Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dancing with the Stars All Stars Season 15 Week 5

I sure do hope that everyone voted for their favorite All Star via facebook, phone,, or text. I know one of my favorites is in a bit of trouble; Kelly Monaco finished with the lowest score, despite another amazing effort.

This was a weird week to say the least; guilty pleasures week always is. Here are some of the highlights. 

Val and Kelly danced the Samba--
Len criticized the long winded start and felt it was a little too raunchy. Bruno said the Samba bounce wasn't good, but the spins were and everything was finished nicely. Carrie Ann felt uncertainty from Kelly, and thought it was a good try but not her best. I think Kelly was probably scored right, but then that means that a lot of other couples were over-scored.
Scores: 8, 8, 8.5= 24.5

Gilles and Peta danced the Rumba--
Bruno said it was masterclass theater, he maintained musicality without music, and one of the best performances I've seen. Carrie Ann said let the baby making begin and then she fell out of her chair. Len said it was a blockbuster; it had everything. It was a great performance, and I would most agree with Len's score. He challenges the All Stars and the dancers.
Scores: 10, 9.5, 10= 29.5

Kirstie and Maks danced the Quickstep--
Kirstie looked beautiful and seemed to be moving better. I think she deserves to be here, but how much longer? Carrie Ann thought it was her best dance and it was elegant. Len believed Kirstie was dancing to the maximum and Bruno thought she delivered.
Scores: 8.5, 8.5, 8.5= 26.5

Emmitt and Cheryl danced the Samba--
Wow, that was amazing! I was entertained and I did not want it to end when it did. Clearly these types of rhythmic dances are his strength. Len said it was an unstoppable performance. Bruno felt like his Samba was like the best party in the country. Carrie Ann admitted that no one Samba's like Emmitt and that he had the Samba swagger.
Scores: 9.5, 9.5, 10= 29

Melissa and Tony danced the Tango--
I love Melissa and she is honestly one of my faves this season, but this was a little bit too bland, especially with this dance and this music. It just needed to be sharper; that's what was missing. Len said she performed excellently, Len did want her to snap a little bit more. Bruno thought it was intoxicating. Both Carrie Ann and Bruno talked about how her gritty character came to life.
Scores: 9, 9, 9= 27

Shawn and Derek danced the Rumba--
This dance was breathtakingly beautiful. Shawn looked gorgeous, she expressed emotion; they glided across the floor. I do understand why Len gave it an 8, because of the contemporary flairs to it. Bruno thought it was touching, romantic. Carrie Ann liked her maturity, passion, and vulnerability. She also said she saw a lift and that wasn't allowed. Len said there was no hip action, he loved the number, but it wasn't a Rumba.
Scores: 9, 8, 10= 27

Apolo and Karina danced the Samba--
The cool thing that I loved about this dance was that it was a Samba with tons of disco style. It was fun, interesting, and I was watching both of them  throughout the whole dance. Carrie Ann thought his legwork was fantastic, but she doesn't feel like Apolo has broken through yet, and urged him to vote on his chemistry. Len thought it was terrific, and said he saw rhythm and clear, sharp, precise movements. Bruno said he found Apolo and the dance terribly sexy and that they did a good job.   
Scores: 8.5, 9.5, 9= 27

Sabrina and Louis danced the Waltz--
Len loved the story and the flow; he found it charming. Bruno said it was like a ride into a magical kingdom. Carrie Ann said she didn't completely capture the vulnerability, but it was light and elegant. I must agree with each judge; this was actually just beautiful and graceful. Sabrina had a lightness to her that was unmatched this week.

With the group dance added in:

Sabrina and Louis – 58.5
Shawn and Derek – 56.5
Melissa and Tony – 56.5
Gilles and Peta – 56.5
Apolo and Karina – 56.5
Emmitt and Cheryl – 56
Kirstie and Maks – 53.5
Kelly and Val – 51.5

The group dances were odd; I am bypassing talking about them..... look them up on M.J.'s Big Blog if you're interested.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Voice Season 3: Final 3 Battles--- Mindblowing!

No fluff, no battles flashed across the screen for our viewing pleasure or lack thereof. The final episode of battle rounds was straight up fights to the finish.

