Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Voice U.S. S6 Recap: I Was in The [Episode 2]12

[The Azealia Banks motif continues for tonight's episode recap title. This is when the song title is first uttered in "212".]

Picking up where last night left off, Adam, Shakira, Usher and Blake continued on the pre-recorded quest of finding people they deemed worthy enough to mentor on the NBC program with ratings (RIP to the upcoming series About a Boy). These are the marklar, gerunds, nouns and pronouns that transpired...[SPOILER; some humans make the show...sexual tension between Mr. and Mr. "Shevine" will be parlayed...Usher's afro will be adorable and Shaki will have an accent. Sorry 'bout it.]

Let's play rough and get it on!

First up for scrutiny, S5 reject Delvin Choice. He had the stupid style of hair and still does. He came back after being told to pick a song that suited his singing style. He auditioned with "A Song for You" by Donny Hathaway. 3 chairs turned within the the first verse of the song. Thank God for improvement because he actually had it. Yet he was not an all chair improvement.Sorry but he wasn't. After the coaches fought for him like Sasha Allen from S4 [for whatever reason], Delvin remembered Adam was the one who told him to pick a different song and chose him to be his coach. Congrats but get that lobster hair some "bay butter & a boiling pot" and get rid of it.

Second of the night, Madilyn Paige. She auditions with a slower version of "Titanium" by David Guetta ft. Sia. The cadence seemed a little too subdued, but her singing was rather pleasant. Usher and Shaki turn for her thinking she was smart for the slight pacing switch up. Shaki was all "Girl Power" like she was the Colombian Spice Girls or something. Usher makes vague reference to who he worked with [He Who Inspired Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber]. She ended up picking Usher to be her coach. She is someone to keep an eye on. Younguns tend to do better than expected on the show.

Third, Noah Lis who is of the white guy who sings soul cloth. At least he has taste in music. He auditions with "Me and Mrs. Jones" O_O Do you know how much sin has to be evoked singing that? He ends up sounding like a more scumbag and less talented version of James Wolpert from last year. He almost was a reject until Mr. and Mr. Shevine turn for him. I don't know why and he ends up going with Blake to be his coach. Seriously, I can't with Noah. I can't. The "standards" are one thing, but I can't. I just can't.

Fourth up to Shanghai their dreams into submission, Keith Shuskie. That mustache is inexcusable (He and Delvin need a makeover, immediately.) He auditions with "Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane. The coaches sensed his pitch issue ridden voice (And facial hair) and Keith was the reject of the night. The coaches grant mercy on him and Shaki even asks him to sing acapella "Somebody to Love" by Queen. 2 things...

1. You don't turn around for him. Why the hell do you think his singing would improve when you see him?

2. This is Cody Belew's song. Back the fuck up if you ain't him.

Take your mustache and kick rocks, gurl. BYE!

Fifth tried in the Court of Public Opinion, Deja Hall. She happens to be from San Antonio, TX [where I'm from]. She auditions with "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper. Her skills for a youngun are actually impressive (Anything that makes up for Diego Roman Navaira). It's right where anyone can think "That 16 year old can sing rather well." All but Adam turned but he wanted higher notes from her. I kind of understand, but I'm a touch more merciful on younguns that can actually sing for their age. After the coaches give their selling points, she picks Shakira as her coach.

Finally, Cary Laine. I smelled country-bait from the minute Carson Daly's voice-over said her name. She's a country girl lookin' for that fella called opportunity. She auditions with "Better Dig Two". Country bait did catch Blake's attention but Adam and the rest turned too; Adam before Blake! Chairs were sat in and all sorts of romper room fuckery commences. Why they turned for her, I have no goddamn clue. She eventually picks Adam to be her coach. That was honestly shocking. But it proves Cassadee is no good selling point. YAY!

All in all, there is something to be said about contestants that make it on the show. Subjective things about their place and about the sanity of their coach and/or mentor(s).

Up next for scrutiny, Part III of the Blind Auditions.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Voice U.S. S6 Recap: What You Gon' Do When I Premiere?

[The title is reference to a less vulgar lyric from Azealia Banks' YouTube friendly sensation, "212".]

Tonight marks the Season 6 premiere of the NBC program with ratings I love dearly (Even though there's an 0 for 5 record on winners I like). The Voice premiered its 6th season with bittersweet being the key word [as it was announced merely days before, that the adorably unhinged Cee-Lo Green would no longer be a coach. Weirdos may have Usher as Michelle "Amazing Human" Chamuel proved to be a success. Yet let us have a moment for Cee-Lo. T_T...OK enough of that]. Shakira and Usher joined Blake and the S5 coach champion, Adam to find new talent (Or more nails in Idolatry's coffin.)
These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds and (You guessed it to your chagrin) marklar that transpired...

