produzentin held hostage, again. Gates of Shimbulak takeover:
Gates of Shimbulak has just discovered its fandom for tvoÂ´s fascinating two hour live coverage of Spelling Bee!
North Americans must be used to this ritual, but for us Shimbulakians the procedure was strange and fascinating.
Hundred teenagers on a dimly lit stage under a churchlike dome, one by one spelling words like “Zeppelin“, “suture” or “tulip“. The kids questions: “Which part of speech?”, “What is the definition?”, “Could you put it in a sentence?” and the answers by the pronouncer are repeated over and over again, until the right spelling is delivered. The verdict “incorrect” spoken by an extra harsh announcer, sorting out contestants after only one attempt. The unusual, concentrated seriousness only interrupted inbetween rounds by the desperate TV host, trying to turn it into a sport event by talking fast and breathless. In vain!
Among the many reasons why this S-P-E-C-T-A-C-L-E beats every other recent TV experience by far:
- being slow and repetetive, it has a lulling effect; it adds layers and layers of trancelike hypnosis A-C-C-U-M-U-L-A-T-I-N-G into pure, unfiltered suspense.
- the admirable calmness of the pronouncer, Tina Srebotnjak, who has to repeat the same definitions over and over again while remaining motherly reassuring.
- you have the feeling of learning brilliant new words (unluckily, our heads are like S-I-E-V-E-S, so we forgot them all right away).
- and of course the spelling bee contestants themselves and their emphaty inviting clever- and nerdiness. Gates of Shimbulak could identify with every single one of them!
Which spelling bee are you? Make your choice from just some of this years Ontario contestants: