Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Bachelor Season 16: Battle Park City

Ben and the ladies travel to Park City, Utah for two one on one dates and a group date. The first one on one went to Rachel Truehart, and the date began with them taking off on a helicopter ride, they then canoed to a waiting picnic lunch. The date basically revolves around Ben wondering if there is more to Rachel than physical attraction; he says that the conversation with her does not come as easily. He doesn't have that conversation issue with some of the other girls. After lots of contemplation, Ben decides that it's okay if his relationship with Rachel moves slowly as long as he finds love in the end, so he gives her a rose.

This week's crazy over the top group date has the girls going horseback riding and fly fishing with Ben. Courtney continues to get on my nerves trying to turn the group date into a one on one date for her and Ben. Unfortunately, things look up for her when she catches the only fish much to Lindzi's surprise since she is so athletic. I can't even begin to tell everyone how many rude moments Courtney has on this date, she calls Kacie B. annoying, she calls the other ladies a bump on a log.

Later that night, Nicki gets some one on one time with Ben where she thanks him for bringing her on every group date so far, and that she has learned to live each day like it is her last. Ben is impressed and grateful for Nicki's response thus far.

Following his conversation with Nicki, Samantha sits to talk with Ben and complains that she has only been on group dates and she wants to know when she is getting a one on one date. She is pretty emotional about it overall. Ben accuses Samantha of not taking the process seriously and preaches about how he does. Just a question Ben, if Samantha is emotional and wants to be able to spend time with you to get to know you, how is she not taking things seriously? This is what I mean Ben when I say that you are drippy and vapid, maybe Samantha isn't right for you because she's too sincere. So after Ben says this to Samantha, he tells her that he thinks she should leave now, in the middle of the group date, so she does.

Samantha's departure creates quite a stir in the house and brings a barrage of rude comments from Courtney. She says, another one bites the dust.

Ben then spends some one on one time with Kacie B. reassuring her of their already established closeness. At this point, Kacie thinks that the group date rose is hers and she has nothing to worry about. Courtney then weasels her way into more one on one time with Ben where she expressed how "hard" this journey has been for her and how she is having such a "hard time" and needs "reassurance". Wow, Ben falls for this hook, line, and sinker, and gives Courtney the rose. He comments that he didn't think he was going to give this rose to Courtney, but he does.

Jennifer receives the final one on one date in Park City where she and Ben repel in a crater? Say what? Ben says he likes activities and challenges like this because they build trust in a relationship. Ben and Jennifer have a good time talking at dinner and Ben decides to give her a rose followed by a concert by country singer Clay Walker. Ben says he likes Jen because she brings out the good in him.

The cocktail party is pretty heated as things come to a head with Courtney and Emily. Emily decides that during her one on one time with Ben to tell him that there are some girls in the house who don't have the best of intentions. She says that these girls are different around him then they are when he isn't around. Emily tells Casey S. of her conversation which she then leaks to Courtney because she's secretly in love with her. Courtney calls Emily an idiot, says she wants to assault her, calls her nasty, and says that she should watch herself. Emily breaks down because she genuinely doesn't like the drama but doesn't believe that Courtney is there for the right reasons, which in this case, is Ben.

Kacie B.
Casey S.

Monica is eliminated and Samantha was already sent home.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Top Songs of 2011: Why Did I Choose Them, Part 2

Wow, well I am annoyed, I saved half of this and somehow it erased and I had to start all over again.

Bruno Mars had a break out year when he collaborated with B.O.B. on Nothin on You, but he confirmed his credibility as an artist with Grenade. At the Grammy Awards last year, he showed a lot of seasoned pros how it's done with his performance of the very song that landed him atop many of the year end charts. The song is also up for some serious awards at this year's Grammys, including Song of the Year and Record of the Year.

#1 US Billboard Hot 100
#11 US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)
#3 US Adult Pop Songs (Billboard)
#1 US Pop Songs (Billboard)

Fave line from the song:

Black, black, black and blue
Beat me 'til I'm numb
Tell the devil I said "Hey" when you get back to where you're from
Mad woman, bad woman
That's just what you are
Yeah, you smile in my face then rip the brakes out my car

I was a fan of Drake before Best I Ever Had was officially released a single, his cool swagger, his quiet but strong personality, his confidence, it all told a story for me. Finally, there was a rap artist without all the drama, so different from the stereotype; Drake was born. There was so much hype before the release of his debut album Thank Me Later, and he lived up the type, much like label mate Nicki Minaj (more on her later). So, one can only imagine the hype for his follow up, Take Care. Drake did not disappoint once again and released the single Headlines. Headlines was simple in nature, a song about what else, Drake's fame! Drake was quick to say it is not the best single on the album, but it is the song of the moment, and it is a song with a clear message. Amen to that.

