So once again, the men’s magazine Maxim has released it’s special Hot 100 issue. And once again, it’s got some good, some bad and some rather unbelievable.
As a photographer in Pittsburgh, my native city, I often work with models and entertainers from around the region and enjoy the opportunity to see what the major national and international magazines choose to convey as the concept of beauty. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t. With that in mind, here’s my personal assessment of this year’s collection of what Maxim considers some of the most beautiful women on Earth.
Cheers to the magazine for the inclusion of:
#96 Kellie Pickler
#95 Zoe Deschanel
#88 Elisabeth Harnois
#73 Katherine McPhee
#72 Jessica Chastain
#64 Candice Swanepoel
#60 Stana Katic
#56 Emmy Rossum
#45 Naya Rivera
#44 Sarah Highland
#40 Julianne Hough
#39 Lea Michele
#37 Amanda Seyfried
#29 Ronda Rousey
#21 Emma Stone
Jeers to the magazine for the inclusion of:
#83 Kat Dennings
#69 Manti Te’o’s Fake Girlfriend
#49 Sofia Vergara
And about 10-15 women I’ve never heard of.
Snubs and others who could have been included:
Any one of the female pros on Dancing With the Stars
Good and bad calls on positioning within the top 100:
While I applaud the selections of Killie Pickler and Zoe Deschanel, both should be in a higher spot. And although Taylor Swift (#13) moved up from last year, she really should be in the top 10. Speaking of the top 10, this year’s list is ripe with questionable calls. You can’t go wrong with Kate Upton (#7) on any top 10 list but the placement of Selena Gomez at #2 and incredibly shockingly Miley Cyrus at #1 – yeah, that’s not a typo, is more that a bit out of line. No doubt Selena deserves to be on the list, but probably outside the top 20. As far as Miley goes, I’d say it was OK to include her but she should certainly be in the bottom 50.
Just for fun, I thought I’d try my hand at predicting the outcome on the 2013 Grammy Awards which will air this Sunday evening on CBS.
Of course, I’m only going to delve into a few of the dozens of categories that I feel like I know something about.
So without further ado, here goes.
And the Grammy goes to…
Best New Artist
Song Of The Year
We Are Young
Best Pop Solo Performance
Adele – “Set Fire To The Rain”
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Maroon 5 – “Payphone”
Best Alternative Music Album
Gotye – “Making Mirrors”
Best Country Solo Performance
Carrie Underwood – “Blown Away”
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
Little Big Town – “Pontoon”
Record Of The Year
Taylor Swift – “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”
Carrie Underwood has been a mainstay on the country and pop music charts since her rise to fame as quite possibly the most successful winner of American Idol to date.
Her newest release “Blown Away” does feature some classic Carrie elements but also seems to venture into new territory with mixed results. Several songs include some surprisingly electronic beats and some have lyrics of a deeper, darker nature than anything else we’ve seen from Underwood in the past.
The most notable tracks on the album include “See You Again,” “One Way Ticket,” “Do You Think About Me,” Nobody Ever Told You” and “Who Are You.” Between these songs Underwood delivers a little bit of traditional country but mostly a mix of fun and uplifting music and lyrics with a lot of pop.
The lesser quality tracks would have to include “Two Black Cadillacs,” “Thank God For Hometowns” and “Cupid’s Got A Shotgun.” The first has a fairly traditional country vibe but is extremely dark. The other two go the extreme country route as well with the first being too basic and the second coming across a bit cheesey.
The rest of the tracks are pretty decent but nothing outstanding.
All in all, “Blown Away” is probably not one of Underwood’s best efforts but it is still far better than most of the music out there. I would give it a grade of a B-.
Music can be very touching
I would venture to say that over the course of everyone’s lifetime, there are some songs that come along that really touch us in one way or another. Perhaps it’s by instilling within us a sense of inspiration. Or maybe it’s a collection of lyrics that cheer us up when we are down. And still in other cases, it might be a musical work that brings tears to our eyes. Whatever the case may be, we all have some songs that have touched us deeply. Here are a few of mine.
Josh Groban – “Weeping”
Michael Fronti and Spearhead – “Say Hey (I Love You)”
Christina Perry – “Jar of Hearts”
Carrie Underwood – “Temporary Home”
Alan Jackson – “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning?”
As the city of St. Louis closed out the audition rounds on this season’s American Idol, the “Gateway to the West” seemed to produce some quality talent.
This was the audition site that brought us Carrie Underwood eight years ago. Perhaps lightning will strike twice with a hopeful from this season.
Here’s how I rate the confirmed golden ticket winner thus far:
1. Lauren Gray
2. Ethan Jones
3. Johnny Keyser
4. Rachel Lamb
5. Reese Kloeckner