Gary David Slam Dunks Celebrity Dance Battle With “Love Never Felt So Good”

Source: Interaksyon.com – By Edwin P. Sallan | All Things Michael

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In a word: spectacular.

That’s how the first Grand Finals night of TV5’s “Celebrity Dance Battle” went down at the Newport Performing Arts Theater at Resorts World Manila last Sunday in a show marked by unforgettable performances from each of the top 5 celebrity finalists.

Basketball superstar Gary David displayed the explosive form that earned him the moniker “El Granada” in the PBA as he and partner Stephanie Sabalo walked away with the P1 million cash prize while also bagging the Texter’s Choice award for a winner-take-all overall performance.

As a a four-time PBA scoring champion and as a member of Team Gilas Pilipinas that won the gold in the 2003 Southeast Asian Games and the 2012 William Jones Cup, Gary certainly knows what it takes to win. He proved that the dance floor is not much different from the playing court with his standout performance.

On a night when each contending pair brought their A-game and delivered their contemporary interpretations of traditional dances, Gary and Stephanie presented a high octane reading of the Latin Salsa as they gyrated to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “Love Never Felt So Good”.

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What made their number extra special was Gary’s breathtaking tribute to the King of Pop and the impeccable precision in which he and Stephanie delivered one highlight moment after another. As a result, their number earned the only standing ovation of the night from judges G. Toengi, Edna Ledesma, Jose Javier Reyes and Regine Tolentino.

Douglas Nierras, who judged and commented via online video conference live from Italy, said he was also at a loss for words upon seeing Gary and Stephanie’s stellar performance. Seated among the audience, Coach Chot Reyes also gave his Gilas player the thumbs-up.

Even as the night belonged to the winning pair, the other grand finalists also impressed the judges with their own hot numbers. Former beauty queen Priscilla Merielles and partner Rommel Olson kicked off the contest proper with their sexy interpretation of the Brazilian Samba that ended with Priscilla being suspended up in the air in a trapeze-like contraption.

The sultry Iwa Moto and partner Paul Nuñez did a sizzling, slow Rhumba number to the tune of Bonnie Tyler’s classic ballad “Total Eclipse of the Night” with supportive partner Pampi Lacson applauding in the audience.

Despite a misstep, Rafa Siguion-Reyna and partner Olivia Cui infused their Cha-Cha dance with hip-hop elements in a performance with an auto mechanic theme most likely inspired by the musical “Grease”.

And Ciara Sotto made use good use of the ropes as a stand-in for her usual pole dancing highlights as she and partner Ian Buentolo took on the Jive in a Cowboy-themed number to the tune of Ike and Tina Turner’s signature soul hit “River Deep, Mountain High”.

Many in the audience actually believed that Ciara and Ian had the contest in the bag. That was until Gary and Stephanie saved the best for last when they stepped in as the final contestants.

Aside from the performers, the finale of “Celebrity Dance Battle” was further spiced up by the equally exhilarating opening dance number from the five finalists plus judges G. Toengi and Edna Ledesma as well as hosts Lucy Torres-Gomez and Anthony and David Semerad.

A special number was also presented by Regine Tolentino and Diabolo master Spyro Marco, the fourth Ultimate Talentado of TV5’s returning talent search show “Talentadong Pinoy”.

All told, it was indeed a spectacular first season of “Celebrity Dance Battle”. Even though a second season is yet to be announced, the solid enough following that the show earned in its three-month run should merit consideration for a return engagement very soon.

 

Read more: http://www.interaksyon.com/entertainment/gallery-gary-david-scores-slam-dunk-as-celebrity-dance-battle-champ/

Donny Osmond Set To Release 60th This fall, Tells The Story Behind The Songs

Source: Voices | All Things Michael

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To paraphrase the stage musical that he once starred in, Donny Osmond is indeed wearing a coat of many colors these days. And each of those colors could easily symbolize a chapter of the multifaceted, five-decade career that the 56-year-old has cultivated: successful albums; successful TV variety show; the “best show in Las Vegas” (along with his sister Marie) three-years running; “Dancing with the Stars” champion; a home furnishings line (created with his wife, Debbie); and his 60th album set for release this fall. Talk about staying power.

For the upcoming “The Soundtrack of My Life” album, Osmond can now add “interactive social media app” designer to his colorful resume. The just-launched, completely free Donny Osmond App (available through iTunes and Google Play) allows fans to read the stories behind each of the 15 songs on the album, as well as sample each cut — and we’re talking nearly two minutes’ worth of samplin’.

