Eurovision Fan of the Week - Maike from The Netherlands
We warmly welcome to this weeks Fan of the Week - Maike from The Netherlands (@augunpin)! Contributor Livs sat down with Maike and talked all things Eurovision including her wonderful origin story with the contest, how her love of Duncan Laurence and Måneskin inspire her creatively and all things Melodifestivalen.
Thank you for being our Aussievision fan of the week! Tell us a little about yourself...
My name is Maike, I turned 20 last month, I live in the north of the Netherlands and I am currently studying educational sciences and a primary school teachers studies at the University of Groningen. Besides that I work the weekends in a clothing store. My biggest hobbies are music and art. I write my own songs and I'm currently in the process of recording them with a friend of mine. I also love to draw / make collages, I recently opened my etsy store where I sell prints of some of my (Eurovision related) drawings.
~ Welcome to fan of the week!! Sounds like you have a wonderful creative home life (Liv)
Congratulations on hosting the recent Eurovision Song Contest!! What were some big highlights for you being local to the contest this year?
2019 really was an unreal year. I was in the middle of my final exams of high school so every spare minute I had I would be checking the odds and the instagram stories of the artists. Never before in my lifetime was my country the bookmaker’s favourite!! At first everyone here was quite cynical about Duncan, because barely anyone really knew him. But that completely turned around when we first heard 'Arcade'. It never left my first place. It was so surreal when we actually won. I have a video of me, my Dad and my younger Brother sitting down in front of the TV and we were SO nervous. But when we finally heard I just couldn't stop screaming, jumping and crying.
When the contest got cancelled in 2020 I was very upset. Looking back at it, it is very logical that it got cancelled, but at the time it was very heavy. I had tickets to go, it was going to be my first live Eurovision, I had been looking forward to it for a year and then COVID-19 came… Nothing was sure anymore, would it still be in Rotterdam? Would I still be able to attend?
Luckily I ended up getting tickets, only two or three weeks before the show. I attended the jury final with my Dad, a friend of his and a good friend of mine who I met during Duncan's concerts back in 2019. This years eurovision felt so weird because of the 2 years gap there had been, but also because there was no longer the pressure of getting first place, which had me in a constant state of anxiety two years ago. It was actually quite peaceful to me. It was amazing to see our hosts (I'm very proud of them) and just the entire organisation was very good in my opinion. On Friday, before the jury show, I got to meet some of the artists. Especially meeting Manizha is something I will never forget, I even ended up on the Russian news??
Attending the jury final live was absolutely phenomenal. The entire crowd was so excited. Everyone stood up during 'Shum', sang along very loud to 'Birth of a New Age', headbanged to 'Dark Side' and fell quiet during 'Voilà' and 'Tout l’Univers'. Me myself I was most excited for Italy and I don’t think you even want to know how loud I cheered for them. Leaving the venue left me homesick in a way and that was the only moment this year that I felt any type of the famous PED ("Post Eurovision Depression").
I watched the grand final at another friends house in Rotterdam. We had so much fun and we were both supporting Italy so you can imagine how happy we were when they won. I think them winning really saved me from PED.
~ It was a wonderful effort from The Netherlands this year - a fabulous show under trying conditions and it must have been so insanely exciting for you to go to your very first live Eurovision AND see your favourites win. A dream! (Liv)
How did you get into Eurovision? What was the first year you watched?
This has always been my favourite story. My Dad has been a Eurofan ever since he was fourteen. And not like a regular watching fan, an actual eurovision expert. He would keep scrapbooks with newspaper articles, analyse the results every year and he has a lot of Eurovision vinyls, singles, DVDs, CDs, videotapes, books, I honestly don’t even know how much he has really. His dream had always been to attend Eurovision one day. In 2001 he participated in a radio game right after our national final and he won a place in our back up jury (we had a backup jury due to an incident in NL in the year before). He would be picked up with a limousine on the day of the grand final and he would spend the evening with Dutch Eurovision artists watching the show from Hilversum.
My mom was pregnant at the time and I don’t know how, but I managed to be born 10 days late, on the morning of Eurovision day, May 12th 2001. So needless to say my Dad cancelled his special Eurovision experience because of me. I still feel kinda guilty about that, but I think I made up for it.
Throughout my childhood my Dad would always play Eurovision, ABBA and Melodifestivalen songs. At one point my Brothers and I got so annoyed that we ALWAYS had to listen to Eurovision music. But still, as soon as Eurovision came around, all three of us asked to stay up as late as possible to watch it. The first year I recall watching entirely was 2009. I was obsessed with Iceland, mostly because of the dress and the dolphin I think, but it is still my favourite song of that year. I would sing 'Fairytale' in the shower and slowly I became a big Eurovision fan, just like my Dad.
