Wednesday, February 29, 2012

American Idol Season 11 The Semifinals: The Top 13 Guys

Fair note to my readers: I've been ill with a stomach virus for the past several days, but I am almost certain that I haven't been hallucinating. All critiques are spot on as they've always been.

From what I saw during auditions and the Hollywood rounds I expected more from this group of guys. The guys fell into one of two categories, they were either so good that they will move right into the next round, or they were so off that they have a 50/50 shot of getting there based on the fact that so many were so mediocre. It hasn't happened in a while, but this may be the year of the lady.

As usual, I will give each contestant a score from one to five, one being the worst, three being 50/50, and five being the best.

01 Reed Grimm sang Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5-- Reed does have talent but his vocals were mediocre. He did a jazzed up version of this song which sounded similar to elevator music. He is musical, but this wasn't the right song for him to do. Score: 3

02 Adam Brock sang Think by Aretha Franklin-- His voice is solid, but many before him have sang this song, and this version didn't blow me away. There were many times during Hollywood week where he moved me more than this. Score: 3

03 Deandre Brackensick sang Reasons by Earth, Wind, and Fire-- His voice may be a little quiet or weak in parts, but it is definitely on pitch. He actually hits a couple of really amazing notes. Jennifer calls his voice perfect. Randy says he's pulling for him. Overall, I liked this performance. Score: 4

04 Colton Dixon sang Decode by Paramore-- Hmmm, this was a little bit of a confusing performance for me. I think Colton is better than what this performance was. Randy acted like we've never had a rocker or alternative rocker perform on American Idol before and we've had several of them over the years: David Cook, James Durbin, Adam Lambert, Bo Bice, Chris Daughtry, Allison Iraheta, just to name a few. To me, he is a relevant artist as Jennifer said, but this was not a great performance. Score: 3

05 Jeremy Rosado sang Gravity by Sara Bareilles-- Steven said he couldn't have picked a better song; I agree. Jennifer said, when you open your mouth, you affect people, and I forget that I'm a judge. The best of the night so far. He should be around going forward. Score 4.25

06 Aaron Marcellus sang Never Can Say Goodbye by The Jackson 5-- Randy said beautiful vocals. Jennifer said, I've always believed in you. Steven called him the whole package. I don't think it was great because I have heard others sing it better, but it was a good performance. Score: 4

07 Chase Likens sang Storm Warning by Hunter Hays-- Chase looks the part and seems like a nice country guy, but the vocals weren't all that special. Jen says he sounded great and has grown a lot in this competition. Maybe he has more talent, but we didn't see it with this performance, it was much too safe. Score: 3

08 Creighton Fraker sang True Colors by Cyndi Lauper-- Jennifer says she doesn't want him to go home, and I don't think he will be. That was one of the stronger performances of the night vocally. I don't think it's the best I have heard him. Steven enjoyed his phrasing throughout the song, and I would agree with that. He puts a unique spin on everything he does. Score: 4

09 Phillip Phillips sang In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins-- Jennifer said, you are one of the most special talents we found this year. Randy said you remind me so much of Dave Matthews. His only criticism was that maybe the melody of the song was changed a little bit too much. Clearly though, Phillip should sail right through, he's a legitimate contender. Score: 4.5

10 Eben Franckewitz sang Set Fire to The Rain by Adele-- I don't think this performance was quite as disastrous as everyone made it out to be. Eben is only 15 years old, and for 15, he was pretty calm, cool, and collected. I give him that 50/50 shot of making it into the top group just like I gave to many of the other guys.
Score: 3

11 Heejun Han sang Angels by Robbie Williams-- Oh dear, this young man is entertaining, but this just did not work. The phrasing was not good at all, the vocals were off tonight, he was brilliant so many times before, but this was bad. Score: 3

12 Joshua Ledet sang You Pulled Me Through by Jennifer Hudson-- Randy loved it. Jennifer says your voice is so talented, your voice is from God. Steven said I love you voice. I agree on all accounts, this was on a different level than everyone else, best performance of the night. I would be both surprised and upset if he didn't make it through to the next round. Score: 5

13 Jermaine Jones sang Dance With My Father Again by Luther Vandross-- Considering that Jermaine has that genuine baritone voice that is often very difficult to manage, he did really well. He made a great song selection that made his voice shine. It was so good that it may even land him in the group of finalists. Score: 4

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Bachelor Season 16: Hometowns and Heartbreak

Lindzi is the first stop on Ben's Hometown Date week; she lives in Ocala, Florida. Ben says he has had a great feeling about Lindzi since the beginning. He syas he saw a serious side to her on this date that he really liked, and Lindzi agrees that vulnerability is important in a relationship and she is thinking about marrying Ben. Lindzi's parents live in the country and are so nice and welcoming. They have a horse carriage race Ben and Lindzi against Lindzi's parents and the father proclaims, "the old people win".