“The record company thought I was nuts to allow two minutes’ worth of sampling, but I told them, if they like what they hear, they’ll want to buy the album,” Osmond said. “And the app asks for absolutely no permissions; I have no interest in invading people’s cell phones like the rest of the apps out there that invade your phone with permissions. And it absolutely had to be a free app. I’m a HUGE tech geek, so I designed it to be easy to use, extremely simple in design. I turned it over to an engineer for the code and we went through a few incarnations and it’s finally out.”

The first song available through the app is Osmond’s version of Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour,”  featuring a harmonica solo by Wonder. Starting July 1, and each week after that until the CD’s release, app users will be able to sample two-minutes’ worth of the featured song and read the backstory of how the song relates to Osmond’s life and career.

“This is my 60th album, and that’s really significant to me,” Osmond said. “I’m actually in the Top Three all-time album releases: Zappa has 75, Presley had 78. The Stones have 57. I think that’s quite an accomplishment. But it’s not enough to just release an album these days. I wanted something more for this album because each song on the album played a significant role in my life. I wanted to tell those stories.”

The stories on the app are succinct, but Osmond was happy to elaborate on some of them:

“‘My Cherie Amour’ was the first 45 [record] I ever bought. So I called Stevie and told him I’d love it if you would do a harmonica solo on the song for me. I sent him the track, and his assistant called and said Stevie loved it and wanted to be on the record.”

“‘Ben,’ the Michael Jackson hit was actually written for me, but because I was on tour with my brothers at the time, I wasn’t available, so the song went to Michael and became his first number one hit. … ‘One Bad Apple’ was written for the Jackson Five, but we got it instead, and that became OUR first number one hit.”

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The Beatles’ ‘Long and Winding Road’ is one of my favorites, and their last number one single. It’s 1973 and I’m in France at the George V Hotel and there’s a knock on my door and it’s Paul McCartney and his young daughter Mary. So he says in that great [Liverpool-accented] voice of his, ‘Mary is a huge fan of yours and would like your autograph.’ She hands me a picture of myself, and I sign it. He says ‘thank you very much’ and closes the door. Fast-forward to 1991, I’m in a recording studio and Paul’s in the studio adjacent to mine. So I stop by and told him the story because honestly, I wanted to make sure it had really happened [Laughs], I mean it was Paul McCartney standing in my doorway! It was still surreal [20 years later]. And Paul says to me that not only did it happen but he says ‘It’s one of the very few autographs I’ve ever asked for.’”

“‘Under My Skin,” I had to include because my mom had a secret crush on Frank Sinatra all her life. She would play his albums all the time, along with Dean Martin’s and Perry Como’s, and that’s how I learned to sing all their songs. But my dad did not like the fact that she had this crush on Frank so it was taboo to play his songs, especially that one. So I’m 9 years old, opening for Nancy Sinatra with my brothers in Las Vegas and we’re doing a dress rehearsal. I look into the audience and the only people there were Frank and his entourage. So all these guys are talking, dropping F-bombs and my dad just blows a gasket. He walks right up to Frank and rips him a new one about how could his people talk like that in front of his kids, and don’t ever do that again, and stuff like that. Frank’s people look like they’re about to kill my dad; Frank doesn’t say a word. The next evening, my dad is backstage setting up props for our show and one of Frank’s guys comes up to him and hands him an envelope and says ‘Frank wanted you to have this.’ Inside the envelope was $1,000 and a handwritten note from Frank apologizing for the language that happened in front of us kids. Now here’s the [tragedy] of this whole situation: $1,000 back then was a LOT of money to us, so my dad takes the cash and puts it in his pocket — and throws the letter away! Can you imagine the value of that letter today? [Laughs] A letter from Frank, apologizing!”

Each of the songs on the album has new arrangements, taking some of the songs in an entirely new direction, under the watchful eye of producer Eliot Kennedy, who has collaborated with Osmond twice before. “I had to push the envelope with songs otherwise it becomes karaoke,” Osmond said. “For ‘Under My Skin’ I didn’t want to do it the big band way that Sinatra or [Michael] Buble did it. I want to take the listener to a smoky jazz lounge and make it my own. On ‘Nothing Compares to U,’ everybody know Sinead O’Connor’s version, but I’m familiar with they way Prince originally produced it… I went back to THAT version and put a little gospel into it the way Prince did it in the first place.”

