Monday, March 30, 2015

Glee Wrap-Up: 35 Best Performances

Glee was the out-of-nowhere underdog when it debuted in 2009. A cast of unknowns - most of them shockingly normal looking - in a musical series was such crazy idea to begin with. I mean, it was something that hasn't been successful since, umm, never!! But for whatever reason, this scripted series just became one of the most highly talked about show in its first two seasons and I'm not going to deny that I was obsessed about the show since it's pilot.

I wrote episode reviews until Season 3 and posted the music as well. I even made a separate page for the show because it came to a point where Glee had more views in DAM NATION than American Idol. It had everything going for them until they messed up the storyline as the show eventually became too preachy and came off like a constant public service announcement.

Fast forward to 2015 and Glee aired it's final episode last week. It's bittersweet. While I did stop covering the show at the middle of Season 3 - though I came back to review The Quarterback in Season 5 -  Glee will always be part of DAM NATION. Thank you!

And now that the series came to a close with 728 musical performances under it's sleeves, it's just about right to take a look back at some of the most unforgettable interpretations of classics, showtunes, pop hits, and even obscure songs

So for the last Glee post, here's the All-Time 35 Best Performances of Glee.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

American Idol 14: Top 9

Not sure what it was - maybe the theme? - but I felt like some of the contestants were not in fine form. Some rose and some fell, but with a season as unpredictable as this, I just have to accept that this should be expected. I'm just hoping the show give them better material than this lame 80s theme. It's a tired one and it's time to think of something more creative.

I will have a couple of words for the two eliminated contestants, but that's for later. On with the show first!

The Voice 8: The Knockouts Part 1

I'm back! The Battle Round is finally done - as you should know by now, I don't review them for the most part - and The Knockout Round is here. To be honest, I'm still not particularly fond of this stage of the competition as I feel like some of the pairings are a little unfair since they usually throw in favorites with some cannon fodders, but I digress.. This episode managed to deliver some of the best performances this season. Personally, Season 8 is turning out to be quite stellar.

On with the show!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Voice UK 4: Top 12

Wait up, what happened? I was following this season during the Blind Auditions and found a couple of fantastic singers and now that I'm back, we're left with this? Yes, there are still a handful of great competitors, but Vikesh? Lucy? Lara? Karis? Ok, I will stop. Maybe the coaches wanted to have a lackluster season?

I was hoping to see outstanding performances - given how great some of last season's contestants did in DAM NATIONS Reality Singing Show Olympics - but I'm a little underwhelmed. Let's see if there's more to them by next week.

On with the show!

DAM NATION: March 2015 Playlist

It's finally here. Apology for the late post of this month's playlist - there was just too much going on - but here it is. Here's a list of 15 songs that I (personally) fancy, that are already doing good on it's own and maybe some new singles from different artists that will probably - or maybe not - be hits in the next coming weeks in whatever format.


1 I Really Like You Carly Rae Jepsen
2 Cliche Christina Grimmie
3 Trap Queen  Fetty Wap
4 Somebody Natalie La Rose (ft. Jeremih)
5 Feel The Light Jennifer Lopez
6 Where Are You Now Skillex & Diplo (ft. Justin Bieber)
7 Dear Future Husband Meghan Trainor
8 Double Tap Jordin Sparks (ft. 2 Chainz)
9 Want To Want Me Jason Derulo
10 I Want You To Know Zedd (ft. Selena Gomez)
11 Don't Look Down Martin Garrix (ft. Usher)
12 This Time Glee Cast (ft. Lea Michele)
13 Shut Up And Dance Talking Is Hard
14 Nobody Love Tori Kelly
15 Lay Me Down Sam Smith (ft. John Legend)

Password: Who ranked first in the American Idol 14: Top 11 post?