Let's play rough and get it on!

After the coaches do their obligatory group number introducing the show (Blake cannot sing "Whenever, Wherever" by Shakira) receiving the S6 Baptism of Fire is Christina Grimmie from New Jersey. This is the YouTube plant who sang with Selena Gomez. O_O [hey at least the show was honest about the YouTube part]. She sings "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus. She sounds like Caitlin Michele but without the talent. No, no, on this chick. She gets all the coaches to turn which is a complete surprise. Shakira's all like "S4 I was hormonal; S6 I'm focused as a laser!" Adam's previous win is brought up; Christina says she "lurves" Usher and Blake has a country accent. Eventually she picks Adam to be her coach. Big deal; I can't stand her. BYE GURL BYE.

Second, T.J. Wlikins from South Central L.A. who after shunning that image of South Central went into music. He sang "Bennie and the Jets" by Elton John. He's actually decent but I'm waiting to see if any other song can do him better justice. All but "Shaki" turn around [I understand, Shaki. I understand.] Adam reminds Blake he can barely spell L.A. or something, Usher gives him credit for singing an Elton John song in public and Blake has a country accent. T.J. eventually picks Usher as his coach. Nice try pimping T.J. out to Blake, Shaki. That I don't understand.

Third for subjective criticism, Kristen Merlin who sings country music. BYE FELICIA. She sings "Something More" by Sugarland. Incidentally she won a contest having something to do with this group [once you reveal your alignment to country music, I tend to not to care a certain amount. A certain Mason-Dixon line is drawn.] She also reveals she happens to be a lesbian. Good on you for being honest. All but Blake actually hit their buttons. Vibrato is her biggest thing revealed when Blake reciprocates the earlier pimping and tries to have her go to Shaki. This time it works as she picks Shakira to be her coach. Whatever. Country just has me all like "UGH; BYE."

Fourth in the auditions, Tanner Linford who at 16 looks 10 and just won the Scripps National Spelling Bee. O_O He's inspired by his uncle who he considered his spirit animal. He took a bit of a risk by singing "Stay" by Rihanna ft. Mikky Ekko. This kid is shaky and nervous and I wish he breathed before performing. The coaches don't turn around but grant him mercy as did I but yeeesh; this was bad. They encourage him to keep trying and find songs that work for his voice. Just breathe; meditate; recite a mantra; DO SOMETHING to where your nerves are not shot.

Fifth, Biff Gore who is the first (of probably many) Dad with Dreams. At 45, he's the oldest contestant to audition so far [and might be the oldest in this season]. He's a worship leader who calls what he does "Life Music"; music intended to give people LIFE (RuPaul would like a word with you.) He sings "A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke. He sounds fantastic and got all 4 coaches to turn. I understood this and Biff turning down the "date" with Shaki to the Grammys (He's got a kid on the way, Shaki.) After the "lurve" fest, Biff picks Usher to be his coach. I like this one, so proceed to the battles onward (Before you might get Donna Allen'd over age over someone who sucks like HRFH -2.0)

Next, Dawn & Hawkes [a duo] from Austin, Texas. I hated the aesthetic when Alex & Sierra existed on the X Factor (RIP) They sing "I've Just Seen a Face" by someone I don't know. They sound like any duo who sings a song like that. Like they're in "lurve" and so folksy I wanted to buy kale bars from them. BYE FELICIAS! Adam and Shaki turn for them [like I have a clue why.] Adam "lurves" them and Shaki gets pimped by both Usher and Blake. O_O They end up picking Adam as their coach. I don't expect much out of them so it's not a worry to me.

Up next, Leo Gallo who after a failed boy band experiment went into the world of dance...remember how that egotistical kid from S4 danced instead of sung? EXACTLY. "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke is the song he performed. He cannot sing to save his life. The coaches remember this is The Voice and do not press their buttons. Big deal on dancing; you came to sing if you made it to the show [in theory]. Bye Leo; won't see you on So You Think You Can Dance (If you're lucky enough to get through the door.)

After my ears loved the fact that he was gone, Jeremy Briggs used to be a baseball coach until he worked at the unemployment line. I will not make the "unemployment line/music career" joke; that shit is mean to me. He sang "Bad Company" and as rocker bait...I'm not hooked. Sorry, but I'm not. Shaki and Blake turn for him (Sorry, but rocker-bait sucks in any language.) Shaki was all "I was a rock chick first!" before Blake made some sandwich comment about Shaki being hungry. He ends up picking Shakira as his coach. Blake is finally paying for his sins named the She-Devil of S3 and Kewpie Doll.

