All fans have that moment when they fall in love with the Eurovision Song Contest. Very often this is due to a particular song or artist that grabs your attention and makes you come back for more.
These moments can come from an unforgettable heartfelt ballad, or a powerful statement in a song. They can come from a clear winner collecting their trophy, or some mid-00’s novelty. Whatever it is that makes someone adore Eurovision, these moments can turn people from casual viewers to diehard fans.
Before you know it, you’re making a Top 41 and making memes for Twitter. Not to mention the Eurovision Scoreboard app, Mr Gerbear’s Eurovision Sorter, and voting obsessively in the Eurovision Top 250 come autumn. Oh, and then annually spending your entire New Year’s Eve listening to the countdown.
wiwibloggs has over 50 contributors, all of whom had their moment of falling in love with Eurovision. In this three-part series, a selection of them will be sharing their stories and revealing which song made them obsessed with the contest – and so much so that they ended up becoming a part of Team Wiwi. We have contributors from all over the globe, with a wide age range, so the choices could be anything! Let’s see what today’s collective have to say…
Deban – “Neka mi ne svane” by Danijela Martinović (Croatia 1998)
It was May 1998. Birmingham was hosting The Eurovision Song Contest. In a year packed with quality entries, Israel’s Dana International was grabbing all the headlines. However, it was Danijela Martinović who truly grabbed me. Centred, regal, and totally in control, this Croatian beauty sang effortlessly and with great poise. Within seconds, I became fixated. Although she didn’t bag the Eurovision trophy, she finished in the top five and her Eurovision entry remained in the regional music charts for a record breaking seven months!
Also, she deserves credit for her outstanding stage performance, which featured the best hand choreography in the history of Eurovision and the most rapturous applause ever for a dress reveal (02:07). Through her, I became obsessed with everything Eurovision, and my love for Croatia shot up ten fold.
Antranig – “Let Me Love You” by Tamara, Vrčak and Adrijan (FYR Macedonia 2008)
I first watched Eurovision in 2006, but I really fell in love in 2008. There are technically three to five songs that made me fall in love with the contest that year, but the common theme between all of them was a fierce upbeat banger with a female lead. Whether it be “Shady Lady” or “Qele Qele”, the ladies did it all in 2008 and my love for the contest bloomed.
However, the song that stands a fraction above the rest was Tamara Todevska’s first Eurovision masterpiece. Robbed of a spot in the final despite placing tenth (Charlotte Perrelli, I forgive you because you’re awesome too), this song has been my guilty pleasure for over a decade, and my favourite Eurovision entry until “If Love Was a Crime” came along. As such, Eurovision 2019 was extremely special for me – watching Tamara Todevska sail up the leaderboard and finally receive the acclaim she deserves. I am so #PROUD of you!
Patrick – “Cvet Z Juga” by Alenka Gotar (Slovenia 2007)
I started watching Eurovision in 2007 and it was in that same year when I really fell in love with it. That is because of one special entry. My nine-year-old self was really excited to see all of Europe come together with music, and since it was my first time I did not know how extra it would be. Then Alenka Gotar came on stage for Slovenia and my love for Eurovision was launched. Maybe it helped that she looked a little like a villain or a forest witch, as I was always in love with the evil figures in fairytales. And of course her voice – you cannot hide the fact that she was brilliant.
But one special thing caught my eye back then, which I remember until now and will forever. It was the moment that special light effect in her hand lit up. For me it was just pure magic. It might not be impressive on today’s standards but back then I was amazed. Thanks to Alenka, my love for Eurovision came alive and I am thankful for that! And for me that light effect is still damn cool!
Natalie – “Ég Á Líf” by Eythor Ingi (Iceland 2013)
The year I truly feel in love with Eurovision was 2013. The winner of that year is still my favourite winner of all time, and Petra Mede is my favourite host. But one song really represents why I came to love the contest more than any other. The only song Iceland sent in their native language from 1999 to 2018, “Ég Á Líf” to me was just perfection. It was mystifying, heartfelt, soulful, and layered with ethnic music.
The Icelandic language to me is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring languages in the world. Hearing it in all its glory as part of this masterpiece, sung by such a talented and passionate singer, was everything I could’ve hoped for and more. This is the kind of music I only hoped that Eurovision would provide. And when I heard this, I was desperate for more.
Tom – “7th Wonder” by Ira Losco (Malta 2002)
I love winning, so when Katrina and the Waves won for the United Kingdom in 1997, I started taking an interest in Eurovision. I was only six, but the thought of the UK winning at something got me a little bit interested. I also love music, so the fact that ‘we were the best’ that year got me excited. However, it was in 2002, back when a killer key change would be the difference between winning and losing, that I got emotionally invested. It was the bewitching Ira Losco with “7th Wonder” who got me completely reeled in.
Ira had everything: stage presence; an eye-popping white jumpsuit; a catchy chorus; verses as strong as the chorus; and not to mention of course, she was absolutely stunning. A perfect song that simply made me a very happy boy. Every time I hear that key change of “Am I weak, am I strong…” I still get nostalgic and emotional. I was devastated it came second to Latvia’s entry “I Wanna” – robbed in my opinion (there were plenty of tears). Of course, now I’m not a child anymore I am less bitter about the result and I enjoy the song, but Ira Losco’s “7th Wonder” will always be ‘my first’. From then on, Eurovision and I were a match made in heaven!
What do you make of our wiwiblogger’s selections? Which was the first song that made you fall in love with Eurovision? We’d love to hear your Eurovision stories, so comment below and tell us!
Read part one and part three of the series