For the past four weeks, I’ve been participating in the Eurovisionathon readathon! Hosted by Helen, from the Youtube channel, Helen’s Book Haven, this event encourages participants to read books associated with Eurovision’s competing countries in a month-long time-frame. This was my first year taking part in the readathon and, like other readathons, I was curious to see how well I’d perform. In the months leading up to the event, I cultivated a TBR (to be read) list of diverse literary works, in an attempt to make my reading experience as enriching as possible. My goal was to read twenty-six books in a month, as there were twenty-six countries competing in Eurovision’s Grand Final. But was I able to obtain this goal or was this goal too lofty? Let’s find out in this break-down of my Eurovisionathon results!
In this year’s Eurovision, thirty-seven countries competed in the contest. There were six countries that automatically qualified for the Grand Final. These countries were the “Big Five” (United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy) and Ukraine (the winner of the previous year’s song contest). Two Semi-Finals determined the rest of the countries partaking in the Grand Final alongside the six aforementioned countries, with fifteen countries competing in the first Semi-Final and sixteen countries competing in the second Semi-Final. Out of the six automatic qualifiers, I read five books, as I knew I would receive guaranteed points no matter how those countries performed.
From the first Semi-Final, I read six books. These books represented Portugal, Croatia, Israel, Moldova, Sweden, and Finland. All six countries advanced to the Grand Final.
From the second Semi-Final, I read four books. These books represented Romania, Iceland, Australia, and Slovenia. Only Australia and Slovenia advanced to the Grand Final.
Eurovisionathon ended on the day of Eurovision’s Grand Final. A country’s combined jury and televote score determined how many points a readathon participant received. The more books a participant read, the more points they were given. Thirteen out of the fifteen books I read represented countries that competed in the Grand Final. Three of these books represented countries that missed the top twenty; Germany, Portugal, and Slovenia. Three books I read represented Moldova, Spain, and France, countries that made the top twenty. Croatia is the only country whose book I read that placed in the top fifteen. The rest of the books I read represented countries who were given top ten placements, with Israel, Finland, and Sweden among Eurovision’s top three countries.
With all of that said, my total score was two thousand, seven hundred, and ninety-three points! For my first time participating in Eurovisionathon, I’d say I did a pretty good job! With 2024’s contest on the horizon, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year’s readathon. Thank you, Helen, for hosting this event. The next Eurovision Song Contest can’t come soon enough!
At the beginning of this year, I announced I was participating in the Eurovisionathon readathon. Created by Helen, from the Youtube channel, Helen’s Book Haven, the goal of this readathon is to read books associated with countries competing in Eurovision within a month-long time-frame. One of the books I planned to read was The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World, as one of the countries featured in the text is Moldova. When the themes for 2023’s Buzzwordathon were announced, I discovered April’s theme was ‘emotions’. This means at least one emotion related word had to be in a book’s title. The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World happens to contain three emotion related words: bliss, grump, and happiest. Therefore, I was able to read this book for both readathons!
In The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World, Eric Weiner, the book’s author, attempts to find the happiest countries in the world, based on data and research. Each chapter to devoted to this exploration, with Eric including study results, some of a country’s history, and even insight from a few of a country’s residents. Throughout the text, Eric brings up thought-provoking ideas that made me contemplate how Eric’s findings applied outside of the book. One common finding was Eric’s discovery of more ways to describe sadness than happiness. This discovery reminded me of my best and worst movies of the year lists. When I write these lists, I find it easier to talk about movies I don’t like. That’s because I feel compelled to explain why a movie is bad. But if I come across a movie I like, that movie, in my opinion, speaks for itself. This makes me put more thought into writing about good movies.
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World contains ten chapters. Most of these chapters are longer in page length, ranging from about fifteen to twenty pages. If I were reading this book just for Buzzwordathon, the length of the chapters wouldn’t be an issue. Since I read the book for Buzzwordathon and Eurovisionathon, the chapters made the book feel longer than necessary. Despite its flaws, though, The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World is a fine and interesting book. While I don’t plan on revisiting it, the book did allow me to expand my literary horizons!
Overall score: 3.6 out of 5
Have fun during Buzzwordathon and Eurovisionathon!
Disclaimer: The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World contains content that may be offensive to some readers, as Eric’s approach to each country discussed is honest and realistic. Reader discretion is encouraged.
Tis the season for my Movie’s Blogger’s Christmas Wish-List! For readers who don’t know, this is an annual tradition where I create a list of movie related things I want for Christmas. This year, there are four items on my list. Some of them are realistic, while others are wishful thinking. My Christmas wish-lists take me a whole year to create. That is because I try to put a lot of thought into each category. These categories follow the quote; “Something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read”. So, with that said, let’s begin this year’sMovie’s Blogger’s Christmas Wish-List!
