2014...A busy start to the new season!

Trips to London, Stockholm and Oslo - all within the space of 10 days!  Such is the life of an intrepid (some might say daft!) Eurovision follower, and that's exactly how my 2014 season began at the end of February...

When the BBC issued an invitation to the members of OGAE UK, the British arm of the worldwide Eurofannie Club, to a Top Secret West End location in London for a Top Secret recording of a Top Secret, Unnamed Project we all knew fine well that this was going to be the launch of the UK's Eurovision song for Copenhagen and so, on a very cold and decidedly wet Sunday afternoon some four to five hundred expectant fans queued in the rain to see what the BBC had in store for us this year.

Only the first 400 of us actually got into the swanky nightclub venue (it was actually an old church with a few fairy lights thrown up, but I digress) whilst the others were cast back out into the wilds and told to go forth and multiply...

So it turns out Auntie Beeb are taking things a bit more seriously this year and scoured fresh young singer/songwriters from their BBC Introducing project to find someone to carry the Union Flag in May.  They came up with 27 year old Molly (whose double barrelled surname, Smitten-Downes, has been vanquished from the press material in case anyone might think she's privileged, or something).

Here's the UK entry, Children of the Universe, sung by Molly (and it's actually quite good!...)

Time will tell whether "Power To The People" Molly will deliver the goods in the form of the first UK win in 17 years, but she's the right side of 60 to be in with a chance!

A few days later I was off on my annual pilgrimage to the Mecca of all things schlager and fabulous in the world of Eurovisiondom - Melodifestivalen... of for those of you not in the know, Sweden's contest to pick a Eurovision entry.

Now the Swedes take this VERY seriously, and have no less than 5 weeks' worth of semi finals before getting down to business with the 10 song strong final.  I was on tenterhooks since the end of 2013 when it was announced that my all-time fave MF artist, Sanna Nielsen, was taking part for a SEVENTH time to try and win the right to represent her home country.  Sanna has come close to winning before, but this was generally regarded as her "make or break" year - a bit like the "Over 25s" in X Factor, when they say that this is their "last chance for a shot at the big time, and I must do it this time as I can't face going back to my life as a telesales girl/perfume counter assistant/pig farmer".

I managed to catch up with my idol the day before the final, when she was signing CDs and posing for photos with the great unwashed of Solna (the Wester Hailes of Stockholm).

Here's the lovely Sanna singing her superb entry, Undo, to fans at Solna Centrum.  Watch for her looking directly into my camera at the end of the first chorus!

The final was generally expected to be a two horse race between Sanna and a new, unheard of urchin by the dubious name of "Ace" Wilder.  I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that poor Sanna was going to be the bridesmaid yet again, and was quite despondent as the first set of jury points sent the result in that direction.  Then the votes of the Swedish public's televotes were added and this happened...

OH! MY! GOD!!!  I was in floods......   I cried through the whole of the winning reprise!!!  Definitely a night to remember and whatever happened in Copenhagen now I'm just so happy that my fave MF artist finally won my fave National Final.  Brilliant!!!!

5 days later we flew out to Oslo to join in the celebrations as Norway chose their contestant through their Melodi Grand Prix.

The night before their contest the artists always come along to an informal "meet and greet" session at the local Hard Rock (Hallelujah) Cafe.  It's a great evening and a fun way to meet the contestants in a relaxed atmosphere.

I caught up with the big favourite Carl Espen and the man was so gracious and humble.  Not your average pop star at all, and really happy to enjoying all of the speculation and attention his song, Silent Storm, was getting.

Robin and I attended the afternoon rehearsal the following afternoon, but not before we had been produced by the producers of the show to ask if we would be interviewed live on air by Erik, one of the two presenters, during the show!!!  OMG!  Who were we to say no...

Carl went on to win MGP fairly easily and along with Sanna, he's one of the early bookies favourites to win in Copenhagen in May.  Here's his song.

So that's us up and running with the first three trips in the build up to Eurovision 2014.  The contest is not until 10th May (with the two semis happening on the 6th and 8th) but there's still lots to happen before then... next week I'm off to Eurovision In Concert in Amsterdam, where the vast majority of the artists will be performing their songs to an audience of 1,500 screaming (and I MEAN screaming!) Eurofannies!  The following week a similar event takes place in London, and then it's Easter weekend and the Infamous Scottish Preview Party...

More on ALL of these events soon...  stay tuned!


  1. Excellent article, how does one become one of these screaming Eurofannies?

  2. Who were those hotties being interviewed in Norway??? They clearly new their stuff!


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