All fans have that moment when they fall in love with the Eurovision Song Contest. Very often this is due to a particular song or artist that grabs your attention and makes you come back for more.
These moments can come from an unforgettable heartfelt ballad, or a powerful statement in a song. They can come from a clear winner collecting their trophy, or some mid-00’s novelty. Whatever it is that makes someone adore Eurovision, these moments can turn people from casual viewers to diehard fans.
Before you know it, you’re making a Top 41 and making memes for Twitter. Not to mention the Eurovision Scoreboard app, Mr Gerbear’s Eurovision Sorter, and voting obsessively in the Eurovision Top 250 come autumn. Oh, and then annually spending your entire New Year’s Eve listening to the countdown.
wiwibloggs has over 50 contributors, all of whom had their moment of falling in love with Eurovision. In this three-part series, a selection of them will be sharing their stories and revealing which song made them obsessed with the contest – and so much so that they ended up becoming a part of Team Wiwi. We have contributors from all over the globe, with a wide age range, so the choices could be anything! Let’s see what today’s collective have to say…
William – “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” by Verka Serduchka (Ukraine 2007)
When I was reluctantly dragged to a Eurovision party in 2007, I had no idea what to expect. As an American fresh off the boat in London, Eurovision sounded like American Idol but without the entertainment value of Simon Cowell (listen, it was another era). Then Verka Serduchka exploded on to the stage, changing my life forever. The Ukrainian drag queen was very much in on her own joke: she was deliberately over-the-top and non-sensical, singing gibberish and poking fun at the very stage on which she performed. She seemed to parody herself and in doing so reclaimed the word Eurotrash, turning it into a badge of honour — and one with the most discordant yet uplifting bridges, ever. Her head-to-toe tinfoil, which could no doubt fix all the world’s TV reception, remains a visual highlight of the contest to this day. “When will come such another?” asks Marc Antony in Julius Ceasar. Another Verka? That would be a miracle.
Lucy – “Pokušaj” by Laka (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2008)
OK, hear me out. The song that made me fall in love with this glorious contest? “Pokušaj” by Laka; Bosnia & Herzegovina’s entry at Belgrade 2008. It’s not the most sane performance there’s ever been at Eurovision, and it certainly wasn’t the first to bring something zany to the stage, but it gripped me.
I’d watched Eurovision for the first time in 1998 when it was not far from home in Birmingham, UK (shout-out to my fellow Midlanders). However, the performance involving a washing line, knitting brides and a Helena Bonham-Carter doppelganger was what made me get an account on the Eurovision website in 2008, whilst I hid what I was looking at in my sixth-form common room from my much cooler mates. I wish I could tell 17-year-old me that I would feel very cool at 28 screaming along to it with Eurovision friends at a Eurovision club night in London. And no, I do not speak Bosnian – I just about know what “ljubav” means thanks to the contest.
Robyn – “Lipstick” by Jedward (Ireland 2011)
Eurovision had been on my radar for years, but I had never quite connected with it until 2011. Following Jedward’s first Eurovision appearance, the Irish brothers were housemates on Celebrity Big Brother UK. And they didn’t stop talking about — and singing — their Eurovision song “Lipstick”. By the end of the series, I had drunk the Jedward Kool-Aid and dutifully caught up with Eurovision 2011.
Watching the show unfold on the giant Düsseldorf stage, it all started to make sense. All these acts from around Europe came to the one venue, all with their own style and sound. Jedward showed up with their bright, energetic performance, relying only on bold graphics, choreography and charisma to sail through to a top-ten finish. And the other acts! From Sweden’s glass-smashing to Italy’s jazz piano to Moldova’s…. Moldovaness. Even though I was watching the show months after it had screened, I was still captured by the spectacle and befuddled by some of the results. I had opinions, y’all! By the time Jedward returned to Eurovision 2012, I was fully immersed in the Eurovision fan culture, ready to experience it minute by minute.
Oranie – “Waterloo” by ABBA (Sweden 1974)
The entry which made me fall in love with Eurovision is ABBA, with the song “Waterloo” in 1974. Of course, I’m way too young to have seen it on TV with my own eyes at the time. But as a child, my first record was one with ABBA songs. I listened to it for years until one day I fell on it and broke it with my knees…one of the worst memories of my childhood. For many years I didn’t know ABBA had won Eurovision with “Waterloo”. I later discovered this when I was 7 years old, in 2003, during the grand final that year.
