Archive | June 2011

The Voice: Finale & Results

Warning: Major spoilers ahead!

The Voice Final Four

Those 10 weeks just flew right by! I can’t believe The Voice is over!

Yesterday, the four finalists sang original songs as well as duets with their coaches. Dia and Blake sang “I Won’t Back Down” (complete with some stylish Ray-Bans and camo guitars), Beverly and Christina sang “Beautiful” (I can’t say I’m surprised that Christina picked one of her own songs), Javier and Adam sang “Man in the Mirror” (and Adam still looks good in a suit, if you were wondering), and Vicci and Cee Lo sang “Love is a Battlefield” (featuring some deadly spiked shoulder pads and dancing children).

The original songs were good too, though I enjoyed the duets more. After Vicci’s original song, she thanked Adam for buying her jeans like his and Blake said “Man, I can’t say that she’s been in my pants!” I gotta say, now that the show is done, I’m gonna miss his inappropriate comments. Dia had mimes dancing behind her during her performance, and immediately I remembered Blake making fun of Christina for including mimes in one of her singer’s performances. Of course Christina called him out on this right away. Beverly’s original song garnered a standing ovation from all the judges, and of course Javier’s performance needed no feedback.

After yesterday’s episode, I couldn’t decide who I expected to win. Each of the four singers is so unique and obviously very talented. Tonight, they each sang a duet with a famous singer who was not their judge. Vicci sang “Drops of Jupiter” with Train’s Pat Monahan, Javier sang “Landslide” with Stevie Nicks (which made Adam nearly cry), Beverly sang “Good Life” with Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, and Dia sang “The House that Built Me” with Miranda Lambert, after which Blake told Dia he realizes his attachment to her is because she’s family to him now.

After 10 weeks of becoming attached to these singers, it was time to let 3 of the 4 go. Dia and Javier were the top two singers, and Carson announced there was less than a 2% difference in their number of votes. So, without further ado, the winner of The Voice is…drum roll please…. Javier! As someone who was rooting for Dia and Javier equally, I’m happy with this. Javier has lost so many chances along his way, so I’m glad to see he got this one. And I’m sure that even though she was the runner up, someone is going to give Dia a recording deal. She’s clearly amazing.

So, what do you think? Are you happy with Javier winning, or did you want it to be someone else?

Are you up to the challenge?

Spoiler alert: This post includes details from the elimination round. If you haven’t already seen it, you’ve been warned.

Before Survivor, The Bachelorette, and The Hills, there was The Real World. The show first aired on MTV almost 20 years ago and can be credited for launching reality TV as we know it today. At the time, “reality show” wasn’t a common term and no one, even the cast and crew, knew what to expect.

For the first couple of seasons, including New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the show was all about real people trying to make something of themselves; they had real problems and faced real issues. There were arguments and disagreements, but at the same time, important conversations and topics were being covered. Today The Real World is known for entirely different things. The themes now are drinking, fighting and hookups. This often makes for interesting TV, but the show is no longer the thought-provoking original program it once was.

The Real World has had many spin-offs, including the now cancelled Road Rules and The Real World/Road Rules Challenge, which brings me to last night’s premiere.

The Real World/Road Rules Challenge is a fun way to bring together cast members from the Real World and Road Rules to compete against one another. The latest season of The Challenge has a format we’ve never officially seen before: rivals. Throughout the seasons, there have been some HUGE rivalries, but I think that’s expected when you throw random strangers in a house mixing in alcohol and competition. This season will be crazier than ever because there’s a catch: not only are the most well-known rivals put together in this house, but cast members are teamed with their enemies and must work together in order to win.

The Challenge: Rivals Cast

Here is a rundown on some of the more well-known rivalries:

Adam & C.T. – their long history of hating one another started on their days in Paris (Season 13). There have been verbal and physically altercations in the past, which have sent one or both of them home.

Adam & Leroy – just the latest in a long line of rivals, Adam and Leroy were on the most recent season of Real World in Las Vegas. Adam’s reckless behavior eventually got him sent home, but Leroy was the only cast member who wouldn’t let him get away with it and made his opinions very vocal.

