Am I complaining too much? Reading through my previous post I felt like my writing was a bit too negative leaving the impression I did not have a good time in Kiev. Just to clear this up: I had a great time and it was worth it to go.
Back in the real world I finally got back to my designer aspirations. However I deviated slightly from my usual style. And with that there are a few questions that need to be answered.
Instead of designing full outfits I want to design some shirts for Eurovision. Personally I think I had the great idea creating shirts with a "my heart (an actual heart with a flag inside, like on my ESC dresses) beats for Eurovision".
Firstly I had to look for a suitable company to produce and print my shirts and I found a great German company dealing only with fair trade and environmentally friendly fabrics and prints. Naturally they are more expensive than your average thirst printer but at least I am staying true to my brand.
Then I had to check with EBU if I am allowed from a copyright pov to produce this. And guess what I am not. Upon getting this reply I checked online and damn I am kind of scared to print anything really.
But there are still some shirts I want to do in connection to my idea. For example a shirt with a European heart saying my heart beats for unity. Or the pride heart with "my heart beats for equality" and humanity.... I might upload some design ideas later.
Before I do this there are still some hurdles. Most importantly I have to talk to my boss. Because printing on shirts is kind of Look54s' main business, my idea can be considered to be competition. I don't think it is, but I still need to get my boss's approval. If he declines, I will have to wait with my designs until I stop working for Look54. Let's hope for the best!
The next hurdle will definitely be to finally register as a sole proprietor and trade marking my brand in Germany too. In Ireland it was the easiest thing to do but then again I never did anything with it.
There are so many things to be cautious about, I am surprised how many people actually attempt to start a business and I am not the least surprised that so many fail. Then again I have to be a risk taker to start a business. There is no guarantee of success and no matter how well you prepare, life rarely works as planned.
So here the designs I am not allowed to produce...
Let me ignore the obvious question of how I liked the final and the result of ESC 2017 (some can probably guess already).
Let me first tell you about the jury final night. Before we went to the arena all dressed up and ready to have a great night, we once again went to eat at kupkak. Best chocolate cake ever. I am telling you! This restaurant was the best ever chocolate cake I had in my life. And knowing me you can imagine I had a lot of cakes. This cake melted in your mouth and its taste was a chocolate explosion. I still cannot get over the fact how good that was!
But as you have not experienced it and cannot dwell with me in the memory of this chocolate sensation, I will move on to the more important part, the jury show.
Previously I had told you about the craziness of the fan zone but let me give you a real insight on how this works.
The show starts at 10pm. Because of the tight security fans have been advised to arrive 2-2.5 hours prior to the show. Now real hardcore fans however, arrive at least 3h before the show. This way they have a chance of being first in line at the first checkpoint:do you really have a ticket.
The moment the gates open you have to run. This leads you to checkpoint 2. The security check. Here it is important to queue at the correct security check to get in quickly but also consider where the entrance of the fanzine will be. Through security you need a further stop to get you ticket scanned. Then you run again. To the left door ideally as this closer to the fanzine entry. But you might already guess it, these doors are closed. Because the arena does not open before 8pm. Security officials try to get you to move away from the doors but you really do not wanna miss your spot. So you wait. And it gets really crowded. However, this also allows you to meet new likeminded people. When the doors finally open a wave of fans gushes into the arena just to be stopped at the next checkpoint: are you actually allowed in the fanzone. Here you need to wait until 9pm. And it is warm, you cannot get a drink or even really move. But the things you do for a good spot are ridiculous. At this stage you should be first row, ideally on the right hand side. This means you can already see inside and know when the supervisor will allow the stewards to let you in. Here it is important that you have the wristband given to you earlier clearly visible and your running strategy already figured out because no matter what friends you might have made this day, it is everyone for themselves.
Well, we made it and got as close to the stage as possible to see the show. Now, after we endured all of this and were pressed against the railings, for the first time I felt sick. As in full on viral infection creeping in. But there was no way in hell I miss the show. Most of the show I was actually able to suppress the sick feeling. But it was a shame I could not celebrate as much. Regardless of how I felt, we were chosen 3 times to be on camera including Australia. However, as the jury show is never broadcasted you won't ever see us cheering. When the show part was done and the fake voting is done I usually like to stay but I really felt the need to rest. Henny and dj stayed behind to watch the voting and I went home. I really want to stay healthy because I need to work on Monday and if I am fit enough to party I am also fit enough to work.
Henny and dj shortly went to the club afterwards and came home just 2h after me.
The next day we went to the hairdressers. You might have already seen the Instagram picture. We spent 20euro to get Hennys hair braided, her fingers fully manicured and my hair- well styled. We kind of felt we should have done this earlier as we had only crappie seats for the final. But you will see why this was the right choice.
Because we only had those seats in the back, we decided to meet up with dj only at 8pm. As we had to wait for dj a bit quite a few fans passed by us and we felt a bit like the welcoming committee... Unfortunately it was raining the whole day. Otherwise we would have stayed there for a little while longer.