I always watched the contest with my family, so ABBA isn’t the reason why I started my journey as a die hard Eurofan but it definitely increased my love for this show. Moreover to me, this group is definitely a big part of the contest’s spirit, and one of the most memorable winners and songs. Maybe not everybody knows that ABBA won Eurovision, but everybody knows this song.
Julia – “Fairytale” by Alexander Rybak (Norway 2009)
Years ago, when I was younger, I watched Eurovision for the first time. Soon enough, I saw a young man with a fiddle playing a song suited to a classic fairytale and I was smitten. I fell in love with Eurovision thanks to Norway’s winning performance by Alexander Rybak. How could you not fall for his innocence, his cute smile and the simple message of the sweet, folksy song?
I am glad the song took the Eurovision crown that year, particularly for the fact it was an unusual genre and out of the box performance. Since then, the Eurovision stage has been my yearly fairytale of poptacular music!
What do you make of our wiwiblogger’s selections? Which was the first song that made you fall in love with Eurovision? We’d love to hear your Eurovision stories, so comment below and tell us!
Read part two and part three of the series
As an American, I had never heard of the contest until 2016. While 2016 was amazing, and still remains my absolutely favorite, 2017 is the first year I really started to “get” Eurovision. The song that did it? Verona by Koit and Laura. I can’t even tell you how crushed I was that 1. Laura’s microphone didn’t work at first 2. That they didn’t get a do-over and 3. That it didn’t make it through to the finals. It’s an absolute fluke that I found out about the contest, but I’m so glad I did because I’m absolutely obsessed to… Read more »
It was a random song from Fyrom in 2000 I loved the girl band XXL singing but if u asked me today I find it horrible. The first songs I really loved the coming years was Greece’s antique die for you in 2001, Malta’s 7th Wonder in 2002 and Turkey’s every way that I can in 2003. I still love them today
Born 1979, started really following Eurovision since 1995, although as a 7-year old I do remember Sandra Kim bringing it home and being crazy about Clouseau as a 12-year old 🙂
That night in 1995 I had to go to a wedding and so I recorded the show on VHS. I watched that tape over and over after that. Still look up Spain, Greece and Norway on youtube sometimes and gives me goosebumps every time.
You make me feel so old, guys!
I think the song that made me fall in love with Eurovision was Bandido (Spain, 1990). I was blown away by those two fierce ladies. And the drama with the technical issues! I was glued to the TV.
I watch Eurovision my whole life, applied so many times to Wiwibloggs, never got a reply. Maybe I am too old, but I am sure I know a lot more about Eurovision (I watch it since birth in 1986!) compared to someone watching it since 1998 or after. I can also write articles or contribute to your team, so why don’t you answer me, you could simply have said: No, we don’t want you in our crew, but no answer is simply heartbrecking! 🙁
Branko, with due respect, you are likely not the only one applying to work for Wiwi! There will be hundreds, perhaps a few thousand who decided they want to work for Wiwi……and the team cannot reply back to everyone personally. I’m sure even you can understand that….
Mine was Anabel Conde and Vuelve Conmigo. We watched the show as a family since I was a kid.
You’re all so young. Mine is Dansevise (Denmark 1963). I can’t be certain but I think this was the first time I heard a foreign language (other than English). The vocals of Grethe Ingemann sounded so magical, and then the guitar work of Jørgen sounded exquisite. I simply had to go back to the contest and look for similar gems.
I fell in love with eurovision since childhood, one of my nations entries De Eerste Keer by Maxine & Franklin, and i have this passion for eurovision from my mom, her all time fave entry is monaco’s winning song from Severine
Another few songs i adore are estonia their winning song Everybody just such a genuine feel good party anthem, and Romania their entry Yodel It i loved obsessively supporting them that year
I fell in love with Eurovision due to Silvia Night and ICeland has been my favorite country in the competition ever since. Interestingly, they were not successful both in 2006 and 2007, although both entries were fantastic. After 2008 ICeland has become a Eurovision power house.
I was mesmerised by Forogj, világ! (Hungary 2005). Lyrics in foreign language caught my attention. I remember loving it and listening to it without knowing how to sing along 😀 (I only knew “na na na na na” from the chorus). Next Eurovision (2006) was the first one I was really looking forward to, expecting another song(s) in native language. So I got Alvedansen in Norwegian that year and I consider myself as a fan of the contest ever since. Most of my favorite Eurovision songs are in native language of represented country (Comme ci, comme ça from Cyprus is… Read more »
Throughout the last 10 years or so, I think I heard of some songs from the contest but I either never knew they came from the contest (Sunstroke Project’s Run Away via Epic Sax Guy meme, Only Teardrops from a car trip between Sweden and Denmark which I somehow associated with Hunger Games) or that John Oliver did a segment on some of them in relation to current events. Note: I am born and raised in Singapore. Then in the summer of 2018, there were several news pieces on Israel and a song called Toy winning the contest so then… Read more »
“So Lucky” by Zdob si Zdub was a Eurovision masterpiece as well.
