Sunday, 31 May 2009

Britain's Got Talent Final

Kicking off the show with Flawless, who were absolutely awesome, so so slick, followed by Shaheen, who I thought sang the best he has and I was thinking: Oh-oh, this is going to be tough! But since I was at a friend's house I wasn't going to be voting anyway and was happy in that the Great British Public generally get it right!

One act who mesmerises me is Aidan - he has a huge future, it's a shame he didn't have longer to prepare for the final. 2Grand are so sweet, I know what Simon's trying to say, not the most talented (although Sally has potential with training), but certainly bring a lump to your throat - it was lovely to see them in the final. Hollie's vocal really doesn't work for me, I'm not one to pigeon hole people but whereas Shaheen is a soul singer and Shaun is a boybandee type, is she destined for shows or a fledging opera singer?

Stavros Flatley are the total fun package, the old man is having an absolute ball! Lord of the Dance and you get more fun when they've finished. Shaun up next, doing 'Ain't No Sunshine again and I'm very impressed that his voice got even stronger at the end of the 'I know' sequence!

Susan I didn't think was as strong as before, probably because hearing her the first time was so unexpected. And having seen 'Beyond the Barricade' since, I prefer their version of the song. She's good but I think Piers and Amanda have lost the plot slightly. Simon's clearly thinking it might not be good enough.

My favourites all along have been Diversity - they have, I tell you - I'm not just saying that now! Read back if you don't believe me! And they gave us something new again, with Superboy and the buzzers, which brought squeals of delight from the whole house and a general: Yep, they should win/I'm voting for them/they're the best etc. Amanda could have lost them a few votes there though, with the comment about Flawless, it brought some boos. But then Piers evened it up. *whispers: Think I'm developing a little bit of a crush on Ashley* Jeez, I'm probably old enough to be his mum, isn't that depressing? Julian played 'Somewhere' again, and stronger than before - and having gone straight through on the public vote in the semi, he can't be discounted.

The moment of truth and they are calling out the final three. Susan Boyle - expected; Julian Smith, probably unexpected. Come on, come on - I swear Aidan just mouthed ... DIVERSITY, oh yes! 3rd Place - I feel quietly confident that'll be Julian and it is. I'm still convinced Susan will win but hoping it'll be Diversity ...and it is! Woooohoooo! Brilliant, totally brilliant, they've been consistent and entertaining and they're a fab bunch. Can't wait to see what they put together for the Queen!

Friday, 29 May 2009

Britain's Got Talent Round Up 2

Assuming I haven't taken up stamp collecting instead, of course - because, frankly, it's not all been a barrel of fun has it? Even the panel admit to beng exhausted: Yeah - you wanna try actual working for a living, bloody prima donnas ...

Last night had a few acts I did enjoy - Julian Smith and his sooo sweet sax gave 'All by Myself' it's self respect back (if the last time you heard it was by Bridget Jones) and the Kent girls Sugar Free have been the best girl dance troupe, they've clearly taken on board the structure of Diversity/Flawless but it was 2Grand that made it through with Julian, with another touching performance - somebody there is pitching on exactly the right songs for these two - if it's their choices *thumbs up*.

But tonight, oh good grief - no competition for Aiden Davis, so cool, and that set with the - I've no idea what the technical term is - the mirror/projected images of him. Simple yet inspired. I'd say the act I enjoyed most apart from him was Dreambears! Poor, brave Hollie was put through but didn't get my vote for being brave I'm afraid - I thought her singing was pretty off. DCD Seniors may have had a chance if they'd left the seen-it-all-before disco dancing alone.

A quick run down then of the finalists - 6.45pm , ITV1 tomorrow, if you haven't bought your tv paper yet:

Susan Boyle; Diversity; Flawless; Sean Smith; Shaheen Jafargholi; Hollie Steele; 2Grand; Julian Smith; Aidan Davis; Stavros Flatley & Son.

