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What to Expect from The X Factor

As you may already know there’s a new singing competition in town. The X Factor is starting this month and the only thing that most people know about it is that Simon Cowell is back. I, for one, have missed Cowell. Yes, American Idol had a very successful season without him, but the new judges are no Simon. Another thing that you may have heard is that Paula Abdul will also be a judge on The X Factor, along with music veteran LA Reid and former Pussycat queen Nicole Scherzinger. The X Factor is basically American Idol on steroids, it’s bigger and with more intricacies than the 10 year veteran. Will it trump Idol? I am not sure, but it has the potential to make a big splash. I have watched several seasons of The X Factor and was at one of the US tapings and really enjoyed the format, going by that I will quickly tell you what to expect.

It’s not just “The Voice”
Having watched the first season of The Voice (and actually enjoying it) I noticed that singing voice is not the deciding factor here. This show is about that special something that some people have, they may not have the best voice but there is something that just pulls you in. The have IT. And you will see, even in the audition process that the judges will put through people that are not necessarily Christina Aguileras or Jennifer Hudsons but there is something that makes you want to see them again, and again.

No Age Limit
One of the things that you will notice is that The X Factor has no limit of how old a contestant can be. With an age range from 12 to 200, you may see a fantastic contestant who is 13 years competing with another amazing one who is 55, who may have not had the chance in life to be famous but is a diamond in the rough.

Categories
Once the audition process ends, the real fun starts. The last 24 contestants are separated in four groups: Young females, Young males, Groups and Adults(Over 25). Each judge will have one of these groups and will carefully select the best six of that categories to be a part of his group.

The Judges do More
Not only will the judges personally choose six people to be a part of his/her team, they will mentor them, assist them in song selection(big plus), choreography, style, etc. This goes a little further than Idol because, here, the judges have the ability to have favorites and root for who they think deserves it more. It then becomes not only a competition between contestants but also between judges, which may irk some people with the mentality that “It is about the talent” but in reality, the judges are just rooting for who they think deserves it more.

Big Prize
The winning singer or group will get a recording contract of 5 Million dollars. Which is said to be the biggest prize given on a reality TV competition.

What I saw at the Live Taping
As I said before, I was able to be at one of the live tapings of the show and it was really enjoyable. The atmosphere was electric in some of the performances. As I said before there were some people that really didn’t have an impressive voice, but there was something that made me want to watch them every week on my TV. You may not know who Cheryl Cole is, she was one of the judges on the UK version of the show and I really liked her. After being brought in by Simon to take part of the panel of judges in the US version, it all fell apart. There are rumors that her accent was hard to understand and other reasons, but she got the boot. She was then replaced by former Pussycat Doll, Nicole Scherzinger, who has been doing the rounds on TV. She was a winning contestant on Dancing With The Stars and has performed on Idol and other shows. Here is what I saw live. Nicole cries a LOT. She got emotional about performances all night, and she was very repetitive on her comments to contestants. Yes, the show I went to was one of her first as a judge, so hopefully by the time the live shows start she has her act together. You may not even notice this because they will, for sure, edit that a lot. The chemistry between judges is very nice and it has the potential to get fiery since you can tell they all have strong personalities. And what else, Simon and Paula are back to their usual hijinks.

What do you think? Will you be watching The X Factor? Do you miss Simon as much as I do?

Florence + The Machine is Back with What Water Gave Me

It is no surprise that I am a huge fan of Florence + The Machine. And she is back with a brand new song and video, for her upcoming album which will be released in November. Can’t wait! Watch below!

So, Really… How Much Do Artists Make Online?

With Spotify becoming available in the US, a question that I always had and had become dormant came to live again. How can artists profit from streaming services? Do they see a bump in their sales from people that after streaming their music want to own it? It boggles my mind, it’s understandable that physical CD’s have lost a little bit of steam to digital albums. But that is sales, it makes sense since having the physical production of a disc is taken out of the equation.But the question is, do artists profit for their music being streamed in services like Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, Grooveshark and others.

Yesterday, I finally found some answers to my question. The Information is Beautiful site, has an great visual graph that gives us a glimpse of what goes behind the scenes on the matter at hand. I am still studying the graph, I find it interesting that the amount artists get for streaming is so low. But, on the other hand, we can approach this differently. For decades people heard about artists on the radio, they would call radio stations with their requests. Is it really that different to stream someone’s music? The problem with this is that if people are able to stream the music as many times as they want, an album sale is out of the equation.

I believe there have been several events that have drastically changed the face of music. MTV gave a face to what people were listening to. YouTube allowed people to see that face on demand, at anytime, from anywhere. MP3 players, especially the iPod forever changed the way people listened to music.

But, the question remains, how will streaming services change the face of music? With big-hitters like Apple, Amazon and Google getting on the streaming game, there is certainly a great amount of change coming.

What do you think is the future of the music business? How do YOU listen to music and how have your listening habits changed through the years?

