EBJ UPDATE: The Eurovisiony goodness I’ve got planned for the rest of 2015 (because like the TWiiNS, I’m still alive)

HEY GUYS!!! HOW’S IT GOING??? WHAT’S UP WITH YOUUUUUUUU?!?!?!?

I’m sorry for that stream of shouty capitals. You might think that my Caps Lock button is currently stuck down, but actually, I’m just overexcited because I MISS YOU ALL and I MISS BLOGGING ABOUT ALL THINGS EUROVISUAL and I’m SO HAPPY TO BE BACK HERE.

It’s been over a fortnight since I last posted (!!!). That’s like, three months in internet time. My excuse is that I’ve recently started a new job, and I’ve been busy working while trying to get all of my non-work *insert poop emoji here* together.

Basically, I’ve been off figuring out how to person with a lot on my plate. But I’m back now, and ready to resume (somewhat) normal transmission here on EBJ. I’ve dropped by today for a quick – i.e. you’ll only need to have one power nap mid-read – chat with y’all re: what you can expect to see, and hopefully enjoy, on le blog for the remainder of 2015.

The list of posts I’ve got planned is longer than a Jedward head hair (though not as long as Monika and Vaidas’ grand final smooch in Vienna) so there’s no need for you to wonder what you’ll be doing between now and Junior Eurovision – if you’re a JESC fan – and beyond to the start of Eurovision 2016’s NF season. I’ve got you covered, amigos.

Firstly, as I am intending to grace Stockholm with my presence next May (with press accreditation flapping haphazardly around my neck, fingers crossed) you’ll be receiving regular updates on the progress of my trip plans (whether you want them or not). If you’re Sweden-bound too, let me know so we can arrange to run to each other from opposite ends of Arlanda airport and partake in an enthusiastic high five.

globen1

Will I be seeing you inside the world’s biggest golf ball in 2016??

Secondly, I’m working hard on making your post requests a reality – just think of me as your Eurovision fairy godmother. I’m grateful for all of the Top 10 and Stockholm Suggestion Box ideas you guys put forward, and I will post them ASAP. Mark your calendars for any time in the next two or three years, sit back, and wait for one of your submissions to pop up just as you’re losing the will to wait any longer. It’ll be fun!

Thirdly, I’m going to be adding some regular day-specific posts to my repertoire, since I love doing Time-Warp Tuesdays so much, and since you guys seem to love them too.

With all of the above said, here’s a more detailed look at what’s coming up on EBJ from August through to December (subject to me changing my mind and adding in more of your suggestions!).

 

MELFEST MONDAYS

You guys know I’m always Team Sweden where Eurovision (and affordable flat-pack furniture) is concerned. It’s only natural that Melodifestivalen should be my favourite national final. That being the undeniable truth, I thought it was time I started celebrating the good, the bad and the ugly (‘ugly’ in this case most likely to refer to an unfortunate fashion choice) of Melfest – just as I do with Eurovision on Time-Warp Tuesdays.

Every third, fourth or whenever Monday, I’ll be sifting through the show’s archives to find a song of interest that was once in the running to represent Sweden. I’ll then ramble on about it for a while. THEN we can argue for the next three days straight after inevitably disagreeing on how fantastic/woeful said song is. Ja!

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Seven-time competitor Sanna (pictured here in the ‘Empty Room’ days) will no doubt feature on multiple Melfest Mondays. That ought to undo her sad.

 

TIME-WARP TUESDAYS

I love putting these together, as I said before. And, as you guys seem to like the results, I don’t see the point in fixing what ain’t broken. You can revisit my previous TWTs – or check them out for the first time if you have zero idea what I’m talking about right now – here.

 

‘WHAT IF?’ WEDNESDAYS

No, these posts will not be dedicated to Dina Garipova. Nor are they the most original idea on the planet, as I know of at least two other blogs that routinely explore what-could-have-beens of Eurovisions past. But I’m going to give them a shot anyway.

Ever wondered how Israel would have fared in Düsseldorf if Dana International hadn’t re-represented them? What if ABBA had won Melodifestivalen in 1973 with Ring Ring, and headed off to the contest without Waterloo? My ‘What If?’ Wednesdays will be here to speculate the outcomes of these scenarios and more, and to find out what you think would have happened. Dust off those thinking caps, folks!

 

FAVE FIVE FRIDAYS

Because sometimes, a Top 10 just requires too much time and effort.

The FFFs will be a short + fun + unranked selection of five of my favourite thematically-linked things from the Eurovision world. Here are some examples of what I’ll be covering, in case that description made no sense: Fifth-Placed Entries, Outrageous Outfits, Siegel Songs and Undeserving Losers.

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The Makemakes and Ann Sophie finished (un)lucky last in Vienna…but will they be among my fave five undeserving losers??

 

TOP 10s

Because sometimes, a Fave Five just isn’t epic enough. Who doesn’t love a good Top 10? If your reply to that was ‘me’ then I’m afraid we can’t be friends. The lists I’ve got cooking at the moment include EBJ’s Top 10 Swedish entries of all time, artist comebacks, and debut entries.

