Before September 1 hits, and we get sucked into everything Eurovision/Junior Eurovision, we wanted to take the opportunity to give our readers a chance to get to know our team a bit better. There’s no other way to do this other than to do a series where we introduce ourselves. In this part, it is the turn of article and podcast contributor Ava.
Good evening Europe (and good morning Australia!)
My name is Ava, and I am from Sydney, Australia. When not found listening to Eurovision songs, you can find me either thinking about the Dutch show Wie is de Mol, imagining my mol tactics on said Dutch show, performing in plays, attempting to learn German, spending “quality” time with my cat, or writing stories.
Name: Ava Masters
You can find her giving comments no one asked for on:
How did I get into the Eurovision Song Contest?
I could pinpoint the start of my Eurovision journey at many different points of my life, but the first time I had really heard of the event was 2012 when I was 11- so it seems almost natural to start there. You might be shocked to find out that my first introduction to Eurovision wasn’t positive- especially considering how much I love the event now.
In short, my school had decided to enter my class into a dance section in the local eisteddfod. When we struggled to pick a song, the school principal, who insisted on choreographing our routine, turned to that year’s Eurovision entries. We eventually settled on the Romanian entry- Zaleilah. Sadly, the dance was filled with so much favoritism as well as the principal just not liking me that it, unfortunately, left a bad taste in my mouth surrounding Eurovision. Even when Australia was announced as participating in the contest, I never showed a real interest- always associating it with that dance from 2012.
Eurovision and I ran like parallel lines after that- I have a few memories of the contest, but never that many, and none that made an impact. For instance, I can vaguely remember Sweden (2015) and Portugal (2017) winning, but that’s it.
It was 2018, at some point in May, when it really began for me. I was in art class, and my friend decided to show me the Czech Republic’s entry that year. And from that moment onwards, I was hooked- with many questions surrounding my head. For example- I had just been to Germany that December. When did Germany last win? What did they send? What did Australia send? Why are we even in it?
These questions lead me to discoveries of songs like the 2010 winner Satellite, which still holds its place as my favorite Eurovision song of all time and is just an all-around comfort song.
In the lead-up to May 2019, I found myself looking forward to the event, and like the year before, looked at the acts with the girl from my art class who introduced me to Eurovision. May 18th, 2019. I woke up early to watch live for the first time. I knew that I was perched on the edge of a very deep hole I was about to fall into.
And I fell.
What point did I consider myself as a “Eurofan”?
In a non-weirdest way, the moment when I realized that I was in this one for the long haul was when I was sitting in English class in late August 2019 doing a practice exam that I really didn’t want to do. Around about halfway through that exam, I got a very familiar tune stuck in my head- none other than Love Love Peace Peace. In that moment I realized I was in deep. It’s such a random moment to realize these things but I really do believe that that is when it all came together for me.
I’m surprised I didn’t start writing down the lyrics on the exam paper.
When I opened up my wrapped that year, Yodel It! (Romania 2017) was my most played song. There was no turning back.
How has my life changed since becoming a Eurofan?
Well first and foremost, I have become suspiciously better at labeling a map of Europe than my family. I find songs over 3 minutes too long. My parents have heard me trying to sing songs in languages that I don’t know. I know more about the Dutch music industry than the Aussie one. I have completely thrown my sleeping schedule out the window. Most importantly, I now collect flags!
But I think for me, one of the most magical things that have happened to me since becoming a Eurofan, would not have happened without the cancellation of 2020. Around about a week after the fateful March 18th, I was looking for some online friends to talk to during lockdown, especially like-minded ones since I wasn’t going to go into uni for a while. I ended up taking a risk and joined a discord who were planning to do re-watches of past shows. Not only that, I ended up taking an even bigger gamble by not just engaging in chat on that discord, but actually waking up at 5 am (actually 6, they excused my lateness because of my timezone), and watching 2011 with them.
From us all agreeing we didn’t like the winner that year- to us actually continuing the Saturday night (or Sunday morning) tradition, I think it’s one of the most beautiful things to come out of 2020. Personal performances of My Friend (Croatia 2017) at 7 am? Where else can it be found?
What are my favourite Eurovision Songs and Countries?
If you need to know one thing about me, it is that I went to Germany in 2017 and didn’t quite come back the same. As a result due to certain biases, I can never fully hate a German entry. And despite not being German, it does feel slightly illegal when I sent a little vote Germany’s way.
Germany asides, one country I have found myself always enjoying is Ukraine. I don’t think they have ever sent a song I hate. From SHUM to Be My Valentine, from Tick Tock to Show Me Your Love, Ukraine never quite has disappointed me. I also enjoy the fact that lots of the songs they send are authentic to the artist. There is a reason they have never failed to qualify.
As for my top songs, in no particular order except for the fact that Satellite is my favorite of all time:
- 🇮🇸 Iceland (2006) Silvia Night with “Congratulations”
- 🇳🇱The Netherlands (1998) Edsilia Rombley with “Hemel en Aarde”
- 🇦🇺 Australia (2019) Kate Miller Heidke with “Zero Gravity”
- 🇺🇦 Ukraine (2021) GO_A with “Shum”
- 🇩🇪 Germany (2010) Lena with “Satellite”
What are my favourite National Final songs?
I am gonna be completely honest, not many NF songs have stuck with me. Most will be from the 2021 season because that’s the first season I really followed. This is mainly due to the time difference, and the fact that before I had people to watch with, I valued my sleep. I pay attention to NF season mainly for a bit of fun and giggles, not really because I have a strong opinion on any of the songs.
Here are a few I have liked though.
- 🇳🇴 KEiiNO with “Monument” (Melodi Grand Prix 2021)
- 🇳🇴 Ole Hartz with “Vi er Norge” (Melodi Grand Prix 2021)
- 🇸🇪 Eva Rydberg and Ewa Roos with “Rema Rena Ding Dong” (Meldoifestivalen 2021)
- 🇫🇷 Philippine with “Bah Non” (Eurovision France, c’est vous qui décidez! 2021)
- 🇩🇪 Lilly Among Clouds with “Surprise” (Unser Lied 2019)
What am I looking forward to in the next Eurovision season?
Like most people, I can’t wait for more songs, discovering new artists, and seeing how Italy hosts.
But- if I am gonna be completely honest, I’m just looking forward to spending it with my friends. I loved every minute of watching the National Finals with them, and I loved watching the live shows with them and making memes, as well as inside jokes. I loved sharing the moment, for lack of better phrasing. And I just can’t wait to create more memories.
What do you think of Ava’s favorite songs? Want to learn more about our team? Let us know in the comments below or on social media. Don’t forget to follow ‘THAT Eurovision Site’ over at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.