Lindzi's mom and dad got married in city hall where Ben and Lindzi had their first date. Ben talks to Lindzi's mom who says that she believes Lindzi has grown up a lot and is ready for marriage. Harry, Lindzi's dad really connects with Ben and likes him a lot, and hopes his intentions with Lindzi are good. Ben says after the date that Lindzi is humble and grounded. Ben says he thinks he might be falling in love with Lindzi and he wouldn't change anything about their day together.

Kacie B. takes us to Clarksville, Tennessee, and back to high school when she leads the band with her baton twirling. Her high school football field was named after her grandfather, Harold Boguskie; she admired the love that her grandparents shared. Ben says that Kacie has an endearing quality and she puts him at ease and knows who she is. Ben is nervous because Kacie's dad is a federal probation officer and doesn't drink at all.

Ben meets Kacie's mom Martha, dad Denny, and sister Alison. Kacie tells Alison that she feels that Ben is her future husband because she doesn't have to be someone she's not around him. Ben tells Denny that Kacie's ability to communicate is why she has gotten this far. Denny tells Ben that is Kacie is not the one, he hopes she is told soon because he doesn't want her to get hurt. Martha tells Ben that she doesn't agree with living together before being married. Kacie tells her dad she has fallen in love with him and she would want to move to San Francisco and she's frustrated with her dad because he thinks she hasn't thought things through and questioning how she feels. Kacie is worried because she thinks her parents' influence has made questions develop in her relationship.

Fort Worth, Texas is all about Nicki! They start off by going boot and cowboy hat shopping. Nicki feels that going through a divorce has made her stronger, and she feels she would be a better wife. Nicki says she wouldn't be able to meet someone her parents didn't approve of. She says they have been divorced almost her whole life.

Ben meets Nicki's mom Cora, dad Doug, and brother Matt. Cora sees a connection between Nicki and Ben that she didn't see with Nicki's ex husband. Nicki's dad says he is concerned that if things don't work out Nicki is going to be hurt. He says he may have given her hand in marriage too quickly last time. Nicki tells Ben she can see herself with him, and she knows that she's in love with him. Ben says he got great vibes from Nicki's family and he believes she could make him very happy.

Courtney hails from Scottsdale, Arizona. Wow, she actually says she isn't proud of all the things she's done, she feels badly and disappointed in herself for the way she has treated the girls. Ben meets Courtney's mom Sherry, dad Rick, and sister. Sherry says she would be really surprised if Courtney is in love. It's so weird to see Courtney hugging another woman (in this case her sister). Rick tells Ben marriage is life's biggest gamble and there is a 50% chance of winning. What's with this family and winning? Courtney and Sherry have the same mouth, just noticing this. Courtney tells her mom that she is falling for him, and her mom says their personalities seem well suited.

Ben and Courtney leave her parents' house for a picnic. She tells him that she's ready for that chapter in her life. She says Ben is a breath of fresh air for her, and she wants to tell him she loves him in a very special way. She has set up a mock wedding for them. She gives him a notebook so that they can write vows. He says she challenges him, she's funny, she keeps him on his toes, she's confident, sexy, beautiful, and she keeps him thinking. Wow, Ben, let's not go overboard. Ben says he saw a vulnerable side of Courtney as they read their mock vows to each other. She went through with it, and told Ben that she loved him.

Order of the Roses:

Kacie B. is eliminated, I saw shades of it in her hometown, but I didn't want to believe it.

Ben says he feel brokenhearted and sorry and she tells him she doesn't want him to feel that way. She says she knew there was a chance. She gets into the car and says she thought she knew what he was looking for but she was wrong. She says she doesn't understand why she wasn't good enough and wonders how this happened when she loved him. She cries as the car drives down the road.

Ben announces to the remaining ladies that they are off to Switzerland.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

We Will Always Love You Whitney

"There's a lady in heaven making God Himself wonder how He created something so perfect." --- Kevin Costner sharing his thoughts on friend of 20+ years Whitney Houston

Last weekend, I was overcome with emotions when I heard the news that Whitney Houston passed away at the age of 48. Her talent was obvious to the average observer, she had a voice like no one ever had before, and most likely, never will again. Many have tried, mimicked, and been inspired, but none have come close. Those who listened to her sing as a teenager at The New Hope Baptist Church said that Whitney Houston had the voice of an angel, her voice was a gift from God, and I think that's the best way to describe it.

But in addition to that untouchable talent, her voice, Whitney was beautiful, faith filled, inspiring, driven, and her soul was good. She was a daughter, mother, friend, and a legend. It is so difficult to think about that life and that voice, so alive, and yet now they're gone. She's gone.

One could say Whitney's path was destiny; she came from a musical family. Her mom, Cissy Houston was a gospel sessions singer and her cousin Dionne Warwick was also a noted R&B legend. Whitney's voice though was different, and it was one night in a club when record producer Clive Davis heard a 19 year old Whitney Houston sing that her life changed forever. Davis would become a lifelong mentor of Houston's and signed her to a record deal immediately; he would oversee her entire career. Houston says she considered Davis a father figure.

Whitney became a superstar when I was only a toddler but yet, I remember her music so fully, like it's a part of who I am and what I became. When her songs came on the radio, I listened so intently and I sang along because her presence was so real and so comforting that she made it was okay to sing along. Her face, her smile, her complete presence just drew you in, and even if you weren't initially a fan, you were in love with this woman by the end of the performance. Everything about her was inviting and kind.

I've been thinking about all her music over the years, her movies, the people she has influenced, and all the friends and family she had in and out of the business. She was so loved. I Listened to her co-star in The Bodyguard, Kevin Costner, give such a heartfelt speech at her funeral service today, he made so many important points, not just about Whitney about about the life she lived. He talked about how Whitney was continually unsure of her abilities throughout her career, he said it was, "the burden that made her great and the part that caused her to stumble".

He also said,

“Whitney, if you could hear me now, I would tell you, you weren’t just good enough, you were great. You sang the whole damn song without a band. You made the picture what it was. A lot of leading men could’ve played my part … but you, Whitney, I truly believe you were the only one who could’ve played Rachel Marron at that time. You weren’t just pretty, you were as beautiful as a woman could be. And people didn’t just like you Whitney, they loved you.”

He offered advice on behalf of Houston to her daughter and millions of other aspiring singers.

“To you, Bobbi Kristina, and to all those young girls who are dreaming that dream, thinking that maybe they aren’t good enough, I think Whitney would tell you, guard your bodies. And guard the precious miracle of your own life. Then sing your hearts out. ”

He choked up towards the end. “Off you go Whitney, off you go,” he said. “Escorted by an army of angels to your heavenly father. When you sing before him, don’t you worry. You’ll be good enough.”

Essential Whitney Songs:

Whitney Houston
"You Give Good Love" (1985) · "Saving All My Love for You" (1985) · "Thinking About You" (1985) · "How Will I Know" (1986) · "All at Once" (1986) · "Greatest Love of All" (1986)

"I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (1987) · "Didn't We Almost Have It All" (1987) · "So Emotional" (1987) · "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" (1988) · "Love Will Save the Day" (1988) · "I Know Him So Well" (1989)

I'm Your Baby Tonight
"I'm Your Baby Tonight" (1990) · "All the Man That I Need" (1990) · "Miracle" (1991) · "My Name Is Not Susan" (1991) · "I Belong to You" (1991) · "We Didn't Know" (1991)

The Bodyguard
"I Will Always Love You" (1992) · "I'm Every Woman" (1993) · "I Have Nothing" (1993) · "Run to You" (1993) · "Queen of the Night" (1993)

Waiting to Exhale
"Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" (1995) · "Count on Me" (1996) with Cece Winans · "Why Does It Hurt So Bad" (1996)

The Preacher's Wife
"I Believe in You and Me" (1996) · "Step by Step" (1997) · "My Heart Is Calling" (1997)

My Love Is Your Love
"When You Believe" (1998) with Mariah Carey · "Heartbreak Hotel" (1999) with Kelly Price and Faith Evans · "It's Not Right but It's Okay" (1999) · "My Love Is Your Love" (1999) · "I Learned from the Best" (2000)

Whitney: The Greatest Hits
"Could I Have This Kiss Forever" (2000) with Enrique Iglesias · "If I Told You That" (2000) · "Fine" (2000) · "Same Script, Different Cast" (2000)

Just Whitney
"Whatchulookinat" (2002) · "One of Those Days" (2003) · "Try It on My Own" (2003) · "Love That Man" (2003)

One Wish: The Holiday Album
"One Wish (for Christmas)" (2004)

I Look to You
"I Look to You" (2009) · "Million Dollar Bill" (2009)

Don't Forget if you love gospel music the whole soundtrack to The Preacher's Wife is like going to church!

Essential Whitney Movies:

The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner (1992)
Waiting to Exhale with Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, and Lela Rochon (1995)
The Preacher's Wife with Denzel Washington and Courtney B. Vance (1996)
Cinderella with Brandy in (1997)
Sparkle with Jordin Sparks (2012, will be released in August)

"Yes, Jesus loves me, for the bible tells me so"

Whitney, we will always Love you

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Bachelor Season 16: Ben Bumbles in Belize

Wow, these ladies have been to some beautiful locations during this season, and Belize is no exception!

Lindzi receives the first one on one date in paradise with Ben, and up they go in a helicopter to begin. Poor Lindzi in convinced that she and Ben could possibly have a forever kind of relationship complete with marriage and kids. The helicopter hovers over a famous diving spot called the Blue Hole and Ben informs Lindzi that they will be jumping into it. Ben gives his typical, "I'm never gonna forget this moment.... overcoming this fear makes me believe we can do anything," speech. Lindzi says, I'm literally falling for Ben. At Dinner, Ben and Lindzi write their own fairytale; I found this a little bit lame because I felt Ben was insincere.

Emily gets the next one on one, and Courtney is once again seeing green, jealous of the fact that Emily got the date, and still talking about what Emily supposedly did to her. Courtney, I have a message for you, there's nothing wrong with telling someone the truth about another person. When she said you were here for the wrong reasons, she was telling the truth, and telling the truth isn't wrong. Emily and Ben shoot hoops with locals, go shopping, and then they go diving for lobsters. Emily enjoys Ben's spontaneity, and thinks their connection is something really special. She says she tries not to think of his connection with the other women.

Cut to Courtney complaining again..... she talks about how Emily said nasty things about her. What about the things she said about Emily, and every other girl in the house, that's a lot worse, and I feel like she is making excuses for her horrible behavior. Then she talks about how Ben betrayed her, wow, she really needs to get over herself!

Back to Emily and Ben, He speaks highly of Emily, and she hopes to be able to bring him back to North Carolina.

Courtney and the remaining ladies discover that she will have the final one on one date with Ben in Belize, and of course the inappropriate comments begin.... "he's a smart boy, he listens, he knew I needed it". Kacie B. is pretty angry about how rudely Courtney reacted to receiving the date. Kacie evens go so far as to mimic a black widow spider on her hand and she claps her two hands together, and saying this is Courtney, a black widow, and this is what I'd like to do to her.

At their date, Courtney is so manipulative, and Ben falls for it again, this guy is just not bright. Maybe he drank too much wine over the years. The women band together and discuss Courtney, Nicki says Emily was right about her from the beginning, Emily says she isn't surprised but she isn't going to say anything, she has to trust that he is perceptive enough to see it. Emily, I hate to say this, but your prince charming is dumb or he's superficial, one or the other. Kacie remarks that Courtney is a black widow who sucks the life out of everything. The girls hope Courtney will dig her own grave, but I doubt it's going to happen. Courtney says after this date, she's high on love, and she tells the camera that the other girls can pack their bags and go home now, and then she uses her hands to mimic guns; it's a really rude moment, and I have to wonder what Ben is thinking watching this now, unless of course, she manipulated him into not watching the show.

Courtney starts discussing the other girls with Ben and saying how she wouldn't be friends with them in real life, how they're too vanilla, how she has a lot of guy friends. She also says she tried so hard, 100%, to get to know them and compliment them. Courtney says she's not impressed by these women, well girls, cause she says they're not even women.

Kacie, Nicki, Rachel, and Ben go shark diving. Rachel is so terrified of the sharks that she ends up monopolizing Ben's time. Nicki makes her pitch as to why Ben should come home and meet her family, and he seems to relate to her. Kacie tells Ben she is falling in love with him, and she wants her family to know him and see that. Kacie B. receives the group date rose.

At the cocktail party, Courtney said, Ben's not the only guy in the world, either the spark is there or it's not. Chris Harrison comes out and announces that Ben knows what he wants to do and there will be no cocktail party. Then she celebrates the possibility of some of the ladies going home, and she said, see ya' wouldn't wanna be ya. Ben walks in and pulls Courtney aside, the ladies are hoping that this chat will result in her going home. I remain guarded because I just don't think Ben is smart enough to realize that this whole thing is a game to her. She can say whatever she wants, it doesn't mean that it's true. When questioned, she said of course she is here for him, and she didn't come to make friends with the other girls here. That being said, it doesn't mean you have to be rude or go out of your way to be hurtful towards someone.