Susan appears to be the favourite but if they all perform to their best it could be a lot closer than we think. I'll be looking forward to the dance troupes most, though would love Shaheen and Julian to blow me away with something mega soulful or jazzy.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Britain's Got Talent Semi-Final Round Up

Diversity and Susan Boyle through first night, though Susan showed signs of nerves and vocally, it wasn’t as strong although she picked up at the end. Disappointed in Natalie - seemed to age from around 8 to 13, I’d like to have heard her do another slower R&B song, like Rihanna’s Take a Bow. Likewise Sue Son - should have stuck with the boho chick attitude instead of going for the glam/sexy Vanessa Mai look. As for Darth Jackson - the storm troopers on their own would have been far more entertaining, in fact, a proper themed Star Wars Thriller with decent dancers would have been great. Jamie Pugh was far too nervous and it showed, so Sean Smith and Flawless, who both delivered, went through. Stavros Flatley, although not as strong as the audition, made it through, as did Shaheen, although again, not the best performance - the singers have disappointed so far - my favourite at this stage is Diversity. And you know what - apart from saxophonist Julian Smith, I can’t recall anyone else yet to come! And can someone tell me why the judges buzz the acts they themselves put through? Hel-loo, duh!

And on a different subject, it turns out the Buffy movie I’d heard about won’t be involving Joss Whedon, or any of the regular supporting cast. So it’ll be about a vampire slayer called Buffy - BUT IT WON’T BE BUFFY! I say again: Hel-looo, duh! How to alienate the majority of your projected audience in one fell swoop!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Sports Night

The big news of the week of course - Gillingham’s promotion to League One! You can imagine how excited Matt was on arriving home, I was talked through the goal - it’s been a long time since I had to play a goal post!

Another superlative drive from Jenson Button, lights to flag at Monaco, after another last minute pole position, who could ever have believed it after the winter he had - five out of six races now!

Archery: British Women win Bronze in Euro champs. And four medals in the first World Cup meet in the Dominican Republic. Canoeing - Gold for Rachel Cawthorn in the World Cup meet in Poznan, Bronze for Lucy Wainwright and Lani Belcher.

Paralympic World Cup: Cyclists already bringing in the medals; more cycling Gold; Bronze for basketball; swimming medals; more Gold for David Weir ;double Gold for Tweddle and Smith at Gymnastics Grand Prix.

Badminton Horse Trials won by Oliver Townend; Women’s Ice Hockey Bronze; Tania Bailey wins World Tour Squash Title.

Let it alone too long again, didn't I!

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Britain's Got Talent while I've got no internet, grrrrr

I'm round my mum's at the moment - for those of you not following my Twitter updates - because our internet connection has gone AWOL and I just can't face sitting with the phone clamped to my ear over this glorious weekend. And I just realised I've left my notes from last night's show at home!

So relying on my memory - this could be a laugh - why d'you think I'm nicknamed 'Scatty' ...

Thought the girl band - Brit Chix? (Note to Foxy - I'll be expecting you to fill in the blanks, btw!) were very good, brave to go up and do something original. Loved the Little Drummer Boy from Kent (yay!) Keiron - can't believe they didn't put him through to the live shows, especially when you saw some of those that did make it. Love to know how they decide. Hubby and kids cracking up at my outrage, reckon I'm taking it too seriously. Oh, come on, the old bloke Fred - good for his age but really not that good was he?

The belly dancer - certainly the most attractive one this year, can't say I saw an awful lot of her actual belly dancing though, could you? My lot all glued to it, I put an eye mask over Matt, specially with the Girl in Martini glass, what was that all about?

The Ears 'n' Nose man? No, thanks - and have blocked the others out I think - tonight will be interesting, two decent acts will go, out of Sue Son, Diversity, Susan Boyle and Natalie Okri - serve the judges right if Darth Jackson makes it through by right!

Friday, 22 May 2009

Scenes we'd like to see ...

... greetings cards that wouldn’t sell:

Good luck in your new care home

Hoping the divorce settlement goes your way

Sorry to hear of your recent life sentence

Now that you’ve passed your paternity test …

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Classical Brits 2009

I know - bit of a departure for me, so I won't be trying to kid you that I've the faintest idea who they are or what they're playing! All I can say is, I loved it. Young Faryl opening the show was delightful, Mylene Klass so enthusiastic - not many reality show wannabes have managed to carve the niche she has for herself.

