EBU

Eurovision Ireland in Stockholm, meet the team…

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We are on the ground in the Swedish capital bringing you all the news from rehearsals, performances, and the goings-on behind the scenes, we’ll also be out and about in Stockholm at Euroclub, the Eurovillage and some of the other events that Stockholm has planned during the next fortnight – so who is bringing you all the information you’ll need for the Eurovision season? Read on…


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Hello everyone, Andrew here! I have been a fan of Eurovision since I was a kid. The first contest I remember watching on TV was 1972 from Edinburgh. I used to tape record all the songs from the previews for many years till I was in my 20s. My first live Eurovision was Birmingham 1998. My first contest as press was Istanbul. I have been to 17 Eurovisions including this year.

What’s your favourite ESC song?
Euphoria by Loreen, such a great song.
What’s been your most memorable ESC moment?
It has to be the reaction in the audience when we knew Conchita had won, followed by the emotional press conference after. 
Who has been your favourite ESC winner?
I’ve already mentioned Loreen and Conchita, after those it has to be Katrina and the Waves back in 1997.
What ESC staging and performance has stood out for you?
I was impressed by The Common Linnets for the Netherlands in 2014 who turned an average song into a masterpiece. 
Are there any countries you always wave a flag for?
I always give a cheer for Cyprus and Sweden.
Who is your winner for 2016?
Serbia, could be a dark horse for this year, it’s my favourite.

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Hello Europe, James calling! I first started watching Eurovision in 2005, after catching the tail-end of Ruslana’s victory the year before and being mesmerised by it. Over the next decade, I turned into a Eurovision super fan! I’ve always loved foreign music and flags, so was perfect for me! In 2014, I joined the Eurovision Ireland team as a camera man for Skopjefest in Macedonia and the following year attended my first ever live Eurovision Song Contest final in Vienna – talk about a dream come true!

Away from Eurovision, I’m an avid traveller and linguist. I’m always happiest on the road, exploring somewhere new. You can often find me travelling around Europe, working on new chapters for my ebook, “Europe in a Day – Day Trips to the Continent” – which, of course, has an appendix dedicated entirely to Eurovision!

What’s your favourite ESC song?
Ooooh, too many to choose from! At this moment in time, it’s Iceland’s 2012 entry ‘Never Forget’ by Greta and Jónsi. Beautiful, heartfelt and dramatic ballad that is one of my favourite songs of all time – I’m still annoyed it didn’t score higher in Baku!
What’s been your most memorable ESC moment?
My favourite ESC moment is an oldie but a goldie from 1981: – “Can we have your votes please, Yugoslavia?” “I don’t have it!” Classic!
Who has been your favourite ESC winner?
My 2 favourite ESC winners are Loreen (2012) and Vicky Leandros (1972) – just couldn’t choose between them! (Could easily give you a Top 10 of favourite winners!) As you can see, I have rather a varied taste in music!
What ESC staging and performance has stood out for you?
My favourite staging for an entry was Romania in 2014. I loved the song anyway before the contest (a certain special someone knows why!), but seeing Paula Seling dissolving into starlight was magical!
Are there any countries you always wave a flag for?
The countries I wave a flag for changes almost every year, as I root for different countries to win depending on the song. But having both British and German heritage, I took my Union and German flag to the final in Vienna… not that my frantic flag waving helped poor Ann-Sophie!
Who is your winner for 2016?
My favourite song for 2016 was removed from the contest! Was so looking forward to seeing Ovidiu Anton rock Stockholm with ‘Moment of Silence’!! So my favourite song this year still taking part is Iceland’s ‘Hear Them Calling’ – Greta is amazing!

