Monday, March 28, 2016

The Voice Season Ten Battle Round Power Rankings

Ugg, I am really getting sick of the focus on the coaches. The ode of Blake’s phone was just a complete waste of time in the Blind Auditions. And then having Gwen as Blake’s advisor was just icky whenever they were on screen. Making things worse is there incisive pushing of Christina and her singer is long past annoying. Yes we know a female coach has never won (though not mention is how a female singer has not won since season five) but the more they push for it, the more the viewers will revolt. Seriously, if you really want a female coach to win, how about a panel with three chicks and only one dude? Or at the very least go two and two. Granted the coaches antics has been a focus for very long now but maybe it is just more noticeable this season because the talent level this season is not great. Sure it is not season six bad, but it is hard to get excited for anyone. I even skipped the last couple episodes of the Battles and just watched the YouTube clips. Never a good sign. And with Miley Cyrus as the key adviser in the Knockouts, I will likely skip that round entirely in favor for the YouTube.

1. Hannah Huston (Team Pharrell) – Coaches hem and haw about how hard each and every Battle is to choose but this was really one of the closest Battles ever. I would have also given the edge to Hannah because he Blind Audition was better and is just a better performer.

2. Maya Smith (Team Pharrell Christina) – C’mon Christina, you cannot say you are going to Steal during your commentary and they wait to push your button until she starts walking down the stairs.

3. Adam Wakefield (Team Blake) - Again, just good ol’ southern rock.

4. Brittany Kennell (Team Blake) – I was a bi iffy on her Blind Audition but, and I usually mock Blake Battle Round non-country song choices (seriously, Borderline?) but he found what Brittany can excel at: dark and moody songs. Please no more ballads for her. And no more Gwen comparisons, that is just insulting to Brittany.

5. Laith Al-Saadi (Team Adam) – I would have liked something more upbeat but Laith is always entertaining.

6. Ryan Quinn (Team Adam) – So Adam compares his battle pairing to Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, so of course Adam has them sing a Paul McCartney song. Alrighty. Katie did surprise me a little because she brought something different to the song where it was hard not to think Ryan was just doing a Paul McCartney impression, but for the long run, Ryan was the better pick.

7. Abby Celso (Team Pharrell) – After her Blind Audition I thought her voice was bluesy and she should not be singing silly pop songs, so of course she has to sing another silly pop song in the Battles; I hope she sings something more interesting in the Knockouts.

8. Caity Peters (Team Pharrell) – The Battles are a tricky round. You could be stuck with a poor partner or with an iffy song choice and Caity was saddled with both. Seriously Pharrell, the fiftieth best Billy Joel song (and even that might be generous)? Caity did not help her case trying out emote Joe which came off as trying too hard. Hopefully she can recapture some of the Blind Audition magic for the Knockouts.

9. Brian Nhira (Team Pharrell Adam) – I do think Abby is better, but he did get a well-deserved Save.

10. Mary Sarah (Team Blake) – There was a behind the scenes video on YouTube where Christina commented on a piece of her anatomy and that was all I can think about. When I could focus on the voice, Mary may be the better singer, but I think Justin kept up with th song better. But I guess he had the easier part because it is more natural to sing Mississippi fast compared to Louisiana.

11. Moushumi (Team Pharrell) – As someone who pays too much to editing, going on the final episode (she was actually the only person from the last episode to win their Battle) and not only gets montaged, but most of her montage segment focused on the person she beat is not a good sign for her longevity on the show. Sure she is the only singing in the Knockout promo, but so was Ashley Morgan two seasons ago and Ashley ended up losing. But with a bunch of really Battle that ranged from bland to just plain bad, there was nothing really that bad with the studio version. I wonder if something went really wrong with the performance.

12. Peyton Parker (Team Blake) – Montage win… yawn.

13. Jessica Crosbie (Team Pharrell Adam) – Definitely won her Battle, so good for Adam for giving her a reprieve.

14. Katie Basden (Team Adam Blake) – I think this was the first country singer that Blake has ever stole during the Battle Rounds. But she was kind of just average on his team so she may have to be stolen again to make the Live Shows.

15. Bryan Bautista (Team Christina) – I am so tired of this song my eyes just gloss over whenever someone sings it anymore. I guess Bryan won.

16. Owen Danoff (Team Adam) – Montage win… yawn. And no wonder it was montaged Runaway just seems like a really bad song to sing on a show like this. Really, most of Adam’s song choices this season were questionable. It was clear to me Blake threw season five after winning three straight seasons, I am beginning to think Adam may not be putting in the effort after last season’s win. He clearly has the worst team and his song selections look like he is throwing in the towel. But then again Owen and Ryan are exactly who the very large bored housewives voting bloc get behind so Adam may still back into a win.

17. Joe Maye (Team Christina) – Montage win… yawn (But I love I Knew You Were Waiting, it is a shame that the one actual duet this season got montaged).

18. Paxton Ingram (Team Blake) – He had a memorable Audition but what a crappy song selection and he really did not do much interesting with it. I will just go ahead and blame Gwen who is the worst coach so maybe that rubbed off on him. Hopefully he gets back on track with something interesting in the Knockouts.

19. Alisan Porter (Team Christina) – So Adam calls her the Jordan Smith of the season. Which makes sense because the producers have been pushing her heavily and I have been mostly meh on her. Except unlike Jordan, I am not completely sold on her inevitable march to the winner’s circle. The more the show pushes her, the more the bored housewives will get behind whatever boring white dude they get behind this season. And if a female actually does win this season, I think Mary is more likely to win.

20. Emily Keener (Team Pharrell) – Her Blind Audition had really good moments and… some really rough moments. This performance was a bit more consistent but oh, was that a horrible song choice.

21. Tamar Davis (Team Christina) – I actually thought for a second that Christina was goingto go with the teenager over her, which is not a good sign.

22. Malik Heard (Team Christina Pharrell) – His Audition was kind of meh, and lost his Battle, there are much better RnB singers this season.

23. Angie Keilhauer (Team Blake) – Montage win… yawn.

24. Shalyah Fearing (Team Christina Pharrell) - Some coaches seem to just push their Steal button for completely random reasons, but there is becoming no bigger lock than Pharrell stealing a young undercooked female soul singer.

25. Caroline Burns (Team Adam) – She was better than she was in her Blind Audition, but I guess it is not hard when you are compared against
Meagan Trainor.

26. Lacy Mandigo (Team Christina Blake) – I hate the backstories in the Blinds but I actually wanted to know more about her heavy metal singer father. Unfortunately a quick google search turned out to be the lead singer of some band I have never heard of. I do wonder if having a heavy metal singer as a father is the reason why did does not have the best control.

27. Nate Butler (Team Adam) – This was one of those Battles where they really could have sent both home and I would not have minded. It just makes you wonder just how bad those montaged were. Maybe the only reason why this was not montaged was because Tori Kelly was the advisor. Come to think of it, it seems like every season Adam gives a Battle pair his advisor’s song who has to put on a happy face even though two mediocre singer are butchering a song they wrote. You would think after all the times someone has ruined a Maroon 5 song over the years (especially Braiden and Korin just last season) he would be more empathetic to that.

28. Trey O'Dell (Team Blake Christina) - Oh Christina, there was no need to save yet another boring white dude. But when I was thinking who she should have Stolen instead, I guess there were not any extremely egregious decisions by the coaches except Kristen Marie, who Christina could not Steal anyway because Christina was the one who dumped her.

29. Kata Hay (Team Christina) – Did Christina pick her (or the producer told her to pick Kata) solely because they think she makes for good television because I cannot imagine anyone think she did a better job singing than the other chick.

30. Daniel Passino (Team Christina) - I hate this shows obsession with boring white dudes. Kristen Marie was much more interesting.

31. Nick Hagelin (Team Pharrell) – Electric Feel is a tall order considering Preston Pohl had one of the best Blind Audition with the song, and Brooke Adee had one of the best Knockouts eve. So Nick’s falcetto only version was kind of cringeworthy and really one of the worst decisions in the history of the show.

32. Katherine Ho (Team Adam) – Double montage, oh no. The first two seasons after the introduction of the Knockout Round, two double montage victims made the Live Playoffs but since them I believe there was only one double montage victim to make the Knockouts and that was Rebekah Samarin who ended up being triple montage. Not particularly a good sign for Katherine.

