‘The Voice’ Crowns Craig Wayne Boyd The Winner & Bruno Mars, Jessie J, Hozier, Meghan Trainor Perform: Watch

Craig Is The Champion!

14 Overlooked Albums From 2014
14 Overlooked Albums From 2014
Did you miss the fact that these albums came out? Revisit the forgotten ones.

How time flies on The Voice. One day, there are countless hopefuls whose names will be forgotten in an instant, and the next there are just four…whose names will take slightly longer to forget. (I kid! I kid!) The final four all broke into the iTunes Top 10 last night with their original singles, a first for the show. In fact, Matt McAndrew’s “Wasted Love” knocked Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” out of first place on the iTunes Top Songs chart. Perhaps this is the season where a real star is born.

Speaking of real stars: Tuesday night’s finale was full of them! Coaches Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine got to kick back in their red chairs for most of the finale, while A List talent including Hozier, Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, Meghan Trainor, Jennifer Hudson, Ed Sheeran, Fall Out Boy and Jessie J took the stage. So hey, three runners up, you may not have won The Voice, but you had backstage passes to a pretty great Jingle Ball, right?

As for the winner? All in good time. First, take a look at the zillion-ish performances on The Voice finale.

Contestant Performances:

The Top 20 are welcomed back to perform Bastille’s “Pompeii.” Well, really final four Matt McAndrew, Chris Jamison, Damien and Craig Wayne Boyd perform “Pompeii,” and the other 16 provide backup vocals bitterly behind them. Craig Wayne Boyd brings back an all-female cast of throwbacks to accompany him in his bring-back performance. Sugar Joans, DaNica Shirey and Taylor Brashears join the country crooner to perform Georgia Satellites’ “Keep Your Hands To Yourself.” Craig has a blast with the sassy crimson-clad ladies, who most definitely do not keep their hands to themselves onstage.

Chris Jamison brings back Luke Wade, Ricky Manning, Taylor Phelan and Ryan Sill to perform Lloyd’s “Dedication To My Ex.” The funky, upbeat performance includes go-go dancers wearing gold sequined booty shorts, because what’s the point of a boy band without booty short-wearing backup dancers, right?

In the girl power moment of the evening, DaNica Shirey, Bryanna Salaz, Mia Pfirrman, Jean Kelly and Sugar Joans perform Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj’s “Bang Bang.” Their (male) backup dancers wear suits, because of course they do.

Matt McAndrew brings Taylor Phelan, Mia Pfirrman, Taylor John Williams and Sugar Joans back to perform Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way.” The season’s best rockers honor former Team Adam advisor Stevie Nicks with a powerful performance.

Anita Antoinette, Elyjuh Rene and DaNica Shirey join Damien to sing the soulful “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. It’s fun, albeit a done-to-death song, and Damien works the crowd accordingly.

All Them Stars:

Fresh off of a Grammy nomination, Hozier takes the stage to perform “Take Me To Church,” which just received a Grammy nod for Song Of The Year. It seems like a lost opportunity that Matt McAndrew, who previously covered the song, was not included, but the band rocks it anyway without a guest appearance.

Matt McAndrew does join Fall Out Boy to perform their new single, “Centuries.” If a solo career doesn’t work out for Matt, he might want to see if Fall Out Boy is hiring, because his vocals completely enhance the band.

Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars perform “Uptown Funk.” It’s a shining star among an already glittering evening, because Bruno Mars can basically do no wrong live. Well…except for the ill-advised fashion statement of wearing his perm curlers onstage. In fairness, they’re solid gold, so he gets a pass.

After Bruno Mars comes Lynyrd Skynyrd (it really is the definition of a variety show this evening). Craig Wayne Boyd joins the southern rock band to perform “Sweet Home Alabama,” and drunk sorority girls south of D.C. scream, “It’s my song!” They then see that the band they’ve been downing SoCo and lime to this semester is filled with older versions of pre-makeover Craig, and have a total Thirsty Tuesday meltdown.

No need for gradual transitions on The Voice: Recent Grammy nominee Meghan Trainor performs “Lips Are Movin’” next. Her lips don’t quite move to the exact lyrics of the song, but lip-syncing is a really hard skill to learn, y’all! She’ll get there.

A svelte, body-con clad Jennifer Hudson sings “It’s Your World,” and Damien stands in for R. Kelly’s part. There’s no lip-syncing detected on either diva’s part during this high-energy performance, and it’s one of the more impressive showings of the night.

Former advisor Ed Sheeran, who’s album X was just nominated for two Grammys, performs “Thinking Out Loud,” with the unwelcome accompaniment of wonky audience clapping. It’s beautifully done, although eliminated contestant Luke Wade’s performance of the song earlier this season might have been even better.

