Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Voice 10: Top 11

Eh. I'm not impressed.

You see, I've been holding off with my reservations, but I don't think this season will get anymore better and exciting than this. This is it and we'll have to wait for another season to get us all excited. Not to take anything away from the contestants though, but I don't think they are living up to their full potentials. I don't know. I'm just thoroughly underwhelmed.

On with the show!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

DAM NATION: April 2016 Playlist

I know you've all been waiting for this! Here's 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 Close Nick Jonas (ft. Tove Lo)
2 Waiting Game Parson James
3 Touch and Go Ed Sheeran
4 Ain't Your Mama Jennifer Lopez
5 Roses MacKenzie Bourg
6 No Broken Hearts Bebe Rexha (ft. Nicki Minaj)
7 Rock Bottom Hailee Steinfield (ft. DNCE)
8 Wild Things Alessia Cara
9 Don't Let Me Down The Chainsmokers (ft. Daya) 
10 Lost Boy Ruth B.
11 Better Haley Reinhart
12 Cheap Thrills Sia
13 One Dance Drake (ft. Wizkid & Kyla)
14 Falling Trent Harmon
15 Kiss It Better Rihanna

Password: The song Paris Bennett performed that entered the honorable mention of American Idol's 100 Greatest Performances. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Movie Review: The Jungle Book

I generally don't find The Jungle Book appealing - so yes, I had to drag myself just to watch the film - but this totally made me change my mind. The Jungle Book has to be one of the most immersive, fun, and visually stunning movies I've seen in recent memory. No, it didn't break any grounds and the film was not without its flaws, but there was magic in this rework. I thought the film was outstanding in laying down the groundwork of its narrative, the character development was impeccable, the voice acting sounded terrific, Neel Sethi who played Mowgli was sensational, and of course, the visuals were beyond reproach creating a splendid world with superbly rendered details. The Jungle Book wasn't really meant to transcend the material, but it was a delightful romp with a strong theme and a lot of charm. 9.5 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Movie Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

Dark. Twisted. Intense. I was genuinely skeptical with the whole film taking place mostly inside a bunker with only three characters to latch on, but 10 Cloverfield Lane was so immensely involving and intense that I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. The context of the movie was solid, the emotions were tangible, the mystery was arresting, and John Goodman was diabolically deranged. Also, the immersive nature of the cinematography was fantastic as it reinforced the isolation within the confines of the setting. True, the strange final act was a tad disappointing that it somehow pulled me away from the narrative, but I digress. 10 Cloverfield Lane had everything to be a terrible film, but other than the ending, it turned out to be a solid premise backed by an effective if a bit uneven screenplay and outstanding acting performances. 8

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Voice 10: Top 12

What's happening? Prior to the Knockout Rounds, I've been constantly claiming that this season can actually rival the best of the series in terms of how deep that talent is. Sadly, things went downhill from there and I question myself if I should take back what I said.

No, this wasn't a terrible episode as there were a couple of good performances here and there, but somehow, I was left feeling empty and cold at the end of the show. I was looking for something that would make me question if I was worthy to witness that, but instead, I was just watching another set of talented people and nothing else.

Prove me wrong, The Voice!

On with the show!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

DAM NATION: American Idol's 100 Greatest Performances (Honorable Mentions)

15 Seasons. 568 Episodes. 2,141 Live Performances. 411 Contestants. 11 Judges. 54 Grammy Nominations. 13 Grammy Awards. 1 Oscar. 7 Billboard Hot 100 Number 1s. 39 Million Viewers. That's right! That's my final - and obligatory - count for the entire run of American Idol.

True, the show aired it's final episode of the series last week, but it's impressive legacy will remain, which includes a fantastic list of top-notch performances throughout the show's 15 years. Say what you want about American Idol, but no one can deny the impeccable talent the show has produced and proof to that are the following performances.

Again, just like many other lists or countdowns on this site, this one is extremely biased as it's based on personal preferences and judgement. There will probably be performances that are nowhere to be found on your list that may be as high as 10 or something on here - actually I guarantee it. But please respond maturely, flames don't make me particularly happy.

Oh, and I decided to divide the post in groups of 10 performances to better highlight each one of them. So there!

Here are the HONORABLE MENTIONS - just before we go straight to #100..