As I usually do, let me put my ranking into a formula to see which coach has the strongest team:

Blake: 154
Pharrell: 140
Adam: 131
Christina: 103

Of course Blake has the strongest team because he is the only coach who puts their best singers against their worst and picks the best almost every time. Then you have Pharrell who pits strong singers against each other and then begs the other coaches to Steal. As usualy Chistina is at the bottom because she clearly does not like the same singers I do. I did not help that she kicked off my favorite singer on her team in favor of my least favorite. But who cares what I think, here is how iTunes users rank the Battle Round performances based on their peek on the iTunes chart.

1. Bryan Bautista and Malik Heard (76)
2. Alisan Porter and Lacy Mandingo (83)
3. Moushumi (201)
4. Mary Sarah (300)
5. Adam Wakefield and Jared Harder (315)
6. Katie Basden and Ryan Quinn (320)
7. Justin Whisnant and Mary Sarah (321)
8. Alisan Porter (324)
9. Daniel Passino and Kristen Marie (327)
10. Hannah Huston and Maya Smith (337)
11. Caroline Burns and Mike Schiavo (340)
12. Abby Celso and Brian Nhira (376)
13. Emily Keener and Jonathan Bach (388)
14. Ryan Quinn (458)
15. Owen Danoff (586)
16. Brittney Lawrence and Paxton Ingrim (468)
17. Natalie Yacovazzi and Nate Butler (681)
18. Jonathan Hutcherson (724)
19. Shalyah Fearing and Tamar Davis (751)
20. Jessica Crosbie and Nick Hagelin (810)
21. Laith Al-Saadi and Matt Tedder (835)
22. Jonathan Hutcherson and Moshumi (872)
23. Emily Keener (909)
24. Mike Schiavo (990)
25. Angie Keilhauer (1082)
26. Brittany Kennell and Trey O’Dell (1020)
27. Caity Peters (1131)
28. Caity Peters and Joe Vivona (1256)

And if you took the average of their Blind Audition and Battle Round peeks, here is how the top 32 rank.

1. Alisan Porter (54)
2. Mary Sarah (196)
3. Ryan Quinn (203)
4. Adam Wakefield (259)
5. Emily Keener (261.5)
6. Abby Celso (333.5)
7. Bryan Bastista (341)
8. Daniel Passino (344)
9. Hannah Huston (384.5)
10. Paxton Ingrim (469.5)
11. Caroline Burns (521)
12. Moushumi (550.5)
13. Jessica Crosbie (607)
14. Nate Butler (623)
15. Brian Nhira (639)
16. Nick Halpin (691)
17. Laith Al-Saadi (692.5)
18. Caity Peters (718.5)
19. Malik Heard (765.5)
20. Maya Smith (896)
21. Shalyah Fering (1014)
22. Brittany Kennell (1210)
23. Trey O’Dell (1241.5)
(Owen Daniels, Angie Keilhauer, Peyton Parker, Joe Maye all missed the top 1500 thanks to being montaged in the Battle Round, Lacy Mandingo, Katie Basden, and Tamar Davis could not get their Blind Auditions to chart, poor Katherine Ho did not chart thanks to getting montaged twice, then despite having both performances shown in full, Kata Hay could not manage to crack the top 1500 either time)

So if you rank the coaches by their iTunes average rankings, here is how each coach stacks up:

Pharrell: 158
Adam: 136
Blake: 118
Christina: 116

Up in the commentary I mentioned Adam on paper looks to be a very weak team but he has a much stronger team than you may think. His problem is besides Ryan (and to a lesser extent Owen who was put at an iTunes disadvantage being montaged in the Battles after a strong Blind Audition) everyone is very middling, he just does not have anyone doing extremely bad on iTunes besides double montage victim Katherine. Blake and Christina have plenty of fodder and if they chose right (Blake probably will, Christina probably will not) they can still have a strong Playoff time. Adam will have a weak three through five assuming he advances Ryan and Owen. Pharrell should be fine as long as he does not advance his Steals who are his two weakest charting team members.

Unfortunately the promo was very Miley heavy so we do not get to see many Knock pairings but I did spot these three (with those we get to hear first making me think they are the favorite; but as I mentioned earlier, Ashley Morgan was featured two seasons ago and went home).

Alisan Porter vs. Daniel Passino
Shaylah Fering vs. (I think) Emily Keener
Hannah Hutson vs. Malik Heard

So Alisan is truly Jordan Smith of this season as Adam pointed out because she is featured is every single promo. Meh. But hey, goodbye Daniel (barring a Steal), you will not be missed. But if she does not pick Daniel, and Trey seems like fodder, either Bryan or Joe could be her lone male. Malik was also someone who got a lot of screen time, but he is just sitting behind Hannah so he may need a Steal to advance. That would also mean Pharrell would have a female heavy team, unless, oh, could he really advance Nick? He is not quite Nic Hawk bad, but ugg. I railed last year when six of the eight people America saved in the Playoff were all boring whit dudes (and it looked even worse when Pharrell only had one on his team to advance and the long other female to advance by America was of course a country singer), will there even be four white dudes in the Playoffs (Ryan, Owen, and Adam look to be the only locks)? Adam may be the only one with a dude heavy team this season going into the Playoffs. Here are my predictions ranked by how confident I am with most likely steals in parenthesis (and to be honest I am not all that confident about anyone aside from the first one or two listed):

Adam: Ryan, Owen, Leith, Caroline (Brian)
Blake: Mary, Adam, Paxton, Brittany (none)
Christina: Alisan, Bryan, Tamar, Maya (Daniel)
Pharrell: Hannah, Shaylah, Caity, Nick (Abby, Malik)

Oh goodness, I really had a hard time predicting because this is turning out to be a pretty weak season. I was staring at potential Steal think, there really not that many people worthy. Even picking the coach’s fourth picks was kind of hard. I am now wondering if maybe all of Pharrell indie pop brigade survives. I already have Hannah and Caity advancing outright, I ended up adding Abby to the Steal but she could take Nick’s spot (I only picked him because of diversity; which says something when you are adding a whit dude solely for diversity sake), I only do not have Emily advancing because Shaylah is featured heavily in the promo, but I could see her also getting a Steal, and of the three featured in the promo Shaylah is the most likely to lose. And I forgot about Moshahmi who is also someone who could take Nick’s spot or be Stolen. Adam certainly could use her.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 3/26/16

Once Upon a Time: Wait, there are crossing guards in the Underworld. At least Mr. Gold pointed out the absurdity of that saying they are already dead. It is almost as silly as the Underworld turning out to be a pit stop to somewhere else, either up or down. How sad that Hades as been reduced to being the gatekeeper of Purgatory.
You can download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Shameless: Oh Lip, you were living the dream and now you are back at the Gallagher house, no sorority sisters and no track for a career. And the house is even more crowded with Fiona’s soon to be husband and a new baby. Oh well, at least the house should be safer now. Who would have thought back in season one that Ian would grow up to be an EMT while Carl would get into police work? But c’mon, a black cop harasses “Mitt Romney Jr.” and no one tells him White Lives Matter?

The Walking Dead: When the trip ended halfway through the episode, and the two storylines were about the doctor and mullet guy taking more personal responsibility, I thought, oh yeah, one of them or both is going to die soon. About a minute later doctor gets shot in the eye and mullet guy gets dragged out by the killer. Then the ending sees Carol leave the group again (okay, she was forced the first time). It has to be a safe bet she runs into Negan in the season finale.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Billions: Ooo, wife fight, how did that not happen sooner? It seemed like everyone just accepted that the wife of the U.S. District Attorney’s wife just so happened to work at a place he is investigating. Sure those two are actually keeping thing professional, even though it hurts their marriage, but I am surprised everyone else around them trusts their spouse. But it may happen soon, Wendy caught Chuck talking about the case he said he recused himself from. I actually thought she went to Axe to tell him about Donnie. And speaking of Donnie, what was actually said in the dead room? Do we trust him when he give up the inside man that he said Axe told him or is he playing the government? I do trust Axe when he told Wags that he truly did not know where Donnie is but I do not trust when Donnie said.

Quantico: What a boring episode. Really the only thing worth talking about is the promo which made it look like terrorists attack Quantico. Let me go ahead and predict that it is just a test because it is always a test.
You can download Quantico on iTunes.