Some of the other cuts on the album include “Don’t Give Up,” by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush; “Broken Wings,” by Mister, Mister; “I Who Have Nothing,” by Tom Jones; “Your Song,” by Elton John;“Peg,” by Steely Dan; and “Moon River,” by Andy Williams.

“This my personal homage to all these artists,” Osmond said. “The is my absolute favorite album I’ve ever done because it’s my most personal. I’m hoping that’s what will set this album apart from the rest.”

 

Read more: Voices

 

Michael Jackson And Rupert The Bear Spotted At Hobbycraft Store For Charity

Sources: Crawley News | All Things Michael

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ANYONE who popped into Hobbycraft at County Oak Retail Park on Saturday may have got a surprise – as all the employees were in fancy dress.

Staff were invited to come in dressed as their favourite superhero – with the theme being stretched a little by some. Visitors were met by employees dressed as Michael Jackson, Rupert Bear and the Queen of Hearts, as well as two Superwomen.

The craft shop also put on a host of fun activities to keep children entertained.

Store manager Paul Cleeton said: “We had face painting, a guess the name of a big papier-mâché giraffe competition, and a guess the number of beads in a large jar competition.”

In exchange for the fun and games visitors were invited to make a donation to children’s charity Together For Short Lives.

Read more: http://www.crawleynews.co.uk/Hobbycraft-staff-s-super-fundraiser

11-Year-Old Takes On His Pops In Awesome Wedding Dance-Off

Source: Huffington Post – By Taryn Hillin / All Things Michael

If movies have taught us anything, it’s that there’s only one way to really get the party started: a dance-off.

So when Shawn Hanaee’s sister got married last month, he enlisted the help of his 11-year-old son Anthony to get the other guests riled up during the reception with a good, old-fashioned father-son dance battle.

Shawn — who posted the video to YouTube — takes on classic tracks like “Tootsee Roll” and “Everybody Dance Now,” while his son keeps it fresh by busting moves to “Turn Down For What” and “Gangnam Style.” All excellent choices.

So who won? You can watch and judge for yourself, but we would like to mention that one of them whips out some Michael Jackson-esque moves at the end and that totally clinched it for us.

 

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/20/wedding-dance-off_n_5515863.html

 

Steam Fair That Michael Jackson Wanted To Buy Comes To Hayes

Source: Hillingdonetimes – By Andrew Lawton  / All Things Michael

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FILM fans have the opportunity to become a Rider of the Lost Ark when Carters Steam Fair comes to Hayes next weekend.

The Lost Ark is the focal point of the steam fair’s vintage rides and attractions, which will be on Park Road Green.

The steam fair is even offering the chance for over-78s to have a go on the jungle thriller for free when it rolls into Hayes on June 28 and 29. with a range of vintage rides, including a carousel, the Gallopers, which dates back to 1895.

In the off-season, the vintage rides are lovingly restored to their former glory, ready for their trips up and down the country throughout the summer.

Carters Steam Fair has received visits from a variety of celebrities over the years, including Princess Diana, Roger Daltery and Mick Jagger.

Michael Jackson even offered a multi-million pound deal to buy the funfair for his US Neverland home but had his offer rejected.

 

Read more: http://www.hillingdontimes.co.uk/news/localnews

Teddy Bridgewater’s Connection To Michael Jackson

Source: USA Today – By Tom Pelissero

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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Teddy Bridgewater can joke about the obsession about the glove he wears on his throwing hand, even though the Minnesota Vikings’ rookie quarterback knows he probably hasn’t heard the end of it.

“Man, I don’t think gloves have been much of a deal like this since Michael Jackson,” Bridgewater told USA TODAY Sports recently. “But to this day and for the rest of my career, I’m going to continue to wear gloves.”

The equipment has come a long way since Chicago quarterback Jim McMahon first donned gloves during the Bears’ Super Bowl run after the 1985 season. The likes of Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger have thrown while wearing one at times, and Peyton Manning put one on late in his 2013 MVP season.

But the list of NFL quarterbacks who have worn glove on a regular basis isn’t long, in part because, unlike Bridgewater, most come into the league as traditional bare-handed throwers and have no interest in risking the pitfalls of experimentation.

“The ball goes flying over somebody’s head and at that point mentally you go, ‘Forget it, I can’t wear this glove,’” two-time NFL MVP Kurt Warner, who wore a glove in his last few years with the Arizona Cardinals, told USA TODAY Sports.

“I can throw 35 balls perfect, but if I’m going to miss two balls in a game that could easily be a pick-six, forget it, I’m not doing it. You have to develop to the point where you feel like you can make every throw and the glove is never going to affect you negatively.”

