I can't wait for the return of Spartacus tonight! This show is gory and over the top but the storyline is crazy. One crazy, gory, over the top twist after another. LOL. It will be strange to not see Andy Whitfield as Spartacus. I can't believe he's gone so young and when he was in such outwardly great physical shape. Unfortunately cancer doesn't discriminate. May he RIP.
Tonight we got auditions from Galveston, Texas. It doesn't seem like we are being shown all that many impressive singers so far this season during the audition process. I think they are waiting to show us the singers and contenders during Hollywood week that way they are fresh to us.
There were some notable singers tonight though.
Skylar Laine was the first. Very cool name! She also had a very good country voice and seems like a nice girl.
Baylie Brown returned for another try. She had made it to Hollywood week in the past and it was good to see her come back and try again. If she can get past what stopped her last time, she can get far as she has a very good voice & look.
Divorcing mom of 3 Kristine Osorio was up next. She gave up a lot to get there and gave up a budding career to raise her family (something I can relate to) so I hoped she could sing well and make it through to Hollywood. She has a very nice voice with some real power to it. Good to see her get to Hollywood. I hope she does well.
Then we got to see the judges fighting over some of the contestants. I usually agree with Randy but I don't know what he was hearing from the contestants we were shown. He and Steven were wrong in their choices while JLo was right on with them all. Randy and Steven turned away some good talent while sending some questionable talent to Hollywood.
Cortez Shaw was finally the first Top 12 contender that I've seen! He has a good look and I really like his voice.
Ramiro Garcia was the last contestant shown to us and he had an incredible story. Born with no ears, he was not expected to ever hear or be able to speak yet not only did he prove the doctors wrong, there he was singing with an absolutely wonderful voice. The second Top 12 contender of the season! I hope he goes all the way and makes the Top 12. I found his story, family and voice very inspiring and touching. I'll be rooting for him for sure!
Last night was the preview / first episode of Touch. I had been looking forward to this show after seeing the very first commercial for it. Another Fox show with Kiefer Sutherland and created/written by Tim Kring? Being a big fan of Keifer and his Jack Bauer and Kring's Heroes, I'm totally in with that combination!
The show left me absolutely blown away. It was everything I was expecting and so much more.
I absolutely loved the whole we are all tied together, butterfly effect concept. Being a huge fan of Kring's work on Heroes, I loved how he tied all these characters together on the show with an underlying commentary to explain it all. I really was happy to see him continue that theme on Touch. I also liked the interaction Kiefer's struggling father figure had with his autistic child, against the background of his being a widower. Just lots of real human issues to work with and touch on.
I can't wait for the next episode in March so this preview episode did its job effectively with me. I hope it resonated with everyone that saw it last night and that the word of mouth is great for this show because it deserves a very large audience.
AI was back on its normal time slot and this time we had auditions from Colorado. Beautiful state. Love the mountains. Hope to visit there one day.
Some really good contestants in Colorado!
First up was Jenni Schick. I found her hyperactivity rather annoying. Although I'm sure she's hyperactive in real life as she mentioned, I just couldn't help but think that she brought it up a few notches for TV purposes. I don't think that will play too well when it comes to working with a group in Hollywood. We'll see. She had a good voice, could use some work but good.
Curtis Gray did my favorite Boyz II Men song and I found him ok. He could use some work but has potential.
We got quick glimpses of Richie Law (good voice) and Mathanee Treco (pretty good audition!)
Flower child Haley Smith was a fresh voice and personality. I like that she wasn't afraid to be herself. THAT is cool. She had real nice power to her voice and even though she is still a bit undisciplined, I don't think she understands how good she can be, She has a ton of potential. I really like her!
I'm not sure what to make of Shelby Tweten. She had a really good voice and look but she went on the show talking about her being bi-polar and battling depression since a young age and how the show gave her motivation. I like that she used it to inspire herself and her message to inspire others but what if she had gone on and not made it? What would that have done to her? What happens to her if she doesn't make it in the pressure cooker of Hollywood? I worry for her about that. This is a real hard business full of criticism and lots of pressure. I hope she and her family can deal with it all as she moves forward.
