Best Finds: The X Factor 2016

A couple of months ago, we were given a preview of the new season of The X Factor. And since then, I’ve been looking forward to it. Finally, it has arrived and just last week, the first week of auditions were aired! Here are my favorite performances from Auditions Week 1.

Samantha Lavery

Watch as 16 year-old Samantah Lavery does her grandpa proud with an Ellie Goulding cover.


Christian Burrows

Christian brings everyone to tears with one of the most honest & heartfelt performances I’ve seen on the show.


Caitlyn Vanbeck

Line by line, song by song and Piece by Piece, Caitlyn will prove all of her bullies wrong.


Saara Aalto

All the way from Finland, meet the cheerful, bubbly and talented Saara.


James Hughes

If this was Britain’s Got Talent, the audience would have given a standing ovation upon hearing the first line.


Emily Middlemas

This performance is a good one to just sit back and chill to. Wish it was longer!


Rebekah Ryan

Rebekah deserves respect for just her courage and strength alone.


Best Finds: America’s Got Talent 2016

Hi readers! After putting up my 50th post on Fool’s Bench a month ago, I decided to take a break from writing to mark this little milestone but also to come back after that with even more fresh ideas that I can share with all of you through this site. So now I am happy to say – I’m back! And yes, I have a lot of things on my mind right now that I want to write about. But let’s talk about something fun first, shall we? 😉

Now I must confess; I’ve been watching a lot of competition shows on YouTube recently during my free time. Specifically, I am closely following the current season of America’s Got Talent (AGT). And I’m telling you, it is a whole load of fun and satisfaction to watch incredible people pulling off their acts successfully and receiving praise from the judges. So if you’re interested in this kind of stuff, check the show out!

As for those of you who are a little busier in life (thank you for taking time out to drop by!) and want to just have a little taste of the best acts in this season of AGT without having to look them up yourself, I have put together some of my personal favorites so far and listed them below. Of course, these aren’t the only acts that are great and the show is still running! But as of today, these are my favorite acts & people that have amused, amazed or inspired me. Enjoy!

Laura Bretan

Watch as an unassuming 13 year-old girl awe the judges and the crowd with an opera performance, earning her the season’s very first Golden Buzzer.


Grace VanderWaal

A 12 year-old Grace engages the crowd with a sweet personality, an original song and a unique voice, receiving a Golden Buzzer.


Kadie Lynn

Get great vibes listening to yet another 12 year-old that sings and performs like she’s already 21.


Jon Dorenbos

A professional football player displays his other talent to the judges, ups his game in his second performance, and brings home a ticket straight to the Live Shows.


Calysta Bevier

After appearing on a viral video across social media and eventually even on Ellen, 16 year-old Caly overcame cancer and inspires the world once again with her Fight Song.


Ryan Beard

Hands down one of the funniest personalities I’ve seen on the current season of America’s Got Talent.


Sofie Dossi

With her signature “bow & arrow” move and the fact that she’s self-taught makes Sofie my number 1 favorite contestant on the show so far. Amazing.


ThroWings

The teamwork and mutual trust between this couple, as well as their abilities make me want to see what else they can achieve.


The Passing Zone

This cool duo produces some of the most entertaining acts involving the judges this season.


Steven Brundage

Steven with his sense of humor and distinctive tricks will blow your mind as you step into a realm where you’ll never see a Rubik’s cube the same ever again.


p.s. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Got Talent series, the Golden Buzzer is a concept that allows each of the judges (including guest judges) to send contestants straight to the Live Shows – the quarterfinals of the competition. But of course, it can only be used once by every judge during the Audition or Judge Cut rounds.

The Movies of Fall/Holiday 2015

Just to Share: I know it’s already a little into Fall season right now in terms of movies, but better late than never right? Haha so without further ado, here are some movies I am personally looking forward to for the remainder of the year!

1. The Martian

Remember me saying previously that I have a thing or two for science-fiction? Yup, that was enough to get me interested in this movie. And of course, it looks really good with an interesting fresh plot. Based on the novel of the same name, we will be brought on a journey to Mars where an astronaut gets stranded on, finding means to survive while his crew mates on Earth struggle to return and rescue him. Seems like the kind of movie that would be engaging from start to finish.