#2 US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)
#17 US Pop Songs (Billboard)
#1 US Rap Songs (Billboard)

Being that last year they made it official and are now husband and wife, it's only fitting that Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton just so happen to be back to back on my favorite songs list. I promise I didn't do it on purpose, I noticed it after I made my list and put all the songs into alphabetical order. Both had breakout years, she with the albums Revolution and Four and he with Red River Blue. Miranda Lambert has the personality of a spitfire. I admire her tenacity and toughness, she's the woman everyone wants to have as a friend and she's the woman every guy wants to be with. She's strong and last year was the year of her life, she won multiple awards at the CMA's and ACM's, and she looks to make it another banner year with the Grammy nominations she has lined up. Miranda talks about who she is in her hit Heart Like Mine, a song I hold close to my heart. Blake became a judge on the hit NBC reality series The Voice, and 2011 launched him to super stardom with the song Honey Bee. Honey Bee is a timeless song with lyrics that are fun, but also very real and honest. Much like his wife, Blake also took home loads of CMA's and ACM's this past year. I cannot even imagine what 2012 is going to bring for this country couple.


#1 US Country Songs (Billboard)
#44 US Billboard Hot 100

#13 US Billboard Hot 100
#1 US Country Songs (Billboard)

Fave line from the song:

I ain’t the kind you take home to mama
I ain’t the kind to wear no ring
Somehow I always get stronger
When I’m on my second drink

If you’ll be my soft and sweet
I’ll be your strong and steady
You be my glass of wine
I’ll be your shot of whiskey
You be my sunny day
I’ll be your shade tree
You be my honeysuckle
I’ll be your honey bee

How To Love showed me a completely new and different side of Lil Wayne. The song has a powerful message, it's about loving yourself, making something of yourself; rumor has it that the idea for the video was all Wayne. The song was also a big crossover hit for Wayne making it onto the pop billboards as well.

#5 US Billboard Hot 100
#2 US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)
#9 US Pop Songs (Billboard)
#2 US Rap Songs (Billboard)

Fave line from the song:

See I just want you to know that you deserve the best
You're beautiful, you're beautiful

How long was it that we all waited for Dr. Dre to make a come back? I don't even remember now, but it was long enough, and it was well worth the wait. Not only was I Need a Doctor one of the best rap singles of the year, but it was genius to have Eminem and Skylar Grey as guests on the track. The video is exciting, explosive, and reflects on the career of a rap legend. It is my pick for Rap/ Sung Collaboration of the year at this year's Grammys (truth be told I want it to be a tie with this song, and DJ Khaled's I'm on One ;-)).

#4 US Billboard Hot 100
#19 US Pop Songs (Billboard)
#24 US Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles (Billboard)
#16 US Rap Songs (Billboard)

Fave line from the song:

You saved my life now maybe it's my turn to save yours
But I can never repay you what you did for me is way more
But I ain't giving up faith
And you ain't giving up on me

Britney Spears confirmed her return to the pop princess throne when she released her seventh studio album Femme Fatale. Femme Fatale was deemed a dance album, but critics also proclaimed it as an album that returned Spears to top form, she had returned to her roots, and what made her famous in the first place. No song made that statement more true than I Wanna Go, a fun upbeat dance song with an infectious hook. The video was pure delight, a hidden message from Britney to what she thinks about the media. Some critics even went as far as saying that it is her best single ever! She was snubbed at this year's Grammys which, I must admit, I am not happy about.

#7 US Billboard Hot 100
#1 US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)
#1 US Pop Songs (Billboard)

Fave line from the song:

Be A Little Inappropriate
Cause I Know That Everybody’s Thinkin' It
When The Lights Out

The first time I heard I'm On One, I was in my car, and I heard Drake's voice, and the beat was ridiculously infectious. I listened to the song all the way through and then heard Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne and the D.J. started talking about how the track was produced by D.J. Khaled. At that moment, I thought to myself, wow, this guy is gonna blow up, and I texted my friend who is a huge music fan and the rest is history. I blinked and it went all the way to number on the Billboard Rap charts. The song is just good, the verses are so lyrically solid, the song just makes you smile if you understand rap music because there is something about it that is so swag.

