New year. New look. Same old drivel.

Ok, so my last post of the 2016 season wasn't exactly a high point for me...  In fact, Eurovision-wise it was probably an all-time low for me.  I seriously felt that I wanted to give the whole thing up.  Having spend the best part of twenty years telling everyone that, whilst politics did have a slight influence on the voting, by and large one of the best songs always wins... and then that happened!  A result that was more about politics than music - and I was sick.

However, I cast my demons out and made peace with Jammie (as Jamala is know known, by me at least) and 2017 is good to go...

The UK selected our song very early this year, and in January I popped down to London's Eventim Apollo to see the fabulous Lucie Jones be passed the poison challis.


Mel was on good form as host, and Bruno provided camp constructive comments to the pack of X Factor singers who made up our shortlist.  To be fair, Lucie did stand out as a very credible and powerful performer, so it was no surprise when she was announced as the winner.  I'm less keen on the song, though, which is an angst ridden affair and doesn't have the instant hook that a modern Eurovision song needs to be noticed.


I'm hopeful that the juries will give it a good ranking, but less sure it's the kind of song that the average televoter is going to pick up the phone for.  See what you think...


Mid March saw my annual pilgrimage to the "real" home of Eurovision, Sweden, and Melodifestivalen.  Paul came along with me for his first time at the show, and Simon was also able to come along for his first ever experience of being "direkt till final".

The Saturday afternoon was a raucous affair at our friend Lillian's place.  She hosts the BEST pre-Mello parties in the whole of Stockholm.  There were around 20 of us there, including last year's Slovenian entrant, Manuella - who is now based in the Swedish capital!  Lots of prosecco was enjoyed...


Then it was time to head off to the massive Friends Arena, where, against all expectations, my personal favourite won!  Hoorah for Robin Bengtsson and his travellators...


I think it's fair to say that we all had a splendid weekend - and were very chuffed indeed with the result.  Here's Sweden's very slick entry.


A few weeks later and I was back down in London for the 10th annual London Eurovision Party.  Like last year, I was asked by Russell if I would look after the Macedonian delegates, so I had an absolute blast spending the afternoon with Jana and Alexsandra setting up media interviews for them and getting them from one set of journalists to another.  Jana had a fab time at Scott Mills' Eurovision party... (she wasn't keen on the pork pie, though).


Less than week later I was chatting with the same folk - this time in Amsterdam at thier annual Eurovision in Concert promo concert.  They had 34 of the 42 acts performing - which is an amazing feat, but also made for a VERY long evening!

In the afternoon, though, I was able to get some great little soundbites from chats I had with many of the artists, the very first of which was our own Lucie!





I was also over the moon to be able to get this year's hot favourite (and my own personal favourite) Francesco Gabbani from Italy, so sign his CD for me and grab a quick selfie!  What a lovely chap. Please note the "Namast√©" gorilla t-shirt.



Here are some of the others I met and chatted to, starting with Jana from Macedonia (passing me the CD that she had promised me the previous Sunday), then there is Robin from Sweden, Leena and Lasse from Finland, Claudia from Malta, Lindita from Albania, Slavko from Montenegro (who was a scream!), the mad as hatters Belarussians, Imri from Israel and finally the fabulous Getty Kaspers, lead singer from the Netherlands' last winners Teach-In, who sang Ding-A-Dong in 1975.










Last weekend saw us hosting the Infamous Scottish Preview Party...


Elaine and Donald had votes in thier own pre-party the previous week (and had a fab Ukraine/Italy cake to themselves in the process, courtesy of Edinburgh's own Mary Berry, Vikki Spance).



Whilst the main party istelf had a few less participants than normal, we still had a fab time and the winner wasn't much of a surprise to anyone...




For those who haven't heard it yet, here is the hottest favourite in years (possibly in the entire history of the contest!).  This is Italy's delicious Francesco Gabbani and Occidentali's Karma.


So there you have it...  I head off to Kyiv on Saturday morning and rehearsals begin early on Sunday.  Keep an eye out for updates, as they will be going up regularly over the next 16 days.

Let the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 begin!....

Comments

  1. To be fair, one of the best songs *did* win in 2016, David.

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