Next up, S5 reject Jake Worthington came back remembering the things the coaches of S5 told him. It's nice to see rejects come back; even if I hated them. He sang "Don't Close Your Eyes" by Keith Whitley. He was able to get all but Usher to turn for him (Usher and I agree). The coaches that turned into such dorks over him. Adam tried to get this gravy sweating country dude away from Blake and failed miserably. He picks Blake as his coach [though Adam was called sexy through the spirit of Jake's aunt].

Up next is Karina Mia. This chick looks like Mary Lambert of the hook of "Same Love" by Macklemore X Ryan Lewis fame. Her beef is not having the X-Tina voice (She and Linda Perry think you're beautiful in every single way, so shut it.) She sings "Beneath Your Beautiful" by Labyrinth ft. Emeli Sande. She is actually one of the better auditions of the night. The coaches are idiots and don't turn around for her. Remembering all rejects are courteous and nice, this stings less but this rejection is inexcusable.

Finally, Bria Kelly. This is one of the earlier pimped auditions as the likes of TV Guide previewed her audition [PLANT!] Then it's revealed that she got to sing for Miranda Lambert. [PLANT!] "Steamroller Blues" is her song to sing. All T, All Shade I thought she looked like a cleaned up version of Jenelle from Teen Mom 2. Her singing was vibrato filled and I can't believe her audition got her in. She isn't terrible but I can't understand how all of the coaches were fighting for her. She picks Usher to be her coach after he flashes a Grammy in her face. Makes perfect sense. O_O

All in all, there will be a LOT more Blind Auditions to cover. I will be happy [even if some contestants suck, because, TV.]

Up next for scrutiny, Part II of the Blind Auditions.

Friday, February 21, 2014

In the "Because I CAN" Files: My @midnight Tumblr Top 10/TV Heatseeking Chart Career

Being a professional amateur, I never expected to care about anything as much as I care about the Hashtag Wars for the Comedy Central show @midnight hosted by Sex on Legs Mandroid, Chris Hardwick.

The show has a segment where the stand-up comedian contestants come up with entries for hashtags such as "Cheesy Movies" (Less "Steely Dan Magnolias" & more "Frommage Russia with Love") and "Animal TV Shows" ("Mouse of Cards", "Wild Game of Thrones", etc.) In case you couldn't tell, this shit is inspired by Twitter* versions of the same game.

*Twitter: Where humanity goes to shit in 140 characters or less*

The show then encourages followers of the show's Twitter account to take in the action to become the "Tweet of the Day". If a follower makes the Top 10, they are notified of a post on Tumblr that was made with all 10 potential candidates for "Tweet of the Day". I have made 2 of these Top 10 lists; but because I am how some people might call...motherfucking daffy, I take this into what I call...

"Charting on the @midnight Tumblr Top 10"

I do this because I think it sounds cool; sanction me for being creative -_-

So this is my career thus far; from the Season premiere hashtag "Diet Musicians" to the second one I made, "Bad Olympic Events"...[the numbers I say I charted on are where I was listed.]

http://atmidnightcc.tumblr.com/post/72104973113/we-are-engorged-with-dietmusicians-tweets-you [proof] For "Diet Musicians" I was #8 with my entry "Rage Against the Soda Machine". [I ended up losing to "Panic! At the Dinner Buffet"; though I only found out because...the day this aired, right when the show would reveal the "Tweet of the Day", the program cut into a commercial for the Kroll Show. Eventually I saw where the "Hall of Fame" section was and Panic! was there.]

http://atmidnightcc.tumblr.com/post/77300166342/comedycentral-they-all-trained-hard-but-only [proof]
For "Bad Olympic Events" I was #10 with my entry "Rowing v. Wade". [I ended up losing to "The Long Dump"] Personally, I was the first retweet the show made. Technically, I can say I'm #1 on the @midnight TV Heatseeking Charts. Again, I am fucking loony.

Now I can try to finally reach Stage 3 of my conquest; getting "Tweet of the Day". 


If you feel like playing along, follow the show's Twitter account and actually watch the goddamn program, @midnight 12/11c only on Comedy Central.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

This List is RANK: RuPaul's Drag Race Season 6 "Covergurlz"

The promotional tool for the 6th season of RuPaul's Drag Race is an all cast cover album of RuPaul's current songs [from the drag queen extraordinaire's albums Champion and Glamazon]. World of Wonder has snippets of music videos and audition highlights of all 14 contestants on YouTube. However, because this is my blog I will be ranking the songs from worst to best....then I take into account their videos and audition segments.

