Popjustice http://www.popjustice.com Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:50:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Does Niall Horan know how to actually play monopoly? AN INVESTIGATION http://www.popjustice.com/blogs/etc/does-niall-horan-know-how-to-actually-play-monopoly-an-investigation/132751/ http://www.popjustice.com/blogs/etc/does-niall-horan-know-how-to-actually-play-monopoly-an-investigation/132751/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:50:08 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=132751 71WwBzZ9nhL._SL1500_

If you think about it, the world of pop is a lot like everyone’s favourite bankruptcy-based board game Monopoly.

Monopoly is about seizing what you can get, not what you want or think you deserve. Yes, life would be a lot better if you could buy the square you really need and erect a few houses there so you can fleece various members of your family, but guess what, someone else snapped it up. This is directly comparable with quite wanting to listen to the new Rihanna single but it not being available, meaning that you make do with some ballad Olly Murs and Demi Lovato ‘cooked up’.

Anyway, I was thinking about this just the other day when enjoying ‘Night Changes’, the new video by One Direction, which you can enjoy below.

As you can see, each of the ‘lads’ go on a date with a special lady, but the camera is seeing the date through the eyes of the lady in question, enabling the viewer to experience the highs and LOL-frilled lows of a date with One Direction for about three and a half minutes before heavily suggesting you go and masturbate furiously upon the song’s conclusion.

A classic pop video, in other words.

But apart from the unnerving fact Liam takes a selfie with his date and nobody appears in the photo on the phone’s screen, there’s something deeply troubling about the video for ‘Night Changes’, and it concerns the band’s frontman: NIALL HORAN.

While the others go out and about for their dates – the skating rink (Harry), the fun (‘fun’) fair (Liam), a restaurant that looks a bit pricey if I’m being honest (Zayn) and literally just sat in a car (Louis) – 1D’s most enigmatic member has his date round for a spot of Monopoly. Which, sure, sounds like a treat whatever time of the year, but there are some fundamental problems with Niall’s game of Monopoly that I’d like to talk you through.

1Is Monopoly really suitable for wooing a lady?

Point 1

Monopoly is a game in which the object is to cause friction in your interpersonal relationships by inducing figurative bankruptcy, so it seems like an odd thing for Niall to be playing in the first place. Even worse, later in the video he actually breaks out his acoustic guitar for a spot of strumming. :(

On the plus side, their game of Jenga seems to be going fine. But that’s beside the point.

2Someone has foolishly invested in a brown property

Point 2

It’s not in demand and there’s not much money to be made. In some ways, the brown squares are a bit like #Q3. Yes, you could release an album when everyone’s at festivals enjoying the sunshine, and you know what, some people might buy it. But there’s a reason the best pop stars (usually) release their music in Qs 2 or 4.

If you buy a brown property you’re working against the odds because there are two in a set instead of the usual three. And if someone does land on it, they’re going to pay you about £12. Good luck taking over the world with that business plan, Niall.

3

Niall is spunking all his money on hotels, which won’t end well

Point 4
In much the same way that having the opportunity to collaborate with Pitbull doesn’t mean you actually have to go and bloody collaborate with Pitbull, you don’t have to buy hotels in Monopoly just because you can.

Sure, they might impress a would-be suitor, but Niall has bought a hotel before he’s even got a house on every property in that set. It’s recklessness.

It’s hard to tell why Niall is doing this as he is probably the second most likely person in One Direction to follow the rules (coming behind the band’s resident Barlowesque selfie enjoyer Liam Payne), and Monopoly is only really fun when everyone follows the rules and plays properly.

Monopoly vets will also know that skipping ahead and smacking a hotel down before you’ve built your houses isn’t even an effective strategy. The best way to win would be to ensure his opponent is slowly bled dry financially, and to do that he may as well build at least one house on every property he owns, bit by bit, rather than whacking all his royalties into one big hotel that, let’s face it, nobody’s going to land on.

