Wed. Apr 24th, 2024
Canadian Eurovision FanCanadian Eurovision Fan

Most people in North America either don’t know what Eurovision is or think it’s a big cheese fest. Nevertheless I don’t mind having the kind of fun most North Americans wouldn’t understand. 2023 was a unique year for me as I was part of an OGAE for a full year and I delivered some impact on voting results. With each year I take involvement with the Contest, I experience more and learn a lot more.

In the month of January, it was a relaxed month for me. I know most die-hard Eurofans pay big-time attention to the national finals. I’m in my early-50’s. I’m not really a die-hard Eurofan. When it comes to national finals, I may watch one or two for enjoyment, but don’t normally weigh in on the winner. I’m just comfortable in letting the decided entries happen as they come. Despite that, I’m always eager to hear the winning song.

One thing about the beginning of the new year is learning about involvement with my OGAE. For those who don’t know, I’m part of OGAE: Rest Of The World. For those part of an OGAE, I don’t know what your OGAE does for events or activities, but ROTW has a lot of monthly activities. Even in the months when there’s no Eurovision event leading up to, they have fun events and some writing events. Participation in such events get you membership points. I’m unsure what the points are good for. I hope they’re for help in saving money for a Grand Final ticket!

Their most common monthly event is their Retrospective where we watch a Contest from years past and have until the 26th to deliver our points. Similar to the EurovisionAgain rebroadcasts during the pandemic. I did the one for January. Whenever there’s a retrospective for a Contest I did during EurovisionAgain, I “cheat” and use my scores again, unless it’s a year I feel I really need to have a better list for.

The crazy thing is that March got more stressful. That’s one thing you should not do as a fan of anything: make it an obsession or have it put stress in your life. With the Contest inching closer and closer, it was time to do song reviews for the blog again. It became crazy as to whether to have a single blog per song or a blog where I review songs from a certain area of Europe. I settled on the latter as you all can tell. Believe me, reviewing and comparing 37 songs is not easy. I’ll do it again for 2024, but it can be time consuming. There were times I even rushed reviews. You’ll notice it with my spelling mistakes!

Also in March were OGAE activities. There was a Retrospective, but there were also pre-Contest events. One was doing a good-luck video for an entry. With our OGAE, we couldn’t choose the nation. I see that as fair because if we did choose, we’d get the most for Sweden, Finland and Italy while some nations would get ignored. They gave me Latvia to do. Crazy thing is I forgot there was a deadline to submit. I was alerted by email from my OGAE’s head and that’s when I really rushed the video. But I did complete it. 2024’s video will be on time. 

April started out with some fun. My music director holds a performance party three times a year. For the party, I preformed “Voilà” (France 2021). That’s another thing I like about modern Eurovision. There have been better songs and more freedom of genres in the 21st Century. Voila is one of only two Eurovision songs I bought the sheet music. The other is Amar Pelos Dois. I performed that at her performance party four years ago.

The full month of April had me doing more reviewing. One thing you learn is that a seemingly-impossible task like reviewing 37 songs seems less impossible one you make it past the halfway point and you still have energy. I still had the energy to continue, but I also had a deadline to place my OGAE votes. I forgot the OGAE’s place their votes for the songs in late-April. So making a pre-Contest Top 10 while I still reviewing songs was not easy. Like to relisten to some songs and then compare for a Top 10. Despite it, I did it in time. I had to delay some reviews but I did it. To add to things, my OGAE has us post our reviews on their Facebook posts: one point per review. I just copied and pasted my reviews from this blog! I don’t consider it cheating because it is my writing!

Then May: Eurovision month! I finished the last of my reviews and all I had to do were lists. The lists came as events got closer. I posted my Top 10 from my OGAE votes but then focused on creating lists for the semifinals. With semifinals, I figure since they don’t announce the finalists in ranked order during the show, I just post my ten picks in alphabetical order. For those that don’t know, Eurovision events start at noon my time. I worked during the first semifinal and did my review, and revamped list of ten picks, when I watched in the evening. The second semi, I watched from my smartphone from a restaurant and was able to rank as I watched. I didn’t order any food until Australia finished their performance. 