First up, from Team Christina was two potential pop stars, Adrianna Louise and Jordan Pruitt. They had the tough task of taking on Hot n' Cold by Katy Perry which is extremely stylized. Adam and Blake said that they could with Jordan, particularly because of her unique voice--- the breaks in it and her timing. However Cee Lo and Christina believed that Adrianna was a force to be reckoned with and she moved on. This was a well matched battle and I think it was a matter of preference. I preferred Jordan; too bad some of the judges already used their steals.
Battle goes to: Adrianna Louise

Next up, two very different but young singers from Team Blake, Kelly Crapa and Michaela Paige, 15 and 16 respectively. They sang rock song, I Hate Myself For Loving You by Joan Jett-- Kelly is a country singer whereas Michaela is a full out rock singer. I think Kelly was a little too timid in this performance even though she had a lovely voice. Blake chose Michaela because she had a little more edge.
Battle goes to: Michaela Paige

Finally, the teen prodigy Avery Wilson and back up singer Chevonne from Team Cee Lo sang Titanium by David Guetta and Sia-- Adam and Blake both felt that Avery took this battle hands down, but Blake did feel that Chevonne did come out ready for battle. Christina said that Chevonne's stage presence was amazing and that Avery could learn something from her. Cee Lo said both artists impressed him, but he decided to continue the journey with Avery. Christina could not help but to use her last steal on Chevonne. I couldn't agree more with the outcome, both artists did deserve to move forward.
Battle goes to: Avery Wilson

Christina steals Chevonne

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Voice Season 3: A Couple of Early Favorites Knocked Out in the Battle Rounds

The show began with classically trained singer Alexis Marceaux and comeback kid Daniel Rosa from Team Cee Lo singing Whaddaya Want From Me by Adam Lambert-- Adam loved how Daniel sings with all his soul, and I echo that. He just helps me connect to the song, and feel something. Blake heard some things in Alexis' voice that he hadn't heard before so he said he would choose her, and Christina said the same. The opinion that mattered though was Cee Lo's and he chose Daniel because he is connected to him in an emotional way.
Battle goes to: Daniel Rosa

Couldn't help but love the soulful battle between the seasoned Nicole Nelson and teenager Brandon Mahone who sang Ain't No Mountain High Enough as a proud coach Adam looked on-- I thought that if Brandon wasn't going to be chosen by Adam, he should at least move on to the next round, but alas Cee Lo declaring that he would choose Brandon because of his swagger wasn't enough even to convince Adam. Adam went with Nicole's confidence and consistency. Brandon was robbed.
Battle goes to: Nicole Nelson

And now the part of the show I don't like...... when they flash battles across our screen:

From Team Adam: Brian Scartocci vs. Loren Allred singing Need You Now by Lady Antebellum
Battle goes to: Loren Allred

From Team Blake: Ryan Jirovec vs. Cassadee Pope singing Not Over You by Gavin Degraw
Battle goes to: Cassadee Pope

From Team Adam: Joe Kirkland vs. Samuel Mouton singing You've Got the Music in You by The New Radicals
Battle goes to: Joe Kirkland

Final battle of episode five was Devyn Delora and Marissa Ann from Team Christina singing Free Your Mind by En Vogue-- At times, this potentially could have sounded like two cats screaming, but these two ladies worked it out, classed it up, and it was a successful battle. I preferred Marissa Ann and so did Cee Lo and Blake. Adam and Christina preferred Devyn's experience which in most cases with those two judges always seems to win out.
Battle goes to: Devyn Delora

But Blake couldn't let 15 year old phenom Marissa Ann go and stole her from Team Christina

Dancing with the Stars All Stars Season 15 Week 4

This was the week where the contestants chose the dances for each other. It was a week where the first tens were handed out, and couples who usually come out at the bottom achieved personal bests. It's also the week where Bristol Palin was voted off, to the delight of those who don't really understand what the show is all about. Maybe the real reason they wanted her voted off is because they don't like her mother's politics or they don't like her personal choices. Like it or not, Bristol embodies what the show is about; it takes well known personalities who know nothing about dance and gives them the opportunity to be taught by professional dancers, and show their progress. She progressed every week. Should she have won? No, but she possesses exactly the right attitude and spirit, and therefore, why wouldn't we wish her the best?

Paula Abdul sat in as a guest judge on this night, and there were times where I asked myself whether or not the judges would stop copying each other on the scores.

Kirstie and Maks danced the Charleston-- It was fun, and it certainly did play to Kirstie's strengths. My critique is that the footwork was messy at points, and had the cleaned that up her scores would have been higher.
Scores: 7.5, 7.5, 7.5, 7.5= 30 out of 40 (scores are in this order Carrie Ann, Len, Paula, Bruno)

Bristol and Mark danced Rock and Roll-- For all the haters out there, this was Bristol's best dance ever. It had lots of energy, she actually did hit the steps, and the judges believed it. Len said the only failure would be a failure to try. Carrie Ann high fived her and talked about how much she has blossomed.
Scores: 8, 8, 8, 8= 32 out of 40

Sabrina and Louis danced Disco-- This was different for Sabrina, it was quick, full of precision, and I loved the energy. Len loved it. Carrie Ann noticed the mistake but agreed that Sabrina showed something very different. She and Bruno argued about whether or not she lost time at some point. Paula said that Louis definitely choreographed to Sabrina's strengths.
Scores: 9, 9, 8.5, 9= 35.5

