Josh Kaufman’s “Voice” performance is EVERYTHING

Last night marked the beginning of the live shows for season 6 of NBC’s hit-show “The Voice.” The night featured some amazing performances from a diverse lot of contestants. One particular contestant came out guns blazing yesterday evening, and that would be Josh Kaufman from team Usher. His cover of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” was perfection, and the type of performance that gives a singer a sea of popular momentum. (Think Andrew Garcia’s cover of “Straight Up” from “Idol.”)

Kaufman flaunted his radio-ready voice with all the flavor you could want: high and low, rich and silky. The thumping percussion against his dancing falsetto was pure magic. Most of what makes performers great on these singing shows is not just great voices, but great artistry and mass-market appeal. This guy is ready. Usher knows it too; the cameras couldn’t resist capturing the cheesy grin plastered on his face.

Are you currently trying to download the performance on iTunes? Me too.

And to think that Adam Levine eliminated Kaufman in the second battle round is just mind-blowing. Christmas came early for Usher this year, who snuck in and snatched up a strong frontrunner.

“Stay With Me” is resonating with the rest of America too. The song has already skyrocketed up to number four on iTunes, which will have a multiplying effect of five on his voting results.

Adam, what on EARTH were you thinking?

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One Direction releases shape-shifting “You and I” video

Calling all Directioners! Grab your party hats, tissues, stress balls–whatever it is you need to weather new One Direction material–because the new video is taking you up close and personal with the heartthrobs. If you liked the transformations in the “Best Day Ever” video, you’ll love this one too.

Is anyone else exhausted from walking the never-ending boardwalk to nowhere? Sheesh. And when did Liam age 20 years? Are they doing a “Lincoln” sequel I don’t know about?

After being thoroughly confused and slightly horrified by Niall transfiguring into Liam (Professor McGonagall would be so proud), it all started to make sense. One lyric reads:

“Not even the gods above / could separate the two of us.”

And all of the guys are in one body because they can’t be separated! Whether that means they’re in a five-way relationship or not, I don’t know, but I cracked the Direction code–a lot faster than the Da Vinci code, that’s for sure.

The awkwardly candid section of the video gave way to the presence of all five members (bad break-up?) leap-frogging and jumping into suspended versions of themselves. All-in-all, I’m still a little lost and a little weary from the journey. It’s still one of my personal faves from “Midnight Memories” though, so… yay!

What do you guys think? Love it? Hate it? Whatever, it’s One Direction?

#Addicted: Trader Joe’s Animal Crackers

One month anniversary.

When you watch as much television as I do, you need a snack. And when you’re a compulsive snack binger, you need a relatively healthy snack to counter the disgusting amount you’re about to consume. After painstakingly criss-crossing the ends of the Earth (the one block that separates Ralphs and Trader Joe’s), I found my match: Trader Joe’s Organic Animal Crackers.

Our relationship began like most others: the first date.

I walked into the alternatively-hip Trader Joe’s on a mission to find a snacking miracle. After getting sucked into the wine vortex in the back (Why does that always happen?), I made it to the aisle of snack food paradise. It’s really unnerving how much unique junk food that store sells. And a lot of it is junk–either calorically-intoxicating, dripping in saturated fat or a sugary trip in a coma. This is L.A. and we do not stand for such health injustices!

At the very end of the row, I came to the animal crackers. I won’t say it was love at first sight–but there was undeniable chemistry. It was love when I read the nutrition label. I saw right into its soul and realized we were meant for each other:

Serving size: 17 crackers (That’s a lot!) / Calories: 120 / Cals from fat: 15 / Total fat: 2g (YES) / Sugars: 6g (Am I being punk’d?!)

There’s even 2g of protein and trace amounts of iron, so it’s like healthy too.

We began seeing each other regularly: Sunday nights for “Looking,” Tuesday nights for “New Girl” and Thursdays for “Millionaire Matchmaker.” Call it the honeymoon stage, if you will. Things were great. I was really happy and I feel like I was putting good energy out into the Universe, which is really important.

But then out of nowhere they became so controlling and so demanding. I was finishing entire containers outside of my television schedule. They went crazy! It’s hard to find a way out when you’re in the depths of a manipulative and sometimes mentally-abusive relationship–or so I’m told. They were there for me when I was sad or happy. But then they would betray me when I was trying to refrain from frivolous snacking. I try so hard to resist but I keep coming back for more. Gimme, gimme more!–And if I keep eating them at this rate, I’m going to look like Britney in her “Gimme More” VMA performance.

It’s even worse now that others are noticing the trap I’m in. Two days ago, when I went to Trader Joe’s to buy my third container in five days, the cashier looked at me and said, “These again?”

“How does he know?! Is it that obvious that I’m spiraling downward and I’m so far removed from reality to recognize it?”

I managed a smile and a meager, “Yup,” as I slowly sucked air into my mouth in awkward tension. I grabbed my lover and ran out of there as fast as I could.

Right now, we’re in a really happy place again. My roommate was super great and assumed the role of a therapist and helped us sort out what each of us really wanted. We actually see eye-to-eye on a lot of things so the future seems really bright. I love them.

You got into college? Cool. This NY teen got accepted to ALL EIGHT Ivies.

Today, I did some shopping for my new room. I enjoyed/demolished a baracoa burrito at Millennial food establishment of choice, Chipotle. I attended class. I feel pretty accomplished in my day thus far. Oh, and I almost forgot, “The Mindy Project” starts up again tonight!

kwasi2In the mean time, Long Island, New York high school student Kwasi Enin is perched in his home debating if he will attend Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania or Yale. Yes, that is an exhaustive list of every Ivy League university in America, all of which granted the first-generation American acceptance letters…I’m assuming he won’t want to rapid-fire iMessage later about the romantic future of Mindy and Dr. Castellano?

Enin’s parents emigrated to the United States from Ghana, which proved to be a pretty great decision. Their son scored in the 99-percentile of the SAT–or Suicidal Actualization Test, for those of you who have not subject yourself to them–with a score of 2,250 out of a possible 2,400, according to NBC 4.

Now the burning question: But WHICH school are you going to choose?! I’m having mounting anxiety for you.

When he spoke with USA Today, he said he hasn’t decided, but his preference would be Yale.

Funny enough, Mindy Kaling went to Dartmouth, so I think he should choose Dartmouth. Then again, I think that’s in some small town in cold, cold New Hampshire. Both small towns and brutal cold make give me hives, so maybe not the best. I’m assuming his thought process is a lot more elaborate than mine. Hermione Granger went to Brown, so that’s kind of cool too.

In closing, I was going to attach my Harvard rejection letter, but sadly I cannot find it.

 

[images via Uptownmag and USA Today]