Supergirl: I am spoiler adverse but for some reason I still will read casting news which sometimes are a bit spoilery. So I have known before she even showed up that Slobodan was Silver Banshee but it was still shocking that’s she was able to use her powers to keep her from hitting the concrete after falling over the edge of the building. I assumed we would get some sort of origin story as to how she got her powers.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Gotham: There are fewer more annoying things these days when television shows run over a minute or two. So I was watching Supergirl and then flipped over to Lucifer only to catch Jim heading off to prison. Great, thanks for the spoiler (later in the night going from Lucifer to Blindspot I saw someone get stolen but I guess that is less of a spoiler because every episode ends with a Steal since they introduced the twist). What makes this practice more annoying is it is not as if we are getting an extra minute of content, no we are getting an extra minute of commercials simply because Gotham gets more ad revenue than Lucifer. Hurumph. So I spent the whole episode knowing Gordon would be going to prison which just makes the episode less satisfying. But hey, at least Fox got a couple more pennies of revenue. Oh and we learned where Penguin got his affinity to tuxedoes.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Wait, Bobby and Hunter cannot go back to the agency that technically does not exist? And their fond farewell did not carry much weight knowing a spin-off is in development.
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Survivor: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty: Just another completely dysfunctional Tribal Council. It may be time to blame it on Scot. He has been to every Tribal Council but one, and two of them were historically dysfunctional. First was the first time someone got themselves voted out because of their answers at Tribal. And this week I think this may have been the first time ever someone actually changed their vote on the parchment. When the social media person pause before putting the name in the bin, I actually thought she was going to throw it into the jungle and write down a new name Instead it turned out she just x-ed out the name and wrote a new one. Next week is the merge which should be interesting, four brains, four beauties, three brawn, with each original tribe having their own Hidden Immunity Idol. Should be interesting how the voting blocs break down and if any Idol gets played. I wonder if anyone will hold on to their Idols too long hoping to get the Super Idol. Gay Asian definitely should have last week.
You can download Survivor: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty on iTunes.

The Americans: To kill Pastor Tom or not to kill Pastor Tom. That is kind of a lose-lose situation. If you do not, he could turn you in, but if you do, Paige could get suspicious. And after Paige came clean she would definitely get suspicious if he dies now. Moving may actually be the best option. It would be funny if Pastor Tom if ended up getting hit by a bus on complete accident now.
You can download The Americans on iTunes.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Around the Tubes: 3/25/16

I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Vice, Dice, Wild with Sir David Attenborough, Ernie Ball: The Pursuit of Tone "Buddy Guy", Animal Kingdom, The Wonder Years, America's Greatest Makers, Anna of the North, Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper, 2016 MTV Movie Awards, and ToonsTV.

- Tomorrow's episode of Vice on HBO explores what life is like for young Palestinians in 2016, as well as the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba. VICE's "Palestine Now and Viva Cuba Libre" airs on HBO tomorrow, March 25 at 11:00pm

- For the first time in network history, Showtime will hold a special launch for a new series, releasing all six episodes of the new comedy Dice at once to its subscribers. The full season of Dice will be available on Sunday, April 10th starting at 12 a.m., on the Showtime streaming service, SHOWTIME ANYTIME and SHOWTIME ON DEMAND. The first episode of Dice will also premiere on linear TV later that day at 9:30 on Showtime, with subsequent episodes continuing to air every Sunday. The scripted, semi-autobiographical series will follow the life of renowned comedian, Andrew Dice Clay, chronicling the stops and starts of his attempts at a career resurgence in his transplanted home base of Las Vegas. The series also stars Kevin Corrigan, and guest stars Natasha Leggero, Lorraine Bracco, Adrien Brody, Michael Rapaport, Wayne Newton, Criss Angel and Rita Rudner.

- This spring, Smithsonian Channel will celebrate Sir David Attenborough’s 90th birthday, as it rolls out seven consecutive weeks of captivating natural history programs featuring the world’s leading naturalist . The special programming event dubbed Wild with Sir David Attenborough, kicking off Wednesday, April 6, is comprised of a three-part miniseries, a one-hour special, and another three-part limited series.

- Tune in to AT&T AUDIENCE Network for: Ernie Ball: The Pursuit of Tone "Buddy Guy" this coming Friday, March 25 at 8:00 (DIRECTV Ch 239/U-verse Ch 1114). Watch as revered blues legend Buddy Guy sits down for the new documentary series, talking frankly about a wide range of topics--from how he got his start on a 3-string guitar to his close friend Muddy Waters' last words of advice.

- TNT has set Tuesday, June 7, for the premiere of Animal Kingdom, the network's bold new drama starring Emmy® and Tony® winner Ellen Barkin (Sea of Love, This Boy's Life, Oceans 13), Scott Speedman (The Strangers, The Vow), Shawn Hatosy (Southland, Reckless), Ben Robson (Vikings, Dracula: The Dark Prince), Jake Weary (Pretty Little Liars, It Follows), Finn Cole (Peaky Blinders, An Inspector Calls), Daniella Alonso (Revolution) and Molly Gordon (Love the Coopers, Ithaca).

- The Wonder Years: The Complete Fifth Season contains all 24 engaging episodes from Season 5 (October 2, 1991-May 13, 1992) in their original broadcast versions. After a brief stint at the lake and equally brief summer romance in the season premiere, "The Lake," Kevin returns home to start school at McKinley High.

- Emmy®-winning producer Mark Burnett (Survivor, Shark Tank, The Voice) and TBS, a division of Turner, have brought together a panel of celebrity judges for this spring's exciting new tech competition series America's Greatest Makers, created in collaboration with Intel. The roster includes sports legends Shaquille O'Neal and Kenny Smith; Emmy-nominated actress Mayim Bialik, who co-stars in the hit series The Big Bang Theory; and Massimo Banzi, maker and co-founder and CEO of Arduino, which makes popular development boards for inventors to create. America's Greatest Makers is set to premiere on TBS Tuesday, April 5, at 9:00.

- Epic, swooning and ethereal, Oslo based artist Anna of the North this week premieres her new single, "Baby," streaming exclusively on Noisey.

- HBO Documentary Films presents Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper which is directed by Academy Award and Emmy Award nominee Liz Garbus, will premiere exclusively on HBO on Saturday, April 9th at 9:00. In this poignant and revealing feature-length documentary, Vanderbilt and son Anderson Cooper look back at her remarkable life.

- MTV this week revealed the star-studded, first round of presenters for the 2016 MTV Movie Awards, setting into orbit the 25th anniversary of the ultimate celebration of blockbuster movies and the fans who love them. Adding to the high-wattage celebrity sizzle, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain from The Huntsmen: Winter’s War, Seth Rogen and Zac Efron from Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Olivia Munn from X-Men: Apocalypse and supermodel Gigi Hadid are scheduled to present. Additional presenters and performers will be announced at a later date. The 2016 MTV Movie Awards hosted by Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart airs Sunday, April 10 at 8:00 from outdoors on the Warner Bros. backlot in Burbank, Calif. MTV also announced that it will honor Will Smith with the Generation Award at the show.

- ToonsTV, Rovio Animation Company's go-to platform for family friendly video entertainment, launched globally today for the all-new Apple TV. Available as a free download with no in-app purchases, ToonsTV features more than 30 channels of high quality, video on-demand (VOD) family entertainment, including the original animated series Angry Birds Toons, Piggy Tales and Stella, as well as its educational Rocket Science Show, developed in cooperation with NASA. ToonsTV also offers renowned animation properties, including Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep by Aardman, Zooville by National Geographic and Pucca by Vooz.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Spring 2016 Music Preview

Before I get into the upcoming releases, let m first acknowledge the passing of Phife Dawg. A Tribe Called quest have always been my favorite rap group and of course Phife was a large part of that. Back in the early days of the 9th Green, when I still made mixtapes, I released a Best of A Tribe Called Quest list which you can check out by following the link. But really, if you have not done so already, definitely head over to Spotify or your favorite streaming site to listen to their whole catalouge, especially their first three album which were all five mic albums.

Since my last music preview, two high profile albums finally dropped, both kind of disastrously. Rihanna's ANTI was released prematurely on Tidal before it was rushed released. Kanye West's The Life of Pablo also had some glitches with the streaming site and then Kanye bizarrely decided to not make it available anywhere else and declared physical releases dead. But hey, supossedly there is another Knye album or two coming this year, no word if those will be Tidal exclusives too. Here are the other albums you can get this spring on more than jussts Tidal. Click on the album title to pre-order on Amazon and click the artist's name to be taken to iTunes.

Beautiful Lies - Birdy
What I'm Feelin' - Anthony Hamilton
Radius - Allen Stone

April 1
Weezer (White Album) - Weezer
Super - Pet Shop Boys
Are You Serious - Andrew Bird
Hurt & The Merciless - The Heavy
Changes - Charles Bradley
The Wilderness - Explosions In the Sky
Bang, Zoom, Crazy...Hello - Cheap Trick

April 8
Cleopatra - The Lumineers
Man About Town - Mayer Hawthorne
Painting Of A Panic Attack - Frightened Rabbit
Call It What It Is - Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
Distortland - The Dandy Warhols
Crazy Eyes - Filter
A Cure For Loneliness - Peter Wolf

April 15
The Diary - J Dilla
PersonA - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Santana IV - Santana
This Path Tonight - Graham Nash
Live - That Hot Pink Blues Album - Keb' Mo'

April 22
Hope - The Strumbellas

April 29
Paging Mr. Proust - The Jayhawks

May 6
Detour - Cyndi Lauper
Divides - The Virginmarys

May 20
Dangerous Woman - Ariana Grande
I Still Do - Eric Clapton
Fallen Angels - Bob Dylan
Por Favor - Brett Dennen

June 3
Love You to Death - Tegan and Sara
Hero - Maren Morris

June 10
Strange Little Birds - Garbage
Breakin' Point. - Peter Bjorn and John
Good Times! - The Monkees
Big Day in a Small Town - Brandy Clark

June 17

On My One - Jake Bugg

June 24
True Sadness - The Avett Brothers

July 1
The Bride - Bat for Lashes

Turbo Grafx 16 - Kanye West
Moving Day -Meiko
Golden State - KT Tunstall
Stanger tto Stanger - Paul Simon
G.O.A.T. 2 - LL Cool J
Down in a Hole - Kiefer Sutherland
Delta Rae
Green Day
Linkin Park
Pearl Jam

And this could be the quarter when Dr. Dre releases Detox.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 3/20/16

Once Upon a Time: Poor Abigail Hobbs, suffers so long on Hannibal only to get her throat slit by him and end up in the underworld. I figured she would end up being the love interest from the Hercules movie, but that movie was so unmemorable I barely even remember her. And since this half of the season is based on his movie, it is weird that it looks like Hercules only gets one episode. I guess being a demi-god means he could probably travel to the Underworld whenever he wants, so maybe he will be back to take on his uncle.
You can download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Shameless: Oh Lip, you just do not pour Jack Daniels down your throat, which was just the bane of my existence in college. I guess I am lucky to never walking up in a hospital and downing that. But maybe the dumber part of the episode was Fiona excepting a proposal by a guy using her current husband’s engagement ring. Shouldn’t it happening at your divorce proceeding be a huge red flag as to you not being marriage ready? And I cannot help but assume Frank is guying to go through that weed stash befor the commune makes enough to move to Hawaii, here is a guy who still has not learned to never, under any circumstance, get high off his own supply.

The Walking Dead: It took me a couple of minutes to recognize Alicia Witt. And it only took me a couple more minutes before realizing I do not want to see evil Alicia Witt. At least she died quickly, well after having her face eaten off. Ouch.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Billions: At the beginning of the episode I thought, oh wow, having the janitor as a mole is kind of brilliant, he can go through trash, is usually alone after hours to do other snooping. That may actually be better than blackmailing the lesbian. Who would suspect the janitor? But I turns out the attorney’s mole is actually a double agent and Axe knows everything. Though how does this even end good for the mole / double agent? Does Axe have a retirement plan for him where he lives on the beach of a country without an extradition tready? There is the old saying that some people play checkers against people playing chess, Axe may be playing three dimensional chess while Rhoades is just playing regular chess.

Quantico: Stupid promo monkey, last week when they said someone was going to die this week, I figured there is no way they would kill of the person with a bomb strapped to their waist, but that is exactly who they killed (granted not with that bomb). Also my theory about death no meaning much on the show since the actors would still be in flashbacks became moot because that chick got sent packing in the flashbacks too.
You can download Quantico on iTunes.

Supergirl: Awe, red kryptonite, always good to spruce things up. I did like how they explained it as Maxwell Lord failing to recreate the regular kind. It also explains why Jimmy would not instantly know what was going on because Superman would have never been exposed before. Apparently Superman was too busy to stop his cousin from destroying her city so instead Martian Manhunter had to expose himself. Though that still does not explain why they did not have any green kryptonite to weaken her first so he did not have to out himself as an alien too, and in the process go, oh yeah, the guy whose body I took over is dead. Still I give it one episode before a threat so great pops up that they need to release him to help Supergirl in the fight.
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.

Gotham: Holy Lori Petty sighting! And still sporting her Tank Girl haircut about a quarter of a century later. Interesting that the show has younger versions of all the Batman buddies and villains and yet we get what I assume is a older Harley Quinn surrogate. But of course since she is in the movies, we will likely never get an actual character named Harley Quinn on the show. That would have been a lot more interesting than the Silver St. Cloud we got instead.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Lucifer: Holy Herc back in a wheelchair sighting! A couple episodes back I suggested what this show needed was a serialized component, except I was hoping for something more supernatural, not a cop corruption case. And of course the separated husband shot the other cop, it is really the only possible suspect. Maybe this will end up having a supernatural component because Lucifer did save the guy. Does he know that he was shot by the husband and that is why he saved him? But if so, why not tell lady cop her husband is corrupt.
You can download Lucifer on iTunes.

Blindspot: Oh wow, a Chrissy Seaver training montage, get that girl in the field. But I thought for sure the mole was going to end up being Sutter ex-girlfriend. Oh well.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Ooo, Talbert was the mole, not a good way to start off that relationship. But I missed part of the episode because my local ABC station broke into the show for John Kasich’s victory speech as if anyone who actually wanted to hear it was not all ready watching CNN or another 24-hour cable channel. So after a minute of him not actually saying anything (Apparently there was a protester yet the cameraman could not find him) I flipped over to The Voice until it went to a commercial. So I switch back to ABC and they were airing commercials already. So I flipped to CNN and Kasich was still talking. Seriously, if you are going to break into a show just show the whole speech at that point. So I missed about five minute of the show. I went to Hulu the next day but forgot ABC has a stupid eight day waiting period as if they do not want people to ever get caught up. I am certainly not watching it On Demand if I cannot skip to the part I missed, so hopefully nothing important happened during those five minutes.
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: Wait, let me get this straight, CeCe is not Alison’s sister, but her cousin, that her parents adopted (and then ignored even existed) whose mother is Mrs. Dilarentas twin (and apparently has the same initials A.D.), is just as tech savy as her daughter, and is in cahoots with CeCe’s doctor who married Alison as part of some plan that involves an extremely lifelike Wilden mask. Alrighty. And of course Hanna’s plan to admit she was the killer turned out horribly.
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Survivor: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty: After Lizzie got the boot two weeks ago, I came to the realization that I do not particularly like anyone this season besides the hot chick alliance. And as if the show was trolling me (and every red-blooded American straight dude watching), when they split the tribes into two, the hot chick alliance somehow ended up on three different beaches. Making things worse, the third hot chick would replace the person who gets voted out waking it is both tribes best interest to get rid of a Beauty to make sure they do not become a majority on their tribe. What an amazing turnabout because had Caleb had not been pulled from the game, and assuming the tribe split when the same way with Caleb and Hot Chick #3 go to opposite tribes, the Beauty tribe goes from a majority in both tribes to being outnumbered or even in the tribes.

What is amazing is the actually had a way to make lemonade out of lemons because Gay Asian had an Idol, if he uses it correctly, can turn hiss tribe from a Brains dominated tribe into a Beauty controlled one. Except Gay Asian and Scot showed exactly why they did not start on the Brains tribe because they both made extremely dumb strategic moves. Instead of using the Idol, giving his tribe a Beauty majority, now Gay Asian is exactly where he was when the tribes swapped, one less Beauty than Brain with untrustable Scot in the middle. So he may very have to use that Idol next week except now when someone gets voted out, there is not another Beauty coming to help you out. I fully understand wanting to save an Idol for yourself, but the one time you do give an Idol to someone else is to get the numbers on your side. And what is even worse now for Gay Asian is that now not only does he not have the numbers, everyone knows he has an Idol which puts him in a horrible position in the game.

