Jamie's Eurovision Postcard: Day 1
Former Wrexham Glyndwr University graduate Jamie Davies will be writing daily blogs from his first ever experience covering the Eurovision Song Contest for ESCplus in Lisbon, Portugal.
So after a very good service from TAP Air Portugal by providing free food and drink on the flight, my contribution to the Eurovision community had begun.
Just like any typical Brit, the weather was too warm as I could feel the Portuguese heat wrapping around my neck the moment I stepped out of the airport.
Lisbon was already decorated with Eurovision flags and posters and the theme this year ‘All Aboard’ makes sure you don’t forget that everyone is welcome. A lovely message. Eurovision has had previous themes such as ‘Feel Your Heart Beat’ and ‘Building Bridges’ showing how much love the contest likes to share with its audience.
I’m currently staying in an Airbnb which is a themed surf house but it just reminds me of Australia, who are competing, and the TV show Neighbours.
After a good night’s sleep, I sprung into action and headed straight to the hotels where Lithuania and the Czech Republic were based throughout the contest.
Ieva Zasimauskaité of Lithuania was my first interviewee and we had met before at the London Eurovision Party last month. It took Ieva five attempts to represent her country at Eurovision and this year the opportunity has finally come. Which comes to show ‘Good things come to those who wait’.
I find interviews rather boring unless you make it fun with random questions like I asked Ieva ‘Cake or ice cream?’. I find that this helps the fans learn more about the singer.
I don’t like serious interviews because I feel as though the interviewee wants to actually have a chat with you. But that’s how I like to do it. Everyone has different interview styles.
During the interview, we even compared our footwear. I was feeling a bit brave wearing my glow in the dark trainers but I felt it matches the Lisbon scene. A bright and beautiful place.
My interview with Ieva Zasimauskaité
From one hotel to another, next up was Mikolas Josef from the Czech Republic.
During the first rehearsals, Mikolas injured his back and had to head straight to the hospital. The good news, however, is the young singer has been given the green light to carry on his bid to win Czech Republic’s first ever Eurovision Song Contest. And they stand within a good chance!
I’m normally known for nicking my friend’s glasses and taking a selfie with them but Mikolas had a spare pair of glasses waiting for me at the hotel. Legend right there!
I joked with Mikolas that he has to win so we can visit Prague next year! Not because the beer is cheap or anything... ;)
Mikolas showed me his back and where they placed the support tapes. He even said in the interview that for a few moments himself and the team weren’t sure he was going to be able to compete despite all the hard work they’ve put in.
My interview with Mikolas Josef
It has already been a packed couple of days here in Lisbon but there is a lot more to come.
Stay tuned for my next blog…
Read day 2 here.