The Voice, Season 10 – Blind Auditions #4

TheVoice030816These blind auditions are zooming by really quickly. The coaches nearly have their teams filled up already. We’ll end tonight with two of the coaches only having one spot apiece on their teams The following are the more memorable auditions.

Tamar Davis joined a group called Girl Time when she was 11 years old. Her parents pulled her out of the group, and it went on to become Destiny’s Child. As an adult she sang with Prince and worked with Tyler Perry who is here supporting her today and encouraged her to auction. She has a well-seasoned voice, and Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton both turn their chairs. Adam Levine thinks it makes sense for her to be on Christina’s team, and in the end she decides to go with her.

Jessica Crosbie grew up in England but is living in Atlanta now believing her small hometown wouldn’t offer her what she needed for her career. She would love to work with Adam. She sings a more delicate version of “Viva La Vida,” and has a very pretty soft voice. Christina, Adam, and Pharrell Williams all turn their chairs. Christina believes there are things in her they haven’t heard, but Jessica decides it will be Pharrell who gets to help her figure that out.

Justin Whisnant is from a small town where his parents separated early in his life, leaving him to be raised by his grandparents. He was given an ultimatum at work, either the job or music. He chose music, and here he is. He sings “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey,” turning both Adam and Blake’s chairs. Not only is he country, but he’s also from Oklahoma, making it look really good for Blake. He announces that he traded in his sneakers for “wing toes,” but Blake heard “wheat toast.” Despite that, he become Justin’s new coach.

Owen Danoff’s father was in Starland Vocal Band, the group behind the hit “Afternoon Delight.” However, the choice to go into music for a career was all Owen’s and not his dad.’s He’d be excited to work with Pharrell. He sings a Bob Dylan song, and you can hear the old-time folk in him. He turns all four chairs. Adam announces that seeing him play was even better than listening to him with his back turned. He goes on to chose Adam who meets his dad who announces that they both share a Best New Artist Grammy.

Brittney Lawrence has wanted to sing ever since hearing the Dixie Chicks. She is a cheerleading coach and also works full time for a textbook company and is studying to be a teacher. She tried out seven times for the show, but this is the first time she made it to the Blind Auditions. Christina and Blake both turn for her, and Pharrell encourages her to pick someone who helps her find her vibrato. Blake thinks not having a vibrato can be a good thing, and she goes on to pick him.

Matt Tedder grew up listening to the blues greats and even met BB King. He moved to Nashville as an adult and busks and teaches lessons to get by. He decides to sing a Muddy Waters song and thinks it would be really fulfilling for a coach to turn on that. Adam is the only coach who turns, and he’s even more impressed by his slide guitar playing. So that they can hear his guitar playing uninterrupted by his vocals, he does a solo and gets a standing O from Pharrell.

Joe Maye auditioned last season, but no one turned their chair for him. Blake thought it was because he was dancing and got out of breath. He sings a version of “I Put a Spell on You” that is really spirited and from the gut and turns both Blake’s and Christina’s chairs. Christina tells him it’s a favorite song of hers to perform and would love to sing it with him someday. She’s cajoled into doing it with him right then. And after that he has no choice but to pick her.

By the close of the show there are just six openings left to make it onto a team. Christina and Blake both have eleven singers on their team, and Pharrell and Adam both have ten.

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The Voice, Season 10 – Blind Auditions #3

TheVoice030716It was magic when Alisan Porter auditioned for The Voice last week. However, our second chance of a celebrity auditioning didn’t turn out as well. Aijia, singer Andy Grammer’s wife, auditioned Monday night, yet didn’t turn any chairs. It looks like it’s back to singing for Selena Gomez for her.

The following are some of the other memorable performances from the night

Hannah Huston is a preschool teacher, and before she goes onstage, she sees her preschool class wishing her luck which makes her emotional. She has a beautiful voice, and Blake Shelton can’t understand why no one is turning, yet he, Pharrell Williams, and Christina Aguilera all turn on the last note. Pharrell saw a lot of her personality come bubbling out, and she goes on to pick him as her coach.

Brian Nhira’s parents are originally from Zimbabwe, and they have a total of ten degrees between the two of them.. He sings “Happy,” and Pharrell and Blake both turn. Blake figures he doesn’t have a shot since this is Pharrell’s song, yet Brian is from Tulsa. He talks about singing “Jesus Loves Me” when he was growing up, and he sings that for the coaches as well, then goes on to pick Pharrell.