Next up was Jairon Jackson who not only has a cool name but a real nice R&B voice.
Lady Gaga wannabe Angie Ziederman went next and I found her un-original and trying way too hard. I did like her fearlessness though. The show tunes audition was not a good idea either. I did find that she had a really good voice when she sang pop. If she can rein herself in and make better song choices I think she can go far.
To end the night we had Russell Brand wannabe Magic Cyclops. Yes MAGIC CYCLOPS. I like how he found a reasoning for his british accent even though he was from Iowa! LOL! He made me ROFL when he said he had 11,000 air guitars! Now THAT was funny.
Tonight I was watching Dave Navarro's reality competition show Inkmaster. I have 7 tattoos and am a fan of Dave's, so I took interest in wanting to watch this show. On this show, tattoo artists compete to see who is the best overall tattoo artist. The judges are all tops in their field and these judges keep things real with the tattoo artists. It's a cool show. I can't believe that people would volunteer for free tattoos that may or may not come out how they want them but I guess for free people are willing to take the chance.
I want to let you all know some of the music I listen to. Even though I listen to most of what comes out every week, a lot of the music I like to listen to came out a while ago. I prefer a lot of the older hits to today's music, especially '80s hard rock.
But today's now playing is Rodrigo y Gabriela's new album "Area 52". It rocks! If you're a fan of guitars and excellent musicianship, you love this guitar duo's instrumental tracks!
Last night we got a special Sunday night edition of AI auditions from San Diego. The location of the auditions, on an aircraft carrier was probably one of the coolest locations you could ever take an audition on.
Single mom Ashley Robles was up first and got the night of auditions off with a bang. She auditioned with a Whitney song! That takes guts. But she delivered! Very good voice and a good look. She'll be one to look out for in Hollywood.
Jayrah Gibson was next. He has a cool voice, not very strong though. He had an outgoing personality which helps him.
Aubree Dieckmeyer has an interesting voice. Agree with Randy that she loses power as she goes higher. Hopefully she works on that before getting to Hollywood.
Ali Shields was very outgoing and bold. Almost too much, made it hard for me to believe her stories. Also, it was hard to tell her voice quality because she sounded like she was imitating too much on the song she chose to audition with.
Ladies man Kyle Crews?!? Lol. He did have a nice voice though.
Jane Carrey we found out is actually Jim's daughter. That's pretty cool right there. She had a good voice. Will be interesting to see if she plays it up or down when she gets to Hollywood.
I really like mechanic Jason "Wolf" Hamlin. He seems like a really good guy. I think he did his deceased Dad real proud. He has a real nice voice. He really came alive and rocked on his Dad's home-made git-fiddle. Glad to see him move onto Hollywood.
So, tonight American Idol showed us auditions from Pittsburgh. Some really good talent in the steel city!
Here are my thoughts on some of the notables of the evening:
I liked Heejun Han. He was kind of psyched out before his audition as he let hearing others sing undermine his confidence but he sang well and did a good job. Just goes to show, always believe in yourself and don't worry about what other are doing.
Reed Grimm has a very good style. You can tell he was singing since he was 2. Good job.
Aaron Marcellus has a great voice.
Samantha Novacek has a good voice and a nice look but the planking sister was gimmicky and dumb. Just un-necessary. Can you tell I think planking is ridiculous? Lol.
Creighton Fraker is a NY street artist and I really liked his good jazzy style. Just goes to show that there is so much undiscovered talent. You could be hearing it on your way to work. If so, take a moment to let them know how talented you think they are. It could make their day and provide motivation to them to continue.
Eben Franckewitz was very prepared, having worked on songs and arrangements beforehand. He had a real nice tone. Talented kid. Even though he said that people say he reminds them of Justin Bieber, I think his look and voice is more similar to Grayson Chance.
I was happy to see Bronx kid Travis Orlando back! I was sorry to hear his sad story though, he's had it rough since we saw him last season. You can tell he wants it for so many personal reasons. I'm glad he made it through.
