X Factor
-------------------------go_ireland Daily MailFrom boys to men: As Take That play Wembley, how a teen magazine editor ...Daily MailMayo, Ireland, I ... http://bit.ly/lKatby
about 1 hour ago via twitterfeed
---------------
Check Out:US_TakeThatFans Take That Wembley videos all week all as we countdown to our live blog from the shows on the 8th and 9th about 3 hours ago via web
---------Take That Wembley show is totally amazing! Recommend. http://t.co/cvY6hL8 via @contactmusic
20 minutes ago via

--------------------varshashoray Robbie Williams reveals favourite things: Robbie Williams fans with Take That tickets might be interested to dis... http://bit.ly/kQnhET
about 4 hours ago via twitterfeed

All the Latest: Day 34-SPOILERS

---------------CHRISHEMBLADE Richard @DawBell http://t.co/UeiRMrW /via @CHRISHEMBLADE #markowen @takethat #progresslive hope wembley going as good as this! It will be.
about 4 hours ago
Seatwave How great were #TakeThat last night? Leave a review & let others know. Tickets 4 all Wembley shows on sale from £29! http://bit.ly/kf16x3
37 minutes ago via TweetDeck
--------------metoffice Should be staying warm and dry for the next few @takethat #ProgressLive gigs at #Wembley this w/e & into next week http://t.co/ebCzIFO about 1 hour ago via web

------------------robbiewilliams Were you at #ProgressLive at Wembley last night? Fancy doing it all again? Ltd tix are still available... from £29.50! http://t.co/HmO4h14 3 minutes ago via web

-------------------NRE_LndnOvergnd INFO: Fans travelling to Wembley for Take That are advised that the Clapham Junction-Wembley line is closed. Travel via central London #fb about 2 hours ago via HootSuite
---------------------nationalrailenq UPDATE: Delays between Wembley Central / Willesden Junction and Shepherds Bush until approximately 22:30 http://ow.ly/5v7JA #fb
3 minutes ago via HootSuite

------------------reading107fm So Reading 107's Louise Lewis went to see Take That at Wembley last night. Did you go? What were the Fab 5 like?... http://fb.me/17mcFTb1o about 2 hours ago via Facebook
------------------HeartSouthCoast Take That Fans - last day to win tickets to see the boys at Wembley tomorrow night AND non-stop Take That on a special Time Tunnel from 9 about 2 hours ago via web

-----------------gigsandtours Contrary to rumour, we do still have limited number of Take That Wembley tix available. This is your last chance! http://tinyurl.com/cvc3ol about 1 hour ago via web

-------------------NRE_Southern ONGOING: No trains between Wembley Central / Willesden Junction and Shepherds Bush until further notice http://ow.ly/5uXi3 #fb
about 1 hour ago via HootSuite

----------------
Brilliant_Brent Another sunny day, another #TakeThat concert but take care when parking in #Wembley
http://t.co/tx7Wmvu #Brent about 2 hours ago via web

-----------------RWFansiteNL Take That, Wembley Stadium - review http://bit.ly/myMGv7 #progresslive about 1 hour ago via TweetDeck

msnmusicuk @TakeThat @ Wembley Stadium, London – 30/06/2011: Guest Blogger: @TinieTinah Tina Hart
http://on-msn.com/l5Nk3Q
about 1 hour ago via twitterfeed


------------------TASMACLondon Wembley is a "happening" place to be, see what's on http://t.co/7PQVQc2
about 2 hours ago via web



-------------takethattour Take That's Mark Owen is a Family Man: The Progress Live tour has broken records as the highest and fastest sell... http://bit.ly/ipzoRC

---outsideorg The Pet Shop Boys, the best support act ever #takethat about 2 hours ago


---------------London Evening Standard: Take That! At Wembley! In writing form! http://t.co/HKRCRBg #takethat
about 2 hours ago via web


Early Headlines: SPOILERS
-----------------OK_Magazine We never thought we'd fancy someone in a light-up vest, but TT have broken that rule tonight #takethat
about 3 hours ago via Twitter

-------------------OK_Magazine TT are now IN the crowds shakin hands, hugging&kissing fans.We are considering leaping from the heavens to get some of the action #takethat

---------------CatSnowdon Any Jason Orange fans going to Wembley, stand by the back right-hand section of the front part of the stage, he spends most of the set there
about 2 hours ago
************************************************************************************
Good Friday all.....Today's Take That News & Notes

----------------------Follow Friday's @ US_Take That Fans Twitter Page:

http://twitter.com/US_TakeThatFans
-------------------------digitalspybrk Take That release 'Progress' tour footage online http://is.gd/bGf7pS
about 11 hours ago via Digital Spy Breaking News


----------Take That/YouTube - ?Take That - X Men Interview (Gary included) First Class?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zB2dWBlE0tk&feature=player_embedded
-------------polydorrecords RT this message to win this week's amazing @takethat #polydorfriday - see what's up for grabs here - http://t.co/66fW6Un
38 minutes ago via web

---------------------robbiewilliams Fancy going to the premiere of @DisneyPixar's Cars 2 in Paris, London or Munich? Don't miss this brilliant competition! http://t.co/N4zZUvG
about 1 hour ago via Tweet Button


--------------------------new_magazine Gary Barlow is definitely the new Simon Cowell on X Factor http://bit.ly/m2inpb
8 minutes ago via twitterfeed

-------------takethatfansite Gary Barlow impressed by Take That tribute act at X Factor auditions. Read it now at http://www.takethatfansite.com/?p=18539
about 5 hours ago via WPTweeter


----------------------------4Music .@takethat's Progress tour hit London's Wembley Stadium last night. Check out our report from the gig at 4music.com http://t.co/vYXAGLO about 2 hours ago via web
-----------------guardiannews Robbie Williams launches fashion range http://gu.com/p/3v9yq/tf 6 minutes ago via twitterfeed

-------------Pressparty MARK OWEN doubtful over @TakeThat's future. http://bit.ly/kwO8H1 about 3 hours ago via CoTweet /strong>

---------X Factor wannabe Natasha shows off her knickers at Cardiff auditions The Sun ShowbizTVX Factor
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/x_factor/3670615/X-Factor-wannabe-Natasha-shows-off-her-knickers-at-Cardiff-auditions.html

-------------------pooh1978 Gary Barlow warns X Factor hopefuls: I’m going to be tough on everyone… especially my acts! - X Factor 2011 by TellyMix http://t.co/DK7N3FS 5 minutes ago via Tweet Button
--------------------------pooh1978 On Air - Heart London http://t.co/UURyDFT about 2 hours ago via Tweet Button


------------------Robbie Williams launches clothing range: 3am ...

http://www.3am.co.uk/robbie-williams-launches-clothing-range/28278/

--------------robbiewilliams NEW BLOG: After Robbie posted his last blog one user invited him to list his favourites... here they are! http://t.co/QovBGmD
about 1 hour ago via Tweet Button



------------------LMEYtheshow Fab review of #progresslive first night at Wembley! http://t.co/CPqyAYC about 1 hour ago via Mobile Web
----------------pooh1978 MARK OWEN-LIVE AT THE ACADEMY-DVD-NEW eBay http://t.co/2LnqDZc
about 2 hours ago via Tweet Button





Interview: Eefje de Visser

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Site HERE
MySpace HERE
Facebook HERE
Twitter HERE



Eefje rose to fame after winning the 2009 GPVN, which didn't only made her an act to watch but also a really popular one. The folk acoustic singer, mainly known for her soft and sweet vocals, often accompanied with a slow guitar melody, then went to release her debut album, "De Koek" on January 7, 2011, which charted #35 and lasted 12 weeks on the charts. With great catchy sounds and a cool lyrical style, Eefje stands out from your typical singer/songwriters and that's why I like her! She's not about making a deep confusing song, she's all catchy fun and well written tunes. And I can't help loving such a feel good artist! Eefje recently answered some questions for me and you know the result is amazing.

Interview and videos after the JUMP ...


Buy "De Koek" HERE (NL) or HERE (US, singles)

*How would you define yourself as an artist?
I see myself as a musician more than an artist. Making music, being creative and working with kind and talented people is what matters to me in the first place. Having success as an artist was never really my ambition in the first place, thought I'm very very happy to see that my music makes other people happy. Of course that means a lot to me, it makes being an artist very fulfilling and it motivates me to go on performing my own songs. But most important, I come from a musical family, so singing and writing songs is a very natural thing for me to do. Even if no one would listen to me I'd still do that.

*What can you tell me about your style?
I have a soft and feminine sound to my voice and way of performing I think. In my songs I try to do something innovative and non-traditional, but without being too experimental. I love songs with rich and unexpected melodic lines. I sing about everything that's in my head, so my lyrics are often personal and also a bit abstract.

*Who would you name as your biggest influence?/What is your dream collaboration?
Fiona Apple, because she is such a good and especially unique songwriter. I'm inspired by the weird and unexpected changes in the melody and rhythm of her songs.

*I know you come from a family of musicians, How has them affected your music? Did they make you want to be a singer?
No one in my family ever pushed me to start making music, but at family gatherings everyone used to sing together and play guitar, so I listened and later sang along. Without knowing I must've learned a lot from that. When I was about 12 my uncle gave me his old guitar en taught me some chords and fingerpicking. That was very useful. My brother had a little home-studio where we recorded my songs, that's where I learned to sing better. All of that helped me a lot, but of course I also have a musical talent because of our shared musical genes.

*You studied at the Tilburg Rockacademie, why did you made that decision?
 

I hoped to learn more about songwriting, because I wanted to write for other people and in assignment at that time. Studying there gave me the chance to spend all my time on making music, which was great.

*So you met your current boyfriend there, Skiggy Rapz, who's also a singer, how is it to live with another musician?
Yes, he is a rapper and producer. We understand each other well, because we can talk about making music, which through the years became our work and craft, besides of course our big passion. Obviously it's one of our favorite subjects of conversation. I learned a lot about producing from him, because we produced my album De Koek together.


*How was it working with him?
It was very relaxed, because we weren't afraid to be completely honest with each other. We didn't have many conflicts eather. He focussed on recording, mixing and drum-programming, I focussed on arrangements, sounds and finding the right musicians.

*Do you consider that some of your songs are influenced by him or his music?
Yes, we actually often have a different taste in music, but I love the energy he puts in his songs. My music became A little more catchy maybe and my lyrics and melody's got a different flow now sometimes.

*You won the Grote Prijs van Nederland in 2009, how does it feel to achieve that?
That of course was a very special experience. To get so much acknowledgment for what you do is overwhelming and very flaturing. Because of the Grote Prijs I became more self-confident and because of that more ambitious.

*How has it affected your carrer? Are you more popular now?
Yes, it totally affected my career. Before winning the Grote Prijs no one ever heard of me, after that a lot of people did. Also, before no one had any expectation. At first I was a bit frightened by the idea people were expecting things from me. I knew I had to take my chance and record an album, find musicians and the right people to work with. It wasn't that easy at first because I was used to being dreamy and very chaotic. The year after winning de Grote Prijs I learned how to work hard en make clear decisions. I also met my manager Jacco right after winning the Grote Prijs. He helped me with every non musical decision and plan I had to make. Working with him made a very big difference in my career.

*You released your debut, De koek, back in January, what can you tell me about it?
De koek in English means The Cookie, it is a song on the album. I see my album as a cookie I baked for the people, it's what I put on their plate. The song De koek is about my boyfriend tempting me to stay with him by baking cookies for me. I thought it was a funny and a catchy title.

*What is the story behind the album and singles cover?
On the cover of De koek you can see birds flying towards something that lies on the ground. If you look better you see there is a cookie on the ground the all want to pick from. It's a colorful and strong image in my opinion. The illustrations are also a bit dreamy, almost like in children books. I think that corresponds well with my soft voice and sound.

*Do you believe they have an important part in your music's style?
Not necessarily, though I think it is important that it is done well and it fits with the music's atmosphere.

*Where do you usually take inspiration from when writing?
Everything that's in my head, usually personal things. My style is often thoughtful, dreamy and abstract, though sometimes I just sing about things I did or people around me.

*When writing, do you try to accurately express what you're feeling or do you try to create a catchy sound?
I don't want the lyrics to catch too much attention. Melody's often mean more to me within a song, so I want the words to flow with that. Usually the words and music come out together, that goes very naturally. And all I write about is personal, so while writing I'm always expressing feelings and thoughts, musically and lyrically.

*Would you name a highlight song from the album?
"Verdriet", it is the last song on the album. It's probably not the most catchy song on the album, it's actually very slow and mellow, but it means a lot to me because of the subject.

*What can you tell me about the song "Genoeg"?
Genoeg means Enough. Lyricly it's one of the most abstract songs on the album. I'm singing about confusion, temptation, passion and doubt within love.

*You released a music video of it, how was it filmed? Who came up with that idea?
That video was part of the price package when I won de Grote Prijs. The people of Spread Motion Design made it and came up with the whole idea. The subject they took was temptation and confusion. I wake up in a place and can't remember how I got there. In the rest of the video you see flashbacks of me getting where I am at the beginning. They wanted to make a surrealistic Alice in Wonderland-like atmosphere. It was filmed before a greenscreen, the surroundings are all computer-animated.




*And about "Afdwaalt"?
The video of Afdwaalt is a little joke really, just a cheap video with stupid and funny dance-moves anyone can imitate. The guy dancing next to me is Marcel Tegelaar/Skiggy Rapz. I always have to laugh when he dances, because it looks so rediculous.

*I really like your song "Kantlijn", what else can you tell me about it?
It's one of the first songs I wrote in dutch and I wrote it at a time I was very nostalgic about childhood and I wanted to be carefree and lead a simple life. In the first place it was meant to be a song for children, but it became to philosophical for that. I think at the time I wrote Kantlijn I found it hard to grow up and deal with responsibility's, I see that now. I lost feeling with that song a bit, because I've changed a lot the last few years and I think about things almost completely different now.

*Are you already working on new material?
Yes, I'm always working on songs.

*What can we expect from you in the coming months?/What are your plans from now on?
We are just starting this summers festival-season with the whole band at the moment, so we are going to play all through the Netherlands. Also we are preparing the release of De koek in Belgium, that will find place in October this year. This autumn we are going to do another clubtour in the Netherlands.









The Voice US 2011: Top 4 Perform: The Final!

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UPDATE: Javier Colon is the winner! Dia Frampton was the Runner Up!

We saw the best contestants advancing last week from each team, quirky Dia Frampton, soulful Javier Colon, folkish Vicci Martinez and rocker Beverly McClellan. With the judges scores being completely useless and the results being incrediblly predictable, given that the contestants each were the one which had charted better of their team. Tonight, the top 4 will perform an origial song and they will be duetting with their mentors! Who will be crowned the winner?.... This is The Voice!

Comments, ratings and videos after the JUMP ...


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Round 1

Javier Colon

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"Stitch By Stitch" - 0/10 - - VIDEO

Dia Frampton

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"I Won't Back Down" (Tom Petty) with Blake Shelton - 0/10 - - VIDEO

Vicci Martinez

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"Afraid to Sleep" - 0/10 - - VIDEO

Beverly McClellan

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"Beautiful" (Christina Aguilera) with Xtina - 0/10 - - VIDEO

Round 2

Javier Colon

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"Man in the Mirror" (Michael Jackson) with Adam Levine - 0/10 - - VIDEO

Dia Frampton

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"Inventing Shadows" - 0/10 - - VIDEO

Vicci Martinez

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"Love is a Battlefield" (Pat Benatar) with Cee Lo Green - 0/10 - - VIDEO

Beverly McClellan

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"Lovesick" - 0/10 - - VIDEO
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UPDATE: THE WINNER IS MATTHEW RAYMOND-BAKER!!!!! Marina D'Amico is the runner up. And let's thank Chansong once more, who provided the translations every week! See you next year girl!

This is finally it!! Last week, the jazzy quirky Maryvette Lair was cut coming at 3rd place leaving the youngsters to battle it out in the final show. The big voiced pop star Marina D'Amico vs the dancing acoustic guy Matthew Raymond-Baker! Who will be crowned the winner after tonight??! ... It's time to face the music!

Comments, ratings, videos and translations after the JUMP ...


Round 1

Matthew Raymond-Barker

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Love the Way You Lie/Don't Stop the Music/Tik Tok (Eminem/Rihanna/Ke$ha) - 8,5/10 - Mmm .. This three songs mashed up? I can't see that working. I loved the way he performed the Eminem tune, very slow and sort of acoustic but the transition to Ke$ha was wierd and that wasn't a very good part. His voice wasn't good at all there but he got to dance a lot in this performance! He's really enjoying that! Haha. Last song and the transition is as wierd as in the first. It's like cutting from a song to another. Whoever arranged this should get a mash up class! That said, the performance was really enjoyable. - VIDEO

W: How are you Matt? You hear? (Audience applauds and screams) it says it all! You hear the ovation? You sing well, you dance well! Are you in top form tonight?
Matthew: Definitely! I must be in top form, it's the final!
S: You get off to a flying start! It was great! You are in top form and you are dangerous for us tonight!
P: Of course you're dangerous Matt! It's great to see you in the final and it's true, you desserve it . We feel your generosity, your will power. I am glad to see you in the final! Welcome Matt!
D: MG! You did it! If people knew how hard it is to sing and dance at the same time, to do such a performance! And you managed to do it from beginning to end! Wow! You set us on fire, bravo!

Duet 1

This is a bit wierd, isn't it? By the way, is it just me or Matt looks a bit sick? Well, this is pretty boring and lame. I don't get the song selection and it's not a great song either. Well, let's hope the next duet is much better than this one. That was no good.


Marina D'Amico

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Crazy in Love/Crazy (Beyoncé Knowles/Gnarls Barkley) - 9/10 - This was one of my faves from her! Partly cause I love that songs and the mash up is really well done, and one everybody does! Her voice sounds amazing as always, the Beyonce part was great but I wanted her to go really crazy with the other! That's what that song is all about. She was a bit too perfect as they usually call her. Still, vocally, she's so much stronger than Matthew and would definitely make an amazing album, Matthew however has the performance skills.  - VIDEO

P: You've made progress. It was really good, you give power, you are generous and sexy and you're only 17 years! I loved it!
D: I agree with Henry about your evolution. It was a good performance, it was fun.  If I were Beyonce, I would say: Marina you're hot!
W: I agree! I loved it, you rocked the house! Frankly, I know the pressure of a final (Willems is the winner of Nouvelle Star 2006), you know Beyonce is present and to make such a performance, it's fantastic!
S: I could talk for hours about you! It's so easy to work with you, you understand quickly, you advance quickly and you have progressed well in terms of voice, it becomes increasingly fluid. We will have fun tonight!


Duet 2

What a great song for them to duet! This is one of my all time faves songs and is great for a female/male duet. Matthew's voice sounds lovely here but I think the songs is better for Marina's voice, after all, she's more an Alicia Key's singer than Matt. But that made a great duet! Even though perfect Marina mumbled the lyrics at a part! So I'd give my vote to Matt on this one ... Plus, he was enjoying this much more!


Round 2

Matthew Raymond-Barker

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Vivre ou survivre (Daniel Balavoine) - 8,5/10 - I can hardly understand him! This song sounds a bit flat, the main problem is that he picks easy French songs which are mostly shitty and boring. That's why he's so much better in English. Still, this song kind of fits his dancy self. Plus he has some swagger here! He jumps on the judges table! Well, that was good, he's crazy! Haha!  - VIDEO

W: It's hard work to put  "Soul" in this difficult song . I'm surprised by the musical arrangement . You did a good job! bravo
S: Singing after Beyonce is  not easy eh? Listen, I had a nice time!
P: Matt, now, I recognize you, you have your style and if this song should be your single, we recognize the  Matt's imprint in this very difficult song by Balavoine.
D: Thank you Henry! It's a very nice compliment! Sure, it's a very difficult song to sing and you put your personal touch. Bravo, wonderful performance.


Marina D'Amico

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Tombé du ciel (Jacques Higelin)- 9/10 - She's singing on a rotating tiny platform, there are several around the stage. I like her a bit more in French cause her voice sounds more unique and interesting than in English. And I think her coldness thing is because her face always looks the same. She's this crazy big eyes wide open all the time. I though love her little sharp shouts! And a perfect vocal performance is always nice! - VIDEO

P: You are graceful, funny and poetic! It's easy for you. I was touched! If  this should be your single, if you were to win, this song would  have the "Marina style". I loved!
D: I thought I recognized a little of the Björk's style you love. I liked this performance. This song suits you well!
W: I felt it was like Vanessa Paradis meets Björk. But we should not compare because Marina is Marina and it was great. Voila!
S: (public) you liked it? (Standing ovation). This is a good direction for a possible album, there was a universe which was a little enchanting. I agree with the other juges.You've nailed the song! Bravo! It was great


Round 3

Matthew Raymond-Barker

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Man in the Mirror (Michael Jackson) - 7/10 -  This was definitely one of his best but I still liked "Time After Time" much more, it was more honest and pure. This one was a great one but I felt it was too gimmicky. He's sounding really good here overall though there are some atrocious notes in there. He missed the same note like three times. Oh! Padovani's face!! Priceless! It was like he was thinking, "WTF is happeing here?" Haha. Oh, he missed a note again?! What's happening Matthew? You're much better. Still, that was nice. Yeah, he knows he sucked, he's about to cry and telling the people not to clap for him. - VIDEO

W: I liked it! I know you aren't happy with you. You had a little vocal problem but you hold on! You're an artist, bravo!
S: This happens even to great artists! What matters most is the energy and atmosphere that is put in a song and you did a good job! You have made incredible progress! Congratulations Matt!
P: Don't worry, what we will remember  is your generosity and your ease. You have a wonderful stage presence. you were classy as usual. I am a true fan!
D: It's true that this problem happens even to great artists. You've proven you're a great artist because you don't let go! You're a champion. I love you a lot Matt.




Marina D'Amico

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Calling You (Jevetta Steele) - 10/10 - Wow! This is really nice! Marina is joined by Olivier in the piano here and this is definitely one of the best performances of the night, if not the best. She sounds so good on this song! It's like a jazzy soulful singer has reincarnated in Marina's body. She's showing lots of emotion and the sultry vocals are lovely. Definitely the highlight of the night! And you then call her cold! In your face! Haha. - VIDEO

P: Marina, smile please! It was a beautiful performance! It's ideal for your wonderful voice. I had a great time. Thank you.
D: Super fine performance. I loved to live the competition  with you, I'm glad to have met you and I'll miss your jokes! *
Marina: I've a new one ...
D: You'll tell it to us later!
W: Marina, it  was sublime, there was a lot of emotion. I have nostalgia because I feel the end of this adventure. I am proud to see you and Matt in the final .
S: It was an honor to work with you. This is just the beginning of your story. I am proud to have crossed your path. (To the jugdes) we had fun together, I have a real respect and a complicity with you! Thank you friends!

* Editor’s note: Marina has a "humoristic sense of humor", she kills us every week with rotten jokes untranslatable and be happy with that, you avoid the worst  because even if I start to get used to, I'm struck with amazement at each new attempt. I give you the latest one  in French, those who can understand, I'm sorry!
-C'est quoi un squelette qui parle? des "os-parleurs"!


Beyonce Performance HERE

Bruno Mars and Top 2


Photos: X Factor USA autitions: Judges rounds
Read more »

My Top 50 Reality Singers: Quirky Countdown

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Are you ready for a new section? I am! I know I sometimes start a new section, or just say I will, and never actually finish them or even start them. But that won't be the case here! I will start and finish this section! Even if it takes me 4 or 5 months, which probably will. Haha. Let's hope that doesn't happen though.

So, what's this section about? Well, you all know that I'm a heavy watcher of singing reality competitions. I've watched since Idol to X Factor to The Voice to Got Talent in the hopes of finding this quirky amazing undiscovered talent. And I'm confident to say I've found a bunch! This will be a list type section in which I'll post my top 50 contestants in every singing competition that exists based on Idol/XF/The Voice/Got Talent formats. Yeah, you've heard it right, every single one of them! And no, I'm not lying to you, I've watched all the contestants I could, more than a 1000 and selected the ones that impressed me enough for this list.

Yes, that was both super hard and I got really overloaded by this people. All contestants that made it to the semi finals were elegible for this list, so that was extra hard. I narrowed the more than 1000 people to 660 aprox, still a huge number of people. So how did I whittle this number to just 50? Well, I selected the contestants that I remembered and where quirky enough for the next cut, and I ended up with 130 or so contestants. Then a ranking and  I ended up with the 50!

So if I haven't already bore you, I'll expand a bit more on what I considered when choosing this contestants.  The basis is the weirder the better! I love the weirdos, I can't help it. For females, I love the crazy contestans with unique recognizable voices, with this quriky distinctive thing. And for males, I tend to like this intense sort of acousitc folkish guys, again with really recognizable voices. So this list will have lots of that! 

Obviously, this list is extremely biased and I bet that you'll be left with a major WTF? after looking at the rankings. This contestants would not even make it to the final postitons of any similar lists. I like to say that this list is unique, as the contestants on it, cause I've not seen any list that considers every contestant in the world nor selects them considering how crazy they are. That said, the contestants select are all a bit new, 2007 to 2011, but that doesn't mean that I've not watched past seasons. The fact is that in recent years, quirky contestants have been more common than in the past, where diva types where the only popular contestants. I'll be updating this list once a year, or every 6 months after it's posted, with the new talent that appears every year!

Below, there's a .txt file to prove that I actually watched all this people with a list of the 660 people that I originally chose. I'll be also providing clues on each of the contestants before I post them, for example, there will be a clue on who is 4th in the 5th placer post. I'd like to see what your guesses are!

Ok, I won't keep talking,  I'll start with my Honorable Mentions. And one more thing, I want to know what you think about it, so COMMENT!!! 

Download the full list with 660 HERE

Dutch Week: Introducing: Lake Montgomery

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MySpace HERE
Facebook HERE


Lake Montgomery, which is actually her real name, was born in the small town of Paris, Texas but now is residing in Amsterdam while trying to have a carrer in the music bussines of the dutch scene. With a really appealing vibrato, her voice sounds really unique in her music, which is folk without doubt. Lake is now part of the Popronde 2011, a tour around the Netherlands which features many promising new artists and is prepairing to release her debut EP, which is already available for pre-order. I guess moving to Amsterdam actually paid off for her! I wonder how she would have done in the american market, but considering this one is much bigger, the dutch one, which is considerably smaller is great for her. Let's see how well it goes for her after her EP is out, but right now, things look really good for Lake!

Videos after the JUMP ...

Pre-order her EP HERE







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Site HERE
MySpace HERE



Definitely the most enigmatic artist in the list. And you are probably asking why now. Well, cause there's nothing about her anywhere! The only things we know is that she's dutch and comes from Utrecht ... and that's it! So why writing a post about her? Well, cause she's super interesting! The only song she's, titled "The Weaving Loom", shows a folky, very bluegrass influenced sound, with her charming and intriguing vocals. She's an artist to watch. Let's see what else she brings us but I see a lot of promise here!

Video after the JUMP ...

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UPDATE: Maryvette Lair is cut! Marina and Matthew are in the final!

Losing Sarah Manesse last week was a huge loss for the show. A three girl semi final would have been amazing but instead, we've got Matthew. He's not a bad singer but the girls outsang him. Tonight each contestant will sing three songs, two new ones plus their original audition song. Who will be going home tonight? ... It's time to face the music!

Comments, ratings, videos and translations after the JUMP ...



Round 1

Matthew Raymond-Barker

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Like a Prayer (Madonna) - 8/10 -  Isn't this a wierd song choice Matthew? I think so but it gibes him the chance to dance, which is probably what he wanted here. That said, he's showing some really nice vocals in this performance but he wasn't supposed to be here! It should have been Sarah! There are millions of singers like Matthew but only a few like Sarah. Well, one thing I like about Matt is that he pulls a pretty entertaining show and not so bad vocals, so I guess this is the fun part of the show!

W: It was great! I love this song, I love your voice. The show starts well!
S: We have three singers, we have three different universes. Very good performance! Bravo!
P: Well done Matt! There is now a style "Matthew", I like it!  I am glad to see you at this level! Bravo!
D: Yeahhh! Thank you Henry! Bravo Matt! Darling You Did Great! It was perfect! I am proud of you!


Maryvette Lair

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L'Accordéoniste (Edith Piaf) 9,5/10 -  Edith Piaf and Maryvette! Why didn't she do this before?! This is the perfect pick for her, though it's actually a bit old fashioned, and yes, boring. But her voice makes this beautiful. Her jazzy tone works amazing in this song and though I don't understand a single thing she was saying, I felt that! She was really into it and nailed that song! It will be criminal if she's not the winner!

S: Ok Miss! You make a nice duo, Chris and you! Your time  has comed! You can win this contest! I had a great time!
P: Maryvette, reassure me, this wasn't the song of the year you were born, wasn't it ? I'm joking! You've nailed it! There are few singers who can sing such a song! Bravo!
D: You sang and danced the java! It touched me! Great performance! It was beautiful!
W: You're amazing darling! It was perfect!


Marina D'Amico

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Wonderwall (Oasis) - 9/10 -  This song is utter great! Definitely a fave of mine. And Marina is nailing it! The arrengment is really nice and allow her to show her unique voice! The slow start was great but in the second part is where Marina shined! The girl is showing some feeling here, I don't see what people want her to do when they call her cold. Is she supposed to start crying while singing and have a major meltdown? She'll be a great winner, cause I don't see anybody but her winning right now.

P: I understand why you have such a pretty voice! You're Sicilian! Sicilians love to sing! I loved it! thank you, it was great!
D: In 1994 I was 17 and you made me relive fond memories! Thank you. It was a beautiful performance!
W: Is there a song you cannot sing? Every time you sing, it's great! I like this kind of pop-rock song, it suits you well! Your voice is sweet and powerful! It was great!
S: You sang "Wonderwall" and it was wondeful! It was great! you are a mixture of finesse and power! Super performance!


Round 2

Matthew Raymond-Barker

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Viva la Vida (Coldplay) - 8/10 - (Audition Song)  I love this song!!! When Coldplay performs it ... Matt singing this? Meh ... He's good enough for it but he looks copycat with this. Why are the dancers pretending to play the violin? Wouldn't it be better if they were actually playing it? Still, that performance was fun enough and I guess I could hear a full album of him cause his voice is really recordable.

W: I think you have progressed tremendously since your first audition. I'm glad you're still in the competition!
S: I agree with Chris! I'm proud of you! You really have a style! Very good performance!
P: You sang this song as a soul singer and it's your style! You are generous and the audience loves it! With you it's "Viva la vida" Matt!
D: When I heard you sing that song in the casting I fell in love and when I see you now singing with confidence and experience, I think it's great!


Maryvette Lair

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Libertine (Mylène Farmer) 9/10 -   Ehh ... Don't ever do that again Maryvette! This is just wierd. I really like her when she goes crazy but I don't see the sense of going wierd just a week before the final. I mean, this is damn good but it will be really polarizing for the rest of the audience. And I see the majority of them not liking it. But I do, cause she shown me the inner wierdo!