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Hi, I’m John and I’m a Eurovision fan (cue claps and knowing looks). I’ve been a fan for as far back as I can remember, and the first one I saw live was back in 1978. I say saw, well I was allowed to stay up until Co-Co had been on before I was promptly sent off to bed. The first one I saw to the bitter end was in 1980, and I even picked Johnny Logan to win. That was my high point as a tipster. Then in 1997 I won a competition and went to Dublin courtesy of Hat-Trick Productions and the BBC. I’ve been to everyone since – accredited since 2000. So coming back to Stockholm is like coming home. I’m looking forward to it like you wouldn’t believe…

What’s your favourite ESC song?
Has to be ‘Lejla’ by Hari Mata Hari. It still gives me goose-bumps. Having said that, I love love love Slovakia’s ‘Amnestia na neveru’ by Elán. It didn’t even make it from the pre-selection in Ljubljana to Millstreet in 1993.
What’s been your most memorable ESC moment?
Probably seeing Katrina & the Waves win in 1997 at my first Eurovision. And getting into the after-show party to mix with the stars.
Who has been your favourite ESC winner?
Tricky one. Katrina perhaps. Or Dave & Tanel in 2001. But it might just be ‘Dansevise’ by Grethe & Jørgen Ingman in 1963. The coolest winner ever.
What ESC staging and performance has stood out for you? 
It comes back to ‘Lejla’ by Hari Mata Hari. It was the perfect staging
Are there any countries you always wave a flag for?
Besides the UK it has to be my beloved Slovakia. Or when they don’t participate it’s Estonia. Yep, even this year.
Who is your winner for 2016?
Cyprus. France and Israel aren’t far behind, but ‘Alter Ego’ is a corker of a song

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Hi there I’m Richard, I’m in my thirties and I live in Norfolk and work for Tesco as a Customer Service Desk Assistant. I remember first tuning into Eurovision in 1995 when Love City Groove represented the UK. However, I do remember watching A Song For Europe on a Sunday afternoon in the early nineties. My first live experience of Eurovision was back in Belgrade 2008 and I’ve been back every year since Oslo 2010 – making Stockholm 2016 my eighth contest as an attending fan. Since 2014, I’ve been lucky enough to cover the contest as a member of press and as of January this year, I’m part of Eurovision Ireland!

What’s your favourite ESC song?
Carola’s 1991 winner – Fångad av en stormvind. 
What’s been your most memorable ESC moment?
There are so many favourite moments to choose from in ESC history, so I think attending my first one in 2008 has to be a real milestone moment.
Who has been your favourite ESC winner?
Even though Carola has my favourite song, I think Johnny Logan has to be a favourite winner as his entries are classics.
What ESC staging and performance has stood out for you?
When it comes to my favourite staging, the French entry in 2015 sent shivers down the whole of my body when I saw that performed last year – so emotive and powerful.
Are there any countries you always wave a flag for?
Along with the UK, you’ll always find me waving a flag for my spiritual ESC home of Sweden!
Who is your winner for 2016?
Bulgaria! I was always hopeful when Poli Genova announced in Sofia during JESC in November that she wanted to represent her country again. She has come back with a dark horse!

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Hi all, I’m the new kid on the block! This will be my first ESC live, however I first met Eurovision in 1991 and fell in love with it in 1992 (well maybe I fell in love with Michael Ball and Christer Bjorkman!) I spent 6 years living in the USA and, before the days of livestreaming, my parents recorded each ESC for me and I watched it when I was next back in England. I saw 2001’s in August that year and 2002’s I watched on Boxing Day! My entire Eurovison world changed with Conchita’s victory in 2014 and now I’m here on this side of the fence about to head off to Stockholm as accredited press, I cannot imagine life without ESC!

Away from ESC I am the UK & Ireland events manager at a human rights charity and also work freelance in the Wine industry, I’ve spent 8 years helping to make the Decanter World Wine Awards happen and have also taught wine appreciation classes all over the South of England. Unusual fact about me, I’ve shared a bedroom with Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block, not at the same time, but I used to live in their old house after they sold it!

