Name and where you live
My name is Samuel and I live in Canberra, Australia. I moved to the nation's capital for university in 2018 and am originally from Sydney.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I work as a public servant for the federal government - very typical for a Canberran.
My interests outside of Eurovision include: tennis (although I'm a better watcher than player), history, palaeontology and watching comedy tv shows.
My father is Taiwanese and my mother is from Hong Kong. Given I am Australian, have parents of an Asian background who met at an American university, and am intrigued by a certain European singing competition - I feel like I am truly a global individual.
What is your Eurovision journey?
I got into Eurovision through arguably the greatest Eurovision act of all – ABBA. When I was in Kindergarten my teacher made us dance to this really catchy tune called 'Mamma Mia'. I thought the song was absolutely brilliant so I asked my dad if he knew the song and who sang it. Luckily for me, my dad was a huge ABBA fan and he gave me a copy of ABBA Gold. A little while later, when I was in Year 3, I discovered that ABBA had taken part and won a certain contest called Eurovision in 1974. And the rest, as they say, is history.
The first time I watched Eurovision properly was in 2010 and the first act on the broadcast was Moldova’s SunStroke Project featuring Epic Sax Guy. Compared to other opening acts in semi-final 1 over the years, I pretty much hit the jackpot.
My Eurovision adventure was taken to the next level, or went u-u-u-u-u-p as Loreen would say, when I moved to Canberra for university in 2018. At my residential college I met a resident, who I quickly realised was as obsessed with Eurovision as me. We would often spend hours in the dining hall after lunch chatting about the contest. We decided to put these conversations to more constructive use and began a one-hour weekly radio show dedicated to Eurovision on our university's radio station.
Towards the end of 2022, Aussievision ran a Q&A session on their Instagram story. I cheekily asked how I could join the team. The lovely Kyriakos got back to me, and I formally applied to be part of Aussievision. In October 2022 I officially became a contributor of the website.
I am yet to go to a Eurovision or an Australia Decides. But I'm hoping to go to Eurovision next year in my favourite European country Sweden.
Do you have any affinity to nations other than Australia?
A bit of a long stretch but my mother grew up in Hong Kong when it was a British Overseas Territory, so a part of me wants to see the United Kingdom do well.
Otherwise aside from Australia the two other countries I tend to root for are Sweden and Poland. My friends one birthday got me Eurovision scarves of the three nations.
Any Aussievision highlights?
Becoming a contributor for an organisation that I had followed and admired for several years has probably been the biggest highlight so far. It has been great meeting so many passionate Eurovision fans from all across Australia. There is a real sense of community. So much of the content is exciting to be a part of such as the national final rankings, providing opinion in YouTube videos, and live reporting on Eurovision as the results came out.
Quick questions on Eurovision entries
Yes these may sound generic but its between 'Euphoria' (Sweden 2012) and 'Waterloo' (Sweden 1974) for me. 'Tattoo' (Sweden 2023) is up there too. When Sweden wins Eurovision they usually do it very well!
Favourite three non-Australian entires:
'To nie ja!' (Poland 1994), 'I Feed You My Love' (Norway 2013) and 'Vechny Strannik' (Russia 1994).
Favourite Australian entry:
'Sound of Silence' by Dami Im. I have been a huge fan of hers since she won X Factor in 2013. She is a great inspiration to me and other Australians of Asian ancestry.
Favourites from last century:
Both of Gigliola Cinquetti's entries: 'Non ho l'eta' (Italy 1964) and Si (Italy 1974). Also 'Un Jour, Un L'enfant' (France 1969) and 'Tu Te Reconnaitras' (Luxembourg 1973).
Apart from the obvious Australian one, I would say Edyta Gorniak and Eleni Fouriera also deserved to win in their respective years (1994 and 2018).
Make You Dance:
Way too many. But on the shortlist are: 'Fuego' (Cyprus 2018), 'Ooh Aah ... Just a Little Bit' (UK 1996), 'Hajde da ludujemo' (Yugoslavia 1990) and 'Foroji vilag!' (Hungary 2005).
2011 was a mad year for this. As a twelve-year old I was absolutely obsessed with Popular (Sweden 2011) and Rockefeller Street (Estonia 2011). Now that I am twice that age I can see these songs probably would seem quite cheesy and childish to others, but I still adore them.
Special mention to 'Bye Bye Baby' (Finland 1994): highly addictive despite the fact the girls were dressed in their mother's underwear (see for yourself in the video below).
I can't decide between 'Same Heart' (Israel 2014) and 'Chrysalis' (San Marino 2013).
Favourite Eurovision year:
1994. I find that when countries debut at Eurovision they usually start off on a high. With a record seven countries debuting this year, this made for a competition of incredible standard. Whilst the winner may be forgettable, I love the entries from Poland, Russia, Finland, Germany and Hungary. Also, as a fan of Celtic music, I can't go past the most iconic Eurovision interval act ever - Riverdance!
Favourite national finals:
Melodifestivalen (Sweden), Eesti Laul (Estonia), Eurosong (Ireland) and whatever Poland calls their national selection year on year.
Favourite national final songs:
'Kingdom Come' (Sweden 2020), 'Cool Me Down' (Poland 2016), 'Hoida mut' (Finland 2023) and '2000 and Whatever' (Australia 2019).
Any final comments?
Being part of Aussievision has been an incredible and rewarding experience. I have made many friends, and I feel this sums up the sentiment of Eurovision - bringing people from different walks of life together in a fantastic musical event. So many musical genres are represented at Eurovision, so there is something for everyone. If you haven't checked out the contest, I thoroughly encourage you to do so.