Aside

You can be a champion

The Voice logo

I’ve been watching The Voice UK on BBC iPlayer these few weeks and I have been really impressed with the level of talent on there, a hundred times better than The X Factor, no offence X Factor fans but I just don’t take the show seriously these days, I just get the feeling that its just only too poppy. But having said I give X Factor to launching a British invasion (by launching 1Direction and Little Mix) to the US, but that goes back to my point in my last blog that the UK doesn’t need to send established superstars onto the Eurovision stage because they are big in Europe and want to be popular and want to be known around the globe. The real people who have gain recognition from The Voice is Bo Bruce who got a record deal with Mercury Records and shortly after that released an album out, I noticed on YouTube that she is featured on a song called u with Gareth Emery (it is basically a remix of alive), the same thing happened to Tyler James who got signed on a record deal and released an album shortly after so I’m happy for both of them, I have a  bit of sympathy for Leanne Mitchell for experiencing the highs of highs and the lowest of the lows, its just like going through The Apprentice for 12 weeks then winning the job and quitting 12 months later.

Talking about The Voice, my favourite part of the show have been the blind auditions, the videos below are my favourite  auditions of the show, some of them I found accidentally and two of them you won’t recognise because it doesn’t come from the UK.

  1. Lesher Haughton – Who’s Loving You
  2. Conor Scott – Starry Eyed
  3. Sean Rumsey – Payphone
  4. Paul Carden – Locked Out Of Heaven
  5. Lee Glasson – Can’t Get You Out Of My Head
  6. Chris Royal – Wake Me Up
  7. Jade Mayjean Peters – Sweet About Me
  8. Jermain Jackman – And I Am Telling You
  9. Christina Marie – I Have Nothing
  10. Toni Warne – Leave Right Now
  11. Beth McCarthy – Sexy and I Know It
  12. Leah McFall – RIP
  13. Frances Wood – Where is the Love
  14. Becky Hill – Ordinary People
  15. Emmy J Mac – Put Your Records On
  16. Tyler James – (Sitting On) The Dock of the Bay
  17. Max Milner – Lose Yourself/Come Together
  18. Bill Downs – She Said
  19. Matt Henry – Trouble
  20. Vince Kidd – Like A Virgin
  21. Bo Bruce – Without You
  22. Leanne Mitchell – If I Were A Boy
  23. Ruth Brown – When Love Takes Over
  24. Heshima Thompson – Dynamite
  25. Rachael O’Connor – Clown
  26. Georgia – Hallelujah I Love Him So
  27. Jamie Johnson – So Sick
  28. Jaz Ellington – A Team
  29. Preston Pohl – Electric Feel
  30. Harrison Craig – Broken Vow

I just been watching saturday night’s episode on BBC iPlayer, as I’m typing I’ve just finished watching the performances,  I thought last night’s episode was ridiculous (HE CAN’T BE SERIOUS), i mean ridiculous in a good way, all the artists were flawless and as will i am would say “it was dope”. Loved each one of the performances and very enjoyable, I can just picture the Gospel guy (I can’t remember what his name is, something like Booza  or  some connection with vowels, don’t want to look it up in case of spoilers) singing that song he sang on the first live singing on Jools Holland. My prediction for who will stay on each team on The Voice is below, you can find results from my prediction if you scroll down this blog.