Something You Want
In March of 2021, I published an editorial about why Bai Ling should join the main cast of When Calls the Heart. This post explained the reasons why Bai’s inclusion would be beneficial for the show. Unfortunately, she didn’t make any appearances in When Calls the Heart’s ninth season. As far as I know, there have been no major cast announcements either before, during, or after season ten’s production. Therefore, as of December 2022, I have no idea if Bai will become a “Heartie” in 2023. If When Calls the Heart’s creative team decides not to cast Bai in their upcoming season, then I would be interested in seeing her join the cast of Fast & Furious 10. From what I’ve heard, this film is still in the pre-production stage. I also don’t believe Bai has ever appeared in the series. Based on her projects I’ve seen, Bai has talent to offer to the Fast & Furious franchise. But like I said in my aforementioned editorial, Bai’s career is her own, which means her decision to join either the Fast & Furious or When Calls the Heart series will ultimately be up to her.
Something You Need to See
Last month, I wrote an editorial explaining why Das Sound Machine should represent Germany at Eurovision 2023. In this article, I discussed how Das Sound Machine could realistically compete in next year’s song contest and why that idea should work. As of mid-December, 2022, none of the participants in Germany’s national final have been announced. If Das Sound Machine did compete in Germany’s national final, that information wouldn’t be revealed until sometime in early 2023, as the national final is scheduled to take place in March. You can read my editorial at the link below if you’re interested in learning more about this idea:
A movie related piece of clothing or accessory I’d want to wear
In A Godwink Christmas: Miracle of Love, one of the protagonists, Joy, carried a purse. This purse was a red, satchel style bag with a cross-body strap. I really like how versatile this purse is! It not only looks great during Christmas-time, it also looks great any time of year. The combination of color and style work together to create a visually appealing accessory! I would love to have this purse in my wardrobe!
A book I’ve read that I’d like to see adapted into a film
Years ago, I read To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker. From what I remember, I really liked it! It’s one of those stories I always thought would lend itself to a film adaptation, as To Catch a Pirate contains action, adventure, romance, and intrigue. In the 21st century, Disney has dominated the pirate movie genre with their Pirates of the Caribbean series. But as I said in my Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama review, this shouldn’t discourage other studios from creating their own pirate stories. If the success of Top Gun: Maverick has showed the world of film anything, it’s how audience members will show up if the movie contains a solid story. Maybe, just maybe, they would also show up if To Catch a Pirate became a movie.
What are your thoughts on my Christmas wish list? Are there any movie related things you’d like to receive for Christmas/the holiday season? Please tell me in the comment section below!
Ok, so you probably read the title of my editorial and thought, “Sally, don’t you know Das Sound Machine is not a real musical group”? Readers who are familiar with Eurovision will likely think, “Isn’t Germany planning on hosting a national contest”? As of November 9th, 2022, Germany’s national broadcasters, NDR/ARD, have announced their plans to host a national final “in early March”, according to Eurovoix News. The application process for potential representatives is currently open. There’s even the likelihood of the broadcasters seeking out artists and their respective record labels to participate in the selection. With Germany still looking for a Eurovision representative, I think it would be really cool if the cast members who portrayed Das Sound Machine in Pitch Perfect 2 represented Germany in Eurovision next year! It sounds like a pipe dream on paper. But the more I’ve thought about it, the more I realized how my idea could realistically work. Before I explain how Das Sound Machine could compete in 2023’s Eurovision, I’d like to first explain why this plan should work.
Germany Desperately Needs a Showstopper
In 2023, there will be thirty-seven countries participating in Eurovision. Twenty-six of those countries will compete in the grand final, with Germany being one of them. Even though Germany automatically qualifies for the grand final, because they are one of the “Big Five” countries, they still need to stand out with a memorable entry. But if Germany is serious about their chances at Eurovision success, they need an entry that will stand out for the right reasons. In 2021, Germany placed second to last in the grand final, with a total of three points. This year, Germany received last place with only six points. As NDR/ARD searches for the perfect representative, they can use that desperation to not get a low score as motivation to submit the best entry possible. Germany was not the only country in 2021’s grand final to receive disappointing results. The United Kingdom didn’t receive any points, while Spain only got six points. The following year, Spain and the United Kingdom sent Chanel and Sam Ryder to Eurovision, who both placed in the top three.
There Has Never Been an A Capella Entry at Eurovision
Over Eurovision’s fifty plus year history, a variety of musical genres have been represented. But according to my research, no country has ever submitted an a capella entry. If Germany were to select Das Sound Machine to represent them next year, an original a capella number would not only bring something new to Eurovision’s table, it would give Germany a chance to try something different. According to an article from Wiwibloggs, this year’s national final, Unser Lied für Turin, was not met with favorable results. This is because of “the lack of variety within the songs but also for its production”. Before 2021, Italy had neversent an entry that was strictly rock. Sure, their entries may have contained elements of rock. ButMåneskin and their song, “Zitti e buoni”, was the first rock group Italy selected for Eurovision. This huge musical risk led to huge rewards, as Italy not only won Eurovision for the first time since 1990, but Måneskin has also found success after their song contest victory. The public’s response to Unser Lied für Turin and Italy’s recent Eurovision achievements should encourage Germany to think outside the box.
