2015...The story so far!

As I get myself ready to fly out to Vienna for the start of rehearsals for this year's Eurovision I thought it would be a good opportunity to bring my blog up to date with everything that's been happening in my Eurovision world in 2015 so far... and there's quite a lot to tell!

Although the national finals to select entries began as far back as November of 2014 (Macedonia and Malta...I'm looking at you!) my season proper began in the middle of February, or on Simon's birthday to be precise, when I flew over to Reykjavik and my first ever visit to both Iceland and their national final, Songvakeppnin.

I spent a couple of fantastic days in the capital, and was lucky enough to be given press access to the hall on the day of the final, so I was able to grab a chat with some of the artists and associated bods.

During the contest itself I was seen gurning behind the two lady presenters on a number of occasions (much to the amusement of many friends who were watching the whole thing online!).

In an interesting and well put together show we got a super final where one of the underdogs of the evening, 22 year old María Ólafs, went head to head with huge favourite, Fridrik Dor (who seemed to be singing a reworked version of Leo Sayer's "When I Need You").  I hated it!

Imagine my face when the presenter opened up the magic envelope to announce who was going to Vienna...


So plucky little Maria won the right to represent her homeland with this rather nice little ditty.


Huge thanks to Peter, Howard, Felix and all of the other lovely people who made sure my first visit to Iceland wouldn't be my last.  A special thanks to Paul Oscar (yes THAT one) who invited us round to his home on Sunday and cooked the most amazing Sunday Dinner for us.  I was even lucky enough to be taken into his bedroom so that he could show me his pussy!

Oh, and there was just time for a quick Semla-Selfie at the fantastic after-party!


March saw my annual pilgrimage to Stockholm for my fave final of the year, Melodifestivalen.

As usual, some of the participants came along to Solna Centrum shopping centre on the day before the final to sign CDs, have photos and generally love their fans.  Here's me getting some love from the always fabulous Magnus Carlsson (who finished 9th).


This year's MF was a pretty one-sided affair with the brilliant Måns Zelmerlöw winning by be biggest landslide EVER in MF history.  And quite right too... His song "Heroes" is modern, relevant and the presentation is the niftiest piece of pop perfection I've seen for a long time.

For the time being, before rehearsals start on Monday, this - for me anyway - is the song to beat in Vienna.


Here's me in the audience with Uncle Robin and the Lovely Brian...


Of course, the big news for this year's contest is that, for it's 60th birthday, the organisers have added a very special extra country to the proceedings... AUSTRALIA!

Now, before you get get all uppity and start whinging that Australia isn't even in Europe - we know that!  This is a one off (allegedly) and they have been offered a spot in the competition because they love Eurovision over there and have been watching it avidly for over 30 years.  Let's face it there are a awful lot of ex-pat Europeans Down Under, and they are all really excited at the prospect of hearing "et enfin, pour L'Australie...Douze Points!"

Here's the song that's representing our Antipodean cousins - and it's a goodie!


Guy Sebastian is currently third in the betting behind Sweden, who's the current favourite, and Italy... who I shall come to later.

The end of March saw me in London's Hammersmith Apollo for the 60th Anniversary show hosted by the BBC, Eurovision's Greatest Hits.   What a fabby show!  Loads of our old faves were there to perform their Euro winners; Bobbysocks, Herrey's, Nicole, Dana International, Brotherhood of Man, Loreen... And our perfect hosts Graham Norton and Swedish Petra Meade certainly knew their audience...



April saw the Eurovision Party Season get into full swing, with trips to Amsterdam for the ever-popular Eurovision In Concert (where 24 of this year's artists performed their songs to a large 2,000 plus audience) and the following week in London for their big Eurovision Party (this time with 16 entrants plus a plethora of former entrants - and Kitty Brucknell from X Factor).

Here are some snaps from the two weekends featuring; Getty from Teach-In (1975 winners), the gorgeous Nicki French, John from Cyprus this year, the mad Kitty Brucknell and finally Václav (YUM!) and Marta from the Czech Republic this year.



The final party before Vienna was, of course, the most important one of all - The Infamous Scottish Preview Party. 


Held in Gracieland on Saturday night, we had around 20 folk in attendance, and enjoyed fabulous food by Simon, wonderful cake from Vikki and some VERY close voting...  Sweden and Australia put up a strong fight, but in the end it was the wonderful Il Volo from Italy who took the crown by only 5 points...
So, by way of a winning reprise, and a wee send off for me to Vienna, here is my own personal favourite entry this year (and currently second with the bookies), Italy's Il Volo with "Grande Amore".


I arrive in the Austrian capital on Sunday afternoon and will be blogging from the press centre from Monday onwards, when rehearsals start.

So, come along with me and enjoy the ups and downs of the next fortnight.  In the words of The Flintstones, you are sure to have "a gay old time"!   See you in Vienna!!!!

Comments

  1. All the usual camp frivolity that we have come to love and expect!

    ReplyDelete

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