BEFORE THE RESULTS

Tom Jones’s group

  • Georgia

Will.i.am’s group

  • Sophie

Kylie’s group

  • Rachael

Ricky’s group

  • Chris

Just want to avoid the subject of The Voice for now to share some really exciting news that I wanted to do for some time, I’m as of now a member of PCC, for those who don’t know what it is, its Pinner Cricket Club, as I said earlier in this paragraph it is something I wanted to do because I have a passion of cricket, I took it up one year during March time in 2011 because I wanted to enjoy life, I was quite miserable and shallow at the time because I was fed up, I was so fed up at the time that I felt like packing in my degree when it came to exam period, I had three exams to prepare for which would last 3 hours each, at that stage I was worn out, I thought at the time I wasn’t going to get my degree because I lost interest or enthuasium, in that year I only passed 1 out of the 4 modules I did that year but I can’t put into words how hard it was to accept, it was like from that point out if I didn’t pass all three modules that I failed then yeah dreams of graduating would be just out of picture frame. Let me tell you I felt that I had to make some really bold decisions and decisions I hadn’t planned on before I went to university. One of those decisions I felt was necessary was to give up cricket the following year because I couldn’t afford to FAIL. The following year between 2011-2012 I wanted to be isolated and away from everyone including those who were close to me at the time, I wanted to be alone for once, it reminds me of the song Holding Back The Years by Simply Red, by the end of that year I passed 2 out of the three modules before June and had some real angst times during the summer when I had to redo an exam, looking back at it, it was one of those where if I fail then my three years at uni would be wasted and I wouldn’t be able to show my face to friends and family or face the truth, that was what I was in my head at that point before the results was published on the university website, I was not particularly keen on knowing my result straight away but when I realised that I did PASS meant that I was able to back again to my final year. If you find this boring then I suggest you listen to “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” by Whitney Houston. From then on the rest is history, by the end of it whether it was a high or lower second class degree, the sacrifices I made turned out good didn’t to, I felt like a true champion. [Audience: LOL] Well for those people who graduated who wouldn’t have the same feeling?

So now I got my degree I can enjoy playing as well as watching cricket. I went to the club to sign up on Saturday, it felt great to recognise some old faces, also went along to the net session, it was the first time since the summer of 2011 that I played cricket so I wasn’t expecting to be that good and I didn’t have any expectations. The first few balls I bowled were stiff and some gone over the batsman and wide as well but I wasn’t surprised really. I also batted for a small time, same impression I got when bowling, need to PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE !!!. I thought it was brave of myself to come to a nets considering I haven’t played cricket for quite sometime, I have had no practice since 2011, When I came into the club in 2011 I had no experience of playing before so it is going to take time for me to develop from a novice level, I wasn’t looking forward to face some fast bowlers, well i wouldn’t have been surprised to have faced club level bowlers who can make the 1st or 2nd team, I have nothing but respect for their skill level, I would rather face them at net practice instead of the matches. I have a lot to learn because I have started again.

So I’m watching The Voice now, was I right or was I wrong? Lets find out

Tom Jones – WRONG

Will.i.am – Right

Kylie – WRONG

Ricky –  Right

So it turned out that some and some not agreed with me on that which is cool. Can’t wait for the semi finals, it’s going to be really exciting.

Till next week just wanted to leave on a reflective note. Normally I wouldn’t expect family or friends to share bad experiences either they don’t want people to know about their business so they lock it away inside a memory safe inside their brain with a keyword.  One of the reasons why I wanted to blog on here was for people to read my story and take inspiration that Y.A.N.A (You Are Not Alone). Just whatever it is, I’m sure there are people who went to university and failed to reach their final year or dropped out over a couple of months, I have sympathy for those because I was close to being in that situation myself because it it would have been one of the hardest things to accept and to move on from that. The first five verses of the Whitney Houston’s song describe what I went through.

Just remember when your at highest point in your life I want yourself to say to yourself in secret that

“YOU ARE A CHAMPION”

image of a champion

Long lost time, what am I waiting for

Long lost time, what am I waiting for

union jack

Hey everyone! It’s been a couple of months since I wrote my last blog. I have been through a bad patch of luck these months, it’s been quite depressing when I’m looking for work and you just get told that loads of people applying to jobs and you aren’t sure what to do career wise, do you know the feeling? Well that is where I am at reality wise.