2. Pan

Childhood fantasies will be relived this October when a new origin story is birthed forth on the big screen for Peter Pan. I mean seriously, the last time I watched a Peter Pan film, I was only 7 years-old! And like I said, I would always love a good movie about adventure. But that’s not the only thing that I’m looking forward to in the movie. I’m also looking forward to Hugh Jackman’s performance as Blackbeard, which so far, looks oddly interesting.

3. Goosebumps

Just as we were on the topic of fantasy, here comes another one in the genre, mixed with comedy and fun. Goosebumps totally reminds me of those Scooby-Doo movies that I used to enjoy as a kid! But honestly, I just want to see what this movie has to offer in terms of story too. Also, it’s been some time since I watched a film featuring monsters on the loose (not referring to those scary ones). So if it’s good, why not?

4. Spectre

Let’s change frequencies a little. 2015 has been a year of spy flicks, with the likes of Kingsman, Mission Impossible and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. But one of the most renowned agents, 007 is returning to bring a conclusion to spy films for the year. Well, at least from what I know, there aren’t anymore big ones coming out! And for the most of it, the James Bond films starring Daniel Craig have received great reviews so far, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how this one turns out. That is, after I’ve finished watching the previous installments first.

5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Talking about movie franchises that I need to catch up on, it reminds me of The Hunger Games. But having watched none of its previous installments, I’m already hyped up for Mockingjay Part 2 by this trailer haha. Still, there’s no way I am stepping into the cinema without first finding time to watch the first 3 films! Being one of those movies that first kicked off the trend of films based on young adult novels, I’m confident this last installment in the series would give fans an epic conclusion that will not disappoint.

6. The Good Dinosaur

Pixar. The animation studio that has brought us Inside Out, my favorite film of the year so far, is going to bring us into a world where dinosaurs roam the Earth alongside Man. With Inside Out being such a great success both critically and commercially, it makes me both excited and worried for The Good Dinosaur. With 2 movies released in a year, and having the first one being so successful, people are going to have high hopes for the second one. So much so that it may not meet up to their expectations. But for me, I’m going to have faith in Pixar that they’ll deliver once again. Just look at how beautiful the film looks from the trailer!

7. Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie

Probably the last big animation film of the year (that I know of); Blue Sky Studios are bringing the art style of the Peanuts comic strip into the larger canvas of a feature film. I’m always up for a good animation film and so far, the look and the animations of this movie looks really interesting. You can tell it’s not just your usual 3D animations, but with a blend of “hand-drawn style” animations as well. I’m seeing it as the kind of movie I would watch with some of my younger cousins & some popcorn during the holidays. How about you?

8. In the Heart of the Sea

Not the most edifying movie to watch I must say, with the kind of “disaster at sea” that it portrays. But I have a feeling it will be a great movie still in terms of plot, acting and visual effects. I’m especially looking forward to Chris Hemsworth’s performance outside of his role as a superhero in The Avengers. And did you know that this movie is directed by Ron Howard (Apollo 13, Rush)? There’s great potential in this movie turning out to be phenomenal.

9. The Revenant

Academy Award® winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu is back in the director’s seat after his 2014 film Birdman won the Oscar for Best Picture earlier this year. This time, it seems to be yet another Oscar-worthy film. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, The Revenant feels like a really intense and immersive film. According to reports, the making of the film had gone way over-budget and over-schedule because of certain ways the director wanted it to be shot. It seemed bad but I’m also looking forward to seeing the results of his decisions & everyone’s hard work on set. Who knows? Maybe DiCaprio can finally win an Oscar through this.

10. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

You’ve probably guessed this last movie that I’m most looking forward to right now, haven’t you? Hahaha everyone is looking forward to it! The Force is strong, but the hype for this is even stronger. I watched Star Wars as a kid, and I must say that when I watched the trailer above, just hearing the opening music alone brought chills to my spine. The rest of the trailer did what it set out to do – making us want to watch it again & again until the movie comes out. Oh, and it reminded me to go watch all Episodes 1-6 one more time. Soon I’ll be ready! Going to the cinemas this Christmas will feel magical.

Well, it always seems that my lists of “anticipated things” always ends up being a list of 10. But that wraps up all the movies that I’m really hoping to watch this Fall/Holiday. Hopefully I can suck out all the creative juices that they have to offer too. Haha, thanks for reading.