How did you get into Eurovision? | The Popjustice Forum

How did you get into Eurovision?

Discussion in 'Eurovision' started by Charley, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. Charley

    Charley Staff Member

    The year was 1998 and I was 10 years old. I had come back from swimming class at school and while we were eating our lunch the other kids started talking about this 'Eurovision Song Contest'. I had no idea what they were on about, but it sounded absolutely amazing. The Belgian entry, 'Dis Oui' by Mélanie Cohl, became a hit after reaching sixth place. It would remain Belgium's best scoring song till 2003's 'Sanomi'. Dana International had won the contest with 'Diva' and even though I hadn't watched the show, I bought the single and played it over and over and over again.

    1999. For the first time ever I watched the Belgian national selection. Vanessa Chinitor wins with 'Like The Wind' and everyone was excited, even though in hindsight we really should have chosen Alana Dante's 'Get Ready For The Sunsand'. Then the big night finally came. I wasn't allowed to stay up for the entire thing, but I watched long enough to see Doris Dragović perform 'Marija Magdalena'. That is the song that made me fall in love with Eurovision. It had everything. There was scandal (the backing vocals were on tape!), there was a costume change, there were ethnopop beats and there was all round fabulousness from Doris. That was it. That was the moment. The next day I watched the rest of the contest and saw Charlotte win the whole damn thing with what is to this day one of my favourite Eurovision songs ever, 'Take Me To Your Heaven'.

    I have watched the Eurovision Song Contest ever since.

    So... How did you guys get into Eurovision?
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
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  2. Sounds like I got into Eurovision around the same time you did, Charley!

    Being from the USA, the TV stations don't play Eurovision, full stop. But American radio in 1998 was playing Gina G's "Ooh Aah... Just A Little Bit," and when I searched for information on the computer about it, people were talking about some "Eurovision" thing. I must have asked about it on some newsgroup or message board, and a kindly gentleman from the United Kingdom sent me an audio-cassette tape of some of the songs from the 1999 competition. I remember the Doris Dragović song you mentioned, along with Precious, Lydia, and Selma (I hadn't seen the clips - can anyone remember the days before YouTube?? - but it is comical to see everyone kind of stuck on the same little stage with no room to move around, as opposed to some of the big stage shows that they have nowadays.) And I was intrigued.

    The next few years, my only connection to the competition was through Napster, downloading the songs (shame on me, I know). 2000's highlight for me was Linda Wagenmakers, 2001's was Antique, 2003's was Birgitta, etc. But still I couldn't watch any of the competitions.

    Eurovision 2006 was the first show that I actually was able to follow and watch live, thanks to the miracles of the Internets... and I was also on the Popjustice messageboards then too, posting live during the final (I seem to remember wondering why Elena Risteska's Ninanajna was being sung in about twelve different keys). I was shocked by Kate Ryan's elimination at the semifinal stage, fell in love with Silvia Night, enjoyed the country-lite grooves of Texas Lightning, and of course, Lordi! (Ironically, I was in the middle of a film class on horror movies at the time of the competition, so I sent everyone a link regarding Lordi to say, "can monsters still be bad if they are from Finland and singing 3 minute borderline-pop songs?") Plus, I fell in love with Greece from all the gorgeous shots they showed in the interval

    And I've been hooked ever since. 2009's Eurovision is especially fun being in Sweden during Deltävling 4 of Melodifestivalen, as the only local competitions I had ever really paid any mind to was the UK's.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
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  3. The year it tipped into adoration was 1993.

    I'd personally chosen the song to represent the UK (well, I'd voted for it!), and I tuned in for the big event. Watched the performances, lapped them up, loved many of the songs, thought Sonia had aced her performance for the UK, figured it probably was a UK/Switzerland/Croatia showdown (in hindsight it so wasn't a Croatia anything, but I think they were one of the UK bookmakers' favourites)... and then the voting began.

    Even though there have been several all-on-the-last-point dramas throughout Eurovision voting history, I don't think anything can ever top the viewing experience of 1993.

