Today, the 18th of February, I celebrate my 25th year anniversary as a Eurovision Song Contest fan. It was in relation to the 1984 Dansk Melodi Grand Prix I first time defined myself as a fan. Many things have happened over the years, but I am proud to say that I am still a dedicated fan after so many years.
It was the Danish final in 1984 which made the difference from me, more specifically the clip where Kirsten Siggaard pushes Søren Bundgaard in the swimming pool. For an 8-year old girl who loved easy to sing along pop songs and funny gimmicks this did the trick. I had my own cassette player and of course I had to have Kirsten & Søren on tape so that I could listen to all their songs. I also got the tape with all the songs from the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix so that I could stand in front of the mirror with a hairbrush as microphone singing along to all the songs pretending it was me who was one of those stars from the Danish final. I was a fan of Kirsten & Søren, but also of the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in general.
For me the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix was one big show in itself, but once I figured out that Kirsten & Søren now had to perform the song at an international Contest I of course had to watch this as well. I watched it with that intention; to see Kirsten & Søren. But three good looking Swedish guys singing about their golden shoes did the other trick for me. Now I was a Herreyes fan as well! When I then got the tape with all the songs from the Eurovision Song Contest I found it interesting to try to sing along to the foreign songs even if I had no clue what the words I was singing meant. I was now a full blooded Eurovision Song Contest fan!
That was how it all started and in the coming years I would be watching all the Danish finals, all the international finals and once I figured out that we could watch the Swedish and Norwegian finals as well on TV my family was doomed to watch it! No wonder that my parents at the end insisted on that I used the money I earned via my newspaper route on buying a TV for my own room!
Many things have changed since that, not only in the Contest itself, but also for me personally. My family is still watching the show, but for them it is just a few nights a year. From time to time they might zap onto watching a national final from Germany, Sweden or Norway, but it wouldn’t be planned. They only plan to watch the Danish final and the Eurovision Song Contest itself. And it has even happened a few times that they went to bed before the international result was known calling me in the morning asking who won! It is certainly not like that for me. Over the years I got more and more involved starting with joining various mailing lists and a chat room where I got contact to other fans. I started writing about the Eurovision Song Contest and in 2003 I went to my first Contest live having press accreditation from BBC. I got hocked on all the things going on behind the scenes, the rehearsals and the press conferences. I conducted my first interview and realised that I had found my call. Working as a Eurovision Song Contest journalist was what I loved to do and the many good feedbacks proved me right in that I also had a talent for it.
From there I moved on establishing my own name, I started my first website making my name known and later I joined Esctoday.com. After six months on this larger site I was ready to create EuroVisionary. Over the years I had got so much experience that I now knew how I wanted it to be and certainly also how I didn’t want it. I got a few of my friends to join me on this project called EuroVisionary, we advertised for more team members and a few more came along. So far we have been working on this site for a year now. We have come a long way, but the road ahead of us shows that there are still many things we need to improve, but I am confident. We are well on the way and as long as we keep improving I am satisfied.
It all started with that swimming pool on the 18th of February 1984. 25 years later the Eurovision Song Contest has basically become a life style for me! I can be hard for people to understand, but over the years my family and friends have learned always to check the Eurovision calendar before they plan any birthdays, weddings etc. My boyfriend and I met during the Contest in Helsinki. It is a big advantage that he is also deeply involved with the Eurovision Song Contest. His work for the EBU makes him understand just how much energy I put into this. His support is needed as otherwise I couldn’t dedicate myself. It is frustrating from time to time that he knows a lot of interesting news, but can’t tell me – but we are learning to live with it
A lot of things have changed over those 25 years. I was just an 8 year old school girl who loved the Scandinavian ‘80’s pop songs. I still do that, but at that time it was just an annually event, now it is my life style. It is hard work, but I can’t stop. I love the Eurovision Song Contest too much to do that. I am looking forward to the next 25 years.