Eurovision Postcard: Day 2
WGU graduate Jamie Davies will be writing daily blogs from his first ever experience covering the Eurovision Song Contest for ESCplus in Lisbon, Portugal.
Before I start going into this second blog post, I wanted to share that I’ve learnt the performers have been fantastic this year. On and off the stage they have all been great ambassadors and have always been able to help me and others in the media with any requests we have.
As you can see from the image above, Vanja Radovanovic of Montenegro and I caught up after we first met when interviewing him at last month’s London Eurovision Party.
Vanja was telling me he was looking forward to watching some local football later that day as Sporting Lisbon welcomed Benfica. A big rivalry in Portuguese football that resulted in a goalless draw. Hopefully, Vanja was not too disappointed.
On Saturday, I spent a few hours at the arena and realised just how good the performers are to their fans. Supporters of the contest were standing outside under a boiling hot sun (I’ve got sunburns to prove it) for many hours in an attempt to get pictures and autographs from their favourite artists.
And the acts gave up some of their time to get photos with their fans, some of them were even given out free gear in an attempt to promote themselves. From Mikolas Josef’s replica glasses to Lukas Meijer giving out signed photos.
Mikolas of Czech Republic stayed outside the arena for at least a good 30 minutes just to learn more about the contest from his fans. Now that’s someone who will give up time for the people that adore his work.
Throughout Saturday, I met Eurovision fans from different places around the globe and never knew people in South America watch the show. There was Julio from Brazil and Angelo from Venezuela who made such a big journey just to come and support the show. I take my hat off to them. It’s always good to see the contest reaching out to audiences outside the European continent.
In case you didn’t know, as well as Australia broadcasting the show outside of Europe, China and America have been recently broadcasting the show to their audiences. China and America to compete at Eurovision in the future? You wouldn’t put it past the organisers.
Monday was an exciting day as, after all the work myself, the ESCplus team, other members of the media and the performers have done we can start getting buzzed for the live shows.
Watch out Graham Norton! Me, moments before going on air for the live commentary!
Monday afternoon saw the ESCplus team and I try out something different and that was for me to commentate on the first dress rehearsals of Semi-Final 1. The commentary was streamed live on the ESCplus YouTube channel and my job was to commentate in between the songs. Similar to what Graham Norton does in the commentary box but it’s fair to say we know who does it better ;-)
The real challenge is to pronounce all the performer’s names correctly. Luckily, many of the singers have said to me in the past that I can call them however I want to… Unless they are joking!
Recording of ESCplus’ live commentary on the dress rehearsal of semi-final 1.
Read day 3 here.