 

MY STOCKHOLM SUGGESTION BOX

I nominated Darin Zanyar as my ideal host country representative in my last post, and you guys were keen for me to suggest artists for other countries – namely, Italy, Norway and the United Kingdom. Your wish is my command, so expect the Stockholm Suggestion Box to be opened once again, very soon. The UK will be in focus first, and I’m über pumped about my choice for them *mysterious music plays*…

 

JESC BITS AND PIECES

I know not all of you are fans of watching kids between the ages of 10 and 15 belt out ballads like nobody’s business, but I sure am – and we should all be excited that Bulgaria is playing host to a Eurovision event for the first time this year. Once the class of JESC ’15 is full, I’ll be reviewing the songs and predicting their future, as well as looking back on the history of the ESC’s adorable younger sibling. Sorry/not sorry in advance to you anti-Junior peeps.

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Yep – we’re off to Bulgaria. And it’s all thanks to…this ITALIAN kid??

 

RANDOM EDITORIALS

There are times when I want to aimlessly ramble on about miscellaneous ESC stuff. Humour me, won’t you, when I come out with the likes of the following:

  • Missed it by THAT much: Looking back at the semi-finalists who just failed to make the (grand) final cut
  • #TEAMJURY: Eurovision 2015 and the case for the combined voting system to continue
  • Making A Scene: The Eurovision entries that succeeded thanks to staging (and vice versa)

 

And that’s pretty much the extent of what you’ll see on EBJ over the coming months, with the addition of some other regular postings (Retro Rankings and country spotlights, for example). I realise you hadn’t asked what was coming up, and I’m not convinced anyone would’ve noticed if I hadn’t posted for another fortnight (#pitypartyoverhere). But in my mind, people all over the world have been pulling a Polina in my absence.

pgc

 

I repeat, in my mind. Don’t burst the bubble.

 
Until next time (when I promise I’ll post something more entertaining than this)…

 
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About Jaz

I'm Jaz, I'm 25, and I'm 110% Eurovision-OBSESSED. The contest is one big party, and I like to keep it going 365 days a year - that's why I write about anything and everything ESC on my blog. Come join the fun, and I promise you'll never have a nul-point experience! www.eurovisionbyjaz.com/

Posted on August 17, 2015, in Random Stuff and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. Ali Nella Houd

    Ah Jazzy-wazzy – I’m still mopping up after the tsunami of salivation your “Coming-Attraction” post induced (luckily I don’t live near a dodgy Japanese nuclear power plant).

    But just a quick update on things Nullaborian:

    New frontrunner!

    La
    belle
    France.

    Not yet locked in, but has fought off many a worthy challenger so far. I’ll give my full reasons once/if it’s confirmed.

    À bientôt!

    Ali

    Like

    • ‘Tsunami of salivation’?? You have a way with words, my friend. And a way with extreme flattery!!

      Speaking of, I am teetering on the edge of my seat to find out if France shall be, in the words of a Miss Paparizou, your number one. Oui indeed. I’m in former Yugoslavian territory right now – specifically scrutinising the history of Bosnia & Herzegovina to see if they can be added to my shortlist.

      Perhaps we could road-trip the Nullarbor together and combine our chronological playlists??

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ali Nella Houd

    I find with flattery, it never hurts to exaggerate a tiny bit for effect.

    Sounds like you’re being very thorough in your own assessment! Don’t over cook it! My main criterion was: “Is there a song in there that I just could not stand having to listen to again?” If so, then ‘RAUS!

    My Apple Maps App thingy says it’s 12 hours and 37 minutes from Ceduna to Norseman.

    If we each pick our top two countries, that could get us to about 12 hours worth of songs, give or take.

    But I saw on a website that a Nullarbor roadtrip can last about a WEEK!

    Perhaps, to pad it out further, we could also each list our “top three” from each year, and for any overlaps (either with each other’s top-three list – unlikely! – or with our country-of-choice list), we can choose an extra song.

    That way, we’re less likely to get totally sick of songs coming up on repeat.

    BTW, I wasn’t planning on playing them chronologically — just on random/shuffle. (Oh dear, I knew it – Not even packed, and we’re already arguing!)

    The other issue is: who’s Thelma, and who’s Louise? (Yikes – I can see another argument coming up, right away!)

    Perhaps we need to invite some others along, so things don’t go completely ‘Vrag naj vzame’. (Wolfi? Amy??) A Eurovision tragics’ equivalent of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, maybe. (What would you be like in a shot-skulling competition?)

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  3. Hmm, the name “Nullarbor” sounded spacey (is it named after something in Star Wars?), but upon Googling, well, it’s still a vast expanse of rocks. I don’t mind road trippin’ if anybody wants to chauffeur me around.

    *votes for random/shuffle of playlist*

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just to let you know, Ali: with ‘la belle France’ as your No. 1 ESC country playlist, you will always get moi on your “Nullarbor” desert road trip right away! 😃
    In other words: the French repertoire of Eurovision entries definitely gets all of my hounds out😀.
    La France is not only my favourite ESC country with 10 of my 100 all-time favourite songs being French ones over all, but also because it is a beautiful country always worth a visit.

    I have no idea what that nearly 13-hours-trip would be like, but with a bunch of Eurovision music nothing can go wrong, right?! Maybe I could do the hitchhiker part à la Brad Pitt in your ‘Thelma and Louise’ roadmovie, if you like (although I have absolutely nothing in common with him 😀).

    And I am really glad that Amy also agreed to your trip invitation, cause we Europeans must stick together 😊. Same as Amy, I would not want to drive, just because I am not able to drive on the left side; that would drive me mad! So Jaz or you gotta do the important part!

    Well, what an ideal combination: Two Aussies and two Euros doing a Eurovision desert road trip together, that should leave ‘No dream impossible’ open 😀.