To present Composer of the Year - David Suchet - a jazz drumming, clarinet player, no less! Howard Goodall the recipient, for Eternal Light: A Requiem. Apparently he's responsible for the Blackadder and Mr. Bean themes! We've a musical interlude for Placido Domingo and Katherine Jenkins to perform A Mother Wonderment before the Male Artist of the Year, presented by Jenny Agutter (hubby looked up then - he's had a crush on her since The Railway Children) was won by Gustavo Dudamel. Nice orange jumper Gus, really. Could use some soul glow on those locks though.

Female Artist, presented by Darcy Bussell, was won by Alison Balsom, who also performed the Hummel Trumpet Concerto; Aled Jones presented Young British Classical performer to Kate Moss lookalike Alina Ibragimova. How cool is Herbie Hancock? I swear he looks younger now than he did
then! Playing Rhapsody in Blue with another pianist Lang Lang. Enjoyed the ivory tickling and also the clarinet, if that's what it was.

David Mellor presented the Critics Award, this went to 84 year old Sir Charles McKerris, the musicians' musician, for his Mozart symphonies with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. And then my fave performance of the night - Jonas Kaufman, singing La Donna e Mobil - I recognised this one, it's Paulo di Canio in English ...Hayley Mills presented Soundtrack of the Year to Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard for The Dark Knight. The busy busy Katherine Jenkins, back from the USA, performed for us again, this time with Una Voce Poco Fa.

The last two awards were the most emotional - Album of the Year, presented by Simon Bates to The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards for Spirit of theGlen: Journey, amazingly recorded whilst on active duty in Iraq! Impressive! And the Lifetime Achievement award presented by The Duchess of Cornwall, Placido Domingo and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to Jose Carreras, who appeared quite overcome by his ovation during a heartwarming speech.

So that was the 10th anniversary; with The Priests outselling Madonna, it looks like interest in classical is growing - you know what that means, don't you? They might broadcast it live next year!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Beyond the Barricade: A Musical Feast

Led by singer/comedian (really - great jokes!) David Fawcett - think celebrity lovechild of Ray Winstone and Alfie Boe - this tour de force of music transferred from the West End to our provincial theatres shouldn’t be missed. Beyond The Barricade currently comprises David, Beccci Morrell, Katie Leeming and Andy Reiss - and is in it’s tenth anniversary year with no sign of stopping. We’re treated to songs from major musicals - Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Blood Brothers, Chess, The Lion King and more, plus one from new musical Jekyll and Hyde called This is the Moment, which was fab, but is only being performed in Malta!!! (For now!)

I went for the cheap seats, figuring they’d be at the back - it’s not a big theatre - but they were at the front, right next to the speakers! *EEK* Am completely deaf now. No, I jest - it was actually ok, being much more with the melody and voices than it would be, say, for AC/DC! Although they did perform Bohemian Rhapsody, which was awesome (considering I‘m not a Queen fan!) I was the only one who started bobbing though … but there was no stopping the clapping and tapping for the Supercalifragilistic/Chitty Chitty Bang Bang medley, I don’t think there was a still foot in the house!

Having heard just the snippet of I Dreamed a Dream on Britain’s Got Talent, I was thrilled to hear it all the way through. Many friends have told me, if there’s one musical I should see, it’s Les Miserables, and following this performance and other songs from the show, I now understand why: Emotional and powerful and as soon as I get the chance, I’m going. In the meantime though, if, like me, it’s a major military operation for you to arrange a trip Up West - check out your local theatre, you never know what gems you’ll find.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Britain's got great young talent

Two that stood out tonight - Aiden Davis, in the George Sampson mode, only different - it was like he was on castors or a conveyour belt or something! Mesmerising.

And little Natalie Okri, so adorable - big voice, will be blistering when she's older. Probably a touch too young at the moment, but well worth her place in the next round.

