Eurovision Song Contest 2017 Top Picks

Eurovision Song Contest 2017 starts with the first rehearsals next week already began with their first rehearsals in Kyiv, Ukraine, so I’m kinda late to the party this year. But however late I may be, I still wish to present to you my Top 10 favorites for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.

Before we proceed here’s a refresher on all the entries joining Europe’s biggest music contest this year (except Russia):

Now it’s time to Celebrate Diversity with my top picks for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. “Thanks for amazing show,” as many a spokesperson has quipped. 😂 Here are the points from the  Amiciness jury… (Kidding, I’m only one person! 😳)

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My Favorites of Eurovision Song Contest 2016

Another year, another Eurovision. This year, for Eurovision Song Contest 2016, Europe (and some other Asian countries plus Australia) is coming together in Stockholm, Sweden this year after the country’s victory in 2015 with Måns Zelmerlöw and the song “Heroes.”

Sweden's Måns Zelmerlöw won the Eurovision Song Contest last year. Also on photo is 2014's winner Conchita Wurst. (Elena Volotova, EBU)
Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlöw won the Eurovision Song Contest last year. Also on photo is 2014’s winner Conchita Wurst. (Elena Volotova, EBU)

I went through and listened to all 43 participating entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 and I have trimmed the list down to my top 10 favorites this year:

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Zayn is Back!

I missed seeing Zayn and hearing his beautiful voice. I might have teared up a bit during his debut performance of his latest single “It’s You” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. It’s the first time he’s performing solo on television!

Zayn makes his solo television debut performing "It's You" for the Tonight Show audience. #ZAYNOnFallonWATCH:

Posted by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday, 17 February 2016

I remember when the news broke that my favorite member Zayn Malik was leaving One Direction and I was devastated. But not as devastated as my sister was. She was crushed. She even wore a hat for several days, saying it was her way of mourning Zayn’s leaving the group. One Direction was never the same without Zayn, we both said.

I’m so proud of Zayn, now that he can do the music he enjoys and likes. I’m excited to hear the rest of his songs on his first EP Mind of Mine. Can’t wait for more of Zayn!

Sponge Cola – (Pero) Pangako Ko | Google Mo Lang

Below is a video of Sponge Cola‘s new song (Pero) Pangako Ko| Google Mo Lang and I ACTUALLY APPEARED IN THE VIDEO! *cryin* This is for a series of Google app commercials similar to Bogart The Explorer Presents Google Mo Lang Trip ng Barkada Epic Video.

Google Mo Lang
WHUT!?? 😀 Google Mo Lang!

Flashback! I think it was exactly a month ago when I saw a post from the band’s FB account. It has always been my dream to be in an MTV and better yet, a Sponge Cola music video. I wasn’t able to join the Makapiling Ka video contest before and that really frustrated me. After watching the contest mechanics, I convinced Gillian (Resident Web Designer and Editor of Amiciness) to join in. He didn’t have a choice actually. HAHA. BUT, we didn’t have the time and location! To make it worse, I didn’t have a girl friend willing to be the female lead. Fortunately, we managed. (Spoiler alert: The female lead has long black hair. :D)

Impulsively, we decided to book a hotel room that coming weekend and just shoot. Bahala na (kahit mahal)! We brainstormed for a week to the point of overthinking every detail. Bahala na talaga! Three more friends (Kim, Nikko and Ernan) were also kind enough to help make the props and engineer the lights (read: hold the flashlight). I’m forever grateful, friends!! Shooting was not as easy as I imagined but it was so much fun. At last, nagamit din ang mga acting workshop! 😀

I always wanted to see myself on TV and this is as close as it gets.

The song is AMAZING by the way!

Thank you so much, Sponge Cola.

Sponge Cola: Yael’s Birthday Show (in Snaps)

For those who know me, you’d know that there are only two active bands that I follow devotedly. One is One Direction and the other is Sponge Cola. I think these two are the only bands that have songs I know by heart. Odd combination but it’s true.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Signed, Sealed, Delivered

I have been a fan of Sponge Cola and their songs since their first album, Palabas. I think I have all their albums except for the special edition of the debut album and thanks to a friend, they’re all signed by Yael (Yey!). The band has been a suki of my alma mater, LSM during school fairs and other fundraising events. Since then, I’ve never been to an actual gig except one time during a U-Break in DLSU in 2007 and just this year in a school fair in St. Paul Pasig. I also lost touch because our new cable operator didn’t have MYX. Fortunately, social media managed to do wonders of keeping people like me informed, though I miss reading updates via the band’s official Yahoo group.