As for Scot, telling Gay Asian not to play the Idol was a bad strategic move too. So what if he now knows where two Idols are? Does he really think that if he is voted out, Gay Asian and Bounty Hunter are really going to come together like Voltron to save him? Do you know what is better than knowing where two Idols are? Having your own Idol. And if Gay Asian plays his Idol, there will be a new one in play the very next day that you can go out and find for yourself (and there is another reason Gay Asian should have played his, he already found one Idol, go and replace it after you play one like Kelley Wentworth last season). You can easily convince Bounty Hunter to enter a pact to save each other, than to get two people to give up their Idols for basically nothing.
You can download Survivor: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty on iTunes.

The Americans: It took the daughter three seasons to find out her parents were Russians, so I guess it should not be surprising nothing happens with that information except tell her minister who I guess is bound by some client confidentiality agreement or something. Kind of a run of the mill premiere as I guess these chemical weapons will be this season’s theme. How disappointing Stan did not break it while assaulting Philip.
You can download The Americans on iTunes.

Nashville: What a boring wedding. No deaths, no crashers. Just Avery annoyingly getting asked where Juliette was every two minutes. At least let Layla go HAM after learning Jeff did not kill himself and Juliette was just covering it up so she did not look bad. Meh.
You can download Nashville on iTunes.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Around the Tubes: 3/18/16

I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Conan, The Carbonaro Effect, Curious George®, Point Taken, Idiotest, Banta, and Dark Web.

- TBS's Conan the leader in late-night when it comes to featuring the full casts of big movies and series, is getting ready to build on that success, when host Conan O'Brien will welcome the stars and director of the eagerly anticipated movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Ben Affleck, who plays Bruce Wayne/Batman, and Henry Cavill, who plays Clark Kent/Superman, will be joined by fellow cast members Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Laurence Fishburne, Gal Gadot, Holly Hunter and Diane Lane, as well as director Zack Snyder, for the episode, which is set to air Thursday, March 31, at 11. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in theaters on Friday, March 25.

- This week truTV released the first promo announcing that Shaquille O’Neal will make a special guest appearance with magician Michael Carbonaro on the mid-season premiere of truTV’s The Carbonaro Effect, airing Wednesday, March 23 at 10:00. He will help Michael hatch a prank that amazes one of his biggest fans! Check out Shaquille performing his own version of a “disappearing trick” in the promo at and Dark Net.

- In an extensive, multi-year agreement forged by the NBCU Television & New Media Distribution group, Hulu has secured the exclusive subscription streaming rights to one of the highest-rated kids television properties, Curious George®. The deal will bring past and future seasons of the two-time Emmy® Award-winning series, as well as television specials and feature-length original movies from everyone’s favorite monkey, exclusively to Hulu. All of the offerings will be available to stream in Hulu’s commercial-free Hulu Kids environment. Beginning March 31st, Hulu will become the exclusive subscription streaming home to all nine seasons – over 100 episodes - of Curious George® TV series, which is produced by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s production arm, Universal 1440 Entertainment. Hulu will also be the U.S. premiere home to new seasons of the series over the coming years. In addition, television specials including Curious George: Swings Into Spring, Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest and Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas, along with the feature-length originals Curious George: Follow That Monkey, Curious George: Back To The Jungle and future direct-to-TV specials will become available to stream exclusively on Hulu.

- Americans now can be a part of the national conversation with the launch of Point Taken, PBS’ new, late-night, multi-platform series. Hosted by Carlos Watson, an Emmy® Award-winning journalist and co-founder/CEO of OZY Media, the weekly debate series will champion spirited and civil conversation. Each half-hour program will focus on a single topic and feature journalists, artists, academics, and experts who will passionately and persuasively explore all sides of a key issue. The first of 10 episodes premieres on PBS on April 5, 2016 at 11:00(check local listings).

- GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today its original hit series Idiotest, hosted by comedian Ben Gleib, will return for a 40-episode third season, beginning Tuesday, April 12 at 10:00.

- Los Angeles indie rock five-piece Banta are giving fans another taste of their new album with the release of their new song "Hungry Heart." The acoustic ballad was inspired by a book that singer Sharaya Mikael read and connected with. The song can be streamed on Songwriting Magazine and eOne's official Soundcloud.

- On the heels of its season one finale, Showtime has picked up the revelatory documentary series Dark Net for a second season. Produced and developed by cutting edge media and technology company, Vocativ, the docu-series explores the dangers of the internet’s unregulated underbelly known as the deep web. Vocativ uses proprietary technology, exclusive to their company, to reveal new voices, emerging trends and surprising data to identify and develop story angles. With this exclusive technology, DARK NET unveils the stories of a dramatically changing digitally connected world.

- This week, Showtime Documentary Films announced the start of production on a film exploring the incredible career and complicated life of the memorable singer. Hers was the golden voice with the unmatchable range. Six-time Grammy® winner Whitney Houston was one of the most successful female recording artists of all time. After a troubled marriage to singer Bobby Brown and many years of struggles with addiction, Houston died a tragic death at the age of 48. Produced, directed and narrated by acclaimed BAFTA Award winner Nick Broomfield (Kurt & Courtney, Tales of the Grim Sleeper), the film, which will shoot in Los Angeles, will talk to the key people in Houston’s life to create an indelible portrait of the artist.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

I Want My Music Television: 3/17/16

Left Handed Kisses – Andrew Bird featuring Fiona Apple

Simple music video from Andrew Bird. But I do wonder if Fiona Apple’s allusions to You Can Call Me Al were intentional or not.

California Kids – Weezer

Just last week I was mentioning how I kind of liked Weezer's new song even though the music video was embarrassingly bad. The new video just plays of the cringworthy videos they have produced from this album cycle but the song is almost as embarrassing.

This One's For Me and You - Johnny Gill featuring New Edition

Okay, not a full New Edition reunion because there is no Bobby Brown and it is technically just a Johnny Gill song featuring the other guys, but I will take it. But oh my, Biv is looking old, I fear he can no longer smack it up, flip it or rub it down.

Love Like That – Mayer Hawthorne

The second installment of Mayer Hawthorne’s noir music video anthology has arrived and it is already running thin. Why is he singing about wanting a love like that why developing crime scene photographs?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Voice Season Ten Blind Auditions Power Rankings

Since The Voice did the silly, half Blind Audition / half Battle Round, I should state that most of my commentary for each artist was written right after their episode aired and I did not change then because of things we learned at the start of the Battles, so I may sound dumber than usual. Alrighty, on to the Power Ranking.

Around season five, it seemed pretty clear the producers told the coaches to push the button more often so they would fight over singers more often. This led to an absurd amount of four chair turns which really devalued the accomplishment. Even when the talent level decreased, the number of four chair turns increased. Then this season, the forth episode ended with a two chair turn which made me think there really were not many singers that got all four coaches to fight over them this season. The first episode had three, but the next three episodes only had one each.

Another of my Blind Audition gripes also did not happen that much this season. For years Adam’s big pitch was to say, “I pushed my button first) then all the coaches got trigger happy. But that did not happen much. Sure it was replaced by Blake annoyingly waiting to the last second just to annoy the other coaches. He has been doing that for years with country singers, but he was doing it for RnB and pop singers too this season. The Blind Auditions are the best part of the show because we always get some surprising song choices and this was the first time on the show we got songs by Roy Orbison, Allen Stone, Mayer Hawthorne, Blind Faith, Incubus, and Muddy Waters. Now here is how I would rank the Blind Auditions this season:

1. Kristen Marie (Team Christina) – She had me at indie-jazz. There was a time when I hoped all the indie chicks picked Blake, but Kristen’s performance reminded me of Lindsey Pavao, who was number two on my list of the 50 Best Blind Auditions, but really reminded me more of her Battle Round performance, so maybe Christ will actually be the better fit.

2. Caity Peters (Team Pharrell) – I get to obsessed with the placement of the show and it is odd that they started the season with a three chair turn but then followed it up with a four chair turn which makes me think she is being buried (people always say opening the show is the Death Slot, but the producers are not going to open the show with crap, going second is the people I think they are trying to bury). Then I noticed on YouTube, she only sang for seventy seconds instead of the usual minute and a half. Did they edit her down? Did she end early? It just kind of ended abruptly when the last two hit their button. It was a weird edit and makes me a bit worried. If this is the case, it would be a shame because I thought she was really good. I did go back and look and going second in the season is not very predictive, a little more than half made the Live Shows. But Caity does have some indie girl competition on her team with Abby and Emily. When did Pharrell become the place for indie chicks? Last year he had Amy, Madi, and Sydney; one he took to the Live Shows, one got Stolen, while the other went home early. Let’s see how these three turn out.