As usual (by now) people wanted to take pictures with us but we did not expect what happened at the ticketing entrance. First a camera team asked us about the outfits and who we thought our favorite to win was. And then about 6 or 7 photographers showed up, taking pictures like we were stars at the red carpet! So please watch out on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and whatnot if you can see a picture of us. Because I really would love to see them but we really hadn't had the time to asked them for it.
Also I was approached so many times about my outfits and if they are for sale that Henny couldn't stop going on about me making money by producing my collection for everyone to buy. While I love that there are some reasons tohat will not work.
A) there is already plenty of country specific outfits, that it will be difficult to get in that market with a high quality, Eco-friendly collection.
B) my sewing is not up to the standard I want my clothes to be. If I sell them I want my outfits to not only look good but I want people to be extremely happy with the quality.
C) I cannot afford to pay someone to mass produce and a made-to-measures outfit is too time-consuming to be sold under at least 400euro a piece.
If you like to get a dress done by me, be it Eurovision or Europe (I believe there are some pro-Europe marches going on) themed outfits or even a "normal" outfit, please let me know .
In anyway that all happened before we actually got to sit on our seats. Funny enough, when we arrived Levina was doing a clip for ARD I believe from the arena and Henny managed to get a picture with her again. That was about the only upside of those seats. People just did not celebrate like they do in the fan zone and honestly it feels like sitting in a 1983 version of Eurovision. Also for those who actually looked for us on screen (thank you), that is why you could not find us.
Now my opinion on the show? To put it in Dutch words: why you????? Why did Portugal win? I don't get it nor will I ever. But, while I was a hater at the time and actually left the arena before I had to listen to the winning song again, I am genuinely happy for Portuguese fans. They deserved to win after trying for such a long time, but did it have to be with this song?
I was asked if I now won't go next year. But really this is a stupid question. Just because I don't like the song Eurovision fans all other the world crowned the winner of 2017 does not mean I don't like Eurovision. If anything it is more important that I go. To me Eurovision is not about this one song and just winning. I've already said it and I do it again. Eurovision is about coming together despite any differences and celebrating music. It just so happens that this year I don't agree with the votes. That is okay.
There are, however, two reason why I would not go to Portugal next year. Firstly and hopefully unlikely a war is breaking out in Europe. Secondly and more likely, I am too broke and cannot afford the trip. With tickets and all 10days usually cost depending on the country around 2000 euro.
I will not be the only one with money being tight. Portugal will need to see how to fund Eurovision. Hopefully they get s lot of sponsors. Also I think they really should consider a back to basics approach. As Salvatore has said on multiple occasions he is fighting against songs that work off fireworks and wants to promote songs with meaning. So why not have a stage that has no led lightning, where no fireworks are possibly. Why not even go back to the time the songs were performed with a live orchestra? I think -just for one year-this would be awesome. The delegations will really have to think how to make a song work on a simple stage. Well Portugal, think about it... You probably have a small orchestra on staff anyways.
In any case, I did get my wish and Sweden didn't win. So I shouldn't be complaining.
At this stage I would have loved an outsider to win, Romania or Moldova for example. Though Moldova only scored so high because of the epic sax guy history. Is that a bad thing? I don't think so-work with what you got.
I think Belarus finally answered the question if they are a couple or not after always avoiding the answer and saying his love is his guitar.
Funny enough for me-just like every year-by the time I watch the songs in the shows I like them all on some level. Even Croatia that I did not understand to make the cut, has a beautiful message and it is so much fun to make fun of his staging.
Biggest surprise for me was Lucie from UK not doing well. I really had expected her to do better. Maybe it was a bit too much musical drama for Eurovision. But it is definitely what I liked. Maybe one day I get to see her perform in the Westend.
Now, a big thank you has to go out to Spain for messing up his song in the live show. This saved us from last place again. (Even if Henny would have won 300 euro had we been last). Now, seeing that the jury gave us points shows that it was not the worst we ever sent and Levina did a good job. I hope she had fun at least. I just agree with so many at Eurovision have said: we have to send something crazy. As I am not expecting a good position in Eurovision for at least another year, we should send something in 2019 that we wouldn't usually send. Stop this English mainstream pop, sweet girl mix and send something German. Have the bundesvision song contest be the preselection for Eurovision.
Oh by the way guys, in case you have missed it. There was a runner during jamalas performance (I like her new song) who showed his but. Despite the Australian flag, this guy was a Ukrainian prankster.
Almost every Australian was mortified and felt so bad when they saw the incident. I am happy for them that it was an Ukrainian.
Now, who is coming to Lisbon in. May 2018?
Okay, I knew it was going to happen. Still, there was this little (pretty big) voice in my head saying we can do this. And I am so disappointed in all of you that texted me saying he was shit or had a squeaky voice or the song was bad. I think Brendan did really well and I genuinely liked this song- I did not like the balloon.
