Archive for the ‘the voice’ Tag

If I’m an Emmy Voter…   4 comments

Photo courtesy of emmys.com

Now that I’m done making my predictions for the Emmys tomorrow, I’ll try to fill the shoes of those who were tasked to judge the actual Emmy categories and be in a voter mood just this time. If I happen to vote on all the categories that will be presented tomorrow (plus the four guest acting awards), here’s how my ballot will look like:

DRAMA SERIES: Homeland (Showtime)

Mad Men has four already, and while they indeed had a great season again, I’d rather spread the wealth this year. Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones’s first seasons were better than the second one, I’ll wait for Breaking Bad’s series to end, and I think Homeland just brings the good week in and week out that I don’t see them topping this perfectly balanced first season; thus I’m throwing Homeland my vote.

LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA: Damian Lewis, “Homeland”

This is pretty much a non contest. Both Cranston and Lewis deliver Emmy winning performance. The only difference is Cranston was rewarded thrice already, yet Lewis has none. I’m giving Lewis my vote.

LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA: Claire Danes, “Homeland”

I’m happy Danes is getting the surge in her career post-Temple Grandin, and that her wonderful acting abilities is put into good use. She might have won just two years ago, but she deserves this quick of a follow up.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA: Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad”

This was tough. Esposito was the villain of the season and he was actually good in Breaking Bad. This is also the last chance to reward Harris for years of consistent performance, but I can’t resist to vote for Aaron Paul who perfectly compliments Bryan Cranston every single time in Breaking Bad.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA: Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”

It’s really a bull that Mad Men is still Emmyless in terms of acting categories. Holloway owned this season like no other, so I’m giving my vote to her. Christine Baranski is a close second, but I’m totally voting for Miss Holloway.

GUEST ACTOR, DRAMA: Dylan Baker, “The Good Wife”

After watching his episode, he totally gave me Hannibal Lecter creeps. That’s enough to give him my vote.

GUEST ACTRESS, DRAMA: Joan Cusack, “Shameless”

What is she even doing in this category? I think she’s a solid supporting actress in her show. With that said, I’ve loved how she embraced this character perfectly and that tape just rocks on so many level.

WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES: Julian Fellowes, “Downton Abbey” (Episode 7)

After Homeland’s The Weekend shoutout here, I’m going with Fellowes Oscar-worthy screenplay for the Christmas episode. This is totally the saving grace of an uneven second season.

DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES: Vince Gilligan, “Breaking Bad” (Face Off)

From start to finish, the episode is riveting. Simply riveting.

COMEDY SERIES: Modern Family (ABC)

No Louie and Parks and Recreation on the list. I like both Girls and Veep, but I think they still ahsn’t developed the highest points of their series runs. Big Bang was more of a Big Blah this season. 30 Rock has had its shares of a threepeat here. Curb is a hit or miss for me. Easy vote goes to Modern Family.

LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY: Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

It’s between Louis CK and Larry David, but the perennial nominee deserves it based on the long pedigree of consistent performance in his show. It’s actually too overdue to happen, but I would’ve voted for him in a heartbeat.

LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY: Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Veep”

I love you Amy Poehler, and I’m happy you won the Pawnee elections, but the Veep had my vote.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family”

By a mile, the only consistent and still refreshing cast member for the third season. He really deserves the Emmy.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY: Kristin Wiig, “Saturday Night Live”

Bleh batch of nominees. Where’s Jane Krakowski? She should have been winning this thing. Srsly. With that, I’ll go for our favorite bridesmaid.

GUEST ACTOR, COMEDY: Jimmy Fallon, “Saturday Night Live”

It’s not even a competition. Fallon owned everybody in his category, and I’m ecstatic he actually won.

GUEST ACTRESS, COMEDY: Maya Rudolph, “Saturday Night Live”

I love you Kathy Bates, and I’m happy you can now call yourself an Emmy winner, but the moment Beyonce did Maya Rudolph is already a win worthy in my book. Distant second is Melissa McCarthy’s dress tasting skit.

WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES: Chris McKennan, “Community” (Remedial Chaos Theory)

I’m still over the moon with this nomination, and this only comes once in a blue moon, so why waste your time to not vote for it. This is the best nomination this whole Emmy season.

DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES: Louis CK, “Louie” (Duckling)

A.K.A a vote for all of his work for the show.

REALITY COMPETITION PROGRAM: The Voice (NBC)

I have three favorite reality/competition shows: The Amazing Race, Top Chef, and The Voice. The first two ahve Emmys on their mantle already. It’s time to add a third companion on the list.

REALITY HOST: Cat Deeley, “So You Think You Can Dance” 

Only Deeley shows enough personality that sets her apart from being just the “instruction giver.” Other hosts should really take notes.

OUTSTANDING MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (PBS)

I really don’t have any vote here. So anything other than American Mess Story is fine by me.

LEAD ACTOR, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock”

This is the perfect Sherlock performance that’s less mainstream and more convincing. Iron Man, take notes.

LEAD ACTRESS, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Nicole Kidman, “Hemingway & Gellhorn”

Say what you want about the quality of the whole TV movie but Kidman stand out front and center in this enriching performance that shows why she’s one of her generation’s top actresses.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Martin Freeman, “Sherlock”

Meh batch of nominees. Don’t think Harris is the stand out at all, and the others aren’t even close. Give O’Hare some props though.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Sarah Paulson, “Game Change”

We all know Lange is winning and she deserves it, but Paulson is the real definition of a supporting actress in Game Change. She gets my vote.

How about you? Who will you be voting for if you were an Emmy voter? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

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20 Best Performances from The Voice Season 2   5 comments

Now that Season 2 is finally over, and that the weeks leading to the finale became one surprise after the other, we go back and reminisce the performances that made indelible mark not only for that specific season, but in the history of the show. As a matter of fact, many performances here are some of the best I’ve witnessed in the history of any reality singing show. Here are twenty of them:

20. Justin Hopkins, Tony Vincent, ” Faithfully” (Battle Rounds Week 4) 

The last battle during the Battle Rounds went out with a bang as two big voiced rocker men belted out Journey’s classic Faithfully. I love how the song sets them up both for a grand spectacle that blends well with Cee-Lo’s theatrics. It’s pretty apparent that Tony Vincent will be the one chosen, but I specifically preferred  Justin Hopkins here.

19. Jamie Lono, “Folsom Prison Blues” (Blind Auditions)

The sandwich boy back story was just a cherry on the top of the cake when it comes to Jamie Lono’s audition. It was obvious from the start that it was his voice that will make the coaches press their buttons for him. Sadly, his journey ended too soon, as I think we haven’t seen the last of him yet.

18.Lindsey Pavao, “Skinny Love” (Live Rounds, Week 5)

After two weeks of going current and mainstream, Lindsey Pavao went out with a bang as she goes back to her roots with simply a guitar in her version of Skinny Love. Plus points to anybody who sings Bon Iver and /or Birdy in a singing competition.

17. Jamar Rogers, Juliet Simms, Katrina Parker, Tony Lucca, “All These Things That I’ve Done” (Live Rounds, Week 5)

Despite not working under the same team, Team Cee-Lo’s Jamar and Juliet blended well with Team Adam’s Katrina and Tony in this The Killers song during the Top 8 week. This is probably one of the best group songs in any singing reality competition.

16. Jordis Unga, “A Little But Stronger ” (Live Rounds, Week 3)

It’s sad to hear that Blake Shelton decided to cut Jordis Unga off her team after her best performance on the show yet. Her A Little But Stronger is the closest she came to her Rockstar INXS days. It was raw, poignant, and emotional and definitely deserving of another week in the comeptition.

15. Jermaine Paul, “I Believe I Can Fly” (Finale)

R. Kelly’s staple song is one of the most cliched records to ever use in any singing competition especially when you are in the finale. However, Jermaine Paul’s version made it grand and gave us goosebumps as if he was really singing the time of his life here.

14. Katrina Parker,  “Jar of Hearts” (Live Rounds, Week 4)

Since Adam clearly doesn’t know what to do with her, it took until the Top 8 before she finally got her biggest break in the show. Jar of Hearts is a very difficult song to sing and while Katrina’s version is not perfect, it molds to highlight the best thing about what the show is about. After this performance, America fell in love with Katrina and I really wish she should have gone to the finale.

