Eurovision Fan of the Week - Bruno from Portugal
A staple of the Eurovision twitter fandom with his icon of Filomena Cautela, Bruno (@euro_bruno) sat down with me to discuss all things Eurovision! He shares with us the unique story of his famous 2019 Belarusian Jury ranking discovery and all things Portuguese!
Thank you for being our Aussievision fan of the week! Tell us a little about yourself...
Thank you so much for inviting me, it’s an honour to be here! As you may know, my name is Bruno, I’m Portuguese and I’m 18 years old. I was born on a small island in the Azores; however, I currently live in Aveiro, since I’m in the middle of finishing my 2nd semester in its university here. I love languages and whenever I have free time (or I procrastinate), I have lots of fun going through Eurovision statistics and overanalysing them!
~ Welcome!! Azores looks absolutely stunning, visiting Portugal is certainly on my bucket list. (Liv)
How did you get into Eurovision?
I first heard of the concept itself when I was around 5 years old, but I didn’t actually know what it was about neither had I ever watched it. Was it a TV series? Was it a singing competition like The Voice? Just a famous European eye doctor? All of them seemed plausible to me!
In 2009, during a regular Saturday night, me and my family were gathering around the TV and zapping through the channels just to see if anything good was on. When we switched to RTP, we stumbled upon this over-the-top performance happening live on a huge stage - it was actually 'Be My Valentine' by Svetlana Loboda (Ukraine 2009)! I have a very vague memory of the rest of my family being distraught by how campy it was but I enjoyed it at least! I ended up watching the rest of the show as well and I was instantly hooked to it, especially the voting sequence with all the numbers and points coming out of nowhere. From then on, I became the fan that I am today and have made sure not to miss a Eurovision live show!
~ I think we all have a special memory of that first ICONIC entry to emblazon itself into our memories! What a wonderful series of events to land you in the Eurovision fandom. Love it! (Liv)
How and when did you find the twitter fandom?
I joined the Twitter app in December 2015 but I only actually became part of the fandom in late 2016/early 2017 if I’m not wrong! I was already following a couple of Eurovision-related accounts back in 2016 and when the annual Festivali i Këngës rolled in, I saw there was a whole world of ESC fans in there and started interacting with them, which was very fun! Unfortunately the first account I had ended up being deleted in 2018 so I cannot take a look at the memories I made from back then but still I’m very happy to have joined the community!
You are credited by Wikipedia and the EBU as single handily discovering an important jury scoring error from the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest! Tell us a little bit about it:
Those were craaazy times! So the day after the 2019 grand final happened, I went on to crunch the detailed voting results and analyse them piece by piece and I especially paid attention to Belarus’s votes, since the ones they had announced on the night seemed very abnormal to everyone watching. I went ahead and took a look at which countries were allocated in the same pot as Belarus that year and merged their jury rankings together just to see the results. It seemed like a simple intriguing spreadsheet just by looking at the top but when I took a closer at the bottom 10, it dawned on me that those were the songs that the jury had supposedly given points to that night!
Apparently someone at the EBU sorted the data the wrong way around. I instantly wondered how no one had noticed it before and thought "might as well be the first one to talk about it" - so I wrote a thread on what I found out. It never crossed my mind that they would actually listen to the fans and fix the issue but guess I was wrong! I still remember coming home after a long school day, checking Twitter and seeing that chaos had ensued as the Eurovision account actually wrote a statement and corrected the results because of *my* work! It was all very overwhelming for a 16 year old boy like me to suddenly get so much attention like that but I would do it all over again!
~ I remember watching that all unfold myself and thinking "WOW the EBU actually listened to a Eurofan!! AND they had a significant impact on the final results!" Felt totally crazy and I love how the contest plays into your logical sides - a match made in heaven when it comes to jury results. After your efforts and all the issues with 2018's results I was inspired to write this article. (Liv)
Whom was your winner for Eurovision 2021? What made them special to you?
Definitely Victoria from Bulgaria! Having 'Tears Getting Sober' as my 2020 winner last year already had me expecting a lot from her and she did not fail to deliver. 'Growing Up is Getting Old' stood out so much to me in such an up-tempo banger-heavy line-up this year (which is obviously not a bad thing though!) - it has such gorgeous instrumentation and a powerful message as well. Plus Victoria’s fragile delivery brings it to an entirely different level. Even though she didn’t get the best result in May, I’m glad I got to know more about her work as a singer and songwriter.
Which Portuguese artists would you love to see on the Eurovision stage?
I usually don’t mind who represents us in the competition every year as long as they have a good/competitive song and they can deliver it well, but of course I have some names I would love to see at Eurovision! One of the main ones is definitely SYRO, who has become very popular in the music industry lately and whose most famous song - 'Perto de Mim' - was actually supposed to have been submitted to FdC last year but the songwriters missed the deadline unfortunately.
