Category: Television



The highest-grossing tour of 2012 and the second highest-grossing tour by a female artist, otherwise known as Madonna’s “MDNA Tour,” premiered tonight on Epix. The concert film was filmed mostly in Miami, Florida along with many other locations used for the final edit. This made for a great opportunity to create the best version of the show possible. And while the film, for the most part, lives up to that expectation, there are some inevitable imperfections. Such imperfections include a lack of continuity in some areas. During “Like a Virgin/Love Spent,” there’s a shot where Madonna had a tattoo that said “Eva” on her back, but the rest of the shots show that her tattoo said “Psyche.”

The edit did a great job at capturing the cinematic nature of the show. I was pleased to see the venue was indoors, as it added to the “theater” feel of the show. This was much more of a theatrical production. The show told a story and, at times, felt like you were watching a movie. I was particularly impressed with the visual gun shot effects used during “Gang Bang” as well as seeing “Like a Virgin/Love Spent” in black and white. The audience shots were great, too. One guy was dressed in the same Gaultier bustier that Madonna wore during “Vogue,” and another girl was dressed in a nun’s habit. This tour has earned a reputation as Madonna’s most controversial tour ever. From the violence to the nudity to the swastika, this tour had many memorable moments. It was so important that this film did the tour justice. And, after viewing the special twice, I can say that it definitely meets that challenge!

Advertisements


Madonna and Jennifer Lopez were just some of the big starts who came out for the “Chime For Change” benefit concert this weekend. The concert was spreading the importance of female education all around the world. Madonna gave a speech and introduced two brave women who help educate women in places where it is dangerous to do so.

Jennifer Lopez performed her hits “Live It Up,” “On The Floor,” and The Beatles classic “Come Together” with Mary J. Blige. The latter song was a highlight of her 22-minute set. Lopez sounded great, however, it would’ve been nice to hear Blige sing the song the way it was meant to be sung, rather than trying to impress the audience with her vocal ability. Whenever I see Jennifer performing live lately, I’m always pleasantly surprised. I always expect her to lip-sync and have pretty lackluster choreography. It seems to be what inevitably happens to entertainers who have been in the business for a while. However, Lopez defies my expectations every time and blows me away. This woman deserves so much respect for not only dancing her ass off, but singing live at the same time and sounding good doing it! She is one hell of an entertainer.


Mariah Carey performed live in New York City’s Central Park this morning. She was there to kick off Good Morning America’s Summer Concert Series. She was also there to promote her forthcoming album. The pop diva performed three songs, “Always Be My Baby,” “We Belong Together,” and her new single “#Beautiful” with Miguel. Complete with a near-wardrobe malfunction and an accidental expletive heard on live television, this made for one interesting morning. Miguel, who was billed as a “surprise guest,” surprised nobody as he graced the GMA stage with his presence. He sounded brilliant as always. Mariah definitely upgraded from her last televised performance on the “American Idol” finale. Carey was actually singing this time without the help of a pre-recorded track. She didn’t sound “perfect,” but a live performance isn’t supposed to be perfect. It’s supposed to be real. Towards the end of “#Beautiful,” it sounded like Mariah was trying her best to hit that trademark high note, but to no avail. However, I would much rather hear that as opposed to hearing her pretend to hit it while a backing track plays the background. Mariah’s voice sounded great for the most part and she should continue singing live without pre-recorded vocals.


Bruno Mars kicked off the 2013 Billboard Music Awards last night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. He performed his song, “Treasure,” and brought down the house! The always-sexy Mars was looking good in his red suit. His good looks is matched with a great voice, making him a nominee for the first-ever Milestone Award. However, he lost to fellow nominee Justin Beiber. I’ll admit, when I first heard them call his name, I was instinctively disgusted. So, when I heard the roar of “boos” that went through the crowd, I was quite amused. Even his speech, complete with an “I should be taken seriously” remark to the audience, made it that much sweeter. However, in retrospect, I feel the booing was uncalled for. I don’t know a whole lot about Beibs, so I’m probably not the best person to judge his win of a “milestone” award. There’s a way to handle yourself, and the audience are just as wrong for booing him as Beiber is for addressing it in his speech.

The moment of the night came when will.i.am presented Madonna with the Top Touring Artist Award for her “MDNA Tour.” The concert, which will air on Epix and EpixHD.com June 22nd, became the highest grossing tour of 2012, and the second highest grossing tour by a female artist, second only to Madonna’s own “Sticky & Sweet Tour.” Madonna came out in a provocative outfit, gave a great speech, and made will.i.am hold all her “props.” It was a fantastic moment! Madonna also won the awards for Dance Artist of the Year and Dance Album of the Year for “MDNA.”

Jennifer Lopez was also there to perform her current single “Live It Up” with Pitbull. Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez were living it up in the audience during the high-energy performance. Granted, they are very young, but it was still nice to see the audience actually enjoying a fellow artist’s performance, rather than the phony, stiff, competition-fueled energy you usually get at those award shows.


J.Lo’s new video for her summer anthem, “Live It Up,” premiered tonight on “Entertainment Tonight.” It was later uploaded to VEVO in full. The clip is a light-hearted dance-fest that takes place on the beach and at a fashion show in Paris. In the video, Pitbull encourages Lopez to come down to the beach and “live it up.” She eventually joins him and it makes for one fun video! My favorite part are the queens backstage during the first chorus, unable to handle J.Lo’s fabulousness on the runway.


On tonight’s all-star “American Idol” finale, Candice Glover won the competition. One can only hope that she doesn’t fall victim to the syndrome of winners who haven’t achieved stellar careers. It seems as though, with the exception of Kelly Clarkson, America becomes more taken with those who haven’t won the talent competition. Glover is a true vocal talent deserving of the win. However, her performance with Jennifer Hudson didn’t impress me at all. It seemed to be more about the vocal acrobats than a genuine emotional connection to the song. It felt like they were trying to out-sing each other. By the end, it felt very ridiculous.

Mariah Carey was there not just as a judge, but as a performer. She took the stage to perform a medley of hits, including her new single, “#Beautiful.” The performance fell very flat for me. It was a mess. Mimi looked stiff as hell, barely moving a muscle… including her voice. Yes, if you paid close attention you would know that Carey was lip-syncing to pre-recorded vocals during the performance. At one point, she even talked to the audience while her pre-recorded vocal played in the background. Oops!  And when the high note at the end of “We Belong Together” ended so abruptly, it sounded painfully unnatural. It didn’t even feel like she was trying to convince us. As a lamb, it was a pretty disappointing performance.

Aretha Franklin was a breath of fresh air, though. Even via satellite, that woman showed them all how it’s done. Another outstanding number was Jennifer Lopez performing her new single, “Live It Up,” with Pitbull. The dancing was great. It’s clear that Lopez hasn’t forgotten or abandoned her “fly girl” days. And she sang the entire song live. No pre-recorded vocals here. Lopez sounded good, too. I love the song the more I hear it and it will surely be this year’s summer anthem!

So, tonight’s finale was packed with highs and lows. As a fan of J.Lo, I hope she keeps up the good work. I almost can’t contain my excitement for the video! And as a fan of Mariah, I hope she steps her game up. If she wants to continue to be taken seriously as a “singer,” then sing. And if Mariah insists on lip-syncing, she should at least get some tips from an experienced drag queen. They can show her how it’s done.

Mariah Carey’s new video “#Beautiful” featuring Miguel premiered tonight on “American Idol.” The clip features Carey and Miguel joy riding through the country. It is filled with bright colors and wonderful energy coming from Mariah. My only critique of this video is the fact that Miguel wears his sunglasses the entire time (even at night when they’re in the barn). I find that rude and condescending. Are we not good enough to look into your eyes? Wearing shades outside is okay, but it just looks ridiculous indoors. However, it is a very good video.

Madonna has always expressed herself. And that’s just what she did at last night’s GLAAD Awards in New York City. It was known that the Queen of Pop would be presenting Anderson Cooper with the Vito Russo Award, for his portrayl of LGBT issues in the media. However, Madonna didn’t just present an award. She dressed up as a Boy Scout and gave an impassioned speech about the many injustices of the world, including the Boy Scouts’ ban on opnely gay members and leaders. President Obama has also spoke out against the ban.

Madonna has done many things in a career that spans three decades. However, at last night’s GLAAD Awards, she helped shed light on something much bigger than herself. And that is a trait to be admired in any human being.


The two-night season premiere of “American Idol” ended last night as the country reacted in amazement at Lazaro Arbos’ inspiring journey.  Originally from Cuba, Arbos moved to Florida when he was 10 and has a stutter.  The judges watched with delight as Arbos sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water” beautifully and without stuttering.  Lazaro began tearing up as the judges gave him a unanimous “yes.”  His story is an inspirational one and proves the power of music.  Music is Lazaro’s saving grace.  It is his rock; the only place he goes to for protection and security.   I have faith that he will go far in the competition.  He’s got all of America rooting for him!

Before Lazaro amazed us with his brilliance, a quirky singer-songwriter named Kez Ban commanded attention.  Complete with a biting sense-of-humor, great musicianship, and a captivating voice, Kez Ban is the real deal.  She is entertaining and talented.  She is a lot of fun to watch.  Kez Ban is another contestant who I’m rooting for this season.

Another contestant who caught my attention last night was Johnny Keyser, who is returning to “Idol” after being eliminated in the past. He is a talented vocalist and has good looks to match. This was something the judges seemed to notice. The first question Nicki Minaj asked him was, “Do you have a girlfriend?”

Last night saw “The X Factor” season finale. Country artist Tate Stevens won the competition, beating out young Carly Rose Sonenclar. Throughout this season, I became less and less interested in the show. This is the first time I’ve ever actually watched “The X Factor,” and it’s only because Britney Spears is a judge. The show had some great auditions and it got me really excited for some of the contestants. However, once the competition part of the show started, I felt letdown. The contestants were broken up into groups and each judge acted as a mentor for these groups. There are several things wrong with this. First of all, it pits the judges against each other. Second of all, it pits the judges against the contestants. And probably the most unsettling part of all, the contestants seem to have their artistry stripped away. I view artistry as having your own voice and being the person you are. In many cases, it felt like the contestants turned into the judge’s view of who they are as opposed to who they actually are. CeCe Frey is a good example of this. I wish Tate Stevens the best and actually respect him, as he seemed to maintain the artist he was from the beginning. And that is probably why he won the competition.