Peyton Parker’s parents are in her top five people, and perhaps that’s because they are totally supportive. They picked up and moved to Nashville when she decided she couldn’t pursue music in Georgia. Christina, Pharrell, and Blake turn for her. Blake feels the show is turning into coaches trying to take country artists away from him. In the end, Peyton picked him anyway.

Nate Butler auditioned for the Philadelphia Voice Choir when he was 10 and then did musical theater in high school. He definitely has a fun voice. Blake, Pharrell, and Adam Levine all hit their buttons at the last note. Adam thinks it’s clear who he was, and Nate picks him.

Ryan Quinn has Lyme disease and co-teaches music classes for kids who have suffered traumas. He believes he will choose Pharrell if given a choice. He has an amazing voice and turns all four chairs. Christina tells him his voice is one that needs to be heard, but he goes on to choose Adam.

At the end of the third night of Blind Auditions, Adam, Blake, and Pharrell all have eight artists each on their teams while Christina has just seven.

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The Bachelor, Season 20 – Women Tell All

Bachelor030716As is always the case, there was plenty of drama to be found on The Women Tell All episode of The Bachelor on Monday night. Usually there is one misunderstood woman who needs to hash out her choices during the season, but this time there were plenty of women who needed to hash things out


The smallest issue was dealt with first. There was the week that Leah threw one of the Laurens under the bus. Leah explained that she was devastated to not get a one-on-one, and Lauren had said girls who hadn’t had a one-on-one yet were losers to be upset about it. As if that’s a reason for throwing her under the bus. Jami and Becca pointed out that she lied. She tried to say she didn’t intentionally lie, but that fell flat.


Jubilee was next up, and much time was spent on her. She started off saying that she believed many of the things she said were misunderstood. She was shocked to see what the other girls were saying about her date in the helicopter. Jami said it started before that when Jubilee had made a comment about being the “real black woman” on that season and it upset the biracial women, and she denied ever making such a statement.

Once Jubilee sat on the stage with Chris Harrison, she said she knew she was a controversial person and that she’d have to defend herself. She and Ben shared the same fear that they were unlovable. Chris pointed out that Ben was fighting for her, but she said she never thought someone like her could win Ben over and she was terrified to tell him of her past. She’s taking steps to better shelf, though, and refuses to ever overthink something to the point she’s self-destructive again. However, she seemed to be in just as much conflict, not being able to decide whether she is the victim or a mean girl.


Lace was another one who went through a learning experience after she took herself off the show. She admits she was uncomfortable being there and said a side of her came out that made her aware of how she acts in situations. She had already been thinking about going home, but seeing Ben kissing Becca was icing on the cake.

When she said she’s been trying to avoid saying the word crazy, a guy stood up in the audience and said she is crazy … crazy beautiful. He took off his shirt and revealed that he has a tattoo of her face on his side. This guy really had a tattoo of a Bachelor contestant. Who’s crazy now?

Chris invited her again to Bachelor in Paradise as he did on the live show at the beginning of the season and this time she readily accepted, so look for that.


But if you’re looking for mean girls, there isn’t anyone more appropriate for that title this season than Olivia. She admitted she cried at home watching the first episode because it started out so well and she didn’t know where it went wrong. She said she feels a little like Jubilee like you can’t really get her right away.

Olivia knew things were weird in the house, but she didn’t know the extent of what the others were saying about her. She owned up to many things that she did wrong and apologized to Amanda for what she said about being a teen mom. She complained that when there was problems with Jubilee they went and talked to her, but no one ever came to talk to her. Emily said she came to her twice.

When Chris asked Olivia is she felt like she was ganged up on, she unbelievably said she felt like she was minding her own business the whole time. The faces on the other women told a different story. She knows she asked to speak to Ben first many times, but that was her trying to show him that she was there for him.

Jenn brought up Olivia telling Ben that she was different than the other girls because she reads books and talks about smart things, and is obviously insulted. Olivia tried to backtrack, and when Haley said she should be more self aware, Olivia brought up being bullied as a child. Shushana said she made that situation what it was. She wanted them all to be jealous, and watching it she’s 100% correct.