#10 US Billboard Hot 100
#1 US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)
#1 US Rap Songs (Billboard)
#35 US Pop Songs (Billboard)

Fave line from the song:

But get it while you here boy
Cause all that hype don’t feel the same next year boy
Yeah and I’ll be right here in my spot with a little more cash than I already got
Trippin off you cause you had your shot


All I care about is money and the city that I’m from
I’ma sip until I feel it, I’ma smoke it till it’s done

One of the most underrated singles of the year, It Girl sung and co written by Jason Derulo technically should have been bigger than his first single Whatcha Say. I am still holding onto hope that at some point this year, it will pick up more radio air play. The lyrics are sweet and the song is exactly the type that anyone could sing along to. Best of all is the message and what the song is about, Derulo says, this song is about him finding the girl of his dreams. I bet a lot of ladies are wishing it was them.

#17 US Billboard Hot 100
#6 US Hot Dance Club Songs
#10 US Pop Songs

Fave line from the song:

You could be my it girl
Baby you're the sh*t girl
Lovin' you could be a crime
Crazy how we fit girl
This is it girl
Give me 25 to life
I just wanna rock all night long
And put you in the middle of my spotlight
You could be my it girl
You're my biggest hit girl

If there's one thing Bruno Mars knows how to do, it's write a song full of emotion; he accomplished that perfectly when he co wrote It Will Rain for Twilight's Soundtrack. The song is a sweeping heartfelt ballad that's just as dramatic as the movie it accompanies, but it also stands on it's own. It Will Rain has timeless lyrics and Mars's vocals are on point as always. Mars says that he began writing the song when he was on tour, but he never finished it, seeing the Twilight movie inspired him to finish the song. Ii cannot wait to see what's coming up for him; I've been most impressed so far.

#3 US Billboard Hot 100

Fave line from the song:

Cause there'll be no sunlight
if I lose you, baby
There'll be no clear skies
if I lose you, baby
Just like the clouds,
my eyes will do the same if you walk away
Everyday, it will rain,
rain, rain

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Bachelor Season 16: Did Ben Leave His Heart in San Francisco?

The episode begins with Ben having lunch with his sister in San Francisco as he tells her about some of the ladies. Ben thinks his sister and mom would like Lindzi, Kacie B., Courtney, Emily, and Jennifer; he calls Courtney "drama free" which could not be further from the truth, but Ben doesn't see how she is around the other ladies.

Ben's first one on one date this week went to Emily; this challenge was to climb the San Francisco Bay Bridge. This was a real challenge because Emily is terrified of heights and Ben doesn't like heights very much either. At the halfway point up the bridge, Emily isn't sure she can continue; Ben decides that the only way to offer some comfort to her in order to give her confidence to carry on is to plant a kiss on her. Ben, seriously, kissing is not the solution for everything.

They finally make it to the top, and Emily says the view from the top of the bridge is magical. Night falls, and they eat dinner with a view overlooking the bridge. Their conversation leads them to discover that they have a lot in common and come from similar beginnings; both have older parents who married later in life. He gives Emily a rose and follows it up with a fireworks display.

The group date featuring Blakeley, Jaclyn, Kacie B., Erica, Samantha, Monica, Rachel, Nicki, Casey S., Elyse, and Jamie, has the girls skiing in bikinis. Kacie B. falls a lot, but doesn't seem to be bothered by it, she continues to have fun.

Later that night, Rachel kind of forces herself on Ben, it seems like every week one of the ladies decides to do this. So of course, since Rachel kisses Ben, Ben later gives her the group date rose, much to the surprise of Kacie B. who thought her one on one time with Ben made her the worthy recipient.

Earlier that night, Kacie B. pulled Ben aside for some alone time and told him that she felt like she was losing her place. She says it's hard on her seeing him with all these other girls. Ben says Kacie is gonna be trouble, good trouble! They kiss several times, and even I think she has secured the group date rose.

Blakeley has a pity party, telling Ben that all the girls hate her and are spiteful and jealous.

Meanwhile back at the hotel, Brittney has decided that she doesn't deserve to go on the one on one date with Ben and decides to send herself home. She shows up at the end of the group date to speak with Ben and officially bow out.

Lindzi ends up getting the last one on one date in San Fran, and Ben makes this one worth the wait. He and Lindzi tour the city and go for ice cream at a famous spot. Ben then takes her to City Hall which is closed but amazingly he has the key. They talk inside only to be serenaded by Matt Nathanson, the two dance the night away and they kiss, but it is more natural. Some critics of the show have said that things seem forced between them, I don't agree. They leave City Hall and go to one of Ben's favorite speakeasies.

Lindzi talks to Ben about the one serious relationship she has been in and she says she was head over heels for the guy and he dumped her randomly via a text which read: "Babe, welcome to dumpsville, population: you". I don't even know this guy, and I want to beat him up. Ben gives Lindzi a rose and calls her the complete woman, she knows what she wants, she knows who she is, she's independent, interesting, beautiful, and easy to talk to. The night commences with Ben playing the piano for Lindzi and more dancing.

