• Hayley Bessell

Aussievision team: Hayley



Name and where you live


I am Hayley and live in Brisbane but originally from Tasmania and moved to the Queensland in my teens to live on the Sunshine Coast. I live with my partner Dan and my three very good looking greyhounds Eddie van Hound, Billy and Clementine and two cats Marmalade and Pedro.


Tell us a little bit about yourself


I work with the State Government in Communications and spend a lot of my time editing and trying to be wordy. I also love good food and wine and would love to study viticulture at uni.


I have really been into my music since a very young age and have VERY eclectic music taste. I used to work part time while at high school so I could save money to go to see bands and buy CDs. The following statements may give away my age somewhat: when I was three years old I was given my first record player and my first record (ABBA); and I am a life-long U2 fanatic. My music taste is extremely varied; I really love moody electro pop like Bjork, Moby and Röyksopp but also love Jimi Hendrix and alt-rock of the JJJ era of 1990s to 2000s! Apart from the "genre" of Eurovision, I also listen to a lot of progressive rock and metal (Tool and Queens of the Stone Age are favourites).


My other love is travel and up until Covid-19, my partner and I would try to travel every year. Favourite countries are Japan and Mexico and my dream is to see the Northern Lights!


What is your Eurovision journey?


I knew about the Eurovision Song Contest from an early age being a keen ABBA fan. My first contest was in 2000 when I caught the tail end of the voting sequence when Denmark won with 'Fly on the Wings of Love'. I remember being absolutely sucked in and thought the voting was one of the most delightfully awkward things I had ever seen!


From 2000, I would watch every year and equally looked forward to Terry Wogan's warped sense of humour (even though it was somewhat inappropriate). In the 2010s my love developed into an obsession and I was getting up at the early hours to watch the contest and only up until about 2018, I would switch off the TV and try to spend the whole day without social media or TV so I could find out the winner when re-watching on the Sunday night.


I was so excited to be accepted as a contributor for Aussievision so I could funnel my Eurovision energy somewhere instead of making my friends suffer!


This year I am finally going to the contest after a few false starts thanks to Covid-19. I am really hoping it lives up to my expectations!


Do you have any affinity to nations other than Australia?


No because it really is about how much I like the song. However, I was always a lover of Turkey and really want them to come back (please come back Turkey!) I also look forward to seeing Ukraine, Moldova and Bulgaria. Since finding out recently I have a tiny bit of Norwegian ancestry, I will also include Norway in that list. And Finland - for the rock they consistently bring to Eurovision.


Any Aussievision highlights?


The first article I wrote was about ABBA so that was exciting for me. Another highlight would be meeting some of the team at Australia Decides and getting to do the rankings of the 2022 songs.


Quick questions on Eurovision entries


Best winner:


'My Number One' (Greece 2005), 'Wild Dances' (Ukraine 2004), and 'Molitva' (Serbia 2007).



Favourite three non-Australian entries:


'My Number One' (Greece 2005), 'Fuego' (Cyprus 2018), 'Spirit in the Sky' (Norway 2019).


Favourite Australian entry:


I am going to be an outlier here and say Guy Sebastian's 'Tonight Again'. I was so proud to be an Australian when he represented us - I think that was one of the most exciting moments ever!


Favourites from the last century:


'Waterloo' (Sweden 1974) and 'Tu te reconnaîtras' (Luxembourg 1973).



Robberies:


San Marino 2021 - I still cannot talk about it!


Makes you dance:


Well I really love my dance tracks and bass-heavy songs, so I could list many (and I will) ... 'Fuego' (Cyprus 2018), 'Hero' (Sweden 2008), 'Dum Tek Tek' (Turkey 2009), 'La La Love' (Cyprus 2012), 'If Love was a Crime' (Bulgaria 2016), 'Shum' (Ukraine 2021), 'Discotheque' (Lithuania 2021). Oh - and this year's banger - 'SloMo' (Spain 2022).




Guilty pleasure:


I simply adore 'Adio' (Montenegro 2015) and I think this beautiful song has stood the test of time. I also do love a bit of 'Missä Miehet Ratsastaa' (Finland 2008) - an over the top cheesy bit of brilliant Finnish viking metal (and Jarkko Ahola is possibly one of the best looking men ever to grace the Eurovision stage!)



Favourite non-qualifier:


'Amazing' (Estonia 2014) and 'Sekret' (Albania 2022). Robberies!


Favourite Eurovision year:


2015 and 2016 - stellar years!


Favourite national final songs:


I haven't watched National Finals for very long but I have two stand outs - 'Faith Bloody Faith' (Norway 2021) and 'Dreamer' (Australia 2022).



Best live vocal


Pastora Soler (Spain 2012), Dami Im (Australia 2016), Eugent Bushpepa (Albania 2018) and Krystian Ochman (Poland 2022).