Olivia was just really put out that the other women made fun of her breath and her toes. She cried and said it’s been really hard and that she gave her sister her social media accounts because it’s a rough place for her right now.

She apologized again to Amanda and said it wasn’t fake. She seemed sincere, yet at the same time, she just doesn’t get it. She may be more self aware now, but she still just doesn’t understand the connection between her actions and the treatment by the other women.


Caila got a chance in the hot seat as well, as the third-place finisher always does. She talked about the day Ben let her go and said she just wanted to have a serious conversation with him because it was a really important time in their relationship. For the first time she felt understood by someone, so for him to say he never loved her back was really difficult.

Yet she did say that seeing Ben’s relationships with Lauren and JoJo was good for her. She wants to have that same thing some day. However, it hurt her a lot that he could tell both of them that he loved them but couldn’t say it to her. She doesn’t fall in love easily, so it made it really hard. She admitted that she missed him and seems just as shell-shocked as Olivia.


When Ben took the stage and addressed the women, as he should, he addressed Caila first. He wanted her to know how much their relationship meant to him and how much he learned from their conversations. He explored life to a level he never expected. He doesn’t want her to discount their relationship at all. She asked him if her confusion over her feelings stalled their relationship, and he said it was never stalled. It was just dependent on what was happening with the other relationships.

Jubilee brought up her confusion saying that when Caila and JoJo had a hard time opening up he said he found it attractive. Yet when she had a hard time communicating, he told her he wanted a wife who could communicate with him. Ben tried to point out that the difference was that was all of their conversations between: the confusion. Jubilee didn’t seem to understand still, but it’s clear to everyone else that their relationship couldn’t progress because all they did was talk about her and not the two of them together.

Olivia addresses Ben and tells him it would have been nice to get a one-on-one with him. He tells her there was something there that wasn’t right, and it wasn’t fair to drag something along.

Next Week

While I was hoping against hope that Caila was the person Ben is seen calling on the phone in last week’s preview, it appears now that it definitely isn’t a possibility. In the expanded previews this week, he still loves two women at the finale but sends a woman home that he loves because he has to be with the other one.

It’s anyone’s guess whether Ben ended up with Lauren or JoJo, but he does tell Chris that he is happy and more in love than he has ever been. He says he would marry the woman tomorrow if he could. Chris says he might hold him to that.

Will there be an officiant at the finale? That could make it interesting.

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Amazing Race, Season 28 – Breaking the Cardinal Rules

imageI don’t know what it is about this particular group of contestants on The Amazing Race this season, but it’s episode four, and I’m still having a hard time keeping them apart and remembering their names.

In addition to that, since they’re all Internet stars, my guess is that they’re not all big fans of the the show. This means they don’t know the tried and true rules to playing this game. One of those rules is that you never take the counting Detours. Another is that you don’t take the “Needle in the Haystack” Detours. There’s always a difficult element in them that you don’t see; that’s why something that seems so easy gets incredibly hard. Yet another rule is that you have to remember you’re playing a game, and these people aren’t your friends.


The other troubling aspect among these teammates is the showmance that’s brewing. All the teams got bunched up on the same flight from Cartagena, Colombia to Geneva, Switzerland, meaning it was the first time they’ve all been together since the very beginning.

Brodie, who is partnered with Kurt, is excited to talk to Blair, who is partnered with her father Scott, for the first time. The other contestants notice the showmance, especially Tyler and Korey, and Tyler just won’t let it go.

Tyler coins the showmance “Blodie” and says it often throughout the show. Korey suggests that Tyler be the flower girl at the wedding. While everyone is camping out together waiting for their next challenge, Blodie cuddle together with a blanket over them. And Tyler and Korey are right there hovering over them.

Never Take the Counting Challenge

For the Detour, they’re given the choice of assembling Swiss Army knives or counting how many people will fit on a very, very long bench. Even though it seems difficult, the knife is the better challenge. It’s better than testing your luck counting. Nevertheless, the majority of the teams choose that challenge.

To count how many people will fit on the bench, the teams hold newspapers and sit next to each other with the papers touching. Then the first person gets up and moves to the other side of the second person, and then the second person gets up and moves to other side. They continue this until they have covered the whole bench.

Brittany and Jessica are behind from the start because they couldn’t find the challenge. They were looking for the Swiss Army knife Detour. They found the bench one and decided to just do that instead. They ended up being the last team and just couldn’t get the number right no matter what they did. Again, it’s not easy, and that’s why it’s a challenge. Eventually they get it right and have to play catchup.

Don’t Look for Help If You’re in Last Place

For the Roadblock, the teams end up at the United Nations. One member of each team needs to match the right flag to ten different countries. The flags are all displayed in rows in front of the building, and there’s a display case that shows all of the country names with the ten countries in the challenge highlighted in gold. They’re each given a book with all the flags, and they need to pull out the ones they need.

The contestants working on the Roadblock are trying to guess at which flags they need, and Korey figures there is probably some type of key or map to help them. Suddenly he realizes that the flagpoles are all in the same order as the countries in the display case. That’s the key he was looking for.

Korey teams up with Matt to get these figured out as quickly as they can. Then the other teams all start to pair up as well. Korey gets it wrong the first time, leaving Bernie as the first one to finish.

Finally Brittany and Jessica arrive with Jessica doing the challenge. She’s upset that all the teams are working in small groups and no one wants to work with her. What she’s forgetting is the rule that this is still a game. She’s so far behind that they all know they are safe if she stays behind. Of course no one is going to help her.

How Many Trains Does It Take to Get to France?

As the teams finish the Roadblock, they are sent on a train to Charmonix, France, where Phil Keoghan will be waiting at the center of town. But the train doesn’t go straight there. They have to transfer to a different train at some point.

All the teams are on two different trains heading to France. Jessica finally finishes and they hop on a third train. Those on the second train are hoping that in their layover transferring between trains that Brittany and Jessica don’t catch up to them. They watch them actually standing on the platform as the train pulls away. Somehow all teams end up on the same train together after the transfer, except Brittany and Jessica.

This means it’s a mad dash off the train for who can run faster to get to Phil and be team number one. Brodie and Kurt make it there first, with Tyler and Korey right on their heels. Phil says it happened one time before where that many teams ended up on the mat at the same time. It was in the All Stars season.

Eventually Brittany and Jessica, also known as “The Models,” make it to the mat and are eliminated. Too many things happened on that leg for them to survive it.

Always, always, always, on The Amazing Race, remember the cardinal rules.

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American Idol, Season 15 – Final 10 Perform Grammy-Winning Songs

Idol030316I don’t want it to be the final 10 already. This final season of American Idol is ticking away too quickly. And they’re taking the Idols away from us too quickly as well, as tonight the final 10 will become the final 8 as the judges will eliminate two of the bottom three. This means the first seven performers are automatically in the final 8.

First up to perform is Dalton Rapattoni. He wonders before he performs how to become even better which is a great thought for someone who is considered a frontrunner. He sings “Radioactive,” and while the chorus is good, the verses were the first time I didn’t like him. It’s NOT a good competition song until the end when he can belt it. Keith Urban agreed that it wasn’t a great song choice, and Jennifer Lopez tells him he needs to get out of his head. He reminds Harry Connick Jr. of Billy Joe Armstrong.

Lee Jean was bothered last week to be compared to Mackenzie. He sings “Use Somebody,” and he’s right that he’s different, but it’s clear how much that bothered him as this is so out of his Ed Sheeran genre. JLo thinks there’s more voice in him than he even knows. Harry notes how the song relates for him since it’s about being away from home. Keith wishes Lee would have done something else with the song.

Demi Lovato takes the stage with the Idols the sing “Confident,” something new, which was good to see. She then sings “Stone Cold” alone. She has some great emotion in that, making me wonder if she was trying to do something to match Kelly Clarkson’s efforts last week. She did great, but the angst that Kelly showed probably isn’t beatable or even matchable.

Last week Sonika Vaid felt like it was the best she’d ever performed. She chooses “Since U Been Gone” to try to recapture the “angst you bad girl alter ego” she found, but it’s hard to do a song you’re going to be compared to Kelly. It doesn’t match up to her or to what Sonika did last week. Harry thought she was digging her own voice more than trying to sing the words. Keith wanted more “angry girlfriend.” Jen thinks she needs to get lost in the character of what she’s doing and needs to let go.

