2012 Reviewed

A lot has happened this past year. 2012 was definitely a diverse year. From Gangnam Style to Call Me Maybe. From the Twilight saga to the Hunger Games trilogy. From The X Factor to The Voice. Let's take a look at some highlights of 2012 in music, movies and television.

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2012 marked the year that Justin Bieber's record for most views on YouTube was broken. Korean pop sensation PSY shattered it with over a billion views on YouTube, to make Gangnam Style the most viewed video of all time. Gotye hit it big with his smash single Somebody That I Used To Know featuring Kimbra. The quiet, powerful song became the most streamed song in Spotify history. No one can forget bubbly Carly Rae Jepsen's debut song Call Me Maybe. The pop song quickly became one of the defining songs of the summer of 2012. Indie rock band fun. also became very popular this year with the release of their hit We Are Young with Janelle Monae. In fact, their new fame was so powerful, fun. leads the Grammy nominations.

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2012 marked the year that the Twilight saga came to a close. After five years and four books, most people have had their share of sparkling vampires, but there's no doubting the impact it has left on the market. Almost every new teenage "chick flick" must have some sort of mythical creature backed up by good-looking men. Christopher Nolan's epic ending to his Batman series also came to a close with The Dark Night Rises. Critics and fans raved about it, calling it the best Batman yet. As we closed a chapter in Batman,  we opened another in the Hunger Games made its debut, breaking box office records. The screenplay was well done and fans were thrilled that the story stuck close to Suzanne Collins' thrilling novel. There were many great films that received Oscar nominations such as Les Miserables, Django and Skyfall.

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2012 was a year of an epic battle between The Voice and The X Factor. Backed by stars Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera, The Voice crowned its thrid winner, Cassandra Pope. Besides the fact that The Voice has failed to produce a sustainable winner (none of the previous winners have been able to release a fulll length album), this season had good ratings. The X Factor crowned its second winner, country crooner Tate Stevens. X Factor also doesn't have much success in winners, as last year's victor may be dumped by her record label. 

Wedding Buzz

As every year comes to a close, celebrities have a knack of secretly tying the knot or getting engaged. Of course, most of the time, these so-called weddings turn out to be hoaxes and nothing more than a paparazzi scam. But this year, it may be a little different.

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Kelly Clarkson was one of the first celebs in December to announce wedding plans, by tweeting her engagement to Brandon Blackstock on December 15th. The wedding will be her first time down the aisle.

However, recent reports suggest that Kate Winslet has found husband number three. She has been engaged to Ned Rocknroll since last summer and unconfirmed reports say that Leonardo DiCaprio walked her down the aisle near Christmastime.

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The latest celeb to be targeted with rumors is Miley Cyrus. After tweeting a picture on Christmas Day with her younger sister, rumors sparked because of a new ring on her finger. Many brush these rumors off as a "slow news week", but some truly believe the former Disney princess got hitched to Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth.

People's Choice: Christmas Songs

This week for the Top Ten, being Christmas, ENN is going to list the top ten Christmas songs of all time. The list has a huge variety, ranging from Mariah Carey to Bing Crosby, from Gene Autry to Bobby Helmes, the sounds in this chart certainly captures the true holiday spirit.

Top 10 Christmas Songs
1. Rudolph, the Red Nose Reindeer by Gene Autry
2. Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helmes
3. All I Want For Christmas Is You made famous by Mariah Carey
4. Jingle Bells by the Singing Dogs
5. White Christmas by Bing Crosby
6. Silent Night made damous by Barbra Streisand
7. Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt
8. Winter Wonderland by Aretha Franklin
9. Santa Claus is Coming To Town by The Crystals
10. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Frank Sinatra

People's Music Choice: Week 3

Every week, the people have a chance to make their voice heard. By voting on the Facebook page, people can see what songs were voted to be that week's favorite. Every Tuesday we'll be posting the results, followed by a new article every Saturday.

This week, Havana Brown made her debut on the Top 10, while One Direction was nowhere to be seen, after hitting number one last week. Most of the other songs, however, stayed relatively constant for once.

Top Ten for December 18, 2012

1. Scream and Shout by will.i.am and Brittney Spears
2. Live While We're Young by One Direction
3. Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys
4. Catch My breath by Kelly Clarkson
5. I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift
6. Stay by Rihanna
7. Big Banana by Havana Brown
8. The A Team by Ed Sheeran
9. Here Comes the King by Snoop Lion
10. Beauty and a Beat by Justin Bieber feat Nicki Minaj

Music Review: Bruno Mars, Green Day

With the holidays approaching quickly, musicians try to make one last push to release a new album. Bruno Mars and Green Day all released new albums within a week's time. Holidays are when people buy the most music, so it was a wise business choice for them to wait until December.

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On his sophomore album "Unorthodox Jukebox," Bruno Mars creates a theme much different from his normal, happy love style. He channels the reggae-rock styles of The Police with old-time beats and primed vocals. In this album, he is able to mix with songs that have pianos, pop songs, reggae, rock and even a little bit of funk, featured on a ten-song compilation. For any other artist, going from happy-go-lucky to hard-to-find love may be an impossible tradition, but Mars just makes it all work.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The closing chapter of Green Day's new trrilogy of three albums differs sharply from the head-banging, care-free attitude they've been known for. Featured are slow tunes, with a lot more drama than anger. There may be a few songs which make the listener contemplate about who Green Day really is, but there are a few tracks that make them sound the same as they did years ago. Of course, Billie Joe Armstrong and the rest of the band isn't as rebelloius as they used to be, so their music isn't going to bring the same excitement it did nearly a decade ago.

