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  • Writer's pictureHayley Bessell

Aussievision team: Hayley



Name and where you live


I am Hayley and live in Brisbane but I am originally from Tasmania. I am a lucky fur-mum to three beautiful rescue greyhounds and two naughty cats.


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 go back to uni to study viticulture.


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 and music shirts. My first record was an ABBA album 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, Queen 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). I am also very much an 80s music aficionado.


I love to travel and I have been all over the world, but my favourites are Japan and Mexico and my favourite European city is Amsterdam.


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 on TV, the year 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!


Then from 2001, I would watch every year and would so enjoy Terry Wogan's commentary. In the 2010s my love developed into quite the 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 after the songs 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 (this strategy actually never worked).


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!


I am lucky after so many years of watching Eurovision, going to both Turin and Liverpool and hoping to go next year to Malmo as well!


Do you have any affinity to nations other than Australia?


Turkey - please come back Turkey! I also love Moldova and Ukraine. I would also love to see Bulgaria make a return. But really, it is about the song, no matter where the song is from, if I like it, I like it. I also lean to countries that send a heavier genre (looking at you Finland).


Any Aussievision highlights?


The first article I wrote was about ABBA so that was exciting for me. Another highlight would be first meeting some of the team at Australia Decides, hanging out with other Aussievision folks in Turin and Liverpool. Doing an Aussievision YouTube video on a total high after seeing Voyager perform at the jury show in semi final 2 was another!


Quick questions on Eurovision entries


Best winner:


Hard to chose just one: 'My Number One' (Greece 2005), 'Wild Dances' (Ukraine 2004), and 'Molitva' (Serbia 2007), 'Tu te reconnaîtras' (Luxembourg 1973).



Favourite three non-Australian entries:


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


Favourite Australian entry:



It is without a doubt, Voyager's 'Promise'. Seeing it live multiple times in Liverpool was a highlight and when they qualified, I nearly lost my mind and screamed the stadium down! I cannot think of a band more deserving than Voyager and they finished in 9th place - what a result!


My second favourite would have to be Guy Sebastian's 'Tonight Again'. What a cracker of a well-written yet simple pop song. I will never forget the feeling of seeing us on stage for the first time and seeing the reaction from the crowd! We proved our place at Eurovision - we deserve to be there.


Favourites from the last century:


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



Robberies:


Estonia 2014, San Marino 2021, Malta 2023. Also for national finals, Voyager (2022), and Sunstroke Project and Agoney (2023). I don't think I will ever recover from Agoney not representing Spain.


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), 'SloMo' (Spain 2022), 'Quiero Arder' (Benidorm 2023).




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.




Favourite non-qualifier:


'Amazing' (Estonia 2014), 'Time' (Belarus 2015), 'Dance (Our Own Party)' (Malta 2023).


Favourite Eurovision year:


2015 and 2016 - stellar years!


Favourite national final songs:


There are just so many, but I think my top three would have to be - 'Quiero Arder' (Spain 2023), 'Faith Bloody Faith' (Norway 2021) and 'Dreamer' (Australia 2022).



Best live vocal


Pastora Soler (Spain 2012), Dami Im (Australia 2016), Eugent Bushpepa (Albania 2018), Krystian Ochman (Poland 2022), Alika (Estonia 2023).


Any final comments?


I just am so happy I am part of the Eurovision/Aussievision community. I have made some wonderful friends to share Eurovision with. I never thought when I first started watching that it would mean I travel solely for Eurovision. I love the fact that you can go to EuroClub after a show on your own, and you are highly likely to see someone you know - how cool is that! Who would have thought a song contest could change your life so much?





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