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Voice UK: Top 8

I groaned about how terribly awful this season has become, but this episode actually proved me wrong. Somehow, everyone stepped up their game and there was no actual trainwreck compared to the previous episode. I didn't expect that, but it was a welcome surprise. Can they actually produce more showstoppers in the last episode? We'll see.

On with the show!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Voice 10: Live Playoffs #TeamAdam

If #TeamPharrell was a total disaster, #TeamAdam was slightly better but still quite mediocre at best. I hope things will pick up after tonight and I'm hoping that song choices will improve from here on out. I saw them be great, they just need to be consistent. You can do it, The Voice!

On with the show!

The Voice 10: Live Playoffs #TeamPharrell

Disaster. Absolute disaster. Am I going to eat my words after tonight? I've been constantly claiming that the talent this season is incredibly deep that it can actually rival the bench in Season 7 and 8. Let me tell you something: If this is any indication, then I take my word back. Haha. Every performance tonight sounded rough and that's including the people I expected to do really well. What happened?

On with the show!

The Voice 10: Live Playoffs #TeamChristina

On paper, #TeamChristina should've slayed each and every performance. Sadly, we were served with a trainwreck, two so-so performances, and three not-perfect-but-good-enough numbers. It wasn't as glorious as I expected it to be, but I still have high hopes coming into the Live Rounds in the next coming weeks. I'm hoping America voted for the right people - and for Christina to save the deserving one - because if not, all their plans to hand her the win will be useless.

On with the show!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Voice 10: Live Playoffs #TeamBlake

I didn't expect much from Blake's team - other than maybe Adam Wakefield - but there were some unexpected solid performances and train wrecks in this group. Could anyone from #TeamBlake actually stop Christina Aguilera and her insanely talented artists? We'll see. I mean, Christina had a strong team in Season 8 with Kimberly Nichole, India Carney and Rob Taylor and yet, none of them reached the Finale.

On with the show!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Voice 10: The Knockouts Part 3

That's more like it! With American Idol out of the picture, this show better be good not only at showcasing their talents DURING the show, but also after that. This was a clear indication that the show has tons of talent, but disappears as soon as the show is over. Tonight, I saw, at the very least, four singers that could be really successful outside the show. Don't screw this up, The Voice!

On with the show!

The Voice 10: Knockouts Part 2

Eh. Just when I thought The Voice was on a roll this season, this episode happened. Haha. Other than Adam Wakefield - and maybe Moushumi - this was such a bore. No, there was no trainwreck during the episode, but most of them were forgettable at best. What happened? This was like a 'so what?' type of episode. Ha.

On with the show!

Friday, April 8, 2016

American Idol 15: Grand Series Finale!

Another season in the books, and yes, it's the final one!

I've been watching this cheesiest show for fifteen long years. Can you believe that? It has become a part of my life in such a way that worries and concerns me. Every year, I literally plan five months of my life around a glorified karaoke competition. That's the saddest thing I have ever heard. Haha. If you really stop and think about it.. that's pretty insane.

I'm a 30-year-old man who's been blogging about American Idol for the past 9 long years with such veracity and fury that I even spend time actually defending myself to total strangers on this blog. That's some sad stuff right there. Haha.

Still, it's my passion. It's something I've been doing since Season 7 and I said this before, I will only quit when the show is off the air. That time has finally come tonight, but boy, did they went out with a bang!

American Idol, how do I love your Grand Series Finale? Let me count the ways.. (Note: I will come back to give my full review of the entire show!)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

American Idol 15 Wrap-Up: 25 Best Performances

To the obligatory count: 3 months. 24 episodes. 102 live performances. Final season. That's right, another season in the history books and like old tradition I compiled a list of the most memorable live performances up to the Finale.

Season 15 was a fast one as American Idol had no plans of extending it further so we ended up with a season short by two months. That said, the season was still able to deliver showstopping performances, which made this a little hard to rank. But yes, I did my very best!

Anyway, just like many other lists or countdowns, this one is extremely biased. It's based on personal preferences. 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 - actually I guarantee it. But please respond maturely, flames don't make me particularly happy.

SEASON 9 Best Performances
SEASON 10 Best Performances
SEASON 11 Best Performances
SEASON 12 Best Performances
SEASON 13 Best Performances
SEASON 14 Best Performances

Honorable Mentions!