I agree! It’s crazy but catchy as hell
I vaguely remember Abba and Waterloo, but when I was a kid I was allowed to stay up for ALL of the contest (yes I fell asleep into the voting) but it was year of Brotherhood of Man winning with Save Your Kisses For Me.
I had a few wilderness years when I was at Uni when those contests passed me by but it is very much a tweeting tradition now every year!
I find it beautiful, too
What a nice idea by Wiwibloggs to start this conversation
The first time this American had heard of Eurovision was in 2003, after news of Jemini’s nul points for the United Kingdom hit the Internet (which I had only recently begun to use and embrace; my parents were kind of strict when it came to the Internet back then, and I didn’t even get my first email address until I almost finished high school). The first time I actually remember hearing of and rooting for a song to win, though, was “Hard Rock Hallelujah” in 2006. YouTube was in its infancy at the time, but it did already have a… Read more »
I was 8 years old, when I watched XXL singing 100% te ljubam in Stockholm and I instantly became another X with the grouo. I loved the ethnic pop sound so much and 2000s’ Eurovision was full of it. As a teenager I was really crazy about it, buying the official album each year and knowing most songs by heart. In 2011, I finally managed to watch the contest live in the arena. There are so many good feelings I associate with the music that I am still not only hooked on the ESC itself, but also closely following the… Read more »
I gave the same answer
I feel such a cliché writing it, but I guess it’s natural when you come from a place where Eurovision is still unknown by 99% (maybe 99,99) of the people. My first contacts with Eurovision were Jedward and Rybak, but I remember watching them out of the context, I didn’t know what Eurovision was exactly or how big it was. And the one that hooked me was “Euphoria”. From 2013 on, I watched live every single edition of the contest, instead of just watching some performances after the show already happened.
For me it was Celine Dion’s victory in 1988. She was unknown back then, but her passion and charisma shined that night
Hooked since I first watched it in 1998. I can’t connect it with a single song that year, but being a young kid back then, I was amazed by the concept and learning of all those places and languages I’ve never heard of before. There wasn’t (and still isn’t) anything like it.
What got me into Eurovision was the 2012 contest, specifically the top 10 of that year. Being an American, I never had the opportunity to watch Eurovision and I had never even heard a Eurovision song before 2011. Nevertheless, I had heard about Eurovision before, so when a video popped up in my recommendations showing the results of Eurovision, I clicked on it. Songs like “Never Forget” and “Crno i belo” were good and then I got to the top 10, and by the time I got to “When the Music Dies”, I decided I was going to start following… Read more »
I obviously knew Eurovision but never actually felt the will to watch it For some reason, during the 2015 summer, I was curious to find out who won the contest and listen to the song My family watched the final during a holiday (yep, they were both the same day!) And it was our first final in years (Israelis, so it was Nadav’s Golden Boy) I guess that why I was curious that year Anyway, I did some research (a simple Googling xD) and went on Youtube to watch Måns slaying the stage with an incredible performance that at the… Read more »
I’m probably in a minority here, but yeah… mine is ‘Für Alle’, Germany 1985.
Well, for me it has to be Ukraine 2004 “Wild Dances”. It really shocked me back then. The fire, the clothing, the song, Ruslana’s attitude on stage… Though I’ve really been a fan since I can remember. For me everything started in 2002. Even in 2005, when I was still a child, I remember seeing the voting by myself cause my parents didn’t want to see Spain ending in the bottom 5.
That makes two of us! Ruslana got me hooked as a wee tyke. Something about it just connected and I’ve watched every Eurovision since.
I started watching the contest before I was ten. I remember Dana International winning, but maybe the song I best remember from that night was the first one – Croatia’s Danijela. Her exciting costume reveal halfway through the song, performed so well, was definitely enough to keep me watching. In 1999, I spent my pocket money on a video to record the contest – one that was all my own, that I could watch again and again. My obsession grew from there…
Look, I’m going to be honest, I barely knew anything about eurovision and the very little I knew made me cringe painfully hard. I’m Spanish and after that pathetic attempt of a joke made in 2008, ESC’s respectability in my country sunk to the bottom of the ocean. A year after, on the 2009 Grand final my mother told me to watch the contest with her, I didn’t even know it was being broadcasted that night and I wasn’t particularly thrilled by the idea tbh, but there was pizza at stake so I accepted her offer. I was bored to… Read more »
Birds from Anouk and Only Teardrops from Emmelie de Forest in 2013 for me! 🙂
2013 was my first too!! it was anouk and zlata ognevich that stood out to me and made me fall in love with the contest
It was Fairytale for me too! As an American I only had a very vague awareness of Eurovision due to …. a fandom that shall not be named. But then on a sunny day in May 2009, I saw my Australian friend absolutely losing her mind over the results, and with a sigh, I went to go check out the winner she was freaking out over. I still remember the exact moment the violin starter and I saw Frikar dancing – you ever have the sensation, two seconds into a song, that your life is about to change forever and… Read more »
Funny enough, its probably Dj Bobo – Vampires Are Alive, though the song itself wasn’t very successful at eurovision. I was listening to his music, came across that song (about a year after it was released, so 2008 – and it was the recorded version) and really enjoyed it. Then found the live performance, and boom, discovered Eurovision.
Though I only started watching the full thing a year later (as opposed to just listen to the odd song here and there) in 2009, when Rybak won.
Mine was A million Voices in 2015, far from being my fave esc entry, but it was the one that dragged me into this esc-verse.
For me it was Cascada’s Glorious all the way back in 2013
I would say that for me it was Sandra Kim’s J’aime la vie…
The first Eurovision song I ever listened to was Albania’s Suus (I discovered it right after the 2018 contest) and I loved it! I think that’s why I’ve always had a soft spot for Albania in the contest, since it was the country that introduced me to it.
In my case, it was a varied combination of songs over the years, as I first knew of Eurovision in 2011: finding out Waterloo won Eurovision, listening to Hard Rock Hallelujah and other Lordi’s songs that a friend recommended me, watching Conchita Wurst win as I accidentally bumped into the voting of the 2014 Grand final, until this year when I found out of UMK, Sanremo, Festival da Canção and Melodifestivalen, watching them (and witness Blind Channel and Måneskin wins) and awaiting for the other songs and being able to watch the whole show in YouTube. For now, just looking… Read more »
Fun fact: Actually my first unbeknownst exposure to the contest was when Baila El Chiki-chiki represented Spain in 2008 and was all over Spain back then and my friends at school sang to it lol
Lol I mentioned Eurovision to my friend from Spain and the first song he mentioned was Baila el chiki-chiki
It was literally everywhere at the time xdxdxd
I started watching Eurovision when I was six or seven years old in 1986/1987. I likely watched it before that because my parents used to watch it religiously, but i can’t recall myself doing so because I was far too young to remember. The three songs that I remember really getting in to and thus cementing my love for Eurovision were ‘Love City Groove’ (by Love City Groove), ‘Ooh Aah Just A Little Bit’ by Gina G, and perhaps THE most iconic song for me that totally had me hooked on returning back to the contest year after year was… Read more »
2015 was the first contest that I remember watching, and I was absolutely FLOORED by love injected. thinking back, I’m pretty sure that was the song that made me fully want to do music
The song that got me hooked was sopho visionary dream (Georgia 2007) I remember 2007 was the first contest that I managed to not fall asleep before the end of the voting. (Hey I was only 10) And then another song that reignited my love was gaitana – Be my guest (Ukraine 2012) I remember that year I didn’t follow the pre-election because I had exams to focus on with school. Watching the contest I was feeling a bit sleepy and I’d already decided to vote for France but then I heard the opening horns of be my guest and… Read more »
Even though I watch the festival since I was a baby (my parents watch it every year), The song that made me felt in love with Eurovision was Diva by Dana International with that amazing dress. And the year later, Take me to your heaven, by Charlotte Perrelli, made y understand that I’m obsessed with the festival
I had my first little taste of Eurovision when school friends told me in 1998 a certain transgender artist by the name of Dana International had won the competition. Although Eurovision has always had a following in Australia, I was never able to catch the shows when it was broadcast on TV (this was before the days when things could be streamed with such ease…) It wasn’t until 2003 that I got to experience the full contest. My supervisor at work spread the word that Eurovision was being held in Riga that year. His background was Latvian and he may… Read more »
The first contest I ever watched was in 2009 with my parents at a friend’s house. From then on I would dance “This is our night” by Sakis Rouvas at parties with friends (I was a kid back then). Nevertheless the first Eurovision I watched from beginning to end was that of 2014. The whole contest made me so hooked that I couldn’t stop watching tops, analysing the voting, listening to the songs for the rest of the year. That meant that I officially became a Eurovision fan in 2014. Before I knew it I was reading Wiwibloggs everyday and… Read more »
What a great idea for an article series! 🙂 My first concrete ESC memory was in 1998, when Danijela got 5th spot with ”Neka mi ne svane”. I recall loving this song so much as a kid, and went to the concert of hers the same year or next. Hearing her performing it live was a cool experience. Next few years I either missed or watched sporadically, but I vividly recall voting for Andorra in 2007, and for Ukraine and Ireland in 2010 and 2011. 2012 is the first year I watched ESC as a fan, hearing all the entries… Read more »
Wow you go way back with the contest. My relationship with it started at approximately 2009 (I have written a comment explaining the whole journey). As far as national finals are concerned I used to think that watching them would spoil the fun, so I waited to listen to only the winning songs that would represent the countries at Eurovision. Actually I started following national finals in 2019 when I first watched Sanremo. From then on, I also follow as many finals as I can.
