I mean, his voice is too loud for my liking and they need to focus more on the original cast, especially Tina. Give that girl a break. Seriously.

Glee Season 4: Americano / Dance Again Sneak Peek

Here's Kate Hudson performing a Lady Gaga / Jennifer Lopez mash-up, Americano / Dance Again just to show the NYADA newbies, which includes Rachel Berry how it's done.

Not crazy with the recording, to be honest, but this performance is quite impressive. Plus, the production looks stunning. I'm a fan. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

X Factor US: 15 Best Performances of Season 1

Just like what I did a day before The Voice Season 3 premiere, I give you X Factor US Season 1's best performances. But unlike The Voice, this show in a matter one season got to produce a couple of mildly successful alums.

Chris Rene, 3rd place finisher, had his single, Young Homie, which got a decent radio airplay a few months back in the US and a Platinum certification in New Zealand. It even went as high as #26 in the Billboard US Pop Songs. He's now set to release his debut album this coming October. Rachel Crowe, who got a shock boot at 5th, has signed a recording deal with Columbia Records and also a TV deal with Nickelodeon for her own TV show.

But it's Marcus Canty, 4th place finisher, who's actually getting some real nice push recently. His first single, Won’t Make A Fool Out of You, got featured in a film Think Like A Man and his second single, In & Out, has gone Top 40 on Urban proving that he's making a lot more noise on the radio than the winner. As for Melanie Amaro, we'll that's another story. Haha.

You see, I actually enjoyed The Voice better than last season's X Factor, but I must admit that the show got the best chance of having commercial success. So, for all the problems X Factor has had previously, I got to give them - especially LA Reid - credit for finding a relevant Urban artist. I don't think American Idol has even tried to since Season 3.

Anyway, enough of that. Here's a definitive list of the best performances last season.

The Voice 3: Blind Auditions Part 2

We’re back for another day of blind auditions and I can't wait to finish. Haha. I kid. Now, we're down to just one hour of this swiveling musical chairs and while the talent felt a bit lightweight in this episode, it was such a kind gesture of good faith from The Voice producers to the viewing public. Haha. Two hours is too much, don't you think?

Oh, and are they forcing these contestants to have some sort of sob package before they audition? Robbery. Injuries. Racism. Virus. These backstories are getting out of hand. Haha. What's next? Alien abduction?

Anyway, let’s see how the contestants this episode,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Voice 3: Blind Auditions Part 1

Oh yeah, everybody. I’m still writing this thing. Haha.

Yes, The Voice is back! Can you believe that show is on its’ third season already in 2 years? Haha. I hope everyone enjoyed the relatively short break - it's only been 4 months - but it’s time to once again dive down our quest to find a new winner. No, I will not say the "next star" because the show has yet to produce one. But, either way, the show is back!

Like always, Season 3 opened with the four superstars - Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine,  Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton - singing together this time with The Rollingstone's Start Me Up. For some reason, I didn't like it.

But, how did the contestants do?

Let’s go!

The Voice: 20 Best Performances of Season 2

The Voice Season 3 will premiere today and it's crazy to think that in just two years, it already has two going on three seasons under it's belt. The Voice has yet to produce even a slightly successful artist coming out of the show to give them some cred, but I digress since Adam Levine mentioned that they don't need to produce a star - umm, so what's the point of the show then? Self promotion?

Anyway, here's a definitive list of stand out performances last season and hoping that this season will generate a couple more. So, without further ado, here they are:

Glee Music 4: The New Rachel (Episode 1)

.. and this part of the blog is back. I know I somehow ditched the show after it's hiatus last time, but I'll try my best to keep up with everything this season. Unless, the show frustrates me yet again. Haha. I'm kidding.

Americano / Dance Again
I didn't expect much from Kate Hudson's recording, but I'm pleasantly surprised by this. It's certainly not the best, but she sounds solid for the most part especially in the Americano bits. Not a fan of the mash up though. 6.5/10 

Call Me Maybe
It's just a matter of time for Glee to cover this song no? Haha. The song itself is fun and upbeat, but I'm just tired of this song. Plus, the last few bars sound a bit messy. 5/10

Chasing Pavements
WOW. This sounds really good. Marley - a new character - has this gorgeous soothing tone to her voice that compliments the song perfectly. I like her dynamics and the liberties she took with the melody. Very nice. 8/10

It's Time
 For some reason, this may probably be one of Blaine's strongest solos ever. I think the smoother laid-back quality of Darren's voice gives the tune an interesting twist. This actually reminds me of his Cough Syrup rendition. 7.5/10

Never Say Never
Jake Puckerman - yes, Puck's half brother - is joining New Directions and I'm really impressed. A rich voice that has so much strength, emotion and control. Plus, his falsetto is lovely. Finally! A male lead that I can get behind. 8/10

New York State of Mind
So, Marley is the new Rachel? This duet by Marley and Rachel is, arguably, the strongest recording in this episode. As usual, Rachel sounds phenomenal, but I think Marley holds her own in this song as well. Oh, and I like how their voices are totally different from each other. Beautiful. 9/10
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