At the cocktail party, things are about to reach a whole new level of crazy when undertaker Shawntel from Brad's season shows up to see if she and Ben have a chance. But before Shawntel can arrive, the other girls do just fine at making things crazy all on their own.

Weird scene of the night: Ben telling Jennifer she is the best kisser in the house. So how many girls have you kissed exactly Benjamin?

Rude Courtney Comment #1: Courtney calls the other ladies immature and juvenile. She says, "let's trim the fat and get rid of girls". Oh but Courtney, it wasn't immature and juvenile of you to say to Ben, "you like me?" and "we could make cute babies".

Shawntel pleads her case, but at the end of the night, she is sent home.

Erica has a fainting spell and is also sent home, and Jaclyn falls apart after calling Shawntel "Brad's dumpster trash", and is also sent packing. In the words of Trista Sutter, wow Jaclyn your mother must be incredibly proud. So instead of two ladies going home, ultimately four ending up going home.

The girls who took the high road in my opinion tonight and are best for Ben are Kacie B., Jennifer, and Lindzi.

Now it's on to Park City, Utah.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

We Only Have "One Life to Live"

Tomorrow, January 13th, 2012, is a day I will always remember because it is the day I say goodbye to a show that has meant so much to me since I was a child. After 43 years, One Life to Live will air on ABC for the final time. I never believed I would ever have to say goodbye to One Life to Live in my lifetime, there is something about soaps, they've always seemed immortal to me. I thought my family members would grow up watching them for generations.

One Life to Live hasn't just been a TV show for me; it has been my safe place. The characters on that show are like my extended family. They are people I relate to who have been through things in life that I've been through. They have taught me lessons along the way that I won't forget. I have laughed with them, cried with them, smiled with them. I've rejoiced in their happiness and I have wept when they have been in pain.

I am sad that in the death of One Life to Live, there is the possibility that the whole soap genre will be killed all together. I think this new generation doesn't understand the impact that the soap has had on society, in fact, in many ways, I think if more of them had grown up watching soaps as I had, I don't believe we would have all the issues we have today.

I was the shy, quiet, smart, driven, unpopular girl in school growing up. Sometimes, I wish I had a friend like Starr, or Jessica, or Natalie, someone who understood me more. Kids were pretty mean to me in high school, the soaps became my escape. Then again, I was raised on the soaps, Days Of Our Lives, One Life to Live, General Hospital and long gone Loving and Port Charles. That was the 90's and early 2000's when the soaps were respected and appreciated for what they did for all of us. I remember in high school walking two blocks to my grandmother's house after school and getting there just in time to see One Life to Live and General Hospital. It was truly my pick me up.

ABC can do all the crazy things they want; if they want to, they can cancel all the various series on their network and replace all of them with reality shows. They can take all the shows we love away from us. They can leave hundreds and thousands of actors, writers, and crew unemployed and kick them out of their dressings rooms after decades. They can place gag orders on them and tell them that they may not speak badly of ABC and their decisions, despite how badly they were treated, especially in the end. They can refuse to sell the rights to these shows, even though we only know it is out of spite and because they know said shows will be successful elsewhere. But in the end there are always consequences for your actions, a lesson I learned, where else? On the soaps! We, at the very least I, will not watch ABC. Although they take away my show, my extended family, they will never take away the lessons I learned and the memories which I will hold in my heart forever.

I love One Life to Life, and may it rest in peace, but if the soaps have taught me anything, it's another lesson, never assume anyone or anything is truly dead unless you have evidence, and in the case of a person, even if you do have a body, it may not be whose body you thought it was. After all, we're all taught that in the end, hope is one of the only things you should always have. So hopefully, it's not goodbye, but maybe, just maybe, it's see you later.

*If anyone has a current cast photo, please link me to it by commenting below*

Vicki said it best

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Bachelor Season 16: The Claw Are Out, The Gloves Are Off

Last night on The Bachelor, I discovered that a good percentage of these women are emotionally damaged or crazy. Overall, I was once again displeased with Ben's choices, and the results; although, he did show that he does have a heart changing my opinion of him as a man overall. He does care, he just doesn't show it all the time, and he is completely confused about what he wants in a woman. How can the same man like Kacie B. and Blakeley, and Courtney? Ben, buddy, pull it together, I know you aren't this oblivious.

