Eurovision Fan of the Week - Andrew from Canberra
This week's Eurovision Fan of the Week is Andrew, a medical doctor, former Broken Hill resident and fervent admirer of a certain hunky Estonian Eurovision entrant (you know the one!). He talks about his European heritage and attending pre-pandemic Contests in person, and he confesses to a particularly guilty "guilty pleasure".
Thanks for being our Eurovision Fan of the Week, Andrew! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Andrew here, a Territorian who lives in Canberra. Like many in the Aussie capital I've worked in the public service (including as the senior doctor at DFAT), but I left a few months ago to have a mid-life crisis! So far it's going well and I’m pursuing a new direction in the fields of psychosexual therapy and medicine in other areas of government. Given the stresses of work, I like to keep myself distracted and happy with all things Eurovision, including Aussievision.
Eurovision is a perfect break from reality, I agree. And thanks for including us in your enjoyment of the Contest! ~ Steven
How did you get into Eurovision? What was the first year you watched?
My mother is Finnish and I grew up in a thriving Finnish-Estonian expat community in a rural area south-west of Sydney. Needless to say, I had little choice in the matter when it came to watching Eurovision.
I don’t recall the exact year of my first Eurovision TV experience, but I do remember watching it on a cathode-ray TV with four legs and an "attractive" wood panelling laminate veneer sometime in the 1980s.
A long-term fan then, and one who - like me - was indoctrinated at an early age thanks to a parent. Twinning! ~ Steven
Have you attended any Contests in person and which was your favourite?
I have attended seven contests in total, with Copenhagen being my favourite. I remember drinking Champagne straight from the bottle right next to the stage whilst flirting with Air Greenland flight attendants to the sound of Polish butter churners. The Danes were so liberal with their audience. It was just fabulous!
My second favourite would be Kyiv, where I was fortunate to meet more Australian fans for the first time.
Champagne? Woohoo! Flirting with flight attendants? Fun! Polish butter churners? Erm ... ~ Steven
What is your favourite Eurovision performance and why?
This may sound controversial, but who could go past Krassimir Avramov's 'Illusion' (Bulgaria, 2009)?!
Those twirling stilt people were simply mesmerising!
Interesting! They were certainly impressive up there on their stilts, arguably more so than the vocals. ~ Steven
Which Australian artist/s would you love to see on the Eurovision stage? Which song(s) best showcases that artist?
Hmm. I wouldn’t mind some Aussie rock, but perhaps I am just showing my age!
Which national final do you look forward to the most? What makes it special?
Eesti Laul (or what was originally Eurolaul)!
As a teen, my first two part-time jobs were working alongside middle-aged Estonian women (in catering and manufacturing). I think my preference for Eurolaul snuck in there somewhere when Estonia came on board in 1993.
I'm having a flashback to Russia's 2012 'Party for Everybody' and the bread baking. *wink* ~ Steven
If you could change one thing about the Australian National Final “Australia Decides”, what would it be? And do you prefer this approach to the earlier internal selections?
I prefer the "Australia Decides" approach as it engages people and brings them together in the spirit of Eurovision. A rotation around other cities to showcase Australia would be a welcome change though.
Completely agree on both points. A city rotation would be grand, but it'll be back on "the Goldie" in 2022 (we hope!) ~ Steven
What is your opinion on returning artists, both at the NF and Eurovision levels? Is there one you would like to see again?
I'm all for it.
And who do I want to see again? May King Sakis Rouvas and Queen Carola reign forever! Enough said.
All hail them! ~ Steven
If you could pick only three performances to encourage new people to watch Eurovision what would they be?
I would go for three songs offering different things: something kitsch, something political/progressive and something solid and "consistent".
Kitsch: Cezar's 'It’s my life' (Romania, 2013)
Political/progressive: Dana International's 'Diva' (Israel, 1998)
Solid/consistent: Johnny Logan's 'Hold Me Now' (Ireland, 1987)
GREAT choices! Three songs I'll never skip. And "Mr Eurovision's" entries are just beautiful! ~ Steven
Next up, our quick-fire questions. Which Eurovision song:
Is the best winner?
Emmelie De Forest and 'Only Teardrops' (Denmark, 2013). On a personal note, my long term ex and I decided to break up on this very trip to Eurovision. This made the song both timely and appropriate and I still love it.
Has the best live vocal?
Céline Dion on 'Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi' (Switzerland, 1988). You could argue that her voice is a tad harsher here, but it's still as smooth as a good Lindt chocolate to me.
Mihai with 'Tornero' (Romania, 2006) comes a close second.
Moi aussi, j'adore Céline! ~ Steven
Polina Gagarina and her 'A Million Voices' (Russia, 2015).
It was amazing live in Vienna (sorry Måns!).
A valid call! Just don't say this to Aussievision's Kyriakos, OK? ~ Steven
Is your guilty pleasure?
Josh Dubovie's 'That Sounds Good To Me'! I love it!
The Doctor will see you now! No, I'm joking. Or am I? ~ Steven
Is your favourite National Final song (that didn't make it to Eurovision)?
Yuliya Samoylova's 'Flame is Burning' (Russia, 2017). This was a better song than her 2018 entry.
And finally, which Australian entry is your favourite?
I have a soft spot for Isaiah.
Eurovision was his first time abroad and he travelled all the way to the Ukraine. He was engaging and friendly with all the fans at the Kyiv party and embodied both a Eurovision and Australian spirit.
Thank you so much for answering our questions, Andrew, and for sharing your love of Eurovision.
We hope you - and all of us - can enjoy a Contest in person again in the near future!