An honourable mention for the girls from Kent - Sugar Free, and for Two Grand, who, whilst not being the best, albeit competent, singers - had that undefinable quality that grabbed the audience, me included; totally charming. Funny of the night was Faces of Disco - I thought 'naff' to begin with and then couldn't stop laughing!

There's a quote of the night too - from Brenda, back again from last year, who, on being told 'No', quipped to Ant and Dec: "Well, I'll have to go for pole dancing next year!"

Friday, 15 May 2009

For your listening pleasure ...

...courtesy of The Hobbit (whose taste in music has vastly improved over the last couple of years), a young UK talent, Jaysean. We've been playing his cd in the car and I have to say, he reminds me of Neyo. Which is disputed by The Hobbit, but have a listen for yourself and decide, I'm enjoying it very much - a teenage son has his good points, in that I don't have to buy the latest R&B music, I just nick them out of his room!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The things they do

Just dropped Matt off at cricket; he started off in the car with sweatshirt and rain jacket on, by the time we got there he’d managed to take the jacket off and not only that, he’d somehow managed to get the sleeve stuck inside the cricket bat handle.

Now if you’re familiar with the anatomy of a cricket bat, you’ll know that the handle shaft is covered tightly in rubber. So Matt must have rolled it down, put the sleeve in, then rolled it back up again. He looked panic stricken when I stopped and was frantically trying to pull the rubber down again to get his sleeve out. Three guesses who had to do it - and you can imagine what that looked like. I’m just glad I wasn’t parked in front of everyone outside the club house. Honestly.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Sports Night 2: End of an Era

As you know, The Hobbit had another Cup Final today - The Treasurer’s Trophy is the official title for the Under 18’s cup in the Maidstone Minor League - and we won! 4-2 and well deserved it was. A quick early goal, which they (Barming Youth) equalised, we grabbed another to be 2-1 up at half time, then it went to 3-1 before they converted a penalty. Cue lots of pacing and yelling and eventually we bagged another within the final ten minutes. You’d think I could relax, but no - we were 5-0 up in a cup game once and let them back into it (eventually winning 6-4) so none of us were taking it for granted!

It was a fitting end to a decade of success for this particular squad of Rochester BVFC, managed/coached by Hubby. There’s a few lads who have been with it since they were five years old (awwww) other players have come and gone but they’ve always delivered - pound for pound, Hubby’s won more than any Premiership Manager!

So we’re all out celebrating. ‘Cept we’re not - I’m here (obviously) and they’re all out watching Gillingham FC, hopefully winning their home tie to make it through to the Div 2 Play off at Wembley. There are rumours of a celebratory barbecue though, at the official end of the season!

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Britain’s Got Talent - check me out, posting same night!

Starting with the act that any bloke can do, let’s face it - I live with three Mr. Methanes. Followed closely in awfulness by synchronised dog walking and some odd looking tai chi. The call centre worker singing ‘Hello’? We quickly said goodbye, then hurriedly called him back because anything would be better than the wannabe Nell Gwynn flouting her oranges to tuneless drivel. “People cry when they hear me sing.” She says. “I have the ability to move people.” She’s not wrong - I left the room with tears pouring down my face.Come on - she’s got to be a plant, surely? One buzz, start again. Two buzz, start again. Three buzzes. They always come along in threes don’t they, buzzes, well known fact …

Lewis Taylor, the ventriloquist with a twist - he’s not a ventriloquist. Ho hum. Merlin, the escapologist juggler. Why’d they have to hide him getting out of the chains? Was it because, perchance, a six year old could have slipped them over his shoulders? Now if he’d juggled the fire sticks actually under the water, I’d have been more impressed. Yes to dance act Freedom Movement, street performer Jon Dempsey, the band Schwing and a couple more dance acts, all of whom it would have been nice to see more of. Then we come to Greg Pritchard, a singing waiter and there’s shock at first then hesitant clapping - was that really him? A male soprano - he could dress up and be a fantastic drag act.