Chris Jamison performs “Masterpiece” with yet another 2015 Grammy nominee, Jessie J. One of them is pitchy…and it’s not the amateur. Jessie J gives Chris a double thumbs up after the performance, which is just about the most unexpected move from a musician who previously defined cool.

Finally Coaches Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell and Blake Shelton get up from their red thrones to sing! They get in the spirit, performing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” complete with fake snow falling in the background. Gwen stuns in a red, floor-length mermaid gown, and the guys clean up nicely as well.

Results, you say?

Ah yes, it’s almost easy to forget that this is a results show with all the Grammy nominees in the house. Team Adam’s Damien, Matt McAndrew and Chris Jamison and Team Blake’s Craig Wayne Boyd stand on the final chopping block of the season. Though the odds are ever in Adam Levine’s favor, a Blake Shelton win here would mean an epic comeback he would reference for the rest of The Voice’s life.

Here’s how the contestants placed:

Coming in fourth place is Team Adam’s emotional Damien. In a shocking twist, he sheds 0 tears before leaving the stage.

In third place is Team Adam’s heartthrob, Chris Jamison. He’s still the sexiest contestant alive.

Second place goes to Team Adam’s Matt McAndrew. He may not have won, but he’ll always have that moment he bested Taylor Swift on the charts to keep him warm at night.

First place, then, goes to Team Blake’s Craig Wayne Boyd! The country crooner helped his country coach defy the three-to-one odds to add a fourth championship trophy to the Team Blake collection.

Craig gets to enjoy his trophy for all of three seconds before Carson Daly nabs it from him and shoves a microphone in his hand. Amidst obligatory confetti cannons and lots of hugs, Craig Wayne Boyd sings his winning song, “My Baby’s Got a Smile on Her Face,” with his wife and son on the stage. Heartwarming. Confetti blinding.

The End.

Thus wraps a seventh season of The Voice. There are certainly some opinions on the winners, yes? Rant and rave in the comments below.

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World Bank plans $100 million fund for Zimbabwe

A man is silhouetted against the logo of the World Bank at the main venue for the IMF and World Bank annual meeting in TokyoHARARE (Reuters) – The World Bank said on Wednesday it planned to raise up to $100 million to help Zimbabwe fund economic reforms, in its first such initiative in the southern African country for 15 years. Zimbabwe has not received direct budget support from the World Bank and other multilateral institutions since 1999, following disputes over unpaid debts and policy differences with President Robert Mugabe's government. …

Alus Proves She’s No “Ordinary Girl” In New Video: Idolator Premiere

Not Your Average

2014's Best Pop Singles
2014's Best Pop Singles
Idolator's editors choose their favorite tunes from this year!

As 2014 comes to a close, there are a ton of fresh faces that begin to pop up just as the new year lurks around the corner. One artist to watch for 2015 is Alus, the newest signee to Steve Rifkind and Russell Simmons‘ artist platform ADD52 — and today (December 17) we at Idolator are premiering her video for “Ordinary Girl.” The 21-year-old New Jersey native seduces the camera as she proclaims that she’s not your average chick from the block.

The sleek video also showcases the flame-haired singer’s dance moves, model-worthy poses and curvaceous body. It is all set to the tune’s snap-heavy, ’90s-inspired production that is filled with catchy harmonzied hooks and Alus’ feather-light yet sweet vocals. “Ordinary Girl” is one of those chilled bops that you can enjoy both at the club and laidback basement parties.

Watch the video up top, and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

All images and written content is property of the listed RSS FEED if you would like more on this story and images please click the listed feed. http://idolator.com/feed

Prosecute the Prosecutors: A Way to Justice in Staten Island, Ferguson, and Cleveland

Thousands are protesting across the nation to seek justice in the Staten Island, Ferguson and Cleveland cases.  Leaders from President Obama to members of Congress to state and local officials are joining an outraged public in calling for conversations about how and why unarmed young Black men and children have been killed by police in recent weeks. Angriness with police actions in African American communities has been simmering for decades.

There is a way to achieve justice and that is to prosecute the prosecutors. The law provides that victims and families of victims can sue in cases of prosecutorial malfeasance. Prosecutors are rarely charged criminally, and even more rarely convicted criminally by reluctant courts who work with them, but it can and should happen when merited.  The families should not be faced with a brick wall of prosecutors they think are immunized from action when lawsuits are in fact possible, especially in glaring circumstances. Civil suits against the prosecutors are another route for damages for Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice’s families.

