Sunday, November 29, 2015

X Factor UK 12: Top 5

We're almost at the finish line? It was that fast? This was another interesting week. Everyone struggled one way or another during tonight's episode. Someone completely forgot the words, while someone had to fight the sickness and deliver something that will be enough for another week. That being said, there’s still an undeniable magic beneath the surface. I'm curious though who will end up packing this week. Are we in for a shocker?

On with the show!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

X Factor Australia 7 Wrap-Up: 25 Best Performances

To that obligatory countdown. 3 new judges. 28 episodes. 9 live shows. 3 judges' smack downs. 1 winner. This has been a pretty fun season. Sure, there were a few who stood out week in and week out, but I'd be lying if I wasn't thrilled with the finalists as a whole. Not only was this group pretty diverse, but they all were incredibly talented. I'm glad I decided to cover the show this year or I would've missed the fascinating talents from this side of the world.

Again, this is VERY subjective and I guarantee that there will probably be some performances that are nowhere to be found on your list that may be as high as 10 or something on here. But please respond maturely, flames don't make me particularly happy.

Without further ado, here are X Factor Australia 7: 25 Best Performances!

Movie Trailer: Captain America: Civil War

I know. I know. A couple of years ago - was it 2012? - I promised to take this segment of DAM NATION seriously and more updated than usual. I'm trying and I'll start with the newly released trailer of Captain America: Civil War.

Synopsis*: An incident leads to the Avengers developing a schism over how to deal with situations, which escalates into an open fight between allies Iron Man and Captain America.

Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner

Release Date: May 6, 2016


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Voice 9: Top 11

Is it deliberate? For the second live show of the season, the show somehow packed the boring and terrible performances at the top of the show and the good ones at the end. Why? Save for Zach who closed the show (!!!) last week, I thought the first few minutes from both episodes were almost too embarrassing to watch.

Oh, and thank you coaches for giving good song choices this week - although Gwen and Pharrell tripped with a couple of their choies.

On with the show!

X Factor Australia 7: Finale

It's been a fun season! To be honest, I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as the past two seasons, but I found a couple of people who I was willing to root for. In fact, this was possibly one of the strongest groups I've seen on X Factor Australia. Every single one of them managed to deliver strong performances and no joke acts this year - yes, I'm looking at you X Factor UK.

I'm actually thrilled with how this season went and without further ado..


X Factor Australia 7: Top 3

I stubbornly underestimated this Finale. You see, I always do a Wrap-Up of every show I cover listing the best performances of the season and I must confess, I'm done with that post for X Factor Australia 7 including an edited video of these performances. 

I mean, based on historical trend, save for American Idol Season 13, finalists, more often than not, are already exhausted from all the months and weeks of singing and for them to churn out an outstanding performance at the final stretch of the competition is almost next to impossible.   

So color me surprised when one of the finalists delivered one of the best, if not the best performance of the season. No, I'm certainly not complaing, I'm just in utter shock. 

Oh, and good job, Australia! I just realized earlier that they've been pretty spot on with the elimination order this year. The three best acts actually made it to the Finale. United States and United Kingdom, please take note!

On with the show!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

X Factor UK 12: Top 7

Given the song choices this week and the apparent theme of "Love & Heartbreaks", I knew that I was in for an awesome show. The show ended and I was left feeling nothing. Haha. Have I been watching too much reality singing competitions lately that I'm becoming irritatingly overcritical? Don't get me wrong. I saw a couple of good to awesome performances tonight, but only one of them truly made an impression. Hoping for the best next week?

On with the show!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

Let me get straight to the point: While The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 was a fairly satisfying conclusion to the franchise, I couldn't help but shake off the feeling that this could've been a lot better. Don't get me wrong. The film was solid on most sides of the spectrum. The direction was sharp, the cinematography was stunning, the visual effects served the story extremely well, and the acting, for the most part, was good. Yet I was still terribly underwhelmed. The main culprit? The uneven pacing, which pulled me out of the film. The last act, for example, was way too rushed and oddly muted that what could've been the most emotionally resonant part of the movie left me cold. Then, of course, there were scenes that extended way beyond their welcome. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 was mostly entertaining, but it never reached the heights it was trying to achieve for its final installment. It never felt important or grand and as a send-off to one of the most hyped franchises of all time, I was genuinely expecting more. 7

Thursday, November 19, 2015

DAM NATION: November 2015 Playlist

Here we are again. The second to the last playlist for 2015. It's a bit of a tough last few months as I whittle down the list of songs to just 15. It's actually quite a daunting task, no? Anyway, here you have another 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 Hello Adele
2 Perfect One Direction
3 Alive Sia
4 New Thang Redfoo
5 Hands of Love Miley Cyrus
6 Love Me Like You Little Mix
7 Lay It All On Me Rudimental (ft. Ed Sheeran)
8 Focus Ariana Grande
9 One Call Away Charlie Puth
10 Thunder Leona Lewis
11 Next Boyfriend Lauren Alaina
12 Sax Fleur East
13 Heartbeat Carrie Underwood
14 Unbreakable Jena Irene
15 Sorry Justin Bieber

Password: Who topped The Voice 9: Top 12 post?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Voice 9: Top 12

While I had reservations with the crop of finalists this year, I genuinely think The Voice 9 has some pretty compelling artists. No, it's not as good and diverse as the past two seasons, but there are potential gems in this lot. If only these coaches know how to pick the right songs for their team, no?

Oh, and let me just say that the serious pandering this season has been off the charts and I feel sick to my stomach. But again, that's just me.

