Eurovision is me: Zoë, UK

Hello all. My name is Zoë, I’m 15, I’m British, and I’m also a fan of Eurovision.

I’d never really heard of Eurovision until 2009, and even then, I wasn’t really sure on what it was. I just remember that my mum would not shut up about a Norwegian guy called Alexander Rybak, who won this prestigious competition. I was a little fascinated, and I did remember the song, but didn’t really think about it until the next year.

2010 came around, and mum once again mentioned the Norwegian guy, and the German girl who won the most recent edition. Seeing as I was now into music, I followed the song in the charts, and took a real shine to Satellite.

2011 was when things changed. I stayed up for my first Eurovision. I didn’t have a clue what it was, until I recognised Lena’s song, and then things made sense. I knew what this whole festival was! I don’t remember many of the songs from 2011 to be honest, I just know I loved Sweden, and was so happy when they came 3rd. And The UK coming 11th, that was something great!

2012 was the first serious year which I fully remember, and I remember our votes too! I loved the whole stage and the designs, and remember repeatedly watching the episode back again and again after the event. I loved Greece and Cyprus, as well as Turkey, however did vote for Italy and Germany. So glad they did well! But on my holiday to Greece, they were playing La La Love (Cyprus) which made me feel really great, it’s such a holiday tune.

2013 was a year that I remember, but I don’t. It’s very patchy for me. I can clearly remember some of the songs, like Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Denmark, but I really liked last placed Ireland for some reason! Yet again, it captivated me, and I can clearly remember the moment we voted for Azerbaijan.

2014 was when things changed. I took more of an interest in the contest, and made sure to watch it. That year was when I first bought the album, which engaged me more! I remember that our family’s vote went to Hungary and Sweden, even though I’d have preferred Norway and Finland, as I listen to their songs now, 2 years later!

2015 was one of my best memories of ESC, that’s when I realised that it was truly something special. I can remember semi 1, sitting with my family, not paying attention too much, until Loïc came on. That was what made me follow the final. Funny what people can do, huh? Our song that year was the worst thing ever, but a night in with my dad made up for it. And of course, a vote for Belgium, which was truly deserving!

Something changed around 2016 though. Since last year, I got pulled in, and this year was better. From the first listen, I knew which songs I did and didn’t like, and was instantly taken in by the Eurovision craze. Funnily enough, I really didn’t like Hungary and Latvia at the start, however after time, they became amazing, and by the semi finals, I knew who I wanted to win. I stayed through the mess that was semi 1, with my faves Hungary, Netherlands, Iceland and Estonia in it, although I couldn’t vote. If I could have, I would have! Semi 2 allowed me to vote, so obviously my first ever semi final vote went to Latvia! I was a little happier about the qualifiers from semi 2, which made me sleep happy, excited for the final. In the final, we had a 4 person “europarty” and me being typical me, had to go one better, and actually go as Justs from Latvia, but knowing my wardrobe, I practically lived in the same clothes as him! Of course we had to vote for Latvia, and my parents had a day and chose Austria and Netherlands, but Ukraine really surprised me. I really thought Russia would win, and to this day, I still believe Sergey was robbed. However the Eurovision spirit is still within me.

I’ve followed some artists since ESC, including Alex Rybak, Softengine and Justs. Thanks to Eurovision, I have been introduced to many of my favourite artists, and if it wasn’t for my mum yelling about Alexander Rybak that one time, I may never have ended up watching Eurovision.

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