In both semis, I was able to place votes at the right time. That’s another thing! The first ever Eurovision where I, a Canadian, could vote for the songs! I’ve always wanted to televote but couldn’t. When I learned I could vote through my smartphone, even though at a price of one Euro per vote, I went for it! For both semis, I only placed six votes for each semi as I wanted to save my votes for the Grand Final. Even though I was on work hours during the first semi, I took my break when I knew it was voting time and placed votes from my pre-Contest favorites. I also voted for Latvia since I did the OGAE good-luck video for them and I liked the song. The second semi was easier for me to decide my six votes, but I had to leave YouTube to place my votes. That meant missing out on some Interval entertainment!

Then the Grand Final! Days before, I went to YouTube and rewatch Euphoria to boost my excitement. It’s not like I was already excited enough. More excitement always helps! With the finalists all decided along with their running order, I created a new Top 10 before the Final. There were many I hoped to do well. Especially La Zarra as she’s a Canadian like me. When the Grand Final started, I watched at home instead of a restaurant like I’ve done in past years. I still loaded up with food and alcohol. The Grand Final started at noon my time. I had my cards ready to rank and have a Top 10 list prepared almost immediately after Mae Muller was done. When I rank, I judge on song, performance and delivery at the moment. I ranked Sweden first but looking back, I should have ranked Israel first.

One thing this year taught me the most is how ugly Eurofans can get. One example is the Netherlands and how a lot of Dutch fans trashed the song. I was unhappy about it. Even if it sounds like a boring song or you don’t like it, I still feel you should support your nation’s entry. The smear campaign Mia and Nicolai went through was unnecessary. Similar ugliness came from Polish fans. They talked all sorts of smack of how Blanka became the entry. All sorts of ugly rumors. I’ve heard Polish Eurofans trash their entries before. I often wonder what’s up? Anyways “Solo” turned out to be a better number than I thought. Leave it to Eurovision to bring out the best in a song. And finally the subject of the winner. The case where “Tattoo” won, as most of us anticipated all along, but we’re outraged when “Cha Cha Cha” finished second. Especially after it won the most televote points. To think last year, the outrage was over the televote winner “Stefania” winning. All that talk of them winning because of the “Sympathy vote.” Can’t people be happy with a winner?

After Eurovision ends, people like to talk online about how they’re going through PED: Post-Eurovision Depression. Funny how people like to tell the world about their depression. It’s a bit of a downer for me but it doesn’t last long. It does seem awfully odd of how the fun and excitement builds and builds, and then it’s over. For me, I took it as a time to relax. Maybe see performances over again. Anyways I’ve always felt there’s one positive thing about the end of Eurovision. That we can now stop ranking the songs and just simply enjoy them! That’s what my summer was mostly. Taking a break from Eurovision and relaxing, as well as a vacation that included Disneyland, Palm Springs and the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

Eurovision excitement returned in the fall as Junior Eurovision was approaching. Funny that its Wikipedia page came on late. One thing I like about Junior Eurovision is the kids are talented and they have good heads on their shoulders. Unlike the former child actors of Hollywood, you never hear of a former Junior Eurovision entry making a train wreck of themselves. My duty of writing reviews returned, and right while I was taking an intense online course. Nevertheless I did it. It can take as little as half an hour to complete a review if I keep my focus on it. 

November came and it ended up being my second-busiest month in terms of Eurovision involvement. Not just writing reviews but also attending the Kalush Orchestra Concert. Kalush came to Vancouver on November 1st. Finally my first chance to see a former Eurovision entry live! They were entertaining and really loaded the crowd up with energy and Ukrainian pride. For the weeks leading to JESc, doing song reviews was not easy while trying to juggle work and an online course but I made it work in good time. By the time Junior Eurovision was on, I could relax and have a big breakfast while watching (as it starts at 07:00 my time). 2023’s Junior Eurovision was enjoyable again this year, but Paris 2021 remains my favorite.

Now 2024 has started. Over time people are not as hostile to Loreen and are now starting to say Tattoo was a good song after all. Also I haven’t yet mastered La Zarra’s hand gesture.  For the new year, I plan to get back to reviewing before the Contest. I plan to continue with OGAE activities. It is still my goal to see the Grand Final of a Contest, but buying for this year became a near-impossibility for most. The dream is still alive. I’m also hoping one day to attend a SongFestival Feest after seeing how much fun Marina, Leo and Sanja had. Even a pre-Party Concert is a possible goal of mine. Maybe I should just move to Europe!

Anyways I wish you all the best in 2024 and I look forward to another EuroTastic New Year!

About Post Author