Archive for 16 September 2010

So You Think You Can Dance

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I feel the need to share this with you since I am avid fan of So You Think You Can Dance. In season 3, a couple caught my attention because they were really great in what they do. I am referring to Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnis. Pasha and Anya are natives of Russia and they’re styles are Latin and Ballroom dancing. One thing that caught my attention was normally in these types of dances, the woman is the focus, especially if they wear those outrageous sexy costumes but not in this pair. Not that there’s something wrong with them but I am particularly amazed with Pasha and how he handles himself. As a male dancer, he not only leads and supports his partner but he can really carry on his own. I may not be an expert in dancing but visually I know when someone dances well, to say the very least. His lines and strength is just amazing. It said, though, that both dancers did not made it to the finals but they are still the best at what they do and I’m sure they already have a strong followers.

I was blown away with their audition number. This is a video taken when they auditioned in So You Think You Can Dance in New York in season 3.

Some of Pasha’s performance in season 3 with different partners. Goes to show that to win this show, you need to step out of the box and not only perform them but do them very well. Pasha would have been great if he wasn’t eliminated at the Top 6.

Pasha with Lacey Schwimmer in a Hip-Hop routine.

Pasha with Jessi Perlata in a Cha-Cha routine.

Pasha one is with Sara Von Gillern in a West Coast Swing routine.

After that season, both Pasha and Anya were invited to lead the choreographing the auditions choreography season after season. They were also joined by other dancers from previous seasons. They were asked once more to perform the same routine they did back in season 7 when they auditioned. Again, never seems to amaze me and this is the full version.

In season 7, Pasha was asked time and time again to perform with the other participants. Looks like it’s Pasha’s time to shine and showcase his talents. Together with Pasha, several dancers from previous seasons were asked to return and be the partners with the current contestants. Pasha was exceptional as always. He was partnered with Lauren Froderman.

Whatever Pasha and Anya are doing now, I wish them luck and hopefully to see them dance again.

Top Chef

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One of the reality shows that I love so much. Top Chef, a Bravo TV production, features and focuses on the talents of aspiring chefs who wants to make it big or working for a big break in the culinary industry. I find joy in seeing the discretion of the participants when they are given tasks and avoid elimination. It’s a very good concept for a cooking reality show. Unlike some other shows (Hell’s Kitchen) where shouting and degradation is evident which is not appealing at all. The focus should be with the chefs and their creations and not on the host. That show is very agitating and looses interest.

Top Chef is very refreshing. Of course, it’s given that when it’s judging time, they have to be transparent to the participants on what they think of their offerings.  So if it was done poorly, they send the message across clearly. When a job is commendable, they do that as well so it balances things as far as being fair is concerned.

I find myself very curious and enticed on the process of their creations, all the more the result when the panel of judges experience this. How I wish I could taste and discuss it with them. After all the tasks being given, ultimately when judging, someone has to be eliminated for the show to progress, reaching the final winner of the season.

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The hosts are also great. Padma Lakshmi is a very graceful host. Despite her lack of knowledge in culinary skills, she represents the normal people who is experiencing the creations of the contestants. She’s very real and relatable. Tom Colicchio is charming and smooth with his hosting. He is more of the technical aspect when it comes to critiquing the offerings. He can be tough, if need be, but also can be adorable. His criticisms are very on the dot and really acceptable. If I was one of the contestants and he comes to the kitchen to check our work, it’s either I’ll be happy to see him or scared on what he will say.

Overall, a very good and well-made reality show. This is a show that I look forward to and wait anxiously on who will win at the end.

UP-Ayalaland TechnoHub

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My partner and I frequent UP-Ayalaland TechnohHub, especially when we want to get out of the concrete jungle of Metro Manila. It had a good combination of cement and greens. You do not feel so cramped up and the fresh air is very welcoming. Its very spacious and when you settle down in any of the restaurants or cafes, you feel comfortable and safe. You really don’t feel that you’re in the city once you’re there. Though it’s inevitable that it can be warm but with the presence of the water fountain located at the center so it’s a refreshing site to see.