For me, it would be the greatest thing in the world if Ireland were to host Eurovision again. And my head knew that this song would not lead to that and yet I am gutted. Sometimes emotions are very irrational. On top of being a bit deprived of sleep (about 3-4h), I suppose I am not surprised that I am crying about not qualifying. I am also disappointed in my friend, who has no understanding whatsoever for my reaction. But today is another day and I will smile and say it's all good and focus on Levina. Let's face it my next let down.
But let me tell you about the day as a whole. With a late start we went to a new restaurant with Odessan cuisine. I was not impressed with the help yourself buffet and be charged by the kilo approach but the food itself seem to have been good.
We originally had tickets for the family show in the afternoon as well as the live show in the evening. (Initially we only had the afternoon ticket and then they later released tickets for the live event) Because our OGAE president Roy had his official farewell meet up at 3pm we decided to not go to the show and say goodbye to Roy. We also took the time to meet up with Dan and his mum to get some Irish flags to wave at the show. Dans' mum was a really impressive woman and it was inspiring to live life to the fullest.
When saying our farewell to Roy we naturally made it to some Ukrainian news again. I feel by now that we are kind of celebrities in our own way.
Shortly before we wanted to leave Moldova arrived for a meet and greet. And while I would have loved a picture with epic sax guy, the time we had to the show was just too limited.
The show... Overall I liked the show. I think the interval acts where better in semi 1 than 2. The sound in the arena was much better than the first night.
Personally I would have not put my money on Croatia, however, after his performance I was already saying this was something my mom would probably vote for. So I am not surprised that it did make it to the final. And also I love the Estonian song but the male singer was extremely creepy when he looked into the camera. If I were at home voting, I'd probably call for the doctor. I don't get how some people thought we looked hot..
My personal favorites were Bulgaria, BELARUS and Hungary. Though the Dutch and Romanian song were pretty cool too.
Oh right, and then there was the proposal. I mean, it was a grand gesture to pop the question at the show, and it made her a winner regardless, but I feel proposals like that are so outdated. Also, it did not really fit into the show. However, I am happy for her and I am sure she appreciated the spotlight.
We closed the night at the euroclub and if I were drinking alcohol I possibly would have gotten hammered. As it was, I only tried to dance of my frustration.
Now, you are most likely not to hear from me until after the grand final.
Y'all vote for Germany not to be last, vote for Belarus or Romania for the fun of the song or for uk and Bulgaria for the amazing sound or just let Italy win. Or vote for Belgium because Belgium deserves to win. This is not a winning song I think but Belgium is delivering brilliant songs now year after year. They really turned it around, I'd love for it to be recognized.
Don't vote for Sweden... I don't want to go to Sweden again next year... Been there done that.... Moreover, it would rob Ireland of its title (most ESC wins)f
What can I tell you about with Wednesday?
We tried to walk to the toilet museum-yes their have a toilet history museum in Kiev. Unfortunately we did not find it as we failed to have the exact location on our map, just the street and couldn't access wlan. Instead we just walked around the streets back to our place to get ready for the OGAE party hosted with wiwibloggs.
While we should have known better by now we arrived fairly early to the euroclub and the show did not start until around 11pm.
Let me sum up some low-and highlights:
Somebody please replace the host in euroclub. We must be the worst host you have ever had. He is self centered, annoying and boring. Basically you see him walking around with his selfie stick trying to get as much pictures with celebrities, more for the fact to get followers from the look of it than for the joy of having a picture with the act. A host should try to keep the crowed going but his "any minute now" and pointless, repetitious "where are you from? Ah we recognized you already" is more than annoying by now.
The dj is playing nonstop non Eurovision songs. Upon asking why (especially on the night of the fanclub-party) they weren't playing ESC songs the response was, that the dj was Ukrainian and did not know Eurovision songs. This is the euroclub on wiwi jam/OGAE night and we have more than one dj in our fan clubs that could and would have done it for sure. Honestly, even just playing a Spotify or whatnot list would have had been better.
I've been duffed. I cannot give to much details, but there was a pretty bad teenage romcom (I am a sucker for those) about a duff and this pretty much happened to me last night. Too bad Henny has no interest whatsoever... Very uncomfortable and awkward.
The Latvian act was said to perform but did not show up.
Now for the highlights.
The line up was great. Lindita made me cry when we she sang her song after not qualifying and we wanted to give her a real round of applause to appreciate her song. She was obviously emotional about not getting through and still getting this support. She then gave a beautiful I will always love you -Whitney Houston rendition on stage. Just wonderful.
Poland really rocked the house with her brother, who "was paid to play the violin and not to talk" according to him. They both enjoyed being on stage.
Greeces' dancers were great and I tried to get a picture of those two for a friend but failed miserably as you can see below.
Montenegro rocked the house. As I said I understand why he did not qualify but man this guy knows how to rock a stage. It was brilliant. So much so that we did not care that Sweden was up on stage next.
Later we were surprised by self proclaimed ESC whore Krista Siegfrids with her song marry me.
Also Alma actually came after performing in the jury semi to perform fear song on stage.
Biggest surprise of the evening however, hands down has to be the closing act.
Mans zelmerlöw was actually there to perform and the crowed went wild. And can I just say: totally get why he won. And his charisma and stage presence is a million times beeper than robins.
When the first playback started he looked surprised. I believe he expected that he would sing hero but instead the song cara Mia was played, but mans just changed gears and performed. Afterwards he did sing heroes.
A little let down: wiwibloggs interviewed him and they talked about love love peace peace-the greatest interval act in a long time.he was asked if he could sing it for us and mans agreed if they had the track. So wiwibloggs suggested to regroup in a few minutes when they found the song but in the end they didn't. This way there was no real final good buy and I think mans could possibly have sung the song acapella with the audience.
Next up... Go Ireland! Please remember to vote. Germany you are allowed to vote on the second semi so please help Brendan.
It's the day of the first semi and I am getting excited. It is also rememberance day and considered to the most dangerous day during Eurovision time in Kiev. Because this day was all about liberation from the nazis, we decided not to walk about too German. Though the golden spandex leggings I went for instead definitely caused attention and laughter. You know what: I think it is great that I can make people smile and have a bit of fun in a time when they have war on their mind.
Today we took the red hop on hop off sightseeing tour. Positive: the English commentator sounded almost Scottish and the final stop was right outside our apartment. Negative: it was raining, stops were not properly announced and the information given was very repetitive.
Because of the tight security we needed to be at the exhibition center 2.5h before the show. Half way there I noticed that I had left our tickets at home. Yes, call me eegit. Those 20min were probably the reason though why we were not the first in lines but still early enough to be first row at the small stage where Portugal performed. (We checked and yes, we are in some shots, so watch out for us!)
However, before we got to the stage we still had to do a lot of waiting. The security was not as tight as I had imagined. And while we got an email stating bags were not allowed, we saw a lot of backpacks.
About the show itself: In the arena we had real problems actually hearing the vocal performance of the acts. At first I thought it was because the audience was singing along too loudly but when the presenters where talking we did not understand a word most of the times either.
What I can say about the audience is that this time they were great in regards to fairness. Everyone cheered for all acts and made them feel welcome on stage. Obviously there were some acts that got more applause than others but I don't think anybody felt mistreated.
Because we couldn't really hear the singers, we re-watched the shows of those we did not understand. We knew Montenegro was not going through according to the odds but we loved his performance, however seeing the tv-transmission we totally get how Montenegro did not make the cut. On the other hand, listening to the show again at home I am surprised (though delighted) that Belgium made it to the final. Overall I am okay with the results of the show though I probably would have preferred Latvia over Cyprus and Finland over Australia. Can't wait for Thursday now.
A few side notes: Greece's act reminds me of a Disney character.. Look at her face and tell me she could not be right out of a Disney movie.
I still don't like Portugals song but I loved Portugals' faces during recaps.
And lastly I am going to bet on UK top five-I mean, listen to that high note she is hitting every time.
Today I will wear my least favorite outfit of the bunch. Why I don't like it? It is not well made and it does neither look coherent nor is it flattering for any body type. But as luck will have it, it was today everything had to happen. But let me start at the beginning...
Firstly we enjoyed bbqed vegetables for breakfast. Those were delicious but marinated in garlic. Really yummy but maybe not ideal to chat to contestants or press of Eurovision.
We did a bit of sightseeing and went to a Georgian restaurant (cheese overkill) before heading to the Israeli party, that was supposed to start at 8pm according to euroclub but according to Israeli organizer kicked off at 9.30pm
At the location we were the only crazy ESC dress ups (closest to our level were some Maltese with Malta flags)
Because Israel is known for their awesome parties there was quite some media turn up. And no wonder we were asked to get in front of a camera more that once. Worst though was the moment the Ukrainian television show asked us for an interview. It started out really good. They asked us for our favorite and I said I would support Ireland because the song is so sweet and Montenegro because he is just weird but owning it. Then they asked us to sing on of our favorite songs (henny had mentioned Sweden) so we started singing. Unfortunately, two sentences into the song we could not remember the lyrics it was really bad. Now for the worst part: the reporter then announced that robin will be in their show and they will show this to him. I am mortified.
And while we're at it, why stop embarrassing ourselves then. 30 min later we saw the German delegation and got the selfie with Levina. Because she was still being interviewed we had to wait for the foto opp for a bit and talked to the delegation. We showed them the picture of my German and Irish dress and one of them took a picture of those dresses (if we have those dresses as merchandise next year or we see Barbara schöneberger wearing one... They stole that from me.
Henny also revealed her dream of wanting to present the points from Germany at Eurovision. She told that she had already written to the broadcasting station and got rejected. In the letter the guy was really polite. This time henny was not that lucky and they looked up and down on her and said they could understand why the station would prefer Barbara :(
The party itself was quite good as the Israeli delegation had managed to receive a lot of rsvps from performers. With that we had France, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Malta, Romania, Austria, Cyprus, Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia and of course Israel perform. And for the most part we where second row. I recorded the Dutch singers during lights and shadows and a Dutch fan from behind me, physically attacked me because my iPad was blocking his view. Now I do understand patriotism and that you want to see something but pushing someone and pulling ones hair is not cool. I mean I had the hairy arms of the guy in front of me in most of my pictures and videos as he just goes wild for all acts. But I did not attack him.