    But we all should have a good time on that trip, it should not be a tragic or dramatic one for my taste, not?!

    Looking very much forward to this adventurous journey and thank you very much for inviting me. 😀

    À la prochaine et mille amitiés,

    Wolf 🙂

    Like

  5. Ali Nella Houd

    Oh boy, what have I done? … (What have I continued to do? …)

    First, ok, so Amy, very sorry, I have obviously not been paying attention, because I actually thought — maybe because you write so eloquently? — that you were an Aussie! (I hope on this occasion Jaz will let me get away with complimenting one of her subscribers, given it’s also an indirect, albeit jocular, compliment to her too.)

    I understand the word ‘Nullarbor’ is neither of aboriginal nor Lucasian (i.e. Star Wars) origin, but is from the Latin: ‘nullus’ – no – ‘arbor’ – tree. (Normally, one would expect it to have been named something poetic, like “No Tree Plain”, but someone obviously thought that might depress the value of real estate in the area.)

    It should not to be confused with that even lonelier and more desolate place that Norwegians have traditionally been known to go to (though more recently, Germans and Austrians too): ‘Nullapoints’.

    Anyway, Buzzwoman and the Wolfman, great to have both of you on board, especially given Amy is pro-random/shuffle! YOSS!! (I note Wolfi is yet to cast his vote in that regard …)

    Given the trip might actually take us a week, we could actually go for the Guinness world record: the first time that every single Eurovision song has ever been listened to in the one road trip! That would only need to be about 10 hours listening a day — plenty of time for sleep, and star-gazing — and if we do a little thumbnail critique of each song, we could even beat Ewan Spence to the post!!

    There may need to be a few ground rules, of course:

    Rule No. 1 (no, not the Monty Python one – lucky for you, Wolf!):

    If you’re not driving, you have to navigate. (Basically, you have to be very good at saying “straight … and … straight … and …” etc. Or Wolf — you can say, “Gerade aus …” if you like.)

    Also, Wolfi – I think we would only have an on-coming vehicle about once every couple of hours or so, so actually, the rest of the time, there’s no problem driving on the right-hand side (in which case the navigator would of course also have to have the ability to say “and … left a tiny bit”, at the appropriate times).

    The ideal time to do it, of course, would be (from east to west) on the way to see the ESC finals in Perth in May 2017 following Australia’s shock win in Stockholm in 2016.

    Apart from a Priscilla bus (which obviously had lots of Abba), I’m trying to think of an ESC-related vehicle we could comandeer for the journey. There’s probably one staring me in the face, but all I can think of — given my Peter Nalitch fandom — is the line from his (non-ESC) song, Gitarr, about ‘Jump to my jaguar’. Twelve cylinders would be nice and cruisy! But depending on how many of your hounds you bring, Wolf, we may actually end up needing the bus.

    In which case, anyone else want to come??

    Ah, but we better not get too far ahead of ourselves, or Ms Jaz will come down on us like the uptight headmistress from ‘School of Rock’. (Remember, Wolf, how Jaz poured cold water — I’ll let you do the ‘shrinkage’ joke — on that BRILLIANT idea we had about the top 10 genitalia-related ESC songs? Well, we can out-vote her on the ESChool of Rock bus! Yeah!!) Or perhaps she’ll mellow, if we bring along some Stevie Nicks to play as well?

    :0)

    I think I’ve said quite enough. Apart from my name, and a short postscript.

    Ali

    PS: Wolfi – “10 of my 100 all-time favourite songs being French ones”. I’ll have a wild guess: ’62, ’65, ’69, ’77, ’91, ’97, ’01, ’02, ’09, and … ’12? How close was I?

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  6. Hell what, you mean a whole WEEK in the Australian desert with just Eurovision Music in the luggage!? What temperatures are there in May? I think we need some more extras for such a long journey, don’t we? Maybe your ESChool of Rock bus (what a great creation! 😊) will be the better choice for it! And with our Jazzy headmistress on board we can be sure that all passengers will behave properly. 😊
    Do we have a dance floor on board? Just in that case I would leave all my hounds at home. One Wolf should do! 😃

    And with driving the car I have got another problem: I cannot do the coupeling with my left hand (I can do a lot of other things with my left hand, but that is not something I can deal with, unfortunately!). 😊

    So okay, I follow all your rules (being glad that it’s not the dumb Monty Python rule No. 1!) and try to be a good ‘navigator’ saying ‘straight ahead’ all the time. That should also work with me 😀!

    Believe me, I can still feel that bucket of cold water on my skin concerning the ‘Top 10 ESC genitalia-related songs’, but I also have some understanding for Jaz that she won’t let us! I will respect her rules, and she’s the boss here! So no complaining at that point! 😀
    And I would not mind if Jaz packs in some more bottles of cold water for our desert road trip,
    we could need and use it! 😃

    Finally, your wild guess was pretty good: 6 out of 10, which means 60% right, or in Eurovision language ‘six points’. Here is my “Playing with numbers” à la Française from No. 1 to 10: ’77, ’69, ’02, ’91, ’01, ’11, ’09, ’90, ’93, ’81! So congratulations for having more than half of it right! What would your French Eurovision Top 10 look like?

    You seem to be a VERY good road trip planner, I’ll stay on board! 😀

    À bientôt et meilleur regards,

    Wolf 😉

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  7. Ali Nella Houd

    Ah, yes – I had 1990 and 2011 there to begin with, but took them off to make way for others.

    I would never have guessed 1981 or 1993, but they’re interesting choices!

    My French ESC top 10? Guess!

    ;0)

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    • Hmm – difficult job for me – I am always bad at guessing someone else’s Eurovision favourites, but I will give it a try! This is what I think about your French Eurovision Top 10:

      1. The obvious ones: ’69, ’77, ’91, ’02, ’09 (just because I’d like to see them in your list of favourite songs, too ;-))

      And then:

      2. The hard ones: ’68, ’79, ’97, ’06 and ’10 (probably the wildest guess I ever had! I hope that I have at least one or two right guesses here?)

      How many points do I get? 😉 It’s already clear that we have a winner for this round, and that is not going to be … moi! 😉

      Why 1981 & 1993: I really thought that France 1981 was by far a better song ( and so was our Lena I) than the winning short skirts from the UK. That was an early “Marie N” example that you can win the Eurovision just by having a memorable performance, and not a good song, IMO!
      And France 1993 is on my list, just because I love Corsica and the Corsican language very much (same with Amaury). This ‘mélange’ of the French and Italian language always sounds so passionate in my ears. And Patrick Fiori also belongs to my list of favourite French artists for a very long time now.

      I was wondering, with your very good guessing abilities, if you can also guess my favourite French artist of all time? I have a feeling about it that this is someone you probably like, too, and I would absolutely love to see this artist on Eurovision stage … one day!

      Mille salutations d’Allemagne et à la prochaine,

      Wolf 🙂

      Like

  8. Well, well, well, it’s safe to say the Nullarbor trip planning is in thorough stages!

    “Nullapoints” we have our first ESC dictionary definition of Australian origins *applauds*

    Speaking of origins, I am astonished and flattered to have been viewed as European or Australian. A confession is order for this rare bird of Eurovision fandom: I actually nest in the US of A and am quite established as a fifth generation (mostly) German-American. I assume our dear Headmistress has that mystery figured out already. Now that Wolfi’s ears have perked up, I’ll caution that two years of college German are dwindling in the rear view mirror save for numbers and random words. And hells no to driving for the same reason, it would, quite literally, drive me mad to be put on the left side.

    Re: the vehicle. Perhaps a 1966 Ford Thunderbird, ala Thelma and Louise, would do in a pinch?

    Auf Wiedersehen for now!

    Amy

    Like

    • OMG … how embarrassing for me! Apologies from me that I thought you are a Scandinavian – Swedish or Norwegian was my impression!

      Hätte ich nur besser aufgepasst?! 😉

      I had no idea you are an American – and then with German origin! What a coincidence!
      Now you’ve made me curious about this point: may I ask you what part or region in Germany your ancestors are from?

      And what ‘S’ from the ‘US’ do you call your home?

      Again, I’m so sorry for being that wrong in this case, I really thought you were a North-European. I should have paid more and better attention to your words. Excuse-moi!

      Better luck next time!

      Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland und bis zum nächsten Mal,

      Wolf

      Liked by 1 person

      • In any case, I’m glad to know I can pull off being Scandanavian!

        Niederkirchen and Dinklage on my paternal side, with a bit of Alsace in the mix (my aunt is skeptical and hesitates to add “French” given the proximity of the region). Perhaps she should reconsider given my forename is of French origin!

        The “S” would be: Ohio, a popular destination for German immigrants of the 18th and 19th century. You can hardly go anywhere without tripping over Deutsch verbiage, albeit less since WWI when many street names and such were changed. The tradition of Oktoberfest festivals though, to my knowledge, has never gone out of style. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

        • Ah, Dinklage and Niederkirchen, now that’s very interesting indeed!

          I’ve never been to Dinklage yet, but I know that region around it very good from my ‘military service year’ in Fürstenau aaaages ago. I still got a friend in Bramsche from that time. I also have an uni friend living in Quakenbrück and a former colleague from work who moved to Cloppenburg. That seems to be all quite close to Dinklage, but unfortunately I’ve never been there before!

          Niederkirchen I know, because I have some relatives living in the Kaiserslautern area. It’s a nice area where some of the best German wines come from. It’s beautiful there!

          And then, you are (partly) an ‘Alsacienne’ from the Elsaß-Lothringen area! Now that’s quite a mix of origins: Lower Saxony, Rhineland and Alsace! I’ve never heard of such a wonderful combination before?!

          Especially the Alsacian area is very different from the rest of Germany because of its strong French influences, which I truly love. That would be a region I would recommend to visit, if you ever decided or planned to visit Germany.

          So you come from Ohio! I’m glad I did not try another guess for the “S”, I would have been totally wrong … again. I definitely would have guessed a Southern state. 😉
          At least you are a “Northern girl” (maybe in the likes of Russia 2002?), not Northern Europe, but the north-east of Northern America. You absolutely would give a good Scandinavian, too ;)!

          By the way, I stayed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Chicago, Illinois for a week this year, which should be near to your home state … well, relatively close, but still far away in relation to German distances, though! Loved it there!

          The Oktoberfest tradition is something very German coming from Bavaria, but I must admit music-wise I’d prefer Melfest to Oktoberfest (haha!). Where I live, we also don’t wear “Dirndl” or “Lederhosen” on the days of Oktoberfest, although we should think about that ;-)))! No, better not! 😉

          Thank you for sharing your German origins with me! Like it that you are not only (partly) of German origin, but also have French roots in your family history!

          Au revoir et à la prochaine,

          Wolf

          Liked by 2 people

          • Aha, I have finally woven my way back to this thread. What a pleasant geography/history lesson Wolf, danke!

            Niederkirchen peaked my interest because that is the lineage we know the most about. In fact, they established a winery when they immigrated to Ohio. Sadly, it has not been in business for at least a century. Alsace is near the top of my travel list and I would love to take my aunt (the family historian) there. One thing that makes me hesitate is the crazy uncle tagging along part!

            Ohio is routinely classified as Midwest, which is odd considering it is east of the might Mississippi River. I often think “Midwest north-eastern” like would more accurately describe the location because we Ohioans love to be confusing like that. Example: due to the German “bitte” we often respond with “please” to a yes/no question instead of a simple, single “yes”. It drives non-Ohioans crazy. Fortunately the response of “yes, please” has taken root so we sound exceedingly polite now.

            I visited Berlin in 2003, if i remember the year correctly, on a class trip. Our only wanderings outside of the city consisted of a trip to Buchenwald. I’ll definitely return for another visit to the “old country” someday.

            Chicago and Pittsburgh are exciting places to visit, or so I’m told (again, one day). I have dear friends from both cities and they wax romantically about how much they love their hometowns. Did you prefer one city over the other? Or did they each have their own charms?

            100% agreement in NOT thinking about wearing any Lederhosen 😉

            Ali, what a ride. The Partridge Family bus was the last, and funniest, thing I expected to see.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you for your precise description of the localization of Ohio, Amy! I just looked at the map and thought it was North-eastern. Now I’ve learned that it’s “Midwest”, which is funny to see because it would be like if I say ‘Berlin is in the Midwest of Germany’ and actually is North-eastern?! Confusion completed now!?! 😉

          I hope you enjoyed it in Berlin during your class trip! It’s a huge and great city where you easily can get lost just by walking through the streets (at least I do every time!
          ;-)). Funny enough, I bought a ‘Berlin’ CD (the American band) in Chicago. Next time I try to catch a ‘Chicago’ CD (the American band) in Berlin!? 🙂
          Although our capital has got lots of attractions, it’s not my favourite German city, I prefer the Northern Hanse cities like Hamburg, Bremen and Lübeck, and in my region Münster and Cologne.

          Visiting ‘Buchenwald’ in 2012 on a trip to Weimar was a horrible experience for me! I felt like someone hitting me with a hammer on the head, the dimension of cruelty was incomprehensibly surreal and inconceivable.
          I liked the ‘Anne Frank’ part of the exhibition, if ‘like’ is the right word here; I mean it was well / interestingly prepared.

          By the way, we also say “Ja, bitte” (and “Nein, danke”) instead of just “ja/nein” in that same context. Seems like that the Ohioans have a politeness in the same way the Northrine Westphalians have. Very sympathetic!

          Well, I actually liked both of the cities, Chicago and Pittsburgh, very much! They were quite different. Before the trip I was very excited about Chicago! It is a very fast and dynamic city, a bit comparable to New York, similar in its hugeness! I had a great time in Chicago, but I must admit I fell in love with Pittsburgh on my very first day. 🙂
          I mainly chose Pittsburgh because I wanted to visit ‘Fallingwater’ (http://www.fallingwater.org/) and Kentuck Knob, two great pieces of architecture by the amazing Frank Lloyd Wright, but knew nothing about that city.
          I also did an ‘Andy Warhol tour’ in Pittsburgh, with visiting his grave, his family house and, of course, the ‘Warhol bridge’ and the ‘Warhol museum’ in Downtown Pittsburgh. And I loved the impressive ‘Cathedral of Learning’ and the ‘Heinz (from Heinz ketchup) Memorial Chapel’ on the uni campus.
          But the most amazing experience in Pittsburgh was the view on the city from Grandview Avenue on Mount Washington; a picture I still have stuck in my mind.
          I will definitely re-visit Pittsburgh again one day in the near future. 😉

          You are lucky to live in such a great country with all these amazing landscapes and cities!

          Finally, you probably just take your aunt with you on that Alsacian trip and leave your uncle at home, although a little craziness can sometimes be very helpful to brighten up a boring day. ;)))

          Nice greets to Ohio and until next time …

          Wolf 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh Wolfi, you are far too self-deprecating …

    Let me follow your own two-part obvious/hard approach:

    “The obvious ones”: Very good! 4 out of 5 for those.

    “The hard ones”: Very good again! 2 out of 5 for those!

    So, you actually did brilliantly!!! 6 out of 10 overall. (It’s a tie!!!!)

    (I think I may have given some clues with my guesses for yours, though you mightn’t have noticed them … or you might have thought some of them were just red herrings!)

    My final list actually surprised me quite a bit, in particular because (1) it ended up including a song that I had NEVER LISTENED TO IN FULL before we started this whole Nullarbor Roadtrip discussion: see the asterisked* one below. (What a BONUS!!) Also, (2) 70% of my choices came from only two decades … with a huge gap between them.

    So, here is my ESC top 10 list for France from 10 to 1:

    10. 2010 – This was a VERY good get, well done. (It always helps to have seen it live, where you can actually meekly comply with the instruction: “Chouchou, faut te lever, et bouger ton fessier!”)

    9. 2006 – Another very good get, Wolf. A bit of cello never goes astray. I do prefer the studio version, but I give Viriginie a bit of leeway for the minor inaccuracies in the live version, given how hard the song is to actually sing.

    8. 1956 (No.2 – Il est là)* – Who would have thought!? To my ear, this one literally pulsates the poor puppy out of the palace! I think it may have been too modern, and perhaps even too risqué, for the 1956 jurors (or, who knows?, maybe it actually came a very close second!)

    7. 2007 – This one is just so cheeky, sweet, clever, and fun. So, perhaps everything I would like to be, but am not! (=0P

    6. 1977 – I was listening to the 1977 show recently with the UK commentary: apparently, L’O&L’E was only 16 to 1 with the bookies (hmm, perhaps not the French bookies?)!

    5. 1991 – One word: ROBBED!!!!

    4. 1962 – Arguably, the most haunting No. 1 ever (so far)?

    3. 1965 – To me, this always feels timeless, fresh and, at a certain level, edgy (in a good way).

    2. 1969 – Such a quintessential C L A S S I C.

    1. 2009 – She nails this so nailingly well, she even nails the nails she’s already just nailed.

    I would like to have been able to fit in 1967, and 2008 (note the continuing two-decades-far-apart theme!) I also have a soft spot for 1994 — swearwords notwithstanding! — but unfortunately Nina doesn’t quite get her live act together on the night.

    So, the ones you misfired on — ’68, ’79, ’97, ’02 – I am quite partial to them all, but there’s not quite enough button-pushing there for me. I’ll tell you what, though — after you put it in your top 10 list, 1981 has been really growing on me, so thank you, Wolfi, for re-introducing it to me to it. As for 1993, don’t you think it’s unusual that … err, just a moment please, I think I can see some commotion back in the tally room for the final of the Ali-Nella-Houd’s-Top-Country-for-a-Nullarbor-Roadtrip-ESC-Playlist Contest, so, um, yes, I think, let’s definitely just cross back there quickly now …

    “… 1956, numéro deux, douze points …”

    “… Ladies and gentlemen … We have done the math … it’s no secret anymore … France is in the lead, and it’s no longer possible for any other country to catch up … (audience screams, in French)… we are ready to announce the winner … and the winner is —

    F R A N C E !!!”

    (Cue “La Marsellaise!” …)

    Like

  10. PS: You’ve asked an Aussie to guess who is your favourite ‘French’ singer, someone who hasn’t sung at the ESC yet, but who definitely should.
    Well, that’s easy.
    TINA ARENA!!!
    ;0)

    Like

    • Wow – I mean WOW WOW:

      My first WOW goes to your very early reveal of your No. 1 winning country for the ‘Nullarbor-road-trip-playlist’! Is that true, is it really confirmed now, did you do the math right, no other country possible any longer? Unbelievable, did you really choose France as your favourite ESC country playlist? What an amazing winner after almost 40 years of desperate waiting – I guess Marie will be very proud of that final result! 😉
      I can almost hear all the “Allez Olà Olé” shouting of the French audience in the hall.

      And now, as it is confirmed, YOU got another win with your winning country, too: you totally won me over for the ‘Nullarbor’ trip with your final decision, if that could ever be seen as a win?! (Maybe I should think of something better as a winning reward!)

      So we’ll take the long road to France in May 2017 (after the ‘Nullarbor’ trip, bien sûr) and I promise I will have learned my “Marseillaise” lyrics by then. 😉

      My second WOW: we both got 6 out of 10 of our Top 10 French entries right! Is that a coincidence? Well, then what a coincidence! That is MUCH more than I ever could expect!
      Now we have a tie and no winner by points (that can happen at the Eurovision, as we know!), although I have already prepared my ‘congratulations speech’ for you. What a pity ;)!

      Your French Top 10 looks pretty amazing, especially because it’s got that wide range from classic to contemporary entries in it, what an impressive mix there! I must admit I would never have guessed 1956 (I actually do not remember this one, but will re-discover it!), 1965 or 2007, while 1962 was on my list, but I decided to choose 1968 from Isabelle because I thought it was the better song by her. I should have followed your clue here with my guess (damn, so close to winning!).
      I must also admit I am not a big fan of France 2007, but Ali, what YOU do with your well-chosen words is always “cheeky, sweet, clever and fun” – all in one at the same time! If anyone should ever tell you anything other than that, don’t believe him/her, because it’s not true! 😉

      There is just one thing that gives me a #sadface watching your favourite French Top 10: I’m missing Sandrine … desperately! Can you re-think that entry once again? Don’t you have a little love for “Il faut du temps”, please? To me, it means so much! It is the most tearful ‘bridge’ in a Eurovision song ever, it simply gets me every time and I can never “hold back the river” while listening to it, as hard as I try not to. I cannot think of anything more ‘button pushing’ than this. 😉

      Finally, your guess of my favourite French artist with naming Tina Arena was VERY good. How did you know that I love her music, too? But she would never have come to my mind as a FRENCH artist, in Germany she was widely recognized as an Aussie pop star with one of the biggest selling albums of the 90’s. Wasn’t she born and raised in Melbourne? Nevertheless, her songs “Chains” and “Sorento moon” belong to my favourite list of songs from the 90’s, and I am proud to have her albums “Don’t ask” and “In Deep” in my collection. And Tina, I think, would be an excellent choice for the Australian entry 2016, or you could lend her to the UK.

      But unfortunately, she is not my favourite French artist of all-time.

      Now, here comes the solution: it is (drum roll inserted here!) French superstar
      MYLÈNE FARMER!