S: Wow! This is dangerous for us! You gave a new direction to this song, it was very original, your universe is very special. I loved it! Bravo!
P: You do what you want with the songs, you impose your universe and you go from Piaf to Farmer with ease! We love you as you are! I loved it!
D: OMG! Wow! I envy you because with the boys around you, it was hot! Your rendition was  beautiful! You have given a new facet to this song! I lose my words! I loved it!
W: Of course it was great! It was huge! Olivier likes that side, a bit frivolous! Bravo!



Marina D'Amico

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Amsterdam (Jacques Brel) - 10/10 -  This is nice? The song is really slow and I don't think it really suits her voice but she's trying to show her more emotional side. And I think she succeded. The song is really well sang, though I don't see the quirkiness here but she has done an amazing job with this! Wow! That was really emotional! And it was definitely the best of the night ....

P: It's a difficult song! You started with grace and you finished really powerful , that's what the song needed ! Bravo!
D: It's the first time you sing but not being aware of your voice! You left out the singer to focus on emotions and it touched me! You've focussed on the story! Yesssss!
W: It was outstanding! Sublime from A to Z! It was perfect!
S: I'm proud! Marina is too humble, she doesn't realize her talent, and she proved  at just 17 years old she could sing a powerful song with a fantastic mastery! I was blowed away!





Round 3

Matthew Raymond-Barker

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Ne retiens pas tes larmes (Amel Bent) - 7,5/10 -  Matt is going all emotional and slow here, just like Marina did in the last performance. Not a bad idea to end with emotion but his voice in French doesn't sound as good as it does in English and I was somehow not feeling that. I actually found it very boring, it was all too flat.

W: I do not know who is the best! This performance was sublime! A real pleasure!
S: You have grown so much! Bravo! It was beautiful!
P: I think it's great  you have sung in French for your third performance. I am pleased! It was great! You moved me with a "piano-voice"! it's amazing! It will be difficult for the public to choose!
D: We worked a lot on this song with the vocal coach. She'll be very proud of you backstage because you've nailed the song! I wanted to cry, You touched me! Bravo! I love you!





Maryvette Lair

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I Want You Back (The Jackson Five) - 10/10 - (Audition Song) This song is really good for Maryvette! She's showing her jazz self and who to make a song unique! The final result may be a bit wierd but that's who she is! And she's again feeling it! As in every performance of hers, she shows emotion and that it comes from the heart! I see a great carrer for her after this! No doubt about it!

S: You have a lot of grace, you have placed your style! This performance is a summary of what you are! : Finesse, grace and class! Bravo!
P: I liked each of your performances! I don't want to see you go! You have the X Factor!
D: I had a wonderful time! I have nothing to add! except Thank you!
W: You sing with grace, you have an  universe and it touch me! Bravo




Marina D'Amico

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It's Oh So Quiet (Björk) - 10/10 - (Audition Song) I remember loving Marina's audition when I first saw it. She seemed the quirky crazy contestant and she's doing that here! And I'm loving this one too! The crazy shouts, the voice at it's quirky extreme, the chorus! It was all incredible! Definitely the performance of the night and her best of the season! I'm seeing myself playing this over and over again, yes, I loved it that much!

P: It was incredible! A magic moment!! I loved it!
D: I loved it! There is not much else to say!
W: It was the grand finale! No one can doubt you have your place in the final after such a performance! It was perfect!
S: You've nailed it! It was beautiful, current and fun. I'm super proud of you! I'm impressed!

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Raising artist, Krystl is one of the biggest dutch promises of this year. Signed with Universal and winner of several awards, such as the 3FM Award for Best Newcomer, the jazzy singer has just released her debut album, "Rolling", this past May and has already recived a lot of praise for it, charting at #8. The album is definitely one of the highlights of the year, with it's soul pop sound, very similar to Anouk's but with a much softer vibe. The "Bottles" singer recently answered some questions for me and the result is super interesting, so be sure to read the interview!

Interview and videos after the JUMP ...


Buy "Rolling" HERE (NL)

*How would you define yourself as an artist?
I'm a cheerful person who makes energetic, groovy pop music with some rock and soul influences.

*Who would you name as your biggest influence?/What is your dream collaboration?
I used to listen to so many artists so I really can't pick one!! My taste of music is huge; I like pop, soul, rock but I also love country music. I just love good songs with strong lyrics!! Songs that makes me happy or move/touch me. My music is influenced by; Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Beth Hart, Amos Lee, Michael Jackson, James Morrisson, John Mayer and so on...I would love to work with any of the artists I just mentioned and which are still alive.

*How did you get started with music?
Actually, I started making music when I was 16. I didn't know I had a talent for singing and in my youth I never dreamed about a career in music. I used to be a dancer; dancing was my passion! I was 16 when I met guitar player Bart Jan. He lived close by to my parents house and asked me if I would like to sing in his band. We did some gigs in the neighbourhood and that was really exciting. I discovered the feeling being on stage is magic. That's where it all started!

*I read you studied at a conservatory?What made you make that decision?
Actually, I never wanted to study at a conservatory! It didn't even pop up in my mind. It really happened by coincidence! The same guitar player Bart Jan did an audition at the conservatory and the band and I were there to support him. So we played three songs for the jury. Bart was rejected (which was horrible) and instead of Bart , they asked ME to sign up! I was so surprised, because I never knew I had the talent to sing. I've always believed in the fact that things happen for a reason so from that moment I really wanted to go for singing!

