Eurovision Fan of the Week - Victoria from Cologne (via many other places)
Our Eurovision Fan of the Week crosses both Australian and International lines with a very interesting background. It is Victoria living in Cologne and you may know her as @pawshoes on Twitter. Read her full Q&A with us below.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Victoria but usually people either call me Vicky (or ビッキー in Japanese) or Vika (Вика in Russian) depending on who it is. Which leads me to the second of the question. I live near Cologne in Germany but I have a very international identity - I grew up with a British grandfather, grandmothers who flew from Eastern parts of Germany that now belong to Poland and I myself partly grew up in Australia, where my dad took me when I was in year 7 and which was the best part of my childhood, and later between year 10 and 11, I went a year abroad on a student exchange year to Japan where I now have a second family.
Wow. We are very rarely lost for words but that is some background you have! ~ Aussievision
What do you do or tell us something interesting about you?
I study Regional Sciences of Eastern and Central Europe and I hope to learn all (even and possibly especially minority) Slavic languages. My great grandmother was Sorbian, the Slavic minority in Germany, and Lower and Upper Sorbian are sadly endangered languages so that makes it especially interesting for me to discover my own heritage. I started learning Russian due to being inspired by my Russian ballet teacher who is like another grandmother to me. Since last October I'm also learning Serbocroatian.
I hope one day I will be as fluent in these languages as I am in German, English and Japanese. (As you see, languages are basically my only talent, so I'm concentrating on them of course.)
We are always in awe of people fluent in other languages, we do a little Spanish and Italian (Mike) and Japanese (Dale) but that's it and not even close to fluent. It's an amazing talent and fascinating to hear about the Sorbian language.
When did you first get into Eurovision?
My first memory of Eurovision is Lena winning in 2010 - basically the one time Germany realised that taking part can actually have a good outcome (it was quite weird how people who don't care about Eurovision - the majority in Germany, sadly - were talking about it all of a sudden!). My parents dislike Eurovision but at least usually my mom watches it with me so I don't have to sit in front of our TV alone. In 2010 I was only 12 of course and I don't remember much else besides Lena winning. My real first memories of being an actual Eurofan are from 2011 when I was a big fan of Eric Saade and Jedward and lived in Australia where my classmates also liked Eurovision despite not taking part yet (!). My dad even went to a Jedward concert with me that year.
Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?
I have to say 2016 because it was the year in which Sergey Lazarev first took part and it is such an incredible feeling when one of your favourite artists takes part and even almost wins (in general my favourites never win but this was the closest it got so far probably). 2016 was also definitely the year with the most memorable relationships and interactions between the artists.
If you could change one thing about Eurovision what would it be?
I wish more countries would start singing in their national languages again. To me, Eurovision is really about representing and getting to know cultures through music and if you don't use it to show off all the beautiful languages, it's such a missed opportunity. Especially Europe has such a variety and diversity of languages and I think it is really noticeable by how many Eurofans are inspired to learn foreign languages because of Eurovision.
It's been good to see a small resurgence in national languages in 2018 and 2019, but agree - we'd like to see more!
If you could only listen to three Eurovision songs for the rest of time, what would you choose?
This is very hard! But I have to choose somehow... (You will probably notice that I am having a slight Balkan obsession recently and I'm not putting a certain entry from this year here because it's still too new and I feel like I can't make a fair comparison yet.)
- "Lane Moje" by Željko Joksimović (Serbia & Montenegro 2004): Because it represents my scientific interests the most and inspires me to work on reaching my goals for the future. - "Neka mi ne svane" by Danijela Martinović (Croatia 1998): This was played all day in Opatija when I went to Dora this year and when Mia and Dino sang it during their medley during the show I along with the whole audience was so moved - and that was probably the moment when I decided to become a member of OGAE Croatia. - "Forever" by Alekseev (Belarus 2018): This song has a very personal meaning to me and stands for my relationship with my cat who is like a part of me, like my soul without which I can't exist.