      I love her for her controversial yet poetic lyrics in her songs and adore her beautiful angel-like voice. As an artist she is always unique and ‘exceptionelle’.
      I picked this one, because I think it is more than beautiful, please take it as gift with a dedication from moi:

      But Mylène is not only perfect with all of her heart on stage, she is also known best for her epic video clips that always tell THE great story behind the song. Those video clips from her are by far the best I can EVER think of. Here is one of my favourite clips of her beautiful song “Sans contrefacon” that I love instantly until forever:

      I hope you liked those songs as much as I do. For France at the ESC I cannot think of anyone better who should represent her country in a more sophisticated way than she would do. But being realistic, this will probably never happen, because she is already a superstar in her country and doesn’t need any more publicity. Maybe it will take another lifetime to welcome her on Eurovision stage, if ever! Sigh!

      Well, Ali, and concerning the ‘Nullarbor-playlist-game’ I’d say: WE are the Wiiiiiiiinners!!! ;-)))

      Thank you so much for this nice little game, was a great pleasure to read your latest blog comments!

      Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland und bis zur nächsten Exkursion,

      😉

      Wolfgang

      Like

  11. Nullarbor Roadtrip game? What game? This trip will happen! I’ve already ordered our bus!:

    (Sorry Amy — had to overrule the Thunderbird in the end. Wolf and I will need a bit more space, e.g. when we agree to disagree — again — on the relative merits of ‘Il faut du temps’.)

    Yes, I was joking about Tina: of course she’s an Aussie, but I understand the French have pretty well adopted her now, and I think she might be happy with that adoption. (She sang the Australian national anthem at the Aussie rules football grand final recently (last year?) — and managed to get the notes wrong!!)

    Mylène Farmer is great — even though her name sounds a bit like an agricultural-strength antacid. Thanks for the introduction. The second song has a whiff of New Order / Pet Shop Boys, n’est-ce pas? A great video too. I agree, it would be wonderful to have her on the ESC stage, as long as she doesn’t suffer the same fate as Monsieur Humperdinck and Madame Tyler.

    By the way, FYI: like Amy, my family’s roots (going back to the 19th century) are also (partly) from (the then not-quite-yet-unified) Germany — Württemberg and Silesia to be more precise. “Small world!”

    Well, we’ve been rabbiting on like old biddies for a bit now, and ignoring our dear hostess and Queen Bee, the divine Ms Jaz. I think, for our own safety, we’d better get back to stroking her delicate ego for a while, don’t you think? (Gosh, I do hope she’s not reading this! …)

    Mach’s gut, alter Kumpel!

    Ali

    Like

    • I AM READING THIS AND I AM VERY OFFENDED!!!

      Not. I have been happy to sit back and let you guys have one heck of a conversation, and you know what?? The fact that said conversation wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for this blog existing is a big enough boost to my (supremely delicate) ego. Plus, it’s always nice to find camaraderie in a comments section rather than conflict. After this Nullarbor trip, we should form a club. And a band. And enter Eurovision, obvs. And get matching friendship bracelets. I’ll start weaving ASAP!!!

      Love you guys for reading and discussing 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh, Ali – now that’s a real surprise that you have (partly) German roots, too! I would never have guessed that. Very interesting! And another coincidence, though: I myself have some Silesian and Polish roots, too. My grandparents were Silesians who came to Germany right after WW II! “Very small world”!!!

    So the ‘Nullarbor’ trip gets kind of concrete now! Your bus looks awesome, I had something like that on my mind when I read your “ESChool of Rock bus”. Read my mind! So if you get me the dates then, I will book my flights right away. Hopefully you will catch me at Nullarbor Desert International Airport … with the bus!? 😃 Or at ‘Oasis No. 4’ maybe?
    And if we all survive that desert road trip, Jaz needs to do a big Eurovision party for us in Perth 😊. I could bring the ‘Käseigel’ and I can make a good strawberry bowl, in case you like that?!

    So glad and happy you like Mylène, she really is an amazing artist and very authentic in all of her emotions. I can’t deny hearing some “True faith” and “Suburbia” in “Sans contrefacon”, but hey, that was the incomparable sound of the 80’s! I’d recommend “Sans logique” to you, too, because I love what she did there. I hate “la corrida” as much as she does, because it only brings blood, tears and anger to all involved! Poor animals!!!

    Agree! We’d better now pay more attention again to the latest EBJ posts, some very interesting things coming up there. I’m already curious about some blog topics coming up soon! 😀

    Mach’s besser, mein Freund! 😉

    Adio for now,

    Wolf

    Liked by 1 person

  13. PS Wolf – You haven’t voted yet: (a) chronological?; or (b) random/shuffle?

    PPS Meine Schlesische Vorfahren stammten aus (u.A.) Brieg und Neiße, und hießen “von Schramm”.

    PPPS There are certainly some amazing recent posts from Jaz we should be commenting on – the Melfest post, and the one about The Voice: Australia – so maybe we can do that in between packing for the roadtrip?

    Like

  14. PS Sorry, I forgot to tell you that, Ali! I know that we Germans are always known for some kind of order in every sense, but I’m a much too spontaneous person for (a) and I like surprises. So my answer to this can only be (b) the random/shuffle! 😃

    PPS My grandparents came from the Breslau area, but then moved to Stolp where they lived until the end of WW II! Their name was of course, same as mine, Schmidt. “Von Schramm” sounds like as if there are some ‘royal’ roots in your ancestors family?! Do you still have any relatives in Germany (or Poland) that you know about?