On with the show!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

X Factor Australia 7: Top 4

We're at the homestretch of the season and somehow things are becoming a bit stale. Not sure if it's just fatigue from all the singing they've been doing the past couple of months, but while there were a couple of impeccable performances, I couldn't help but be slightly underwhelmed. Was I just expecting to much for the last four acts standing? That's not to take anything away from them because most of them are actually the right people for the spot. It'll be interesting who will end up winning this whole enchalada.

On with the show!

Monday, November 16, 2015

X Factor UK 12: Top 9

It's Movie soundtrack theme and it was a pretty interesting night! Lauren Murray and Monica Michael were supposed to cover Licence to Kill from James Bond and Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) from Kill Bill respectively, but due to what happened in Paris, they decided to change it last minute. Oh, and Celina of 4th Impact almost collapsed on stage after performing. It was uncomfortable to watch, to be honest.

Other than that, the performances were mostly good with a couple of stinkers from the usual suspects. That being said, with another double elimination later tonight, I'm pretty sure I'll lose one of my favorites.

On with the show!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Voice 9: Live Playoffs #TeamPharrell

#TeamPharrell is pretty stacked up no? Sure, some of them performed below expectations, but I know what these people can do and at this point, I want most of them into the live shows. Can we just have one or two from #TeamBlake and have four or five from #TeamPharrell? Pretty please?

Oh, and the song choices were a lot better this time than yesterday. Thank God!

On with the show!

The Voice 9: Live Playoffs #TeamBlake

If not for #TeamPharrell, I would've been utterly annoyed by the flock of country artists in this episode. No, I have nothing against them, but I'm just not the biggest fan of the genre. That said, I can't deny the fact that while most of them didn't appeal to my personal taste, some of them delivered some decent to good performances and I can't be mad with that.

On with the show!

The Voice 9: Live Playoffs #TeamGwen

Why was there so many meltdowns in this episode? #TeamAdam had a couple of terrible performances and somehow, #TeamGwen wanted to have their own. The one-two punch of Regina Love and Braiden Sunshine, for example, was a total trainwreck. I was expecting things to be the biggest massacre in The Voice US history with talented people being cut left and right, but these artists made deciding easy for the public.

Oh, and the band was the devil may it be the arrangement or for just being plain noisy and loud. Ha.

On with the show!

The Voice 9: Live Playoffs #TeamAdam

Song choices have been abysmal on #TeamAdam and I couldn't understand his thought process while picking these songs for his artists. To Be With You? You're No Good? The Way You Look Tonight? Halo? Sure, they somehow fit the artists, but these choices were terribly lazy and predictable, I wanted to barf.

As for the performances? I expected a lot more from Adam's team - he probably has one of the most diverse artists this year - so I was a bit disappointed with how most of them faltered. I'm crossing my fingers that it was just a simple case of first live show syndrome and things will get better from here on out.

On with the show!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

X Factor Australia 7: Top 5

After weeks of great performances, tonight was a bit of a let down. I don't know. One did pretty spectacular, but the rest ranged from good to awful - and we're already at this stage of the competition. To be honest, I'm terrified as to who will be eliminated in the next coming weeks until the Finale. Are we in for a predictable finish or a shocking one?

On with the show!

Monday, November 9, 2015

X Factor UK 12: Top 11

The theme this week was "Reinvention". Not sure if it means mash-ups - since we got a lot of them - or do something with a song and just flip it, but for the most part, I've heard a lot of the arrangements somewhere else. It's not technically reinvention as they already exists, but I digress. A couple of people redeemed themselves after an underwhelming performances last week and some were downright laughable. One thing I'm certain about this season, we'll never be short on theatrics. Ha.

On with the show!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Movie Review: Spectre

Dull. Convoluted. Trite. What a big letdown Spectre was. Not sure if I was just expecting too much from it - given how good Skyfall was - but this film was just downright disappointing. To be completely fair, it started out compelling enough and I found the scenes to be exquisitely shot. However, something happened after the second act that the story became too drawn-out things almost didn't make sense. The action was intense, but hardly memorable and they were few and far between, the pacing was awful, and the villain wasn't particularly interesting - words can't describe how dull the villain was. Daniel Craig was probably the best thing here, but he just couldn't single-handedly keep the film afloat. Spectre wasn't as bad as Quantum of Solace, but this film pretty much dropped all the goodwill the franchise earned from Skyfall. Forgettable with no personality whatsoever. 6

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Voice 9: The Knockouts Part 3

The final Knockouts episode is upon and while there wasn't a clear standout performance, there were still some decent ones worthy of America's attention. The real star though of the Knockouts was Rihanna's impressive ability to mentor. Not only was her critiques and advice spot on, but she said it in a way that makes you believe that she knows what she's talking about. Oh, and her ear for these hopefuls' vocals was stellar. Hands down, my favorite mentor ever on The Voice US.

On with the show!

Monday, November 2, 2015

X Factor Australia 7: Top 6

Not going to lie, but this has to be one of the strongest Top 6 I've seen in X Factor Australia. No, I'm not a big fan of Big T or even Natalie Conway, but they are competent and reliable vocalists and they gave a couple of good performances throughout the season. The rest? They're outstanding!

At this point, I think Australia's voting has been spot on. Don't fail me, mate! Ha.

On with the show!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

X Factor UK 12: Top 13

It's the first live shows and I must say that almost all of them delivered decent performances. Yes, there were a couple of lackluster performances here and there - mostly on the song choices - but for the most part, this was a pretty telling week. I'm excited to here more from these crop and from the looks of it, I think we have a much better set of finalists this year than last year.

Oh, and with two people going home this week, I'm pretty sure we're in for a couple of shockers. Or maybe not. 

On with the show!
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