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Rise Up Lotus, Rise. This Is The Beginning.

Hello blogosphere! 😛 I’m back and I come bearing gifts: a track by track review of Lotus, Xtina’s latest album. Always have been a big fan so there’s no better way to mark my blog’s “re-birth”. 😀

If you’re following The Voice then you may have seen at least one of her many performances in the show to promote the album (3 to be exact). Now that’s what I call milking the opportunity hehe but weird enough none of them included Your Bodythe 1st single. The impromptu performance on Jimmy Fallon doesn’t count but that was a treat to watch. So I’m anxiously wondering if she’s ever going to perform the song live. I’d really love it if she does, thank you. To celebrate Lotus’s release, she performed her collaboration with fellow coach Cee Lo Green entitled Make The World Move. On another night, she performs with Blake Shelton for their duet Just A Fool. On the next, she brings down the house with her Max Martin track Let There Be Love alongside her team: Dez Duron and Sylvia Yacoub. She also graced the stage of the recently concluded American Music Awards, where she belted out a medley of Lotus Intro/Army Of Me/Let There Be Love.

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So getting on the point, this is her most pop album to date. Admittedly she describes it as “embracing my true pop star-ness” and she named it Lotus saying it represents an unbreakable flower. So let’s not prolong the introduction anymore, check out my take on each track below:

Lotus Intro which surprisingly extends into a full song is just that, an intro. But it really gets you into the vibe with its melody and a chant that basically repeats throughout the song. Then she ends it with a spoken lyric which is a bit cheesy even for me. Fave lyrics: Rise up Lotus, rise/This is the beginning.

Army Of Me which she described herself as “Fighter 2.0” is a power anthem for the new generation who weren’t around during the Stripped era. In the track, she sings: “One of me is wiser, One of me is stronger, One of me’s a fighter, There’s a thousand faces of me” which explains the title. Fave lyrics: Well I know what you were thinking/You thought you’d watch me fade away/When you broke me into pieces/But I gave each piece a name.

Red Hot Kinda Love is a fun, playful number. Focusing more on the tune than her vocal talent which is refreshing. Fave lyrics: La la la la la la la la la/Oh baby I’m burning up/I wasn’t tryin to fall for ya.

Make The World Move with its big beat and features Cee Lo Green, I had high hopes for but kinda falls flat as it’s too short and repetitive. Still Cee Lo is the song’s redeeming factor with his unique sound and I liked the song better when I heard it sang live. Fave lyrics: If one smile can erase a frown/Imagine what two can do.

Your Body marks as hit-maker Max Martin’s & Xtina’s first collaboration ever. Since this is a venture to her pop persona once again, of course she had to work with the Britney/Katy/Pink (among others) producer. The accompanying music video for this, IMHO, is one of her career-best. Fave lyrics: It’s true what you heard/I am a freak/I’m disturbed.

Let There Be Love which I can only describe as “aaaaaaaaaah!! i love this song!” is the proof she can go with the trend and still do better than the rest of those ‘basic’ b*tches, I mean singers. A dance song at it’s finest, this should be a future single. Fave lyrics: I wanna tell you my secret/With just the sound of my breathing.

Sing For Me is currently my fave ballad in the record. It’s very heartfelt and talks about singing when you’re down and pouring your heart out every single time. Fave lyrics: Cause when I open my mouth/There’s no place to hide/Everything that I’m feeling runs wild and free/I’m singing cause I’m winning/Imma sing for me.

Blank Page is an emotional ballad that expresses asking for forgiveness and starting over. She works again with one of her Bionic writers, Sia Furler (You Lost Me) for this one. Fave lyrics: Draw me a smile/And save me tonight/I am a blank page/Waiting for you to bring me to life.

Cease Fire is one of those I can consider an ‘album filler’ but it’s notable characteristic is that it sounds very unlike Xtina. As it sounds robotic and again she didn’t put her vocals front and center. Fave lyrics: Baby cease fire, fire/Throw down your weapon, weapon/I’m on your side, on your side/So please cease fire, fire/Cease fire make it stop.

Around The World is another attempt for an uptempo track though it’s not as successful as the previous dance numbers it still achieved it’s purpose. Fave lyrics: Hollywood to Japan/Tokyo to Milan/Baby just for tonight/We’re making love worldwide.

Circles, one of the reasons the album got an explicit rating, brings back the feisty, i-don’t-give-a-whut side of Aguilera. This one you’d just get into and sing along with. Fave lyrics: Spin around in circles/On my middle, middle finger/Motha******.