Little Thomas, aged 5 - he made the Crazy Frog disappear, works for me. Frankie, 49. In a coat. She’s a belly dancer, I said, any money you like. I really wish I’d been wrong. A costume would have been nice. Then we got some more urgh-no-get’em-off acts and then we got the ooh-way hay-oh, yeah-get’em off whydont'cha-Mr Officer and Gentleman act all we ladies want to see again *phwoar* Ahem. Why oh why didn’t they show more of him? C’mon Amanda - have a word!

The Dream Bears - very funny mickey-take of the can-can: “We’ve danced in front of many queens!” And finally, 17 year old Sean, rugby player, sings ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’, nice voice, needs a bit of polish I think, mates going loopy. So no-one truly outstanding but some show promise.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Sports Night

All quiet on the sporting front, apart from Jenson winning again, of course. Did I say it was quiet? I’m lying - I just haven’t had the chance to catch up lately …

Here’s the extended Inside Sport interview with cycling’s current main man, Mark Cavendish ... our adaptive rowers bring home a boat full of medals and our sailors are still adding to their tallies. Judo silver for Clark and get this: World Championship Ice Hockey bronze for GB! Ice Hockey??? Not to be outdone - may I present to you our gymnasts, whilst the Scottish Curlers win the World Champs. Here's an introduction to London Marathon medallist Mara Yamauchi. Brit Speed Skier Marc Poncin, World Champ last year, has to settle for third this year.

And I’m off to the football club presentation, where I’m hoping hubby will get the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Award. It feels like a lifetime he’s been involved! We've another cup final on Sunday, fingers crossed pleased. The Gills drew 0-0 last night against Rochdale, the home leg is also on Sunday. Come on you Gills! It better be worth the rush back! And I know he's not a Brit - but the adorable and cuddly Valentino Rossi won his first Moto GP race this season, last weekend!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Britain's Got Talent ...eventually

I wasn't able to see last week's show, hence the lateness of this, but thanks to the lovely people at UnrealityTV, I've had a little catch up.

On the face of it, you'd think I'd like Kenyodse Oresaya but - I close my eyes and it could be someone on tracing paper and comb instead of a saxophone, so, no, not for me, sorry. Finger knitting? NEXT! Keyboard based novelty band? Emerson, Emerson and Emerson. All a joke apparently - I've not seen enough but Simon didn't get it either. Jake Pratt, young comedian - a sex joke at that age? Eeeooww, no, not good. To sing or not to sing, I think there's potential if he had lessons. LOL "The producer told me to sing!" Really couldn't be bothered to watch all of Two Alike ... what was she wearing? Why do parents do that to kids?

But this weeks stars?
Jamie Pugh - regardless whether he has/hasn't sung on stage before, the bloke can sing and moved me to tears. And Sue Son, solo and passionate.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Rant of the Day

Haven’t had one of these for a while – but really – what difference will £60 million make to abused kids if the extra social workers employed still can’t get in to see them? My sister in law tells me that the RSPCA can act on a tip off, turn up unannounced and demand entry to see an animal – until they do the same for social workers, atrocities like Baby Peter will continue to happen.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

3BT: Music, Puppies, Decor

This is a wonderful variation on the Ben E. King classic - shared with us on Twitter by mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins, currently recording an album with the legendary producer David Foster, which will be "less classical and more edgy", so very much looking forward to that.

Shared by Marilyn, one of the cutest websites you're likely to come across -
The Daily Puppy! Altogether now, awwwwww ...

And the decorators are gone! So now the dusting begins, boo hoo. There's still some painting to be done; The Hobbit has actually surfaced from his mound and made a start on it, plus the blinds people and the carpet people are all booked in on the calendar, woo hoo!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Buffy back for movie?

Please, please let it be true. The genius of Joss Whedon should not be confined to DVD, on which I'm still watching series seven at the moment, before nabbing a friend's Firefly collection. The original Buffy film didn’t turn out the way Joss wanted, a brand new one will be fantastic, not just from a film goers point of view but for all of us that followed the gang through those seven series and the five of Angel - we need to know what happens to them all post Sunnydale Apocalypse.