14. "Ladyboy" as sung by Gia Gunn; oy gevalt. Gia may be one of the more promising visual queens, but the singing voice she has suggests it was never meant for any noun but her shower to hear. Bless her heart because she tried but goddamn is this just awful. Gia's video and audition highlights more than makes up for the song as she is a multilingual Kabuki/Drag entertainer. By all costs, do not pass go or collect $200 in terms of listening to her song.

13. "Main Event" as sung by Kelly Mantle. Kelly is one of the few contestants who actually makes recorded music outside of the show. Why does she rank so low? Well, this is wasted singing potential. At first it sounded like it could be good. Then it just sucked. Video wise; meh. Boxing gear and a half-assed RuPaul tribute look. Audition highlight wise...this was boring give or take a standout comic book inspired dress. Other than that; say no to this song.

12. "Glamazon" as sung by Magnolia Crawford. Yikes; this is no singer in any sense of the word, yet Magnolia gets a pass for pulling a "Roxxxy Andrews" [where you can't sing worth a damn but have a catchphrase of sorts; "Where My People At?"] The dirty prospector meets Southern drunkard shouting of "MAGNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLIA Crawford!" is all that needs to be heard. Video wise, her facial expressions are inconsistent with the song; some of her hairstyles blend right in with the all white background and is just a disembodied head. Audition highlights gained some favor with the audience as Magnolia had been written off as some boring bitch with makeup. Vocally, enter at your own risk.

11. "Tranny Chaser" as sung by Joslyn Fox. Joslyn suffers the same fate as Kelly in that the bitch is boring vocally. However, unlike Kelly, Joslyn is already not a singer; she also has "Keep it Foxy" on her side [the Roxxxy Andrews principal strikes again]. On her own, projection is the issue here [and what you will hear will sound so nasal, the Nasonex bumblebee will appear...not really but yikes.] Video wise, she goes for a beauty frame type of look, and while successful she goes for admittedly tacky moves like the titty honk. Audition wise, she is a "zen" type but like the past has suggested, that shit leads to early ousting. Vocally, meh but take the sword the old man from The Legend of Zelda offered you.

10. "Devil Made Me Do It" as sung by Ben DeLaCreme. The burlesque turned drag entertainer who's friends with S5 winner Jinkx Monsoon. As adorable as Ben is, song wise; it's shitty. However, it becomes clear that this is Ben's affected character voice. Watching the video she had the best concept. A 50s housewife to the tune of June Cleaver [maybe Maude Flanders from The Simpsons inspiration too] whose idea of spicing her life up...is making Deviled Eggs. Audition wise, Ben is adorable; as a dude. Come lip sync submission, bitch looked like how judge Michelle Visage thinks she looks O_O. Yet as a song...don't go near it if not willing to take the video into consideration. Audition highlight wise, she's a surprise favorite of sorts.

9. "Sexy Drag Queen" as sung by April Carrion. Every season of the show has had a Puerto Rican drag queen or two fight for the crown. April is the S6 Puerto Rican drag queen. Song wise, April is not the worst by a long-shot. However, her vocals are nowhere near up to snuff compared to the 8 others ahead of her. Video wise, she gives amazing beauty shots [close ups]. Audition wise, credit to her being the only one with a logo of sorts. Also, for an accent she knows how to work through the "barrier".

8. "Click Clack (Make Dat Money)" as sung by Bianca Del Rio. The insult comic in the floor length dress. Amazingly, this is actually decent. Singing wise, so much auto tune glaze, you'd think the bitch's song was a jingle for Krispy Kreme donuts (or with the shouting of "PEANUT BUTTER HEAD", maybe a Reese's jingle). Yet that "Peanut Butter Head" line is kind of enjoyable in a sort of mocking Ru kind of way ["Peanut Butter" is a song by RuPaul ft. Big Freedia. The video has Go-Go boys/Andrew Christian models shaking their asses at very sexy and rigorous speeds.] and also showing off Bianca's reading/insulting base. Is it worth much as a song? Kind of; on the menu it'd be like a Dollar Menu item at McDonald's you don't hate yourself for ordering.

