It's time to meet another valued Aussievision Fan of the Week.
On this occasion, we travel to the west of Scotland, the homeland of Lee (@LeeTalksESC).
He tells us about his penchant for a certain Danish Viking act and gives us his view on the ever-changing method the United Kingdom uses to select an Eurovision entry. And could Scotland one day compete in its own right? Lee sure hopes so.
Welcome aboard, Lee! Tell us: how did you get into Eurovision?
My first memory of Eurovision was in 2003 when my parents asked whether I wanted to watch it. I was 6 at the time, and I clearly remember deciding that because I was 6 years old, I wanted the song performing 6th (Bosnia and Herzegovina) to win!! I don’t remember watching the whole thing through in 2003, so the first year I really took a huge interest was 2004, including watching the UK’s National Final that year.
Who is your favourite Eurovision performance and why?
Rasmussen with 'Higher Ground' from 2018. It’s a very epic song which came alive even more live, and I completely fell in love with the Viking theme.
I was so lucky to see it in the arena, and it was very rousing. Exactly the sort of act Australian fans tend to get behind. Glad the viewers at home thought so too. Mark
Are there any Scottish artists or UK acts you think should be on the Eurovision stage?
From Scotland, I’d like to see Amy MacDonald (thanks to a twitter oomf for the suggestion!) I liked her song 'Statues' when I heard it on the radio last year! From the wider UK, I’d like to see the duo Ward Thomas - I first discovered them through their song, 'Carry You Home'.
~Thanks for the introduction to Amy, Lee. I love this Scottish country-rock sound, with a Shakira-esque vocal tone! Will investigate further. (Mark) Who was your winner for Eurovision 2021? What made them special to you?
Blind Channel from Finland. 'Dark Side' is just the type of rock that I enjoy, even if I compared it to Green Day before the contest.
Which national final do you look forward to the most? What makes it special?
I always enjoy Sweden’s Melodifestivalen. It was one of the first national finals that I actually sat down and watched in 2019, and it’s normally a strong competition. If you could pick only three performances to encourage new people to watch Eurovision what would they be?
'Euphoria' (Sweden, 2012)
'Molitva' (Serbia, 2007)
Probably 'Zitti e Buoni' too, as it’s the most recent winner.
It's rapid-fire question time. Ready? Let's go. Which Eurovision song:
Is the best winner?
Ireland 1994 - 'Rock n Roll Kids'
Has the best live vocal?
Iceland 2009 - 'Is It True'
Is your favourite Australian entry so far?
Jessica Mauboy - 'We Got Love'
~ Did you know 'We Got Love' didn't even rate in the Top 100 for Australian fans in the recent Joy 94.9 countdown? It's a national shame I intend to remedy in 2023. (Mark)
Israel 2014 - 'Same Heart'
Is your guilty pleasure?
Germany 2021 - 'I Don’t Feel Hate'
Is your favourite National Final song that didn't make it to Eurovision?
'Meet Me Halfway' - Isold and Helga, from Söngvakeppnin in 2020.
If I could wave a magic wand and give you the power to determine the UK selection process, what would you do? Which method of late has worked best?
I think the best recent method has probably been using BBC Introducing, which was used to select Molly in 2014. I’d like to see how TaP Music do with their selection, but I’d still go with a relatively “unknown” act.
Sadly, the UK acts are often criticised for their results at. How does that make you feel as a UK fan?
As a UK fan (even if I want Scotland to compete separately), I kind of expect better for the UK, so I do feel like the criticism is sometimes justified.
~Oh, now, a Scottish act in its own right would be interesting, musically and politically. The queue of countries lining up to get into Eurovision is really stacking up, huh? (Mark)
Imagine the UK wins in 2022. I again wave my magic wand and you can produce the show. Where would you want to see Eurovision held? What else would you like to see at a home contest?
Being but an hour outside of Glasgow, I’d love to see it held in the SSE Hydro, where they filmed parts of the Eurovision movie. A good interval act might be having famous acts from across the UK as a “Best of British” theme? Similarly, the hosts should be representative of that. Perhaps the comedian Susan Calman would be a good choice for Scotland! Tell us about your connection to the Eurovision community: how do you interact and why is it important to you?
I mostly interact with people on Twitter, and I love it because it really does bring people from all over the world together!
If you could invite one new country into the contest, who would it be?
Probably Kazakhstan, since they’ve been smashing it in the Junior Contest since they joined. ~I so thought you'd say Scotland! But I think Kazakhstan might be just ahead of you in that queue! (Mark)
Lee, it's been a pleasure getting to know more about you and why you love the Eurovision Song Contest. When I finally get a magic wand, I will definitely send a spell the way of you and the UK.