Bridgewater, a Miami native, doesn’t know any other way. He began wearing a glove soon after arriving as an early enrollee in 2011 at Louisville, where he said it was cold and the type of ball being used was “like a brick,” making it difficult for him to grip.

The glove stayed on throughout college, but it was off at Bridgewater’s widely panned pro day workout in March — a decision he chalked up to trusting his preparation, because he’d had success throwing perfectly brushed NFL balls without wearing a glove during workouts in humid Florida.

“Teddy got himself caught up in what everybody’s talking about,” former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie told USA TODAY Sports.

Flutie washed out in his first NFL stint in the late-80s but revived his career in the Canadian Football League, where he recalls a frigid game day in Calgary prompting him to search for a glove — not for warmth, but to get a better and more consistent grip on the ball.

He wore a glove off and on for the rest of his career, which brought him back to the NFL with the Buffalo Bills in 1998. The best test, Flutie said, was to take a one-handed snap on the sideline. Without the glove, it was impossible. With the glove, he could do it in his sleep. He also could throw the ball about 5 yards farther, with faster revolutions.

“I wish I had done it from the beginning of my career,” Flutie said, “because it was always an advantage.”

Warner, an NFL Network analyst, decided to give the glove a shot after being benched in favor of Matt Leinart during the 2006 season and seeing Roethlisberger wear one, as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback has at times throughout his career.

Though Warner didn’t buy into speculation that injuries early in his career had weakened his throwing hand — a reason similar to why Manning wore a glove last season — he figured it at least was worth quietly experimenting with wearing one in practice. When Leinart got hurt late in that season, Warner returned wearing a glove and played so well he decided to keep using one.

“I have no idea if there’s any way to say they helped me or didn’t help me,” Warner said. “But the last time we went to the Super Bowl with Arizona (after the 2008 season), I’d actually broken my index finger midway through that season. I remember one time going, ‘I’m going to take the gloves off and see if they’re aiding me.’ I could barely throw the football without it.”

Warner was quick to note the glove isn’t “a magic advantage” that would transform an average quarterback into a star. But it’s worth wondering if a rise to NFL stardom by Bridgewater – gloved from Day 1 – might inspire a generation of young quarterbacks to follow his lead.

Bridgewater wore Nike gloves at Louisville and now has an apparel contract with the company, which has been sending him gloves to try out, according to his advisor, former NFL safety Abe Elam. Where McMahon’s Neumann Tackified Sport Glove three decades ago was a modified leather golf accessory, Bridgewater’s glove will be engineered for throwing the football.

“It feels like the ball actually – like the texture of the ball,” Bridgewater said. “I guess that’s why it’s a perfect match for when the ball is in my hand. When the ball is in my hand, it just sticks to my hand. It feels like I’m bare-handed, but I’m not.”

Dennis Ryan, the Vikings’ longtime equipment manager, is involved in planning for managing the glove in different conditions, which could be more of a factor the next two seasons as the team plays its home games outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium.

Like Bridgewater, Flutie has hands that are small for an NFL quarterback, exacerbating the grip issue in cold conditions. For all the advantages of the glove, Flutie said his accuracy sometimes suffered when he was running toward his target and couldn’t spin short touch throws. He vividly recalls an interception and a key third-down incompletion he still blames on the glove.

“But the days that I played in Buffalo and we had windy conditions and snowy conditions where other quarterbacks couldn’t make certain throws, I was still throwing corner routes, seam routes, posts,” Flutie said. “I was still just turning it loose without an issue, which I know if I didn’t have the glove on my hand I couldn’t have been doing.”

To this day, Flutie said, he’ll toss a glove in his bag if he thinks there’s any chance he might pick up a ball, even on a day at the beach.

Warner doesn’t go that far, but he said he’ll always feel more comfortable with a glove than without – and the bottom line for any quarterback is finding that comfort and sticking with it.

“Oh yeah, and he told me the same thing: ‘Wearing gloves got you where you are to this day,’” Bridgewater said. “I’m just going to continue to do that.”

 

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/vikings/2014/06/15/

Spike Lee Discusses His Short Film’s Connection To Michael Jackson And More

Source: Rolling Stone – By Kory Grow

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As soon as director Spike Lee heard Kelly Rowland’s song “The Game,” part of the Pepsi-curated compilation Beats of the Beautiful Game, he knew he wanted to make an accompanying short film for the song in Brazil. Why? “The World Cup!” he emphatically tells Rolling Stone.