*Your first steps were as a backing singer, what did you learn from that experience?
Yeah that was a great time! I had the chance to see how it works in the Dutch music business. Because of that experience I knew what I wanted and what I didn't want for my own career.

*Do you consider that the artists you worked with influenced your own sound?
I guess nothing happens on purpose. I worked very often with Dutch singer Do because I did her backing vocals. People told me some years ago that I did the same things with my mic just like she does and I sometimes sounded like her. I didn't even realize it! The same thing happened with Beth Hart. She is one of my hero's and I went to a lot of her shows. Five years ago, I moved myself like her on stage. I became aware of that because I didn't want to act like someone else. It's ok that artists inspire you but as an artist you'll have to find your own unique style. For me, it was a long journey to find out who I was and what I really wanted. Now I'm not scared anymore to be just myself so I can finally say that I'm really me.

*Would you say that your singing style has many retro characteristics? 
I guess so, because I'm influenced by many artists from another generation and I wrote songs with songwriters with different musical backgrounds.

*Considering the success of artists like Adele and Anouk, who move in the same style that you do, do you consider that you can have the same success they did?
I can only dream about a carreer just like them! That would be amazing!

*Do you ever considered going for a more popular sound, like pop?
Do you believe that soul is the new pop? Well I think at the moment I make pop songs with rock and soul influences. It's popular enough to hear it on the radio so that's great! At the moment you hear a lot pop/soul music on the radio so it's hard to stand out.

*So your debut album, "Rolling", came out recently, what else can you tell me about it?
It's a feel-good album!! Before I started the writing I wanted to make an uptempo album, where people can dance. I think we succeeded with "Rolling". People who bought the album are sending me messages or writing stuff on the internet, that the songs are making them happy and that's awesome!! It's great for instance that the song "Leaving Home" moves people from 13 years until 60 years old. "Rolling" is also a track on the album and we picked that one for the title. It says something about the start of my career.

*You wrote all the songs of it? Where do you find inspiration when doing so?
Most of the songs were written with Martijn Konijnenburg and Blair Mackichan. They are both amazing songwriters and I have a "click" with them. The writing proces is different everytime. We're just jamming and come up with some lyrics. When we got some melodies, we start to discuss what we want the song to be about. The topics on the album are just the normal things in life.

*The first single was "Golden Days", what's it's meaning?
The song is about just the nice days in your life. Make the best out of it.

*That song was used on an ad campaign? How did that happen?
I was selected with three others singers for the ad campaign. At the end they chose me and the song "Golden Days" because it matched perefectly the brand and product.

*Tell me more about the song "Bottles" ...
It's about a break up between a man and a woman. They're not communicating anymore and that's the most important thing in a relationship. The relationship ends but not in a very heavy way, I don't like to give the songs a negative vibe. Peoples first impression is that it's a happy song because of the groovy beat and the happy melody but if you listen to the lyrics you'll know better.

*You filmed music videos for both of them, how was that like? Who came up with the idea of them?
Golden Days was shooted in Barcelona and that was so much fun! I was walking through Barcelona with love shaped balloons in my hand. It was funny how the people were reacting when I handed over one of the balloons. We recorded the video in just four hours. Some directors came up with the ideas for Golden Days and Bottles but during the process I also put my ideas into it.

*Which part of the musical process is your favourite? The one you most enjoy?
That's a difficult question because every process is very special!! But to perform and be on stage with my amazing band and to see smiling faces in the audience, is what I love to do most.

*Are you already working on a second album?
I'm totally ready for it!! I'm already making plans for some co-writes. Martijn and I called each other several times to discuss the second album. This week I will start writing for my next album! Looking forward to it!

*Are you aiming for the same sound as in the first album?
Well, we'll have to see what's gonna happen during the writing process but I don't think my second album will sound completely different. Although I'm aiming to bring my music to the next level. Think out of the box. Breaking my boundaries.

*What will you do to keep it innovative?
I don't know yet, I think we're going to try to use other sounds and instruments. First we have to write some amazing songs!! That's what it's all about!

*You recentyl won the 3FM Awards for Best Newcomer, what was going through your mind when you recived the award?
I really never expected to win the Award! So I really didn't know what to say to the audience so the only thing I could come up with was: THANK YOU!!!

*How does it feel now?
I'm still very happy and proud! It means a lot to me to win this award because it's a public prize. The Award stands in my room so every day I can look at it!

*Do you consider it has been a great boost for your carrer?
Yeah I guess so, because it's a great event and an important Award in the music scene. It was also great publicity.

*You've been nominated to a TMF Borsato Award, which names the most promising acts, how did you feel when someone like him chose you?
It was such an honour that Marco Borsato nominated me for this Award! He has been one of the greatest artist in the Netherlands for such a long time. He's a great singer and performer. It's amazing that he likes what I'm doing and that he likes my songs and album.

*What can we expect from you in the coming months?/What are your plans from now on?
This summer you can find me and my band playing on several festivals, which is great because it's a nice way to introduce my songs to a big audience. We have so much fun on stage and hopefully the audience will enjoy our show! In October and November we will be doing a club tour and I'm really looking forward to it! Since I started singing, I dreamed having my own club tour in the Netherlands. I think it's going to be great; it will be a very energetic show!!


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