How to get on TV at the Eurovision Song Contest

Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Blog, Eurovision | 2 comments

How to get on TV at the Eurovision Song Contest

When I was interviewed by German Television I knew I’d made it. My aim when I left Derby to go to Dusseldorf for the Eurovision Song Contest was to get on TV and I had a cunning plan.

By Mark Saxby

I’d decided the best way to be famous (of a kind) was to support a country that no one else would. My wife Kerry had bought me tickets for the second semi final so I listened to all the 19 countries who’d been placed in that heat and did a lot of thinking. My guess was that if I picked a country which would have little support in Germany, I would stand out and get spotted by a TV crew either inside or outside the stadium.

I got my selection down to Moldova and FYR Macedonia (in case you’re wondering what FYR stands for, it’s Fry Your Rabbits) but plumped for Moldova in the end for three big reasons – it was a small country, the people were poor so unlikely to travel and most importantly of all, their song was awful – who’d want to support that? I ordered a giant Moldovan flag through Ebay – it was made in Taiwan of course – and flew to Germany.

Zdob si Zdub

The Moldovan song was performed by Zdob si Zdub (pronounced: Zdob si Zdub) and I knew they’d worn large black cone-shaped hats in their qualifier. So Kerry and I went to an art shop in Dusseldorf and asked the shop assistant to help us make a hat out of paper. I told her I was supporting Moldova: “Your English is very good,” the astute German replied.

So onto the concert stadium and the event. I got lots of stares as I wondered around but despite my lingering looks at television crews, none of them wanted to interview me. Then to cap it all, the Eurovision TV crew decided to focus on some real Moldovans inside the stadium while the band played. How ridiculous to film them, I thought – none of them are wearing pointy hats.

Mark with some REAL Moldovans

But it was while we were waiting for the announcement about who had gone through to the final that I had my biggest impact. I spotted Ell and Nikki from Azerbaijan above me in the stand and I raced up to say hello and get their autograph. “You were great in the first semi final,” I gushed. “I think you have a really good chance of winning on Saturday.” This was obviously a key moment for the pair. My words brought a flush of confidence into their faces and I knew straight away, I was the one who would be responsible for their victory in the final.

Free currywurst

Still no TV interview though. The concert ended – amazingly the Moldovans got through – and Kerry and I made our way to the underground station. And then it happened. An excited German woman beckoned me over to her. At first I thought, “Great. Free currywurst,” but it turned out to be even better. She placed me in front of a TV camera and asked me about being a Moldovan at the Eurovision Song Contest. I gave a big shout out to Moldova to close the interview and the cameraman and interviewer exchanged big smiles – I knew I had made it.

What’s this got to do with social media? Well not much really but there has to be some spurious mention in my blog so here goes – I had a bit of a dilemma while I was watching the show. Should I tweet about the concert to my followers at home or should I just watch the show? Would I miss out on the full experience of Eurovision if I spent too much time staring at the screen on my phone?

In the end I decided just a few tweets would do. After all, social media is a really great way of interacting with people but when it starts getting in the way of living your life, then that’s going too far. I may be a social media fan, but for goodness sake, this was Eurovision and I wanted to enjoy EVERY moment.

2 Comments

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  1. Pete Clark

    Good post Mark. I can’t muster too much enthusiasm for Eurovision myself, but the wearing of makeshift cardboard hats used to be a hobby of mine. I have the same dilemma about when and what to Tweet about. I feel like some kind of Tweetbutler would be useful, so I could just say “Grandall!” (He would be called Grandall) “That was an interesting occurrence. Let my people know.” Yeah, something like that.

  2. Mark

    Pete, you’re mad. But I love the idea…

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