Emmitt and Cheryl danced the Bolero-- This was simple but so beautiful; wow, I have no idea what Bolero is but they both looked graceful and elegant. My favorite part was when Bruno said, “The mood was steamier that August in Louisiana. You just got it, man.”
Scores: 9, 9, 9, 9= 36

Giles and Peta danced  Bollywood-- I think this was the most challenging dance of the night, but that being said, I also think it was over-scored a little bit. M.J. said it best on M.J.'s Big Blog, the novelty of the dance contributed to the score. All the judges agreed that it was beyond belief fantastic; they talked about the level of commitment to the dance etc.
Scores: 10, 9.5, 10, 10= 39.5

Melissa and Tony danced the Jitterbug-- One of my favorite couples this season and thus far on DWTS, Melissa and Tony are a match made in heaven. Paula said it best when she said, they go together like hand in glove. The footwork was impeccable she said. Carrie Ann commented on Tony's exceptional choreography and I must agree with that. So often, we pay attention to the celebrity, we need to start paying attention to these wonderful pros also. Len praised the fact that they took risks with ambitious jumps and failed on one, and mentioned that every single dance Melissa dances is "clean and correct".
Scores: 9, 9, 9.5, 9.5= 37

Shawn and Derek danced the Mambo-- Great performance! Mambo being a Cuban street dance, this dance was really down, and Shawn did a great job of moving her hips similar to the way you do in Salsa. Carrie Ann loved their synchronization and Len thought it was brilliant. Paula said that Shawn has really blossomed into a sexy young lady and that she had looked forward to seeing this dance.
Scores: 10, 9.5, 10, 10= 39.5

Apolo and Karina danced Hip Hop-- I felt bad for Karina because she thought she had failed Apolo. For some reason, I feel like the choreography could have been better, dirtier, more challenging. Apolo is a good dancer and she shouldn't have been afraid to give him harder material. Despite the fact that the judges all thought they did great and didn't make any mistakes they ended up with 8s.
Scores: 8.5, 9, 8.5, 8.5= 37.5

Kelly and Val danced Contemporary-- Their dance had it all, poise, grace, passion, beauty, and emotion. Kelly seemed exhausted by the end of it, but I could tell she poured everything into it that she had. Even more amazing was the fact that Kelly was sick at the time and had a broken toe! Len said that Kelly is biggest revelation this season. Bruno said, “Your task was the hardest tonight. You did it beautifully. I believed every moment.” Carrie Ann said that Kelly laid her heart out there.
Scores: 9, 9.5, 9.5, 9.5= 37.5 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Voice Season 3: The Battle Rounds Rebound and Contestants Shine

Two weeks ago,  the battle rounds on The Voice was disappointing at times, the two episodes this week proved that the talent is better than ever.

Episode 1 of Week 2 of Battles 

This past week of battles began with two members of Blake's Team, mariachi singer Julio Cesar Castillo and Terisa Griffin singing Conga by Gloria Estefan-- I like both of these artists, and I'm beginning to find that I am routing for both people competing in the battle. Cee Lo liked Terisa for her soul. Adam thought Terisa was fierce, but said he would choose Julio because he brings something different. Blake ultimately chose Julio for the same reason Adam said, he brought something different, but also Blake said he struggled in practice, and he came so far, which means he probably put the most work into it.  Both of these singers are solid, and I am really glad that Cee Lo decided to steal Terisa.
Battle goes to: Julio Castillo

Cee Lo stole Terisa Griffin

Dez Duron and Paulina from Christina's Team faced off with the song Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars-- Cee Lo said he would choose Dez because he's the whole package. Adam felt that both contestants had inconsistent performances, but said he'd choose Dez because he's more experienced and Blake echoed that sentiment. I agreed, and so did Christina. Dez moves on; this was easy!
Battle goes to: Dez Duron

Adam decided to pair Benji and Sam James for a You Give Love a Bad Name by Bon Jovi duet. Blake felt that Benji had more moments in the performance. Cee Lo felt that Benji had a stronger voice, and explored more. Adam liked Benji's screams but felt there was a lack of control. Adam respected that Sam had his own style and really owned that. Ultimately, he felt Sam was more solid as a singer and chose him. For those who were more Benji fans, why scream when you can sing like Sam?
Battle goes to: Sam James

Next to battle it out was Nicholas David and Todd Kessler from Cee Lo's Team singing the Hall & Oates classic She's Gone-- I have to admit, I wasn't impressed the first time I heard Nicholas David. I thought he was just trying too hard to be different, and now that I see his being different is so authentic, I'm all in. Adam said their voices sound amazing together. Christina complimented Nicholas' definite style and swag. Cee Lo appreciated both of them but chose Nicholas because as Blake said, there is no one in this world like him.
Battle goes to: Nicholas David

Two young women with two big voices, Leila Broussard and Suzanna Choffel of Team Blake sang The Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine-- Christina felt it was beautiful, a great pairing and a great match. Cee Lo felt they both deserved to be there. Adam felt like he was hearing them for the first time. Blake decided on Suzanna saying she is a chameleon. I was torn with this battle because both women were so strong, either one could have moved on in my book.
Battle goes to: Suzanna Choffel

The final battle of this episode was between Team Christina's Joselyn Rivera and Sylvia Yacoub who sang Best Thing I Never Had by Beyonce-- Cee Lo was impressed by Joselyn and felt like he was hearing her for the first time. Adam said he would probably choose Joselyn. Blake felt that they had very different styles from one another. All that being said, Christina liked that Sylvia was fierce and passionate and decided on Sylvia. I personally am a Joselyn fan because I think she has the stronger, better voice.
Battle goes to: Sylvia Yacoub

Adam stole Joselyn Rivera because he believes she can really sing.

Episode two featured a lot of unexpected match ups and a few of those had little air time.

Blake opted for an all country battle with Liz Davis and Nicole Johnson singing Baggage Claim by his wife Miranda Lambert-- To me, Liz Davis seems like she was born to be a country singer. There's something about her that reads like a combination of Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood.  Blake said they are both great country singers, but Nicole lost her breath at times. He chose Liz and said the deciding factor was the experience.
 Battle goes to: Liz Davis

I don't know why he did it cause I love both of these girls but Adam chose Alessandra Guercio and Kayla Nevarez to battle it out with Katy Perry's Wide Awake-- Blake liked Alessandra's raspy sound and Kayla's verbrato. Christina said that they were neck and neck. Cee Lo said he would go with Alessandra because she had a lot of sweet moments throughout the performance and she had that nice rasp in her voice. Adam said that Alessandra should be more confident in herself because she has the talent. For Kayla, Adam said he remembers picking her and her pulling him aside and saying, "let's win this". He picked Kayla because of her confidence. Consequently, Christina said, the can't bear to watch a talented woman like Alessandra doubt herself and be anything less than confident about her abilities. She stole Alessandra from Team Adam and vowed to instill in her more confidence.
Battle goes to: Kayla Nevarez

Christina stole Alessandra Guercio

The battles that were shown so quick that they practically flashed across the screen:

Cee Lo's Team-- Ben Taub vs. Mycle Wastman sang Too Close by Alex Clare
Battle goes to: Mycle Wastman

Adam's Team-- Adanna Duru vs. Michelle Brooks Thompson sang Crazy in Love by Beyonce
Battle goes to: Michelle Brooks Thompson

Christina's Team-- Beat Frequency vs. Laura Vivas sang Poker Face by Lady Gaga
Battle goes to: Laura Vivas

The final battle of this episode was a great one and it was between two very different singers, country rocker Emily Earle and pop singer MacKenzie Bourg of Team Cee Lo. They tackled the duet Good Time by Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen-- Adam didn't think the chemistry was as good as he expected it to be. Blake loved both of them and offered comments to both; he said MacKenzie didn't need all those breaks in his voice and that Emily had an authentic country sound. Christina said that MacKenzie had the more entertaining performance. Cee Lo ultimately felt he could do more with MacKenzie and that he has that all American voice. He had a lot of mixed emotions about Emily's performance and had to choose MacKenzie.
Battle goes to: MacKenzie Bourg

Monday, October 15, 2012

The X Factor Season 2: My picks for the live shows

Season 2 of The X Factor has been a pleasant surprise, meaning, yes, it's far different than Season 1. I love both new judges, Demi Lovato and Britney Spears clearly came to play; they both did their homework and have proven themselves not only competent, but intelligent. As for the talent, it's been wonderful; there are so many unique performers who have such special qualities about them. After several weeks of auditions, the field was narrowed down to 24, and the contestants were separated into four categories and sent to the home of the judge who would mentor their respective category.

The categories were: Teens mentored by Britney Spears, Young Adults mentored by Demi Lovato, Over 25s mentored by L.A. Reid, and Groups mentored by Simon Cowell.

Click HERE for the remaining contestants! 

Here are my picks--

The Teens:

Arin Ray
Beatrice Miller
Carly Rose Sonenclar
Diamond White

The Young Adults:

Cece Frey
Jennel Garcia
Willie Jones

last spot is between Paige Thomas and Jillian Jensen

The Over 25s:

David Correy
Jason Brock
Tate Stevens
Vino Alan

The Groups:


You can watch the videos of their judge's homes performances here and here, and please, let me know who your picks are for the live shows.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Voice Season 3: The Battles Continue

The second night of battles was less impressive overall, but one feature that really bothered me was the fact that they didn't really show us full battles for every contestant. Some of them were abbreviated just like in the blind auditions when they showed contestants being chosen but the viewer didn't really get to see them sing.