Best Of Me is a great bring-me-upper in ballad form. As you know, she always has these you-can’t-bring-me-down type of songs. Fave lyrics: But you’ll never get the best of me no more/Aren’t you tired of throwing stones/Tryin to kick me when I’m down.

Just A Fool is the slash-wrist, heartbreak, 2nd single. It’s her first try for a country song and who better to help than current CMA Artist of the Year, Blake Shelton. Pleasantly surprised cause their voices blended so perfectly. Fave lyrics: Another shot of whiskey please bartender/Just keep it going til I don’t remember/How bad it hurts when you’re gone.

So that’s it. Anyone else has the album? Do you agree with my choices or not? 😉 The deluxe version features additional tracks such as: Light Up The Sky, Empty Words, Shut Up and Your Body [Martin Garrix Remix]. Honestly I can’t decide if she shined more on her ballads or the upbeat ones but one thing’s for sure: LegendTina is back and she’s here to stay. Hail QueenTina! (LOL)

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Revenge is Wickedly Addictive

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” – Confucius

And with that my newest TV show guilty pleasure started. When that line prompted at the beginning of the pilot episode I knew I was gonna get hooked and I remember saying to myself: “This is going to be good.” And before I ramble further, how ’bout that poster huh? I have such a liking for the dramatic so I especially enjoyed this promo photo. The mischievous half-smile coming from that pretty, innocent face of hers and then those thorns sticking out of her dress like she’s ready for battle. Love. it.

So basically the story is young girl lost her father to a crime he didn’t commit. So now all grown up, she’s back with a vengeance. And who is she up against you say? Well none other than the elite and the powerful. That’s what makes it exciting and oh so scandalous. What can I say, I guess we all have that dark side. Don’t you just love it when one by one she’s bringing her enemies down? And she’s got them all in the palm of her hand but don’t worry she doesn’t go as far as killing them but trust me what she does is a whole lot worse.

The show features mostly unknown actors to me but it didn’t take away at all from it. I am familiar with Emily VanCamp having watched the family drama Brothers & Sisters (a personal favorite of mine). Her character Emily Thorne or Amanda Clarke is a tricky one to play. She has to be tough and seem cold to carry out her plans and for a protagonist you’ll either like her or you don’t. But I guess once you know the back story you’ll root for her. The other star of the show or scene-stealer if I may say, is Madeleine Stowe playing the Queen of the Hamptons, Victoria Grayson. If pure evil takes form, it’s gotta be her. Not to mention the rest of the empire: Conrad – the man responsible for it all, Charlotte – the rebellious daughter and, Daniel – the heir. Special mention to Josh Bowman who plays him (Read: He’s effin’ hot). To add spice, you have Nolan Ross – Emily’s ally and Jack Porter – the childhood sweetheart. You may recognize Declan Porter, the brother. I realized I don’t know his name, I just know he also plays Serena’s gay brother in Gossip Girl.

I read that the show did really well in the US and that ABC has picked it up for another season and more so, aimed to sit in the previously held time slot by Desperate Housewives. Revenge is a sexy and campy drama series that’s sure to leave you satisfied with every episode and yet craving for more. Full of suspense and surprises in every turn, it’s a ride that you wish would not end.

Meet the eclectic contenders of The Glee Project

L-R: Damian, Bryce, Samuel, Alex, Emily, Lindsay, Hannah, Cameron, McKynleigh, Ellis, Matheus & Marissa

This is a great way to keep Gleeks everywhere updated during the hiatus of Glee. The new reality competition called The Glee Project somehow makes the audience feel like they’re part of the process of selecting a new character for the series. Whether or not it will be a major role, this is a big deal since Ryan Murphy will decide the winner alongside the mentors namely: Robert Ulrich (Glee casting director), Zach Woodlee (Glee choreographer) and Nikki Anders (Glee vocalist/songwriter).

The first episode has just premiered and the theme was Individuality with Darren Criss as the guest mentor. The group performed Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours in the challenge and Matheus made a great impression. He actually looks like a real-life gleek if you know what I mean. I love the Firework music video they did too; every single one of them has something different to offer. But the ones that stood out for me are Hannah (the full-figured redhead), Cameron (the ‘musician’), Ellis (the adorable hippie girl), Samuel (the rocker) and Damian (the Irish cutie). In the end, Bryce failed to shine and was eliminated. I’m ecstatic about episode 2 since the theme will be Theatricality and of course there will be a Gaga number and Idina Menzel will be guest mentor. I have a new TV addiction yey! 🙂

Rants of a singing competition enthusiast

You know damn well I’m talking about American Idol, hehe. The finale performance is due tomorrow night and once again I’m gobsmacked from the last elimination. Worse than season 8 (season 9 was meh), my faves didn’t even make it to the finale. Yes I was betting on a Haley – James showdown, actually there could’ve been a Casey somewhere in there too. Casey has musicality and he plays different instruments but I think his main asset is personality.

