Simon As many know by now the judge we all love Simon Cowell is coming American television once again to join the America’s Got Talent judging panel of to replace radio icon Howard Stern. Cowell is also a producer and creator of AGT.
Cowell made his mark as a judge on American Idol, and in the UK he judges The X Factor, and also judges Britain’s Got Talent where he has nurtured such great talent such as One Direction and Leona Lewis. With Cowell judging so many different shows he definitely has a nose for finding the right acts who could break out into the mainstream. Out of all the different shows Cowell has judged and produced it’s AGT that is the best talent show on all of television. (Click on the media bar below to hear Simon Cowell)
America’s Got Talent returns in the summer of 2016.
It’s fitting that Keith Semple’sBattle Rounds performance with Manny Cabo was “Baba O’Riley,” as the iconic song’s infectious yet determined energy fits Semple like a glove.
Though Semple was critical of his own performance of Bon Jovi’s “I’ll Be There For You” during the Blinds, he moved forward with Adam Levine as his coach and advanced through the Battle Rounds.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Keith Semple as he talked about what drives him as an artist and why he will always consider himself as a member of a band (he’s the frontman for Semple).
What is the difference for you performing on “The Voice” as a solo artist and also being a member in a band?
Semple: It’s really no different. I’m going to be in a bad regardless of what happens on the show. If I was lucky enough to win the show, I would have a band behind me again in a heartbeat anyway. So I don’t consider myself as ever going to be a solo artist. It’s just going to be and a band forever. Yes of course I have to do the process as a solo artist, but I don’t think anybody that knows me would ever think I would be a solo artist.
What has your journey on The Voice like? Your Battle Rounds performance of “Baba O’Riley” with Manny Cabo was amazing.
Semple: Well thank you. I’m my own worst critic and I didn’t feel like I gave the Blind Audition song as good of an effort as I could have done. I know I could have (performed) it a little better. So I felt like I really needed to redeem myself in the Battles and I felt like I did that. I think they just see Manny Cabo and they see his really charismatic and upbeat personality and they’re thinking, ‘how is this kid going to compete?’ But they didn’t realize that’s what I do for a living. I’m a full time performing (artist) in a rock band and I’m a crazy performer and they haven’t had a chance to see that. I was really glad that the American public got to see my performance skills and the fact that I can sing better than I showed in the Blinds. So that kind of paid off in a way because Pharrell and Gwen, they were all surprised almost that I was able to sing the song that well. It really worked out in my favor at the end of the day.
Can you talk about the fans who have followed you throughout your career, and what does that support mean to you?
It’s amazing. People are always asking me why I entered the show because looking in most people already understand that I’m kind of successful anyway. But success is a really weird term – it depends what you mean. To me, I’m happy and successful and I’m living the dream so to speak. But there’s things that I want to achieve and I’m a very get up and go (kind of guy). If you look at my entire life, I’ve always been a very big risk taker and I got offered to (be) the lead singer of a Chicago based band. They found me online and literally a month later after being offered the job, I left my entire life in Northern Ireland.
That’s the level of dedication I have for my craft and that is basically why I’m doing the show now and why the experience is paying off now. People can see I know what I’m doing, you know? I’m hoping that continues on as the show progresses.
Moving from Ireland to Chicago to pursue your dreams is a big risk and even taking a shot at The Voice is a gamble. What do you tell people who want to take similar risks, but maybe are a bit hesitant? Is life too short not to take that leap?
That’s exactly it. I don’t want to get into my personal belief structure but I will say the way I believe in things, I guess the way I look at life in general, I think this is pretty much all you get (laughs). It’s a question of making the most of it as possible with the 70 or 100 years you get on this planet. I wake up every morning in awe that I am alive and a lot of people take that they are alive for granted. Every day, I’m saying ‘what have I not done, that I can do today.’ What have I not watched? What have a not read? What have I not learned? What song have I not written yet? That’s the way my life works every day and of course I have my daughter and my lovely wife and they are part of this journey with me. The fact that I get to impart all this life experience to my daughter – I want her to realize this too. I don’t want her to be sitting back and wait for people to hand things to her. I want her to get up and go.
I know some people have bad situations and they maybe can never rise out of them and it’s not their fault, you know? That’s just the way life is – it sucks. As soon as you realize that life is unfair and good people don’t necessarily get ahead and bad people don’t necessarily lose, as soon you realize that you’ve to rise above the system. And that’s what I’ve tried to do my whole life. I think people are seeing that when they see me on the show.
I don’t, in any way, feel like I deserve anymore than anyone else. I just feel like this is my time and I want the time to show as many people in the world as possible that I am good at what I do (laughs).
Thank you Keith for your time and good luck moving forward.
Thank you, I appreciate it. Nice chatting with you!
Now playing in select theaters, Truth is based on Mary Mapes’ memoir Truth and Duty: The Press, The President, and The Privilege of Power. After Mary Mapes’ investigative report on President George W. Bush’s service as a Texas Air National Guard pilot went sideways, Mapes (played in the film by Cate Blanchett)lost her job as a CBS News producer and Dan Rather (Robert Redford) would eventually step down as the CBS News anchor.
Elisabeth Mossco-stars as journalism professor Lucy Scott, one of the researchers who was part of Mapes’ investigative team.
“I sort of got everything I needed from the script and the book,” said Moss. “I had heard that (Scott) approved of my casting and with being portrayed. I think it was more about who she was in the story and what her role was in the investigation. (She had) a very crucial role and she seemed like a very intelligent and reasonable person who is capable of looking at both sides of something and Mary wouldn’t have picked her if she didn’t have that value.”
Speaking of value, we asked Moss if being approached by fans ever gets old. “I thrive on flattery,” joked Moss. “I really do.”
Click on the media bar for her full answer to our question below (Truth director James Vanderbilt is heard at the end of the clip):
Though Bill Murray has shown his acting chops in more serious fare over the last few years, most people first fell for Murray as the lovable riff master and comedian on Saturday Night Live, filled with personality to spare. With Murray’s latest film, the viewer’s recommendation of it may depend upon how much you enjoy Bill being Bill and delivering his schtick.
The film centers on Murray’s Richie Lanz, a smooth-talking, down on his luck talent manager who finds himself in modern day talking up wannabe but talent-challenged musicians as a means of scratching out a living. Murray’s primary client is Ronnie (Zooey Deschanel), who after a year under Richie’s mentoring has begun to get wise to his ways. During one of Ronnie’s hole-in the-wall gigs, he meets a drunken talent booker who suggests that Ronnie can make some serious cash by doing a USO tour in Afghanistan.
Seeing an opportunity, he books a reluctant Ronnie on the tour, but she grows more disenchanted with every explosion or military lockdown. Eventually she splits town with the help of a mercenary named Bombay Brian (Bruce Willis), leaving Richie without any money, a passport and in the crosshairs of Brian who was promised by Ronnie that Richie would pay the remaining cost of getting her out of the country.
The early portion of the film is a little slow going as Richie navigates his new surroundings, meeting not only Brian, but a pair of shady American arms dealers (Scott Caan and Danny McBride), a savvy prostitute named Merci working on her retirement plan (Kate Hudson) and a native taxi driver (Arian Moayed) wowed by Richie’s stories of working with Madonna. One by one the pieces fall into place as Richie attempts to find his way out. He subs in on an arms deal, is taken to a local village threatened by a warlord and while staying there, stumbles upon a young woman named Salima (Leem Lubany) singing in a cave.
He believes this is all fate, eventually convincing the young woman to try out for her favorite TV show, Afghan Star. There’s only one problem. It’s a cultural no-no for women to sing in public and any defiance typically results in death. Tossed out of the village after trying to convince Salima’s father, Richie is later surprised to find Salima in the trunk of the car, convinced that she needs to pursue her dream. From this point on, the movie starts to pick up.
What follows is Murray as Richie working his charm on Merci to help in managing Salima, convincing the host of Afghan Star to let her perform and facing the inevitable hard decisions that come when Salima’s appearance causes national uproar. Ultimately Richie is faced with a crisis of conscious and must “face the music,” so to speak.
In the end, Murray’s charm and personality helps to upgrade what is a somewhat lacking script. The film takes a little too long to get to the crux of the story, though each encounter does play a key role in leading Richie to his fate. Lubany is also a welcome discovery as Salima, but sadly her introduction in the film comes almost midway in and it feels at times as though character development was sacrificed to move things along. That’s too bad as the film was actually dedicated to the real life woman who dared to break tradition by singing and dancing on the real Afghan talent competition and it would have been nice to see her struggle not so glossed over.
Murray will win over some fans with his blowhard brags concerning the music industry, but after a bit that device begins to feel stale. The film is worth seeing to watch Murray riff his way through many of the fish-out-of-water situations, but the story could use some work.
Seth Rogen is garnering some of the best reviews of this career starring as Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computers in Steve Jobs. Often times, especially in biopics, the actors have not previously met the actual person they are playing. However, Rogen did meet Woz and it gave him insight on how to approach the role. Still, Rogen’s job wasn’t to simply mimic Wozniak, as he mainly approached with a highly interpretive eye. (Click on the media bar below to hear Seth Rogen)
Steve Jobs, starring Michael Fassebender in the titular role, is currently playing in theaters nationwide.