Image credit to billboard.com
Rating: 2.5 out of five stars

GRAMMY Nominations

It's that time of year again. The best of the best singers of the year fight to claim the top prize for a musician- a Grammy. The nominations, hosted by country superstar Taylor Swift and rapper LL Cool J was a night to be remembered.

This year, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Frank Ocean, Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons and fun. all are tied for the most nominations with a total of five each. For West and Jay, this is routine as they usually lead the pack, almost always receiving nods for best rapper, album and song. New indie rock group fun. was a surprise. "When you call your band fun. with a period at the end of the sentence, you set a very high standard for yourself and for fun itself," Swift notes. "Fortunately this band from New York has lived up to the name in the best possible way."

R&B singer Frank Ocean appeared on the scene when he admitted he had a same-sex relationship in the notes of his new album channel ORANGE. But, despite making headlines for what some call, the wrong news, Ocean has great vocals.

There were a few snubs, as always. British pop sensation One Direction failed to earn a nomination for New Artist, despite their huge success. Justin Bieber also didn't receive a nod for his new album. But besides a few surprises, most nominations were to be expected. Carly Rae Jepsen' "Call Me Maybe" was nominated for Song of the Year. Other songs in that category included Ed Sheeran's "The A Team," Miguel's "Adorn," Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" and fun.'s "We Are Young."

Record of the year nominees were "Lonely Boy" by The Black Keys, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" by Clarkson, "We Are Young" by fun., "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra, "Think Bout You" by Ocean and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift.
 The 55th Annual Grammys will be held on Feb. 10, 2013.

People's Music Choce: Week 3

Every week, the people have a chance to make their voice heard. By voting on the Facebook page, people can see what songs were voted to be that week's favorite. Every Tuesday we'll be posting the results, followed by a new article every Saturday.

As always, week to week is a change. Taylor Swift, the reigning number one, fell to seven this week and ne Direction, Green Day and Nicki Minaj made their first debut. With the songs changing every week, it's important to make sure yours stays on the list!

Top Ten for December 11, 2012

1. Live While We're Young by One Direction
2. Scream and Shout by will.i.am and Brittney Spears
3. Stay by Rihanna
4. The A Team by Ed Sheeran
5. Beauty and a Beat by Justin Bieber feat Nicki Minaj
6. Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars
7. I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift
8. Girl on Fire (Inferno Version) by Alicia Keys feat. Nicki Minaj
9. Freedom by Nicki Minaj
10. X-Kid by Green Day

Stork News!

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For the two years that they have been married, Prince William, duke of Cambridge and his lovely wife Duchess Kate have been dealing with pregnancy rumors. After so much speculation, the royal family can finally confirm that they, are in fact expecting a newborn child due in the middle of 2013.The news was confirmed by an official spokesperson for the royal family after the duchess was admitted into a hospital with severe symptoms.

The spokesperson confirms that the 30-year-old mom-to-be was admitted to a London hospital Monday with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, an acute form of morning sickness. Less than one percent of all expectant mothers feel this rare pain. Her Royal Highness was in the hospital for a few days, with Prince William visiting her for many hours everyday. Duchess Kate was released four days after being admitted into the hospital. She briefly spoke to the many reporters waiting outside the hospital, waiting anxiously for the expectant mother-to-be.

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Of course, there is much speculation on the baby's name and gender. If it is a girl, which many are assuming so, will it be named after William's late mother Diana? Probably not, although it may be her middle name. A likely first name is Elizabeth. Will she succeed William to the throne as new Queen? If it is a boy, Arthur or George are possibilities. Will's father, Prince Charles and William himself both have the middle name "Arthur".

The baby is sure to make headlines, as the world is already celebrating the announcement.

People's Music Choice: Week 2

Every week, the people have a chance to make their voice heard. By voting on the Facebook page, people can see what songs were voted to be that week's favorite. Every Tuesday we'll be posting the results, followed by a new article every Saturday.

This week is drastically different than last, with only one predominantly rap song and a little but more on the passionate side with some Alicia Keys and Lumineers. 

Top Ten for December 4, 2012

1. I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift
2. Oath by Cher Lloyd
3. Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys
4. Die Young by Ke$ha
5. Ho Hey by the Lumineers
6. My Life by 50 Cent feat. Eminem and Adam Levine
7. One More Night by Maroon 5
8. Diamonds by Rihanna
9. Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars
10.We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift

Angus T. Jones Slams "TAAHM"

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Angus T. Jones is the latest celebrity on the hit sitcom Two and A Half Men, after Charlie Sheen, to have a breakdown. In an interview, he begs fans to stop watching the show, calling it "filth". He describes it as junk and says that there are scientific studies on why it ruins the brain. "Do some research on the effects of television and your brain, and I promise you you'll have a decision to make when it comes to television, especially with what you watch," he rants. Jones says that his Christian faith and the teachings in the Bible are the reason why he dislikes his job.

The more that he learns about his church and new found faith, the more he despises his job, he said. But the next day, Jones tried to cover it up by praising the opportunity he was give.  He apologized to his colleagues, for seeming ungrateful for the "extraordinary opportunity" of which he was given. Jones plays the onscreen son of Jon Cryer, who did not comment about the situation.

Ex-star and onscreen dead uncle, Charlie Sheen did speak out about Jones' recent meltdown, similar to what Sheen experienced when he lost his gig on TAAHM. He opened an invitation to Jones, whose job may be in jeopardy now, to appear on his FX produced show, Anger Management. "My former nephew is welcome at the Goodson 'Anger Management' home anytime," Sheen informed the media. Calling it a "Halle-Bopp" like meltdown, Sheen made it clear that he will be there to support Jones. At least someone is on Jones' side.
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He didn't appear onset following his comments, because his character joined the army and doesn't appear as much. When Jones does visit the studio, producer and creator Chuck Lorre will certainly have some things to discuss with him, maybe even terminating his contract, which runs through the end of the current season.

People's Music Choice: Week 1

Every week, the people have a chance to make their voice heard. By voting on the Facebook page, people can see what songs were voted to be that week's favorite. Every Tuesday we'll be posting the results, followed by a new article every Saturday.
This week, the list is a mix of new and slightly older pop, country and hip hop songs. The collection features artists ranging from Taylor Swift to Flo Rida to PSY to Lil Wayne.

Top Ten for November 27th:

1. I Knew You Were Trouble, by Taylor Swift
2. One More Night by Maroon 5
3. Whistle by Flo Rida
4. Mirror by Lil Wayne feat. Bruno Mars
5. Titanium by David Guetta feat. Sia
6. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift
7. I Cry by Flo Rida
8. Die Young by Ke$ha
9. Without You by David Guetta feat. Usher
10.Gangnam Style by PSY

Your favorite didn't make the list? Vote all week or comment your favorite selections below and check back next week for the new Top Ten.

Who's better than JB?

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It's been two years since Justin Bieber first took YouTube by storm, with the release of Baby, which managed to receive a little over eight million views. The time has come for his record to be broken, by none other than Korean rapper PSY.

--> The Korean sensation became a breakout hit all across the world after releasing his catchy dance tune, Gangnam Style. It racked up 809 million views, compared to Bieber's previous landmark of 803 million. The famous video features PSY, with slicked back hair and sunglasses, dressed in suits all across different locations. He dances, as if on an invisible horse, in a playground, at the beach and even on a boat, to name a few places.

YouTube has stated that Gangnam Tyle has unprecedented growth rate in terms of popularity and parodies. If all the parody views were combined with the various covers and his own original, the song would have over 2.2 billion views. These high view numbers translate into sales as well. His album is the number on Billboard UK and has remained an iTunes Top 10 worldwide ever since its release.

Is PSY's video really the best video in the world? Can anyone surpass the massive popularity he has? On;y time will tell what this comedic singer will do next and how to top his success.

Kelly Clarkson's Fame Turns 10

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A little over ten years ago, Kelly Clarkson was crowned American Idol's Season 1 victor. Most singers tend to fade away after they reach a decade of fame. Clarkson, however has made it a defining moment. The singers that do stay as relevant as Clarkson for as long she has, don't release a "Greatest Hits" album until they consider retiring from the show business. Again, Clarkson chooses to do otherwise.

A "Greatest Hits" album means that the songs you have recorded are the best you'll ever do, and there may be nothing better than them. But for Kelly Clarkson, it's just another album to release. In an interview done with MSN, she reveals that ever since winning the inaugural season of Idol, she's wanted to release this type of album, where the best songs are all in one place. This is by no means the end of her career, rather a milestone to be celebrated then move forward.

The record is comprised of seventeen of Clarkson's most notable songs, including the ballad Because of You and, more recent songs, such as Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You). Listening to every song is like sitting next to her, the emotion is real and passionate. Clarkson's heart and soul pours out in every single record, but none more so that Greatest Hits-Chapter One.

Although this album hasn't received the recognition it deserved, when the songs on the track first released, they were an instant hit. This album takes the listener back in time to when Clarkson first emerged into the music scene and wowed the world with her maturity and grace. GHCO (Greatest Hits-Chapter One) didn't break any sales records or peak on the Top Ten, but what it did do was remind music lovers how to connect to a song. Contemporary artists in this age are all about the money, not about the melody. Very rarely is the music business so lucky to find a gem like Kelly Clarkson.


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Taylor Swift fans, rejoice. her much anticipated album, Red, is here. Released in the end of October, this album is set to break records. In the first week alone, it sold 1.2 million copies, going platinum and becoming only the third artist to do so in a week. Eminem is number one with 1.52 million and Brittney Spears follows suit with about 1.3 million.

--> Red is unlike Swift has ever done before. Her first album, Taylor Swift was very country, showing her roots. Progressively, each album after that has explored a different genre. Album number four is a mix of many things. Compiled of sixteen tracks, Red could be her most experimental album, ever.

It has a little bit of dub step, featured in the third single, I Knew You Were Trouble. Her smash single, We are Never Ever Getting Back Together is also featured on the album, which is a more pop sound. But her die-hard country fans should be pleased to know that Swift hasn't completely forgotten about her Nashville roots. Begin Again, the second single from the album touches her country side with the guitar chords and deep vocals.

