Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a massive fan of the Eurovision Song Contest. I don’t care if it has a reputation for camp cheesiness and rubbish music, because I know that if you actually listen to entries from more recent years, even the most hardened sceptics might be forced to admit there are songs that will appeal to any audience.
I’m a long-time fan. The first time I remember watching the show was back in 1987. I know it was 1987, because I remember talking about it with my school friends in middle school the morning afterwards. I only did one year of middle school before moving to Scotland, and that was the school year of 1986/87, ergo, that was my first Eurovision song contest. I don’t remember any of the songs from it outright – I just remember being blown away by how different music from other countries was from that of our own.
I didn’t see it again for a few years. My parents weren’t fans, so to be honest, I’m not sure how I came to watch it that first time, and the next time I saw it was when I got a TV in my own room, which would have been when I was 15 years old, so that would have been the Eurovision Song Contest broadcast in 1991. Again, I don’t remember much about the individual songs, but I remember the spectacle of the show and the fun comments made by Terry Wogan. I was hooked. Since then, I have only missed one Eurovision final, and that was because I couldn’t get the night off work (the year was 1998. and Dana International won the contest for Israel, singing Diva). Since then, even when working an evening job, I have made sure I have the night of the Eurovision Song Contest Final off work!
When Hubby and I got together in March of 2000, Eurovision was fast approaching, and I worried what my new boyfriend might make of my wanting to stay in on a Saturday night to watch the most camp musical spectacle on television. I needn’t have worried – it turned out he is as big a fan of Eurovision as I am. It was kind of a deal maker for me and we moved in together a few weeks later.
Since then, we have watched Eurovision together every year. Indeed, we look forward to it all year long! Yes, we love it that much!
We listen to each country’s entry as it is announced and start making our opinions on the songs from then on, eagerly awaiting each release till we have them all. Then we have fun compiling our lists of who we think will qualify from the two semi-finals (semi-finals were introduced in 2008 when it was decided that there were, with 38 entrants other than the automatically qualifying Big Four, too many entrants for the show), and then working through the qualifiers to see who we think will win.
Over the past decade in particular, there have been some cracking songs and we listen to quite a few songs from past competitions even now. The UK has had a pretty bad reputation for a while, and has even had the dreaded Nil Points (and deservedly so) for Jemini’s disgraceful rendition of Cry Baby, but this year, I think we’ve really brought our A-Game with Children of the Universe performed by Molly . I don’t think we’ll win it, but she’s our best chance since Katrina and the Waves won it for us in 1997 with Love Shine a Light, and I think we’ll probably finish in the top five, if not the top three. Hopefully this will see a turn of fortunes for the UK’s future entries.
So, we’re all set for the final tonight. Personally, I think Austria has it in the bag, as Conchita Wurst’s performance of Rise Like a Phoenix in the second semi-final on Thursday night was nothing short of brilliant, but I wish Molly the very best of luck as she flies the flag for the UK!
Let the music play!