13. Ashley dela Rosa, “Paris Ooh LaLa” (Last Chance Performance)

Ashley dela Rosa is your typical cannon fodder. Her audition wasn’t shown, yet she made it ti the Battle Rounds. She went in to the Live Shows and she was saved by her coach Christina Aguilera. After her Paris Ooh LaLa performance, it was already clear that Ashley ahs a hidden talent not only in her voice but with her choice of songs as well.

12. Chris Mann/Christina Aguilera, “The Prayer” (Finale)

It’s difficult to outsing Christina Aguilera. That’s probably one of the easiest tips one can give any The Voice aspirant. Somehow, Chris Mann and Christina Aguilera made magic together in this finale duet of The Prayer that I’m willing to forgive the pressure of anybody who’s nervous for a possible nip slip from Xtina.

11. Pip, “House of the Rising Sun” (Blind Auditions)

American Idol’s Haley Reinhart gave one of her best performance last season when she performed this song. However, Pip gave it his own spin this season. Bowtie issues aside, clearly everyone fell in love with this performing including the four coaches who all pressed their buzzers for him.

10. Jamar Rogers, “Seven Nation Army” (Blind Auditions)

It’s sad that Jamar Rogers was never given this rich material by his coach during the Live Shows. His choice of a White Stripes song during his audition certainly got the attention of eventual coach CeeLo Green. One makes you wonder why the other coaches did not turn their chairs around for him when this is clearly one of the best audition pieces this season.

9. Charlotte Sometimes, “Apologize” (Blind Auditions)

Charlotte Sometimes may tend to be polarizing when it comes to her attitude in the show (I, for one, really love her), and while her stint on the show was disrupted very quickly, her Apologize audition piece is one of the few brilliant auditions this season that received a four chair turn from all the coaches.

8. Tony Lucca, “Trouble” (Blind Auditions)

See my comment for Jamar Rogers and replace him with Tony Lucca, and replace CeeLoGreen with Adam Levine. Tony has been a very controversial figure on the show, and it was all for the wrong reasons. Had we seen more of this Tony like his audition segment, or his Devil Town single, then I don’t think the issue of being one dimensional will ever be brought out this season.

7. Jesse Campbell, “A Song for You” (Blind Auditions)

While this is one of the most overrated audition pieces in the show, there’s no denying that this voice is certainly deserving of a mention in the list. Jesse Campbell’s rendition of this Donny Hathaway classic is indeed one of the best renditions that has ever done of this song in any reality competition program.

6.Juliet Simms, “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” (Live Rounds, Week 6)

Certainly, no one can touch Christina Aguilera’s version of the song as its best rendition in recent years, but there’s something raw and emotional about Juliet’s version that makes you feel that she means every word being sung in this number. While Roxanne made her the frontrunner, this one cemented her status in the finale.

5. Blake Shelton, Jermaine Paul, “Soul Man” (Finale)

What’s good about this number is that it highlighted Jermaine Paul’s strength as a vocalist. And his connection with his coach was the highest point of this number. It was fun and entertaining and merits a spot in the list.

4. Jermaine Paul, Jamar Rogers, Pip, James Massone, “I Want You Back” (Finale)

The best thing about the finale is that it brings back contestants of the show who didn’t manage to make it until the end. This is one of them. Jermaine Paul bring back Jamar Rogers, Pip, and a very likable James Massone in this Jackson 5 number which is a standout in that very long season finale.

3. Lidnsey Pavao – Say Aah (Blind Auditions)

In what I call as the best audition piece for this season, Lindsey Pavao managed to transform a forgettable Trey Songz track into something that is cool, edgy, and hip. Add the fact that this Katy Perry slash Kristen Stewart crossover has a knack of  making the bubblegum pop songs with a more interesting and mysterious approach.

2. Juliet Simms, “Roxanne” (Live Rounds, Week 2)

There is something about this legendary The Police track song that makes things better than what they’re supposed to be. The last time we’ve heard is in that twisted Community episode. The next time we’ve heard it is when Juliet Simms sang the hell out of the song during her first Live Show performance, and the rest, as they say, is history.

1. Jessie Campbell/Anthony Evans, “If I Ain’t Got You” (Battle Rounds, Round 1)

People always hear the saying “bringing down the house”, and this is a clear example of that. Both Jessie Campbell and Anthony Evans sang it as if there’s no tomorrow, and even original singer Alicia Keys can’t stop herself from tweeting how great it was. There’s no stopping this performance, and this is certainly deserving of the top spot.