4

Nobody’s touched the pink squares and they are pretty good ones

The reason pink and red squares are good is that they’re next to the Free Parking square so people tend to throw the dice like a pathetic ninny hoping they get less than 10, land on that square and get a load of cash.

Someone (maybe Niall, maybe not) has got a hotel on a red square which gets an official thumbs up from me. But the pink squares are cheaper and just as frequently landed on so, really, he should be trying to snag them before his opponent does. Otherwise all that will be left are the green squares, and if we can just get real for a minute, they are never as lucrative as you think and cost a fair penny.

5

Can we talk about the electric company square please?

It’s the square that often gets ignored when people wax lyrical about their favourite Monopoly squares. But it’s actually a very good square. Basically, if you own this and the water works and someone lands on it, they pay ten times the number on their dice.

Nobody’s here to do the maths so let’s just get to the point. It’s not going to be the most profitable square, and the Electric Company doesn’t have a huge fanbase like Mayfair or Park Lane, but Niall, sometimes you’ve got to take what you can get.

Having said that, this is probably the square Liam would jump at the opportunity to purchase, isn’t it.

5.5

Let’s take a moment to think about what Monopoly piece each of the 1D ‘boys’ would be

Liam:
Probably something utterly dull, like the wheelbarrow.
WHEELBARROW

Harry:
DOG. He’d probably bagsy it before the box was even opened.
DOG

Zayn:
The car. This is obvious.
CAR

Niall:
The boot, or, in an attempt to be “wacky”, the thimble.
BOOT

Louis:
The ship, which some people think is naturally secondary to the race car (big engine, takes people from A to B and, occasionally, C) but this is in fact one of the worst pieces.
BOAT

6

Hang On, Who Is The Banker?

The job of who is the banker at Monopoly is one of huge responsibility. But just like in real life financial sector instances, people involved in the banking side of Monopoly can carry a natural untrustworthiness.

If there are just two players (as discussed above, please keep up) and one of them is the banker, does that not tempt the banker to cheat, lie, manipulate and forge money in order to get ahead? Or has Niall employed some kind of partisan financial body to come in and keep things ticking over?

Conclusion

As we’ve outlined, Niall really isn’t very good at this Monopoly thing, which might explain why his date ends up going so badly. That, and he’s drinking hot chocolate and mulled wine at the same time which will probably give him the shits, so maybe it’s best for everyone that things went sour. Better luck next time, Niall.

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Q4 UPDATE: Robbie Williams will release a ‘new’ album on Monday http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/q4-update-robbie-williams-will-release-a-new-album-on-monday/132758/ http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/q4-update-robbie-williams-will-release-a-new-album-on-monday/132758/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:30:19 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=132758 robbie-williams

Robbie Williams will release a new album of sorts on December 1 – as in THIS MONDAY – and it’s called ‘Under the Radar: Volume 1′.

According to a video he popped online to announce it all, the songs were all recorded for other albums but for reasons we assume are to do with more than just them not being good enough, never made the cut.

Here’s a quote from the man himself that makes things sort of clearer:

“I’ll let you into a secret, Guy Chambers isn’t happy with me putting these songs on this album. He thinks I’m a lunatic for not putting them on an album that we’ve promoted with TV performances and at radio stations and a big tour.”

“But I’m an impetuous bugger, and I want them out now, now, now!”

Here’s the video announcement thing anyway:

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A Black-Based Songs Extravaganza, On A Friday http://www.popjustice.com/blogs/etc/a-black-based-songs-extravaganza-on-a-friday/132733/ http://www.popjustice.com/blogs/etc/a-black-based-songs-extravaganza-on-a-friday/132733/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:22:50 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=132733 PopjusticeTwitterLogo

Today is Black Friday, the massive discount shopping day that has made its way over from America to the UK. This means that many of us are spending the day fighting over hoovers in Asda or refreshing our web browsers incessantly until the 40%-off electric toothbrush pops up on Amazon.

