Sunday, August 28: I started the week by discovering that I have surpassed 200 views, doubling the 100 mark from just a few days ago, so you know I have to thank you for stopping by. You are awesome. Anyway, I didn’t have the motivation to write today, but the first episode of WordPress Adventures went live
Tuesday, August 30: Did Module 2 in the Intro to Blogging course. The thought of asking what and why over and over again shudders me, but apparently, it works in blogging. Didn’t do much writing, tho. I had a busy day outside blogging (worked, planned my weekend schedule). Today’s published post is on why I even made this blog in the first place, which is on brand for the module I worked on today
Thursday, September 1: Did Module 4 in the Intro to Blogging course. Revised some of my future posts to make them cleaner. I started using some external writing tools to help me keep my writing anywhere from a 4th to 8th-grade level because I have a bad habit of writing in levels beyond 9th grade. My post about people being smug on social media re student loans went live, so go check it out if you haven’t already
Friday, September 2: Did Module 5 in the Intro to Blogging course. Do literally no writing apart from updating this post until it went live. My short post about the popular classic card game UNO went live
Saturday, September 3: Did Module 6 (the last one) in the Intro to Blogging course. I had a great time learning about the basics and I plan to apply them in the weeks to come. Saturday-Monday is where I do the majority of writing, and because it’s almost Labor Day, I have scheduled some time to write posts for next week. Every Saturday, I plan to do a music-related post. It will be mostly Eurovision-related but I will dab into other areas. Speaking of, here are 14 things I’ve learned after following the contest for over a decade
Stats wise, I have surpassed 330 views on this blog from 181 different visitors living in 36 countries and territories. Whether you came here through my blog’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages, my personal YouTube channel or Tumblr page, WordPress reader, or search engines (some of my pages are getting indexed now, so that’s cool), thank you so much for coming.
I am planning on scaling back a bit after I reach my one-month mark on September 14. I have found my primary niche and a few other topics that I have a bit more knowledge of.
One thing I learned this week was a month-long blogging blitz called “Blaugust”, and as far as I was told, it’s 31 days of new blog posts from participating bloggers. I will leave a blog post about a blogger’s experience with participation here, but it’s kinda hilarious I found out about it as I started this mid-August. I might do it next year, who knows. Thanks for stopping by, and remember to like, comment, and share if you find this (or any of my posts) valuable
If you don’t know already, I love watching the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s a global music event where entire countries compete against each other with original music for 3 minutes each, and I love it for three reasons: One, the international aspect of it; two, the outfits they wear sometimes; three, I needed to diversify my music library.
Granted I live in the United States and therefore don’t have the same experiences as those who actually grew up watching the show in Europe, I had to quickly learn what it was about and join in on the contest right around the corner in 2009. This was during exam week at the end of my sophomore year at college
Now, 13 years later, I have a bit of knowledge about the contest as a whole, but not getting too technical like who gave 12 points to who, or which countries exchange points with each other every year (I’ll get to voting blocs in a sec). Besides the glitz and glamour, this contest, which has been around since 1956, has a rich history, so if you’re wanting to know more about it, I will point you to the official Eurovision website as well as the Wikipedia page for it.
For this post, I will tell you what I have learned in general about the contest, some of the countries involved, the show itself, and the months before the actual contest
1. Hosted by the EBU and the host country’s TV station
Typically, when a country wins Eurovision, its TV station and the European Broadcasting Union make plans to host the next edition the following year. Of course, this is not always the case, as the 2023 contest will be hosted by the United Kingdom despite Ukraine winning the 2022 edition. Back in 1980, the Netherlands stepped in to host after Israel pulled out following winning the previous two contests (1978-79). The hosting blueprint tends to start following the grand final, so keep that in mind when you watch future editions.
2. Some countries can actually compete despite not being in Europe
This was a big gripe in the fandom, and I was naive to think that this wasn’t an issue. One of the official rules of the Eurovision Song Contest is that the TV station (or national broadcasters as they call them) must be a full member of the EBU. In my experience chatting with fellow Eurovision fans, some want to ignore this rule because some of the countries that do compete — Israel, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia, Cyprus — aren’t really in Europe or they are half/half Europe/Asia. They have the most disdain for Israel because of Palestine. That’s for another time. As for Australia, the EBU invited them to the contest in 2015 as, at the time, a one-off event, but they have been invited every year since, including the canceled 2020 contest. 2023 will be the final year of this current deal
3. Politics as usual?
The EBU has told us time and time again that this contest is meant to be apolitical, but with my experience in the fandom, politics will always seep in. For example, earlier this year, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, the EBU banned the country’s two TV stations from competing. Anything involving Israel is met with calls to free Palestine, especially after they last won the contest in 2018 and hosted the contest in 2019. Armenia and Azerbaijan don’t want to acknowledge each other. Ukraine’s 2016 winning entry was accused of having political tones. Belarus still has a dictatorship (and their TV station was also banned from competing at Eurovision) Eurovision and politics are intertwined despite the EBU’s best efforts to keep it out.