3. Hannah Huston (Team Pharrell) – From her package I was expecting another indie-coffeehouse type singer, yet came out with a very soulful sound added to that (Allen Stone, who I never really got into also has that vibe). And I have second Blake in saying this girl seems like a blast to be around.

4. Ryan Quinn (Team Adam) – I hate those “coming p on The Voice” because every commercial break. Seriously, every commercial break. So I was ready to hate Ryan because I was not impressed by the two seconds of him they ran before every single commercial break. I just assumed he was another boring white dude that has ruined the show in recent seasons. But then he started singer and I went, wait, this guy is kind of good. The worst part of his performance was that two second part they shows ad nausea before ever commercial break.

5. Paxton Ingram (Team Blake) – He said that it is interesting when dudes sings chick songs but I think the vast majority of the time it is a disaster and it is much more interesting the other way around. But I do like the way he slowed down the Robyn song.

6. Moushumi (Team Pharrell) – In the beginning the show really pushed people that Pharrell would like to classify as different, but in more recent years the vast majority of people try out look like the come from central casting for a Friends reboot with an occasional soul singer. I think she may have been the first singer of Asian descent since Mathai on the second season. But on the negative side, she landed on Team Pharrell which already has an overabundance of indie pop chicks, three of which made Pharrell’s My Team Is Full package, and Moushumi was not one ofg them.

7. Peyton Parker (Team Blake) – Being a country singer singing a non-country song can get you noticed in the short term. I think of last season when Morgan Frazer sang a Cheap Trick song, but then lost to the more traditional Emily Ann Roberts in the Battles even though I that the former was better. And even when Blake Stole Morgan back, when she sang another non-country song in the Live Playoffs, not only did America pick two traditional boring white country singing dudes over her, Blake picked Emily Ann again. So I would not be that surpised if Peyton loses to a more traditional country singer in the Battles too.

8. Abby Celso (Team Pharrell) – I wanted to like this more than I did, but the song seemed to start just too low for her and I could not help spending most of the time thinking Riley Biederer did so much better last season with this song. With this voice should be doing something sultrier and jazzy, not silly little pop songs.

9. Joe Maye (Tem Christina): Is it at all possible that he can just bring back Ellie and become a duet from here on out?

10. Laith Al-Saadi (Team Adam) – The big flaw on this show is the lack of rock, doijng a John Mayer show is about as rock as someone on this show is allowed to do. Rarely do rock singers get an audition and if they do (especially if the look at Laith) they do not get one chair turned. The last, and only ti I remember someone shredding like that on the how was The Shields Brothers.

11. Adam Wakefield (Team Blake) – Just a good ol’ southern rocker. Hopefully Blake steers him that area and not pure country. Definitely none of that bro country he does.

12. Jessica Crosbie (Team Pharrell) – The allure to Coldplay songs are they feel very epic, and even with a slowed down version, her version still built to something special. Though she may be lowest in Pharrell’s indie chick pecking order.

13. Owen Danoff (Team Adam) – Everything about The Voice can be summed up when Adam went backstage and talked to Owen’s father about being in the Best New Artist club and Carson chimed in, “Maybe Owen will join you in 2020.” So even Carson knows there is no chance the show can launch anyone right away.

14. Maya Smith (Team Pharrell) – I actually preferred her to Beyonce’s former runny buddy and respect that she went deeper into the Aretha catalogue too.

15. Emily Keener (Team Pharrell) – The end and beginning were sweet but that middle spot was a bit rough. But I was struck during the performance wondering why has this not always been a chick song?

16. Brittany Kennell (Team Blake) – Odd voice, I am not really sure if I like it or not. I actually like the small bit she sang in her package than the Blind Audition. It is a unique voice like Blake said, but c’mon Blake, unique voices never win, they are usually the first one voted out. It is the most boring singer who always win, especially since the influx of the bored housewives who just love boring white dudes. But since Christina compaired her voice to Gwen's, I guess we can pencil Brittany into the Live Shows

17. Alisan Porter (Team Christina) – Should I remember Curly Sue? Does not ring a bell at all.

18. Mary Sarah (Team Blake) – Maybe it was the song but I thought she had a good voice, but nothing really interesting.

19. Tamar Davis (Team Christina) – I always like when they bring in semi-professionals and a former member to a precursor of Destiny’s Child is the closest thing they have gotten in a while. But I expected more from someone who performed with Prince.

20. Brian Nhira (Team Pharrell) – He was okay but not really the best song choice because Happy just stays in one place. Actually his Jesus Loves me showed much more of his range than his Blind Audition.

21. Katie Basden (Team Adam) – I really hope she does not turn into this season’s Shelby, a middle of the pack country singer on Team Adam who inexplicably makes it to the semi-finals solely because Blake’s country mafia votes for everyone with a hint of twang.

22. Justin Whisnant (Team Blake) – Boring white dude country singer on Team Blake alert! So I guess we can just go ahead and pencil him into the finals. Ugg, hopefully Blake does not take him to the Live Shows.

23. Caroline Burns (Team Adam) – Better than last season but fifteen is just too young for the show (how is someone who is on their second try still only fifteen). Though if she stays soft and sweet maybe she can be in the Madi Davis lane this season. Though she would have been much better off with Blake who routinely takes teenagers and returnees to the Live Shows where Adam dumps both usually in the Battles. Maybe she will be Stolen by Blake later.

24. Bryan Bautista (Team Christina) – I actually thought he had a good chance to be the first double no chair singer, I actually preferred his last audition.

25. John Gilman (Team Adam) – Clear Battle Round fodder, but I kind of liked it.

26. Angie Keilhauer (Team Blake) – An El Salvadorian country singer sounds better than it actually was.

27. Malik Heard (Team Christina): Meh, kind of a boring RnB performance. But really, we get a commercial break before this guy chooses his coach? Is anyone really staying glued through commercials just to see which of the only two coaches turns for him makes him Battle Round fodder?

28. Matt Tedder (Team Adam) – Hopefully he does not beat Laith during the Battles because he is more photogenic, because Laith is a better singer and better guitar player too.

29. Ayanna Jahneé (Team Christina) – With her look I was expecting something weird and random with her song choice like Jane Child but instead she sang the most obvious artist on the show, Adel. Meh. But with the Blind Auditions ending, it is shocking that was the only Adele song (though maybe the last album was released too late to use any of them) and there was no Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith who have had their whole catalogue recycled five times of the past five seasons.

30. Nate Butler (Team Adam) – I am all for more Mayer Hawthorne on the show but if you are going to Mayer Hawthorne, you better have a better falsetto than that. It definitely sounded like a musical theater performance.

31. Natalie Yacovazzi (Team Adam): Another returnee that I was surprised got anyone to turn around. I doubt any of them even make it to the Knockouts. Natalie was just too shouty throughout her whole performance.

32. Jared Harder (Team Blake) – When it gets down to the end, you have to wonder if coaches are just pushing their buttons just so the Blind Auditions will end after four days of taping. Usually Blake not turning around for a country singer is a red flag, but the other coaches not turning raised an eyebrow, and Blake was really just like, screw it, I need some fodder so I can start drinking.

33. Kata Hay (Team Christina) – She reminds me of someone a couple seasons ago, a country singer who got the pimp slot, all the coaches fight really hard for her, everyone let her sit in their chairs, she shockingly picked Adam. Then she lost to a one chair turn the very next round. That is how I see Kata, she only got the pimp slot because she made out with Christina and will be ushered quickly off the show after her coach realizes they have much better talent.

34. Shalyah Fearing (Team Christina) – Time after time I have to say fifteen is way too young. I would prefer eighteen, but you at least have to be able to drive a car.

35. Jonathan Hutcherson (Team Pharrell) – I am partial to anyone with hearing problems, but he does not sound any better than all the other undercooked teenage boys that walk across the stage.

36. Teresa Guidry (Team Blake) – She is not the highest on my list of all the montage victims solely because she is moderately attractive, but I would not be at all disappointed if she is the obligatory montage victim who gets stolen twice before getting voted off as soon as people start to vote.