Aneesa & Robin – at this point they have hated each other for so long, I can’t even remember where it stems. And quite honestly, they probably can’t either.

Cara Maria & Laurel – Caria Maria isn’t the best competitor and last season rode the coattails of her guy at the time, Abram, to make it to the end. Laurel did not stand for it and did everything she could to get Cara Maria voted out of the challenge.

Kenny & Wes – this is probably one of the biggest rivalries in show history and can mostly be blamed on a girl. Wes was in a serious relationship with Johanna. They broke up. Kenny and Johanna hookup on the next challenge. Wes watches on TV and gets pissed. Wes and Kenny reunite on the next challenge and things get ugly.

The Rules

When players arrived in Costa Rica they were greeted by none other than T.J. Lavin himself. It was great to see him back in action after his horrific BMX accident. The castmates were thrilled as well as they consider T.J. family. Then of course, the rules were announced, and the excitement immediately changed to dread.

This season, as mentioned above, players are teamed with their biggest rivals and together they must win challenges. Jaws dropped. Shoulders tensed up. This went from awesome to not fun really quickly. But with money on the line, I’m pretty sure they’ll figure out how to make it work, and fast.

1st Place: $100,000

2nd Place: $50,000

3rd Place: NOTHING.

Challenge

The first challenge seemed a little silly, but it was definitely harder than it looked. Partners were on a platform high in air above a waterfall, which in itself was difficult as most people on the show hate heights… add in the waterfall and this was trouble. The teammates then had to hold hands, run until they got to the red line, and jump as far as they can past the hash marks. The team that cleared the most hash marks won the challenge. This week the guys were fighting for $2,000; the girls were fighting to avoid elimination in the jungle.

After close competition and ties for the girls and guys, the rookies ended up coming with wins: Adam & Leroy won $2,000 and Jasmine & Jonna were safe from elimination.

Elimination

The losing team is automatically sent to The Jungle for the elimination round. Evelyn & Paula were disqualified for stepping over the line, so they lost the first challenge and had to go up against the voted in Aneesa & Robin. With the all-veteran cast members, this could have gone either way.

The game was “Hands On” – teammates had to stand on opposite platforms and lean on each other for leverage as the platforms were slowly moved further apart. The first team to fall in the mud lost, this time it was Aneesa & Robin

Drama

Ty did what he does best – drank too much and got in people’s faces. Unfortunately, for Adam (Las Vegas), they crossed paths. And if anyone watched last season of the Real World, then you know how Adam handles these sort of things. A fight broke out, other cast members tried to separate the two, and poor dumb Adam threw the first and only punch, which means one thing – he got sent home. In the midst of all the fighting, innocent standerby Mandi got knocked to the floor and had her head slam into the concrete floor. After an examination by an EMS crew she ended up being ok, but definitely shaken up. Now with Adam being sent home, that leaves Leroy without a partner. Everyone was contemplating what was going to happen: does Leroy also have to go, does Leroy get a new partner, etc. Ultimately MTV sends in Mike Mike to take Adam’s place. I find this to be SO unfair. This is supposed to be a game of rivals, yet Leroy and Mike Mike have a bromance, they’re BFFs. I know Leroy doesn’t have any other rivals, but really MTV, this is the best you could do?

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As of now my favorites to win are C.T. & Adam and Evelyn & Paula. Keep in mind this all depends on whether or not C.T. can stay out of trouble and Paula can step up her game.

Check back each week for a recap on the latest challenge, elimination in the jungle and the rest of the madness from South America. This season looks to be crazier than ever with LOTS of drama, fights and hookups, just what you would expect.

The Voice: Results Show #1

So many tears! Every time someone cried on the show, I cried! I feel so invested in all these singers! I’m not ready to see them go!

Let’s just go over it all from the beginning, shall we? The opening Freedom/Faith mash-up was great! I loved seeing everyone sing together, and it sounded a lot better than I would’ve thought an 8-way song would sound! And did anyone else notice Nakia’s orange wayfarers? Cee Lo is rubbing off on him.

