• Steven Garner

Aussievision team: Steven



Name and where you live


I'm Steven, a Brit who's called Melbourne home for the past eleven years. I'm originally from Merseyside in the UK, but lived and worked in London for eight years before relocating to "a Land Down Under" in 2011.


Tell us a little bit more about yourself


I work as a freelance translator from French and German into English, mostly specialising in EU and international law. I also have (much) lower levels of Spanish, Italian and Dutch. This does prove useful when following certain national finals and song or artist announcements.


Beyond Eurovision, my passions include murder mysteries (books, TV shows and films), my AFL team the Richmond Tigers, pub trivia (as both a competitor and host), and as much travel as I can fit in.


What is your Eurovision journey?


I remember hearing about and watching some of the Contests of the 1980s, but it was a Bucks Fizz concert that I attended in the early 1990s whilst on holiday - including a recreation of their winning song 'Making Your Mind Up' - that really saw me begin to take a greater interest in the annual event.


I went on to host Eurovision viewing parties at university and during my time in London, slowly trying to convert friends to the cause ... with mixed results!


After moving to Melbourne I found a small Eurovision posse - including Dale and Mike - who were prepared to get up to watch the live shows at 5 am.


Since then, I've attended two Contests in person (Stockholm 2016 and Lisbon 2018), mourned missing out on Rotterdam 2020/21, joined a local fan club and became the first Aussievision "guest" contributor in the early days of the podcast.


Do you have any affinity with nations other than Australia?


Although I'm now definitely part of "Team Australia", I always want the UK to do well. That's not happened so much in recent years, but I'm hopeful that the country's beginning to turn a corner and confident about a good result in 2022.


I'd also love France to win the Contest in the next few years. Recent entries have shown a real desire to put the effort in to take home the trophy, and I'd love to be able to flex my French at a future Contest.


Any Aussievision highlights?


I really enjoyed playing the "French expert" as a podcast guest back in 2018 focussed on that year's French national final, 'Destination Eurovision', explaining the lyrics and meanings behind the entries.


Covering live finals on Twitter over the past two years has also been lots of fun, despite the occasional stress caused by a poor broadcast feed!


Quick questions on Eurovision entries


Best winner:


I can't possibly choose between 'Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi' (Switzerland 1988), 'Take Me To Your Heaven' (Sweden 1999) and 'Rise Like A Phoenix' (Austria 2014).


Favourite three non-Australian entries:


Other than my choices for 'Best winner', in (relatively) recent years I'd say: 'Euphoria' (Sweden 2012), 'What's The Pressure' (Belgium 2016) and 'Voilà' (France 2021).



Favourite Australian entry:


'Tonight Again', just ahead of 'Zero Gravity'.


Favourites from the last century:


There are so many I could mention, so I'll limit myself to just three: 'Nel blu, dipinto di blu' (Italy 1958), 'Ein Lied kann eine Brücke sein' (Germany 1975) and 'Better The Devil You Know' (UK 1993).



Robberies:


You mean aside from Australia's own Ms Dami Im?


Well, Cliff Richard's 'Congratulations' should have won in 1968! And how did Kate Ryan not qualify for the Grand Final for Belgium in 2006?!


Makes you dance:


I find that I can't resist many 80s and 90s Eurovision entries, but 'Fångad av en stormvind' (Sweden 1991), 'Ooh Aah ... Just A Little Bit (UK 1996) and, of course, 'Making Your Mind Up (UK 1981) will get me to the dancefloor.


Guilty pleasure:


I have several, but 'Flying The Flag (For You)' (UK 2007) and 'Wadde Hadde Dudde Da' (Germany 2000) are the two that spring to mind. I may have more to add post-Turin.



Favourite non-qualifier:


I'm torn between 'Je T'Adore' - justice for Kate Ryan! - and 'Blackbird' (Finland 2017).


Favourite Eurovision year:


Given that I was there in person, Australia almost won, I got to listen to Queen Dami sing live from the very front of the stage, Petra and Måns were excellent hosts, and 'Love Love Peace Peace' was just one of the wonderful musical interludes performed, it just has to be 2016.


Favourite national finals:


I've been (mostly) impressed by the last four French national finals, both 'Destination Eurovision' and 'Eurovision France: c'est vous qui décidez', and I reckon 'Australia Decides' has been a great addition to the national final season.


Favourite national final songs:


I fell completely in love with 'Little Fires' (Australia 2022) on first listen. Other favourites, including some who I reckon should have been chosen for Eurovision, include 'OK ou KO' (France 2018), 'En värld full av strider' (Sweden 2017) and 'Cicciolina' (Finland 2020).



Any final comments?

One of the reasons that Eurovision has such a special place in my heart is that it provides a forum to listen to music sung in languages other than English.


So, undoubtedly somewhat controversially, I'd love to see the (re-)introduction of some rule that (one of) a country's national language(s) form(s) at least part of its entry. As the results from 2021 alone go to show, it's absolutely possible to win the Contest with a strong song whatever the language in which it is performed. Vive la différence!