Later we wanted to get a drink. However, the staff was so in over their heads that we gave up after not being served for 30min.
We went home with a sweet party gift. While we did not get the flashing head pieces they handed out, we did get some really nice body butter from Israel.
I know it is now after the first semi so I will upload this and start writing to upload the next post asap.
Having a slow start into day 3 of Eurovision. But I am hoping for a great day. A) Helly is arriving. B) it is wiwibloggs party in euroclub. The club should finally be packed.
As both will be in the afternoon I am hoping to save some energy for later. By now I got dressed in today's outfit and updated YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. Now I will need to go to the shows again buying some bread and cheese. Can you feel my excitement?
The day itself was pretty restful and Henny arrived with just one hour delay. Apparently there was a guy with a heart attack on her flight... But now they she is here we are getting ready for the wiwi jam at the euroclub tonight.
Before the party we went to a raw food restaurant and Henny and Dan were not impressed at all. Well, at least it was healthy. Won't be going there again though.
To avoid last nights awkwardness of nobody being at the party we wanted to get there later. And while we arrived about an hour later than the first act was supposed to be on stage, we had to wait for about another hour before the first act- 2015 Ukrainian participant of the junior ESC.
There is not that much to say though about the acts though.
I felt really bad for Lucie from the UK. They had to change the running order and Lucie had offered to go on next. However, the soundguys were haven trouble again and the track wouldn't start. Like the pro she is, she cracked a joke about it and tried to keep the audience entertained by singing abba, asking multiple times for help before William from wiwibloggs got on stage to save her -a knight in rusty armor. Once the track was finally on she couldn't finish the song without more sound issues. What was no issue was her voice though. Lucie was brilliant and the nailed her song-even in an attempted dance version. There are things that you should keep classic.
Lowlight of the evening was without a doubt San Marino. While Valentina was fun and definitely was musical potential, her duet it terrible (songwriter Ralf Siegel was in the club-when will he finally call it quits????) and worth that the song itself was valentinas' duet partner. He performed one of his own songs and it was even worse than the ESC entry. He is sleazy and fake and his mouth is moving very weirdly while singing.
Switzerland also performed that night and were underwhelming. The Timebell singer was wearing a dress you probably can by at Ann summers. In itself that would have been okay, really, had she not opted for a bra underneath that was way too visible in the back (and I don't think she wore the bra visible on purpose).
On the contrary I was impressed with Bulgarian und Serbian entry. Serbia did her rendition of 2007 molitva and it reminded me of how great this song was.
I tried to upload the videos yesterday but YouTube aborted the uploads ad I gave up after 4 videos.
After the concert, the party really started with the OGAE dj playing one ESC smash hit after the other. Well, towards the end the song choices were a bit more questionable but then again they usually try to make you leave by playing "party stoppers"
We arrived at home around 3am. It was a good day overall.
The next morning (I was really hoping to sleep in) I got up at 7ish. My friends slept until 10am-lucky bastards.
Because the weather forecast predicted rain for the following day, we did some sightseeing, leaving we with quite a sunburn on my shoulders (except for where the straps of the dress were)
In the evening it was then time for the red carpet. With the experience of last year, we had something to live up to. Man, were we disappointed. As you already know from Instagram or can see below, we had great outfits (designed by myself). From the last years we knew we might not be able to get into the fan section but there is usually a little spot for the public. Not this time. The closest we got was about 200-300m away from the entrance to the red carpet. And we were advised by volunteers we should go to the village to watch it on the big screen. Now, be honest: we are not watching the red carpet for interviews but to be there and support the artists, cheering them on and maybe even taken some pictures.
The worst news about this. We learned about the OGAE section that we could go to if we had out OGAE membership card with us. But guess what Marcus had never meet up with me yet to give it to me. So that was our entry ticket and we didn't have it on us. So frustrating.
We watched a bit of the red carpet though live stream and it made us fairly angry. It was so empty along the sides of the "longest red carpet". What is the point of a long red carpet if there is nobody on the sides to support the artists. And even worse: those few fans that were there, didn't even bother to dress up like us or like we have seen from full on fans like us.
Instead of torturing ourselves, we went to a close by restaurant and had Ukrainian food. It was really good and our waitress even spoke German with us rather that English.
After dinner we decided to watch some vintage Eurovision: 1983 with UK commentary) It is funny to see how much has changed between then and now. Back then the host has to read out the conductor (they had an orchestra), the composers, and artists in German, English and French before every entry. they actually phoned all the countries for voting and all points had to be read. No wonder it took that long. Also it was funny to hear the comments like: Luxembourg has always been doing so well. Or how they thought the Spanish performance was quite ethnic and out there. We imagined what they would have said if this years Montenegro would have performed that year. The audience was all seated and you could not even see one flag in the "crowd". When they went wild, it meant that one or two actually got off their chairs. We imagined how many would have fainted had lordi performed that year.