    PPPS Well, there you say something! My multi-tasking abilities of commenting AND packing at the same time are very bad! I need my whole concentration for the packing alone before going on a trip. Normally, I pack my suitcase four times before everything’s ready, you know the ‘in and out’ and ‘back in and back out’ game 😊! Believe me, you wouldn’t want to watch it! And I always pack in too much stuff, so that you need three persons to get the suitcase closed 😀! And for the roadtrip I probably need your help to tell me what to pack in?! Maybe you could send me a “Jeannie in a bottle” who could do this for me? That would be amazing 😊!

    Have a great weekend and until next time,

    Your old biddie from Germany (that was a good one, haha, loved it!)

    Like

  15. Ok, it’s a bit of a detour from our roadtrip (and from ESC generally), but given you’ve asked, Wolf, I am happy to share some family history with you (though many details are only sketchy at best):

    Apparently the original “von” Schramm was ennobled several centuries ago by one of the Holy Roman Emperors, possibly Maximilian I, allegedly for saving the Emperor’s life.

    It’s not clear how early the von Schramms became ‘Silesians’ (guesses range from 13th century to the 18th century), but my great-great-great grandfather fought (on the winning side) with the Prussian cavalry, at Waterloo. His son (my great-great grandfather) came to Australia in the 1850s, settling in an orchard-growing district near Melbourne. My great-grandmother returned to visit some family in Silesia as a girl, and was taken to a concert conducted by Brahms!

    When WWI started, many Australians of German background felt they had to distance themselves from their roots, and a lot of family documents and history were either lost or destroyed. As to the eventual fate of the Silesian von Schramms, I assume those (if any) that survived WWII, and its aftermath, either fled (or were ‘vertrieben’) to the West. I’m told there was at least one of them still in Silesia (possibly Breslau) as late as 1954. So now, unfortunately, my family is not aware of any living, related von Schramms in Germany or Poland: we only know those in Australia and New Zealand.

    Though things may be much less ‘tense’ nowadays between Germans and Poles than they were 70 or 60 (or even 30) years ago, it would presumably still be naïve to hold one’s breath for the arrival of a utopia of ‘Keine Grenzen’ (Poland 2003), where ‘old’ and ‘new’ Silesians could feel an equal part of the same community?

    Perhaps it’d help if everyone just dyed their hair shock red, nicht wahr? Anyway, I would dearly love to identify, locate, and make contact with some distant German (and/or Polish) cousins – but I do now fear it may never happen.

    Tchüß!

    Ali

    Like

  16. Ok, it’s a bit of a detour from our roadtrip (and from ESC generally), but given you’ve asked, Wolf, I am happy to share some family history with you (though many details are only sketchy at best):

    Apparently the original “von” Schramm was ennobled several centuries ago by one of the Holy Roman Emperors, possibly Maximilian I, allegedly for saving the Emperor’s life.

    It’s not clear how early the von Schramms became ‘Silesians’ (guesses range from 13th century to the 18th century), but my great-great-great grandfather fought (on the winning side) with the Prussian cavalry, at Waterloo. His son (my great-great grandfather) came to Australia in the 1850s, settling in an orchard-growing district near Melbourne. My great-grandmother returned to visit some family in Silesia as a girl, and was taken to a concert conducted by Brahms!

    When WWI started, many Australians of German background had to distance themselves from their roots, and a lot of family documents and history were either lost or destroyed. As to the eventual fate of the Silesian von Schramms, I assume those (if any) that survived WWII, and its aftermath, either fled (or were ‘vertrieben’) to the West. I’m told there was at least one of them still in Silesia (possibly Breslau) as late as 1954. So now, unfortunately, my family is not aware of any living, related von Schramms in Germany or Poland: we only know those in Australia and New Zealand.

    Though things may be much less ‘tense’ nowadays between Germans and Poles than they were 70 or 60 (or even 30) years ago, it would presumably still be naïve to hold one’s breath for the arrival of a utopia of ‘Keine Grenzen’ (Poland 2003), where ‘old’ and ‘new’ Silesians could feel an equal part of the same community?

    Perhaps it’d help if everyone just dyed their hair shock red, nicht wahr? Anyway, I would dearly love to identify, locate, and make contact with some distant German (and/or Polish) cousins – but I do now fear it may never happen.

    Tchüß!

    Ali

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dankeschön, Ali, for sharing your, what I would call a very impressive family history! You know quite in detail about that, I’m really impressed!

      And the “Keine Grenzen/ Zadnych granic” song of Poland 2003 fits perfectly into this context. Maybe that is a utopia, but I think you should never give up on your ideals. I strongly believe that the Eurovision mainly is a European “peace project”, if you look under the surface. And the borders are only in our heads, never in our hearts! That’s what the Eurovision is all about in my eyes: we’re always looking for THE song that wins the hearts of the majority of all participating countries (apart from the fact that we are fighting for the points ;-)), and that’s why I love it so much.
      To me, it’s always “heart over mind” … in life … in general … in every sense:

      Liebe Grüße und bis bald,

      Wolf 😉

      PS Hast du das gelesen! Jaz likes our conversation, da haben wir nochmal Glück gehabt, nicht wahr! Of course, we should again comment on her latest blog posts. They are great, as always; she always has the best ideas for Eurovision-related stuff. I love her for writing all these awesome posts!

      Liked by 1 person

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