Now I Know (From Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul)

Now I Know

by Blake Lewis

     Okay, I’ve got a big confession to make: I knew practically nothing about American Idol before I auditioned.  I didn’t know millions tuned in each week.  I didn’t know  they had theme nights and celebrity mentors and guest judges.  I didn’t even know who had won when or who won what.

     I just didn’t know.

     I didn’t know about the night the three divas — Jennifer, Fantasia, and LaToya–were in the Bottom 3, or about Constantine’s rebellious rock.  I didn’t know Carrie Underwood grew up on a farm.  I would have totally come in last place in an Idol trivia game.

     Honestly, I had never even seen a full episode before I auditioned.

     Oh, I’d caught a performance or two as I walked by the TV at a friend’s house.  I remember watching Elliott Yamin.  He had that neo-soul sound I love.  He knew who he was as a vocalist.  I liked him a lot.

     Other than that, I didn’t have a perception about American Idol one way or the other.  Well, maybe I did–I thought it was a bit cheesy.  But hey, I didn’t know

     My friend Josh called me the night before the auditions hit Seattle.  “Hey!  The American Idol auditions are tomorrow.  You have to come!”

     I thought it over a bit and asked myself, Why not?  After all, I had the same chance as anybody else.  I had nothing to lose.  I had just quit my job doing construction to focus on music full-time and was living with my family again.  I told myself, If you make it, you make it.  If you don’t, you don’t.

     There was only one problem–I missed the registration.  I was a bit disappointed, but later that night I was playing a show at the Triple Door in Seattle, and Josh called me again.

     “Hey, I just went to Key Arena and registered for American Idol.  You can go there right now.  There’s no one in line,” he said.  “It will take you two second and then tomorrow morning I’ll pick you up at five, we’ll make some sandwiches, and we’ll go audition.”

     I didn’t realize it was a conversation that would change my life forever.

     The next few months were pretty much a blur.  They were so full, so exciting, so packed that the details get all mashed together in my mind.  I did some beat-boxing–that I know–and I did a lot of singing.  I met some of my biggest inspirations, which was awesome.

     It was cool to sing with Rudy Cardenas again.  We’d been in two different Seattle-based a cappella groups–Kickshaw was mine and M-Pact was his.  Rudy was the friend I could trust, the friend I confided in.  My low point hit when he got cut from the Top 24.

   I had a great time writing a song with Chris Sligh and playing guitar with my man Chris Richardson.  But even when it was down to the top 10, I still didn’t really understand what the American Idol experience meant, outside of the little bubble we lived in as contestants day and night.

     Then I made it into the Top 3, and flew back to Seattle to film the homecoming piece of the show.  When I landed at Boeing Field, I started to get it.  That’s when I finally began to understand. To know.

     Everywhere I went, there were hordes of people.  Westlake Center was packed, people filled the plaza.  Seeing all of those faces, those fans, those friends–all those who came to see me, to appreciate my art–that was really tight.  And my mom and dad were there, of course.

     I was getting it.

     I met Pat Monahan of Train.  I beat-boxed with Sir Mix-A-Lot.  We hit all the FOX affiliates for TV interviews and went to four different radio stations.  I had a house party with seventy friends.  It was all incredible and overwhelming.

     On the return flight, I sat and thought about it all.  You see, I put myself and my goals out there to the universe all the time.  I believe that things happen for a reason, and if you project yourself in a positive way and just be true to yourself, then good things will come back to you.

     Just hold on and stay true, even through times of struggle.  Never stop imagining, wishing, and planning.  Someday those wishes will start to take shape.  It’s amazing. It works.  For me, American Idol was absolute proof, validating that it can happen to anyone.

     Trust me; I know.

     Now I really, really know.

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Les Miserables – Official Trailer

I just got goosebumps simply by watching this trailer. I think Anne Hathaway delivers. Oscars buzz? Let’s see! Can’t wait!

Forbes.com Reveals The Highest Paid Actress For 2012

This year’s list of Forbes’ Top 10 of Highest Paid Actress is in!  And the actress who came in first is someone who has been criticized for her underwhelming acting.  Here’s an excerpt from the news posted by Dorothy Pomerantz of Forbes.com:

Studios are notoriously stingy when it comes to paying young actors for the first film in a planned franchise. Forget about the $10 million they would have had to shell out to get a big name — an up-and-comer is lucky to get $800,000.

That changes dramatically when it comes to the third and fourth films in a series. Suddenly, the star becomes indispensable and the studio has to pay up. That’s whyKristen Stewart has vaulted to the top of our annual list of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood.