Later we also watched all German entries between 1956 and 2015. We now have a maffay-theory. Germany seems to be doing very poorly for about 7 years, before we do quite well (top5) again. We had some pretty decent years. With that in mind it is completely okay for Levina to come in bottom5 because we will be up on top again.
As promised (or threatened) my first impressions of Kiev. Arriving at the airport I had to go through pass control. I was delighted to see that they had a counter just for ESC guests. You would imagine that they would post English speaking staff there. Well, they don't. We tried to communicate but she then had to get a colleague to support her and in the end they let me enter without too much hassle. My luggage arrived fairly early so I could get into town quickly. I was surprised to see an old acquaintances in the arrival hall though. Hüseyn was already working with me as volunteer in 2011& 2015. Now, again he is the delegation host of Germany and he was picking up the German delegation. He is going to have the best of times.
On my way to the bus (which is a 2min walk) about 15(!) taxi drivers asked me if I want a ride. Fairly annoying. People here don't really speak English. So I was not sure if I was actually on the right bus until the end of the trip. And what trip it was. It reminded me a lot of Bratislava except that the buses to Vienna were more modern.
At the train station I did not see the metro entry at first. I can now relate to my mother when she visited me in Ireland and didn't want to do anything on her own. If you don't speak the language and get lost it is darn nerve-wrecking.
Arriving at kreshchatyk I had to find guidance to get to Mala zhytomyrska. It is one thing if you have a map but another if the street signs are in Cyrillic.
But I got here in the end and what can I say, I basically live within the Eurovision fan mile. I literally just have to walk down my street. Today I will walk to the euro club to see if this is really 25min or even less.
The apartment itself is quite hidden and fairly old. I was a bit scared to walk up the iron (or whatever metal) stairs as they looked ready to collapse. The pictures I already uploaded yesterday.
But the apartment is really cute. It has a kind of winter garden/balcony. What is missing though are window blinds. The daylight woke me up at 4am.
I really like the area we are staying in because it has all those historic buildings. At the same time, I know, my legs will be complaining tomorrow from all the uphill/downhill action going on.
After taking a few deliberate detours on my way to Lviv handmade chocolate cafe (my mom really wants that chocolate) I tool an accidental wrong turn. For about 20min I was completely lost, wandering around, hoping to find something I could recognize on the map I had with me. When I finally did, I was just one block away from the cafe. I guess my sense of orientation isn't completely off.
My mom had send me a picture of the chocolate the wants, however, they did not have the wrapped version anymore. So instead I have now two huge chunks of chocolate blocks. I can't wait for my moms face when she sees that. She better be happy. I spent 420 UAH on chocolate. That is 15 euro worth of chocolate. My whole shopping I did was less than half of that.
Talking about shopping. They have a billa here, which I know from Austria.so I went in and I am telling you it is difficult to buy groceries when you have no clue what you are buying. I mean I recognized the apples and the cereal. But my biggest problem was milk. So here they sell some in bottles and some in bags. And while I can read the 2.5% or 0.5% indicating whether this was full fat milk or not I had no idea what the difference between monoko and kedpip and whatnot is. I tried the first one and did tasted alright with the granola I bought and I did not have to visit the bathroom afterwards. Meaning whatever kind of milk I bought, my body is at least not revolting against it.
Now, I walked to the euroclub location arriving around 3pm. So I went to the cafe first as the club was only opening at 8pm.
At first my plan was to just sit and relax and writing this. Looking for a place to sit the sofas were all occupied and I was about to just take a chair. Then I changed my mind asking a guy at one of the sofas if he'd mind if I would sit there too. 5h later we walked to euroclub together.
Dan is from the UK and we talked about ESC,ESC and a bit more ESC. He was only there for a meet and greet that was canceled last minute and about ready to leave when I arrived.
What really bugs me about the night though: I am such a chicken!!! When we stood outside euroclub Estonia arrived and I did not get a picture :( and it would have been so easy as I had taken one for Dan.
Then Brendan Murray surprised us on stage and thanks to Dan I now have a pic with Brendan. But I behaved so awkwardly! What is wrong with me? Why am I sort of star struck? I don't think it's really that but more the idea that I am not a 15year old fan girl. But whenever it come to Eurovision this 30year old turns to a kinda groupie. Then again, I have been walking a fair amount in the sun (yes, the weather in Ukraine is warm and sunny) so maybe I had a sunstroke rather than a starstroke.
From this years ESC we had also Romania and Czech Republic perform. I did not even attempt to get a picture.
Real highlight of the night was verka serduchka. The 2007 entry has become somewhat of a ESC legend and to see verka perform live was amazing. The house was on fire! Great finish for this day!
I uploaded some videos to YouTube as I cannot upload them on my blog.
Btw:I just tried the other milk and I believe this is what buttermilk tastes like. In anyway it is disgusting.
