Personally, I love Eurovision but when I went to the 'Eurovision Song Contest Fans of Australia Network' (ESCFAN) official preview party I felt like a Eurovision virgin.
These people know who won in ‘77 (France with L'oiseau et l'enfant) and exactly how many points the songs got (136). It was a safe space for super-fans and new converts alike.
Many fans showed their love through costumes. Jo Sayer created a spectacular Verka Serduchka costume:
“It was a Savers-Vinnies last minute outfit” she said, sparkling in her silver headpiece.
Tricia Page nailed Moldova's kooky 2011 entry Zdob si Zdub - complete with trumpet and unicycle:
As a hardcore fan, Tricia had a lot to say about this year’s contest. “Russia is predictably good but I don’t want them to win. France is really quirky but it will depend on their staging” she said.
As the night partied on, the crowd got more and more vocal about their love (and hate) of the different songs – ultimately casting their votes in the ESCFAN poll.
They went NUTS over Belgium’s Laura Tesoro and her tube ‘What’s The Pressure’. Listen here:
The crowd also loved the French delegate Amir’s song J'ai cherché, which ultimately won the fan ballot and is tipped by many bookies as the hot favourite to win Eurovision this year. Check it out below:
Many of the fans at the party had attended the contest in person previously and were planning on going back.
Committee member Alistair Craig says that he wants Austria to win this year but is fearful they won’t even qualify.
Craig was optimistic that our own Dami Im will finish in the top 10 this year but says that Guy Sebastian's performance from last year will be a tough one to beat. Meanwhile Craig wasn’t alone in his fear of Russian favourite Sergey Lazarev winning, with many fans saying it was a “formulaic" type of good song.
President of ESCFAN Sharleen Wright observed “the fans this year are loving the second half of the alphabet the most...but unfortunately that’s not how Eurovision works.”
See the full outcome of the official vote here:
Wright also mentioned how much love their club has been getting from the delegations in the contest. There were so many shout out videos from the delegates to the Aussie fans - which is a testament to how much love Australia has given to Europe in the past.
See Dami's shout out to the European fans below:
Wright said it will be hard to top Australia's momentum from last year, but the contest is so even this time around it will be good no matter the result.
The fans partied all night long and really showed that the best part of Eurovision is them. So many of the people who had been to the contest before were saying that the people you meet there are your friends for life. Eurovison fans truly are a breed like no other!
Are you a true Eurovision fan too? Headed to the main event in Sweden? ESCFAN will be co-hosting a fan/member meet at the Hard Rock Cafe in Stockholm featuring some very special surprise guests, with fanclub counterparts from the UK and Ireland from 2.30pm - 6.30pm on Thursday 12th May.