Das Sound Machine’s Performance Abilities
Das Sound Machine was given only two performances in Pitch Perfect 2: their Car Show number and their World Championship Finale number. Despite these limited performance opportunities, Das Sound Machine uses their talent to create what is, in my opinion, the best moments of the film! While reflecting on these two performances, there are three key elements that could help Das Sound Machine at Eurovision. The first is their energy! As I said earlier in this editorial, there will be twenty-six countries competing in the grand final. From what I’ve heard, the grand final’s run-time can reach up to four hours. Having performers who can consistently maintain a high energy level during their performance would keep viewers both in the stadium and at home invested in the show.
Das Sound Machine’s second key element is their mastery of the choreography! Because Eurovision is a live show, representatives need to give the audience something interesting to look at. Whether it’s dance routines, large scale props, or cool special effects, these ingredients could work in a representative’s favor. Based on Das Sound Machine’s aforementioned performances, each member displays control over their body, allowing every movement to stay parallel to the beats within the songs. This understanding between the physical and the musical showcase Das Sound Machine’s musicality. The third key element is the group’s creativity! During their World Championship Finale number, Das Sound Machine had very few props at their disposal. Instead of seeing it as a limitation, they used this as an opportunity to be creative! While performing Fall Out Boy’s “Light Em Up”, some Das Sound Machine members got into a strategic formation, coming together to create a ship. Other members of Das Sound Machine stood on either side of the formation, giving the appearance of water.
After seeing Pitch Perfect 2 for the first time, I remember thinking, “I wish Das Sound Machine was a real group”. Whenever I think about that movie, I always feel Das Sound Machine is the much stronger group than the Barden Bellas. If I get the opportunity to watch Pitch Perfect 2, I only watch the scenes featuring Das Sound Machine. It seems like I’m not the only one who feels this way. On the Youtube channel, King Samo, there are two videos featuring Das Sound Machine’s performances. In the comment sections of these videos, over a thousand commenters praised Das Sound Machine. Most of the comments were about how the group should have won the film’s World Championship. But there are other commenters who simply want to express their love for Das Sound Machine. Three commenters on the World Championship Finale video have made the following comments this year:
As a German person it’s insanely hilarious to me how every other country seams to think of us as this overly perfect nation when really, we’re not comparable with incredible groups like “Das Sound Machine“ at all. Just look at our contestants for the Eurovision Song Contest. We embarrass ourselves everytime. So can we please have them perform for us this year?
If DSM were a real group they would’ve won Eurovision and they would of deserved to win.
this would win the eurovision
As the comment section of the aforementioned videos show, there is built-in enthusiasm for Das Sound Machine. If Germany sent Das Sound Machine to Eurovision next year with a strong, original a capella number, that could translate well for grand final televoting.
How This Could Work
According to official Eurovision rules, the maximum number of group members is six. This means Das Sound Machine couldn’t have the number of members they did in Pitch Perfect 2. From an a capella perspective, though, a six-person group could still create a strong original number. According to Wikipedia, only two Pitch Perfect 2 cast members are listed as official members of Das Sound Machine: Flula Borg and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen. NDR/ARD would recruit four German a capella singers to accompany Flula and Birgitte. If Das Sound Machine were selected to represent Germany at next year’s Eurovision, expenses related to the contest would be co-funded by NDR/ARD and Universal Music Group, as Das Sound Machine was created specifically for Pitch Perfect 2. Universal Music Group is Universal Studio’s music label. On their website, there are eight German music labels associated with Universal Music Group. If possible, more than one of these labels could help fund any Eurovision expenses.
As of early to mid November, 2022, only three participating countries have chosen their representative. About half of the participating countries are planning on hosting a national contest. With the weeks leading up to Eurovision, it’s exciting to hear who will be selected to compete. This anticipation reminds me of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, as the golden tickets are waiting to be discovered. Unlike Ronald Dahl’s story, receiving a “golden ticket” to Eurovision is not as simple as tearing open the wrapper of a candy bar. Each participating country has their own process of choosing their representative. Even if they do choose to host a national contest, various factors go into making that event a reality. My idea of Das Sound Machine representing Germany at 2023’s Eurovision is just that: an idea. Even if Das Sound Machine were selected to participate in Unser Lied für Liverpool, there’s no guarantee they’ll be granted that “golden ticket”. But no matter who ends up representing Germany next year, I still believe Das Sound Machine should receive their “standing ovation”. So NDR/ARD, if you’re reading this, will you consider giving Das Sound Machine their Eurovision “golden ticket”?
Have fun at Eurovision!
Here are the link to the sources for this editorial: