ESC2016: Let’s get Fizzical…

Eurovision week is gaining momentum in Stockholm. It feels much busier, and even for the family final on Thursday afternoon, there seemed to be many more people heading to the arena, as we made our way to the press centre. I haven’t got bored of how awesome the arena looks…

globethursglobethurs2By the magic of television, the second semi-final didn’t feel as bad at it had done on the two other occasions that I have seen it! I think a big reason for that is when the arena is full to capacity, and there’s a fantastic buzz. Also, the excitement of being at the event when it’s being broadcast live.

Last night I was once again sitting behind the green room at the back of the arena, with a great view of the contestants as they took their place to watch their competition and await their fate. It was a bit distracting at times, but also fascinating to watch the delegations watch their own artists on stage.

You know that the theme is Come Together, and that really is the case for all us fans from across the globe, at the Globe, and also for the performers. Never before have I seen such camaraderie in the green room. Even my bad camerawork can capture the joy in green room as the final country to perform, Belgium, took to the stage. How delightful to see everyone, erm, come together and support each other…

Belgium’s performance was an absolute tonic for what I think was a poor semi-final overall, in terms of song quality. You will have heard the massive cheer as Belgium was the last country to be announced to go to the Grand Final. The running order has now been revealed, and whilst Belgium closed the proceedings last night, they will open them on Saturday night. It really will get our Eurovision party started.

The big favourites didn’t disappoint (Australia, Ukraine), and as always the stage looked amazing…

stage3stage2stage4(Ukraine, Australia, Poland)

All the right songs made it through, and if it wasn’t for me substituting Georgia with F.Y.R. Macedonia, I would have predicted 10/10 on my ‘napkin of death’. Darn. Still, 9/10 isn’t bad form!

Being in the ‘Eurovision bubble’ is always special (and exhausting!). It has given me many highlights over the years, and introduced me to some special friends. This year, what is my highlight? Well, for those of you who might have read ‘My Life In Music’ in the recent edition of EHU’s Degree magazine, I acknowledged the special place in my heart (and record collection) for Bucks Fizz. I love their music to this day, and their victory back in 1981 might well be one of the reasons for my affinity for the Eurovision Song Contest. Well, on my way to the arena last night, who did I bump into…

cherylandphilOMG – a young boy’s dream came true! The absolute highlight of the week for me. The result last night didn’t matter after meeting the legendary Cheryl Baker, who is in town (as you might have seen) to do coverage for Good Morning Britain. I got a bit giddy – thank goodness I hadn’t had a drink, it could have been embarrasing! Cheryl is a *lovely* person!

What a great memory to take back home with me. This year I am flying home today (Friday) to watch the Grand Final on the telly. It’s going to be a quiet one, which is what I want. As I have said before, it’s an honour to be accredited to be here, and at the heart of the event. Thanks to Paul Jordan for help with the accreditation, and to my euro-buddy and travelling companion, Brian Singleton, for ensuring that, whilst being in the bubble is always hectic, it’s always fun.

More from me back in Storbritannien tomorrow, with my final thoughts and prediction for which country will win the ESC2016.

Hej då för nu! (bye for now!)

😀