Lee and what he describes as an “NYU-sized” crew traveled to the favela of Vidigal, near Rio de Janeiro, to make the four-minute clip Pixote’s Game. The short film stars a young boy named Luis Eduardo Matos as a soccer-loving child who gets a soccer ball as a present that takes him all over town. Throughout the clip, the ball takes him from the hands of a favela bully to a beach with samba drummers to the inside of a football stadium.

Lee says he was inspired by two other movies when he came up with the concept: the 1981 Brazilian crime movie Pixote and the 1956 French fantasy short The Red Balloon. He calls the former his favorite film and says he was thrilled to learn recently that “pixote” translates to “peewee” from Portuguese; Lee’s Pixote’s Game is meant as an homage to actor Fernando Ramos da Silva, who played Pixote in the Hector Babenco–directed movie, and was killed by police at age 19. But it’s the latter that has more of an overarching influence on Pixote’s Game, since Albert Lamorisse’s film found a young boy seeing Paris while following around a red balloon. “I remember as a kid watching that movie in school, so instead of a red balloon,” Lee says, “our guy is chasing this soccer ball all throughout the favela of Vidigal and then the rest of Rio.”

Casting Matos was easy for Lee, who spotted the young actor at an open call in Vidigal. “He had a great face,” Lee says. “And he knew how to play soccer and he had done some acting.” After his mother said she would be there for every day of shooting – which jives with Lee’s teachings at NYU, where he tells his students to always cast parents along with young actors – Lee picked him right away. “He was having a great time during the whole shoot, but on the last day he was tired because we were running his little ass to death,” Lee says with a laugh. “The last day he was like, ugh, exhausted. But he gave it his all.”

Capturing a young soccer fan’s enthusiasm is not the only reason Lee wanted to make his short in Brazil. He had previously made Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us” video in Rio, which he found inspiring musically, and, for the past year and a half, he has been making a documentary about the history of the country called Go Brasil Go. “Brazil was the last country on the planet to free their slaves,” Lee says. “The last.” He expects to have the doc finished sometime before the 2016 Olympics, which will be held in Rio. “I still have at least two more trips to do,” he says. “I’ve done four trips already. I’m going to wait until after the World Cup is over and things die down.”

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Because Lee was working on Pixote’s Game in Brazil, he decided he wanted to add some of the country’s influence to Kelly Rowland’s song, which was written by Sia Furler. Remembering his experience of adding new drum tracks and a sequence featuring the Olodum drum team to “They Don’t Care About Us,” he decided to do the same with Rowland’s track. “Doing a documentary, we shot this great samba school in Rio called Villa de Isabella, great percussionists,” Lee says. “So when I heard the [Rowland] song, I said, I’m going to add some drums on there. So we went to the great arranger Tunico Da Vila and recorded the drums while we were there.” Although Rowland wasn’t present for the filming of the short film (“My directive from Frank Cooper said that this was not supposed to be a music video,” Lee says), he says she has told him she loves the addition.

It’s moments like the inclusion of local drums that show why Lee wanted to shoot in the favelas in the first place. “That’s where the people are,” he says. “I don’t want to shoot on the high-rise condos facing Ipanema, Copacabana, Leblon. I want to get with my peoples.”

 

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/spike-lee-talks-diverse-influences-behind-world-cup-video-the-game

 

 

Traffic Enforcers Trained To Dance To Reduce Traffic Stress

Source: Sunstar.com – By Arianne Caryl N. Casas

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Cebu City – Phillipines – The Traffic Management Center (TMC) is training 15 traffic enforcers in the city to dance while on duty to ease the stress on streets amid the worsening traffic situation.

TMC officer-in-charge Superintendent Rodelio Poliquit said they hired a dance instructor to train the members assigned in various intersections.

I want them to learn dancing on streets to entertain drivers and commuters during traffic congestion,” Poliquit said.

Still, it will depend on the area because dancing might just cause greater congestion,” he added.

Poliquit said he is expecting more enforcers to learn the dance steps. Samson Espares, a traffic enforcer assigned at the Flyover in Agdao, is among the 15 enforcers who already learned the dance steps.

I learned the steps so that drivers who are in hurry may be entertained and not lose their temper,” he told reporters.

He said they will dance to one of the dance hits of the late Michael Jackson.

This well help to lessen boredom while on the streets,” he said.

Here’s how one enforcer is doing it in the Philippines:

 

Read more: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/davao/local-news/2014/06/10/dancing-enforcers-reduce-traffic-stress-347429