    Sonia started to stretch ahead in the voting, right up until the UK jury votes were revealed. The UK gave its 12 points to Ireland, who took over the lead, then started to stretch ahead. It looked all over, then Israel gave the UK its 12, and the fight was back on. Then Ireland started to break away again. Ultimately there were 11 points between the UK and Ireland when we returned to get the final votes from the Maltese jury whom the Irish broadcasters hadn't been able to contact earlier (conspiracy alert!).

    And then...

    A voting spectacle we'll likely never get to experience again, but nonetheless, I've been hooked since!
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  4. popknark

    popknark Moderator

    Wow, I have watched Melodifestivalen since I was very, very little. My mom has told me I danced to "Fångad Av En Stormvind" when it won. I was three. The first one I actually remember, though, is 1994 when Marie Bergman and Roger Ponater won with "Stjärnorna".

    The first Eurovision Song Contest I remember watching is probably the year after, 1995, when Norway won and not our amazing "Se PÃ¥ Mig"! I was seven years old and very angry.
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  5. I've always watched it casually on TV since childhood, but actually bothered to watch the semis last year and listened to quite a few of the songs - I blame my housemate, he had the official album downloaded and got me hooked!

    This year, I was on DigitalSpy and saw a Eurovision thread pop up. It got me wondering when ESC was happening this year, so I started posting and discovering national finals, preview videos, etc etc. I'm slightly hooked now :P Still, it's a good year to 'come out' about such a guilty pleasure, I guess, since the UK are taking things slightly more seriously than normal!
  6. vasilios

    vasilios Guest

    I always remember being allowed to stay up late to watch it but always getting bored of the songs and only loving the Points part. I still do.
  7. I lost track with Eurovision until 1998 when Dana International was making headlines several months before Birmingham. I went to Israel around that time for a holiday and tried to buy Diva but it was only available on her just released greatest hits so I took a gamble. It's brilliant! She'd already got a big hit-filled career at home before Diva so I expected her to not be a one hit wonder internationally after winning Eurovision. She tried to represent Israel with a song called Goodnight Europe in 95 (and came second). It's a better song than 'Diva' actually.
    So, fired up about Dana International I watched Birmingham and got bitten by the Eurovision bug big time. Such great songs: Imaani, Edsilia, Danijela, Edea, etc.
    I went to Copenhagen for the 2001 show (could only get tickets for the final dress rehearsal but well worth it), made my first final in Helsinki and went to Belgrade. Once you've been to an actual contest it's hard to go back to watching it on the box....
  8. Watching Eurovision was a tradition in our family. I'm not sure how old I was when I first watched it, but it could have been the contest in 1991 (I must have been 8) 'cause I remember Carola with "FÃ¥ngad av en stormvind". I remember we would always comment on how some languages had similar words to the Dutch language and it was always an evening I would look forward to as a kid. Along the way I kind of lost interest though and my family haven't actually watched it in years now. I think it may have something to do with the changing of the contest. No official languages anymore, no orchestra, more and more commercialised. I do still take an interest in it and try to keep an eye on it. But the way I watch it these days is have the TV on in the background and I'll look around when I hear an interesting song. Anyway, I'll be supporting Hadise this year as our actual Belgian entry is shit.

    I generally think the Belgian pre-selections are a lot more interesting than the actual Eurovision Song Contest. I think the first pre-selections I remember watching are the ones in 1993 when Barbara won. I definitely remember a lot of the songs from Tien Om Te Zien (a sort of Flemish TOTP).

    Oh yeah and the giving points part is definitely the best bit about Eurovision. Even though Belgium usually doesn't get many points, haha.
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  9. Not sure when I first watched bits of it when I was little, but the first time I watched the whole thing on tv was 2002 in Latvia. It was with my parents who are closet Eurovision fans - they love to take the piss out of it, but for the past four years they seem to have watched it every year "because nothing else is on telly".

    I can remember my homophobic Dad saying to me last year, completely serious, "Apparantly Eurovision is very popular with gay men. A mate of mine from work was in Turkey on business while it was on and got complimentary tickets, and apparantly there were lots of gay people there. I had no idea that it was popular in "that" way..." AMAZING.
  10. It was 1988 for me. Though I can't remember the song at all I'll never forget my disappointment at Scott Fitzgerald's 'Go' coming second. That also went right down to the last vote. I still can't bring myself to watch!
  11. 1995 for me, i desperatly wanted Deuce to win ASFE, but supported Love City Groove anyway, i was a "casual" viewer until i got bitten by the Eurovision bug in 2000 and have been a massive/obsessive fan since.