Funny comment of the night is a tie between Kacie B. who said, "I would love to see Courtney trot her ass out of here like when she does when she gets a rose," Amen sister!

and Emily who said, "goodbye Courtney, it's been nice knowing you, my condolences to whichever man ends up with you," if only it were true my dear!

Roses went to Kacie B., Nicki, Lindzi, and Courtney

Eliminated was Rachel and Emily

Rachel and Emily literally look sick. Ben doesn't walk either one of them out which is really shocking which kind of shows you that he's not a gentleman at all, he's actually really rude. I have to say, next week is hometown dates, and I am dying to see where in the world Courtney came from.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Bachelor Season 16: Let Bygones be Bygones and Forgive and Forget

The remaining ladies travel to Panama City, Panama for more coveted time with their bachelor Ben.

It's clear from the top of the show what Courtney has on her mind, more skinny dipping with Ben. This girl is relentless, and she talks about other people on the show being annoying, wow, she's confused.

Much to the chagrin of Courtney, Kacie B. receives the one on one date. Kacie B. and Ben are brought by helicopter to a deserted island called San Blas. The idea of this is to see how they are all alone together and having to work as a team to find food and shelter. They do quite well, and Ben gets to know Kacie B. a little bit more. Night fall finds them both cleaned up and at dinner. Kacie B. reveals to Ben that she lost control in high school and had an eating disorder for a year; the eating disorder was her attempt at taking control of something, in this case, her weight. She says it taught her that no one is perfect and that's okay. Ben tells her she is brave for telling him this, and that it took guts. Kacie B. is smitten and says, "on a scale of one to wonderful, today was fantastic". Ben completes her fantastic night by giving her a rose.

The group date to the Embera Village included Emily, Nicki, Lindzi, Casey S., Courtney, and Jamie arriving there with Ben and immediately being whisked away by the ladies of the village. The ladies change into traditional Embera clothing which is beaded tops with sarongs. Of course Courtney takes it to the extreme wearing no bikini top under her beaded top; this action did not surprise me. Ben comes out in a loin cloth and comments that he appreciated Courtney "bare chesting" it. Courtney calls the other ladies prudes. I am begin to feel more and more that maybe Ben and Courtney belong together. I wasn't aware that having respect for yourself and the people around you is being a prude; in other words, in my opinion, there is a time and a place for everything, and Courtney's behavior should have been saved when she was alone with Ben. She consistently kept commenting that she felt this date was a one on one with five other women around, but one could argue that she was being overly aggressive.

Later that night at a poolside dinner with drinks, Lindzi spends some alone time with Ben and tells him she's not a drama person and doesn't like to fight every day.
Ben tells Courtney he likes her assertiveness and she goes as far as to give him her room number at the hotel.
During Ben's time with Jamie, Courtney strips down to her bikini and gets into the pool which is right behind them, and Ben continues to lose concentration, not paying attention to Jamie whatsoever.
Emily shows her sense of humor with her time with Ben, and tells him her focus has changed, and she is focused on getting to know him.

Emily apologizes to Courtney, and says she feels like she was wrong about her. Courtney says she respects Emily for being direct, but she doesn't forgive and forget, and they will never be friends. Following this heated conversation, Ben pulls Lindzi aside and gives her the group date rose, which Courtney feels she should have received. She says she has been consistently disappointed by men, and she adds that Ben did not show up at her room that night. At least Ben did something right!

Rachel and Blakeley go off to their two on one date with Ben which involves Salsa dance lessons. It appears at the start that Ben is going to choose Blakeley because they're better dance partners, but Rachel seems to relate to Ben more. Their feelings match, it seems Blakeley feels more strongly for Ben than he does for her.
Rachel tells Ben she really wants to be here and see how their relationship progresses.
Meanwhile, Blakeley shows Ben a scrapbook that she made since she has been there showing how Ben changed her. She tells him that she doesn't want to lose him before he gets a chance to know her. I have to say, Blakeley seems really sincere, which is why I felt so horribly when he went ahead and chose Rachel. Blakeley stormed off in tears, trying to figure out why Ben didn't choose her. She tells him that she still cares about him.

In a shocker, Casey S. is sent home by Ben after it is discovered that she has an ex back home who she is still in love with.

The most awkward moment of this episode by far, goes to Jamie, poor Jamie, she tried to turn up the heat between her and Ben. It was just painful to watch, her body positions were awkward, the kisses were awkward. And in the end, it didn't even matter because Ben sent her home anyway.

Roses went to:
Kacie B.

Casey S.

Next week they're off to Belize.