For those saying James is an Adam 2.0, yes to some extent I agree and to be honest Adam was more versatile in his performances. But from this season’s contestants, James got the attitude and is far surer of himself as an artist than anyone. As for the screaming, I have accepted that its part of the whole rock persona (ehem Steven). And I’m not one to use the sympathy card but I have to say you gotta admire him more in spite of his tourette’s and asperger’s – a form of autism.

With Haley, I like her cause she has that unique and raspy voice that if ever will be exciting to hear in the sea of boring recording artists these days. I’m not saying she’s the best of the season but in the Top 3, she is. And yes I hated her early on cause she seemed fake and her song choices were blah but she is the most improved and each week she bloomed on stage. Her voice got the ‘umph’ and in case you haven’t noticed she’s got some feistiness in there too especially when the judges gang up on her. I’m sorry but I do think they don’t give her enough love and seems harsher on her. When did they ever put Lauren and Scotty in the hot seat? Ya I thought so.

My problem with our 2 youngest finalists ever (16 & 17) is that they’re good performers but not great. If you’re an avid Idol fan you’d agree with this: I didn’t have a ‘wow’ moment with Lauren throughout the season: no jaw drops, no giddy feeling, no standing o (even though I’m just in my room watching). It’s always safe with her, just enough to gather in those votes. Having said that I did like her from the very beginning, cue in the likeability factor but gosh again this is a singing competition.

Scotty, scotty, what can I say? Hmm… I definitely think he’ll win I’m 99% sure of that. He’s charming and different but as weeks passed it gotten dull which will pretty much sum up the upcoming performance night. There’s not much you can expect from him but I guess millions of teenage girls will disagree with me, if you know what I mean.

I’m sure these two must be the sweetest kids ever but I don’t think they have ‘it’. I don’t think I’ll buy their records. Then again, winning this whole thing doesn’t necessarily make you a successful artist. So yeah, weird enough it doesn’t matter in the end. More than anything, Idol has become a mere popularity contest. However if we stick to the show’s premise, they’re looking for the best and they, for me, are not the best.

So Why Watch The Voice?

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The new and improved (?) American Idol is halfway through the competition this year and its doing great, Simon Cowell is busy bringing X-Factor to the US (Antonio “L.A.” Reid already signed up to be one of the judges) and now another singing competition? So why watch ‘The Voice’, huh? Upon hearing the mechanics of the show maybe, just maybe, you’ll think twice.

The new NBC show hired 4 judges to coach the hopefuls: Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Cee-Lo Green, Blake Shelton and will be hosted by Carson Daly. This is an interesting batch of people I have to admit (not only because of Xtina). These mentors will judge the contestants based only on their voice, literally, since their backs will be turned on the contestants therefore giving them a more “objective” approach in determining who gets in. “It’s not about breaking these people down but more about building them up”, Christina said in an interview. In order to get the contestant on his/her team, they will have to hit the “red button” first. After that the judges will mentor these contestants in their performances which will then be judged by America.

Sounds like a good idea, right? Still, I don’t know if the show will keep me glued to my screen. I might check out it’s premiere to see how it plays out. But until then, I can’t decide. How ’bout you? What do you think?

The Christina Meltdown: Is there really or we just want her to?

Getting arrested for public intoxication definitely is not normal for the pop star but at least she wasn’t the one driving the vehicle, her boyfriend Matthew Rutler is. People are talking about how he’s a bad influence, others about how she shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place. But the mugshot’s already leaked and even Pink had a field day with it. So what is happening to the dirrty diva?

They say it started with the divorce that turned into partying and drinking. A rumor even came out about her crashing and passing out on Jeremy Renner’s bed. A lot has been said about her gaining weight as well. And then there were the flubs: the National Anthem lyrics on the Super Bowl and the slip on the Grammy’s causing her to fall. Maybe there is something wrong with her but is it really the signs of a downward spiral we often see starlets head to? Does she need a rehab stint? For me, if that will help her why not? I mean she may not be in Lindsay status yet but will the people around her wait for that to happen? I hope not. I think she just needs to take a break and be with her family, especially her son Max.

