Previews in Amsterdam, London and Gracieland!

Goodness! What a busy two weeks I've just had... The first weekend in April I was off to Amsterdam Amsterdam (die stadt waar alles kaan) for Eurovision In Concert. Basically that was an opportunity for around 2,000 screaming fannies to see 25 of this year's acts perform their songs live in a hot and sweaty hall with little in the way of air-conditioning. Before the concert started we spent the afternoon meeting and chatting with the stars. Of course, the paparazzi were all clamouring for the divine Ms Conchita Wurst for quotes and snaps. I got in there first!!!

Conchy told me all about the motif of tolerance and acceptance that her song was all about.  She was very touchy-feely and said at one point, "oh you know what it's like for us gays..."  How very presumptuous of her!!!  LOL.

I had a chat with cuddly wee Axel from Belgium.  He was standing in a quiet corner all on his own, so I thought I should say Hi.  What a Sweetie he was.  He explained that he was excited about Copenhagen, but was just going to chill until then.

I was able to grab quick chats with Christina from Moldova, The lovely Georgians, the cute wee boys from Greece and last year's winner, Emelie. Ruth Lorenzo was working the rooms like a pro!  Here are some other photos from that afternoon

The concert was superb, with Sandra Reemer (who represented The Netherlands in 72, 76 and again in 79) as one one the co-hosts.  Special guests were the recently reformed for the occasion Frizzle Sizzle who sang a couple of songs before treating us to the original performance of Alles Heeft Ritme.

There was controversy as Armenia's Aram MP3 took to the stage.  He was immediately booed by a large section of the audience - apparently in relation to some alleged homophobic remarks about Conchita that he was supposed to have made in an interview.  I felt a bit sorry for him.  He was trying to tell the assembled fans that he and Conchita had spoken and were fine with each other, but folks were having none of it.  The poor chap's card has been marked and it's a stigma he's going to have a hard time fighting off in Copenhagen.

Arguably the two performances of the night came from Ms Wurst and Spain's Ruth.  Have a listen to the superb vocals on this and see if you agree that this stands a fantastic chance of winning...

 The following weekend we did it all again - this time in the heart of London's West End.  The guys did a terrific job of getting around 15 of this year's acts to perform, along with winners Linda Martin and Anne Marie David and former UK entrants Scott Fitzgerald (who lost by 1 point to Celine Dion in 88!) and Nicki French, who co-presented with Paddy O'Connell.

I had lovely chats with both Anne Marie and Scott earlier in the afternoon and they recounted stories of their time in the contest back in the day...

Once again both Conchita and Ruth stole the show with powerhouse performances of their entries.  However, this time it was Ruth who provided the highlight of the evening with this stunning performance of Nessun Dorma.  Now you never knew she did opera, did you?

And so to the forthcoming weekend's activities...  Gracieland will once again play host to many fabulous fannies, as the Scots (and other) devout followers attend the Infamous Scottish Preview Party on Saturday evening.

It promises to be lots of fun, and, as ever, the song we pick as our winner will bomb spectacularly in Copenhagen... Come back on Sunday to find out what happened!


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