In the next in our series of profiles of wiwibloggs team members, we get to know Deban Aderemi. He’s a familiar face from wiwibloggs videos, where he joins in with reactions and reviews of the competing songs of Eurovision 2021. But there’s more to Deban than just that. We had a chat with the man himself!
Hi Deban, first up, what was your first experience with Eurovision?
Geneva, 1955. I was sitting at a lakeside café and got talking to a Swiss television producer named Marcel. He told me he was working on an idea for an international television show that would test the limits of live television broadcast technology.
Marcel said they’d been thinking about some sort of sports event. I said, Marcel, honey, the Olympics already own that brand. Think bigger. Look at Italy’s new Sanremo Music Festival. You need a European song competition. And the rest is history!
When did you first attend a Eurovision show? What was the experience like?
Lugano, 1956. Marcel insisted I witness his efforts first-hand. While I was there, I met a young Swiss singer named Lys. She had a little stage fright and I offered her a few words of support. I told her to GO OUT AND SLAY, HONEY.
And guess what? She only went on and won the whole thing. Lys asked me to join her on stage for the winner’s reprise. I couldn’t say no!
Fans love a good bit of Eurovision controversy. What is your favourite controversial moment?
Madrid, 1969. Before the contest, I said to the organisers, listen, you have so many strong acts this year, everyone is going to want to vote for them. You need a tiebreak rule. They said, don’t worry, that will never happen. But guess what? Spanish diva Salomé – 18 points. British diva Lulu – 18 points. Dutch diva Lenny – 18 points. French diva Frida – 18 points. All deserving winners. No way of breaking the tie.
Chaos and disarray, honey! I told them, Salvador Dalí might have designed the 1969 logo, but I don’t want the contest itself to feel like a surrealist landscape!
Costumes are a fun part of the Eurovision experience. What is your favourite costume that has graced the Eurovision stage?
Brighton, 1974. Before the show, I was talking to Björn and he mentioned they had two sets of costumes they couldn’t decide between. One had the men in finely cut dark suits and the women in evening gowns. The other option was wild. I said listen, honey, give me velour, give me satin, give me rhinestones, frills, sequins, chains, and give me golden platform boots. They went with that and they won.
What is your favourite Eurovision interval act?
Dublin, 1994. A group of Irish tap dancers had been called upon to perform as the interval act. They were originally called Emerald Isle Tap-stravaganza ’94, But I said to them, listen, you need a name that will travel. You’ve got dancing and Ireland has rivers. Combine then and what have you got? Riverdance. Riv-er-dance! Game-changing. Life-changing. Move those feet, honeys!
Eurovision events wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of the show’s production teams. Do you have any favourite moments from behind-the-scenes?
Düsseldorf, 2011. Jon Ola came to me and said, look, it’s my first ever year and they’re going to come to me on camera to approve the results. He said he needed a catchphrase to strengthen his personal brand. At first I suggested “Let’s do this” but he wasn’t sure if it would work with his cool Nordic demeanour. Then inspiration struck and I said “Jon Ola, you must say: TAKE IT AWAY, HUNTIES!” He loved it.
Deban, your Eurovision memories are going back a lot further than we were expecting….
I never miss a show!
Do you remember Romania’s act in 2013, Cezar? And people joked and said that he looked like a vampire? And vampires are known for their immortality…
Give me that Dracula realness, hunty! As Cezar sang:
It’s my life and I know it’s not forever
It’s my life and I’ll share it all with you
It’s my life, we were meant to be together
I’ll give my life to you
Thank you for taking the time to share your stories, Deban!
Special thanks to Wiwibloggs historical photo library archivist Oranie Abbes.
Update: 12:00 GMT, 1 April 2021. It has come to our attention this today is April Fool’s Day and therefore some of the fact in this post may not be entirely correct. We’re not sure which ones, though.