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Top Songs of 2011: Why Did I Choose Them, Part 3

Released as the lead single from their album Own the Night and co-written by Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood, Dallas Davidson, Just a Kiss actually chronicles the beginning of Lady Antebellum band mate Hillary Scott's relationship with her now husband, Chris Tyrrell. The trio says that they wrote this song with ease and it reaffirmed their belief that together they just click. Just a Kiss was not only huge on country charts but on the pop charts as well, and based on this trio's climbing stars, it doesn't appear they are slowing down.

#7 US Billboard Hot 100
#1 US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)
#4 US Adult Pop Songs (Billboard)
#1 US Country Songs (Billboard)
#21 US Pop Songs (Billboard)

Fave line from the song:

Just a kiss on your lips in the moonlight
Just a touch of the fire burning so bright
No, I don't wanna mess this thing up
I don't wanna push too far
Just a shot in the dark that you just might
Be the one I've been waiting for my whole life
So baby, I'm alright,

Love on Top off Beyonce's album 4 has all the elements of the ultimate 80s song, the beat, the lyrics, the tempo and key changes. What made the song even more notable is that it's the song she performed on the MTV VMA awards when she announced that she and husband Jay Z were with child. It was the big smile on her face, the sparkle in her eyes, and the sheer happiness in her voice that drew so much interest to the song. Knowles said of her inspiration of the song:

"When I played Etta James it was the most I'd learned about myself until the recording of this album. When I went into the studio I used the same passion, honesty, and approach with my vocals I channeled as Etta James. It does not sound like the vocals on my past albums. It's a lot rawer. It comes from a deep place".

Well said Bey!

#20 US Billboard Hot 100
#11 US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs

Fave line in the song:

You're the one that I love.
Baby you're the one that I need.
You're the only one I see.
Baby, baby, it's you.
You're the one that gives your all.
You're the one I always call.
When I need you everything stops.
Finally you put my love on top.

If there's any song that was fully needed in terms of promoting patriotism in our country when we desperately needed it, it was the song Made in America sung by country god Toby Keith. Keith co wrote the song with Bobby Pinson and General Hospital star Scott Reeves. The story goes that Keith started writing the song but almost left it off his album because of the high number of patriotic songs already on the album, but Reeves and Pinson had a conversation which revolved around supporting the country by buying products made in the United States and they brought what they had written to Keith who combined it with what he had, and the rest, as they say, is history.

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

Fave line from the song:

He's got the red, white, and blue flyin' high on the farm
Semper fi tattooed on his left arm
Spends a little more at the store for a tag in the back that says U.S.A.
Won't buy nothin' that he can't fix,
With WD40 and a Craftsman wrench
He ain't prejudice he's just, made in America

Marry the Night is my favorite Lady Gaga song. Gaga explained that the main inspiration behind the song was singer Whitney Houston and also added: "This song is about me going back to New York. I wrote this about the courage it took for me to say 'I hate Hollywood, I just wanna live in Brooklyn and make music'". Her courage to take chances in all facets of her life is inspiring and it's something I can feel when I listen to her music. She's special, and this song is just more evidence of that.

#29 US Billboard Hot 100
#27 US Adult Pop Songs
#1 US Hot Dance Club Songs
#14 US Pop Songs

Fave line from the song:

I'm gonna marry the night,
I won't give up on my life,
I'm a warrior queen,
Live passionately, tonight.

I often wonder when I watch the music video for Moment 4 Life by Nicki Minaj and Drake how real the chemistry is that is portrayed between them on screen. The song is clearly a love song, it's about having absolutely everything you want in life, turning your moment into your moment for life. Then it won't just be a moment, it will be forever. Nicki says, "Moment 4 Life : is about 2 kids that grew up on the same block. They shared their dreams of making it as rappers. They laughed together, they cried together. One day they realize that their dreams have come to fruition. Though they know all things come to an end, they celebrate. They wish that they could have this moment 4 Life."

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

Fave line from the song:

This is my moment
I waited all my
Life, I can tell it's time
Drifting away, I'm
One with the sunsets
I have become alive

I wish that I could have this moment
For life, for life, for life
Cause in this moment I just feel so
Alive, alive, alive

Moves Like Jagger was that song that everyone couldn't help but sing along to in 2011. Fresh off his win on season one of The Voice, Adam Levine enlisted fellow judge Christina Aguilera to collaborate with him and Maroon 5 on the upbeat single. The song was a risk for Maroon 5 who hasn't released a song like that one before, and Levine says it was exciting to do something different. I would even venture to say that it's the best single that has come from either of them in some time now. You could even go as far as saying that these two make beautiful music together.