Do you agree with what’s in the list? What are your favorite numbers this season? Chime them in at the Comments section. 🙂

Weekend Update (March 18 – March 24, 2012)   Leave a comment

So here’s a recap of the different things that happened the past week:

 * The Philippines won two awards at the 6th Asian Film Awards last Monday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. Shamaine Buencamino won Supporting Actress for Nino while Eugene Domingo  won the People’s Choice for Best Actress. This is the second time that a Filipino won an acting award after Gina Pareno won in the same category for Serbis way back in 2009. Iran’s A Separation swept the awards this year winning Picture, Director and Screenplay for Asghar Farhadi, and Editing. Eugene Domingo, who was shimmering in gold, was the crowd favorite, thanks to her funny banter with Andy Lau. She also gets to present Best Supporting Actor that night. Hurray for Pinoy pride!

Photo courtesy of pep.ph

* FX’s American Horror Story officially campaigns in the Miniseries categories at the Emmys this year. Given the format of the series, this is the logical thing to do in order to earn more Emmy nods. However, their eligible material (13 episodes) is 12 times more than their possible competition this year. While I don’t think Connie Britton will defeat Julianne Moore or Nicole Kidman for the Emmy, she is now guaranteed a nomination. Jessica Lange will transfer her frontrunner status at the Miniseries Supporting Actress category with literally no one having a chance against her.

* In other Jessica Lange news, she now replaces Glenn Close in the Elizabeth Olsen starrer Therese Raquin. For the longest time, Close has been attached to the project despite some names literally coming and going. However, it’s now official that Lange will be replacing her for the role of Madame Raquin. Between this and Sally Field’s role in Lincoln, it’s safe to say that Meryl Streep is NOT hogging all the roles for 60+ aged actresses.

 * For some reality show news, Erika van Pelt finally left Idol stage, as she was eliminated at last Thursday’s results show. Sporting a new  Adam Lambert look-a-like makeover, it seems like the change of look didn’t provide her any luck. While it was Heejun Han who everybody predicted to be a goner that night, it will only take a few weeks before EVP will also be a goner. Take it as a case of foregone conclusion. Next week will probably be Heejun’s farewell unless he turns into a Sanjaya or John Stevens.

 Photo courtesy of gossip,whyfame.com

* Over at The Voice, I’ve witnessed probably the advancement of the worst vocals into the live shows in the longest time that I have been watching singing reality shows. Erin Martin’s butchering over The Garage Brothers of Tina Turner’s classic “What’s Love Got to Do With It” is a big slap to genius Jamie Lono for not making it last week. Dear Erin made it sound as if Ke$ha is a Mariah or a Celine. She’s not even singing! Between this and Chessa three weeks ago, we all know that Purrfect the Cat and not Cee-Lo, should be the one tp choose the victors for his battle rounds.

* The women of Wisteria Lane a.k.a the Desperate Housewives get one last time to cover Entertainment Weekly as a group. As the nearing series finale comes, we get to see more juicy and interesting storylines among the four Housewives. While the show was never able to regain the glory of their first season heydays, I think that they were still able to come up with decent to good seasons and the performances of the Housewives has been underrated in terms of awards consideration. For the first time, they’ll be talking about that infamous Vanity Fair cover in 2005. Very juicy, indeed!

* The Hunger Games is now in theaters, and while this hasn’t topped any box office records, it’s slowly joining the bandwagon. In fact, with a good ratings from the critics and impressive box office returns, it is safe to say that it is the new book to film sensation that will keep everyone gaga. Catching Fire, though, is premiering to theaters much later than usual on November 2013.

* Oscar winner Taylor Swift? Not gonna happen folks. While T-Swift’s efforts with another T (T-Bone Burnett, that’s who) gets critical praise, together with the whole Hunger Games soundtrack, it won’t be hearing it’s name come Oscar time, as it was the second song to be featured at the credits of the movie. Oscar contenders for Best Original Song must be played in the course of the movie, up until the first song in the credits. This is the same thing that happened to Madonna’s Golden Globe winning song “Masterpiece” for W.E. Luckily for Swift though, she can count on a Globe and Grammy nods in the Original Song categories.