Mobile DJ Erika Van Pelt has a real nice soulful voice.
Coal miner Shane Bruce didn't make it, needs work for sure but he has potential. I didn't like Steve's comment to him that maybe he was meant to just sing in the mine for his co-workers. Then a few seconds later after Randy and Jennifer offer constructive advice, he then offered something more constructive himself. Not cool.
The last contestant of the night was Hallie Day and I really liked her a lot. She has a very good luck and voice to match. She's had a really rough life in pursuit of her music dream but with the lessons learned behind her and with her husband's support, I think she has a bright future ahead.
One of my favorite shows is back and you know what that means, lots of blog thoughts and posts about every show! Why do I love AI so much? I just love that this show is there to give dreamers a shot at making their dreams come true or at least giving it a shot. I've always been of the opinion that it's OK to try something, even if you fail, as long as you try. It takes a lot of courage and ambition to try to get on AI so bravo to all that auditioned, good, bad and in-between! My label World Conquest Records is always trying to find undiscovered talents so go to the World Conquest Records site and check out what they are looking for. Maybe you can be a label-mate! ;)
Anyway, onto last night's first AI auditions from Savannah, GA! I made notes on some of the contestants from the show:
I found David Leathers way too full of himself and he had a nice voice but it was a bit undisciplined and I suspect he'll get awestruck in Hollywood.
I liked tap-dancer Gabi Carruba. She had a nice jazzy style to her voice and a nice personality as well.
They showed us a brief clip of some really good singers going to Hollywood. They all sounded better than the first batch of featured contestants.
Then came Shaun Kraisman. I didn't find his whole Seacrest wannabe shtick amusing, I actually found it rather creepy.
Shannon Magrane had a nice voice, looks like Carrie Underwood.
Next was my sentimental favorite of the night Amy Brumfield. Her story broke my heart, her spirit in the face of living in such impoverished conditions really touched me. I wish someone like Ryan or JLo, would slip her $5-10k - just so her and her boyfriend could get themselves into an apartment of some sort. Sweet girl. I was so glad to hear that she had a wonderful voice and could get a chance to go to Hollywood. I loved her boyfriend's reaction when she showed him the ticket. He immediately yelled his belief in her that she would make it. Through thick and thin, they showed what couples should do for each other. Real sweet.
I really liked Stephanie Renae. She seems to be a real sweet girl, she has lots of potential and I'm glad JLo and Steven gave her a chance to go to Hollywood.
I thought Schylar Dixon got a bit of a raw deal. She came in without her brother to show what she could do and the judges made her bring him in and made it more about him than her. That was rather disrespectful IMO. I like her, she has a nice look and a real cool raspiness to her voice. It was cool that Colton was made to audition and brought to Hollywood too. It was nice that the judges showed that much belief in his talent, just wished they hadn't pushed aside Schylar to do it.
I admire people like Lauren Mink who work with people with disabilities. That's a very noble job. She has a strong voice, will have to pick it up in Hollywood though.
Then came Ms. JoyHop Ashlee Altise. She has a good voice but I found her personality rather annoying.
WT Thompson quit his job to audition. That's belief and dedication! I liked his voice. I'm glad he got a chance to go to Hollywood.
Pro cheerleader Brittany Kerr certainly has the look and had a good voice to match. Will have to pick it up a lot in Hollywood though.
The last contestant of the night was Phillip Phillips. Being an emotional, passionate style singer myself, I loved his vocal style and voice. His version of Thriller on guitar was really original and cool too! He was easily the best of the night.
I didn't hear any potential AI winners in this bunch of singers but I did see some singers who can have good careers! Looking forward to tonight's show!
For my daughter's birthday I decided to surprise her and the family by taking her out to eat at a restaurant I saw on Man v Food. Took her to Ted's Restaurant in CT where we had the most awesome steamed cheeseburgers. They were as good as advertised. If you're ever in CT, I recommend you finding one of the Ted's restaurants and trying their steamed cheeseburgers. You'll be happy you did!
