Eurovision Fan of the Week - Leith from Melbourne via Hobart
Our Eurovision Fan of the Week is Leith from Melbourne aka @LeithMarshall on Twitter.
Read his full Q&A with us below:
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Leith Marshall and I’m from Hobart, Australia. But for the past decade I’ve called Melbourne home.
You are the third Tasmanian we've had in a couple of months, what's is happening down in the Apple Isle! ~ Aussievision
What do you do or tell us something interesting about you?
I work as a State Government Media Adviser but before that I worked in a TV newsroom.
Tell us how you got into Eurovision?
Australia went through an ABBA revival in 1994 thanks to Muriel’s Wedding and Priscilla Queen of the Desert and as a result I saw a lot of clips on TV of ABBA performing Waterloo back in 1974. My 10-year-old brain thought that would mean that when Eurovision was on next, a group nearly identical to ABBA would be performing. My Mum used to watch it every year and I remember watching with her and being severely disappointed. Then in 2001 I was in Grade 11 and one of my best friends wouldn’t stop singing the Lithuania entry 'You Got Style' so I started casually watching. But it wasn’t until 2010 when I had just moved to Melbourne and someone told me how much better it was with Sam Pang and Julia Zemiro on commentary that I started watching both semis and the grand final each year.
From ABBA to a 13th place Lithuanian act, that's quite an unusual path to Eurovision! ~
Australia has only been in the contest a short time, how do you think we've gone and what would you like to see over the next few years?
I’m so proud of pretty much all of our entries so far for their immense talent and diversity, but in the coming years I want to see that diversity spread even further. One of the things I loved about Kate Miller-Heidke representing us last year apart from her stellar vocals, was the fact I don’t think many people expected Australia to put that act on stage. Let’s continue putting up Indigenous Australian acts up, because I think Eurovision is at its best when it’s not homogenised and countries are able to show off what makes them unique.
Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?
2018 because it was the first year I had close friends who were even more obsessed with Eurovision than me 😉 and I was deep diving into each of the national finals, and listening to the Aussievision podcast as soon as it dropped and I feel like I was completely immersed. I was so proud of Jess Mauboy regardless of where she finished, because she radiates joy in everything she does.
If you're listening to us you really are in a rabbit hole of Eurovision you can't get out of!
If you could change one thing about Eurovision what would it be?
I know it builds suspense and gives each country their moment in the spotlight (some much more than others) but my golly it would be great if the votes could be revealed quicker. In Australia we are either trying to not fall back asleep into our mimosas, or it’s very late on a Sunday night with work the next day. I know I’m in the minority but I’d much rather the hosts just say each country’s name, who they gave 12 points to, and then move on.
Blasphemy! It's half the fun!
Which artist would you like to see return to the competition?
I’d rather nobody come back because I think the pool of talent is too huge to bother repeating, but maybe Dami Im. She’s a phenomenal talent and I could watch her sing the phone book (do they still have them?)
They probably have them in Tasmania
Out of the songs you've heard so far for Australia Decides, which one stands out for you?
I’ve listened to Jordan-Ravi’s Pushing Stars about a hundred times, and Together by Mitch Tambo is not far behind. If either of them represent us I’ll be thrilled.
If you could pick only three Eurovision songs to listen to for the rest of time, what would they be?
Fuego by Eleni Foureira, Monsters by Saara Aalto and Playing with Fire by Ovi and Paula Seling.
Which Eurovision song:
Is the best winner?
Loreen with Euphoria. Everyone I spoke to, regular Eurovision viewer or not, absolutely loved it and it was one of the few Eurovision tracks I’ve heard on mainstream FM radio.
It wins every poll for a reason!
Had the best live vocal?
Dami Im with Sound of Silence. I wrote her off as a reality show singer, but when I saw her perform the song for the first time I had to eat my words.
Had the best staging?
I don’t particularly love the song, but Moldova’s staging for My Lucky Day back in 2018 was so camp and so fun that it made me like the song more – and I think that’s what you should want your staging to do.
Agree, most didn't think he had a chance of qualifying but they nailed the staging in a year without LEDs and fully deserved their Top 10 placing.
Dami Im. I’m sure there would’ve been rioting in the streets if we won because “Australia’s not even in Europe!” but I can comfortably say she blew everyone else out of the water.
An Australia thinks Dami Im was robbed....? Groundbreaking! haha! No no, you know we also feel that pain.
The one we would find you dancing to?
Fuego. I may be a slightly heavy 35 year old man but when that song comes on I channel Eleni in her catsuit and I’m living my best life.
OGAE Australia party at the Gold Coast you know what to look out for!
The one we would find you singing to?
Love Kills by Roberto Bellarosa. I sound like a cat being strangled, and the vocal doesn’t get any better when I try to mimic the backing dancers.
Your favourite from before the year 2000?
Waterloo by ABBA – it’s how I discovered Eurovision after all!
Is your guilty pleasure?
Occidentali’s Karma. I know the staging was atrocious but it’s pure joy and Francesco Gabbani makes me feel a lot of feelings.
Is your favourite National Final song (that didn't make it to Eurovision)?
Who We Are by Rebecca. The first time I heard it I got goosebumps, so you can imagine how much I wanted to burn everything to the ground when it came second to the rancid That’s How You Write a Song.
Rancid is such a strong word! But we agree, we would have loved to see 'Who We Are' in Lisbon.
Any other interesting honourable mentions?
I’m looking for two women who want to learn the choreography to Never Giving Up by Sweet Dreams with me. Short shorts and knee socks optional.
And finally... Tonight Again, Sound of Silence, Don’t Come Easy, We Got Love or Zero Gravity?
Sound of Silence because even thought Tonight Again was a fantastic first song delivered flawlessly by Guy, Dami showed the world we weren’t there to mess around.
Thank you for joining us Leith!