--> Red proves that Swift has vocal versatility and that she can reach all across the board. There's something on the album for music lovers of almost every genre. Every track is unpredictable and unique. It leaves fans wondering what direction Swift is trying to go, but at the same time, it's exciting to see what new inventive sounds she can do.
Rate:  4.5 stars


If the world thought Rihanna was fading from the music business, they were wrong. She recently announced that her next studio album, Unapologetic will be release on November 19th. 2012 was a big year for the pop star, with a debut role in the film Battleship as well as awards from various places.

Unapologetic will be her fifth studio album. Little has been said about what genre Rihanna will be catering towards, leaving her "RihannaNavy" to be left pondering. Chris Brown, infamous for assaulting the singer in 2009, is confirmed to be on the album along with Eminem. Previously, Rihanna and Eminem have had a lot of success together, creating the chart topper Love the Way You Lie.

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The only confirmed thing on the record is the track list, which can be found on her website. One thing is for sure, number five will sure to be a hit.

Battle of the Season

It's no secret that American Idol is an extremely popular reality singing show. So when The Voice and X Factor decided to air, many were surprised that they were going to threaten the Idol fanbase. But now with the second season starting for both the X Factor and The Voice both airing back-to-back, the battle is no longer with American Idol, it's with the other show.


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Just the judges alone are a reason that ratings will spark this year. After Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones were fired, there was a lot of speculation on who the new judges would be. The host spot was filled by not one, but two people. Seasoned host Mario Lopez brings familiarity and experience to the table, while reality TV star Khloe Kardashian has a point to prove-she's not just a reality TV star. So far, with two episodes of live TV in, the judges seem to be doing alright. Aside from Khloe's wardrobe malfunction on the first day, she seems to be doing fine. Lopez, the more seasoned host looks comfortable and at home.

New judges Brittney Spears and Demi Lovato have settled in fairly well. Demi has friendly banter with creator Simon, and tries to be the "nice judge" of the show, taking over Paula's job. Brittney was tough at first, but revealed that she couldn't deal with people booing her. Eventually, Simon had to step in and help her thorugh it. She seems stronger now, although doesn't take her criticism as far.


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Ratings were very good last season, for a show that was in its first season. Besides the star-filled cast, and drama with other shows, The Voice hasn't generated much buzz. Until the show started.

Within a few weeks of the show airing, judge Christina Aguilera announced that she would be leaving the show. Popstar Usher was set to take her place. CeeLo Green was also reported to express desires to leave the show, but no official statement had been issued.

One of the biggest changes that occured on the show was the format change. The steal and save were no longer permitted. Earlier, if a judge did not want to mentor a particular contestant, another judge had the oppurtunity to "steal" them from the other to mentor as their own.

So who comes out on top? With all of these new shows coming up, it's hard to tell. But one thing's for sure, no one, so far, has been able to threaten American Idol's popularity.

Taylor Swift Announces New Album

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On Tuesday, August 13th, Taylor Swift fans had a reason to celebrate. After two long years, the star has finally released new music. But was it worth the wait? On a live web chat, she premiered her new single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," which will be on her upcoming album, titled Red.

On the web cast, Swift spoke more about her new project. "I wrote a song called ‘Red,’thinking about what that means to me, and all the different emotions that are written about on this album, they’re all about crazy...semi-toxic relationships I’ve experience in the last two years. In my mind, all those emotions are ‘red.’ There’s nothing beige about any of those feelings. So I called the record Red.” She tells the audience.

Over the last two years, Swift has had few relationships. She was dating movie star Jake Gyllenhaal, and just recently has been dating Robert Kennedy's son, Connor. Joe Jonas (another ex to add to the list), says that Swift's latest single is not about him. The song is about her and a mystery man, and the rumors that swirled around their reconciliation. Jonas says that's not the case for them, as they never tried to get back together.

There is no confirmed date for the release of Red, but Swift has already revealed that there will be sixteen tracks on it. Fans eagerly await her announcement to drop more hits into her growing list.

Michael Phelps: An Era Examined

Credit to nbcolympics.com
 Four different Olympics. Eighteen gold medals, twenty-two overall. All before he turned thirty. Michael Phelps is the most decorated swimmer of all time, breaking the record previously held by gymnast Laris Latynina. She had eighteen total medals, equivalent to Phelps' gold.

In 2000, Phelps was the little kid with big dreams. He didn't win a single medal that Olympics. But in the next Olympics in 2004, Phelps' era truly began. He earned six gold and two bronze, setting three Olympics records and two world records, later only to be beaten by himself. People have often said that Michael Phelps' only competitor is himself. He proved that to be true in 2008. Phelps entered eight events, and ended up winning eight straight golds, setting seven new world records and an Olympic record. One hundredth of a second behind was Milorad Cavic, who was his closest competitor. Cavic earned silver in the 100-m butterfly, Phelps' signature event. Phelps beat Mark Spitz's record of most gold in one Olympic Game. Spitz had seven, Phelps had eight. By the end of the Beijing Olympics, Phelps' medal tally read: sixteen medals total (fourteen gold, two bronze). Going into the London 2012 Olympic Games, there were some critics wondering what on earth Phelps could do to outdo his last Olympics. Would he even medal? He was already twenty-seven, which for a swimmer, is a pretty old age.