    However, this year, i'm struggling to muster up any enthusiam. Its the first semi final tonight, and i'm not sure i'm all that bothered. I was lucky enough to attend the Eurovision in Concert event in Amsterdam last month, but somethings lacking this year. It might be because i haven't really had time to listen to or download many of the songs this year, and i haven't yet bought the official album. Anybody else feel the same?
  12. I don't think it's necessarily down to you having enough time to listen to everything this year, I think songwise this year it's a bit "meh". There aren't many truly memorable songs which will go down in history as Eurovision classics like Shady Lady did recently.

    The good news however is that thisyear the UK have got a good song and there's less competition than there might usually be. I've just read that a copy of It's My Time came free in last week's copy of Russian OK! Magazine along with an interview with Jade. Pretty hardcore promotion, I'm now just hoping it all pays off.
  13. Me too!

    Though meanwhile I think it's too early to write this year off as anything yet. Yes, great songs are the backbone of the contest, but let's not overlook the imprtance of the "vision" side. In all honesty I didn't give much of a stuff about Shady Lady til I saw the performance. It was only then that emerged from the uptempo diva shadow of Charlotte Perrelli and beat her at her own game for me. So a bit of caution and you never know, 2009 may come good in the end...

    It certainly did on the Melodifestivalen front!
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  14. For me it was Gina G in 1996 with THAT song and THAT dress. I didn't even mind that she couldn't carry a tune.

    1997 was a bit dire but had a soaraway anthemic winner in Love Shine A Light. In 1998 obsession was born thanks to multiple fantastic entries Alltid Sommer/Karleken Ar/Hemel En Ard, the spectacle of Guildo Horn and Dana International and the last vote defeat of poor Chiara hosted by the lovely Ulrika and on-form Wogan.

    Went to my first final in Copers in 2001 and have only missed 2 since: Kiev and Moscow. If you think watching it is cool, you should try going - it's amazing!
  15. vasilios

    vasilios Guest

    It's all about Amina for me...
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  16. I'm the same. 90% of the songs/performances are always shit anyway and the biggest fun I have is bitching about those losers with my family.

    The first time I've watched it was 1998, have only missed it once since then. (the year Ruslana won)
  17. 90% shit? That can only be the words of someone who only hears the songs once. Less than 10% are 'shit'.
  18. vasilios

    vasilios Guest

    I think 96% are shit
  19. I generally paid minor attention to Eurovision growing up but I didn't re-connect with it until recently.

    I was in Armenia in 2007 and the only TV options that weren't in Armenian/Russian were CNN's live coverage of people filing past Yeltsin's coffin or a music channel that played nothing but the Eurovision entries so I became fairly familiar with the various entries. When I went to Georgia the face of the girl they put forward was all over billboards and buses.
    By the time the main event took place I was in Bulgaria and I sat down to watch it with a couple of Bulgars and a bunch of non-Europeans who had no idea what it was all about. We got BBC Radio 2 commentary (far better than Wogan's drivel) through the internet at a slight lag from the TV which meant plenty of muting/un-muting.
    It was a fun night and everyone agreed that Scooch were utter pish.
  20. I watched it from childhood. I can't remember my first Eurovision, but I'm old enough to remember Abba winning with 'Waterloo'. That song set rather a high standard that no one else could beat, ultimately, but I kept on watching with a patriotic eye, cheering on The Brotherhood Of Man and Bucks Fizz to victory. However, most of the music was really outdated MOR rubbish, so I gradually lost interest. Somehow the likes of New Order and Prince were more interesting during the 80s.

    I only started watching again during the 90s, when the orchestras went and dance beats arrived. And I really got interested as the 00s dawned and I found my tastes were coming round to Eurovision voting - I actually voted for winning entries from Ukraine and Turkey. Unfortunately, the UK delivered a series of songs that thoroughly deserved 'nul points', but the colourful entries from Eastern Europe compensated for that.

    I seem to again be favouring Eastern Europe again this year, with Ukraine and Armenia vying for my vote on Saturday night.
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