...Hello! Did you miss me?

It's the first day of rehearsals in Stockholm and we're off...  Eurovision 2016 is officially underway!


But before I begin to regale you with stories of Swedish fabulousness, I thought I should really bring you up to date with my Eurovision season so far.

For me, things began back in mid February, when Simon and I jetted off to stunning Reykjavik for a few days break (and to enjoy Songvakeppnin - Iceland's Euro selection show).

As you can see, we had a very jolly time in the snow, and then basking in the fabulous Blue Lagoon (and before you ask, that's a special silica face mask we were enjoying - nothing rude - wickedness!).

Felix and the RUV crown very kindly asked us along to the pre-recording of the "30 years of Iceland in Eurovision" segment on the Saturday morning, and the first person we bumped into was the ever-lovely Paul Oscar!
Nearly all of Iceland's former entrants took part in the eleven minute medley of their old entries and it was brilliant.
I was particularly happy to see my fave Pollaponk boys, and two of the original members of Icy - their very first entrants back in 86.

The show itself was great, even if I was less than enamoured with the winner... but I still managed to have chat with Greta after the show (the party was very dark, and my flash didn't go - hence the dark photo!).
The next day saw us having coffee with Selma before heading home.  She's such a driven lady!  I asked her is she ever gets sick of singing "All Out Of Luck" and her reply was "Oh, absolutely!"  LOL.

A couple of weeks later Robin and I were in Oslo for Melodi Grand Prix, and I got the chance to meet the magnificent singers of my fave song of the season, "Laika" (which is the tale of the first dog the Russians sent into space).  The Hungry Hearts (featuring Lisa Dillon) were a compete delight and a joy to chat with - and very, very funny!


Here is their performance from the final.  Sadly Norway decided not to send this, but they did chose my second favourite - so I was still happy.
Here's sweet little Agnete, who is representing Norway this year.
We were treated to a set by my fave Danish drag queen DQ during the Norwegian "night before" party.  Of course he sang his own entry "Drama Queen". but he also treated us to other former Danish entrants Birthe Kjear and Emmelie De Forrest.

A week later we were in Stockholm and back at my fave final of the year, Melodifestivalen.  This year they had a cracking selection of songs in the final, even though it was always going to be a one horse race. The day before the show I was outside the spanking new Mall of Scandinavia when I bumped into little Frans, who would go on to win the following evening. 
And here's Robin, Brian and myself enjoying the atmosphere in the Friends Arena just before the show started.  (20,000 audience members can't be wrong).
 The highlight of the weekend for me, however, was seeing one of my fave Swedish artists in concert in the small, intimate surroundings of the Cirkus Salong.  Lena Philipson was sensational!  She sang all her big hits and her two biggest MF successes.  I was on a complete high after her two hour show.
April saw the usual bunch of Preview Parties, and I had two fantastic consecutive weekends in Amsterdam and then London following the Eurovision Juggernaut. 
For me, the highlight of both concerts was seeing the ultra-charismatic French entrant Amir delivering his song like a true professional.  This is looking VERY, VERY strong going into this week's rehearsals, and with the obvious exception of big favourite Sergey Lazarev from Russia ( who is still the bookie's fave to win) I could see France prosing a very realistic challenge for the crown.  And that smile....
 Here's our boys, Joe & Jake.  Nice chaps, and we wish them well.
In London, my role was to spend the press afternoon as the wonderful Kaliopi's assistant.  The Macedonian entrant is not that confident in her english, and her press manager couldn't get over to the event, so I was asked to step in and accompany Kaliopi in her interviews and help her out with any difficuly questions.

The highlight came when she was interviewed by our very own Sonia for breakfast TV.  It was hilarious.  Kalipoi's bracelet got caught in Sonia's tights and she had to then wear it as a garter for the duration. I can't wait to see the finished interview!
And then, of course, last weekend was all about the Infamous Scottish Preview Party, where once again Vikki Spence outdid herself with a fabulous chocolate cake decorated with this year's theme art.  It tasted as good as it looks!

In a closely fought race we crowned Russia as our winner, who finished just ahead of France, with Italy, Bulgaria and The Netherlands completing our Top 5.

Yesterday I arrived in sunny Stockholm, were we currently have blue skies and a very pleasant 13 degrees centigrade.  It's going to get warmer as the week progresses...

And now we're sitting in the Press Centre and enjoying the first few rehearsals.  Finland, Greece and Moldova have already been strutting thier stuff on the fantastic stage... but more of that later.

For now - Welcome to Eurovision 2016!




Comments

  1. "Nice chaps" says it all from the Scandivisionary.

    ReplyDelete

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