The three cases would be very different from one another but the most glaring is the Staten Island case, where a video shows store-owner Eric Garner first rationally asking what he had done and then gasping during a choke hold, something that was barred for over 20 years, saying many times before dying, “I can’t breathe.” Daniel Panteleo, the officer who choked Eric Garner, has several complaints of false arrests and unwarranted and unlawful strip searches, and police have had to settle.

People believe a grand jury’s proceedings are totally secret but in fact, witnesses who testify are free to come out and say what happened inside.  Ramsey Orta, the Staten Island videographer, told the press that he was made to testify in only a cursory way, for 10 minutes, and during his testimony, the grand jury members were tweeting and texting, paying little attention.  The prosecutor, who runs the show, essentially blew off Orta, clearly wanting to get rid of him as soon as possible.

This man had likely the most important onsite evidence proving murder.  It was the Zapruder film of the case.  The coroner had five options from “undetermined causes” on down but branded the situation specifically the most forceful —“homicide” — and stated that the “choke hold” and “pressure” on the chest killed the victim.  The man who was there, shot the video, saw it all unfold, saw the angles, saw the time durations, and saw the result was blown off.

Ten minutes?  The jury playing around, ignoring it? The prosecutor not asking the jury to focus, and the prosecutor not asking this witness penetrating questions for several hours?  This seems a preeminent potential case of holding prosecutors accountable.

In Ferguson, there was no video evidence (revealed to date), other than Michael Brown lying unattended for four hours after the shooting, and the case was muddied by some conflicting witnesses regardless of veracity. However, Prosecutor Bob McCulloch has asserted on many occasions he would have joined the police force if not for medical issues. His father, who was a police officer, was allegedly killed in 1964 by a Black man. Regardless, he claims it was “not something that clouds my judgment.”

But the assistant prosecutor, Kathy Alizadeh, opened the door wide to a malfeasance case. She told the jury and handed out an old state law, right before the policeman testified, that it was legal for him to shoot a fleeing suspect, a law that was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1985, making it not legal. Two weeks later the assistant prosecutor told the jurors that “the information was incorrect” and did not explain to the non-lawyer jurors what was incorrect.   The assistant prosecutor also told the jurors that neither the difference between what they were told initially nor the Supreme Court’s power to override the earlier state law were significant.  The assistant prosecutor told the jurors these were “not important,” and said this is not “a law class.”  Here “fraud against the court” is a prosecutable offense that has been won against prosecutors.

It wasn’t relevant that the policeman committed likely illegal acts if you know the right law? Obviously Brown got from the car to 35 feet away as he was shot further. Let alone that the policeman was never confronted about why, regardless of the earlier fight in the car, when Brown was later 35-plus feet away and he then knew he was unarmed, even if Brown was running toward him (in doubt, but say it’s true), the policeman didn’t shoot the final shots at legs to disable rather than the head to kill? Both the assistant prosecutor and chief prosecutor are culpable here for not aggressively penetrating these issues, as well as the intentional disinformation and obfuscation of the law.

Oil prices slash Nigeria 2015 GDP growth

Nigerian Finance Minister Okonjo-Iweala takes part in a discussion on during the World Bank/IMF Annual Meeting in WashingtonABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria's economy will grow 5.5 percent in 2015, down from an earlier projection of 6.4 percent, due to lower oil revenues, according to the budget the finance minister presented to parliament on Wednesday. The naira lost 3.6 percent on the day, closing at a record low of 187.10 to the dollar, after the central bank said it would hold the last foreign exchange auction of the year on Wednesday, which triggered strong demand from some importers and forex end-users. The currency rarely reacts to budget news. The 4. …

Justin Timberlake & Jimmy Fallon Break Into Giggles & Songs At Camp Winnipesaukee! Watch The LOLz HERE!

When Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon get together you just KNOW they’re gonna cause some major giggles.

Well, they definitely did NOT fail to deliver on last night’s Tonight Show!

[ Related: Justin Timberlake & Jessica Biel Expecting First Child! ]

The pair’s younger selves (lol) went off to Camp Winnipesaukee and some laughs ensued in addition to some spontaneous singing.

But not just any singing, they decided to sing a super nostalgic song from a certain band called Third Eye Blind!

Ch-ch-check out the HIGHlarious camping bit (above)!!!

Which Up-and-Coming Coaches Will Be the Next to Land Big-Time Jobs?

College football programs are always on the hunt for up-and-coming coaching hires. From defensive and offensive coordinators to head coaches of smaller programs, the next big head coach is always waiting for that phone call.

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder, Adam Kramer and Barrett Sallee predict which coaches will be hired by major programs. 

Which coordinator or head coach will be college football’s next prized possession? Check out the video and let us know! 

Letting The Freedom Of Truth Uncover The Value Of Life