Movie Review: Cinderella

Quite frankly, I was seriously expecting Cinderella to be godawful - how many adaptations can this story have? - but it shockingly turned out to be quite magnificent. Fairy tales in recent memory have become either poor reproduction of classics or dark adaptations with unnecessary modern twists, but this film somehow impressively kept the material intact with only very little modifications and yet remained refreshing. It was aesthetically confident and captivating, full of glorious visuals and absolutely gorgeous cinematography. The art direction and costume design were also top notch, as well as the fantastic acting ensemble. Lily James was effortlessly adorable and natural as the title role, but it was Cate Blanchett's take as the evil stepmother that stole the show. She wasn't entirely overwhelming like she could have, but her composed manner of delivering her lines were on point. It's not to say Cinderella was perfect because it wasn't, but the movie somehow seemed magical. 8

Saturday, March 21, 2015

American Idol 14: Top 11 Redux

This was an incredible night of music. Yes, there were songs that we have heard over and over again on the Idol stage, but most of them were rearranged to fit the contestants perfectly. Of course, there were some strategic blunders made by some of the contestants, but the vocals were really showcased in this episode. I believe it was another strong performance night and I am continuously impressed with how steady these contestants are; they seem to be in perfect control.

I can’t remember a time when I went into a Top 11 night wondering who might be eliminated? The first few weeks of the finals was always about eliminating the fodders. It was just a great time to get rid of the people who should never have made the finals in the first place. Not this year it seems - well, unless, you're Daniel Seavey.

On with the rankings!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Movie Review: Unfinished Business

Not a terrible film, by any means, but Unfinished Business was certainly a bland, risk-free, amazingly average comedy that should, hopefully, be forgotten by most people years from now. The narrative was lackluster, the ending came off like an afterthought, and the drama, which was inserted mostly to give depth and emotion to the film, gave a strange tone to the whole film. I would have expected a riot given what was in the trailer, but what turned out was plenty of bore. Heck, even the natural chemistry of the leads were disappointing. Dave Franco tried to salvage it with a pretty hysterical role, but the mediocrity was too much for him to carry. Sure, I have seen worse, but Unfinished Business could have and should have done so much better with this movie. 3.5

Saturday, March 14, 2015

American Idol 14: Top 11

Welcome to American Idol 14's Top 11 night where the theme is "Party Songs," which is just a fancy way of saying, “Sing whatever you want and find some reason, as insane and irrational as you’d like, to relate them to the word "party". Haha.

Now, before anything else, let me just say that we're totally on a different American Idol era. No more results show. No more fillers. No more Bottom 3. It's like we're in an American Idol version of The Hunger Games were no one is safe. The eliminations will be shocking and hard to handle, but in the end, the strongest contestant will always be the one under that confetti shower.

Not going to lie, it took time for me to wrap my head around what happened in the first elimination of the season. So, there.

Sarina-Joi Crowe. So what did Sarina-Joi do to deserve the early elimination? Love Runs Out.  I knew, from the moment I heard her sing an off key version of the song, that she'd be in danger of leaving this week. No, that one misstep shouldn't merit her early ouster in the competition - she was clearly the best technical singer this season - but then again, this is a new era of American Idol where NO ONE IS SAFE. She should've been at the top of her game last night because Daniel Seavey is still around to crush her dreams and when contestants are this strong it becomes very difficult to predict what the @#$% is going to happen! I have a funny feeling that this won’t be the season’s only shocker.

On with the show!

Friday, March 13, 2015

American Idol 14: Top 12

It’s American Idol 14’s Top 12 and it's terrible! What the hell do I do now when there's about eleven (11) good contestants this season? Yes, they have flaws - just like tonight - but this group has already proven that every single one of them can, in one way or another, produce some showstopping performances.

I’m about to jump to my rankings, but I’d like to point out three new universal truths for this season of American Idol.
- The new American Idol format may lead to a couple of unstable performances. These kids should calm down.
- Jennifer Lopez is officially a very strong judge
- Daniel Seavey is the Tim Urban/Sanjaya Malakar/Lazaro Arbos of this season.