MacKenzie Bourg wants to stand out; he’s obviously thinking about Lee being compared to him. He sings “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” because he wants people to know he can have fun, too, aside from the singer/songwriter vibe, and he dedicates it to his grandmother in the hospital. If he was looking for “fun,” then he was too subdued. Keith loved the whole thing. Jen adds that some switchups don’t worked, but that one died. Harry would have gone the other direction with it and done something acoustic.

Getting all the great comments last week was an honor for La’Porsha Renae. For twenty-two years her mom was the only one to work on her hair other than her, and now she has to leave it up to the stylists. She sings “Halo,” and it’s just hard to know what else to say about her. She gave me JLo’s goosies, and she loves watching La’Porsha come into her own. Every time she sings, Harry is urged to consider a song from a different perspective. Keith noted you could tell she was trying to figure out how to perform in her elaborate dress.

Harry took the stage to sing “I Do Like We Do,” but it seemed he was searching to find the note in the beginning. Yet, Keith judges him saying it felt like a perfect song choice, while Harry says he almost sang “Halo.”

One entire day was spent on having Trent Harmon working on his face pulling. He feels like it helps him hit the notes. He sings “When a Man Loves a Woman,” and while it’s really good, I want him to let go, making me think may he needs to do his faces until he hits a great note minus the face. Harry loves his voice on high sustained notes. Keith warns him not to let the facial awareness get in the way of his emoting. Jen had a vision of him and La’Porsha at the end.

The four left are Tristan McIntosh, Avalon Young, Olivia Rox, and Gianna Isabella. The final person who is safe is Tristan. She was confident going into rehearsals, but Scott Borchetta didn’t like it. She changed it up and chose “Go Rest High on That Mountain,” and it’s absolutely beautiful. Keith says it was a good move to switch songs. JLo feels this is her sweet spot. Harry confirms she was singing to someone I particular: her grandfather with a broken back.

The first of the bottom three to perform is Avalon. She tried to step out of her zone last week, but it was the wrong song, so needs to do better this week. She sings “Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey. She’s definitely back in her groove. Jen says tis’ what she needed to come out and do. Harry thinks it was great to sing such a slow song and keep everyone interested. Keith loved that she did her own take on the high falsetto.

Olivia announces that she had the flu last week and was afraid she wouldn’t be able to continue in the competition if she had to stay in the hospital She sings “Trouble” to be out of her comfort zone. It’s good, but I’m not sure if it’s going to beat Avalon. If it does, then the judges aren’t basing their decision on tonight’s performances. Harry tells her the problem is she’s competing again someone who picked a song with more to chew on. Keith notes her vocal range is insane. JLo believes some things didn’t come together because they didn’t feel like she was really “trouble.”

Gianna knows the judges told her not to sing these types of songs, but it’s tough because she grew up with it. She signs “If I Ain’t Got You.” It’s definitely not the wrong song for her. The emotions aren’t there for it, and she really should have listened to the judges. She’s too young for it. Keith, too, wanted more feeling with it. JLo thinks she has a blessed voice. Harry didn’t recognize her with her new look.

Jennifer makes the announcement of who they are saving from the bottom three. She says it was one of the most painful decisions, but they are saving Avalon, sending Olivia, an early frontrunner, and Gianna, the daughter of one of her friends from back in the day, home.

It’s interesting to note that even though the final 10 had more girls than guys, we still ended up with the bottom three being all female, just as what usually happens at the beginning of eliminations. Next week will be another double elimination. Will the gals be targeted again to make it a final six with four guys and two girls?

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Survivor Kaoh Rong, Season 32 – “Brain” Tribe? Sure About That?

Survivor030216What I’m finding amusing this season of Survivor is the alternate tribe names of Beauty, Brains, and Brawn. Okay, so the Beauty tag fits, but I’m really not sure about Brains and Brawn.

Supposedly the purpose of dividing the group into these specific teams is so that they have to rely on their given traits. Yet when the Brawn tribe was found to be not very … Brawny … in their first challenge, they booted out one of the brawniest, Darnell, when he lost the scuba mask and kept Alecia, aka “Blondie,” the smallest of all of them who had lost the puzzle portion of their first challenge and who did nothing in camp.

Then in the next episode, “Blondie” was on the block again, but they also considered doing a ladies alliance and voting out Kyle, another of their most brawny individuals. Instead, Jennifer opened up her mouth at Tribal Council and admitted to the plan, so they just decided to vote her out instead. Yet, they still had Blondie who isn’t helpful to them in challenges, so now they only have three “Brawny” people left on the tribe.