Loads to talk about in this blog,

I have to start off by discussing the cricket,  I would like to congratulate Grahame Smith for being the South Africa test captain for over a 100 test matches, I would expect that many people would have critisied him at the start of his reign because many people would have thought he would have been out of his depth or he doesn’t have as much experience as a test cricketer so I thought it was a gamble to be honest. Graham Smith was one of the first people I remember when I first started watching televised cricket on Channel 4, I enjoyed watching him score 277 at Edgbaston and 259 at Lords (I totally miss live test match cricket on that channel these days), I think it was back in 2003 in England at Lords and Edgbaston where I remember watching Smith and other South African players such as Gary Kirsten, Ntini, Pollock, Hall, Boucher and Gibbs who were playing in the same test series. I didn’t know much about cricket or have any idea  back then but that was the time when I saw a master at work or a total genius. I was very shocked when the news had broke out for the first time, I just couldn’t believe it but I understood why he wanted to retire. At the time I didn’t watch much of the South Africa Australia test series but I kept up to date with the scorecard on the BBC website at the end of each day, I watched the final day of the last test and that was the best part of it, I watched the last hour of the day when South Africa were 8 wickets down (I thought that it would have ended up a draw at the end of the day), one of the commentators said the tickets were free in Newlands, if I had been in South Africa and known it was free at that point then I would have been there, it was an exciting last hour, Australia managed to get two wickets to win the test, it would be like Man City trailing by 2-1 with 20 minutes to go and  then scoring two late goals to win the test match. That is one way of looking at it, who says Test Matches are boring? He has left a great legacy to South Africa and to the game of cricket, here is a few statistics I want to share:

  • During his time as test captain he has managed to go undefeated in three test series away in England  and to three different England captains who resigned their captaincy after the test series (Hussain, Vaughan and Strauss) isn’t it IRONIC, don’t you think?
  • Scored a century in his 100th test match.
  • Holds the record for most tests as captain with 109 matches.
  • Lead his side to be the number 1 ranked test side in the world by beating England in 2012.
  • Holds the highest score at Lord’s of 259 by a foreign player, ironically he beaten Bradman’s record which is kind of unheard of.

For me Graeme Smith is right up there as one of the great captains and he is right up there with being one of the greats as an opening batsman. To me personally I would put him in alongside Jack Hobbs in my fantasy test team because he was such a great leader, a great run scorer, such a good person off the field and plus I would like a left hand right hand combination. For those that don’t know Jack Hobbs he was mainly a opening batsman that played most of his career for Surrey and played quite a few tests for England in the first part of the 20th century, although he didn’t play as much test cricket, I would say he has been the greatest batsman or cricketer to play for England, it is often difficult to say whether those cricketers such as Hobbs, W G Grace, Bradman, Trumpter, Sutcliffe would have survived in todays game, it is difficult to say.  But Graeme is one of those people who inspired me to play cricket in the first place because he was a great run scorer and because me and Graeme have something in common there aren’t that many left handed batsman that I can learn from as many people are right handed. I look forward to hearing how Smith will get on when he plays for Surrey in the upcoming cricket season.

I was pleased to see Man United to get a good result during the weekend, I am a little bit disappointed to hear about Vidic wanting to leave a few weeks back, he has done an excellent job as a servant at United and has been one of the solid defenders in the Premier League. I think it would be hard for United’s part to find a replacement for him. I think during the summer it will be an important period not just for United but for also for David Moyes to stamp his legacy at the club, he will need to get a central defender and possibly some midfielders that can pass and keep possession and a left back so with the funds he should be able to attract world class players but the only trouble with that is they may not be playing Champions League Football by the look of it but they still need to get a few players in the transfer window. These are some of the players that I have picked out that are rumored to go to United next season:

Toni Kroos – he has been a regularly picked in the starting lineups for Bayern Munich, plays as an attacking midfielder and scores goals. May want to leave in the summer but just because it says in the press that he wants to leave is just all talk really.