Ben chose the sweet Kacie B. for his first date in Sonoma; they tour Sonoma and have dinner together and Kacie B. does receive a rose. They then go to this big empty theater where they watch videos of themselves from their childhood. Ben hears his dad's voice for the first time in five years. He believes his dad would really like Kacie B. Kacie is really touched and says Ben's reaction to the video proved how genuine he is as a man. They share several kisses inside and outside of the theater.

Rude Courtney Comment #1: Courtney calls Kacie B. annoying because she gets the first date with Ben. Courtney, I think you were actually talking about yourself, not Kacie B.

Group Date: "Come play with me"--- 12 of the women, Nicki, Blakeley, Jenna, Monica, Jennifer, Jaclyn, Shawn, Samantha, Brittney, Rachel, Emily, and Jamie perform with Ben in a play written by some middle school kids in Sonoma. Blakeley's jugs are hanging out everywhere as she auditions in front of these kids. Her low cut romper was not the best thing for her to wear in front of some young kids. Ben kisses Jennifer in the pool at the wrap party. Blakeley throws herself at Ben in the pool and kisses him. Jennifer clearly did the best job out of all the girls and yet at the end of the night, Blakeley ended up getting the group date rose.

Rude Courtney Comment #2: Courtney says Lindzi didn't get the first impression rose, her horse did. Wow, Courtney, you're so cool, you get off making fun of other people. You must not feel so secure about yourself.

The girls back at the house are all suspicious of Courtney's behavior already. Kacie B. says she can already see that Courtney is not a good person.

Rude Courtney Comment #3: Courtney saying "winning, winning" (a la Charlie Sheen) because she gets the second date with Ben. Courtney, it was only kinda okay when Charlie Sheen coined this phrase, but it is completely not okay for you to use it.

Ben and Courtney go on a picnic in the woods with Ben's adorable dog. Ben calls Courtney the whole package, smart, witty, drop dead gorgeous, too good to be true. Ben you're one for four. Listen to your instincts, when someone is too good to be true, they usually are. She would be attractive, but her personality makes her full out ugly. The way she acts around Ben is completely different from the way she acts around the girls. My stand on this is that there is nothing wrong with any one of the women saying, I am here for Ben. However, I think it's a completely different issue when any woman in the house has to knock other women or be nasty and insult others. If you're there for Ben, you shouldn't have time to talk smack about the competition.

Rude Courtney Comment #4: Courtney saying at the cocktail party, "I'm just gonna sit back and let the other girls shoot themselves in the foot". Courtney, I wish you would shoot yourself in the foot, literally.

The cocktail party was full of drama. Blakeley kept stealing Ben when she already had a rose. The other girls got upset and started talking about her. Blakeley's feelings were hurt by all the comments and she went off to the luggage room to cry and cower in a corner behind some suitcases. Jenna took to one of the beds to cry about how she just wasn't feeling sharing a house with all these women and competing for Ben's attention.

At the end of the night Shawn and Jenna were sent packing.

The Top 16:
Kacie B.
Casey S.

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Top Songs of 2011: Why Did I Choose Them, Part 1

All of the Lights, off Kanye West's fifth album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”, has an undeniably infectious hook sung by a literal hit-maker named Rihanna and co written by another hit-maker, Kanye West. The song was released in January of last year, and yet became one of the anthems of 2011, even earning three Grammy nominations for Song of the Year, Best Rap Song, Best Rap/ Sung Collaboration. As you can probably hear, the song has a chorus of guest singers including: Alicia Keys, John Legend, Kid Cudi, The Dream, Drake, Fergie, Elton John, Ryan Leslie, Charlie Wilson, Tony Wilson, Elly Jackson, Alvin Fields, Ken Lewis, and of course, Rihanna.

#2 on US Hot R&B/ Hip Hop Songs
#2 on US Rap Songs

Fave line from the song:

Turn up the lights in here baby
Extra bright, I want y'all to see this
Turn up the lights in here baby
You know what I need
Want you to see everything
Want you to see all of the lights

I didn't even know who the married duo Thompson Square was until Scotty McCreery sang Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not, that moment solidified for me that he should be the American Idol, and it turned Thompson Square's single into a bonafied country hit, so much so it climbed all the way to #1 on the US Country Song Billboards.

#1 on the US Country Song Billboards

Fave line from the song:

Are you gonna kiss me or not?
Are we gonna do this or what?
I think you know I love you a lot
I think we've got a real good shot
Are you gonna kiss me or not?

Blackout by Breathe Carolina was a song I heard for the first time on the radio, I had no idea who sang it, and I went home and googled the lyrics to figure out who the song was by. I discovered the song was written and recorded by Breathe Carolina, an electronic rock duo from Denver, they were even deemed "buzzworthy" by MTV for the catchiness of the song.

