#SURVIVORDEAN Top 5 for April 2015

No one cares about this countdown except me.

5. Liar by: Adrian Marcel

I could tell that you ain’t rollinʻ with a winner. | I could tell that he ain’t ever took the time. | I could tell you something in your life was missin’. | And if you tell me it ain’t me you know you lyin’ (Metro Lyrics).

4. Every Moment by: Jodeci

Every moment is so sweet | Every moment is so sweet to me baby yeah | When you’re laying next to me | When you’re laying right next to me | Our hearts beating as one | Our heart beating as one | Nothing we can’t over come | Loving you is so much fun (Metro Lyrics)

3. Keep Your Money by: Empire Cast ft. Jussie Smollet

I don’t need it, you can keep your money | I don’t want it if you gonna throw it up in my face | I’m still leavin’, you can keep your money | Because you ain’t worth the time | Can’t let it go to waste (Metro Lyrics)

2. Doubt by: Mary J. Blige

I made it to the end | I nearly paid the cost | I lost a lot of friends | I sacrificed a lot | I’d do it all again | ‘Cause I made it to the top | But I can’t keep doubting myself anymore (Metro Lyrics)

(1) I Don’t Mind by: Usher

Shawty, I don’t mind if you dance on a pole | That don’t make you a hoe | Shawty, I don’t mind when you work until three | If you’re leaving with me | Go make that money, money, money | Your money, money, money | ‘Cause I know how it is, go and handle your biz | And get that money, money, money | Your money, money, money | You can take off your clothes | Long as you coming home, girl, I don’t mind (Metro Lyrics)

12 Reasons Why I’m Addicted to Empire Season 1

1. Empire becomes the first TV show that I get addicted with even without watching the first three episodes.

Empire TV Show

2. The moment I saw and heard Tiana and Hakeem performed Keep it Movin’ in Teen’s Choice Award (Episode 4), I knew I’m starting to fall in love with the show. I immediately registered to Spotify the next day and went obsessing for other songs.

3. Empire tells a story of a dysfunctional but affluent family, which happens in real life. At last, this isn’t a police procedural or superhero drama.

4. Empire satisfies my craving. It never fails to bring good music each episode. My Top 3 favorites to date are: Good Enough, Conqueror and Keep it Movin’.

Money for Nothing is my least favorite. I don’t hate the song. I still listened to it. It’s just that its overall message doesn’t inspire me.

5. Each character tells an inspiring story yet, every character finds it hard to control his or her weaknesses. As a result, every character becomes vulnerable and each episode explodes with an unexpected revelation.

6. To date, Luscious, Cookie and Jamal are my top three favorite characters. Luscious appears to be a stubborn fighter. As the head of Lyon family, he knows what he wants and there are times, this is his weakness too to a point that he becomes greedy.

7. Cookie functions as the Lyon’s heart. She brings out the best in every artist she handles. In an episode where Jamal records “Keep Your Money,” Cookie understands what the song needs.

The first time she listened to it, she stands by her decision that Jamal’s voice should be above the mix.

8. Jamal becomes the stand-out character of the season. As the singer-songwriter, Jamal never fails to deliver. He understands what he writes and he sings with the right technique and emotions.

Jamal roars louder after he reveals to the world he’s gay in Episode eight. First, Jamal forces his dad to recruit Delphine. He knows Delpine can sell albums like hot cupcakes. Second, Jamal helps his dad create a new sound for his tribute concert.

As a result, Luscious must have realized Jamal is a business leader with a soul – who must lead Empire.

9. It’s clear Andre suffers from bipolar disorder. It’s for this reason why his character rises above the crowd. Yes, he’s smart. He’s successful. And, he will become a dad.

However, how will Andre evolve in Season 2 with his condition?

10. Hakeem raps well but I’m kinda confused where his character will go. Sometimes, it feels like Hakeem only exists as a sidekick to either Luscious, Jamal or Tiana.

Will be there a more memorable Hakeem in Season 2?

11. Empire S1 Soundtrack rocks! The CD version only contains 11 tracks but it’s still worth the buy.

Come to realize that these are the strongest memorable tracks of the season that make Empire an empire of success.

Note: “Empire soundtrack hit #1 on the Billboard’s 200 Album Chart, marking the first time a TV soundtrack has opened at #1 since 2010 (Hulu.com, March 19, 2015).”

12. Empire Season 1 ends with a bang. I’m satisfied with what I saw. The story is filled with unexpected drama, aggression and a bit of funny scenes.

It’s something to remember when they include scenes wherein two or three family members create a special moment.

As for the two-hour finale, the Luscious-Jamal moment is impossible to forget. Seems like Jamal isn’t only good enough, right?

The slightest criticism I’m concern about is its flow of editing. Sometimes, it runs in the right speed but most of the time, it’s fast.

Never mind. I’m still addicted no matter what. Can’t wait for Season 2!

Bring it on, Jack TV.

SURVIVOR Insights 166: Worlds Apart – My Early Favorites

Wednesday nights (Thursday in the Philippines) will never be the same again as Survivor opens its 30th season on February 25, 2015.

Worlds Apart introduces eighteen new faces divided into three working class. By definition, the white-collar performs managerial work in an office setting. Common examples are CEOs, computer programmers and marketing directors.

Survivor Worlds Apart Group Photo

The blue-collar focuses on manual labor, which involves physical strength. Common jobs include mining, construction and warehousing.

The no-collar confuses me a bit. By definition, it means unemployed but Survivor wants to define it as someone who is free spirited who breaks the rules.

