Eurovision Fan of the Week - Jaz from Perth
Our Eurovision Fan of the Week is a special guest, Jasmin (aka Jaz) who runs her long-running blog https://eurovisionbyjaz.com/ and you can find her on Twitter @EurovisionByJaz
Read her full Q&A with us below:
What is your name and where are you from?
I’m Jasmin – a.k.a. Jaz – and I’m from the most isolated capital city on the planet (which sounds a lot cooler than saying I’m from Perth, Western Australia).
Well it does make it sound more exciting... actually no we love Perth, it's a beautiful city ~ Aussievision
What do you do or tell us something interesting about you?
I’m a librarian by day, where I sneak as many Eurovision-related items into stock as possible (Conchita’s autobiography has been my most popular pick). By night and at every other possible opportunity, I work on my now 10-year-old passion project: my ESC blog Eurovision By Jaz. Shameless plug alert!
10 years is impressive!! Incredible work!
When did you first get into Eurovision?
The year was 2006, and I was aimlessly channel surfing one night when I stumbled across Lordi performing Hard Rock Hallelujah. Half of me wondered what the heck I was watching and the other half sensed I’d just found my true calling. I don’t think you can see Lordi in action and not ask a few questions, and mine led me to fall in love with Eurovision hard and fast – and we’re still going strong 13 years later. I just wish I’d discovered it earlier. What did I even do with my life beforehand? Do any of us remember those dark times?
How many times have you been to the contest?
I was lucky enough to go to Stockholm in 2016 both as press and as a hyperventilating fan, and it was beyond amazing. I haven’t been able to make another trip yet, but I did make it to the Melodifestivalen final in 2017, and of course Australia Decides this year. I highly recommend national finals to anyone who hasn’t been to one – they’re so much fun.
Stockholm was our first as well, what a great year to go! And a Melfest final... and 2017.... with such great songs, now we're jealous!
What have you thought of Australia’s journey since joining the contest?
I am so proud of us. We’ve kicked a lot of goals in our relatively short time competing and have always taken our participation seriously. I’m actually still in shock that we have our own national final now. At one stage I thought that was never going to happen, but here we are and what a show it was (may the 2020 edition be just as awesome!).
Where are we at and what would you like to see in the next few years?
I’m happy that Australia opted for something more adventurous than usual this year, and little did we know how iconic Kate’s revamped staging would turn out to be. It’s nice to be sitting in a riskier space at the moment, because we’ve copped a lot of judgment for sending safe songs to the contest (and I can’t say there’s no truth to it). If we keep experimenting more with genres and staging concepts, that would be fantastic. I don’t think ‘better safe than sorry’ applies at the ESC if you want to make an impression. Just ask Hatari.
Who would you like to see competing at Australia Decides next year?
In terms of returnees, Electric Fields for sure. If we’re talking new faces, I’d love to see Betty Who, Conrad Sewell and/or Samantha Jade giving it a go. A girl can dream, right?
So you’re based in Perth, which is quite a big distance and time difference from the east coast of Australia – does that have any advantage or disadvantages with Eurovision?
Advantage: It doesn’t take quite as long to get to Europe as it does from the East Coast (only about 25 hours including a layover…easy as). Disadvantage: Well, I get the impression that waking up for a 5am Eurovision is just like waking up extra early. Get to bed around 10pm, have a decent sleep and then watch the show while you’re having breakfast. Whereas setting your alarm for 3am is all kinds of abnormal and extra hard going when you’ve got to go to work the next day. That two or three hours HAS to make a difference.
Perth does get a little overlooked in that space.... it honestly must be bloody awful!
Will you be watching Junior Eurovision this year and which songs are you liking?
I’ve been stuck on JESC just as long as I’ve loved the ESC, so you bet I’ll be watching this year! I originally thought 2019 was pretty weak, but I’ve changed my mind and now I have about 10 favourites. Right at the top of my list (I have an actual, non-metaphorical list, naturally) are Spain, France, Armenia and Australia. That last one goes without saying.
Great choices and among our favourites as well!
Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?
It’s a tie between 2007 – the first year I followed as a fan who actually knew what was happening – and 2016, because I was there and have nothing but great memories of that few weeks in Stockholm. I love the visual designs, stages and songs of both years. And don’t ask me to pick the best pair out of Jana & Mikko and Petra & Måns – I could never.
If you could change one thing about Eurovision what would it be?
I’d have the contest take another cue from Melodifestivalen and allow up to 8 people on stage. It’s a little thing, but with some performances I think it would make a massive difference.
Which artist would you like to see return to the competition?
How long have you got? If I had to pick one, it would be Željko Joksimović, either as performer/composer or just as composer. The man makes musical magic, and is also ageing like a fine wine if I may say so.
If you could pick only three Eurovision songs to listen to for the rest of time, what
would they be?
Let’s hope it never comes to this, but…Lane Moje by Željko Joksimović & Ad-Hoc Orchestra (my all-time favourite), Undo by Sanna Nielsen and Kedvesem by ByeAlex. THAT HURT.
Lane Moje we get.
Undo we ADORE
Kedvesem should be set on fire.
Which Eurovision song:
Is the best winner?
Nocturne by Secret Garden.
Not a fan of lyrics we see...
Has the best live vocal?
I’m going recent: Mall by Eugent Bushpepa.
Now we're talking, incredible!
Stay by Tooji. I’m still not over it.
Is the best from this decade?
Soldi by Mahmood *clap clap* or Origo by Joci Pápai.
Nice choices, Origo will age well!
Is your favourite from Junior Eurovision?
My three favourites, did you say (humour me here)? Te Traigo Flores by Antonio José (Spain 2005), Tu Il Primo Grande Amore by Vicenzo Cantiello (Italy 2014) and Volshebstvo by Ruslan Aslanov (Belarus 2015).
Is your guilty pleasure?
Stemmen I Mit Liv by Kølig Kaj (Denmark 1997). I also have a soft spot for Það Sem Enginn Sér by Daníel (Iceland 1989) which did NOT deserve nul points.
Is your favourite National Final song (that didn't make it to Eurovision)?
Nada Es Comparable A Ti by Mirela, or as I like to call it, The Greatest Ballad in History™, from the 2009 Spanish NF.
Any other interesting honourable mentions?
I’d better mention Heroes, because when that won in 2015 I knew I had to go to Eurovision the following year, depressingly low bank balance be damned. I realise that the ‘It should have been Russia/Italy’ debate will rage on for decades, but I think Sweden deserved that win just as much as they did. Heroes will always be a special one for me *sheds glittery tear*.
That's a really great point, it gets a bit of flack, all three had their pros and cons but 'Heroes' was easily the most complete package.
And finally... Tonight Again, Sound of Silence, Don’t Come Easy, We Got Love or Zero
Tonight Again. What a package to present at our very first Eurovision! I love Guy and his insane vocal runs and jelly leg dance moves, and I wish I’d been in Vienna when this went down like the absolute treat it was.
Thank you so much for joining us Jaz, we really appreciate it!