What’s your favourite ESC song?
The worst question to be asked, it’s like choosing which is your favourite child! Back against the wall I think I’d say Serbia’s winner from 2007 Molitva. So powerful, I’ll never get tired of listening to it.
What’s been your most memorable ESC moment?
Easy one! This still moves me to tears today, the voting moment in 1993 where the host said good evening to Bosnia, who at the time were in the grip of the most awful war, they had struggled to get a connection all day and this screeching noise happened and then this faint voice came on the line saying ‘Good Evening Millstreet, Sarajevo calling’, the whole hall erupted in applause – such an awesome moment.
Who has been your favourite ESC winner?
Everyone who knows me can answer that one for me – Conchita, hands down!
What ESC staging and performance has stood out for you?
I wrote about it just last week, has to be Estonia 2015, I think that is a lesson to all broadcasters in how to stage a song for Eurovision. I also give a respectful nod to Sweden 2014, Switzerland 2015 and Ireland 2012!
Are there any countries you always wave a flag for?
My Dad’s family are an Austrian/Dutch combination (so 2014 was the year for me, that’s for sure!) so I’m always flying their flags and cheering their performances on. Based on what happened in 1993 I’ll always give Bosnia a wave and cheer too.
Who is your winner for 2016?
Cyprus, even more now I’ve met and interviewed Minus One. I loved the song the moment it was released, I was waiting for something to come along and knock it off my top slot, but although some have come close Cyprus are still my number 1.

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Derek (and Samantha) comes to us this year slightly on loan from ESC Insight. Derek is an American who came by Eurovision through a combination of a presentation on Finnish tourism and online dating. When he is not watching the ESC back catalogue on YouTube, he’s planning his next vacation to obscure parts the world and reading and writing about literature. 2016 will be his second year attending the Contest.

What’s your favourite ESC song?
Soluna Samay – Should’ve Known Better (2012), I tear up a little every time.
What’s been your most memorable ESC moment?
Lordi playing during the semifinal of 2006, it was clear a paradigm shift was happening live on stage.
Who has been your favourite ESC winner?
Sertab Erener – Everyway that I Can (2003), great blend of ethnic and modern we don’t see that much anymore.
What ESC staging and performance has stood out for you?
András Kállay-Saunders – Running (2014), the “violent” movements by the dancers really made the message work, not to mention the final shot of András standing between them made for a powerful close.
Are there any countries you always wave a flag for?
Norway, not just because of heritage, but they consistently push the envelope creatively and take risks while still having fun.
Who is your winner for 2016?
Armenia has really stuck with me; it’s weird, different, has touches of ethnic and modern styles, and, if she can pull it off live, it will be a song to look out for.

We are also supported by our amazing graphics designer Sascha in Vienna, Roy will be with us from All Kinds of Everything, Phil from OnEurope and of course keeping the homefires burning back in Dublin will be our Editor in Chief, and the Big Cheese of Eurovision Ireland Garrett Mulhall – and yes we miss him as much as you do!

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Author: Lisa-Jayne Lewis
Source: Eurovision Ireland

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2 replies »

  1. Ok 5 stars from me guys 🙂
    Here is MINE questionary 🙂

    ~~ What’s your favourite ESC song?
    SANOMI by Urban Trand [BELGIUM 2003] ❤

    ~~ What’s been your most memorable ESC moment?
    When my country Greece won the EuroVision back in 2005 ❤
    When Denmark won in 2013 with Emmelie ❤
    When Conchita won in 2014 ❤

    ~~ Who has been your favourite ESC winner?
    Emmelie De Forest ❤ & Conchita ❤

    ~~ What ESC staging and performance has stood out for you?
    Denmark's in 2013, Austria's in 2014, Belgium's in 2003, Ukraine's in 2004
    Serbia's in 2004, Greece's in 2005, Malta's in 2005, Sweden's in 2006
    Bulgaria's in 2007, Ukraine's in 2007, Norway's in 2008,Iceland's in 2009.

    ~~ Are there any countries you always wave a flag for?
    Not really.It changes year after year.

    ~~ Who is your winner for 2016?
    ARMENIA's song is my #1 most favorite in this year's EuroVision. ❤

  2. Nice to read everyone’s stories – how they became fans, and everyone’s favourites – and pictures of the team too ! You’re spoiling us.
    Keep it up !

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