The first elimination announcement was Team Cee Lo – Nakia vs Vicci. I was a little (read: a lot) worried when Cee Lo said he wrote a poem for them. I think Carson was too, judging by his “Let’s hear this” reaction. After the poetry reading, Carson announced Cee Lo’s scores for his singers. He gave Nakia 51 points and Vicci 49. His reasoning was that Vicci’s drumming drowned out her voice, but let’s be real – that was an even split. After adding America’s votes, Vicci is continuing to the finals.

Next, Cee Lo performed his new single, “Bright Lights Bigger City” sporting his second wig of the season. I have no strong feelings one way or the other about this performance, but Adam seemed to really enjoy it.

Next on the chopping block were Team Adam’s Casey and Javier; Adam gave 35 points to Casey and 65 to Javier. He explained his decision by saying that Casey is 18 and has her whole career ahead of her while Javier is running out of breaks (not his exact words, but that was the idea). He said “I had to advance him” and promised Casey that she’s going to be a huge star regardless. As expected, America’s votes confirmed that Javier is advancing.

In the next reality reel, we learned Blake flew his girls to Cincinnati to watch him perform and join him for Honey Bee. They met Brad Paisley, Blake gave them pink camouflage electric guitars and they flew on a private jet. Blake split his 100 points evenly between his girls, leaving the ultimate decision in the hands of the voters. It was a tight race, but Dia is advancing to the finals.

Like Blake, Christina also split her points evenly between her girls, and Beverly is advancing to the finals. This was the only one I wasn’t able to predict ahead of time, and while Beverly has grown on me, I’m sad to see Frenchie go.

Next week is the finals. They’ll perform original songs as well as duets with their coaches, and I’m really interested in seeing how that goes.

This is it! Who do you want to win it all?

Courtroom Comedy

When I heard Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer were teaming up for a new TV show, I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to watch. I’ve followed both of their careers since the beginning – with Mark-Paul on Saved by the Bell and Breckin in Clueless. Since then, their careers have been on a similar path, starring in popular TV shows or movies, none of which were big hits, but they weren’t disappointments either. And now their careers have intertwined, starring together on Franklin & Bash.

Jared Franklin and Peter Bash are best friends and partners at a law firm; they live together, hang out all the time, etc. They are just the latest bromance to grace our TV screens, but they do it so well. The actors have fantastic chemistry that’s hard to come by. Their banter is funny and real, and adds so much to the show.

Besides the legal drama, Franklin & Bash is a realistic take on friendship and growing up. They may be womanizers, heavy drinkers and a little outrageous at times, but they make it work. Plus their quirky sidekicks add just the right amount of oddball to balance the characters out. This is not your typical cop/lawyer/doctor show. From the hot tub parties to the crazy courtroom antics to taking down the wall separating their offices, I think we’re in for a real treat.

In the first episode we see Franklin & Bash win a high profile case, which leads them to positions at a big-time law firm. Hesitant at first, they eventually say yes as long as their team can come with. Once there, they make plenty of enemies because of their crazy style. Some say they are unprofessional, some say they can’t hack it, but Franklin & Bash want to prove the haters wrong. And I think they will.

I for one can’t wait to see what’s next. Watch with me tonight. Brand new episodes air Wednesdays  at 9 pm EST on TNT.

The Voice: Live Show #3

OH BOY! The Voice is getting intense!

First, I want to say that I’m happy with the final two for Adam and Cee Lo. For Team Adam, America saved Javier Colon (which was not surprising) and Adam saved Casey Weston. On Team Cee Lo, America saved Vicci (again, not surprising) and Cee Lo saved Nakia. I know I said I would like to see Curtis Grimes advance, but the more I thought about it the more I realized Nakia was a stronger choice.

But let’s get to what’s really important here — the performances!

Frenchie Davis (Team Christina) – “Like a Prayer”: AWESOME! Frenchie’s ability to hit (and hold!) several high notes is amazing! I think Blake summed it up the best when he said her performance was “a giant middle finger” to anyone who thought Christina made the wrong choice by saving her.

