So…..the dust has settled on Lisbon 2018 (which I had the pleasure of attending this year) and as 2019 and the road to Tel Aviv 2019 has begun, with Albania being the first to select their entry! I felt it timely to write my first article as a new member of the Eurovision Ireland team. My name is Sarah, from the UK and I am sitting today writing my first of, hopefully, many articles for Eurovision Ireland ,who I am very pleased to be joining!
As a long- standing Eurovision fan, my first ever exposure to the contest was as a 9 year old back in 1974 when , of course we had ABBA’s victory in the contest. Since that night I have grown up with Eurovision itself, seeing all the changes to the contest, with the abolition of the compulsory use of own language, the disappearance of a live orchestra,introduction of the ” relegation and miss the next year” rule, which was then taken over by the introduction of the semi final in 2004 , then introduction of two semi-finals in 2008 ,the increasing amount of countries wishing to participate with the collapse of the Iron curtain , the changes in presentation of the results and on a bad note…the decline of the UK’s fortunes in the contest where it’s now a success if we come 14th or 15th when in my early days of Eurovision, coming in the top 10 was considered the norm ! 😀
It’s certainly a very different contest now compared to the one I first saw as a 9 years old in 1974 and I don’t think I could ever have imagined back then , just how big the contest would get or even if it would still be with us today,as popular as ever ! I have had the pleasure of attending four contests: Athens 2006, Helsinki 2007, Malmo 2013 and Lisbon 2018. I was also one of the lucky ones fortunate enough to be involved in the filming of the UK postcard preceding Molly’s entry in 2014. Those blue ponchos will never be forgotten !
I am looking forward to contributing my thoughts on future contests ,which can sometimes,be very tongue -in-cheek, given how many years Eurovision has been a part of my life but I also hope to provide some amusing perspectives too,especially with regards to Danish entries as I have Danish roots and it’s interesting to get an insight from my Danish side of the family as to what the Danish public look for when selecting their Eurovision hopeful. Given the poor showing of the UK in recent times , I am happy that I have a second nation to support,which at least has won twice more since the contest became part of my life , in 2000 and 2013 and has spent more time on the left hand side of the scoreboard than we have !
So……here’s to the new year and the road to Tel Aviv 2019 ,let’s hope that this national final season gives us some more memorable songs and I am sure some twists and turns as well as surprises!
Author: Sarah Rudman
Source: Eurovision Ireland
Image Source: Sarah Rudman