The Vampire Diaries is one of my favorite TV shows. One of my favorite characters is Caroline. But poor Caroline! In 3 seasons of TVD, the poor girl has gotten like only 20 minutes of happiness. Her character is such a tragic character and I love how Candice Accola plays her. Even as a vampire she can't catch a break. I hope her character finds some happiness, if even only for an episode.
As you all know if you read my tweets (and if you don't, follow me now @mariomelrockero) then you know I'm a big NASCAR fan. Go Kyle Busch!
Well, how sweet it was to hear the roar of NASCAR engines from a day of Daytona Testing! I can't wait for the season to begin! I always go through NASCAR withdrawal when the season ends so it was cool to get this glimpse at some action this early in the year.
Tonight I was watching two of my favorite Syfy channel shows - GhostHunters, (so glad its back! Great location tonight!) and FaceOff.
For those of you unfamiliar with the shows, Ghosthunters is a show about a group of ghosthunters obviously who travel to places to find spirits and to also debunk places of paranormal spirit activity. They are the TV pioneers in this field and they bring a lot of scientific equipment on their investigations to capture evidence and then show & explain it to the clients they are trying to help. The cool thing is that TAPS (their group name) never charges for this work. It is just something they are passionate about. Over the seasons they've been on, they've captured some amazing evidence on EVPs and video.
Faceoff is a cool show with Special Effects makeup designers competing to win the top prize. They are judged by some of the best special effects makeup designers in Hollywood. The creations they come up with week after week on limited time are amazing. I love seeing the creativity they show as they bring their ideas to life from drawings to their creature creations.
As you all know, I'm a huge wrestling fan. I was psyched to hear tonight on Monday Night Raw that Edge is Hall Of Fame bound! So well deserved, he is one of the best EVER to step into the ring! Then later in the night we heard that the 4 Horsemen are also being inducted into the HOF! Hell yeah! I wonder which incarnation of the Horsemen will get inducted? Should be interesting to see but well deserved for probably the greatest stable of all time.
How would you like to get my music for free? My record label is holding a fan art contest and the winners will receive my music for free!! How cool is that? Below are the rules and prizes for the Fan Art contest from my label:
Win Mario's music for free by showing your support for Mario in Art form! Draw Mario from his photos or albums, what his songs inspire you to draw, a scrapbook page, a collage or whatever else you can think of! The more creative the better! Show Mario your support and fandom! There's no limit to your entries per day.
All eligible entries will be displayed on Mario's Fan artwork section including the winning entries.
(1) GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive all 3 of Mario's albums! (De un corazon a otro, Rockero soy & El Camino Espiritual)
(2) 2nd place winners will receive Mario's album El Camino Espiritual and their choice of Rockero soy or De un corazon a otro
(2) 3rd place winners will receive Mario's single Que sera and their choice of Rockero soy or De un corazon a otro
Contest ends on January 30, 2012. Winners will be notified on January 30, 2012. All winners will be announced on January 31, 2012.
To submit a digital photo or artwork, use the link below to make a submission via e-mail. Please note that submitting a photo or artwork indicates that you are giving Mario and World Conquest Records explicit permission to use and publish the photos.
Please note: All photos and artwork are provided solely for entertainment only. Once submitted, all photos and artwork belong to Mario and World Conquest Records, and used on his Official website with permission. Please respect Mario's ownership by not copying any photos or artwork. Thank you for your cooperation. Submission of any photo and/or artwork constitutes permission for Mario and World Conquest Records to use your name (first name & last initial), photograph / artwork, address (only city and state) and testimonials, on his official website, in printed, broadcast or other media, whether now known or hereafter developed, in perpetuity, in any manner deemed appropriate. All persons submitting photos / artwork understand that there is no guarantee of winning and that selection of your artwork for the prizes listed above is solely at World Conquest Records discretion.
I just watched some movie trailers with my family and '12 looks to be a great year of movie watching for a sci-fi & fantasy movie fan like me! "The Wrath of the Titans" and Prometheus trailers look great! Can't wait! The Batman trailer is crazy! Can't wait to see this last entry in Christian Bale's Batman trilogy.