At the start of the 2012 Games, his fans' worst thoughts seemed to be coming true. Phelps was off to a slow start. He didn't even make it past the preliminaries for the 400-m IM. In the 200 Butterfly, his finish was weak. Normally, Phelps was on the winning side of an extremely close race, but that time, he ended up winning silver. But despite his less than fantastic start, Phelps proved that the only thing that matters is how you finish. He went on to win four gold medals and another silver before his last time swimming in the Olympics. In his very last race before retirement, Phelps helped his 4x100-m team win gold.

Image credit to london2012.com
Everyone agrees that Michael Phelps is probably the best swimmer. He's the most decorated and by far the most exciting to watch. But now, after the Phelps era has ended, what's next for the swimming world? For the next few years, anyone who doesn't do what Phelps did will be seen as average, even if they manage to beat his times. Phelps didn't become what we call the best Olympian by luck. He earned it with hard work and a lot of determination. Fans are blindsided by amazing swimming and records that they don't realize what he truly had to sacrifice to reach the podium.

Michael Phelps will go down as the best swimmer of all time, until the next Michael Phelps comes along. Those alive during his career know what a true sporting event is, and how precious time really is.

Let the Games Begin

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The Olympics are where the best athletes in the world compete to be viewed as the best in the world. So it's only natural that Opening Ceremony to such a prestigious event should be spectacular. An estimated five billion people watch the summer Olympics (hosted by London this year).

Directed by American filmmaker Danny Boyle, everyone watching expected an amazing performance. But could Boyle deliver under this kind of pressure?

The grand ceremony started with a video of James Bond (Daniel Craig) entering Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen. To get to the games in East London, Bonds takes the Queen in a helicopter, right as one hovers above the dome. The screen shows them both jumping out of the helicopter, and on cue, two stunt doubles jump out of the real one. All cameras are on Her Majesty the Queen as she walks into the stadium.

Slowly, the dome starts to light up. The stage tells a story about London life in the 1800s, a time where farming and agriculture was the main economy. Slowly, the grassy hills rolled back and manufacturing towers started to rise, signaling the beginning of the industrial era. As the scene shifts again, viewers finally realize that Boyle is showing the history of London and the UK. Some may remember the Beijing opening ceremony in 2008 as being a more culturally directed ceremony. 2012's is more history, with a little bit of culture at the end. The music changes, and now spectators see the change in music and technology over the years. There was a tribute to Queen and the Beatles, among others. 

Image credit to nbcolympics.com
The screen now plays a live video of David Beckham and Jade Baile (Arsenal, soccer) on a speedboat, cruising the River Thames to get to the stadium. Clever camera work has the audience believing that Beckham is controlling his speedboat, James Bond style, but there are crewmen there, behind Beckham at an angle the camera can't see. Jade Baille hands off the torch to five time Olympic champion Steve Redgave (England, rowing) to light the cauldron.

When he enters the stadium, there are "metal petals", which is what he will light the flame too, so people thought. But instead, he passed the flame to eight kids, meant to represent Britain's future athletes. They lit the petals, which slowly rose into a cauldron, where the flame will remain burning for the seventeen days of the Olympic Games.

Let the Games begin!

Best of the Best

The MLB All Star game is where the best players from all thirty teams compete in a battle for supremacy between the National League and the American League. The winner of the game gets the first home-field advantage at the World Series. For the past two ASGs (All Star Game), the NL has won and therefore been given home-field advantage.

This year proved to be no different. The NL dominated the game early on. Justin Verlander of the Detriot Tigers was the starting pitcher for the NL. He has been called the pitcher in baseball this season, but he didn't pitch as well as he usually does. In the first inning, he gave up five runs on just four hits. Verlander looked shaky, even after striking out his first batter on three pitches. After that, it all went downhill for the AL.

The San Francisco Giants were the heroes for their team. Matt Cain proved to be a stellar pitcher, as he continues his hot streak. Sluggers Melky Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval had big hits that helped the NL win it all. Sandoval fired his first triple with the bases loaded. Cabrera doubled, homered and won the MVP award in the stadium where he played last season.

This year's ASG was the most lopsided win for the NL ever, as they crushed the AL eight to zero. It was a dissapointing loss for the AL, who were trying to finally prove themselves to be the better league. The NL certainly deserved their win, they outhit the AL ten hits to six.   Perhaps next year, the AL can break their unluckly losing streak. 

Music Review: Justin Bieber

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Following the suit of his mentor, Usher, Justin Bieber has also release a new album, just at the start of summer.  Bieber's album has generated a lot of suspense, mainly by girls aging from twelve to sixteen. According to the iTunes Top Ten albums, this album was definitely worth all the hype. It's already climbed to the top of the charts in less than a week.

Titled Believe, Bieber's latest is compiled of seventeen tracks. He has collaborated with YMCMB rappers Drake and Nicki Minaj. Also featured are Big Sean, Ludacris (who was on his claim-to-fame track Baby) and Will Smith's son Jaden (who was also featured on his song Never Say Never).

Image credit to fanpop.com
Unlike My World, or My World 2.0, Believe explores a new side of Bieber. Some critics say "New haircut, new sound." And they may be right. A few years ago, Bieber was known for his "high-pitched" voice that many of his haters called a girl's voice. His haters will have to find something enw to find wrong with him, because the old voice is gone. In this, Justin shows us his deeper, matured voice as well as some of his rapping skills.

