We have an extra special Eurovision Fan of the Week and it is Michelle from Turin (Torino) in Italy.
Michelle is one of three volunteer hosts for the Australian delegation in Turin. Showing Sheldon and the Australian delegation the beautiful sites of Turin in between all the hard work they are all doing during the Contest.
So we wanted to find out a little more about her!
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Michelle Lea and a wise person once told me that we come from the country from which we adopt our culinary habits so I guess I should say "Molise" (my nonna would be proud!). In reality my family lived for many years in Montréal, Canada - where I was born, to then move to Abruzzo and I have lived in Turin since 2013.
What do you do or tell us something interesting about you?
Before choosing Turin as the city to finish my studies, I was an au pair in Singapore and Australia where I left the part of my soul. I hope to visit that part of the world again soon.
Oh wow you've been to Australia! Yes definitely come back to Australia! ~ Kyriakos
This year in Torino, you are going to be looking after the Australian Delegation. Tell us about that, how did that happen and what does involve?
I saw a "once in a lifetime" opportunity and jumped into it trusting the process. During the selection I did not express particular preferences regarding the countries, many had not yet been announced. So EBU must have read my mind, I feel Sheldon Riley’s song and lyrics so much and I’m proud to represent the country where part of my family lives. In the next days we’ll continue to take care of the Aussie team and we’ll be their direct link to the city.
What are you looking forward to the most as Delegation Host?
An avalanche of emotions after two years of pandemic and the privilege of being able to experience the first non-sporting event most followed in the world from the inside surrounded by incredible artists and their teams. And speaking professionally, in the past I have had the opportunity to work in marcomms roles in the field of research and in international contexts dealing with contemporary art, innovation and music events. It is linear with my career, and I will try to absorb the maximum from these weeks.
As an Italian fan what was it like to win Eurovision last year for the first time since 1990?
Literally, b-r-e-a-t-h-t-a-k-i-n-g! I have believed in Måneskin since the beginning, they deserve it all. I remember their first concert since X-Factor, and myself telling my little sister who about 16, "They will make it!" and then her making jokes about me being a boomer (who’s the boomer now, Ashley? Love you anyways, xxx).
Haha love it!!! Måneskin have now really made it! ~ Kyriakos
So, tell us how you got into Eurovision?
I guess as all fans [of Eurovision], I love music, cultures and international competitions. I love the way these nuances intertwine in Eurovision's overall narrative.
Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?
Is it too obvious if I say last year? And I'm not saying this because we won, but because there was an incredible desire for rebirth and involvement in the air. I think this desire will be even more amplified this year.
If you could change one thing about Eurovision what would it be?
Honestly, maybe the color of my uniform even though I'm getting used to the bright orange (laughing).
I have to say all you Delegation Hosts look very bright in the orange! Haha ~ Kyriakos
Which artist/s would you like to see compete in the Contest?
For what the spirit of Eurovision represents, I would like one day to see Italy represented by artists like Nava (@navaproject), whom I was lucky enough to know last year and who participated in the selection of the latest X-Factor. Refined and niche vibes, with enormous artistic and narrative potential.
Which artist would you like to see return to the Contest?
Last year the Ukrainian band Go_A was incredible. 'Shum' had tremendous energy and irresistible ethnic echoes. I would really like to see them again on the Eurovision stage.
YES! Go_A are amazing!! ~ Kyriakos
If you could pick only three Eurovision songs to listen to for the rest of time, what would they be?
Among the Eurovision songs that I remember listening to in endless loops there are 'Shum' by Go_A, 'Think about things' by Dadi Freyr and '1944 'by Jamala.
What are your thoughts on the ‘Eurovision Canada’ announcement? Are you excited?
It's great news, I can't wait to find out who will be representing Canada for the first time in the competition. Canada is a multicultural country with infinite colors and that only add value to the show. And of course I'll be thrilled to cheer on my native country.
Which Eurovision song:
Is the best winner?
The Ukrainian winner in Eurovision 2016, Jamala with '1944'. Profound, with a flavor and so sadly relevant today.
Has the best live vocal?
Choosing is very difficult but I would say Jamala again. From the opening line of 1944 her voice conveys a visceral and emotional experience to which it is impossible to remain indifferent.
No doubts, Mahmood with 'Soldi'.
One of your favourites this year?
I can't wait to see France's performance live this year. With the song 'Fulenn' by Alvan & Ahez, they will bring to the stage an original and never before seen cultural scenario for their country. I can't stop listening to them, he has a remarkable and sensual stage presence and it seems to be at the club with mysterious witches. Definitely in my top 3.
Is your favourite song that didn't make it to Eurovision?
To be honest I wouldn't change a thing. To play fair I would only say 'Fai Rumore' by Diodato. In 2020 the contest was canceled and this year he will have he opportunity to perform on the Eurovision stage.
And finally... Tonight Again, Sound of Silence, Don’t Come Easy, We Got Love, Zero Gravity, Don’t Break Me, Technicolour or Not The Same?
As you may have guessed from the interview, I particularly prefer those songs and those artists who know how to combine meaning, performance and originality in a unique mix. "Identity" is what I pay the most attention to when evaluating a performance and the way Sheldon Riley plays with this concept automatically makes it my entry. But I need to state that Kate Miller-Heidke with 'Zero Gravity' absolutely deserved a higher placement.
Thank you so much Michelle for speaking to us at Aussievision! We hope you have a great time with the other Delegation Hosts, Sheldon and the Australia delegation, and wish you all the best. Enjoy the Contest in your beautiful country! ~ Kyriakos