It’s our turn to judge American Idol

So what do you think of the new (well except Randy) panel of judges? The Top 13? Or just the show in general? Me, I thought it was surprisingly good compared to last season, whatever that was. I do miss Simon and his comments but at least the producers were thinking because they didn’t try and get another “Simon”. At first I wasn’t sure about Steven nor Jennifer but the two actually work and you can sense their sincerity. I wish they replaced Randy too but three’s a good number. Can I just add: why is Adam Lambert in the opening credits? When did he win? ;-P I mean, he was my bet and it wouldn’t be a big deal if they included other successful contestants from past seasons but he’s the only non-winner featured, plus they never did that before. If I was Kris Allen I would throw a fit.

Let’s go to the contestants. From the Top 24 only 13 emerged victorious, 3 of which was chosen through a wildcard round. This is only the 2nd time AI had 13 finalists, the first time was when Anoop was given a spot which I didn’t get. Only Naima deserved the 2nd chance. If I had a say I wanted Kendra to go forward too, Stefano and Ashton were blah. From the Top 10 America voted, James blew me away. I’m not a rock fan but if he can deliver that first performance all throughout the competition, he can win this. But then there’s Jacob and Jacob can sing, man! Amazing! Scotty is oh so country but you’ll love him with that deep voice and twang. Personality wise, Casey stands out and I’m curious on what he can offer. For the girls, I love 15 & 16 yo Thia and Lauren A. I can’t believe all that talent come from such a young age. Pia’s “Stand by me” was such a knock-out moment for her and I think Latina Karen will bring flavor in the competition. To round up the Top 13, you have Haley and Paul. This is going to be an interesting year. I guess I’ll be staying tune all season, hopefully they won’t pull another “Adam” on me. 🙂

If Super Bowl was a delicious meal then I’d be interested.

For a non-sports fan, I really can’t say anything much about the Super Bowl besides the huge advertisements. Since the airtime during the games is the most expensive all year round, companies go all out and hire celebrities to promote their brand. The half-time shows also feature the biggest music acts, remember Janet and Justin? Yeah, I think I said enough. Coincidentally, Xtina will be singing the national anthem this year. Will be watching out for that.

The only other Super Bowl related news that I’m excited about is Glee! They’ll be back tomorrow already (2 episodes within the week alone) and they’ll be performing a mash-up of Thriller and Heads Will Roll, Puck and Rachel sing Need You Now by Lady Antebellum and the Warblers sing Bills, Bills, Bills, a Destiny’s Child classic. Watch below:

Hunky Little Liars

Who else noticed that Pretty Little Liars is stacked with hot guys? Let me list them one by one:

This list wouldn’t be complete without Mr. Fitz! Ian Harding plays hot English teacher dating one of his students, Aria.

Officer Darren played by Bryce Johnson, yes, the one who walks around Hanna’s house with only a towel on.

Remember him? Julian Morris plays Wren Kim a.k.a one of the 2 boyfriends of Melissa that Spencer kissed. I think he also went shirtless in one scene.

Cute, nerd Lucas who has a thing for Hanna. Brendan Robinson in real life.

Dated Aria for a while but now suspect no. 2 for ‘A’. Brant Daugherty plays Noel in the series.

You see what I’m talking about? Another reason to watch Pretty Little Liars then.

I Like Number Four!

In fact, number four’s pretty hot. Leave it to Ellen to convince her guests to lose their shirt. Newcomer, Alex Pettyfer appeared on her talk show to promote his film I Am Number Four in which he plays the title role. And when she gave him an “I ♥ Ellen” t-shirt at the end, she jokingly said she wouldn’t hand it until he takes his shirt off and he did! Watch the interview below:

She’s currently dating co-star and Glee actress, Dianna Agron and although he didn’t admit to Ellen it was pretty obvious. He’s just so H – O – T !!!

High Fashion

Cycle 15 of America’s Next Top Model is all about high fashion for the winner will be featured in the pages of Italian Vogue, cover of Beauty In Vogue, even on the Vogue.it website, a contract with Covergirl cosmetics & a contract with IMG model management. Plus the designers & photographers the models were able to work with are just the finest & best: Diane Von Furstenberg, Patrick Demarchelier, Zac Posen & Roberto Cavalli to name a few.

Out of the 14, Ann emerged as the winner. The awkward & freakishly tall (6’2″) girl with haunting eyes who managed to get best picture for 5 weeks in a row. No one has ever done that by the way. Some would say a misfit from the group but I’m telling you she is definitely the right choice, I can see her fit in the Italian fashion industry. Chelsey, as the judges said, is more American fashion and for me, she would definitely win if she joined the previous cycles instead (I can name winners she can give a run for their title). They’re both really good but I guess the high end prizes ended up hurting Chelsey in the end. I’m a bit concerned with Ann’s personality but I guess if you can take gorgeous pictures & look amazing in couture then you will get booked which is most important. I’m curious on how Tyra can top this cycle, will she be able to work with Vogue Italia again just like with Seventeen Magazine? We’ll see.