#1 US Billboard Hot 100
#1 US Adult Pop Songs (Billboard)
#9 US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)
#3 US Latin Pop Songs (Billboard)
#8 US Latin Songs (Billboard)
#1 US Pop Songs (Billboard)
#10 US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)

Fave line from the song:

I Don't Need To Try To Control You
Look Into My Eyes and I'll Own You
With The Moves Like Jagger
I've Got The Moves Like Jagger
I've Got The Moves Like Jagger

Proving why she was the first ever American Idol, Kelly Clarkson went back to her roots with her first single off her fifth studio album Stronger. Mr. Know it All silenced critics of Clarkson who questioned her vocal abilities and just about everything else (i.e. Clarkson's weight, her almost always single status, which Clarkson targeted in her video for the song). She actually knocked the National Anthem out of the park this past weekend at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in front of an event that draws one of the biggest audiences: The Super Bowl. To boot, Clarkson sang live. If that's not a wow in this business, I don't know what would be. Clarkson described Mr. Know it All as "super sassy", and the message of the song is also great, no one likes to have people in their lives who think they know everything about everything. We all have some of those in our lives.

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

Fave line from the song:
You ain't got the right to tell me
When and where to go, no right to tell me
Acting like you own me lately
Yeah baby you don't know a thing about me
You don't know a thing about me

2011 was somewhat of a comeback year for Jennifer Lopez, actually it may have been the most successful year of her career. Being a judge on American Idol may have been just the launching point she needed to show her stuff and prove that she's not down and out. On The Floor featuring Puerto Rican rapper Pitbull, who also had a successful year, was Lopez doing what Lopez does best, full out dance music.

#3 US Billboard Hot 100
#1 US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)
#5 US Pop Songs (Billboard)
#2 US Latin Songs (Billboard)
Spanish version: "Ven a Bailar"
#1 US Latin Pop Songs (Billboard)
Spanish version: "Ven a Bailar"

Fave line from the song:

Dance the night away
Live your life, and stay young on the floor
Dance the night way
Grab somebody drink a little more
Tonight we gon’ be it on the floor

Who cites their musical influences as Tupac, The Black Eyed Peas, James Brown, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, and Led Zepplin? Well it's none other than LMFAO; this electro duo had about as hot a year as you can get. Party Rock Anthem was everywhere, and I mean that, if you haven't heard this song then most likely you spent 2011 under a rock somewhere. It was featured on Glee, So You Think You Can Dance, Gossip Girl, American Dad!, Saturday Night Live, and Parks and Recreation just to drop some names. Not only was Party Rock Anthem a number one single on the Pop Charts but it was the number one single of the year.

#1 US Billboard Hot 100
#15 US Adult Pop Songs (Billboard)
#2 US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)
#79 US R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)
#6 US Latin Songs (Billboard)
#6 US Latin Pop Songs (Billboard)
#1 US Pop Songs (Billboard)
#4 US Rap Songs (Billboard)

Fave line from the song:

Everyday I'm shufflin'
Shufflin', shufflin'

Adele has been anointed this year's Grammy darling no matter what happens, and rightfully so, her album 21 was the biggest selling album of 2011! It's still on the charts today and destined to break more records. When she had to undergo surgery on her vocal chords we all waited with baited breath; I think the world waited with baited breath actually. Grammy night 2012 will be the first night she sings in public since her surgery. More than one person made Rolling in the Deep their personal anthem; I cannot tell you how many cell phone ring tones I heard set to that very song. Rolling in the Deep in also a message to every guy out there who may potentially date Adele, be prepared if you date her, you may end up the subject in a killer break up song.

#1 US Billboard Hot 100
#61 US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)
#1 US Pop Songs (Billboard)
#1 US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)
#1 US Adult Pop Songs (Billboard)
#15 US Rock Songs (Billboard)
#14 US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)
#16 US Latin Pop Songs (Billboard)
#43 US Latin Songs (Billboard)
#21 US Alternative Songs (Billboard)

Fave line from the song:

The scars of your love remind me of us
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless
I can't help feeling
We could have it all
(You're gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside your hand
(You're gonna wish you never had met me)
And you played it, to the beat
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Bachelor Season 16: Water, Baseball Bats, and Life Lessons

It seemed like no matter what the drama during week five of The Bachelor, it was either centered around water or baseball bats. I was thinking back to when this show started airing and why I watched, why it appealed to me. I wanted to watch because I wanted to see optimistic people in search of love, the beginnings of love, what attracts one stranger to another. I think the show has lost some of what made me want to watch at first.

