The following is a guest post by Mel for Pepsi in support of X Factor UK.
In the music biz it’s difficult to develop that cross-Atlantic appeal. British acts find it increasingly hard unless they have somebody championing them who has already 'made it' in America. The US is a big place and that means lots of ground to cover, literally. But, there has been an explosion of success stories recently, and it seems that America is now all ears when it comes to emerging British musical talent. Here are just a few UK artists who have enjoyed success stateside.
Adele is one of the most successful artists on both sides of the pond. Despite still being signed to an independent label in the UK, she has sold over 11 million albums in the US. America may find it difficult to decipher her strong Tottenham accent, but it is her singing voice which has charmed the nation. Her self-penned second album 21 has become one of the biggest-selling albums of all time, approaching sales of almost 10 million copies worldwide. The album also boasts the greatest longevity in the Top 10 Billboard chart in 50 years. Not bad for a 24-year-old BRIT School graduate.
"I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened."
Oh wait, that's Star Wars, created by George Lucas. But that's to whom Peter Jackson is being compared, in some corners, following his decision to extend the film adaptation of The Hobbit. There will now be three films instead of the originally planned two.
Of course, people were anxious when Jackson announced two films. After all, The Hobbit is a fraction of the size of The Lord of The Rings. One book instead of three, and about 300 pages instead of more than 1,000. The argument was that while two films worked for LotR, it would not translate so well to "Hobbit". But after a time people seemed to get used to the idea of two films.
People are even less sure about three. The main worry people have is that there is simply not enough material from the book to carry it through three movies. Or, at least, not enough to do it without it seeming filler-y in places. So, even with some original material thrown in that didn't originally appear in the book, as was already planned, can it work?
Sesame Street has always done a good job entertaining and educating kids since its beginnings in 1969. In recent years, however, they have stepped up their game to include countless pop culture references. Thanks to the latest viral video from Cookie Monster singing his version of Carly Rae Jepsen (see below), I thought it was a good idea to put together some of my favorite Sesame Street videos from the past few years.
Share It Maybe
There have been countless "Call Me Maybe" videos made over the past few weeks, and leave it to Cookie Monster to top it off with the best one yet. I have watched this video a few times and every single time it brings a smile to my face. You know a parody is good when you sing that version instead of the original.
Smell Like a Monster
"Sadly, you are not a monster." Classic Grover. This is a spoof of the Old Spice commercials from a few years ago and Sesame Street did a great job recreating it. Growing up, Grover was my favorite Sesame Street character and he remains my favorite to this day, despite the fact that people tell me I am an adult.
Do you have any favorite Sesame Street parodies or spoofs? Let us know in the comments below!
There were a lot of big discussions this week, and it was difficult to choose only three. So you get an extra one this week!
They did it! After waiting a long 45 years, the LA Kings have clinched the Stanley Cup. Here's a team that, very early this year was practically on nobody's radar. Then they started winning a lot of games and that got people interested. The Kings' ascension has shined an even more powerful spotlight on Los Angeles, as the city of the stars is usually only well known for the Lakers. Will the Kings make LA a sports haven to rival some of those on the east coast? I guess we'll have to wait until next year to find out.
How long will it be until we're asking, "Who shot John Ross?" The classic TV drama Dallas is back after 21 years off the air. The show, a continuation of the old one, centers around J.R. and Bobby's sons, John Ross and Christopher, and promises to re-ignite the old family rivalry that made the original series popular. J.R. and Bobby are also back, and played by their original actors.
Lance Armstrong is in the news again, and not for anything good. The seven-time winner of the Tour de France risks having every one of the titles stripped from him and being banned from cycling if it is proven that blood samples from 2009 and 2010 show evidence of doping. Armstrong denies the allegations, and is currently trying to clear his name.
Should the ref have called a foul on LeBron James? That's the mini-controversy to come out of last night's Oklahoma City Thunder-Miami Heat game. The lack of a whistle from the officials, as expected by Kevin Durant of the Thunder, robbed the team of a chance to tie up the score at the free-throw line. In the end, the Heat won, 100-96. Check out more of our coverage on the final series: Game 1; Game 2.
That's it. Have a good weekend, everybody!
As you'll soon see, this edition of "What people are talking about this week" is more like "What people are talking about today," because there are a lot of great things being discussed today. Let's get to it.
The NFL draft
The first round of the NFL draft happened last night, and today people are searching for information about it, a lot. So much so that at the time we took the screenshot below eleven out of the first twelve Google Trends spots were dedicated to it, and it had most of the real estate on the page:
Complementing the discussion of who was picked is stats on how the NFL draft show fared. It did well, getting a Nielsen rating of 4.8, and doing better than last year. Its fortunes may have been to the detriment of some other shows, however. Not a great thing for those shows when networks are currently choosing which ones will be renewed and which will not be renewed.