Luke Shaw – came off the bench at his England debut against Denmarks, plays most of his football at Southampton, hasn’t declared his future at the club, would be the ideal replacement for Evra as a left back.

Arturo Vidal – no talk of him leaving, wants to stay at Juventus, creates assists and scores goals in a midfield role

Claudio Marchiso – No talk of him leaving but I think he is the sort of player that United need right now in their defensive midfield. I don’t expect him to leave but I think he would be a great addition.

Ross Barkley – I was surprised that United didn’t make a bid for him in the summer, to me in many ways he reminds me of a young Wayne Rooney, he is an exciting young talented player that I think will be a great player in years to come.

Tom Ince – may come as a suprise, he is still a young player but he may look like a United star one day.

Andros Townsend – he has made a name of himself with playing for Tottenham and for England, I can see him fit into the United squad but I fear he may not get first team football if he decides to join United.

What do you guys think? I have created a poll below

Well when I first heard our UK eurovision entry I was reasonable excited because the song was fresh and the artist  but the more I listen to it the less excited I get, its sad i know. I thought it had been a good idea in the first place to send unknown and established artists who have hunger or yet to be established to get in the music industry, that is what set us back in the last two years because no disrespect to Englebert or Bonnie Tyler but everyone knew they were getting on past their prime and attempting to return back, i mean look at Jade Ewen, she was an unknown identity at the time and done well for us finishing 5th overall. I think the UK should have the same selection process as Sweden, Denmark and Germany do, however the last time we used that process in 2010 we came last but I think that is because we don’t take it that seriously, overall at the end of the day the song is judged on a live performance and to be honest the voting is quite biased where neighbouring countries are going to vote each other, that is no secret and also I don’t think were are taking it seriously because its like we have artists marking their legacy around the world, you look at names like One Direction, Little Mix, John Newman, Disclosure, Bastile, Emeli Sande, Union J, Jessie J, Rita Ora, Sam Smith, Mumford & Sons, Ellie Goulding, Tinie Tempah, The Saturdays the list goes on, if we sent one of those artists i would feel that if we hadn’t won then it would appear like a tragedy and there isn’t a lot you can do with a song when you have duration of three minutes long.  Although to be honest as good as this year’s song is, i don’t expect it to win but if you were to offer it to be in the top 10 then I would take it. The song does have a strong message (“Power to the People”), with that message you could have a twitter campaign using #Power (to) the People so that you can create awareness of the song. Still at least it something to look forward to. I haven’t listened to the other songs properly yet because I haven’t got the Eurovision fever yet lol so that can wait a while. I will probably predict the favourite or favourites until the second semi final is completed. If I had to take a song to take into Eurovision as the UK entry it would have to be Let’s Go for Tonight by Foxes, that would be a winning song in my opinion and the artist is exciting because for those that don’t know she was featured on the song ‘Clarity’ which won a grammy award, as she is upcoming she can use Eurovision as a platform to viewers watching Eurovision in Europe which is what the contest can do for those people. For me as a viewer looking from the outside it is all about finding or discovering new artists and if the song they sing is good enough to listen to then you can expand further, it is like the Voice UK, when I watched the first series of the show I just fell in love with the show straight away, who needs the X Factor these days, but the artists that came out from the Voice was Bo Bruce, shortly after she came off The Voice I listened to ‘Search the Night’ and I was able to listen to her official ‘Before I Sleep’ album because I liked and enjoyed her live performances, Loreen was another example of that but in all honestly I didn’t get that excitement straight away, it was probably on monday the next week when I curious to know how it done in the UK charts and it reached no 3 in the UK charts which was a good suprise for me to know that people were following Eurovision whether it was young or old, when she did that medley last year that prompted me to listen to her album ‘Heal’, lucky enough I was able to find it on Youtube  and I quite liked it so I brought the album and it is because with shows like The Voice and Eurovision I could discover new artists that aren’t established or known to me if you get where I am coming from.