At this point, could anyone else play Bella Swan inTwilight? Probably not; if the studio tried to switch in another actress, fans would revolt. So for the last twoTwilight films, Stewart has been able to demand an estimated $12.5 million per film, plus a share of the profits.

Her two co-stars, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, get paid the same, but Stewart earned more than them this year because of Snow White and the Huntsman. Stewart’s earnings between May 2011 and May 2012 totaled $34.5 million, helping her rank 43rd on our Celebrity 100 list. (The list measures a combination of money and fame.)

At 22, Stewart is the youngest woman on our list by 16 years. The next youngest is Kristen Wiig who is 38. Last year Stewart ranked 5th on our list of the Highest-Paid Actresses tied with Julia Roberts. This year Roberts ranked 6th.

Women are still paid less than men in the movie business. The 10 actresses who make up our list earned a total $200 million compared to the $361 million brought in by our top 10 men.

Source:http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorothypomerantz/2012/06/19/kristen-stewart-tops-our-list-of-highest-paid-actresses/

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Source: Enzo Fornino/LFI/Newscom

With the cult-like success of the Twilight Saga (with Snow White And The Huntsman on the side), Kristen Stewart is at the top of the list!  And she has not shown any improvement in her acting!  It goes to show that superior acting prowess can get you somewhere (Oscars, Golden Globes, etc. ), but choosing the best roles, or to be a part of a MAJOR movie franchise (and of course with a bit of luck) can make you the highest paid actress.  Here’s the rest of the list:

Forbes’ Highest Paid Top 10 Actresses For 2012

  • 1. Kristen Stewart, $34.5 million
  • 2. Cameron Diaz, $34 million
  • 3. Sandra Bullock, $25 million
  • 4. Angelina Jolie, $20 million
  • 5. Charlize Theron, $18 million
  • 6. Julia Roberts, $16 million
  • 7. Sarah Jessica Parker, $15 million
  • 8. Meryl Streep, $12 million
  • 9. Kristen Wiig, $12 million
  • 10. Jennifer Aniston, $11 million

Final thoughts: What more if Kristen Stewart can REALLY ACT?  Peace to all die-hard fans.

Happiness!

  • Do you listen to Classical Music?

               – nope

 

  • Can you touch your nose with your tongue?

               – I can’t

 

  • When you think of applesauce, what comes to you mind?

               – American Pie? Haha!

 

  • Black Ink or Blue Ink?

               – Black

 

  • Do you like chicken?

               – Oh yeah!

 

  • Is your mouse wireless?

               – yup.

 

  • Do you wear sunglasses?

               – I’m not a fan of it.

 

  • Have you ever tried dog or cat food of any kind?

               – no!

 

  • Milk or Dark Chocolate?

               – Milk.  I just couldn’t stand the taste of Dark chocolate.  Chocolates for me are made to taste sweet, not bitter. =P

 

  • What color is your towel?

               – yellowish…prolly because it’s dirty already…im kiddin.

 

  • Milk shake or Smoothie?

               – Smoothie.

 

  • Do you like to drink water?

               – Of course.

 

  • What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done?

               – i cant think of any.

 

  • Pork chop or Chicken?

               – Chicken

 

  • Day or night?

               – Day

 

  • Have you read “I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I Have To Kill You” by Ally Carter?

               – I’m not a bookworm so NO.

 

  • Are you a fan of bubbles?

               – not really.

 

  • What number is this question?

               – Shox I dunno! 18?

 

  • Did you answer the last question right?

               – I dunno! Haha!

 

  • When you see the color yellow, what comes to your mind?

               – Happiness! =)

 

If you have any questions or surveys that I could kill time and answer, feel free to send them to franco_buendia@yahoo.com

Windows Surface Video Reveal

Wow.

Steve Ballmer has just officially announced Microsoft’s own tablet called, Surface, gearing up take Microsoft and Windows 8 in a Mexican standoff with the iPad and Android.

What do you guys think? Can Microsoft go head to head with Apple products? Sound off below.

Windows Surface Video Reveal.

Movie Review: PROMETHEUS

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Source: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/prometheus_2012/pictures/#70

Let me start things off by saying that I have never been this surprised for a movie ending, well at least for this year.  The ending for the Avengers came as no surprise for the fans, me included, for it left us thinking, “Ah, so it’s going to be Thanos for the sequel.”  But in this Ridley Scott’s Sci-Fi Epic, the final scene only left me jaw-dropped in awe.  My buddy KG was the first one who notice my surprised face, uttering the words, “AAAH….PREQUEL!!!” (He called my reaction PRICELESS.)