Dancing In The Dark
Dalton Rapattoni
Top 3

I Surrender
Sonika Vaid
Top 14

La'Porsha Renae
Top 3

You Are So Beautiful
MacKenzie Bourg
Top 6

Tennessee Whiskey
Trent Harmon
Top 3

Here are the TOP 25 Best Live Performances of Season 15:

American Idol 15: Final Thoughts and Prediction


This season just went by so fast that I had seriously NO TIME to take a breather. Not sure why the program decided to cut this season short - the low budget? the tanking ratings? - but I wasn't really ready for American Idol to end this early. A lot of these kids needed time to get comfortable on stage. Sonika Vaid, Tristan McIntosh, MacKenzie Bourg, Avalon Young, and Olivia Rox could've been ALL outstanding if given the same amount of time as say Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen, or Jena Irene.

That's why it's no shock that the two "oldest" contestants went on to survive all the grueling weeks of American Idol. They were the most consistent throughout the season and boy did they give a superb final performance showdown.

As I've said in my last review of the series,
"Trent has been on fire for weeks now, while La'Porsha just continued her streak of consistently fantastic performances. They showed up tonight focused and ready to lay it all down. That's the finale we deserved and I think we got a really interesting fight on our hands."
It was neck to neck through out the night and that made this seriously hard to predict. To be perfectly honest, La'Porsha and Trent Finale reminds me so much of Crystal and Lee Finale back in Season 9 and to some extent Phillip and Jessica smackdown in Season 10. It's that ongoing debate about MOMENTUM and CONSISTENCY.

On American Idol though, more often than not, MOMENTUM trumps CONSISTENCY. We saw that with Phillip Phillips and Lee DeWyze when they started surging at the right time and eventually clinched the title from the most formidable vocalists of their respective seasons. That's not to say they were the wrong winners though. In the end, the winner of American Idol has always been the right winner. There's no way for the wrong person to win. That's what democracy is. One contestant got more votes than the other. We can have our favorites, but the right winner is always chosen.

So in this final season of American Idol, who will the public rally behind? The frontrunner who's been rock solid the entire season? Or the underdog who peaked at the right moment?

Again, my record on predicting the winner has been awful since Season 11 - besides the correct prediction of Nick Fradiani from last year - but I'll give it a try again. Yes, La'Porsha's body of work throughout the season was flawless, but Trent Harmon had the momentum and he has been glorious the past few weeks.

I will once again root for the "underdog" like what I did with with Jessica Sanchez, Jena Irene, Kree Harrison, and Nick Fradiani, and say that Trent Harmon is the last American Idol Winner.

American Idol 14: Final Thoughts and Prediction
American Idol 13: Final Thoughts and Prediction
American Idol 12: Final Thoughts and Prediction
American Idol 11: Final Thoughts and Prediction
American Idol 10: Final Thoughts and Prediction
American Idol 9: Final Thoughts and Prediction

American Idol 15: Top 2

.. and yes, we're at the homestretch - THE FINAL PERFORMANCE EPISODE EVER! It's quite surreal, but what a Finale it was!

Both contestants came out swinging tonight. Trent has been on fire for weeks now, while La'Porsha just continued her streak of consistently fantastic performances. They showed up tonight focused and ready to lay it all down. That's the finale we deserved and I think we got a really interesting fight on our hands. So, who will the public rally behind? The frontrunner who had been rock solid the entire season? Or the underdog who peaked at the right moment?

Let’s get to the last and final showdown of American Idol! Shall we?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Voice UK 5: Top 12

This show is such a trainwreck! Haha. I don't know. I've been casually following The Voice UK for a couple of years now and started blogging live shows since last year, but the potential for hot mess performances is high this year. It's both entertaining and embarrassing.

Also, two finalists backed out right before the live shows? Haha. Things keep getting better and better!

On with the show!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

American Idol 15: Top 3

And just like that, American Idol aired it's last episode in the studio where everything started. Just like Ryan Seacrest at the end of the episode, I was also clearly chocked up that we're at the homestretch and American Idol is about to end by next week. What will my life be? Haha. Ok. I don't want to be over dramatic, but you know what I mean. 

As for the episode, it was a pretty even night.  I think that every single one of the Top 3 managed to land a punch at some point in the evening. Dalton, La'Porsha, and Trent all delivered a performance that made a case as to why they should win the crown this season, and that's exactly what a Top 3 night should be! I honestly have no idea what's going to happen next week at the Finale. One of them will be eliminated right off the bat, but who?

We shall see..

On with the show!
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