What does this mean for pop? Well, not much. But that won’t stop me! I’m taking part no matter what, right? Right. So here is my Black Friday Extravaganza playlist. It is quite literally 11 songs that feature the word ‘black’ in the title.

I have also given them arbitrary ratings.

Girls Aloud – Black Jacks

With ‘Black Jacks’ Girls Aloud showed us that pop music could have a bit of a weird 60s vibe without venturing into Duffy territory and could, therefore, be quite exciting. So, in that respect, this song is good. However, it’s not ‘Call The Shots’, is it?

Does the song feature a lyric about shopping? No, it doesn’t.

Could you listen to this while in Tesco? Yes you could, and it could make the whole experience quite enjoyable.

Would it make you feel calm in a pandemonium checkout situation? The introduction may help you feel calm, but as soon as girls start yelling around 1:12 mark you might get a little flustered.

Black Friday rating: 7/10

Charli XCX – ‘Black Roses’

“Purple and scarred” Charli XCX sings at the beginning of ‘Black Roses’, and really that’s how you might end up after a Black Friday scrum.

Does the song feature a lyric about shopping? No, it doesn’t.

Could you listen to this while in Tesco? You’re unlikely to hear this one on a supermarket’s internal radio station, but if you had a nice pair of headphones and an MP3 device it could lighten up the condiments aisle.

Would it make you feel calm in a pandemonium checkout situation? I think maybe not.

Black Friday rating: 5/10

All Saints – ‘Black Coffee’

With William Orbit on production duties, ‘Black Coffee’ is the soothing antidote that, so far, we’ve been looking for. With wah-wahing guitars and watery electronics it’s all quite lovely.

Does the song feature a lyric about shopping? No, it doesn’t (I’m slightly regretting asking this question of every song but it’s too late to stop now).

Could you listen to this while in Tesco? Yes you really could. Food shopping can be stressful, and this would warm you up in the freezer aisle. You’re also quite likely to hear this on a supermarket radio station.

Would it make you feel calm in a pandemonium checkout situation? Absolutely, yes.

Black Friday rating: 8/10

Amy Winehouse – ‘Back To Black’

One of the more famous songs in recent memory to feature ‘black’ in the title, ‘Back To Black’s wall-of-sound production, vocals and that incredible tambourine helped make Amy Winehouse a household name the world over. What a woman.

Does the song feature a lyric about shopping? No, it doesn’t.

Could you listen to this while in Tesco? Surely every trip to Tesco would benefit from a whizz around with your trolley to the soundtrack of ‘Back To Black’.

Would it make you feel calm in a pandemonium checkout situation? In some respects this song is quite calming with its repetitive rhythms, however the anguish in Amy’s voice might make you wobble slightly.

Black Friday rating: 6/10 

Stooshe – ‘Black Heart’

‘Black Heart’ is perfect radio fodder, but was this really what Stooshe wanted? Was it what any of us wanted? Poor Stooshe.

Does the song feature a lyric about shopping? No (OF COURSE).

Could you listen to this while in Tesco? Weeping into your reduced section meal-for-one, yes.

Would it make you feel calm in a pandemonium checkout situation? Absolutely not.

Black Friday rating: 4/10

Michael Jackson – ‘Black Or White’

There’s something so joyous and completely effortless about Michael Jackson’s ‘Black Or White’, isn’t there?

Does the song feature a lyric about shopping? No, obviously.

Could you listen to this while in Tesco? Absolutely, but you might get in trouble or knock over a display due to some foot-tapping action.

Would it make you feel calm in a pandemonium checkout situation? Not only would it make you feel calm, but you would appoint yourself the peacemaker among all the madness.

Black Friday rating: 9/10

Sam Sparro – ‘Black And Gold’

While the religious sentiments of this song might be a bit ‘problematic’ for some, there’s something to be said about this song’s rather enjoyable synthesizers, and I still like the video’s blackness and goldness.

Does the song feature a lyric about shopping? No it doesn’t, but it could read like a long list of things that Sam wants to buy from the shops, for example fishes and stars.

Could you listen to this while in Tesco? It seems like ‘Black And Gold’ might be a bit distracting while trying to pick up some eggs, so no.

Would it make you feel calm in a pandemonium checkout situation? Again, you might get distracted, and therefore lose your place in the queue. Nightmare.

Black Friday rating: 5/10

Lady Gaga – ‘Black Jesus † Amen Fashion’

:(

Does the song feature a lyric about shopping? No, but it’s sort of about fashion and Lady Gaga does mention some rather streets, such as ‘Broadway’, and streets often have shops on them.

Could you listen to this while in Tesco? Not really, no.

Would it make you feel calm in a pandemonium checkout situation? Not at all. No way. No.

Black Friday rating: 3/10

Texas – ‘Black Eyed Boy’

This is a good song, isn’t it? Happy 25th Birthday Texas.

Does it feature a lyric about shopping? There’s no way of spinning this one. No, it doesn’t.

Could you listen to this while in Tesco? Absolutely, and if you haven’t already done this in your life go out and do it and then come back to finish reading this.

Would it make you feel calm in a pandemonium checkout situation? The strings, the tambourine and that chorus might be excitement overload in this situation, so I would avoid it.

Black Friday rating: 5/10

Booty Luv – ‘Black Widow’

This boat-filled video is fun and this song is pretty much a 9/10 that has two choruses.

Does it feature a lyric about shopping? This song really should feature a lyric about ‘hitting the shops’. Maybe something about labels and diamonds. However, it doesn’t and we’ll have to live with that.

Could you listen to this while in Tesco? It’s a bit too ‘main room at G-A-Y’ for Tesco.

Would it make you feel calm in a pandemonium checkout situation? Categorically no. In fact, you might do yourself or someone else some serious damage listening to this while battling for a 52” TV.

Black Friday rating: 2/10

Sia – ‘Dressed In Black’

This enormoballad is a highlight from Sia’s ‘1000 Forms of Fear’ and is generally Sia at her best. Massive chorus, tick; incomprehensibly lyrics, tick; suitably dark themes, tick.

Does it feature a lyric about shopping? So, there are not direct references to shopping, but Sia does say she’s dressed in black and she must have had to go to the shops to buy this outfit, and she may have even made use of the Black Friday sales. So YES!

Could you listen to this while in Tesco? Absolutely, yes while you cry in the dips section.

Would it make you feel calm in a pandemonium checkout situation? It might do as you empathise with the songs lyrics with your “broken heart and spirit”. But that’s what you get for going out to the Black Friday sales.

Black Friday rating: 9/10

Well, that was fun (entirely pointless).

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Who should do a massive fuck-off remix of the Star Wars theme? http://www.popjustice.com/blogs/etc/who-should-do-a-massive-fuck-off-remix-of-the-star-wars-theme/132725/ http://www.popjustice.com/blogs/etc/who-should-do-a-massive-fuck-off-remix-of-the-star-wars-theme/132725/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:06:58 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=132725 Star wars

Not sure if you’re aware, but there’s a new Star Wars film coming out. That’s right, C-3PO, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Mulder and indeed Scully are all back back back.

There’s not much about it online but a trailer has just appeared, despite the fact the film isn’t actually out until December 2015 (!). And they say pop music is obsessed with teasers.

Anyway, I’m not here today to discuss the ins and outs of the convoluted storyline, the surprise casting or where it will fit in the lineage of the Star Wars epics so far. I am here, obviously, to discuss the music and who should update John Williams’ horn-led main theme, ie this little ditty below:

Before you get your knickers in a twist, I am aware that John Williams is back onboard to do the music. That’s fine. I’m glad for John, he’s a good guy. But this is 2014/15 and soundtracks are big business. Yes Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ album will sell quite well, but will it match the Frozen soundtrack’s 3.5m sales in the US alone? One Direction’s ‘Four’ is selling pretty well so far, but can it catch the soundtrack to Guardians Of The Galaxy (500,000 sales and counting) by the end of the year? Also, not being funny, but Lorde’s soundtrack thing for that new Hunger Games film is one of the best things to emerge in 2014.