One of the reasons why I don’t stay in fandoms for long is because of the gatekeeping exhibited by some of the fans. Also, I learned quickly, especially after 2012, that a lot of people from certain countries (like Spain) will mass downvote you if you remotely hate their entries. I don’t post my full tops anymore because of that (and the copyright claims others have experienced). Another thing I noticed is that while they love to tout love for all and other mumbo jumbos, they don’t want to share their format with other regions. This was especially true when the American Song Contest rolled around and they went on a mass anger spree to shut it down (and they failed, because Voxovation is negotiating a second season with NBC). Eurovision Canada and Latin American Song Contest are also coming next year. I will discuss that later in this post.
5. National Final or Internal Selection?
I want you to know this. The Eurovision Song Contest itself is a week-long event with two semi-final shows and a grand final, but the preparation takes months. As early as the day after the grand final, many countries will confirm their participation and then make plans to either hold a nationwide search or put out calls for an audition. An example of a national final format is Sweden’s Melodifestivalen, where 28 acts compete for over 6 shows for a chance to represent the country at Eurovision. An example of an internal selection is Armenia where Rosa Linn was chosen internally in early March. Her song Snap was released a couple weeks later. There is no one way of picking an entry for Eurovision, and some countries switch formats every year. Others use a combination of picking an artist internally and then having the public pick a song through a special show
6. Nothing can stop them, except COVID
When I say Eurovision has been through them all, they really have been through them all. Through dictatorships, tragedy, political uprisings, and general controversies, the contest has been able to host contest without fail. Except 2020. Like everything else in 2020, they had to hold it off after hosting it uninterrupted for 64 years to keep people safe during the early days of the COVID pandemic. For the record, the shutdowns started in March, and the two months between the shutdowns and when the contest was supposed to happen, which was in May, was supposed to be enough time to quarantine to get back to normal without destroying the economy… that is if the virus wasn’t as contagious as COVID. The venue, Rotterdam Ahoy, had to be used as a makeshift hospital when the Netherlands was dealing with its COVID cases. They made that official announcement on March 18, 2020… the darkest day in Eurovision history
7. Song release dates
When you watch Eurovision, you might notice that the competing songs are less than a year old. That’s because every song that was released on or AFTER September 1 of the previous year can be used for the contest. They also had to be 3 minutes long, although some of them have been remastered to fit the time limit. As of this blog, the songs released now and within the last two days are eligible to compete in the upcoming contest.
8. Live show crimes
I’ll leave a link here to see what I’m talking about, because every year, we have results that we don’t like, and Eurovision fans are vocal about it.
9. Betting odds and OGAE clubs
Every year, several sites put out betting odds for the upcoming contest, such as who’s most likely to win, or who’s most likely to qualify for the semi-finals. Although it isn’t an accurate picture of who will eventually win, I would say that they have been spot on over the past several years. This year, Ukraine was the hot favorite despite being invaded by Russia. Meanwhile, OGAE clubs are just fan clubs with national chapters that vote on their favorite entries. The voting takes place in April.
10. Online contests based on Eurovision
With Eurovision’s popularity comes fan-made versions. I am currently a member of an online song contest on a sports forum, where I represent the United States along with one other member. They run two contests per year… the annual and the open. The open contest will be starting soon, so I’ll be splitting my time between here and there until November’s grand final. I also read (but did not participate) in another online song contest which holds 12 monthly contests every year plus a few spinoffs. The rules are quite the same as Eurovision itself, the only thing is that juries who fail to vote to get disqualified.
11. The contest itself is based on San Remo
We know fan-made contests are using Eurovision’s format, but where did they get their format? The San Remo Festival. The annual Italian music festival started in Italy in 1951. Currently, Italy is using the festival to select an entry to Eurovision, and it worked out so well for them since their return in 2011… they won the 2021 contest.