7. "I Bring The Beat" as sung by Vivacious. Word is, this is another queen who makes recorded music outside of the show. Song wise, this is one of the covers that elevates or builds off of the original. Vivacious is originally from Jamaica which makes sense considering the Grace Jones realness served through what she actually emits vocally [though she shouts "LIZA MINELLI"]. I can't rank this any higher because at certain points, Ru's original vocals are just smeared on the song. Video wise, she's serving day-glo of the future realness. Audition wise, she's decadent when speaking (seriously, I thought truffles were going to fall out of her mouth). From the trailer for the show, she isn't seen much; and in the eyes of many a Drag Race fans, that means she's one of the first to go.

6. "Jealous of My Boogie" as rapped by Laganja Estranja. The drag daughter of S5 contestant Alyssa Edwards (watch Laganja's audition, listen to her speak and it makes perfect sense O_O). Singing wise, this is shitty. However, Laganja is self aware enough to take a different route and raps for a majority of her song. Guess what? It works for her as she is actually something of an "underground" Hip-Hop enthusiast [loves Rye Rye; amazing]. Video wise, she shows off her dance skills [something she takes "after her mother"] In her audition, she makes the cardinal sin of rapping; this slightly ironic twist is courtesy of the "America's Next Top Model principal" [DO NOT RAP IN YOUR AUDITION; YOU WILL NOT WIN!] Other than that, if you like decent rapping ability for a white girl, give Laganja a spin.

5. "Lick it Lollipop" as sung by Darienne Lake. The drag mother of S2 contestant Pandora Boxx. She ranks right with S4 contestant Latrice Royale as a big girl with promise. Singing wise, her affected speaking voice in some parts of the song make up for the auto-tune glaze of the song. Video wise, there are some looks that are impressive; however, it appears she's waiting for her cue at least twice before the first verse. Audition wise, she nails her lip sync submission with crowd interaction and a lip sync trick of a small light placed in the roof of her mouth.

4. "Covergirl (Put the Bass In Your Walk)" as sung by Trinity K. Bonet. The Atlanta queen by way of Jacksonville, Florida. Song wise, Trinity has a bit of a low register a la Toni Braxton thing going and its quite pleasing. It's unknown if she records music outside of the show, but I wouldn't be opposed to the idea of a Trinity K. Bonet EP. Video wise, she nails some of the initial shots; however, near the segue to her audition highlights, she simply stands there whilst the Diva fan is blowing. No go on that boo boo. Highlights wise, she is one of the more grounded queens to be competing for the title of America's Next Drag Superstar. Does that mean she'll last long? From the trailer and fan reception it does not seem likely. Song wise, listen to her.

3. "Destiny is Mine" as sung by Milk. The figure skater turned drag queen who is hot outside of drag. Song wise, it's clear she should become a singer like Trinity. For a non singer, Milk's reciting of the song title is pretty damn pleasing to the ears. Video wise, she had the second best concept to Ben [Milk was a teenage girl dreaming of fame]. However, Milk's "acne look" was a bit jarring at the size of the clogged sebaceous glands. Something to the effect of tasteful dabs of freckles would've worked better. Highlights wise, Milk kept it relatively simple. The character backgrounds for each look is a bonus in terms of presentation.

2. "Champion" as sung by Courtney Act. The nicer version of S4 contestant Willam mixed with the discography of Kylie Minogue. This is another queen who makes recorded music outside of the show; but FUN FACT: she competed in drag on the inaugural season of Australian Idol and had an Australian Top 40 hit with "Rub Me Wrong". Given the experience, does Courtney know what she's doing? Yes she does. Before the glaze kicks in on the chorus, she is one of the few contestants who can actually sing. This song is worth listening to repeatedly. Video wise, Courtney strikes gold with a Vogue Italia inspired 40s tresses hairstyle and a wondrous [even if it's metallic lime green] coat. Bits of choreography and even hand movements are added touches to her overall packaging. Highlights wise, a taco dress was seen and needs to be seen on national television.

1. "Superstar" as sung by Adore Delano. The American Idol Top 16 (!) semi-finalist turned drag queen. Out of the songs, Adore's is the Adele of the cast. It sounded like she got the least amount of auto-tune or production tricks. The video is one of the better executions; a palatable ennui is served in a way that the song has a dark as fuck subversive layer. Some of the best makeup on a new girl is also ever present even in her video and in her highlights. This delicious quote after her "put me on the damn show" line is emitted...

"I give no fucks; like I will search in
the bottom of my purse for a fuck
to give...and I can't find one."
                                                               - Adore Delano

All in all, what a promotional tool RuPaul. What a promotional tool. Season 6 of RuPaul's Drag Race kicks off on FebRUary 24th at 9/8c only on Logo.

Now say it with me; "This list is RANK!"