There are people on this season of The Bachelor who clearly have no problem making a spectacle of themselves. Drama is their middle name. There is nothing about them that is kind or empathetic. I lost respect for several people this week, most notably, the bachelor himself. I am hoping in coming weeks he will earn back my respect, or I will understand why he has made some of the choices he has made. One woman in particular remains nonredeemable in my eyes; she could pledge to work for world peace for the rest of her life, and I don't think I would believe her.

Some of you may be wondering, why do I care so much? Why do I care about who these people are or how they live their lives? The truth is, it's not that I care about them personally, I care about what they represent. The women on the show represent my gender, the people on the show represent my culture and our society. Their interactions say a lot about who is out there in the world today, they are potentially the people or the type of people you and I could interact with.

Nicki received the first one on one date in Vieques, and just at they started sight seeing around the city, it started raining. It rained so much that Ben and Nicki stopped at a store to buy some authentic Puerto Rican clothes. Once the rain let up, they began their tour again and came upon a church where a couple just happened to be getting married. Ben praised Nicki's attitude, personality, optimism, and her smile. The two discussed marriage and how hers failed, but how she remains hopeful about finding love again. The two later sat down for dinner and drinks at the hotel with a view of the beach, and it was then that Ben decided to give Nicki a rose.

The group date was a good old fashioned game of baseball complete with two teams competing for all the marbles, in this case more time with Ben. Lindzi was chosen by Ben as the MVP meaning she played on both teams and guaranteed time with Ben. Courtney and Blakeley were made teams captains, and the teams were as follows:

The devil incarnate, aka Courtney's team was: Casey S., Jamie, and Kacie B.; Blakeley's team was: Emily, Jennifer, and Rachel. This game got intense with the ladies battling back and forth, but in the end, Courtney's team won extra time with Ben. Props to Blakeley, she played hard, and was surprisingly quite athletic! Courtney rudely remarks, "who knew a stripper could play baseball," about Blakeley. Thankfully, the evening isn't a complete waste as Kacie B. receives the group date rose, and not Courtney. Hey Courtney.... winning! Although, the first losing moment of this episode came when Courtney brought up skinny dipping on her one on one time with Ben. She planted the evil seed, and believe me this is not the first we will hear about this.

Elyse receives the final one on one date of the week, and unfortunately they might as well be on a sinking ship because this date goes bad fast. Initially, things seem to be going well when they spend the day on a boat and frolicking in the water. We then cut to Courtney who says she is not worried about Elyse. Who asked her? Does anyone care about her opinion any way with the exception of poor convoluted Ben? It's at dinner that night that Ben realizes that he and Elyse are not going to have the connection that he has with some of the other ladies already, and he sends her home.

Elyse is devastated and cries on the beach asking Ben what she did wrong. Elyse, you did nothing wrong, Ben just isn't thinking with his brain! This is the point where I started losing some respect for Ben.

Courtney is back at the hotel pondering her next move as Ben's date with Elyse ends, several rude comments fall out of her mouth:

"Maybe Elyse drank too much and the Jersey shore came out".
"I wonder if Ben's ever skinny dipped with a model before".
Elyse going home is bittersweet, "bitter for her and sweet for me".

Meanwhile Ben arrives back at his room, only to find Courtney waiting for him outside with a bath robe on, and a bottle of wine with two glasses. Somehow they begin talking and making their way down to the beach, and the way it is edited things really seem to rapidly escalate because before I knew it they were removing all their clothes. Once they are in the water, Courtney is talking about how the other girls are going to hate her forever, but she isn't there for them. However, she doesn't say she is there for Ben either. It would be great to know what this girl is actually here for, obviously it isn't to promote herself as a model because she isn't particularly attractive. This is the point when I lost any shred of respect I may have had for Courtney.

The next day at the cocktail party, Ben says he feels "crappy about what happened with Courtney". He should feel bad. Meanwhile, Blakeley is pouring her heart out to Ben and tells him that she writes every day about him and something that she likes about him. She says he has made her realize that she deserves someone good. At this point, Ben should run out to the beach and stick his head in sand, but alas, he doesn't. Emily once again jeopardizes her time with Ben by once again trying to warn him about Courtney. He tells her in no uncertain terms to stay out of his relationship with

The party ends and at the end of the night he sends Jennifer home, so Elyse and Jennifer are eliminated week five. I was shocked about Jen's elimination, especially after their date on last week's show.

Nicki, Kacie B., Lindzi, Jamie, Rachel, Courtney, Casey S., Blakeley, and Emily are moving onto Panama City, Panama.