12. Fan sites to legit sources
When you follow Eurovision, it’s not just the official site you can keep track of. Soon, you’ll find yourself following Eurovoix, ESCToday, Wiwibloggs, ESCXtra, ESCDaily, and ESCBubble, Aussievision, among others. Just steer clear of a site called Oikotimes. In short, they’re all fan sites that have now become legit sources for the latest news on Eurovision and beyond
13. The progressiveness of it all
Like any event that involves competition, one thing that they all have in common is progression. Eurovision has come a long way since its first contest in 1956 and it now attracts all walks of life… from LGBTQIA+ to the disabled to the casual fans to superfans. It’s the one night where we all come together to enjoy the contest before we kill debate each other over trivial shit again the next day
14. The expansion to the Western Hemisphere
The 2021 expansion to the Western Hemisphere has caused a riff among superfans. Most hated it, while some wanted to check it out. Me, as an American, I was thrilled. I could not believe that my country is getting its own song contest. That was May 2021. Then came March where, and I’m going to criticize it for a moment, the process felt rushed. 18 days before the first American Song Contest broadcast, they announced all 56 acts that would compete on the show. The songs came out in batches Sunday night before each Monday broadcast, which really didn’t give us a lot of time to talk about who will qualify or even win the contest. The juries were terrible (just like their Eurovision counterparts) and voted for the songs no one really wanted (I am still hung up over the chatterbox juror from the Northern Mariana Islands lol), never mind that 22 of the 56 jurors are all from iHeart Radio stations. The commercials went on for too long and they appear between each act. There was also an online voting component (you could vote through the NBC website, the app, and through TikTok. 10 votes per artist per app, so 30 votes), and even with the area code in place, we could still vote for our own state lol. At least they picked the right winner. All in all, negotiations are ongoing for a second season, but that’s not where they stop. Canada and Latin America are also getting their own versions. As a side note, they tried many times to expand to Asia but failed.
Of course, I will be watching the 2023 edition next May and blog about it here. I will also watch the American Song Contest as well as Eurovision Canada and Latin America, so I’m gonna be one busy woman.
Junior Eurovision 2022 is around the corner (read: less than 4 months away) and having watched Eurovision for the past 13 years, I decided to go back and watch the junior editions of the contest. All 19 of them (this year is number 20).
I discovered Junior Eurovision in October 2009, about a month before it aired and 5 months after Eurovision ended. The concept is the same as the adult version: A country sends an act to sing a song on a stage for 3 minutes (2 min 45 sec on JESC) and they exchange points on a scoreboard and one country is declared the winner. They cannot vote for their own country.
But as the name is “Junior Eurovision Song Contest”, it’s about children between the ages of 9 and 14 (as of 2022) singing their own songs in front of a live audience. It airs on a Sunday afternoon or early evening depending on where it’s being held (Armenia is hosting this year, so early evening for them), which translates to a late Sunday morning my time.
As of today, I am already on Junior Eurovision 2006, which I will be watching later on today. I have already watched the first three editions from 2003 to 2005 and so far, they are okay in terms of quality (maybe it’s because of the folks who uploaded the contests. The main channel has the ones from 2010 on, but I may have to use a VPN for three of them). Having said that, not a lot of people know about this contest, but that doesn’t mean the young singers can’t transfer over to the adult version because, ahem, some have.
If you’re just finding out about the biggest global musical event and want a bit more, I think you should check out Junior Eurovision, because these kids are talented and I think that they will go on to do bigger and better things, maybe even take part in the adult edition beyond reaching the age of 16. With that, I’m going to watch the remaining editions every Saturday until this year’s contest on December 11.
Apparently, the older post redirects to my old blog, so if you’re trying to read it here, I got you
Originally posted on my Blogspot site, but reposting it here for better viewing…
Yes, as the title suggests, I am an American and watch Eurovision yearly. Since 2009, in fact, when I stumbled on it by accident. Now, I may not be as prolific as some Eurovision fans are (at least from the ones I got to follow over the years on Twitter), but I try to keep up with the contest year round.
In the past 13 years, I followed along with the latest news concerning the pan-European contest, including national finals, internal selections, hosting bids, politics, cancellations (hello COVID), rehearsals, and the actual contest. I could go on, but I want to give my thoughts on the events from the past month
For starters, Ukraine nabbed their 3rd victory this past May with “Stefania” performed by Kalush Orchestra. Typically, the winning country gets to host the next contest, but since Ukraine went to war with (read: was invaded by) Russia, it was considered impossible to host Eurovision next May. As such, the United Kingdom, which placed 2nd, stepped up to host the contest. Eurovision also announced in their tweet thread that Ukraine will get an automatic spot, and I’m glad they did that because I believe that if a country wins the contest and can’t host, at least give them an automatic qualifier spot.