In my last post I started writing about my opinion about the songs and was side tracked by my purse gone missing. As I will have time on my flight I will continue my review now.
I will bore you by giving you my opinion on each and every single entry by running order.
Sweden. Robin was not my first choice during the national selection, however, I really like the song. Perfect to start of the ESC 2017. It is a good song to dance to and even if his freaking beautiful sign means asshole in some countries I think he will be top 5. I mean we CANNOT have Sweden win AGAIN!!
Georgia. Keep the faith is an okay song. I do not fast forward when it comes on but I don't see it qualifying.
Australia. I still don't understand why they are still taking part but as they are, the song is cute and I like it but I would not vote for it. I believe the bookies have it in top10.
Albania. World or originally bote is also good and her sound great but I would not have it qualify necessarily though.
Belgium. The last few years Belgium has always provided really good songs and maybe it is time for them to win. Now, I love the studio version of this song. Blanche's voice is awesome. Unfortunately, during the rehearsals she has shown to be nervous and this could ruin her top10 position in the final. Hope she gets it under control. The live show can be very nerve-wrecking. I was just a volunteer and I cried when Ireland qualified in 2011.
Montenegro: don't laugh but I like the song and his braided hair is too funny. The lyrics are just ridiculous at times. Overall not sure about qualifying.
Finland. I want Norma to qualify. Blackbird is so wonderfully moody. Nothing more to say.
Azerbaijan. Not a fan of skeletons. It is okay and I liked the choreography as it reminds me of the Russian entry last year but taken the piss with it. But I don't want this to qualify either.
Portugal. No. 9 and the first song not in English. In fact I believe it is the only non English song in the first semi. For that I give the song credit. However I do not understand why this is top 5 for bookies. I really don't like this and I would be surprised if the audience will call for him- but the jury is probably liking it.
Greece. I don't even remember this song. And I have not seen the rehearsal so I am not going to say anything about Demy.
Poland. Once again a nice song but not something I would desperately need to have in the final (I am sorry petzi, Poland had better songs) however, I won't be angry if they qualify.
Moldova. I think this is the fist song out of the first semi that I love, love, love to go to the final. Though I have listened to it so many times I am close to having heard it too many times but: hey, mama!!!!
Iceland. Svala is great. I want her to qualify. I think it is a shame that Iceland chose the English version of the song though.
Czech Republic. When I listen to the song I think: yeah this is nice enough and afterward I have already forgotten about it.
Cyprus. Somebody on YouTube made a joke that he is like an embarrassing dad at the party but I like the song. Probably because it has some rocky elements.
Armenia. Fly with me is cool. I don't listen to it that often but whenever I hear it I really like it.
Slovenia. Alright, he has a good voice but come on, I don't like the song. Maybe the emotion during the live show will win me over.
Latvia. This song I like again, but this could have difficulties with the esc audience
To summarize, in an ideal world I would want Sweden, Belgium, Montenegro, Finland, Moldova, Iceland, Armenia and Latvia to qualify. As you can see I do not even have a top10 to qualify...
Serbia. With this song the 2nd semi starts with a song at this stage I do not have to see going through.
Austria. I love you Austria but this song is so boring. Nathan is good but I am missing something. I am sorry.
Macedonia. Not much to say about this. I like it I guess. But don't care if it qualifies or not.
Malta. Now breathlessly is breathtaking. Qualification accepted.
Romania. yodel it might be stupid but I think it is funny and I wouldn't be upset about hearing it in the final.
Netherlands. Looooove og3ne. Harmonies and a beautiful song. Looooove!
Hungary. Now, I have heard some bad reviews about this but I love the ethnic sound of this song and I am always happy when it comes on on my iPod.
Denmark. I think it is the weakest entry from the Nordic region. Not a qualifier for me.
Ireland. Oh Ireland! Why does everyone hate this song. I remember my first time listening to it but I have listened to it a thousand times and I just love it. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE qualify.
San Marino. I have a feeling Ralf Siegel will never stop until he actually drops. And I do not like the song. Next.
Croatia. I like it and I hate it. Let's move on I don't wanna go into detail ;)
Norway. Okay maybe Denmark is not the worst Nordic entry. I think I liked grab the moment at first. Oh, maybe I like it again listened to it live.
Switzerland. Everyone who read my blog knows I dislike Apollo. And I still don't like it. But whenever I listen to it I sing along and weirdly enough I like it as long as it is on. Just to dislike it afterwards. I know I'm a weirdo.
Belarus. I used to loooove this song. And I still like it and want it to qualify but I think I'm oversaturated with this song.
Bulgaria. This does not even get close to poli even if people seam to like it. And he is to big of a competition for Brendan. Have to dislike this. But it is no2 for the bookies :'(
Lithuania. Don't like it. Not my cup of tea.
Estonia. I really get a good feeling every time this song is on.... Lost in Verona!!!
Israel. Yeah, again not angry if it goes either way I'm afraid.
Again I cannot find 10 songs I want to go through. I want Ireland! Netherlands, Hungary, Belarus and Estonia.