Another act I would also love to see is Amor Electro, a rock-pop band that has been popular here for quite a while - 'Miúda do Café' is my personal fav from them! And obviously Elisa from 2020 finally getting her moment in the spotlight would be lovely to see too!
~ They look cool - can't wait to check em out! (Liv)
Which national final do you look forward to the most? What makes it special?
This is a hard one to answer because even though sometimes I might not like a national final’s line-up that much it’s always entertaining to watch a show in a language you don’t understand! But I guess I always look the most forward to FiK (Albania) because it’s always the one that sets the tone for each year’s national final season and the fact that it’s usually so long and around Christmas time just makes it even cosier, I think. Huge honourable mention to Melodifestivalen (Sweden) as well, I always fall for the poppy sound of the huge majority of their songs.
What is your opinion on returning artists? Is there one you would like to see again?
I always fear that when artists do return to Eurovision, they will end up getting a worse result than their first attempt(s) but I’m definitely in favour if an artist wants to come back to the contest! I’d love to see Roxen from this year back so she can have her proper moment in the spotlight, since I think her chances of qualifying were ruined by whoever came up with the staging idea for 'Amnesia'.
It would also be lovely to see Aisel (Azerbaijan 2018) back too with a song that actually fits her this time, even though it would probably be hard for Azerbaijan to get away from the manufactured pop song route they’ve been going for a while (which I don’t complain about but also a song actually written by the singer themselves wouldn’t be harmful!)
~ Yes and YES especially for Aisel. Both of these ladies I feel like had some pretty questionable direction and I would love to see them return with something more organic to themselves. (Liv)
If given the opportunity - are there any changes you would make to Festival da Canção?
I think our national final should remain untouched for now as we seem to be delivering the goods - especially this year’s line-up, which had many great songs - but one thing I would prefer to be changed would maybe more songs from the line-up to be selected from public submission (instead of only 2 each year) compared to the ones created by songwriters that were invited by RTP itself. Songs selected by public submission like 'Sunset' (2018), 'Hoje' (2019) and 'Cegueira' (2020) have usually been FdC favourites of mine in the past few years so it would be personally great to see some balance there!
If you could pick only three performances to encourage new people to watch Eurovision what would they be:
I’d go for 'Euphoria', '1944' and 'Zitti e Buoni': just to show that the contest is open to different genres of music and that songs can win as long as they’re good enough and stand out no matter what country they come from.
~ Love it! (Liv)
Which Eurovision song:
Is the best winner? This is quite a basic opinion but most definitely 'Euphoria' (Sweden 2012). It’s a song that has still managed to retain its freshness and quality so well after nine years and it did change the contest’s direction so I can’t name any other!
Has the best live vocal? Rona Nishliu with 'Suus'! I’m the biggest fan of vocal powerhouses that not only have an incredible range and technique but also provide you with an emotional delivery and it’s a perfect balance there! Honourable mention to Jamala too, she’s spectacular as well!
Was the best Portuguese entry? Gahh I hate this question, we’ve sent too many good entries over the years! It really depends on the time and date but I’ll say 'Desfolhada Portuguesa' from 1969. It’s such a traditional Portuguese-like song which is still very well known here despite its result and Simone’s voice and stage presence are a treat for the ears and the eyes!
Was robbed? I’d be able to fit at least a hundred songs over here but I’ll limit myself to saying 'Where I Am' (Denmark 2017)! Those eight televote points were very undeserved and the juries should’ve also ranked it higher but that’s just my power ballad-biased opinion hehe.
Is your guilty pleasure? Not that guilty of a pleasure to be honest but 'Celebrate' (Croatia 2011) - it’s exactly the type of 2000s catchy upbeat Europop song I usually fall for and it cheers me up every time!
Is your favourite National Final song? 'Never Alone' by Anja Nissen (Denmark 2016)! That was the first year where I actually started watching national finals more up close than ever before so this one especially hurt and I think it would’ve done heaps better than what they ended up sending! Thankfully she was served justice when she represented them the following year.
And finally which Australian entry is your favourite… That one’s easy - Where I A- oh wait. Studio version wise, I personally prefer 'We Got Love' because it’s so upbeat and motivational (despite the cheesy lyrics) but live performance wise definitely 'Sound of Silence', Dami Im rocks! And so does Australia in Eurovision, can’t wait to hear what you’ll bring next year!
~ You know how to melt an Aussie's heart! (Liv)
BONUS QUESTION: If you follow the Euros - whom do you tip to win?
I don’t really follow football that closely so I have no clue on who’s winning it this year. I guess I’ll go for an underdog… *checks betting odds* Switzerland? Let’s go with that!
Thanks so much for your time and wisdom Bruno!! Enjoy the off season - before we know it, we'll be back into the swing of national finals again.