The first battle of the night was two contestants from Team Cee Lo, Cody Belew and DOMO who were asked to tackle Lady Gaga's hit Telephone-- Cee Lo said this battle would be between the singer who can dance (Cody) and the dancer who can sing (DOMO). Blake commented on the fact that there were no stage presence problems for these two performers. Christina said the song was more suited to DOMO. Cee Lo said that both of them focused too much on the dancing and therefore he had to choose the person he preferred personally, and he went with Cody. I agree because Cody has more potential and DOMO is too one dimensional.
Battle goes to: Cody Belew

Christina's Team had the next battle of the night and it went to two smooth singers, Aquile and Nathalie Hernandez. I was kind of upset that she pitted these two against one another because they're both so good, but they do have similar voices. Christina gave them the song, You Give Me Something by James Morrison. Cee Lo thought Nathalie's voice was sweet while Aquile's was commanding. Adam felt that Aquile is ready while Nathalie will be soon, but isn't yet. Christina said she put them together because they compliment each other so well, but she decided to go with Aquile.
Battle goes to: Aquile

The two "quick," barely shown battles of the night:

Christina's Team-- Celica Westbrook vs. Lisa Scinta sang My Life Would Suck Without You by Kelly Clarkson
Battle goes to: Celica Westbrook

Blake's Team-- Charlie Rey vs. Rudy Parris sang Bad Day by Daniel Powter
Battle goes to: Rudy Parris

Final battle of this show was between two young women from Adam's Team-- Melanie Martinez and Caitlin Michele who sang the current chart topper, Lights by Ellie Goulding-- I liked both of these singers from the blind auditions, but my preference as far as voice and power is Cailtin. Both of them sang well, and following their performances none of the judges would show their hand and say who they preferred more. Adam claimed it was all because they wanted to steal one of them and it was strategic. Being kind of different himself, Adam chose 17 year old, Melanie Martinez, and Cee Lo and Blake expressed interest in Cailtin hitting the steal button.
Battle goes to: Melanie Martinez
Cailtin Michele is stolen by Cee Lo

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dancing with the Stars All Stars Season 15 Week 3: Iconic Dances

My predictions for the bottom three are Kirstie and Maks, Drew and Anna, and Bristol and Mark

Week three was Iconic Dance Week meaning that the celebrities could pick any dance from a past season and recreate it.  The celebrities were also the creative directors of these routines which I thought could be a disaster, but they all did surprisingly good jobs.

Why does Drew Lachey keep having to go first? I smell sabotage; going first on these shows is almost never a good thing.

Drew and Anna danced Joey McIntyre and Ashley Del Grosso's Cha Cha Cha from Season 1-- Len said he got the balance of precision and rhythm right for the dance. Bruno and Carrie Ann liked his creative direction and thought that he brought out the sexy Anna. I love Drew but I haven't seen the fire from him that he brought in Season 2, and I think he's in real trouble this week.
Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24

Gilles and Peta danced Erin and Maks' Tango from Season 10-- Bruno called the dance strong, dominant, erotic, and powerful, but also mentioned that he lost his footing a few times. Carrie Ann loved the dramatic nuances, but thought he should work on his control. Len said that overall it was good but at times there was so much energy that it fell off. I most identify with Carrie Ann's comments; I think Gilles' acting abilities worked well with this dance.
Score: 8.5, 8.5, 8.5 = 25.5

Melissa and Tony danced J.R. and Karina's Samba from Season 13-- Carrie Ann said the Samba was stellar. Len compared it to cola: fizzy, refreshing, and satisfying. Bruno loved the imaginative choreography, each move more difficult than the next. He felt she performed like a star. I have to say that I am so impressed with Melissa; I did not think she would be as committed to winning as she is. I'm becoming a real fan.
Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27

Apolo and Karina danced Gilles and Cheryl's Foxtrot from Season 8-- Len felt that there was great fluidity and musicality, but that Apolo needed to clean up the feet a little. Bruno urged him to extend his lines but thought he did an exquisite job. Carrie Ann loved the creative direction and felt this dance would be memorable. She loved how he led. This dance for me had a huge amount of sex appeal and I am in agreement with the fluidity, they just moved so well across the dance floor.
Score: 9, 8, 8.5 = 25.5

Kelly and Val danced Laila and Maks' Paso Doble from Season 4-- This was my personal favorite dance of the week. I loved the attack and the precision; Kelly has real passion. Bruno said her performance was defining and had beauty and power; he was tingling with pleasure. Carrie Ann called Kelly and Val the couple to watch. Len questioned where that came from and where Kelly has been; he said her arms were as expressive as her face.
Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27