Mike Posner co wrote some of his songs, and the beats are upbeat and catchy. If the Bieber haters must find something to critique, it's this: The falsetto is still there. While he does try to have deeper vocals, there's no mistaking his falsetto in many of the songs.

Rating:                      3.5 stars

Music Review: Usher, Far East Movement

 Summer is always a big time for music lovers. Many artists release their albums during this time, for a few reasons. One reason is the time itself. Kids are out of school and chances are, they listen to music a lot over the summer. This, in turn, generates a lot of revenue for the artist and their label company. Keeping these facts in mind, it's no wonder that Usher and Far East Movement have released new albums at the beginning of June.

Image credit to hiphop-n-more.com

This is the moment all Usher fans have been waiting for. After two very long years, Usher has finally released a new album. Looking 4 Myself is Usher's first full length album since Versus in 2010. Compiled of eighteen tracks, Looking 4 Myself explores a different side of Usher, unlike Confessions in 2004, or even Raymond vs. Raymond in 2010. The title track has the catchiest beat, and a few other tracks follow the same background beat. Usher doesn't use the same vocals in this as he has in older albums. In his previous releases, Usher has been down to earth and sang sweet, melodious tunes. In this, he adapts a pop sound and makes this album one of the most upbeat he's done.
Rating:                                           3.5 stars

Image credit to emusic.com
Far East Movemnt follows Usher's lead, and also haven't dropped a new album since 2010's Free Wired. Free Wired was the breakout album for F.E.M. with their hit single Like a G6. Their new release, Dirty Bass, picks up exactly where the last album left off. F.E.M. are a party group, and rightfully so. They know how to get the audience to enjoy themselves. Like their previous albums, Dirty Bass is a have-fun album with good beats and average vocals. Of course, there isn't a big range for party songs, so the group isn't able to sing a wide variety of songs. Featuring people like Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Tyga, and Flo Rida, the audience can figure out that this album will be another club hit. It's not for lazy afternoons in the summer, but rather channels the nightlife, when the party really starts.
Rating:                                            3 stars

Making History

In the last month, there have two no-hitters in MLB. This year seems to be another year for the pitchers.

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The first no-hitter in the last month, was a combined game by the Seattle Mariners' against the LA Dodgers. Kevin Mildwood pitched six perfect innings, before being replaced due to a groin injury. For the remaining three innings, five other pitchers kept the no-hitter alive. Closer Tony Wilhelmsen got the save, and reliever Stephen Pryor got the win. The final score was 1-0. The Mariners had a total of eight hits, but left runners stranded in scoring position, and couldn't convert their hits into runs.

In all of MLB history, this is the tenth recorded combined no-hitter that a pitching staff has produced. This is Seattle's first no-hitter since 1993, against the Boston Red Sox. This no-hitter is the fourth of the season, with the season just about halfway done.

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The second came from the San Francisco Giants against the Houston Astros. Matt Cain earned his first perfect game, marking the fifth of the season. It was the first for the SF franchise and the twenty-second in Major League Baseball history. Early on, the Giants were dominate. They had fifteen hits, and scored ten runs. Cain had a lot of help from his outfielders. Melky Cabrera and Gregor Blanco both chased down deep balls in their respective areas. Matt Cain later said that those two catches saved his perfect game.

It wast the fifth time that the Houston Astros have been held to a no-hitter.  The last time was the Chicago Cubs in 2008. 2008 was the year that the San Francisco Giants won their first franchise World Series.

In all of MLB, there haven't been five no-hitters by June, except in the 1917 season. In 1990, by the end of July, there were five no-hitters, but never before have so many come so early in the season. Older players such as Dallas Braden (of the Oakland Athletics) have called this season the "Era of the Pitchers". Only time will tell if this season really is the pitcher's year.

Miley Cyrus Engaged

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It seems like everyone in Hollywood wants to be married. Barely any of them make it, but they all want to tie the knot. So it seems fitting that soon enough that nineteen year old former Disney star wants to get married to her 22 year old boyfriend, Liam Hemsworth.

The two met on the set of The Last Song, where they first started dating after playing an on-screen romance. They were dating on and off for about two years, before Hemsworth popped the question on May 31, 2012. People magazine has reported that the ring is a 3.5-carat diamond ring.

Hemsworth has starred in The Last Song with Cyrus in 2009, plays Gale in the new Hunger Games movies, and is reported to be in a few movies in 2013 before the release of the second installment of the Hunger Games, Catching Fire. Cyrus is also reportedly working on new music.

Miley's parents are ecstatic, and already consider Hemsworth a part of the family, People reports. There is no confirmed date for the wedding yet.

Lil Wayne Unwanted?

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He has it all. The money, the fame, the love and adoration from millions of people. Taking a break from writing and rapping, Lil Wayne decided to attend Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals in Oklahoma. But, when he arrived, the ticket vendors refused to let him enter.

Wayne's rep has said that he had asked for court side tickets but by the time he reached, all the tickets were sold out. Angry that he was denied entrance, Lil Wayne demanded to be let in but the vendors still refused. The YMCMB mogul was convinced that he wouldn't get to watch Game 3 of Thunder/Spurs live, so he left. Later on, he responded to rumors by releasing a statement.

