Jingle Ball on a computer screen: a Z100 event like no other

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Talya Pecullan, Staff Writer

The 2020 Jingle Ball, like many other annual celebrations, was held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This was a drastic change for the typically massive concert, and there were many pros and cons to the new set up.

Firstly, Jingle Ball has always been notoriously hard to get tickets for.  There are usually a lot of people that want to go, but there are only a relatively small number who get tickets.

“I’m never able to get tickets to Jingle Ball so I was so happy when I found out that this year I could watch it from my own home,” said junior Danielle Seidman.  

However, since Jingle Ball was virtual this year, anyone could stream it from their homes through the iHeartRadio App or the CW App, along with 95 iHeartMedia Stations.  Although watching the show on a screen is very different from being in-person, the virtual setup made Jingle Ball more accessible.

Not only were viewers watching from home, but the artists were performing at home too.  Although this made flashy performances harder to execute, the show was more personal.  Getting to see celebrities’ homes and holiday traditions was a fun new experience for the viewers.

While this year’s concert was very different from the past, Jingle Ball never fails to present a talented lineup.  Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Sam Smith, and Shawn Mendes were some of the big names that participated in the 2020 Jingle Ball. 

“There were so many great celebrities performing at Jingle Ball this year and I was so excited to watch, especially Doja Cat,” said junior Ellie Shapiro.

One of the most exciting artists was Harry Styles as he prepared a unique set for the show.  He sang in front of a decorated RV with the Free Nationals.  The best part of his show was a special performance of his hit song, Golden.

“As a longterm Harry Styles fan, I was so excited to hear that he was part of Jingle Ball this year and I loved watching his performance.  Hopefully, one day I’ll get to see him in person,” said junior Emily Benson-Tyler.  

Of course the night wasn’t complete without some controversy.  Shawn Mendes accidentally misgendered Sam Smith who came out as non-binary last year and goes by they/them pronouns.  After facing backlash from disappointed viewers, Mendes posted an apology on his Instagram story, promising to never let it happen again.  Smith responded graciously and stated that “we’re all learning together.”

“The 2020 Jingle Ball was beautifully put together with seamless transitions between artists.  All of the artists’ unique performances with some of their best hits and it was a fantastic experience for viewers overall,” said junior Olivia Platt.