What I’m saying here is, yes we need to maintain the ‘essence’ of this Star Wars theme but at the same time, let’s whack a massive donk on it, slap it on an album and watch it sail to the top of the charts for six months.

Here are some options for sonic reswizzlers if the film’s producers are stuck for ideas.

Calvin newCALVIN HARRIS

Obviously. Obviously! The original has all the ingredients for a Calvo banger: a recognisable riff, some nice calm bits to bolt a massive drop on the end of, enough space to fill up with lots of unnecessary sonic squiggles and – most excitingly – he has a Rolodex of singers to warble something deep and meaningful about Freudian nightmares over the top. Imagine.

AVICII

There seems to be more to our friend Avicii than just being a typical EDM producer. He has, dare I say it, a touch of finesse about his work that sometimes gets overlooked when enduring ‘Wake Me Up’ for the millionth time. Mind you, having said that, film soundtracks don’t always need finesse do they? Sometimes you just want to hear a massive, bowel-puncturing goliath playing over a scene of some distant planet or something. There’s not much subtlety about John Williams’ original version so I say get Avicii and his hands-in-the-air synth riffs and fucking banjo and let’s do this right.

ZEDD

See above but probably a bit cheaper to be honest.

Madeon looking upMADEON

Look, Madeon’s basically a genius so could do this in a heartbeat. In fact, he’s probably already done it ‘just for fun’ anyway. It’s probably lying around on a hard drive somewhere so it wouldn’t take too much effort for him to email it over to George Lucas or whoever and ‘make it so’ (a little Star Wars reference for you there!!).

DAFT PUNK

French laughing boys Daft Punk have ‘previous’ in this sort of field having already worked with Disney – who are releasing the new Star Wars film after they brought it for shitloads of cash – on the soundtrack for Tron a few years ago. Obviously in their hands the theme tune would likely be slowed down, elongated and made to sound pretty boring, but there would also be a chance they’d turn it into a big disco-tinged wedding anthem and you can’t say fairer than that really.

M83

This is probably who they will get to do it isn’t it? That’s if this is even happening at all. But if it does, it will likely be dance-producer-for-bores fun abuser M83 and I’ll likely enjoy it once and then never listen to it again.

Or, OR, why not just get someone in to make a soundtrack album of songs that don’t even need to be in the film itself. John can keep the theme tune and take the day off.

And for that we only need one person:

LordeLORDE

Lorde’s not got a lot on at the moment having finished touring ‘Pure Heroine’ and performing ‘Yellow Flicker Beat’ like a woman possessed on seemingly every US TV show. She’s also pretty good at cobbling together an amazing list of people to make a proper soundtrack, so why not just give the whole thing over to her. She could get a handful of her mates to write some songs that feature some of the general themes of the film – love, family, fighting, er, space – then write a couple of new ones herself, get Kanye to remix one of them and Bob’s your geeky uncle. Sia should be involved too just because she’s done this Annie remake and can knock out a good song in the time it takes most people to take a shit.

You’re welcome.

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Apparently Adele’s working with Damon Albarn on her new album http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/apparently-adeles-working-with-damon-albarn-on-her-new-album/132721/ http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/apparently-adeles-working-with-damon-albarn-on-her-new-album/132721/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 09:40:46 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=132721 Adele

Here’s the thing, the source of this story is locked behind The Sun‘s paywall so we don’t know too much about the finer details but essentially Adele has “turned” to Damon out of Blur “for a guiding hand on the delayed record”.

That’s all we can see.

If you have access to The Sun’s website and would like to add anything to this ‘story’ then do so in the comments below.

Cheers!

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Charli XCX is having a big album launch party!!! (In America) http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/charli-xcx-is-having-a-big-album-launch-party-in-america/132712/ http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/charli-xcx-is-having-a-big-album-launch-party-in-america/132712/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 09:22:43 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=132712 Look this only really applies to our American readers, but basically Charli XCX is having a party to celebrate the launch (in America) of her new album ‘Sucker’ and she or someone else has gone to the effort to make a lovely flyer for it so the least we could do is turn it into a ‘news’ item with its own web page.

pj_299

It’s on December 2, which is just eight short millennia before the album’s UK release.

 

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Bastille’s collaboration with Haim is now all over the world wide web http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/bastilles-collaboration-with-haim-is-now-all-over-the-world-wide-web/132715/ http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/bastilles-collaboration-with-haim-is-now-all-over-the-world-wide-web/132715/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 09:18:03 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=132715 ‘ICYMI’ the ‘premiere’ of this last night on Zane Lowe’s radio show, here’s Bastille’s collaboration with Haim in all its glory.

It’s called ‘Bite Down’ and is taken from Bastille’s new mixtape-you-have-to-pay-for ‘VS. (Other People’s Heartache pt. III)’.

Here it is:

There it was.

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Chaps, it looks like Madonna’s made a very good pop song http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/madonnas-rebel-heart-sounds-really-good/132706/ http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/madonnas-rebel-heart-sounds-really-good/132706/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 07:33:13 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=132706 Well there was always a chance the new Madonna stuff would be really good and it’s starting to look like she might have pulled it off. We know this sort of talk is deeply irresponsible but if you give this just-leaked snippet of ‘Rebel Heart’ a bit of a listen…

…is it too much of a stretch to say you can hear a nod to ‘Call The Shots’ and a nod to ‘With Every Heartbeat’ and a nod to Madonna’s best (or second-best depending on your mood) album, ‘American Life’, ie three of the best pop things of the last twenty years?

Let’s explain using science:

rebel-hert-triangle

This single could be really good, right?

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The lineups for the two festive Top Of The Pop specials have been ‘unveiled’ http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/the-lineups-for-the-two-festive-top-of-the-pop-specials-have-been-unveiled/132671/ http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/the-lineups-for-the-two-festive-top-of-the-pop-specials-have-been-unveiled/132671/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=132671 la-roux-let-me-down-gently-2014-1000x1000

The lineups for the Top Of The Pops Christmas and New Year’s Eve specials have been announced and they basically include all the usual suspects (plus La Roux).

Take That, Ed Sheeran, Clean Bandit, Rixton, Gorgon City feat MNEK and Ella Henderson will all sing their songs on the Christmas one while Charli XCX, La Roux, Professor Green, The Vamps, The Script, Ed Sheeran (again) and Ella Henderson (again) will perform on the New Year’s Eve one.

The Christmas episode will air – get this – on Christmas day at 2pm, while the New Year’s Eve one will be – hold on – on New Year’s Eve at a time yet to be announced.

That is quite literally that.

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Sia won four ARIA awards earlier and quite right too http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/sia-won-four-aria-awards-earlier-and-quite-right-too/132667/ http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/sia-won-four-aria-awards-earlier-and-quite-right-too/132667/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:08:14 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=132667 siahairinspace

Sia ‘scooped’ four ‘gongs’ at the ARIA Awards (basically the Australian version of the Brits but with less Ant and Dec) last night, so well done to her.

The reigning queen of the backdrop-facing pop warble won bookends for Best Female Artist and Best Video for ‘Chandelier’, while ‘1000 Forms Of Fear’ was awarded Best Pop Release and Album Of The Year.

Other winners included One Direction (Best International Artist), 5 Seconds Of Summer (Song Of The Year for ‘She Looks So Perfect’) and The Wiggles who won Best Children’s Album for the seminal ‘Apples & Bananas’.

The full list of winners can be seen right here, if lists of winners is your thing.

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