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The only way I could attempt to give you an idea of how incredibly awesome Eurovision was, is to paint the picture for you from my excited perspective. So, indulge me dear reader, by doing the following;
Imagine you are me, about to experience your lifelong dream of attending Eurovision…
You have been looking forward to this day for longer than you care to admit. Your Eurovision fervour is well-known and now, finally, the day has arrived where you get to experience it for yourself. The spectacle that is the Eurovision Song Contest 2015.
You were excited when you saw the city of Vienna covered in Eurovision signs and paraphernalia. The anticipation grew as more free public events popped up around the city during the week.
You may have even been spotted at the Semi-finals live screening at Rathausplatz, soaking up the atmosphere and getting your first taste of the positive energy that surrounds the song contest.
Just mildly pumped to be there
But nothing compares to the excitement on the day. You searched high and low for the perfect spangly outfit, and your wonderful man dedicated 90 minutes to painting your face with the Australian flag. (His Austrian flag took a mere 20 minutes to paint!) With outfits on, you are ready to go, and basically skipping down the street in joy to get to Stadhalle.
Arriving at the venue feels like a homecoming. You haven’t been here since you lined up for tickets many months ago at 3am. Now, there are photographers taking pictures of you and your face-painted mister as you madly wave your Australian flag and ogle the arriving crowd. Inside the venue, everyone is just as thrilled as you are, people are excitedly taking photos together, complimenting each others outrageous and patriotic outfits. You make friends with strangers within 2 minutes – something that very rarely occurs on the streets of Vienna. This really is the happiest place in town tonight!
Shiny gold men in suits. Of course.
‘Austria greets Australia’
Approaching the Northside entrance to the standing area, you can hear the crowd chanting, cheering and dancing to the warm up acts. The standing room arena is already full. Right before you dive into the ecstatic crowd, you take a deep breath and think ‘This is really it, I’m standing in the doorway to my Eurovision FINALE!!’
Once inside, the adrenaline and sheer joy overtake you. Making your way near to the centre of the crowd (there’s very little jostling and no aggression among this crowd, everyone is there to enjoy themselves) you find the perfect little spot to view the stage comfortably and let the crazy ride begin.
It’s wild, it’s joyous, it’s epic staging, efficient planning, rousing classical musical interludes, a showcase for the city of Vienna. And that’s just the opening ceremony. And then THIS HAPPENS AND THE CROWD LOSES THEIR MINDS:
That is Conchita Wurst gracefully flying over her people to land on stage and present the 2015 performers. From then on, it is a magnificent whirl of performances, crowd participation, clapping and cheering to your favourites (Israel’s ‘Golden Boy’ and naturally, Australia’s effort) and ducking outside for a beverage while the boring performances were on. (What the hell was that UK? Embarrassing! Overload of ballads this year too…)
Before you know it, the performances are finished and you are awaiting the final votes from around Europe and Australia. Then it’s time – the verdict. You are hopeful for Australia, but know the favourite from Sweden will be hard to beat. Sure enough the votes keep rolling in for him – closely followed by the Russian act.
The Eurovision crowd aren’t afraid to voice their bias – chanting ‘Sweden, Sweden, Sweden’ at every opportunity and nearly, but not quite, booing Russia (no-one wants next years final to be held in the LGBT-unfriendly Moscow). At one point it gets so obvious, that Conchita (the grand dame of the evening) is sent in to defend the poor contestant from Russia, while the crowd is firmly reminded tonight is ‘about the music, not politics’. You’re thrilled to see the well-known Eurovision politics played out in person.
Conchita laying down the law to Eurovision disciples – defending Polina Gagarina
This didn’t help! While hilarious, the crowd gasped in response
All too soon, it’s coming to an end, Sweden is announced the winner, confetti cannons go off and the entire crowd goes absolutely banana’s. With the efficiency only Austria can provide, Måns Zelmerlöw is whisked back on stage, performing one last time and in under 3 minutes it’s over. You skip into the now emptying arena to frolic in piles of glitter and relish the sheer exuberance of the entire place, glowing in the aftermath of an incredible evening.
What better way to announce the winner than in a hail of confetti?
Basking in the golden joy of it all
Eurovision was everything you wished it could be and more. Bigger, brighter much more fun and as ridiculously wonderful as you had hoped. Your little life dream of one day attending a Eurovision finale has come true. And it’s all thanks to this guy….
How lucky are you?
Did you have a favourite act or performance from Eurovision? Did you think the UK was absolutely rubbish, or was Russia the clear winner for you? Let me know in the comments, I love some post-Eurovision debate!