Question: Who are my early favorites?

Before that, a brief recap of San Juan Del Sur. The season declined in ratings after Jeremy was blindsided in Episode 9. Episode 10 showed a fiber of surprise when Jon played his hidden immunity and Wes was sent home by only two votes. Episode 11 was predictable and as expected, the alliance ousted Reed.

Jon Misch SJDS

Episode 12 began the rise of Natalie Anderson as she broke her alliance and helped voted Alec out instead of Keith. Luckily, Episode 13 stirred the drama and 9.47 Million Americans saw how Natalie outplayed Jon in the immunity challenge, which involved balance and focus.

It’s Jon’s biggest mistake not to win the challenge. It’s his only chance to advance in the Final Five.

It’s Natalie’s game who reigned supreme throughout the SJDS Finale. She wasted no time and blindsided Baylor. Missy sat out during the final immunity challenge due to ankle injury but she still made the Final Three after Keith failed to win.

Five of eight jury members (Keith, Alec, Wes, Jeremy and Josh) handed the title and million dollar prize to Natalie, who showed the right mix of flexibility and aggression after Episode 9.

Natalie Anderson SJDS

SJDS was the first season since season 21 which I don’t have an early favorite in Final Four. It felt disappointing, yes, but it’s still a good entertaining season. I’ll remember Natalie an “okay” winner.

* * * * *

Going forward, here are my early favorites for Worlds Apart. Hopefully, one or two of them will make the Final Four or, one will win it all.

White Collar (Masaya)

Tyler Fredrickson, 33, Ex-Talent Agent Assistant

“I can’t wait to prove myself.” Tyler describes himself as achiever, competitor and manipulator. Of all the past contestants, he adored Boston Rob for his ability to cut throat while making his way to the top.

An accomplished career person with two master degrees and with Steven Spielberg as his life inspiration, Tyler experienced the life with dragons and snakes. He works with them every day; therefore, he felt confident enough to use what he learned and outwit, outplay outlast the seventeen strangers.

Question left unanswered: How will Tyler deal with whiners when he hates them?

Survivor Worlds Apart 1

So Kim, 31, Retail Buyer

“I live for extreme experiences!” Adored Ozzy, Cochran and Parvati in their seasons, So aims to become the legendary female sole survivor who doesn’t hesitate to play big moves. Outside the game, she managed to re-invent herself despite of all the challenging moments – divorce, changing jobs, changing homes.

She feels positive to use her experiences as a vehicle to survive the physical, mental and emotional aspects of the game. She expects herself to do well in challenges, to enjoy the present and to manipulate people to save herself.

Yet, So describes herself as a “brutally honest” person, how will it change her big moves?

Blue Collar (Escameca)

Sierra Dawn Thomas, 27, Barrel Racer

“My physical, mental and emotional capabilities are of a man’s level.” Sierra hailed from Roy, Utah in which she’s a national champion and all-around cowgirl in high school rodeo.

She describes herself as competitive and athletic; that’s why, she’s mostly into outdoor activities such as basketball, hunting, fishing, volleyball and football.

She decided to join the show because she believes there’s little she can’t do. As Parvati her most liked contestant, Sierra considers herself as a positive strategist who can push herself beyond the limits.

I’m wondering, how will she survive once she becomes a threat?

Survivor Worlds Apart 2

Mike Holloway, 38, Oil Driller

“If I have to die, I will before I quit!” Mike joins the show because he feels there’s a competitive fire inside him.

Outside the game, he learns to adjust whatever life throws at him. One, he saved money to pay his house in two and one-half years. Two, he survived bullying and molestation. Three, he took drastic measures to make things right at work.

A firm believer of constant change who is also determined to play as the season’s villain, Mike picks Cochran, Ozzy and Rob as his past favorites. Will he make Texas proud?

No Collar (Nagarote)

Hali Ford, 25, Law Student

“I grab everything I do by the horns…” Hali loves surfing, jiu jitsu and motorcycles. She feels she’s the type of person who is free, tenacious and focused. She adores Parvati due to her ability to stay fearless against rejection and to plan with calculated risks.

She considers herself as a social person who can effectively handle the emotional pressures needed in the game.

It’s also noted in her profile Hali doesn’t let go until she gets what she wants – I’m curious, how will she control her game in which flexibility is required?

Survivor Worlds Apart No Collar

Joe Anglim, 25, Jewelry Designer

“The game is a true test of self-awareness…” With his athletic and competitive qualities, the creative, compassionate and charismatic Joe believes he’ll be an asset to his tribe.

He feels he’s sociable enough to connect with other contestants. He knows how to listen to their stories and he will work hard both around the camp and in challenges. Sure, a successful implementation of these strategies can help him last longer.

Yet, will he still play like Malcolm and Ozzy even if he’s surrounded with rude and inconsiderate strangers?

Photos courtesy of: CBS

Congratulations Aces!

Micromax Indian Aces made history as the first IPTL champion. The team consisted of Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Gael Monfils, Ana Ivanovic, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna and Fabrice Santoro.

Micromax Indian Aces won IPTL
Photo Courtesy of: IPTL Facebook

Aces remained unbeatable in team rankings in four different legs. Just Day 1 of the competition, the team started so strong in Manila – defeating Singapore Slammers. Ana Ivanovic also made an impressive history as the first player who scored 6-0 in singles. Congratulations!!!

By the way, I also have a picture of their first team interview with ABS-CBN.

Micromax Indian Aces Wins 2014 IPTL