Luckily for them, they finally won second place in a challenge, saving them from voting someone else out. However, Kyle saw Blondie and Cydney searching for the idol. Cydney found the tool for it and Blondie didn’t, so she had a leg up. But she wanted to come clean with the others, who booted her aside and went for the idol themselves. Kyle now has the idol. Cydney should not have told them they found a clue and should have found a way to go there on her own.

As for as the Brains tribe, they have no idea how to gameplay. Peter and Liz were aligned and knew they had to break up the other two pairs: Joe and Deb and Aubry and Neal. They decide Joe will be loyal and that Deb doesn’t have the drive in her for a big move, so they decide they need to get rid of Aubry and Neal.

Once they lost the challenge, they thought it was a good thing as they can’t wait to start carrying out their plan. They tell Aubry and Neal to vote out Joe and tell Joe and Deb to vote out Aubry. But the other four want them out. They see Peter as very narcissistic and aren’t too fond of Liz either.

At the tribal council, the Brain tribe nailed it, realizing that their tribe was bound to either over-analyze everything or that everyone would feel individually that they are smarter than everyone else. That was definitely the case with Peter and Liz.

The vote came down to a three-way tie of Aubry, Liz, and Peter. At this point Peter and Liz’s alliance was going down; those who received votes couldn’t cast votes in the revotes, so neither Liz nor Peter could vote out the others. Neal, Joe, and Deb decided that Liz had to go.

Peter needs to really scramble here to find his way into an alliance with one of the other pairs, but at this point they don’t trust him or like him. Really his only hope is for a tribal shakeup so that he can regroup.

But it doesn’t appear to be coming next week. The preview shows someone getting so ill during a challenge that they need to be Medivaced out of there.

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The Voice, Season 10 – Blind Auditions #2

Voice030116Right out of the box on Monday night’s The Voice Season Premiere, we had the excitement of both a really good performer and the celebrity factory thrown in when Alisan “Curly Sue” Porter auditioned. Could there be anything left that exciting during these blind auditions? Here’s the more memorable blind auditions from night two.

Bringing some excitement, but not the same amount, is Joe Vivona. He works at a family-owned amusement park and sometimes performs at fairs just for whoever is walking by; however, he still deals with nerves. Adam Levine, Pharrell Williams, and Blake Shelton turn for his great alternative sound. His 95-year-old grandfather called him the night before, so he picks his Grandpa’s favorite, Pharrell.

Adam Wakefield’s parents were hippies, and they didn’t have much, but did have music. He started a band with his brother, but sadly he died of an overdose. He has an older Southern Rock style and gives a little exciting as well. Both Adam and Blake turn for him, but he picks Blake.

Caroline Burns had auctioned in season nine but didn’t make it, and Pharrell had the audience chant, asking her to come back and try again. She reunited with her band since then and also works as a princess or fairy for kids’ parties. Adam and Blake both turn for her this time, and after Adam remembers her, she picks him.

Laith Al-Saadi has been singing in choirs since he was 4 and playing guitar since the 8th grade. He started playing gigs at 16 and has opened for BB King and Greg Allman. He performs “The Letter” and completely shreds with the guitar. He’s definitely bringing the excitement. Yet again, Blake and Adam both turn, and he picks Adam.

And finally, the last contestant is perhaps even more memorable than Alisan. Kata Hay moved to Nashville just six months before and runs a mechanical bull at a bar. She started singing in pageants at three years old and seems very polished. Adam, Pharrell, and Christina Aguilera all turn their chairs. She tells Christina she was her first girl crush, and Christina suggests they make out. They share a kiss to Pharrell’s delight. She has no choice but to pick Christina in the end.

At the end of the night, Pharrell has six on his team Christina and Adam 5 each, and Blake 4, and possibly two that could make it to the live rounds: Laith and Kata.

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The Voice, Season 10 – Season Premiere

Voice022916Before it even starts, this season of The Voice just seems like it won’t be as much fun. As we watched Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani fall in love with each other last season, it just seemed like it had something extra. But now she’s gone, save for an advisor role, and Christina Aguilera is back.