#20 US Pop Songs

Fave line from the song:

This won't stop until I say so

Call Your Girlfriend is one of the most underrated songs of the past year; Robyn continues to amaze me with her unusual musicality. She's smart and lyrically talented; she dares to be different consistently pushing the envelope in every performance and every video. It's hard to believe that at the age of 32, Robyn is one her seventh studio album Body Talk, it feels like yesterday that she was that teenager singing "Show Me Love". She's come a long way and once the rest of you discover her, you won't be able to get her hypnotic songs out of your head.

#1 US Hot Dance Club Songs (nomination for best dance track at the Grammy's)

Fave line from the song:

Call your girlfriend
It's time you had the talk
Give your reasons
Say it's not her fault
But you just met somebody new
And now it's gonna be me and you

Cheers (Drink to That) by Rihanna made my list because it became a summer anthem of sorts-- a happy celebratory song that could be used for just about any party, the video was particularly interesting because it gave us a glimpse into Rihanna's real life. I liked what I saw; she seems so genuine, cheers to Rihanna.

#7 US Billboard Hot 100
#11 US Pop Songs Billboard

Fave line from the song:

Cheers to the freakin' weekend
I drink to that, yeah yeah
Oh, let the Jameson sink in
I drink to that, yeah yeah
Don't let the bastards get ya down
Turn it around with another round
There's a party at the bar everybody put your glasses up and I drink to that
I drink to that.

Colder Weather was called "lyrically profound" by critics and hit number one on US Country Song Billboards. Laim Hemsworth appeared in the video about a guy who leaves his girlfriend temporarily in the winter. If that isn't a good plot line I don't know what is.

#1 US Country Songs Billboard

Jason Aldean had arguably the biggest year of his career when his album My Kinda Party was released in 2010. Dirt Road Anthem was one of the songs that came off that album which solidified his standing as one of the current stars of country music. Interestingly enough, the song is considered "country rap", Ludacris even performed the song with Aldean on the CMT Awards; there's a combo I never expected.

#1 US Country Songs Billboard
#7 US Billboard Hot 100

Fave line from the song:

I'm chillin' on a dirt road.
Laid back swervin' like I'm George Jones.
Smoke rollin' out the window,
An' ice cold beer sittin' in the console.

Jason Derulo recently cancelled his upcoming tour after he landed on his neck doing some "acrobatic" dance moves. Besides Derulo being an extremely talented singer/ songwriter, he is also one of the best dancers to come out of music in a long time. It seems Derulo wants to bring back the days of Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and Paula Abdul who were not merely singers, but performers. They had the whole package and so does Derulo. Don't Wanna Go Home off Derlo's sophomore album "Future History", is based on the song "Day-O", and Derulo says the song is all about feeling good and forgetting about your problems.

#14 US Billboard Hot 100
#4 US Hot Dance Club Songs
#10 US Pop Songs

Fave line from the song:

Ayo me say day oh
Daylight come and we don't wanna go home
Yeah so we losing control
Turn the lights low cause we about to get blown

Don't You Wanna Stay is one of those dream duets. A dream duet is a duet that takes place between two artists who compliment each other so well you think they've been singing together their whole lives. This is what happened when Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson got together on Don't You Wanna Stay which ended up not only being a country hit but a crossover hit as well. It is nominated for Best Country/ Duo Performance at the Grammy's.

#1 US Country Songs Billboard
#3 US Adult Contemporary Billboard
#9 US Adult Pop Song Billboard

Fave line from the song:

Don't you wanna stay here a little while?
Don't you wanna hold each other tight?
Don't you wanna fall asleep with me tonight?
Don't you wanna stay here a little while?
We can make forever feel this way
Don't you wanna stay?

I will be the first to admit that for the past couple of years I have hated a lot on Lady Gaga. I felt like she was purposely being weird to get attention, and in some ways, I still feel like she pushes it too much. However, on Thanksgiving night, when Lady Gaga aired her special, I related to her in a way that I never had before. It was during her interview with Barbara Walters in which she talked about her childhood, growing up, her grandparent's deep love for one another, and how she never gave up on her dreams. The Edge of Glory is actually a song about the death of Gaga's beloved grandfather, and it is touching, emotional, and includes a sax interlude by Clarence Clemens of Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band who died shortly after recording this part in this single.