37. Lacy Mandigo (Team Christina) – Kind of an interesting vocal, I am a bit surprised it was montaged which makes me wonder if she messed live after Christina turned around or if she is just fodder for Christina’s front runner in the Battle Rounds.

38. Lily Green (Team Adam) – The studio version was pretty and all though really not the best song choice since it is not hard to think how much Madi Davis sang Songbird last season (Lily’s version needed more bongos). Again it makes me wonder if she messed up live or if she is just fodder for Adam’s front runner.

39. Brittney Lawrence (Team Blake) – Maybe while she failed seven times to make I in front of the judges is because she has horrible taste in music. And she is not very bright, the other judges tell her that Blake pushed his button last minute just to spite Christina, and yet she still picked Blake where she will likely be fodder. Granted she probably would not have gone much further with Christina, but at least Christina has made some dumb decisions so there would have been a chance.

40. Joe Vivona (Team Pharrell) – Minor technical problems? Ehhh, these coaches are too nice.

41. Mike Schiavo (Team Adam): I mentioned how dudes singing chick songs rarely work out, where Paxton managed to make it work, Mike did not. This came off more like a novelty.

42. Nick Hagelin (Team Pharrell): I know he is a judge and you have to credit the song to him, but to me Lost Stars is a Kiera Knightley song.

43. Katherine Ho (Team Adam) – Even the studio version was kind of boring.

44. Chelsea Gann (Team Christina) – Mmmm, a country singer that does not get Blake to turn and is montaged… not a good sign. Oh no, does that mean that the other annoying country chick Christina has is going to at least make the Knockouts after beating her in the Battles? Ug, hopefully that gets montaged.

45. Gina Castanzo (Team Blake) – That is two straight seasons someone auditioned with Cecelia and the Satellite and for the second season I got excited for someone to sing Andrew McMahon only to go, ehhhh, not very good. Like Korin, she was a little too weird with her interpolation, but unlike Korin, she was montaged and not on one of the worst teams in the history of the show.

46. Trey O'Dell (Team Blake) – Another boring white dude who just does not capture the fun of the original.

47. Daniel Passino (Team Christina) - This guy better be fodder. Thank goodness Gwen is not around because he would be Ryan Sill this season for her.

48. Jonathan Bach (Team Pharrell) – Some people whine about montages but I have absolutely no interest in hearing some dude sing Born This Way, so thank you producer for saving me from having to listen to it.

Sometimes you can tell someone is not going to turn a chair by their package, but when watching on Hulu you definitely know because the segment is much smaller than the other ones. There were a couple of singers that made me scratch my head when no one turned which has not really happened much in recent seasons.

1. Natalie Clarke: Ah man, how could no one pick the hot Scottish chick? Sure maybe not the best song choice for her (I figured she would not get a chair due to that choice and her placement in the show), sadly Chvrches are probably not famous enough to be song on the show because I would like to hear someone do an acoustic version of The Mother We Share.

2. Evan Taylor Jones: This is a case where the Blind Audition working against him. If the coaches could see him, they probably would have raved. He is probably the biggest lock to return next season.

3. Nolen Neil: What a stupid reason not to turn because you think they pick the wrong song for their voice. If you liked their voice turn, then you can teach them better song selection. And Blake, if you do not know what to do with someone, then you should not be a coach at all.

4. Jackie Lipson: I think I liked the arrangement much more than the actual singing.

5. Maddie Poppy: The video they showed was actually good, but why was she shouting during her performance. She needs to come back next season and sing that song.

Back to the singers that actually made it, as always, I like to give a numerical number to each singer based on their power ranking to see just how each team stacks up. And here is how the team ranks by that:

Team Pharrell – 342
Team Blake – 285
Team Adam – 281
Team Christina – 267

It is no secret that I am always drawn to the indie pop chicks on this show and Pharrell became the indie pop chick whisperer these past two seasons picking up six that in of loosely fit in that category (though Christina got my favorite this season). But who cares what I think, here is who the iTunes users bought the most of with the peak on the iTunes charts.

1. Alisan Porter (25)
2. Mary Sarah (71)
3. Owen Danoff (83)
4. Ryan Quinn (86)
5. Mike Schiavo (95)
6. Angie Keilhauer (110)
7. Emily Keener (135)
8. Caity Peters (181)
9. Adam Wakefield (203)
10. Moushumi (229)
11. Kristen Marie (230)
12. Peyton Parker (250)
13. Abby Celso (291)
14. Joe Maye (322)
15. Justin Whisnant (370)
16. Daniel Passino (361)
17. Jessica Crosbie (404)
18. Hannah Huston (432)
19. Joe Vivona (461)
20. Paxton Ingrim (471)
21. Laith Al-Saadi (550)
22. Nick Halpin (572)
23. Nate Butler (565)
24. Bryan Bautista (606)
25. Natalie Yacovazzi (643)
26. Matt Tedder(666)
27. Jonathan Hutcherson (686)
28. Caroline Burns (702)
29. Brian Nhira (906)
30. Brittney Lawrence (1026)
31. Shalyah Fearing (1277)
32. Brittany Kennell (1400)
33. Teresa Guildry (1265)
34. Malik Heard (1455)
35. Maya Smith (1455)
36. Trey O’Dell (1463)

With the music industry dying it is much easier to chart on iTunes, and for Voice contestants it should be easier since they no longer have to fight with new releases since they got moved to Fridays last year. So these numbers do not look all that impressive. Only one in the top 50 (compared to five last season). Then twelve could not even make the top 1500 (granted fourteen did not last season). Using my formula to see who has the strongest team, here is how the coaches rank based on iTunes.

Team Pharrell – 202
Team Blake – 175
Team Adam - 161
Team Christina - 127

So in a rare move, the iTunes buyers agree with me exactly on who has the best teams. We do know all the Battle pairing now, so here are my predictions with who I think will win listed first and ranked my how confident I am that I am right. Really, I am confident on all of Blake. Has there ever been Battle pairing more obvious of who is going to win than these; but Blake has always been the easiest to predict.

Team Adam
Ryan Quinn vs. Katie Basden
Owen Danoff vs. John Gilman
Natalie Yacovazzi vs. Nate Butler
Laith Al-Saadi vs Matt Tedder
Mike Schiavo vs. Caroline Burns
Lily Greene vs. Katherine Ho

Team Blake
Paxton Ingrim vs. Brittany Lawrence
Mary Sarah vs. Justin Whisnant
Adam Wakefield vs. Jared Harder
Angie Keilhauser vs. Teresa Guidry
Peyton Parker vs. Gina Castanzo
Brittany Kennell vs. Trey O’Dell

Team Pharrell
Brian Nhira vs. Abby Celso (Steal)
Hannah Husdon vs. Maya Smith
Moushumi vs. Jonathan Hutcherson
Emily Keener vs. Johnathan Bach
Nick Hagelin vs. Jessica Crosbie
Caity Peters vs. Joe Vivona (Steal)

Malik Heard vs. Bryan Bautista (Steal)
Alison Porter vs. Lacey Mandingo
Katy May vs. Chelsea Gann
Tamar Davis vs. Shalyah Fearing (Steal)
Ayanna Jahneé vs. Joe Maye
Daniel Passino vs. Krista Marie

And here are my predictions for who makes the Live Show. Again who was featured in the Best of the Blinds and the My Team Is Full montages were a bit perplexing. Did people like Katy get a bunch of screen time because they will be around for a while or simply because she kissed Christina? I am basing my predictions mostly on my gut (but some on those montages). I am listing them in how confident I am them making the Live Show. We do not know if they are going to try the Coaches Comeback again but I am going to put those predations in parenthesis.

