This week our Eurovision Fan of the Week is Peter from Delft (just outside Rotterdam) in the The Netherlands.
Peter is going to be one of the volunteer hosts for the Australian delegation in Rotterdam and will be visiting our country next week to attend Australia Decides.
So we wanted to find out a little more about him!
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Peter Verheij and I live in the historic center city of Delft, The Netherlands. Really Dutch, a house at the canal and a stereotype windmill more or less in our backyard.
I was born and raised in Rotterdam.
My god a windmill in your backyard that sounds amazing! And yes very stereotypical, that would be like us having a kangaroos as a pet haha ~ Aussievision
What do you do or tell us something interesting about you?
I work as a Branch Manager for a German logistics company, based at Rotterdam The Hague Airport. Aviation also is one of my interests. I have been married for 11 years now to my husband Rohalt. We like to travel, cycle a lot in the area and are very often in our favorite city Rotterdam.
This year in Rotterdam, you are going to be looking after the Australian Delegation. Tell us about that, how did that happen and what does involve?
Yes, lucky me! All delegations have 2 hosts. For Australia that will be me and one of my friends Gert-Jan. There were about 400 applications for 41 countries/82 hosts. There is a selection procedure for this which is actually still going on for most of the countries. Luckily I was early in the process and could choose Australia as my favorite country and have Gert-Jan to be my co-host. What it involves is really almost like a personal assistant to the delegation. We receive a schedule from the delegations manager and will be taking over daily with your head of delegation where we will be that day, what time etc. It’s up to the delegation what they want us to assist in. We are there for them in the months prior Eurovision and 2 weeks fulltime during the event in Rotterdam. It’s a voluntary job, but one of the best I can think of.
About 700 volunteers in total are recruited for the event where over 1000 enthousiasts applied.
How amazing of you to volunteer and also to get Australia, our Delegation will be in safe hands!
And you're travelling out to attend Australia Decides! That's a long way to travel, are you only spending time on the Gold Coast?
Indeed, it is a long way out and on a pretty short notice too. But I live my life like ‘every day is a present’ and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I had to take. For this trip I will only visit Gold Coast. I lived in Newcastle NWS quite some years ago and visited Australia a few times in the past years. You have such a beautiful country. After so many years Australia still feels like home to me. Happy to be back, even though it’s for a week. I am proud of hosting your delegation!
As a Dutch fan what was it like to win Eurovision last year for the first time since 1975?
It was so exciting. We always watch the shows with a large group of friends, most of the time in Gert-Jan’s place. He is the addict in our delegation team. I am not a fan like I know everything about the contest, artists, years, winners etc. But when we won last year I lost my voice and I think the neighbours were not happy with us. Duncan is our hero!
Those neighbours need to get a life!
So tell us how you got into Eurovision?
I always watched the contest with my parents when I was young. There were a few years when I missed the contest but since Anouk’s Birds hit the Eurovision charts again I am back in Eurovision business.
Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?
That would be the ‘return of The Netherlands’ as a decent Eurovision country in 2013 when Anouk performed Birds. For many years our entries were lousy; a lady dressed up like an Native-American or one with a street organ. Come on…
Great year and was great to see the Dutch return to the contest 'properly'
If you could change one thing about Eurovision what would it be?
I think there have been changes in the past years that were good. Like the new way of voting. It was yearly frustration (and sometimes still is) that neighbouring countries were voting for each other. That’s better now.
Though I'm sure when Belgium give 12 points to The Netherlands, it's clearly just good taste!
Which artist would you like to see return to the competition?
ABBA! It would be fantastic that on the 65th Eurovision birthday, ABBA would return. Not in the competition though but as the special guest. But, no international act this year from what I read in Dutch media. Hopefully we will be surprised…
We can dream!
If you could pick only three Eurovision songs to listen to for the rest of time, what would they be?
I have got quite some nice songs I listed in my gym Spotify account. My choice would be: Take Me to Your Heaven, Charlotte Perrelli, Spirit in the Sky – Keiino and John Lundvik – Too late for love. I think I run best on these songs ☺
Which Eurovision song:
Is the best winner?
Loreen’s Euphoria – for sure!
Has the best live vocal?
Dami Im - great song, fantastic voice
Excellent choice :)
Calm after the Storm – our own Ilse & Waylon as Common Linnets in 2014
Is the best from this decade?
Heroes – great song and a spectacular innovative act.
the past decade I suppose ☺
Is your guilty pleasure?
I am not going to share that ☺
Ahh come on!
Is your favourite National Final song (that didn't make it to Eurovision)?
Would be a Dutch one than – definitely Ebonique – So Much Love. Became 2nd in 2001 in our national final, also in Ahoy at that time. So much energy in this song. I regularly listen to it. Too bad they did not win that year.
Any other interesting honourable mentions?
Haha.. not really. I am just really looking forward to visit the Australia Decides shows and meet the Eurovision team and fans Down Under. For sure your delegation will be in good hands when they are in The Netherlands.
And finally... Tonight Again, Sound of Silence, Don’t Come Easy, We Got Love or Zero Gravity?
Tonight Again was a great song. Great entrance of Australia into Eurovision.
Zero Gravity I still listen to weekly. Great performance, act, voice and song. Kate rules!
I would choose Sound of Silence. Will be great for me to see the live performance of Dami Im.
Thank you for your time Peter and we look forward to meeting you on the Gold Coast!
You can follow Peter on Instagram: @petergoeseurovision2020