Lil Wayne said that he felt "Unwanted" at the game and that the fans, players and other officials didn't want him to watch the game. Later on, some Thunder players alledlegy offered Lil Wayne some tickets to their next game, but he refused. He said that if he was going to go to a basketball game, he wants to feel welcome and accepted by those around him.
Image credit to nba.com

There is no further word from Lil Wayne or his rep whether he will attend another Thunder game, at least for the remainder of this season. The Thunder beat out the Spurs, 4-2, after a come-from-behind series win. They were down 2-0 and have now started a 4-game winning streak, advancing to the NBA finals. The winner of Eastern conference will be determined during Game 7 on Saturday (June 9).

Bono richest Rocker Ever?

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Singer. Songwriter. Guitarist. Philanthropist. Father. Husband. U2. Rocker. Bono. Rich? Apparently. Of course, being the lead singer/songwriter of U2 would leave a man with an ample amount of money. So Bono did what not many other people were able to do with their money. He donated it. He became an activist in many causes, raising awareness, supporting charity projects. But Bono doesn't just support those in need. He helps out those with the best ideas.

In 2009, Bono invested in Facebook, spending ninety million dollars for 2.3% of Facebook's shares. Recently, when Facebook released it's IPO (sixteen billion dollars), Bono's shares rocketed.

People in the music business get paid a lot. Rappers, pop stars, even country stars. But rock stars, for some reason, don't seem to earn as much revenue as a pop star. Especially not if they donate much of their earnings to those who need it most.

Bono's new worth is over a billion dollars, which now puts hm on top the world's richest musicians, which was previously held by Paul McCartney of the Beatles. But for those who worry that Bono will turn selfish and go on a spending spree, that is not the case. As reported by Wonderwall on MSN, Bono is likely to give his Facebook earnings to various projects in Africa that he has helped in the past.

First Time for Everything

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For the first time in 8,020 games played by the Mets, they finally did it. Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets history. It was against the St. Louis Cardinals, no less, who won the World Series last season.

Santana was just coming off of shoulder surgery, and this is only his tenth start since. His season high pitch count was 109, and career high 125. He went well past his season high and broke his career high as well. It was all worth it. Throughout his nine innings, he threw 139 pitches. This is an extremely high number for any pitcher, whether they are still recovering from a surgery or are young and healthy.

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But, he didn't do it all by himself. With the help of amazing outfielders, a "wrong" call by an umpire and a strong arm, Santana led the Mets to a no-hitter. The closest hit the Cardinals had was a foul ball just off the third base line. After the game, replays of the hit showed that the ball had indeed touched the third base line, meaning it would have technically been a base hit.

One of the best catches of the game came from Mike Baxter in left field. Yadier Molina hit the ball deep into left in the seventh inning. Baxter made a jumping catch and crashed into the wall, but still held on to the ball. He had to be carried off the field, as he appeared to have injured his thigh while hitting the dirt.

Mets fans were ecstatic, getting to watch this no-hitter on their own ground in Citi Field in New York. The game may have tired out Santana's arm, but if this cost him his next start, it was worth it. Santana has done what no other pitcher in the Mets franchise has ever done. He has given fans hope and the satisfaction of seeing their team do what was said to be impossible. June 1, 2012 will certainly be one of the greatest days for "No-han" Santana and the Mets.

Thunder end Spurs historic streak

                         In Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, played in Oklahoma City, a lot of questions needed to be answered. Will the Spurs extend their winning streak to twenty one games? Will Kevin Durant feel physically fit enough to tackle to Spurs? Can the Thunder avoid a 3-0 hole?

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Early on, the Spurs were terrible. The Thunder have one of the best fan bases, so strong, it intimidated Tony Parker. Parker had a mere sixteen points, which, sadly, led the Spurs in scoring. Tim Duncan wasn't performing well either. He scored eleven points, going 5-for-15. With the Big 3 falling apart, the Spurs couldn't match up to the fast-paced Thunder. For the first time since April 11 (The Spurs' last loss, against the Lakers), the Big 3 actually looked their age. They didn't have any amazing jump shots, assisting or brilliant back-hand passes, for which Manu Ginobli is best known for.

Image credit to oklahoma-city-thunder.com
The Thunder took advantage of their home-court advantage, and of the "tired" Spurs. Kevin Durant felt good, and he looked good. He scored twenty two points, had six rebounds and five assists. Durant was untouchable. Thabo Sefolosa has four steals within the first three minutes of the game, all of them off of Tim Duncan. Not all was bad for Duncan. He had five blocks, which beat Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's previous playoff record of 476. Duncan now has 477.

By the fourth quarter, Coach Gregg Popovich of the Spurs gave up. He benched Duncan, Ginobli and Parker for the last fifteen minutes. With a two-digit lead in their hands, and the game practically won, the Thunder did the same. At one point, the lead was cut to eleven, but the end score was a twenty point margin, 102-82.

Game 4 is in Oklahoma again, on Saturday, June 2nd.

Music Review: American Idol Alums

Kris Allen released his new album, Thank You Camellia, the day after Phillip Phillips was crowned victor of American Idol, season 11.