While various cities in the United Kingdom bid to host the 67th contest, Israel jumped in and selected 21-year-old Noa Kirel to represent the country next May. Based on what I have read about her, I feel that she’s gonna bring a kickass song, and from my personal experience, things I like are disliked by the community, so take what you will
Also, I gotta mention Olivia Newton-John. While everyone around me knew her from Grease, Heart Attack, and Physical, many people don’t know that she participated in Eurovision in 1974, where she finished joint 4th. May she rest in peace and may her memory be a blessing (gosh, this is what happens when you watch Wolf Blitzer during the COVID pandemic)
Eurovision 2022 wasn’t the only thing that happened this year. In fact, earlier this year, and I still can’t believe this happened, NBC aired the first edition of the American Song Contest. Of course, it’s based on Eurovision instead it’s state vs state vs district vs territory. All 50 states, DC, and the 5 territories took part in the 8-week competition to find the best new song in the country. Being an ESC fan for 13 years, it’s surreal to me that it actually happened. Yeah, we probably cracked a few jokes (and dealt with the naysayers), but when March 21st came (which also happened to be my birthday, so it’s extra crazy), I was super nervous, but in the end, it was all good.
For those that did watch American Song Contest, which songs were your favorite? Among my favorites were Massachusetts, Georgia, Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, and my home state Florida.
And the expansion doesn’t stop there as Canada and Latin America are having their own editions. I might have to figure out how to watch them tho. Maybe I should use my Opera built-in VPN (yes, because I live in the United States, I have to watch Eurovision with a VPN. Go figure, right). And I’m still holding out hope for a second season of the American Song Contest. I may do a blog with my thoughts on how to improve the show because it needs improvements.
For now, my attention is now focused on the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, which I also discovered by accident in 2009. I just watched the 2003 edition over the weekend, and I’m planning to watch the remaining editions every Saturday before the 2022 edition on December 11.
That’s my two cents on Eurovision. Let me know what you think and how you got into the contest.
I could not come up with a better title for this post, but it’ll do.
Earlier this week, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) announced the names of 7 cities in the United Kingdom that have been shortlisted to host next year’s contest. They are:
From what I have gathered, Birmingham and Glasgow are front-runners to host the 67th contest. Personally, I would want Glasgow to host the contest, but before I tell you why, I’ll tell you how we got here
2023 will mark the 9th time the United Kingdom hosts the Eurovision Song Contest. The only reason why they are chosen to host is because the 2022 winners, Ukraine, could not host due to the Russian invasion, and also the UK came second and therefore, was second in line to step into the hosting duties. The country has hosted 8 times before:
London: 1960 (Royal Festival Hall), 1963 (BBC Television Centre), 1968 (Royal Albert Hall), 1977 (Wembley Conference Centre)
Edinburgh: 1972 (Usher Hall)
Brighton: 1974 (Brighton Dome)
Harrowgate: 1982 (Harrowgate International Centre)
Birmingham: 1998 (National Indoor Arena)
4 of the hosting gigs came from their victories in 1967, 1976, 1981, and 1997 (they also won in 1969, but it was a 4-way tie with France, Netherlands, and Spain). 2023 will mark the 5th time the UK gets hosting duties via appointment, for a better word.
Okay, so among the 7 shortlisted cities, my personal choice is Glasgow. For starters, Scotland has hosted Eurovision once (Edinburgh in 1972). Second, the venue, OVO Hydro Arena, has ties to the Netflix movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. It had recently hosted COP26, which the meeting itself is an issue for another time. If not Glasgow, I would be down for Birmingham, which has hosted 25 years ago as of next year. They are using another venue tho, so it won’t be the National Indoor Arena, it will be the Resorts World Arena. Liverpool’s Sefton Park would be my third choice as a lot of musical stars got their beginnings in the city.
Yep, you read that right (and judging by my bio), I am a very inconsistent person. Most people may or may not admit it, but I can admit to being an inconsistent person in real life. Why do I mean by that? Well, for starters, I don’t go through life normally. In fact, I am on a spectrum and remembering to do and say things have been really tough. Also, I am tone-deaf on a LOT of things. I don’t know if there is anyone else out there that feels the same way, but if there are… I got you.
In this blog, I will share my tips on focusing on even the most mundane of things using my favorite apps, as well as sharing my thoughts on my favorite things in the world. I love watching Eurovision (even as an American. I will get to that later), playing Pokemon and Bingo games (specifically Bingo Blitz and Bingo Pop), watching anti-MLM and general scams videos, YouTube Poops (think of them as pop culture on steroids), laughing at memes (not necessarily making them tho), watching the news just for news anchors, and being a lurker. By day tho, I am a freelance tutor. I mostly tutor math. In fact, I am planning to include a random math problem in nearly every post by posting a question at the beginning and then solving it at the end.
My blog is targeted to people over 18 who have trouble focusing on even the basic things in life, and those who also need an outlet to say what’s on their minds without people swarming them (within reason, of course). I actually started this on Google Blogspot, but I can tell you… let’s not do that. So I moved here to WordPress.
If you managed to find this blog, thank you for reading this. Follow me on Twitter @dezbee2008 or my backup @m_inconsistent for more updates