Sponge Cola

Last Friday, November 22, I went to my first Sponge Cola gig in Teatrino in Greenhills, with special guests, Karylle, Jane Oineza, Jhong Hilario, Noel Comia, Cha-Cha Cañete and Chris Cantada. Incidentally, it’s Yael’s Birthday Show. Woohoo! I love his Jon Snow hair BTW. I went to the concert alone and was seated at the balcony beside all of Yael’s relatives including her mom. I wish my mom was as proud of me as she was of Yael. She was singing and clapping along. She listened intently especially during Makapiling Ka. I didn’t know it was dedicated to her. I love the song even more now! The event was hosted by #NoFilter‘s Khalil Kaimo who took care of the raffle and trivia contest. Too bad my number wasn’t called, I was prepared to sing Nakapagtataka. Hahaha! I had only taken a few (very short) videos and pictures). My phone was dying and I had to reserve my battery to grab an Uber going home. No regrets there. However, I also didn’t get to take a picture with Sponge Cola especially Yael. I tried to fall in line but I went home anyway. 🙁


As the band performed songs from past albums, I was reminded of the memories attached to those songs. The singles from Palabas reminded me about high school. I remember how our whole class sang Jeepney on the bus ride to the retreat house, how my seat mate always sang Lunes‘ chorus repeatedly. And I mean, repeatedly. The times I voted for Una in the MYX Daily Top Ten. The friend who gave me the album as an exchange gift became somebody that I used to know.  And the endless wondering about the title of my favorite Palabas song, 22. Bakit nga ba 22?! Sa tuwi-tuwina………na #Mindboggledsince2004

I listened to Transit in college when I was studying and staying up all night. I played the album out loud to keep me awake. I played Sa Bingit ng Isang Paalam on repeat while crying when I failed one of my engineering math subjects. I could not count how many times the album looped on my iTunes. That’s probably close to how many times I was on the verge of failing. (Fortunately, I survived HAHA!) The third album was also memorable since Ange, my only Sponge Cola fan-friend in college moved to Canada. If I could remember correctly, I think I tried and failed to send the songs to her via YM due to poor internet connection. *sighs* Those were the days.

Heypie bertdey!!

In more recent times, Kailangan Kita came out when I was already working. More specifically, when I found out that I was not going to be promoted. I got really sad and affected so I did what I had to do to be happy. I found a promotional post on Facebook/Twitter so I downloaded the single on iTunes and it even got me a fan sign from Yael. It really made me happy. I listened to the song until the hurt was gone. :’)

One of the things that make Sponge Cola great is that its fanbase in 2004 is still part of its fanbase now. A school concert starring Sponge Cola was my first concert and, this year, I accompanied my sister at her school. The ten/eleven-ish year gap not only makes me feel old but it also reminds me how Sponge Cola managed to transcend generations through the years.

Here’s Sponge Cola: Yael’s Birthday Show in Snapchat view. Sorry I was not as witty as I should have been. I was trying to enjoy the moment.

I was waiting all my life to hear Una  (and this part) live. HAHA

Listen to Sponge Cola’s latest single from GMA7’s Dangwa.


The Journey of 4th Impact So Far

I am definitely a fan of 4th Impact, not because they are Filipino, but because I believe in their talent. The sisters have joined quite a number of singing contests in local TV (too many, in fact). Some of them are sane enough to recognize “true” talent and determination while some are not. They’ve been featured in different TV shows and brought home gold medals from the World Championship of the Performing Arts (WCOPA). They even joined a South Korean TV talent competition (and learned Korean songs week by week) but success has still been elusive.

4th Impact (formerly 4th Power) First Auditions, X Factor
4th Impact (formerly 4th Power) First Auditions, X Factor

I am one of the many witnesses (along with other local television fanatics) of Almira, Mylene, Irene and Celina’s journey to the international stage via The X Factor and I get it now—they’ve been preparing all their lives for this big moment.

I’ve compiled 4th Impact’s most memorable videos in this post and this will be updated as they continue their journey in The X Factor. Good luck, Girls!

Elimination Week 5 of The X Factor, 2015

After singing for their “life”, the public vote chose Lauren Murray to move on to the next round. The girls were still thankful (as always) to the British public for giving them the opportunity to stay as far as they did in the competition. You could hear Celina saying in Filipino “Di ako makahinga (I can’t breathe).” before Almira said their final goodbyes. Shortly after the show ended, Celina collapsed and was brought to the hospital. Reportedly, she is now doing OK.

And I Am Telling You – Week 5 Sing-off of The X Factor, 2015

4th Impact and Lauren Murray were the bottom two. The two acts sang for their lives. 4th Impact sang a Jennifer Holiday original while Lauren did a Mariah classic. Simon mentioned that this was the best sing-off they’d ever had (for this season, I guess). The girls did a wonderful job, which got Simon and Cheryl (of course), to vote for them while Lauren had Rita and Grimmy behind her back.

Fancy/Rich Girl Mash-up – Live Week 5 of The X Factor, 2015

Each contestant had two performances each. 4th Impact’s 2nd performance was an Iggy Azalea/Gwen Stefani mash-up. Finally, Simon got to see individuality and was able to remember their names (thanks to those poorly designed boxes). I agree with Rita: the boxes and the styling were eye-sores. Geez… BUT, the performance was on point as always. Great job girls!

I’ll Be There – Live Week 5 of The X Factor, 2015

It’s Jukebox Week in X Factor. 4th Impact sang I’ll Be There. We got what we wanted and more. The girls sounded great and Almira showcased her whistle register a.k.a. the Dolphin Note. I wish the background image was better though. Flowers, really? Is it just me or Irene teared up after performance (like last week)? I’m guessing she had tears of joy because they’d sang this song a million times before but not on a stage as big as X Factor’s. You deserve it, girls!

What is your favorite 4th Impact performance so far? Any song in particular you would like them to sing? 

More 4th Impact Performances After the Jump!

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Mossimo Music Summit 2015

Fashion brand Mossimo is always looking for fresh new talented people in singing, dancing, and modelling. This is why the brand has created an annual event that will showcase these new talents and give them the chance to be in the spotlight — the Mossimo Music Summit. The summit is coming to a close, after months of auditions and performances. The competition is now down to the final four musical acts: solo singers Kristel Herrera, Mark Francis Reyes, Zsaris Mendioro, and trio OTM, with Jenz on percussion, Kaye on guitar, and Matthew on violin, with all three contributing on vocals.

Mossimo Music Summit 2015 Finalists
Mossimo Music Summit 2015 Finalists (Photo: Manila Bulletin)

Show your support to the finalists by sharing and liking their Facebook posts. You might get the chance to win cash and GCs:

Share this post to your friends using the hashtag ‪#‎mossimomusicsummit‬ for your chance to win P5,000 in cash and P5,000 in gift certificates. Cut-off is at 12noon on August 21, 2015.

Also check out the official Mossimo Music Summit Youtube channel to view all the performance clips from the finalists AND the semi-finalists. Your favorite semi-finalist might also win fan favorite:

The semi-finalist with the most number of YouTube views by 12noon of August 21, 2015 will be declared as the winner of the special award. Winner of each special award will receive P5,000 in cash and P5,000 in gift certificates.

Here are the semi-final performances from the four finalists, with the Facebook post for each to share and like:

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Eurovision 2015 Semi Final 2 Results + Postmortem

I got to watch the Second Semi-final of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest after the fact, albeit a bit earlier than the first. Watch the full Eurovision 2015 SF2 on Youtube, and also check out the International Sign Language version, which is a new addition to the contest this year.

© Andres Putting (EBU)

To start things off, let’s find out how Europe (and Australia!) voted on the songs that are part of Semi-final 2. Here are the second semi-final results in their running order (the ones marked in bold qualified to the final):

  1. Lithuania — Qualified to the Final
  2. Ireland
  3. San Marino
  4. Montenegro — QF
  5. Malta
  6. Norway — QF
  7. Portugal
  8. Czech Republic
  9. Israel — QF
  10. Latvia — QF
  11. Azerbaijan — QF
  12. Iceland 😮
  13. Sweden — QF
  14. Switzerland
  15. Cyprus — QF
  16. Slovenia — QF
  17. Poland — QF

Thanks to the votes from all across Europe (and Australia!) Sweden, Slovenia, Poland, Norway, Montenegro, Lithuania, Latvia, Israel, Cyprus, and Azerbaijan are all through to the finals on Saturday (Sunday morning in Australia, and where I live). Now that I’ve watched the full second semi-finals show (thanks to Youtube), here is how I rank the qualifiers going into the final:

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Eurovision 2015 Semi Final 1 Results + Postmortem

Since I’m both a Eurovision fan and timezone-challenged, I only got to watch the First Semi-final of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest after the fact. However, I’m luckier than the Aussie fans who have to watch this at 5 in the morning. The dedication!

To start things off, let’s find out how Europe (and Australia!) voted on the songs that are part of Semi-final 1. In their running order (the ones marked in bold qualified to the final):

  1. Moldova
  2. Armenia — Qualified to the Final
  3. Belgium — QF
  4. The Netherlands
  5. Finland
  6. Greece — QF
  7. Estonia — QF
  8. F.Y.R. Macedonia 😢
  9. Serbia — QF
  10. Hungary — QF
  11. Belarus 😭
  12. Russia — QF
  13. Denmark
  14. Albania — QF
  15. Romania — QF
  16. Georgia — QF

Thanks to the votes from all across Europe (and Australia!) Albania, Armenia, Belgium, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Russia, and Serbia are all through to the finals on Saturday (Sunday morning in Australia, and where I live). Now that I’ve watched the full first semi-finals show (thanks to Youtube), here is how I rank the qualifiers going into the final:

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Amiciness Picks Eurovision Song Contest 2015 Top 10

Here are my top ten picks for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Fingers crossed that all of them score high on the finals scoreboard. (Read my previous Eurovision post for my picks 20-11.)

10. Austria
The Makemakes — I’m Yours

This sounds like a classic rock ballad from yesteryear. That’s a good thing considering this sound is sort of making a comeback on the airwaves, with the popularity of Sam Smith and Hozier among many. Will this song win? Probably not. But I’m expecting this to at least be on the left side of the scoreboard come finals.

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