Team Adam: Ryan Quinn, Owen Danoff, Natalie Yacovazzi, Laith Al-Saadi, Caroline Burns (Mike Schiavo)
Team Blake: Mary Sarah, Paxton Ingrim, Adam Wakefield, Peyton Parker, Brittany Kennell (Angie Keilhauser)
Team Christina: Alisan Porter, Bryan Bautista, Tamar Davis, Ayanna Jahneé, Tamar Davis (Shalyah Fearing)
Team Pharrell: Hannah Huston, Caity Peters, Joe Vivona, Brian Nhira, Abby Celso (Emily Keener)

Maybe I overvalued Adam’s team because looking at it, Ryan and Owen are the only ones that look like Live Show material. Adam may very well go to the Lives with those two and three Steals. Unfortunately Blake looks like he will take another country heavy team to the Lives because he does have much in the way of non-country besides Paxton. He already wasted a Steal on another country singer. But is he really going to take three female country singers to the Lives? It looks that way to me. Then if there is a Coach’s Comeback, I do think he could bring back one of them that he dumps. Here is hoping his Knockout Steal adds some more diversity to his team instead of Stealing back some country singer that was Stolen in the Battles like he has done two of the past three seasons (and the season in between he Stole back Hannah Kirby). Hey, Pharrell has plenty of indie chicks to choose from.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 3/13/16

Once Upon a Time: I kind of half joked when Emma said they were going to the Underworld that Hades from Hercules better show up. Then at the end of the episode the king of the Underworld’s hair turned flame blue and it turned out I was right. Man, they are really scrapping the bottom of the Disney barrel on this one. Are they going to Notre Dame next?
You can download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Shameless: Oh Frank, everyone knows the number one rule of drug trafficking is never get high off your own supply. Of course that was going to end badly. Just like Debbie and her pregnant fetish guy. I saw that coming as soon as he asked for her help. Yet that was not even the most shameless moment of the episode. When Lip was confronted by Queenie, I thought, oh no, Lip is going to have sex with his… um; father’s baby momma I guess is what you would call it. And they actually kind of did it depending, not to get all Bill Clinton, on how you describe sex. Physically helping someone to, um, finish the job, kind of constitutes sex. But going by the Bill Clinton definition it was not.

The Walking Dead: So everyone is hooking up now, which means there is going to be a lot of deaths coming up soon. Since she is captured, could Carol be next? I am hard pressed to think they would kill off a pregnant lady, but it seemed apropos that whoever has the two got introduced pretty much the same way Glen was introduced on the show. I thought Abraham was getting the he is about to die edit last week but this week he just dumped Rosita presumably so he can shack up with Sasha instead. Sure I would not kick Sasha out of bed, but Rosita has to be the most attractive chick you are going to find during a zombie apocalypse. But I guess mullet guy has a chance now.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Billions: You know someone is really mad when they get out of a pool and go straight to their car, no shirt, no shoes, not even toweling off, to go punch someone. But c’mon Axe, you have to at least make the kids spend the night at camp before letting them give up. It may be interesting to watch those brats suffer if everything is taken away when Axe goes to prison. Actually let’s not take the Brody mistake of keeping the family on the show too long for this show too.

Quantico: So someone is going to die next week. Except the gay dude died in the Winter finale and him being around in the flashbacks kind of lessens the impact of the death. Since she has a bomb strapped to her, she would be the obvious choice, which means she is not dying or that would be the worst promo monkey job of all time. Instead I think it is going to be one of the twins which would have even less of an impact because not only would they still be in flashbacks but there would still be one twin still alive.
You can download Quantico on iTunes.

Gotham: We have known Hugo Strange has been collecting “dead” people since the Winter finale when we saw Galivan being wheeled and we got to see him in some sort of tank this week. Behind him was three more tanks, the next two with their backs t us and the next facing towards us. I did not recognize that last guy and it is hard to identify someone by the back of their head but that second guy did have red hair so Jerome instantly came to mind. There was a very Fish Mooney looking figure during the Winter finale. So the question is when do these zombies get reanimated? Was the Mr. Freeze serum the final ingredient Hugo needs?
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

The Voice: The sad sack stories have been the worst part of the show (well the proliferation of boring white dudes over the past four seasons may actually be worse) but my goodness, do we really need to sit through a dude talking about he kept on hitting decline on his phone right before his dad killed himself? That was just really too rough. And of course it gets worse because no one bothered to turn their chair which seems to happen to some of the people with the saddest stories as if the producers bring them on only for their story knowing they probably will not turn a chair.

Every season I do a bi where I mention all the artists I am surprised anyone covered on the show because the Blind Auditions is where the people are most adventurous and I was surprised that dude sang an Incubus song. And now that I think about, maybe half of those people end up not getting a chair turned. Look at the guy who closed out the week, he auditions last season with a great Cameo song, does not get a chair to turn. Does an overdone song this time and is on a team.

Oh, and holy Ellie Lawrence sighting! Talk about letting people come back, I know they do not let people who get a chair to turn to try out again but really anyone screwed royalty deserves to come back and be on a team with a real coach. Although if they brought Ellie back, they would also have to change the rules to ban anyone who voted for Braiden Sunshine from ever voting again, which they should do anyway. And like the first week, I was pretty meh on the talent this season. Pharrell picked up another indie chick to add to the three he pick up last week, but Christina actually nabbed the best indie chick of the season (so far) with Kristen Marie.

Apparently The Voice is doing that stupid scheduling where Monday’s show will half Blind Auditions, half Battle Round, so I will release my Blind Audition Power Ranking Tuesday evening even though two people will probably already had been sent home (with the third loser being stolen). During the Best of the Blind Auditions special (so none of the five singers yet to be put on a team qualify as Best; though three of the five the only other time they had this format went on to the Live Playoffs so do not completely write them off; sure none of those three got saved by the public vote in the Live Playoffs, but anyway) they did give away a couple of the Battle pairing, I am going to make my predictions now (the person I think is going to win is listed first):

Team Blake
Mary Sarah vs. Justin Whisnant
Paxton Ingrim vs. Brittany Lawrence
Brittany Kennell vs. Trey O’Dell

Team Pharrell
Brian Nhira vs. Abby Celso
Nick Hagelin vs. Jessica Crosbie
Emily Keener vs. Johnathan Bach
Hannah Huston vs. Maya Smith

Team Adam
Natalie Yacovazzi vs. Nate Butler
Laith Al-Saadi vs Matt Tedder

Team Christina

Alison Porter vs. Lacey Mandingo
Tamar Davis vs. Shalyah Fearing
Malik Heard vs. Bryan Bautista

My first takeaway from the pairing is that Pharrell had four previews (and he is the only one who still has two spots left on his team compared to one for everyone else) while Adam only two previews, one of which was between two guy I kind of thought may have been fodder (even though I do like Laith). Actually the other pairing is between two people I would be a bit surprised if either made the Live Shows too. Last spring Pharrell had five of his six Battles result in a Steal and I wonder if that is going to happen again. If my predictions are right I could see someone stealing Abby and Maya who got good edits so far. And predicting Steals do seem to be completely random, but Pharrell Stealing Shalyah. Has he ever not Stolen a young soul singer? There also seems to be more co-ed battles than usual. I wonder if this is a way to consciously limit the number of boring whit dudes make the Live Shows this year after six of the eight singers America saved in the Playoffs last season were boring white dudes (out of a possible seven). My other takeaway from the previews was how much time they spent on only one of the Battle pairing which made some of these predictions really easy (sorry Maya and Lacy). We get it producers you really, really want Alison to win so a female singer and coach will win this season. Except the more you push, the more the bored housewives are going to rebel and have yet another boring white dude win for the fifth straight season.

Lucifer: Two take always from this episode; Lucifer’s brother calls him Lucy. And if the brother is now the gatekeeper to Hades, just how many people are escaping during his many trips to Erth to try to convince his brother to come back home? And when does Lucifer start hunting down those souls because that show would be much more interesting than this one.
You can download Lucifer on iTunes.

Blindspot: Holy Smash Williams sighting! But the bigger shock was Kurt’s sister and Edgar… who knew? Not that they were hooking up but that character’s name was Edgar, I had to look it up and had no clue what his name was. Oh yeah, then there was Jane Doe learning she died.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: So what was with the three months from now opener? Civil War does come out in May and the last Captain America movie is really the only time something in the movie actually had much of an effect on the show. But it is probably just a teaser for the season finale. But then again, three months is June and early May is when shows tend to wrap up for the year.
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: The Liars have had some epically dumb ideas over the years, but Hannah admitting she killed CeCe. So what happens when A gets revenge or possibly calls the police?
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Survivor: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty: So we had our first medical leave of the season (second because apparently Lizzie had to be flown back to America right after being voted out to deal with some staph infections). Just last week I mentioned how even when the person who is getting voted out they always plant a seed for someone else, this is the first time I remember them not even put up a red herring, and went straight to Tribal Council and did not even show Blondie scrambling. Shame the merge came a week too late for her because she could have teamed up with the hot chick alliance. Same for Lizzie. Should be interesting to she how it plays out, if anyone find the Brains Hidden Immunity Idol, or if they are going to put more Idols into play in hopes that a Super Idol gets played.
You can download Survivor: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty on iTunes.