As far as I’m concern, Prometheus is Scott’s prequel to his widely successful Sci-Fi classic Alien—all Sci-Fi junkies would agree.

The movie started with breathtaking aerial shots of our planet…or was it?  The structures and landscapes were Earth-like until a Humanoid stripped down to his undergarments and drank what seemed to be a poisonous substance, eventually killing him.  His remains were washed away by the waterfalls, and voila, a new DNA was formed, hence the creation of humankind.

Charlize Theron and Idris Elba (Credit: KERRY BROWN – COURTESY TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION)

Ridley Scott went back to his roots and to what he does best. As THE director of Alien and Blade Runner, he returns to the genre he helped define. With Prometheus, he creates a groundbreaking mythology, in which a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.

Although it’s more of the same Sci-Fi formula of an Unlikely Protagonist’s New Discovery–Exploration of a New World–Things Fcked Up–People Starts Dying–Survivors Go Back Home kind of scenarios, the execution of the plot was done tightly, leaving the audience at the edge of their seats.  The CG aspects of the movie were pretty impressive and at a certain degree of grandiosity.  Best experienced in IMAX 3D wherein you can get to immerse into the Sci-Fi setting of this unknown planet, or inside Prometheus, or inside the giant Alien Beehive dome.  Without any doubts, the movie is technically stunning, gorgeous, and haunting to say the least.

Logan Marshall Green, Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender (PHOTO: KERRY BROWN – COURTESY TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION)

However, I didn’t like the script.  I personally think that the script per se was a bit dense (just remember the line, “Oh there’s the head!” after they opened the door that decapitated a Humanoid. Jeez).  The age-old tug-of-war of Faith VS Science was a bit underwhelming and not exploited to a certain extent.  The whole script showed weaknesses, where the characters lacked character development as they acted irrationally.  How on earth did Fifield get lost when he was the one who introduced the Mapping device?

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Michael Fassbender in one of the more important scenes (Source: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/prometheus_2012/pictures/#67)

Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace were the clear standouts on this film, as the HAL9000-inspired robot David, and Ripley-esque Elizabeth Shaw, respectively (The best part of the movie was of course the surgery part).  I like the main cast, well except for Guy Pearce as the old Peter Weyland.  Why didn’t they just cast a really old guy, like Christopher Walken or Ian McKellen? Charlize Theron was reliable as Vickens, though she was relatively useless on this film.

Over-all, Prometheus is a grand feast for the eyes, especially for all the Sci-Fi fans out there.  Again, this movie is best experienced on IMAX 3D.  With an amazing artistry shown on every astounding scene, I just wished the script had engaged me to the same degree.

4 out of 5 stars.

Chris Brown – Don’t Wake Me Up

If this love only exists in my dreams… DON’T WAKE ME UP. ❤

I’m a fan of his music (his marital affairs and recent Drake brawl not included) ever since and he never fails to entertain me. Team Breezy!

Ted – Official Trailer

From the man who created Family Guy, Seth McFarlane wants us to fall in love with TED!

Plot:
A story centered on a man and his teddy bear, who comes to life as the result of a childhood wish.

I have to say, this will be one of THE. BEST. MOVIES. EVEERRRR! Hahahaha!!!

Reasons Why Cars Are Better Than Girls (As Heard on The Morning Rush!)

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Source: http://www.widewallpapers.net

10

‘Pag bumili ka ng kotse, walang kasamang biyenan. – POLJEFFREY

9

Cars are always well lubricated. – MY YANGKEEZ

8

A car won’t spit out what you just filled it up with. – TIAN26JACK

7

You can swap cars with a friend. – RC AND CESS

6

There’s nothing illegal about renting a car you can ride all day. – THE NOMAD

5

A new car won’t feel insecure about the cars you had before it. – IAMNOTJOHNLLOYD

4

‘Pag ang kotse may tulo, madaling ayusin. – CHUCK

3

‘Pag may bago kang kotse, kahit buong tropa mo, pwedeng maki-test drive. – ANTO

2

You don’t mind if your car has a lot of baggage. – YNAKI

1

Hindi mao-offend ang car ‘pag kumambyo ka in public. – DENNIS PINCH

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Source: http://picx.classifieds1000.com/s/Funny_Car_Cartoon

Usher – Scream (Official Music Video)

He did it again. Usher’s second single, produced by Max Martin and Shellback, is sexually charged and straight-up dance, reminiscent to 2010’s “DJ Got Us Falling in Love,” except two times better.

I’m a huge fan ever since he started his musical career. I think he never gets old, both with how he performs, and with his innovations in music.

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