 

Mourning Gleeks: No More Glee for Sam

Today we mourn. News broke last night that Chord Overstreet will no longer be on Glee when the 3rd season starts. Chord tweeted saying “well its been a good yr too bad its over, time for summer and starting fresh.” I’m not happy about it, Glee needs Trouty lips. There’s also news that Darren Criss and Harry Shum will become series’ regulars. Not impressed. Yes, Darren has become very popular in the show but Harry? Meh.

After watching The Glee Project I can see why Chord may be leaving. He certainly provides a healthy amount of eyecandy on the show, but the writers have apparently struggled to give him a good storyline. And now, that things were starting to look upwards, giving him a background of a troubled family and having him hookup with diva Mercedes… off he goes. Is it true? We’ll have to wait and see.

So, for all you Sam lovers out there I leave you with a small gallery of his best looks!

Lady Gaga: The Laurieann Gibson Fiasco

DRAMA!

If you have ever watched Laurieann Gibson’s show The Dance Scene on E!, you know by now that girl packs some attitude. This was clearly on display minutes after the release of Lady Gaga’s new video for her latest single The Edge of Glory. The internet was abuzz with dissatisfaction over the video that lacked the outlandish quality of pretty much all of Gaga’s prior videos. The new video presented Lady Gaga in what appeared to be a New York city alley, dancing outside her apartment window and all over the fire escape. There were no dancers, actually there were no other humans, other than short clips of Clarence Clemons, Bruce Springsteen’s sax player, who sat in some stairs for part of the video but wasn’t shown to a large scale in her solo part of the song. The video, which carries an 80′s vibe and belongs to a song that Gaga has called one of her most intimate one, dedicated to her Grandfather was underwhelming if compared to Gaga’s previous masterpieces like Bad Romance, Telephone, Paparazzi and even Born This way.

And then it happened, Little Monsters everywhere started lashing out on Twitter to someone who may have been involved in how it all turned out: Laurieann Gibson. You would think that someone who has constantly worked with stars like Gaga, would understand the power of social media. Apparently she didn’t. As fans vomited their criticism through twitter, she lashed back at them in a not so classy way. According to one of her tweets the video was apparently scratched and redone again without her help or Joseph Kahn’s who is rumored to have walked off the set.

Laurieann Gibson, or Boomkack as she is also known, replied to some of the tweets calling Gaga fans ignorants, sick, “disrespectful f*cks” and retweeted some tweets that said the video was disappointing. I am not sure but some harsher tweets from her appeared to have vanished from her timeline. Things got so bad that #FireBoomkack ended on Twitter’s trending topics. Here is the thing, Gaga’s fan base is a very strong one and more than often she mentions how important her little monsters are to her.

Personally, I don’t think Lady Gaga would be happy with Boomkack’s responses to them. Or, who knows, maybe she knows something we don’t, and it’s all a show for Gaga and behind the scenes this is how they talk about the fans, I doubt it but I mean, it’s all show business. Yes, Laurieann may have been of help to Gaga as her choreographer, but let’s be honest, Gaga doesn’t really need her. She, without a doubt, has a world of choreographers dying to work with her.

If you haven’t watched the subdued video, you can watch it here.

What do you think about this situation? Will Lady Gaga comment about it? Will Laurieann Gibson be fired? Has she already been fired?

Oscars: Not Everyone Can Be The Best

Remember when the Oscars had five movies nominated for Best Picture? remember when that changed? Well, more changes are coming. For next year’s Oscars the system will change, it will not have an established number. The change to 10 that happened two years ago was meant to bring in more well known pictures in order to spark the interest of audiences on the annual show. Because, let’s be honest most of America won’t watch a movie if something is not blown up or on CGI, so with five more slots there was a bigger chance that Transformers would get in, right?

Complaints were heard. Mainly because it diluted the nominations bringing in movies that had no chance of winning and making the studios for those movies spend millions on promotion. This was hard, because studios, as we all know, have no money.

On the new system, a film must receive more than 5 percent of the first-place votes in the nominating process. Based on analysis over the past 10 years, this would change the amount movies for a number of about five to 10 nominations. Sounds interesting. I understand the change to 10 because in previous years most of the nominees were amazing movies but loved(and watched) mainly by critics. While the change provided for changes like The Blindside to be in the race.

As far as movies go this year I still haven’t seen anything Oscar worthy, other than Bridesmaids, hopefully summer will bring some amazing films.

What has been your favorite movie this year so far?

Joss Stone: Scary and Bizarre Murder Story

Well this is something you don’t read every day. Two men armed with swords, rope and a body bag were arrested Tuesday near Joss Stone’s home in England under suspicion of planning to rob and kill the young singer, according to reports.

Who, I mean WHO would dare touch my favorite barefoot pothead singer? WHO!? I love Joss stone!

These two guys had aerial photos and detailed maps of the Joss’ property. Sounds to me that someone may have hired these two bums to kill her. Who wants her money? Or did she break someone’s heart?

Anyway, I’m glad she’s safe!

Broadway: Not Just For Gays Anymore

The Tony Awards were tonight and Neil Patrick Harris was fantastic as usual. The opening number was great, very funny, even with Brooke Shields murdering her bit by forgetting her lines… twice. See the video and the complete list of winners below.

Broadway: Not Just For Gays Anymore

 

Full list of winners after the jump!

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