Nakia (Team Cee Lo) – “What Do You Want From Me”: Also a great performance. Nakia is always one to work the crowd when he performs, and tonight was no different. After his song, Cee Lo pointed out that his whole team was wearing black and white (rather than the usual black and red) because black and white “is the color of big business.” I’m not entirely sure what that means, but it must’ve been true because both of his singers rocked.

Dia Frampton (Team Blake) – “Losing My Religion”: As you may have guessed by now, Dia might be my favorite to win the whole thing. Last night she sang a Dia-ized version of Losing My Religion, which did not disappoint. Her performances are always so amazing that there’s really nothing Blake needs to say to her. Last night he opted for “Gosh dangit I’m glad to know you!”

Casey Weston (Team Adam) – “I Will Always Love You”: Last week, Adam advised Casey to sing an upbeat rendition of Black Horse and the Cherry Tree rather than a slow/acoustic version, which I thought was fantastic advice. However, this week he had her sing a Whitney Houston song, which I thought was bold. If it were Frenchie, I would say give her a Whitney song and she’ll knock it out of the park. But Casey…I’m not sure her voice can handle that. I thought it started out a bit shaky (maybe that was just my skepticism taking over), but it got better as she continued. Honestly, I don’t think she has a chance to continue since she’s up again Javier. She needed all the help she could get, and I don’t think that song was the answer. But, the judges all seemed to like it. Blake (who clearly had a plethora of one-liners last night) even said “I don’t know when we’re gonna start talkin’ about how freakin’ hot she is!”

Beverly McClellan (Team Christina) – “The Thrill is Gone”: Beverly is really growing on me. I think Team Christina is the only team in the competition where I can’t predict who is going to continue. Both of her singers are so strong, and Beverly is very aware of her competition. In the reality reel before her performance, she said “I would like to win because I’d like to give my music wings. The wings it hasn’t had for 20 years.”  I wasn’t familiar with the song before she sang it (a statement Adam said a couple times last night as well!), but she made me like it.

Javier Colon (Team Adam) – “Fix You”: I’ll admit, I had a hard time focusing on the performance because it was the first time we’ve seen Javier without his hat on. I didn’t realize that was going to be a distraction for everyone, but the judges spent more time talking about his head than his singing. Blake even said “I’m so pissed I wasn’t over there to catch that hat!” His performance, of course, was amazing. It always is. Dia might be my favorite, but Javier is a (very) close second!

Xenia (Team Blake) – “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved”: Another song I’ve never heard of before, but I enjoyed Xenia’s performance. She seemed more confident than she did last time, which was good. I thought she struggled a bit to hit some of the notes in the song, but I really like her so I won’t hold it against her. Similar to the Team Adam situation, though, I don’t think she has a chance against Dia to advance.

Vicci Martinez (Team Cee Lo) – “Dog Days Are Over”: What a way to end the show! She did a great job with this song. I loved the synchronized drumming and the fact that she was able to run all around the stage and not get winded. Her mic pack even fell out at one point, but she didn’t let it slow her down. I was also kinda digging her faux hawk-type hair do…very rock n roll.

Halfway through these performances, Maroon 5 performed their new single, Moves Like Jagger, featuring Christina Aguilera (or as Blake has been calling her lately, Christina Argue-lera). I love the song! I read something this morning that said this performance was actually pre-recorded, which explains Adam’s super fast wardrobe change. Speaking of which, he certainly wears a suit well. At the end of the song, Carson addressed the rumors that Adam and Christina don’t get a long by saying “Let’s give it up for your judges…who clearly like each other.” Later on, Blake Shelton also performed his current single, Honey Bee. Dia and Xenia even joined him on stage to help him finish out the song, which was a nice surprise.

The results show will be live tonight as opposed to next week, so we’ll get to find out the winners very soon! The judges will score their singers, and that’ll be combined with America’s votes to choose the winners. So, who do you want to want to see advance?