There were a few performances in Monday night’s blind auditions that were memorable, but the one at the end will be the one that everyone is talking about this week

The first memorable singer was Paxton Ingram, who was also the first to audition right out of the gate. He is also a hip-hop instructor and showed great passion in his audition. Blake, Pharrell Williams, and Adam Levine all pushed their buttons. Surprisingly, Paxton went with Blake.

Nick Hagelin’s back story made him really memorable. He’s a ballet dancer, and his little boy has a disease that affects his movement. He turned down one recording contract because they wanted him to not be public about his family. Christina, Blake, and Pharrell turned, and he went the “Quincy Jones of our generation.”

Mary Sarah works in the Boot Barn but has worked in the past with Dolly Parton and the Oak Ridge Boys. Blake recognized her. It’s a four-chair turn as she performs “Where the Boys Are,” and she smartly chooses Blake.

Mike Schiavo has a singer-songwriter feel. After a three-chair turn with all the male coaches, he admits he grew up listening to Maroon 5. Christina asks him what his favorite song is by them, and he names “She Will Be Loved.” She then pressures Adam to sing it as a duet with Mike, and they do. Again, he smartly chooses Adam.

John Gilman lives in a log cabin with his brothers and no modern conveniences such as WiFi, but that’s okay with him, as it gives him more time to work on his music. His genre is very retro with rockabilly and doo-wop. He auditions with “Don’t Be Cruel,” and Adam is the only one who turns around.

All of the above are memorable for either their backstory or their audition, but the next singer is the most memorable for both reasons. Alisan Porter was a child actress and played the title role in the movie Curly Sue. As an adult she did Broadway and became and addict, but she’s been sober for eight years and is married with kids. She knows she’s really a singer and not an actress. All four judges fall all over themselves for her. She and Christina bond over both doing Star Search, and Alisan goes ahead and picks her.

It’s hard to imagine anyone being more memorable than Alisan, as she was just that good singing “Blue Bayou.” I woke up this morning with the song still stuck in my head. However, it’s just the first night of the blind auditions. There’s plenty more to come.

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The Bachelor, Season 20 – Final 3 Fantasy Suite Dates

bachelor022916We all saw the Bachelor promos showing Ben Higgins fretting over telling two women that he loved them. In the first place, that’s nearly unheard of for Bachelors and Bachelorettes. They never say it until the finale when they settle on the chosen one. But even bigger than that was who Ben was saying that to. Which two women were going to be awarded those three magical words?

Ben’s first date of the night was with Caila. She was his first one-on-one date, and she’s been my favorite all along as the the person who he’d eventually end up with. She was off all day and finally admitted to him that she was worried about the two other women. She did finally get comfortable enough to tell him she loved him.

But Ben didn’t say it back. This is despite them sharing the night in the fantasy suite. They showed them the next morning together, so apparently we’ve moved past suggesting they’re sleeping together to just accepting it. They ended on a good note, but he still didn’t say I love you. What does this say about her future with him?

It was on to Ben’s second date with Lauren. He admitted that with her he feels like he can be himself. They had what he described as a whole day full of cuteness with baby sea turtles, Lauren, and “Mel,” the guy on the beach helping with the turtles. He feels she’s too good for him, and she feels the same about him.

Ben is the man of Lauren’s dreams. She tells him she is completely in love with him. He tells her he’s known he was in love with her for awhile. So there it is. The first I love you. So he knew he was in love with Lauren, yet he still slept with Caila? Needless to say, he spends the night with Lauren.

On Ben’s date with JoJo, she wants to talk to him about her brothers but wants to focus on just her and Ben. She tells him she’s scared because she’s not just falling in love anymore; she’s in love. He says he loves her too. This is number two. They finally get around to talking about her brothers’ opinion of Ben, and she brushes right past this conversation. And, of course, they spend the night in the fantasy suite.

For Ben, he is feeling like everything finally makes sense. He can’t imagine saying goodbye to either Lauren or JoJo, and he’s not mentioning Caila at all. She seems to already be out of his mind.

While Ben is deep in thought about trying to decide between Lauren and JoJo, Caila pays him a surprise visit, a visit she expects he will enjoy. But he can’t keep up the facade with her, so he tells her he’s in love with the other two women and that the other relationships have progressed further.

Caila leaves, then comes back and demands to know when Ben knew that he loved the other two more. She is obviously asking if he knew before they slept together. He says he didn’t know until he spent time with Lauren and JoJo that he had stronger feelings for them than Caila. She leaves … crushed.