#1 US Hot Dance Club Songs
#2 US Adult Pop Songs
#3 US Billboard Hot 100
#3 US Pop Songs
#7 US Adult Contemporary

Fave line from the song:

I'm on the edge of glory
And I'm hanging on a moment with you
I'm on the edge with you

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Top Songs of 2011

For the past few years I have been creating a list of my favorite and most memorable songs of the past year. I am a bit late this year in creating that list, or rather, in sharing it with you. As I mentioned before, this past year was a real struggle for me, and music was there for me always. Music gave me great joy, it made me smile, it comforted me when I was sad or contemplating my next step.

Overall, this was the year of the Ladies, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, and Adele all appear on this list more than once.

Some newcomers had breakout years, Hot Chelle Rae, Breathe Carolina, The Band Perry, J. Cole, and LMFAO; they burst onto the scene and proved to be contenders.

Here's the list, and check back as I tell you why I chose the songs I chose (they're in alphabetical order):

All of the Lights-- Kanye West featuring Rihanna
Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not-- Thompson Square
Blackout-- Breathe Carolina
Call Your Girlfriend-- Robyn
Cheers (Drink to That)-- Rihanna
Colder Weather-- Zac Brown Band
Dirt Road Anthem-- Jason Aldean
Don't Wanna Go Home-- Jason Derulo
Don't You Wanna Stay-- Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson
The Edge of Glory-- Lady Gaga
Grenade-- Bruno Mars
Headlines-- Drake
Heart Like Mine-- Miranda Lambert
Honey Bee-- Blake Shelton
How to Love-- Lil Wayne
I Need a Doctor-- Eminem, Dr. Dre, and Skyler Grey
I Wanna Go-- Britney Spears
I'm On One-- DJ Khaled, Drake, Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne
It Girl-- Jason Derulo
It Will Rain-- Bruno Mars
Just a Kiss-- Lady Antebellum
Love on Top-- Beyonce
Made in America-- Toby Keith
Marry the Night-- Lady Gaga
Moment for Life-- Nicki Minaj and Drake
Moves Like Jagger-- Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera
Mr. Know it All-- Kelly Clarkson
On the Floor-- Jeniffer Lopez featuring Pitbull
Party Rock Anthem-- LMFAO
Rolling in the Deep-- Adele
She Ain't You-- Chris Brown
Someone Like You-- Adele
Super Bass-- Nicki Minaj
Til the World Ends-- Britney Spears
Tonight Tonight-- Hot Chelle Rae
We Found Love-- Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris
Without You-- David Guetta featuring Usher
Work Out-- J. Cole
You Da One-- Rihanna
You Lie-- The Band Perry

I would love to hear your thoughts.... what were your favorite songs of the year, who impressed you?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Bachelor Season 16: Is Bachelor Ben's Season a Bust?

I think most of us are guilty of it. We watch The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, and we find ourselves feeling angry, disgusted, outraged, etc., and then we make a vow to not watch next season. The next season roles around, and there we are tuning in for yet another premiere. We watch intently as 25 bachelors or bachelorettes make their plea, and either endear themselves to the public or make a fool of themselves.

I watched Ashley Hebert's season of The Bachelorette, and not only did I agree with her choosing J.P., but he was one of my top choices from the start. The runner up was Ben Flajnik, the wavy-haired, wine maker from Sonoma who proposed to Ashley only to be sent packing. He was rumored to have a fling with Jennifer Love Hewitt, a rumor that she denies. It was no surprise when Ben was announced as Season 16's Bachelor.

This past Monday was the season premiere, and I watched, but overall, I was disappointed. I was disappointed that a good number of the ladies lacked intelligence and depth. Those who should have stepped up didn't, and some who did were overly aggressive, almost to the point of desperation. Ben didn't come across as sincere to me; he had superficial conversations with most of the ladies. He didn't look like he cared when handing out roses, his jokes were lame, and by the end of the night I was already thinking about watching Kacie B. as the Bachelorette this summer. Before you ask, no, I don't know that it's going to be her, I just want it to be her because I found her to be one of the most sincere women in the group.

Some of the girls made an impression on me for the right reasons and some of them did not.

Rachel was the first girl out of the limos, and she seemed pretty cool. I like her demeanor and she has that great all American girl look. Although, it seems like Ben prefers brunettes. Is this evidence of his deep love for himself?

I like Jenna, the blogger from NYC, she's that wannabe cool girl who isn't quite there yet. There's a part of me that feels for her because Monica is not very nice at all, at least she isn't being portrayed that way. Monica is very argumentative, and it's almost like she takes joy in making other women feel bad. She must be pretty insecure about herself, and she must yearn for female companionship which explains why she seems to be in love with Blakely. Blakely is a pretty girl but she's no stunner, and she in fact comes across as a little trashy. She's a bartender and ex Hooters girl.