 

 

 

 

My 48 Hours with The Killing

Spoiler alert: This post includes details from the finale. If you haven’t already seen it, you’ve been warned.

The Killing

You may remember back in May we had a guest post by Robin about AMC’s newest show, The Killing. I meant to start watching it back then, but of course I was distracted by all the other shows’ finales. Finally this past Saturday I went to start watching it and realized all the episodes were only available until Monday! As one who is always up for the challenge of marathoning through a show, I got right to work. And lucky for me the finale was Sunday night, so I didn’t have to wait long to find out who killed Rosie Larsen. Or so I thought.

Now, if you watch this show (and maybe even if you don’t), you’re probably aware of the controversy surrounding the finale. I’ve read lots of articles and comments on those articles, and it seems that half of the fan base was disappointed with the finale and half loved it.

All season, Detective Holder has been the comic relief of the show as well as one of the more popular characters among viewers. I, too, have enjoyed him. It always kind of confused me that he’s a detective, though. He seems more gangster than I would expect for someone in law enforcement. Plus he’s a recovering meth addict. But hey, we all have our problems.

Joel Kinnaman

Joel Kinnaman as Detective Holder

People – myself included – were shocked to learn that he fabricated evidence to have the councilman convicted of Rosie’s murder. The last few minutes of the show left me with several questions:

  • Who was Holder talking to in the car? (Gwen? Jamie? Someone else?)
  • Did Belko actually kill the councilman?
  • Will Linden jump right back on a plane to Seattle once she gets to Sonoma? After all, the case isn’t done!
  • Did Rosie’s mom really leave her family? How can she think her sons don’t need her?
  • Will we ever find out who actually killed Rosie?

I’ve read a lot of theories as to who really killed Rosie, but the most popular choice seems to be Gwen. When she overheard the councilman using the same line on Linden as he used on her – “Look at me, you know I’m telling the truth.” – she looked truly freaked out. But some are saying that was a look of guilt, or perhaps the look of someone who just figured out how to make the councilman look even guiltier. After all, if Linden already thinks it’s him and his girlfriend says he slipped out of bed and came home soaking wet hours later, why wouldn’t she believe it? My only issue with this theory is that at the very end when Holder was talking to the mystery person in the car, Gwen was watching the councilman get taken away. Unless these scenes weren’t supposed to be happening simultaneously, she couldn’t have been in both places at once.

Theory #2: Maybe it was Jamie who killed her. Theory 2.5: Maybe Jamie and Gwen are in on it together, and Jamie was in the car with Holder while Gwen was watching herself get away with murder.

I think it’s safe to say the councilman didn’t do it. If he did, I think I’ll have a whole new set of questions. I just hope they wrap this murder up early next season because I don’t know how much longer I can handle not knowing.

One last thing – I came up with a couple other questions after reading other viewers’ takes on the finale. First of all, if Rosie was working as a high-end escort when she was abducted, why was she wearing sneakers? That doesn’t make sense. And second, didn’t Rosie’s dad use their savings to buy a house? It’s not like he blew it all in a casino or something. I don’t understand why he didn’t just explain that to his wife and say he’s working on selling the house and getting the money back.

I guess I have about a year before I get my answers. If you watched the finale, let me know what you think about the ending and who did it.

Time for a New Show!

Now that all the regular season shows have ended, it’s time for all the summer shows to start! I used to not watch many summer shows, but recently I’ve accumulated several on my list of favorites. True Blood, Weeds, Breaking Bad, Man Men…and most recently, Covert Affairs and Franklin & Bash.

But, there’s always room for more! A friend of mine told me she saw a commercial for a new USA Network show starting this week – Suits. After investigating further, I learned it’s about a college drop-out with a photographic memory who inadvertently ends up in job interview a top New York City law firm and gets hired. It stars Patrick J. Adams (you might recognize him from two episodes of Friday Night Lights if you’re very observant) and Gabriel Macht (who I loved as Mandy Moore’s love interest in Because I Said So).

Here’s the trailer so you can check it out!

 

-Nicole