Kirstie and Maks danced Carson and Anna's Cha Cha Cha from Season 13-- This dance was pure fun from start to finish; I loved the creative direction she took with it. Carrie Ann thought it was both fun and her best dance of the season. Len said it was the whole package, and that he wished the celebrities were the creative directors every week. Bruno said Marks looked like an extra from Boogie Nights.
Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24

Sabrina and Louis danced Mel B. and Maks' Paso Doble from Season 5-- I have to agree with Carrie Ann; I found this dance weak, and I didn't think Sabrina took as much creative license as she could have and should have. Bruno thought that the dance had lots of firepower, and Len liked the twists and turns.
Score: 8.5, 8.5, 8.5 = 25.5

Emmitt and Cheryl danced Mario and Karina's Paso Doble from Season 3-- Carrie Ann thought Emmitt's posture was awesome and that he was like a human torpedo with his stunts. Len liked it, but felt it lacked finesse. This was an improvement over last week, but another champion could be eliminated if Emmitt doesn't step it up.
Score: 8.5, 8, 8.5 = 25

Helio and Chelsie danced Apolo and Julianne's Quickstep from Season 4-- Carrie Ann called Helio the Quickstep King, and I agree he just possesses so much exuberance for this particular dance. Len said it was so good, and he deserves to be back next week, it was just top notch. Bruno felt bad that Helio got caught up in Chelsie's dress.
Score: 8.5, 8.5, 8.5 = 25.5

Bristol and Mark danced Joanna and Derek's Paso Doble from Season 9-- This was a personal best for Bristol and I enjoy her new found confidence; however, I don't know if it competes with the top contestants in this competition. Carrie Ann felt she was a worthy competitor, Len said she had attack, and Bruno loved her lines.
Score: 7.5, 7.5, 7.5 = 22.5

Shawn and Derek danced Helio and Julianne's Quickstep from Season 5-- I think Bruno calling this one of the best performances in all 15 seasons was going a bit overboard especially considering he didn't even give it a 10. Carrie Ann and Len both commented on how much they liked it, but could not deny the fact that it broke the rules and therefore they needed to be penalized points wise.
Scores: 9, 8, 9.5 = 26.5

Anna and Drew and Helio and Chelsie were eliminated-- this doesn't seem quite right, but what do you think? Feel free to share your comments.

Week three dance videos

The Voice Season 3: The Battle Rounds Begin with an Awesome New Twist

First impressions from the battle rounds of season three: ridiculously impressive. There were contestants that had skills that I did not know they had. Those who I did know had skills rose to the occasion. Truthfully, there were not that many people who deserved to go home or were easy to say goodbye to.

The steal was also introduced. I think this is a great new nuance to the game that's been added. Each judge can get up to two steals. How can a steal happen you ask? When a judge eliminates a contestant in the battle round, that contestant is available to be stolen by the three remaining judges. If more than one judge elects to steal, the contestant can choose which team they want to be on. 

Team Blake had the first battle and Blake enlisted the help of Michael Buble to help him with his team.

The first battle was between Scottish rocker Terry McDermott and Country man Casey Muessigmann. The song chosen was Carry on Wayward Son by Kansas-- Although Casey did step up, he sounded better than his blind audition; Terry came out with tons of confidence. The judges were thoroughly impressed by both men, but ultimately this battle went to Terry and I couldn't agree more. Blake said, the thing about you Terry is that you just know who you are as an artist.

Battle goes to: Terry McDermott

Battle two was between soulful Bryan Keith and College drop-out with tons of talent Collin McLoughlin from Team Adam who chose the song Santeria by Sublime and asked Mary J. Blige to sit in-- First thing is first, I did not thing this song did either one of these young men justice. This was an off song choice by Adam, I like the song, and I like Sublime, but this wasn't the right sound for either one of them. These two could not be more different from one another; Collin came out with tons of energy and eagerness, Bryan was more relaxed and more confident. Adam ended up choosing Bryan, but Collin received two steals from Cee Lo and Blake and chose to join Team Blake.

Battle goes to: Bryan Keith

Collin McLoughlin stolen by Blake

Cee Lo's Team had battle three between Peruvian rocker Diego Val and Youtube sensation JR Aquino. Cee Lo chose a great rock song in Jesse's Girl by Rick Springfield and had Matchbox 20 frontman Rob Thomas to advise the contestants; this song highlighted both singers in a great way--  Cee Lo chose Diego, and I was one of those people who initially doubted Diego; I didn't even think he would know the words. He showed so much potential though, and JR who was labeled as strong came across as boring in this performance.

Battle goes to: Diego Val

Christina Aguilera's team had the expertise of Billy Jo Armstrong from Green Day to help them with their battle. The first battle of Team X-Tina was between African refugee Nelly's Echo and former church singer and misfit De'Borah--  At first I thought Christina's song choice of Message in a Bottle by Sting was a little bit off, but when I heard what both of these artists brought to the song in terms of interpreting it in their own style, I was impressed. I actually liked the sound that Nelly's Echo brought to the song, but De'borah took it to another level with her style. I will say I am surprised that once De'borah was chosen by Christina that Nelly's Echo was not picked up by another judge because I do believe there was potential there. All the judges felt though that De'borah was the clear winner, and I must agree.

Battle goes to: De'borah

Blake had an all country battle with mother/ daughter duo 2 Steel Girls and yodeler Gracia Harrison. It's something that hadn't been done on The Voice before and I loved it because both artists came out strong and ready, especially being that the song choice was Sin Wagon by The Dixie Chicks-- Christina said it was entertaining and it definitely was! Both sides battled and battled well, but Gracia brought this sexy level of confidence that was unmatched by the mother/ daughter duo, and as a result Blake said goodbye to 2 Steel Girls. Gracia is someone that I think has a serious untapped talent, and I hope Blake is able to take her to the country charts because her voice is like a lost piece of art. 

Battle goes to: Gracia Harrison

The final battle of the show was a battle for all ages and featured two amazing soul singers from New York from Team Cee Lo. It was between sophisticated club singer Amanda Brown and 18 year old phenom Trevin Hunte. They sang Vision of Love by Mariah Carey-- The judges were wondering at the end, just why did Cee Lo pit two amazing singers against one another, and Cee Lo had the same explanation I did. He had no idea how good Amanda Brown was, he underestimated her experience and her voice. Obviously, he saw some potential being that he was the only judge to turn his chair in the blind auditions; he discovered a diamond in the rough. Following the well fought, well matched battle, Adam said the whole thing was just crazy and that whoever did not get chosen by Cee Lo, he was going to try and steal for his team. Blake said Amanda was hot when she walked out onto the stage and remained that way throughout the performance, but by the end, he found himself attracted to Trevin as well, because, he took a woman's song and just performed it amazingly well. Christina said, this battle proved there was just too much talent for one team. Cee Lo said he wanted to continue with Trevin and be there for his journey. All three judges pushed the "steal button" and made their case to Amanda Brown. Amanda said she needed to take a risk, go against the grain, and she decided to choose Adam. I think this will be a good for her, and although I chose Trevin, I will try and steal Amanda for my personal team as well. Both of them are complete stars!

Battle goes to: Trevin Hunte

Amanda Brown stolen by Adam

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Voice Season 3: Week 4 and the Blind Auditions are a wrap

Week four was the final week of blind auditions on The Voice (even though in reality it all happened in a day.... I'm guessing because they've been wearing the same clothes for four weeks). I've decided this week to arrange the final eight contestants by how many chair turns they received. No one received four by the way. I noticed going over my notes that very few contestants did receive the four chair turn.

3 Chairs:

Nathalie Hernandez sang White Horse by Taylor Swift-- I loved her version of this song, it had so much control.
Who did she choose? Christina
I want her on my team because she touched me with her voice.

Kayla Nevarez sang American Boy by Estelle-- This young woman exhibited so much confidence throughout her performance. She had a swagger and her voice was great.
Who did she choose? Adam
I want her on my team because she believes she can win.

Celica Westbrook sang A Thousand Years by Christina Perri-- Sixteen year olds are not supposed to be able to sing like this. Celica got up there and sang a mature song like a pro.
Who did she choose? Christina
She's 16, and with a voice like that comes lots of promise, I need her on my team.

2 Chairs:

Caitlin Michele sang Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine-- All I could think about throughout her performance was how powerful her voice was. Adam was right when he said maybe there were pitch problems, but there's so much potential that can you pass it up?
Who did she choose? Adam
Potential equals power in this competition, she's on my team

Nicole Johnson sang Mr. Know it All by Kelly Clarkson-- Nicole is a country girl at heart, she even sang a country version of the song. I don't know how good she will be, but she is definitely with the right coach.
Who did she choose? Blake
I'm still undecided on whether or not I would choose her for my team.

Chevonne sang Brass in Pocket by The Pretenders-- Chevonne has an interesting story; she sang backup for Lady Gaga on her last tour. She struggled with eating disorders, so she's experienced pain, and with that comes a real grasp on the music. I also liked her song choice, it was gutsy.
Who did she choose? CeeLo
I'd love to have someone who could potentially be a pop star or a rock star on my team.

Rudy Paris sang I'll Be Watchin You by The Police-- I was waiting for this performance to go somewhere but it didn't.
Who did he choose? Blake
I would like to hear him again, especially before I commit.

1 Chair:

Cody Belew sang Hard to Handle by Otis Redding-- Seeing as Cody was the last contestant chosen as CeeLo had one open spot on his team, I expected it to be memorable. I'm not sure I quite believed this performance on him but he does have a good voice, and he was more than happy to make CeeLo's team.
Who did he choose? CeeLo
He had lots of enthusiasm, so I'd like him on my team.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Dancing with the Stars All Stars Season 15 Week 2

Week two for me was difficult to watch. There was no dance that was particularly great, well, maybe Gilles and Peta's Jive. What I will say is that I don't quite understand what the judges are looking for. The scores were odd, it seemed like everyone was 7.5.

Twelve couples danced and I am going to separate them into thirds based on who I felt was best.

Top third

Gilles and Peta danced a Jive-- Even injured, Gilles knows how to pull off a performance. Len said Gilles' Jive had attack, dynamic, and that it was fast and fabulous. Carrie Ann thought he had the best kicks of the night. Bruno commented, "let the good times roll".
Score: 8.5, 8.5, 8.5 = 25.5

Melissa and Tony danced a Jive-- Although they danced first, their score and the quality of their dance held up. It was beautiful. Len felt Melissa set the bar high, and that she had good energy, and the dance was full of technique. Bruno said it was one of the best Jives he's seen, but said there were a few missteps. Carrie Ann said she was made to Jive and told Tony his choreography was great.
Score: 8, 8, 7.5 = 23.5

Apolo and Karina danced a Quickstep-- The best Quickstep of the night and Apolo had the best footwork of the night. His feet were so tight and so precise, as Len said, he was gold medal worthy and had speed and control. Bruno thought his determination, focus, and hard work paid off; he also commented about his amazing footwork. Carrie Ann said he put his competition pants on.
Score: 8.5, 8, 8 = 24.5


Sabrina and Louie danced a Jive-- I thought this was a bit over-scored in comparison to the other couples in this top third. She did have fantastic lines as Carrie Ann mentioned. Bruno said the variations were incredible. This is the highest scoring dance so far.
Score: 9, 8.5, 8.5 = 26


Shawn and Derek danced a Jive-- Len said there was just enough Jive, content, and technique. Bruno called it exhilarating, eye popping, and lots of synchronicity. Carrie Ann agreed with Bruno and dubbed them "All Star" sweethearts. I personally loved the quickness of this, and loved that Shawn took risks and went out there and did something daring.
Score: 8.5, 8, 8.5 = 25

Middle third
Helio and Chelsie danced a Jive-- This was an improvement over last week; however, there were still some parts where he and Chelsie weren't in sync. Len said he provided style, joy, fun, and entertainment.
Score: 8, 7.5, 7.5 = 23

Kelly and Val danced a Quickstep-- Bruno thought it was extremely elegant and very pretty. Carrie Ann urged Kelly to extend all the way through her lines because she is so small; she needs to be sure to dance big. Len liked when she was out of hold as well as her spins , and called it a good job well done. She was a little bit underscored.
Score: 7.5, 7.5, 7.5 = 22 

Joey and Kym danced a Quickstep-- It was a fantastic performance Carrie Ann said, but it went out of sync in some areas. Len enjoyed the dance despite his bad posture and sloppy footwork. You do entertainment, Bruno exclaimed, you're fun, big, and bold. I agree with Bruno, Joey can dance, but he needs to stop making the little mistakes. I am going to say it again though, he was underscored.
Score: 7.5, 7.5, 7.5 = 22.5

Bottom third

Emmitt and Cheryl danced a Quickstep-- This was a disappointment from last week. The reason being, and Len said it, the technicalities lacked, but the style didn't. So the danced looked good, but it wasn't executed correctly. Bruno though his chemistry with Cheryl was red hot. Carrie Ann said the race car driver and the speed skater were better than him tonight.
Score: 7.5, 7.5, 7.5 = 22.5

Drew and Anna danced a Jive-- It was powerful like Bruno said, but I feel like the old Drew isn't quite back yet. Len warned him to walk on the balls of his feet, and  and felt that he was wouldn't be in the bottom two.
Score: 7.5, 7.5, 7.5 = 22.5

Kirstie and Maks danced a Quickstep-- There was indeed a big improvement from last week. Bruno felt it was played beautifully, and Len found it to be neat, precise, and chock full of jive.
Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21

Bristol and Mark danced a Quickstep-- Bristol has so much more confidence than she had last time she was on the show. Bruno said it was different, but the frame was not good. She needs to work full force on technique.

Score: 6, 6, 6 = 18

My bottom three: Bristol and Mark, Kirstie and Maks, and Drew and Anna