Courtney (a.k.a. "I'm a model"), is really into herself, she is one of the most ego centric women I have ever seen come through The Bachelor/ Bachelorette series. I found it really obnoxious how she kept touching her hair and twirling it around her fingers, it's as if she was fishing for a compliment. When you think Courtney, think Vienna from Jake's season, except this girl is much worse, and she is lucky is she doesn't alienate herself from all the other women living in the house.

Emily is smart, witty, funny, and pretty. She's the total package; she's the type of woman any man could bring home to his parents and they would be happy. I loved everything from her introduction to when she wrote a rap song which she rapped to Ben.

Jamie has a strong spirit, I can tell. This girl is rumored to have been to hell and back, raising her siblings and growing up with no parents.

Bringing her grandmother along as a way to show how important family is to her was a great move on Brittney's part but she will need to step up her game if she wants to be in it for the long haul. She lacks that aggression that Ben looks for.

There's something about Nicki that was really sweet and genuine, I think she is going to go pretty far on the show.

Ben not picking Dianna as one of his 18 was the biggest surprise of the night to me, this girl was stunning and poised.

Anna Snowball (yes that really is her last name) made a dumb move walking out of the limo and past Ben into the house without saying a word. Guess what? She went home.

Shawn showed her athletic side playing some soccer outside with Ben during the cocktail party. I just love her fun personality.

Kacie B. from Tennessee is my favorite of the whole bunch, this woman is a hhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifead turner and her beauty is on the inside and the outside. She is just so genuine, and my definite pick for The Bachelorette. Ben is too pig headed to pick someone as good as her.

Finally, Lindzi C. made the most original entrance of the night riding in on horse back and looking gorgeous doing it. How beautiful was her dress! Ben giving her the first impression rose was one of the only intelligent things he did all night.

Check out the official website here and follow along this season: http://abc.go.com/shows/the-bachelor

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sometimes Life Happens

You may be wondering why I haven't been here for several weeks, well sometimes, life happens.

2011 was probably the most difficult and most challenging year of my life. The saddest year of my life remains to be 2004, the year that I lost my grandmother; she was the most important and most influential person in my life. I see so much of her in me, in the way I live my life, in the way I continue to be outspoken and opinionated about my beliefs. My grandmother believed in me more than anyone else in my life ever has; she felt the sky was the limit for me and there was nothing that I couldn't accomplish in life. Therefore, I have learned to live my life that way, believing that no matter how big the dream, it is within my grasp.

2011 was filled with life lesson after life lesson for me. Here are just a few pearls of wisdom I picked up last year:

You can't trust everyone, know who your friends really are! Acquaintances come and go; friends are forever. True friends should be countable on one or two hands, and they are the people who there for you when you're at your best or at you're worst. They are there to talk when you're upset, they're beside you when you're jobless, and you think of them as more than just friends. They are the special ones, and you think of them the same way you think of family. In fact, they're even more special in a way because you chose one another.

Stay positive no matter how hard things seem or really are. Positive energy has this way of spreading, it's infectious, it's like a snowball rolling downhill. The positivity builds and picks up speed once it starts rolling. In the days that seem the darkest, maintaining positivity may be what gets you to the next day.

Believe that good things eventually do happen to good people.
A very wise person told you me that when you pray to God to help you, he grants your wish, but you may not have an easy road to get to where you ultimately want to be. God tests us in life, but he never gives us something that he doesn't believe we can handle, which leads me to my next lesson.....everything happens for a reason. You have to take the good and bad in life, not everything can be wonderful all the time. Pick your battles and realize that being stressed out is not always the healthiest option.

A few years ago, I believed that I could "save" people. I believed that when they had problems or issues I could "fix" them. And then I figured out that people have to want to change themselves, they have to want to better themselves. They have to recognize problems or issues in their lives and label them as such in order to begin fixing them. All the wishing, hoping, saving, and fixing in the world cannot make someone who they aren't. My mother always used to say to me, a tiger never changes its stripes. I don't believe that though. I believe anyone is capable of change, but they must want to. Who or what initiates that change within said person can vary, certain experiences can change a person forever. I know people who have changed as a result of specific events they've been through. I will even cite myself as an example of that; I have been through certain things this past year. The experiences have made me more grateful. I appreciate simple things more than I ever used to. The people I care about are more important to me than ever. I have learned not to take anything for granted.

Sometimes being rich has nothing to do with money and everything to do with your spirit because who you are as a person can make you richer than any person with tons of money. Measure your good fortune in how you live your life.

The most relevant lesson I learned this past year is to never ever stop believing in yourself and those who love you. Always be strong, and do your best to live and cherish each day as best you can.