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There are good selection of restaurants in the place so you will not run out of options. And of course, where there are restaurants, coffee shops will always be there. It’s a good place to just relax and have a great meal and have a cup of coffee and enjoy the scenery. It also has a good mix of crowd. Whether you’re there to work or just to chill quietly, with your friends, with your family, or even with your pets; you can find your own space there. Did I mention you can bring your pets? YES!!! It’s a dog-friendly place (just be a responsible owner and clean up after your pet). I went there several times with my partner and canine. It’s a good place to start bringing your dogs outside the home. With all those space, it’s a good area to let your dog let loose (but with collar and harness attached). Speaking of dog-friendly places, though there are also known places that are dog-friendly, what makes this place stood out is the fact that it’s very spacious and not heavily populated (or at least for now).

The place is something that you can do almost anything, from reading a book to having coffee with friends or having lunch/dinner with your family or just a simple playtime with your pet, the place caters to all types of market. The place is clean and well-maintained.

Explore… Enjoy… Experience…

Ali Mall Cineplex

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When my partner and I planned to watch a movie, we really have no preference of where to watch the movie. He suggested we try the Ali Mall Cineplex in Araneta Center, Cubao. I was game to try it out considering the place has been renovated already.

When we arrived at the mall, we actually found ourselves lost. There were no signs or direction where to go. That would have to be my first disappointment. Wandering through the crowd is already difficult and having no guide on where to go is much more frustrating. When we finally saw a signage, it was a bit too late and we were agitated already. But then it was still confusing because the sign only shows what floor but no specific guide after that. Once you’re on the floor, you still have to search for it on your own.

Finally when we go there, I was particularly surprised that it was like a ghost town considering it was a weekend. No line at the ticket booth. Not a living thing walking around the area. Just a thought, probably a lot of movie watchers were still lost in finding the theater. One good thing I noticed is that the cineplex is beside the food court which is great if you want to have something other than the normal popcorn and sodas. I was boggled why they have to abbreviate the word “tickets” to “TKTS” – a tad bit corny for me.

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Once we entered the theater, it was small and compact. The seats were a bit hard and I noticed that there is only one aisle. Normally other theaters have two aisles so when a person needs to use the john or if there was an emergency, we all have to go to one specific direction which to me is a safety risk.

Overall, the place is ok but still needs lots of improvements compared to other theaters within the area. Will I come back to this place again? Probably not often. The experience is such a concern for me and I have, I believe, a reasonable expectations and this fell long – way long. But still, it’s a place you might want to try for once, to say the least, that’s if you find it the place with ease.

Extreme Cuisine with Jeff Corwin

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I started watching this show a few weeks back and I must admit that it grew on me. Jeff Corwin started in Animal Planet as a host of the show, “Going Wild with Jeff Corwin” which by the title and network itself, it deals with animals most especially discovering strange and endangered species. He is also known as a environmentalist.

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What I was surprised was the shift from the wild and environment shows to touring the world for different and extreme cuisines thus the title, “Extreme Cuisine with Jeff Corwin” (Food Network), locally shown at Lifestyle Network. Not that I am against this but it does make you wonder. In fact, it’s a good, fresh and different take on things. Jeff is a good host. One thing that makes him very effective in this show is the ability to be open-minded on whatever he needs to taste, regardless if he’s a chef or not. Since he’s not, it makes him more believable so what he tastes and how he describes them makes it more relatable. He has a good balance of informative and yet fun way of hosting the show. He is actually representing as a tourist in a country to try the outrageous cuisines and what is likable is that he learn new things along the way, the same way as the viewer learns something with him in the show.

I do admit that when it says “extreme” it doesn’t fall short of expectations. With respect to the different cultures, it does come out as a twitching moment and wonder, “do they really eat that?” It’s between feeling amazed and intolerable to a certain extent of what Jeff was about to eat.

The show also gives a good description of the cultures of the places he visits and sometimes he explains why they eat what they eat which makes more sense and understandable. So overall, it’s truly an informative and entertaining show.

So I wish Jeff more luck and more extreme cuisine to try and experience, and we will be watching safely from our homes.

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