All great choices - we also don't mind a cat here at Aussievision and we were big fans of 'Forever' last year so special nod to that.
Which Eurovision song:
Had the best staging?
This is definitely a competition between "You Are The Only One" by Sergey Lazarev (Russia 2016) and "My Lucky Day" by DoReDoS (Moldova 2018) and that's not a surprise since they have the same people behind it! The Dream Team really knows how to create not just great songs but also the most memorable stagings.
Would have to agree that they did an amazing job on both.
Best live vocal?
Let me give a rather unusual answer here because this is one of the most underrated entries - Lisa Angell who represented France in 2015 with "N'Oubliez Pas" had amazing vocals and was honestly treated quite unfairly in the voting. The other answer to this but certainly not as unpopular is of course Polina Gagarina with "A Million Voices" (Russia 2015) and I can say this absolutely is proven because I heard her sing it live last year and she is breathtaking.
So, so many! I won't say Sergey and Polina since the Top 3 in my opinion is an amazing achievement even if you don't end up winning. Who was robbed though was Alekseev last year and to give a less personal and rather objective answer - Valentina Monetta should have qualified in 2013 and I hope she will come back again and again and bring Eurovision to San Marino one day!
From before 2000 is your favourite?
I already named it - "Neka mi ne svane" of course! In addition to my other reasons I already named above, it was also the Croatian entry in my birth year and if that isn't meaningful, I don't know what is! We also can't forget about "Marija Magdalena" (Croatia 1999) though of course!
Do you enjoy more now, than when they performed?
I would say "Fuego" (Cyprus 2018) because while before I saw Eleni perform it live, I saw it as a likable but not special rather mainstream pop song. On stage, she really made it come alive with her energy.
Since that obviously isn't an actual answer to how the question was asked, another more related answer would be "Mižerja", Croatia's entry in 2013. Back then I was still young and didn't know anything about Klapa yet so I didn't remember it as an Eurovision entry. Nowadays I like Klapa a lot as a genre and it always reminds me of my love for Croatia as a country and its cultural heritage.
Big fan of "Mižerja" here, great choice! ~ Dale
Did you last play?
Overall the last Eurovision entry I listened to was "A Million Voices" and from this year the last song i listened to is coincidentally "Scream".
Is your guilty pleasure?
I'm not at all ashamed to say: I love Electro Velvet! "Still in Love With You" was a bop!
Yes I agree with you, long live Electro Velvet! ~ Dale
It's an abomination ~ Mike
Any other interesting honourable mentions?
I would feel unfair if I didn't name my other favourite artists: Milan Stanković represented Serbia in 2010 with "Ovo je Balkan". Then, even if she didn't end up winning Dora and going to Eurovision yet, I have to name Lidija Bačić who took part in Dora this year with "Tek je počelo". And last but not least - my number 1 favourite artist, role model and girl crush: Lana Jurčević! Just like Lidija she also took part in Dora in the past. Lana didn't participate this year but has expressed interest in Eurovision once again last year and I hope we will see her as Croatia's representative soon.
What are your favourite songs for the Eurovision 2019 contest?
My favourite songs are "Scream" (Russia), "La Venda" (Spain), "Spirit in the Sky" (Norway) and "Pali się" (Poland).
Any early 2019 predictions?
I think high expectations for the results of Sweden, Russia, the Netherlands and Cyprus are realistic. Switzerland, Malta and Italy also need to be watched out for. Therefore I think most if not all of these countries will likely be in the top 10 this year.
What did you think our national final Australia Decides?
It was a great start and definitely has a great potential! I like how there was such a variety of musical styles and mix of experienced and newcomer artists represented.
Tonight Again, Sound of Silence, Don't Come Easy, We Got Love or Zero Gravity?
Sound of Silence! I remember that it must have had a great impression on me back then because I even bought it on iTunes!
Thank you so much for your time Victoria, good luck with your studies and enjoy Eurovision 2019.