* Kate Winslet wants that EGOT title right? Winslet is set to appear on her first Broadway show: a play written by two time Oscar nominee (The Hours, The Reader) playwright David Hare. There is no tentative date yet for this play, but Winslet is probably going gaga over the thought of her achieving the EGOT now. If she managed to accomplish that, she’ll be the youngest member of the club whose latest inductee is producer Scott Rudin.
 * Lastly, it’s the Golden Screen Awards tonight. This is the closest to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globes, as they separate the awards into Drama and Comedy categories. While I’m hoping for an Angel Locsin repeat win in the Best Actress: Drama category, that and Best Actor are the most difficult to predict. Martin Escudero (Zombadings), Eugene Domingo (Babae sa Septic Tank) are the frontrunners for the Comedy Lead acting while John Regala and Nonie Buencamino are the most buzzed for Supporting Actor. Nino stars Raquel Villavicencio and Shamaine Buencamino are the frontrunners for Supporting Actress while both Solenn Heusaff and Rocco Nacino might have repeat victories in the Brakthrough Acting categories.

photo courtesy of mykiru.ph

That’s it for this week’s report of Weekend Update! 😀

REVIEW: The Voice   4 comments

As far as reality shows go, to do a singing competition is pretty much the toughest to maintain especially since America’s most watched TV show for the past few years is a singing reality competition. So when a show like NBC’s The Voice premiered this summer, everyone took it with a grain of salt. However, no one saw that this is probably the most refreshing, and best musical competition existing right now.

It all started with the blind auditions. Probably gimmicky to some, but this is the perfect way to gain steam and for the show to leave an impact to its viewers. For two weeks, we saw  the judges pressed that buttons, sell themselves, and even gave second chances to some (poor Joann Rizzo, probably my favorite reality star this season. LOL).  Battle rounds were more crucial as we said goodbye to many deserving candidates (Rebecca Loebe, Kelsey Rey, Tje Austin) and then we’re off to the Live Shows, where we’ve seen four people go home each week, until we had the final four (one for each team) and ultimately, Javier Colon won as the first “The Voice” of America.

The season went by pretty fast, though it’s pretty expected as this has been the trial season for NBC’s musical hit contest. Rest assured though that Season 2 will have more episodes and and will be on a more moderate pace, as NBC is gonna milk it for what its worth. What’s unexpected though is the awesome chemistry we saw from the four coaches. Who would have thought that Cee-Lo Green, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Christina Aguilera will have this very playful chemistry that helps provide the energy of the show. Not only did we see them train the contestants themselves, but we have seen another part of their personality regarding their own personal experiences in this business. That will remain as one of the biggest assets of this show, and I’m glad to know that all coaches will be back for Season 2. It has also been a very good platform in promoting themselves and their music. I’m pretty confident that Blake Shelton is now a household name, and a very famous one. All thanks to the show.

Also, the performances of the finalists are all worth mentioning. Whether it’s the theatrics of Cee-Lo’s group, or the simplicity of Blake’s, the performances were clearly appreciated as we see the coaches be in charge behind the scenes in terms of the overall outcome. That’s why I actually don’t have a problem when they rarely say anything negative during live shows. The coaches can reserve the constructive criticisms on the rehearsals as it is the better venue to do so. it’s not like commenting just for the sake of stirring some fake buzz or showing off favoritism among some finalists. Plus, the songs! OMG, it’s as current as it gets! Who would have thought that a Ke$ha song will ever be sung on a singing competition? Not me, definitely! I love that there are no themes per weeks, and focuses on the strengths of the contestants. After all, they’re newbies, you don’t expect them to be bravura right off the bat.

All in all, this was a very good season for The Voice. The winner was strong, and I’ll even go as far as saying that the top four is extremely good. I wouldn’t be shocked if all four get record deals as I know that their coaches will probably get one for them. There are definitely rooms for improvement (yes, Carson I’m pointing at you), but for a trial freshman season, this went beyond my expectations! Actually when I was watching the last few minutes before the announcement of the winner, I did not feel that I’m watching a competition, but more of a celebration of talent. That’s how effective it is! Kudos to everyone involved! 🙂

Season Grade: solid A

Next post is dedicated to The Voice’s best performances of the season.