Image credit to idolater.com
Allen's album is unlike anything he's done before. When fellow Idol alum Adam Lambert dropped his latest, about a week prior to Allen's, it reached the top of the charts in no time. TYC ( Thank You Camellia), also has climbed its way to the top. Consisting of fourteen  tracks, this album is a fresh look at Season 8 Idol winner. Most of the songs are upbeat and catchy, an easy listen, one to soothe. Unlike what Allen sang on the show three years ago, TYC has a happy tone, one that symbolizes a character. Kris Allen has shown two completely different sides. His first is that he is a soft guy, who sings ballads and sad love songs; his second is that he is a happy-go-lucky guy who is still exploring himself for the perfect sound. Well he's almost there.
Rating:                                   4.5 stars

Image credit to hollywoodreporter.com
Phillip Phillips became the winner of Season 11 of Idol. He was against sixteen year old powerhouse Jessica Sanchez. Phillips' vocals fall short compared to Sanchez, but he knows how to work a crowd. He is a naturally gifted performer who plays on the audience's emotions. Singing Usher to practically any rock genre to Gotye, Phillip Phillips has great versatility. Teenage girls everywhere love it when he "groans", which he says is actually him getting into the melody. From what he's done on the show, he doesn't have a melody.

Spurs, Yanks Continue to Win

What do the San Antonio Spurs and New York Yankees have in common? Not a lot. They play completely different sports (basketball and baseball respectively), in different states and are completely different athletes. Yet, they do have a little in common. Both teams have the longest winning streak in their sport as of now, and while both teams have been called "old", they have a lot of game left in them.

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Yesterday, May 27th was Game 1 of the Western Finals for basketball. It was the Spurs vs the OKC Thunder, who almost swept the Lakers. The Spurs trailed by nine at the beginning of the fourth quarter. After using every time out in the 4th quarter, they pulled it together. Gregg Popvich, the Spurs coach, rallied them on. He told them to play nasty and drive in some shots. The young Thunder couldn't keep u. Manu Ginoboli had a team high 26 points, while Kevin Durant from the Thunder had a game high 27 points. This come-from-behind victory is the Spurs' 19th win, tying the 2001 Lakers for most wins in a playoff. The Lakers went to the championships that year.

Image credit to baseball-wallpapers.com
The Yankees also have the largest winning streak, but it's only five games long. After sweeping the A's in Oakland last weekend, the Yankees are finally coming around. Some of their main sluggers are falling behind and their bullpen is the only thing that is saving them. Mark Texeira and Curtis Granderson don't have as many home runs or RBIs as they usually have. Yet, they still manage to create a winning streak. If the Yanks can fix their hitters and almost perfect their starting pitchers, they will easily be at the top of the AL East.

Maroon 5 for 10

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Pop band Maroon 5 celebrated ten years this year. From their breakthrough album, Songs About Jane, in 2007 to their newest album Overexposed, Maroon 5 has done what few other pop bands before them have done. They have made music, "real" music, music that's about their voice and their passion. As for quality, Maroon 5 has it, they still have the freshness in their voices that they did in their first album. They haven't lost the familiar pop tune that defines M5.

The pop group sat down with Entertainment Online to chat about their ten years of music. Adam Levine says that nothing has really changed for them. He's still the same "stubborn, combative...confident" lead singer he was years ago. On whether he's cocky, Levine says "[My confidence] is often misunderstood for egotistical." 

Lead guitarist says that their new album will be a different sound. While M5 fans would love to hear Songs About Jane sequels, Valentine says that's not the case. They want to explore new sounds. This is the first album, he says, that they've come to terms with who they are as a band and combined their confidence together.

Valentine added that it was important for the group to move on from their one set sound, even though that's tried-and true. "That's not who we are," Levine adds. They are still experimenting with their new sound.

Overexposed comes out June 26th. Songs About Jane 10th Anniversary Edition comes out June 5. 

Donna Summer Remembered

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Donna Summer passed away on Thursday, May 17, 2012. She had lung cancer, which is believed to be the cause of her early death. The disco icon died at 63.

Her family members say that Summer was a non-smoker, yet she had lung cancer. It is believed that during the attacks on the Twin Towers on 9/11, Summer inhaled some of the smoke which later developed into lung cancer. This is not uncommon. It is believed that over one thousand people have died from inhaling the smoke from 9/11, with more than a third from cancer.

There will be a private memorial for Donna Summer in Tennessee, on May 30th. Her family released a statement saying: "While we grieve her passing, we are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy,". (As reported by Usmagazine.com and MSN's Wonderwall)

Almost Made History

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If Justin Verlander had thrown one extra strike, he would have been a part of an elite group of pitchers, a list only twenty nine people long. This group is the no-hitter club. Verlander could have been the thirtieth pitcher in the history of baseball to throw a no hitter. But he wasn't going to make history this game.

In an exciting battle between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers, Verlander does an amazing job as the Tigers pitcher, even with a thumb injury. All the way until the ninth inning, Verlander had twelve strikeouts and only two walks. He gave up no walks. With one out in the ninth and only two people between him and history, Josh Harrison comes up to bat. Top of the line-up, but he hadn't hat a hit yet. Verlander throws two strikes, and a ball. The next pitch, Harrison makes contact with the ball. He singles to center.

Although Verlander's chances of being considered one of the best are ruined, his work should not go unnoticed. He lowered his ERA to 2.14, which is a significant amount lower than his ERA prior to this game.
Image credit to detroit.tigers.mlb.com
Verlander made his first appearance this season after being placed on the DL due to a thumb injury. The Tigers had thirteen hits, and scored six runs. The final score was 6-0, in favor of Detroit.