~ Amazing. Fantastic. Fabulous. Love it. (Liv)
How and when did you find the twitter fandom?
I first joined the Euro fandom on Instagram back in 2017. Mostly as a Kristian Kostov fanpage but later just a regular Eurovision page. I loved making memes and covers and just interact with the artists, but I would normally drift away from the account whenever there was no Eurovision on.
In January 2019 I made a twitter account, originally for a Dutch TV program called ‘Wie is de Mol’, but my first ever tweet was actually a quote tweet of something that Duncan had tweeted. My twitter started off being focussed at different fandoms, all music related, but after Duncan won and I started following him on tour, I kinda gave up on the other fandoms. Especially when a random tweet of mine went viral in October 2019, a lot of Eurofans found my account. From that moment on my account grew really quick and I just never left.
Whom was your winner for Eurovision 2021? What made them special to you?
Italy. This was my first year watching longer parts of Sanremo, but I still couldn't find the concentration to sit through the entire first night. I think I listened to the first 4 songs and then decided to listen to the rest the day after. Sorry, I grew up with Melfest, so I’m used to quick national finals. The day after I listened to all the songs, I knew that my best friend really liked Måneskin and Madame was already one of her favourite artists. I immediately fell in love with both acts. I was a bit offended that nobody told me that there was a drummer with long dark hair in Måneskin, since all of my friends know I somehow always end up with a crush on men with long hair, especially when there drummers.
From the band that tours with Duncan, the drummer, who has (suprise suprise) long hair, is also my favourite member. I cried during Madames song and from that moment on I had two Sanremo winners. Even though I would always put Madame over Måneskin in my rankings, I really hoped one of them would win. I fell asleep multiple times during the Sanremo final but I woke up two seconds before they announced Måneskin as the winners. I was SO excited!!
In the week after the Sanremo final my best friend from Denmark, the one I talked about earlier, came to me with the idea that we should travel to Italy next year to go see Måneskin live on their tour. At first I wasn't really taking it serious. I have never really travelled far, I have only been on a plane twice and that was with school when I was 14, and I have never been to Italy. But we came up with a very good plan and the more I thought about it, the more exciting it sounded. So I proposed it to my parents, I always need them to tell me if my plan is too impulsive or if its actually a good plan. They were immediately enthusiastic, so we bought tickets to see Måneskin in Arena di Verona, April 2022. I think this is one of the wildest plans I have ever had and I'm really looking forward to it.
I think what makes Måneskin special is that they are from around my age. Their youngest member Thomas is only 4 months older than me. They are all so true to themselves and so authentic and that is something I really admire. They are also very open about sexuality, anxiety and things like that and that makes me feel heard somehow. I found that they are people just like me, people from my generation, who do something they love, stand for the things they find important and somehow succeed. I have always been a little bit different from everyone, had different ideas, wore different clothes… Even in my art class I would be the one making weird collages with eyes while everyone was painting. I think that seeing that i am not the only one whos knows they're different but who is not trying to fit into other people their norms, really helped me become more confident.
They also inspired me to make more art again, the same way Duncan did (and continues to do). I made a portrait with fineliner of all the band members and friends of mine who met Måneskin multiple times, first showed them my drawing and later gave them prints of the drawing. That is really special to me, cause even though I haven't met them and they have no clue who they are, I was able to share something that was inspired by them with them. After Eurovision I challenged myself even more and for the first time i used watercolour in combination with fineliner to make individual portraits of Damiano, Victoria, Ethan and Thomas.
My friends and other people on Twitter encouraged me to make prints, so now I'm selling prints of my drawings on etsy!! It feels a bit unreal that people are interested in buying my art really.
~ Can agree with all your points about them - they're certainly special and I'm so jealous you've seen them live!!! (Liv)
Whom is your favourite Eurovision performance and why?
Sweden 1983, 'Främling' by Carola Häggkvist. This might seem like such a random song for me to pick, but it has always been my favourite Eurovision song. As I mentioned earlier my Dad would always play Melodifestivalen and Eurovision songs in the car. I soon learned about Carola. As a child I was already obsessed with all four of her Melodifestivalen entries.
At one point, when I was around 6 or 7, I learned myself how to write her name correctly, so in all the little friendship books of my friends I would write that she was my favourite artist. I think the thing with 'Främling' is that I don’t remember when I first heard it. To me its a song that has always been there. It reminds me of my childhood in a way that no other song does. The end of this year Carola will perform at ‘Het grote Songfestivalfeest’ in Amsterdam. That's a big Eurovision concert in which a lot of Eurovision artists perform. I am so excited about seeing Carola live and I really really hope she will get to sing 'Främling' as well as 'Fangad av en Stormvind'.
Which Dutch artists would you love to see on the Eurovision stage?
There is a lot actually. I would love to hear some good Dutch songs at the eurovision stage, because I feel like in our last attempts of sending songs in Dutch we didn’t try and therefore started to believe that Dutch can’t do well at the contest. Some artists that sing in Dutch that I would like to see at eurovision are:
Froukje - 'Ik Wil Dansen' and 'Heb Ik Dat Gezegd?'
Suzan & Freek - 'Goud' and 'Als het avond is' (I'm not sure if they make music that would do well at eurovision but I do really love their music)
Eefje de Visser or Maaike Ouboter are also very good options and there's a lot more artists that make good Dutch songs.
There's also two artists and a band that make music in English that I would LOVE to see at Eurovision.
Blanks 'Sweaters' and 'Higher'
Naaz 'TAPED', 'Words' and 'Loving Love'
Rondé 'Naturally' and 'Run'
Which national final do you look forward to the most? What makes it special?
I have always had a thing with Melfest, so I’m really looking forward to that. I also really love French and I adore French music, so I hope we will get a new edition of Destination Eurovision or C’est Vous Qui Decidez. I also love watching Norsk Melodi Grandprix, but I have never really understood the way they use the different heats. I think the system is interesting, but not always that fair.
What is your opinion on returning artists? Is there one you would like to see again?
Obviously Carola has participated multiple times in Eurovision and I have always loved her entries. I don’t think returning artists are a bad idea, but I do think there is some extra expectations and pressure on improving their last result.
I also do think that Eurovision is a way of discovering new artists, and by constantly sending the same artists that means that there's also not really any risks or broader horizons discovered. In the 2020/2021 returning artists case this is slightly different of course. I think it's quite harsh from some broadcasters how they just set their artist away like that, just because of their national final. Obviously the national finals are important for the country and also the best way to find the best song, but I can’t imagine how hard it would have been for some artists to be chosen to represent their country, prepare their act, have Eurovision cancelled and then they never even get their chance to perform at the Eurovision stage.
If you could pick only three performances to encourage new people to watch Eurovision what would they be:
I'm not that good at making decisions. Honestly I already have around 10 entries I would like to include. For the sake of my own decision making I will just go with 3 recent entries in different styles:
'Shum' (Ukraine 2021)
'Arcade' (the Netherlands 2019)
And then maybe 'Beautiful Mess', 'City Lights', 'Rhythm Inside', 'Zitti E Buoni', 'Viszlat Nyar', 'Origo', 'Love Injected'… I'm sorry I really cannot pick.
~ Don't apologise! Great choices with a great board appeal (Liv)
Which Eurovision song:
Is the best winner?
'Fangad Av En Stormvind'
Has the best live vocal?
(so many omg)
'Love Injected', 'Warrior' (Georgia), 'La Voix'…but I'll go with Gjons Tears & 'Tout l'Univers' (mostly because my Dad just put it on)
Was the best Dutch entry post 2010?
Was the best Dutch entry pre 2010?
'Hemel en Aarde'
'De Eerste Keer'
'Stones' (Switzerland 2018)
Is your guilty pleasure?
'Who We Are' (San Marino 2018)
'Cake to Bake' (Latvia 2014)
'Love Will Set You Free' (UK 2012)
~ LOVE WILL SET YOU FREE WAS UNDERRATED AND AMAZING YES (Liv)
Is your favourite National Final song?
'VOCE' - MADAME (Sanremo 2021)
'Augun pin' - Brynja Mary (Songvakeppnin 2020)
'Mitt i ett äventyr' - Carola (Melodifestivalen 1990)
And finally which Australian entry is your favourite…
I absolutely adore both Montaigne's entries. 'Don’t Break Me' is my 1st/2nd in 2020 and 'Technicolour' is 3rd/4th in my 2021 top.
Any other titbits or comments you’d like to make?
I love Duncan Laurence thats it <3
Thank you so much for your time Maike! Certainly some really lovely thoughts and moments you've shared with us - best of luck to The Netherlands at the 2022 contest and with your Etsy store.