The Richards Win TARA!


Season 4 of The Amazing Race Asia marks the first win for a Philippine team ever to join the race. The duo of Richard Herrera & Richard Hardin, or aptly named the Richards, was the first team to reach the 11th & final pitstop of the race beating the father/daughter tandem from Indonesia & the rebel girls of Singapore, where the last leg was actually held.

After the disappointing loss of Marc & Rovilson in Season 2 due to a stupid flag challenge, I thought we were jinxed. A Philippine team would always reach the finals (I think) but never win. I’ve never been excited to watch the finale since that season but I was hooked again this time. Anyways, I always said if ever I’m going to join a reality competition this would be it. Though I would like to say ANTM, I’m afraid I’m not really what they’re looking for, haha. But man the stunts they did, I thought no I can never do that. I should team up with a daredevil. This season really was worth watching, good job to AXN. Congrats to the Richards! Well played fellas!

Today’s the Day!

Gleek out! Today is the day we’ve been all waiting for! The 1st episode called “Auditions” will air later tonight on ETC and I can’t stop obsessing already. Based on the promo video, we know that they’re going to perform Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind and will introduce a bunch of new characters including Dot Jones as the new football coach, Beiste (pronounced as “beast” 😀 ), I dunno what happened to Ken Tanaka though. And then you have Sunshine Corazon, portrayed by Filipina talent, our pride, Charice, who is said to have killed her audition scene where she sang Beyonce’s Listen. I don’t know if the Telephone duet with Rachel (Lea Michele), originally a Gaga & B collaboration, will be happening tonight as well. These are all too exciting.. can’t wait!!! 🙂

Rapper & Pop Star dominate the 2010 VMAs

No, not Kanye & Taylor – although they still managed to steal the spotlight at some point. I’m talking about Eminem & Gaga. With the latter taking home 8 Moonmans (moonmen?) including Video of the Year, Best Female Video and Best Pop Video for “Bad Romance”, she proves to be an unstoppable force. Eminem bagged Best Male Video and Best Rap Video for “Not Afraid”. Bieber managed to take Best New Artist against Ke$ha & Nicki Minaj. The Jared Leto band 30 Seconds To Mars won for Best Rock Video which I think should’ve went to Paramore.

Chelsea Lately comedian, Chelsea Handler, hosted the night including a stint with Lindsay Lohan. West’s performance was one of the show’s highlights, also Eminem and surprise appearance of Rihanna. Swift performed a song for Kanye. And Gaga, same as last year, had a couple of outfit changes including the meat dress above. Believe it.

On the very refreshing white carpet, I thought Gaga, strangely enough, looked a bit tamed but fabulous! One of her best looks in her career.

I have to admit, the boys look good. Usher & Justin Bieber share the spotlight. Hot!

I love this dress and I love Katy Perry!!! Not so sure about the highlights though.

Btw. Chelsea claimed that last night’s VMAs is the one of the highest rated since 2002. Congrats to her then! And good job for MTV.

The Emmys get Glee’d, Modern Family wins big

Jimmy Fallon let his ‘musician’ side take over as he hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards, Sunday night. Opening the show with a gleekified number with some of the Glee kids, Jane Lynch & get this: Jon Hamm, Tina Fey, Kate Gosselin, Joel McHale, Nina Dobrev, Jorge Garcia, Randy Jackson & Betty White (whew!). It was all good fun – hilarious even! 😀

Then, its time for the awards and speeches. It was clear that Modern Family was a favorite of the Television Academy; winning most awards in the Comedy category including Outstanding Comedy Series. Lynch (loved her speech), Edie Falco & Jim Parsons won their respective acting nods & Ryan Murphy for directing. That stint from the MF cast with George Clooney & Sofia Vergara in 3D was just side-splitting! Ricky Gervais stole the show once again, everytime he appears on these ceremonies riot follows. Top Chef won for reality competition program, The Daily Show with John Stewart for Variety. Temple Grandin for Made For TV Movie. The Pacific for Miniseries. Mad Men remains on top of the Drama category, winning Outstanding Drama Series for another year. Breaking Bad was able to steal some of the spotlight for the acting categories.

Fashion point of view, I loved best Lea Michele on her dark blue Oscar de la Renta. No one really stood out as horrendous for me but there were a handful of blah.

Overall, it was fun, fast-paced & not overly boring like the Oscars. I’m excited though, since this means that the Golden Globes is next which is my fave among the award shows. 🙂

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