In the promos for the finale in two weeks (Women Tell All will be next week), they show Ben still stuck on who he is going to choose, not wanting to say goodbye to either of them. Then he makes a decision and picks up the phone to make a call.

Who is he calling? Aren’t they ready to go meet them and hear their fate? Did he already send someone home and is now changing his mind? Is he calling Chris Harrison? Did he realize that he does love Caila? Probably not, but I’m still holding out hope.

If not, Caila needs to be the next Bachelorette.

Image Credit: YouTube Video

Survivor: Second Chances – Episode Catch Up – Who’s The Hero This Season?

I warned you all. I said it was going to be hit or miss. And after three straight hits…three straight misses. I am to Survivor blogging as a cocky three-point shooter is to basketball. Just a bit streaky. And it’s going to stay that way for a while. You see, not only am I trying to earn money – this column pays me just as much as I get for eating my after-dinner dessert – but I am also getting married in just over a week.

Happy things. But, boy, it sure makes regular blogging quite the trick.

So, there is no way to make this column a big ol’ blow-by-blow of the last few episodes. Or else, I’ll be writing this through my honeymoon. And, really, that ain’t happening.

So, let’s get the boots out of the way first – as none were all that surprising to anyone. None of the three taken out were given much of an edit so far – PG was not seen doing much except being Abi’s foil, Varner was being shown as an erratic mischief-maker, and Monica was barely seen. None were given hero’s edits – or even villain edits. So, as much as they are all likely very nice people – and I was always a big fan of PG, and of watching Monica on screen (ahem) – no one who has ever watched Survivor thought they were really going anywhere this season based on this edit.

What has been the big piece of news over the last few episodes was the first time the show ever expanded tribes. I absolutely loved that twist. First of all, it saved a couple of my favorites – Spencer and Fishy. Second of all, I love it when the show does things that are unexpected. Plus, there have been 31 seasons of this show and it is just simply fascinating to me that they keep finding new ways to surprise us. This season alone – the first fan vote, hidden idols at challenges and now the increase in tribes.

These new tribes have their own personality – we have Angkor and their bare camp and tribal weakness, we have Bayonne and a lack of much drama at all, and we have Takeo Spikes and their utter dominance. Our friends in Bayonne, Queens got their first showcase this week. And Monica and Kimmi actually became part of the narrative for the first time. The Takeo Spikes tribe just continues to win and is building up a very dominant five-person alliance if it holds. And Angkor has gotten much attention early on thanks to the Abi madness, many losses, and a rather good bit of Survivor playing.

That last piece leads to what I wish to discuss in this summary column – who is shaping up to be the Sole Survivor this season based on the early editing?

Option 1 – Spencer. He was on the precipice of defeat. He had to beg and plead his way out of being the second boot of the season. He was dead man walking. And then the tribe switch. And a LOT of confessionals. And some big challenge performances. He worked on bonding with Namesake and was ready to turn on Not E in order to survive just a bit longer in the game. So when it was time for their first Tribal Council – he was ready to turn his back on his former tribesmate and linger. But thanks to his successful social game – remember, this is Spencer! – he was able to fill the crack in the Bayonne alliance. If that’s not a burgeoning Hero Edit…well, then it’s hard to say what one truly is.

Option 2 – Tasha. I could have said Savage here, but I say Tasha is more of the option. When the two of them went over to Angkor, they were doomed. Just like Spencer and Not E. However, it was Tasha that worked on expanding the rift between Abi and PG and exploited it. Instead of watching PG and Shirin struggle with how to manage Abi, we are now enjoying the mastery of how Tasha does this unenviable task. At one point last week, we actually watched the patience in Tasha face take hold and manifest in a kind smile. She and Savage have moved from low cogs in a weak tribe to the power players in said tribe. What will happen as they move into another shift or a merge? Who knows. But Tasha is getting the attention that a master manipulator gets. And it’s a whole lot of fun to watch.

Option 3 – Savage. Not as much as Tasha, but Savage is getting the hero call as well. He is getting the more common thread of tough guy. Survivor and Probst love the tough guy edit. The fact that Savage is an older guy makes it even better. In fact, it is not unheard of for the show to have a woman pulling the strings but the guy winning challenges and being strong gets the glory. Is that Savage’s fate? Perhaps.

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