On to the show!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Movie Review: Focus

A film like Focus stands or falls on the charisma of its stars, the intricacy of its plot, and the execution of it all. Luckily, the film pretty much succeeded on all three counts. The movie contained an intelligent screenplay - although I did prefer the first half over the last part - the editing and direction were very sharp, the pacing was just about right, and there's a comedic tone that I didn't fully expect. It was full of a number of nifty loops and details one have to watch carefully to follow through. The cast was also quite stellar. Will Smith was believable, but Margot Robbie stole the show. Yes, some may find the film far too shallow to have any real worth, but Focus was purely out there to entertain, and it's a popcorn movie that's excellent and well-crafted. It's like a cinematic junk food of the highest order, but then, since when has junk food not been satisfying? 7.5

The Voice Philippines 2 Wrap-Up: 20 Best Performances

To the usual DAM NATION obligatory count: 35 Episodes. 79 Blind Auditions. 7 Four-chair Turners. 28 Battle Rounds. 36 Knockouts. 6 Live Shows. 1 Lea Salonga. Quite a season! Yes, there were a couple of vast improvements this year compared to the last season, but the format still sucked.

I don't understand why they had to battle it out within their team until the Finale. Look at Bamboo who had the weakest team and yet, he was "allowed" to bring one until the end and see someone more deserving like Daryl Ong or Monique Lualhati not get a chance to win because of this dumb format. But, it's done now. Jason Dy won and that's about it.

So, let me end my "writing season" of The Voice Philippines Season 2, with the blog's usual wrap-up post of the best performances all season.

So, without further ado..

Saturday, March 7, 2015

DAM NATION: March 2015 Throwback Playlist

Here's another set of throwback music and I'm guessing a lot of people loved the diversity last month with the sudden surge of downloads. This month, I give you another pretty interesting set list complete with boybands, divas, and rock bands. So yes, make sure to dim the lights and crank up this playlist.


1 Lost In Space Lighthouse Family
2 If You Had My Love Jennifer Lopez
3 Liquid Dreams O-Town
4 It Wasn't Me Shaggy
5 Sitting Up In My Room Brandy
6 Iris Goo Goo Dolls
7 Summer Girls LFO
8 Heartbreaker Mariah Carey (ft. Jay Z)
9 Every Morning Sugar Ray
10 Say My Name Destiny's Child
11 If I Let You Go Westlife
12 One Of Us Joan Osborne
13 Tatooed On My Mind D'Sound
14 Cry Mandy Moore
15 Closing Time Semisonic

Password: Who ranked first in the American Idol 14: Top 8 Boys post?

American Idol 14: Top 8 Girls

Pretty strange show. This was the episode where I saw two or three people capable of standing in the Kodak Theatre at the Finale, but there was also too much crazy going on throughout the night. These girls need to calm down! Haha.

Also, what was Harry's obsession with intonation? Yes, the vocals weren't perfect for most of these girls, but to say they were out of tune - maybe except for one - was ridiculous. He wasn't as tough yesterday with the guys, so I don't understand the sudden obsession with it.

Anyway, let's do this!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

American Idol 14: Top 8 Boys

Quite frankly, I didn't like the idea to go vintage again - especially at this early stage of the game - as these contestants need to settle first with what they're comfortable with and then slap them with the harsh reality of theme weeks come Finals, but Motown week, no matter how repetitive, will always be part of American Idol. For nostalgia, maybe?

As for how the episode went, I will need a couple more weeks to finally settle into the new format. I have to get back to you on  this in the next coming weeks.

On with the show!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Voice 8: Blind Auditions Part 3

Unlike others, I'm not particularly a huge fan of Blind Auditions as the gimmick wears off after a couple of episodes, and while it's not yet happening now, I feel like I'm exhausted already. That being said, there's a couple of people to watch in this episode and Adam Levine trying to audition for the other coaches. Ha.

On with the show!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Voice Philippines 2: Grand Finale

It’s the The Voice Philippines Season 2 Finale! Usually, it always feel like a season just flies by, but that's not the case here. It went by too long, I lost interest towards the end. Oh well, we’re here now, so my rants tonight will be futile.

So, I will just shut up and go on with the final review of the season.
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