For the big 5:
Ukraine can stay at home. Dislike.
France is great! I wanna hear more of that.
Italy overrated but good. Seriously the only reason this Wilson is because there is no AMAZING song this year.
Germany Song sucks- sorry but true! I actually hit skip every time. But i like her voice. Hopefully she won't strain her voice before the final to have a good performance.
Spain is okay but not the best song ever.
U.K. I really like, very emotional. Will it do well in the competition? Probably not. Unfortunately.
By the way below you see what I am wearing today. Rather boring but a beautiful reminder of the past. Building bridges.
There you have it. My opinion. Remember it is just the opinion of one very opinionated person. Don't sweat it ;)
By the way, I arrived in Munich. Rather sad, my first time in Munich and all I get to see is the airport. But a pretty nice airport.
Omg. Now I feel really bad. I am on the same flight as levina. Even worse, when I went to the toilet she was there getting changed and I addressed her like this: I know it is highly inappropriate, however I just want to say good luck, I will be in the arena too.... She said thanks and continued changing and I left. Because of the situation I did not ask for a picture ;) Now she is sitting in 10F and I am in 12A. I am like a stalker. I feel bad because I don't like her song. I think for that reason alone I will not become a complete creep and report on every move she makes. Will it be too creepy if I try for a selfie at the airport? It's ESC and I am an ESC fan after all. I should have worn the German shirt :D
Arrived in Kiev. I did not get that picture because the delegation was stuck at the pass control for too long. And what happened in Kiev will not stay in Kiev but I will write about tomorrow. But here are some pictures already...
Good night (yes I am ahead of time;)
Today was the worst day ever. I have been in the store for 10h and can basically count the people coming in on one hand. There is only so much you can do to pass boredom. I have already eaten a whole bag of katjes vegetarian wine gums. Now I am taken a bit of time to write. Are there any news for you? Up until a few minutes ago there was not really. Until then I would have told you about how I packed my bag-trying not to take anything with me worth stealing and how I got insurance. Maybe I tell you later.
But now I have real news: concert.ua actually released some left-over tickets for the grand final of ESC 2017. So now I am not only seeing the semis live but will be in the exhibition center when the winner of 2017 is crowned (I have something to say about that too). The tickets I got should not only be without restricted view on the stage but should also alluow us to look into the green room, giving us the chance to see the reactions from the delegations when the points are read. Soooo excited!
But let me tell you about my travel to Kiev. While the Ukraine is a country of war, Kiev is considered to be rather save. At the same time Eurovision is a really big event and it would not surprise me if some idiots would try to bomb their message across. Let's hope that those idiots are stupid enough to be stopped, so the world can enjoy this music festival.
The next thing I was advised about is the corruption and the high level of criminality in Kiev. Well, I hope that nothing will happen to me, but just to be on the save side I bought travel insurance that will cover the loss or theft of my baggage. I also plan on listening to the advise given, to carry valuables close to my body at all times. For this purpose alone I made myself a really ugly waist-bag (my sewing skills really left me hanging on this one) but it should serve its purpose very well.
And now this: guess what concert.ua just released... Ticket packages for all live shows in the "gold circle" basically a section right in front of the stage between the fan zone and the stage. 270euro per package. Why? Why? Why? Why did they only release them now? Why did I buy all show separately? Why can I not afford to spend another 270€ on top of what I already spent?
Maybe it was not supposed to be this year and next year I can get a proper fan package again.
Earlier I said I have something to say about the winner of this year. Let's get to it. Remember a few month back I gave you a first impression of the acts of 2017? Boy, has my opinion changed. Italy has cemented themselves as the winner in the bookies eyes, so it seems inevitable. But that said, I still don't think it is the best entry. Personally, I love a lot of this years entries but I fear that non of them are good enough to win. How sad is that?
What happened? There is a chance I lost my purse on my way from work. I came home to such a sweet surprise from my dad that I did not even unpack my bag until later. Then before going to bed I quickly wanted to repack for my flight, just to realize that my purse is missing. I frantically searched everywhere. Even places that made no sense whatsoever, but my purse didn't show up. I actually do not believe I have lost it. For me there are only 2options. Number 1 I left it at work. No. 2 it was stolen from me in the u7. Naturally I hope for option no.1. In any case I have already checked if I can change my flight but the would cost 550€. But there is a Russian flight going out later for 200€. So if all goes to shit I could book a later flight.
Unfortunately I could not go back to the schloss right away as it was closed. With that there was not much more I could do. I went to sleep (pretty restless though) and am now on my way back into work with my luggage with me. All I can do is hope that I was just being a complete "vollhorst" and can go straight to the airport with my purse.
The schloss was still closed but I was able to sneak in with some staff. I checked the store and my purse was not there! I could not believe it. I looked again. And there it was in the very back of the corner... You cannot imagine my relief when I found it. And now I am already at the airport. Which means I will continue to my next post that I will hopefully upload tonight.
Celebrate diversity- see you in Kiev.
pennyless fashion designer working towards London