These past few days have marked the first rehearsals for this year’s Eurovision acts, and it’s been another busy time at the Press Center. Interviews, press conferences, rehearsals, chaos, laughs, face-plants, and re-evaluations were a constant, as to be expected.
Today I’ve been running around like a bit of a maniac, but here are a few moments that struck chords with me…
- Rushing out to the Icelandic delegation’s hotel for a long interview with Gréta Salóme and Jónsi…two incredibly sweet, genuine people, even though I almost made Gréta cry when I told her about how well “Never Forget” did in my Preview Party.
- Starting to ask Jedward (at the time, dressed as buckets of popcorn…) a question during their press conference, only to have them blurt out “we remember you from last year”, causing me to blush, causing them to tease me for blushing, causing me to blush further. As they left the Press Centre that night, they saw me, tackled me with hugs, and had to be whisked away by 1992 ESC winner Linda Martin. Only at Eurovision…
- After interviewing the lovely Kaliopi, she gave me a massive hug, and proceeded to knock the glasses off my face. This might make me the only person in history to have been lightly assaulted by a Macedonian Eurovision star. 😉
- Ivi Adamou and Eva Boto (Cyprus and Slovenia, respectively) are disarmingly tall, even more so in heels. I’m a respectable 5’7″, and I felt miniscule.
- Things that will make a group of ESC Press and Delegations turn their heads: babies (in the case of the 5-month-old daughter of Izabo’s lead singer and keyboardist), puppies (as held by Ralph Siegel), a man in a kilt holding a Muppet (as displayed by my editor).
- In the Euroclub, by volume, beer is significantly cheaper than water or soda. This might be a problem.
- Going from a brand-spanking-new Press Centre to a possibly-Soviet-era neighborhood by way of Baku’s Old City causes a bit of a mental time warp. I feel like I need a TARDIS just to figure things out.
- There will be traffic. This is an inevitability. Just lean back, look out the window, and accept it.
- As beautiful/handsome as you think the artists look on screen, they’re even more so in real life.
- I said this last year, and I’ll say it again…these volunteers are working their tails off. This year, a single volunteer has been put in charge of arranging press interviews (a job that was split among four people in Düsseldorf), and she has been bombarded with questions and stress. The people in the red Eurovision shirts should be respected, appreciated, and valued, and far too many people don’t appreciate them and the work they do.
Of course, more thoughts, anecdotes, and observations are to come!