The biggest music extravaganza on the planet returns this May live from Lisbon
Q&A with Scott Mills
It’s such a happy place, everybody gets on and there are people from loads of different countries and backgrounds but everyone has something in common because they all love Eurovision.Scott Mills
You described Eurovision as the highlight of your year - what is it about Eurovision?
I think the reason I enjoy it so much is because it’s kind of like an escapism, you get to go away for a whole week to a place you’ve likely never been to before. For example, last year we were in Kyiv in Ukraine and I had such a great time spending a whole week in a bubble of joy. The only thing you hear about is Eurovision the whole time, it’s such a happy place, everybody gets on and there are people from loads of different countries and backgrounds but everyone has something in common because they all love Eurovision. I think that’s why it’s still going strong 60 plus years on.
Do you have any advice for Rylan, your new commentator for 2018?
He’s already messaged me saying: "You need to look after me!" It’s really hard to explain Eurovision to somebody that’s never been before, you just have to go and soak it all up. The thing is that it’s not just the final, there’s a whole week in the lead up with a red carpet, there’s Euro Village where all the fans hang out and then there’s Euroclub - where all the music in the club is from Eurovision and some of the acts perform. Rylan will love it, it’s right up his street as he’s a massive Eurovision fan. He was on the panel for You Decide, so he’s got the knowledge and it’ll be a dream come true for him.
Have you ever been to Lisbon before?
I haven’t, it’s one of those places that seems to crop up everywhere at the moment as the city to go to in the papers and online, it looks proper cool. I’ve wanted to go there on a weekend break, but it’s even more exciting that I get to go for Eurovision. The EBU who run Eurovision, their promotional videos of Lisbon look stunning. The arena there holds 20,000 people and it’s right next to the beach, so it’s going to be a good one. I can’t wait.
On to our act for this year - what do you think of SuRie and her song Storm?
I think that on the night of You Decide, it was definitely the best performance and best song. I know SuRie from before, as she’s been a backing singer for Belgium. So when I saw her at You Decide, it was a 'fancy seeing you here' moment! She’s brilliant and hilarious; I know she’ll do a good job as she’s such a strong performer. The song is probably the most Eurovision friendly song the United Kingdom’s had in years; it’s got all the ingredients of a classic Eurovision song.
What’s your perfect Eurovision Song Contest act or song?
My recommendation for this year, which is tipped to be the winner (although that doesn’t mean it will), is Israel’s entry, Toy by Netta. It’s a really catchy song and I’m very excited to meet her. I think my all-time perfect Eurovision song is Euphoria by Loreen for Sweden. It was such a great performance and it changed people’s perception of Eurovision, as there’s been a misconception that everything’s a joke and isn’t going to do well. When Loreen became a United Kingdom top five hit I think it made people sit up and listen to Eurovision as a more serious thing.
Any favourite all time Eurovision acts?
There’s always some characters! Lordi with Hard Rock Hallelujah was great. Buranovskiye Babushki with Party For Everybody were my personal favourite. They were Russia’s entry in 2012 and they had six old ladies on stage with a massive oven baking bread. It was a highlight because it was just so weird.
Have you listened to all of the songs yet? Which of this year’s acts do you like?
I have listened to most of the songs, I would say my favourites are Israel’s Toy by Netta and Australia’s Jessica Mauboy with We Got Love. Australia have only been in Eurovision for the last three years, but they always send a good act and good song meaning usually they end up in the top five or close to winning. They actually send pop stars that are quite respected and well known in Australia, so this year’s entry is no different - it’s actually a really good pop song, I’ve listened to it a lot and I think it’s got a really strong chance and is already a hit in Australia. They bring their game and put effort in, it pays off.
Do you have any inside gossip you can share with us?
It’s a bit early for that, as I haven’t met all the acts yet! I know that Eurovision fans are very excited about Saara Aalto, who many will know from The X Factor in 2016, she’s the entry for Finland this year with Monsters. I’ve heard that she’s going to do a ridiculous performance, probably involving some monsters, which everybody is very excited about.
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