My first 2 Eurovision loves are both from Russia lol. I started to watch this amazing contest thanks to Sergey’s perfomance in 2016. I knew him because he is kinda famous in Belarus, also i really loved that song and staging. But back in 2012 i fell in love with “Party for everybody dance” by Buranovskie babushki I didn’t know this was an Eurovision entry but it used to be my favourite song of all-time back in 2012
Buranovskie babushki were really cool. Loved their Udmurt folk dresses. Many people also didn’t realise they were singing in Udmurt.
Sergei is a bit boring and predictable.
My first love (and still to this day my favourite Eurovision song) was Love Injected by Aminata in 2015. Captured me straight away and I love everything about that entry.
The moment that captivated me was Jade Ewen “It’s My Time” in 2009 it was the very moment that got me into Eurovision seeing my country do so well that year was amazing
As a child I loved Dana International’s Diva and Gina G’s Oh ah just a little bit but didn’t know they were Eurovision songs. The first Eurovision I vividly remember watching was 2004 the songs I loved and stuck with me were Wild dances and Lane moje (you can still hear them on Bulgarian radio to this day) Not sure if i’ve seen Eurovision before 2004 but I had heard of it. I knew Sertab’s “Every way that I can” because it was popular in Bulgaria and as our neighbors were hosting I watched it with interest and I haven’t… Read more »
I loved Lane moje! I was on tour once and the bus driver had Serbian music playing. I didn’t realise it was Serbian music (nor that he was Serbian) until I recognise this song. I asked him “Is this Lane Moje?”. His eyes nearly popped out of his head that someone (who clearly was not Serbian) recognised this song.
It’s ALWAYS nice to go back to the old days and remember yourself just dancing to a random Eurovision song you thought would not affect your life at all but look at what happened… My special moment dates back to my first ever Eurovision song, ‘My Secret Combination’ by Kalomoira (Greece 2008). I could say I became a “Eurovision is my life” type of fan in 2016 but I always had interest for the contest
I had always watched Eurovision with my family, but one Thursday night I was scrolling through the TV and saw a show with Eurovision in the name on BBC Three, and it was the second semi final of Belgrade 2008, and i had no idea semi finals existed at this point. I had missed the first song (Iceland, i think) but managed to catch Charlotte Perrelli for Sweden and fell in love with the song. From that point on, I joined internet forums, followed the journey of the UK and Andrew Lloyd Webber, watch Mans Zelmerlow not win Melodifestivalen in… Read more »
My first memory of eurovision is 2009 when I first had access to the internet as a kid and I tried looking up eurovision songs writing different years and country numbers on youtube with my broken english xD I think it all started with malena ernman ‘la voix’ which made me interested in all other countries
For me, it wasn’t just one song specifically but the whole 2012 contest which I watched accidentally. Although I knew ESC before that because if you’re from Europe it’s hard not to know it, but after I watched the 2012 contest I became a fan.
Song that draw me to the contest was 1995 “Nocturne”. I was about 15 and I fell in love with this magic entry. Lyrics, voice, music… It’s one of favourite entries still.
There are very few Eurovision songs that I deeply and passionately hate. Pokusaj is one of them. Sorry for all of you who love it.
It’s an opinion! I found Pokusaj perfect in every way because it made me happy and emotional at the same time, which is something Bosnia is so good at (2008, 2011, 2010, 2000, 2005)