Fuller fulfils Eurovision dream

Posted: 3/9/2005 in:

Teenage singer Joni Fuller will represent the UK at this year’s Junior Eurovision contest, which will take place in Hasselt, Belgium, on November 26. The 13-year-old fought off strong competition from seven other performers with her self-penned ballad How Does It Feel, which features her playing the violin as well as singing.

Although Joni clearly had one of the stronger songs out of the eight which made it to the final, it was by no means a runaway winner. When it came to the voting, Vicki Gordon’s uptempo, 60s-inspired number Groovy Chick took an early lead after winning top marks from the results of the text voting.

However, she fell behind once the results of the phone votes from around the UK came in, with the final quickly turning into a three horse race between Joni and two 15-year-old male singers, Ben Smith (whose song Lovely was written about his girlfriend Lauren), and Craig Lees (with the gentle guitar ballad Clear The Air).

As we’ve said before, Team Eurovision still doesn’t like Junior Eurovision nearly as much as its grown-up counterpart, but we couldn’t help noticing that the quality of songs in the UK junior final was rather better than the ones vying for a place at this year’s contest in Kiev. We weren’t too keen on Sarah Robertson’s In My Life or Lizzie M’s rocky Devil In A Hood, but some of the other songs – especially those by Joni, Ben and Craig – wouldn’t have been out of place in the main event in Kiev, and might even have scored us a better result. Yes, we know they’re all too young to enter the contest proper, but we can’t help thinking that their songs are exactly the type of thing we should be entering for Athens 2006 – at this stage in our Eurovision career, a rousing ballad (as opposed to a throwaway pop song) could be just what we need to put us back on the map.

The question is, though – after coming 3rd in the first Junior Eurovision and 2nd in last year’s, can Joni go one better and actually win the contest in Hasselt? Hard to say without hearing any of the other competitors – but we reckon she’s in with a chance.

My Big Fat Greek Eurovision?

Posted: 1/9/2005 in:

Speculation is already mounting as to who will be hosting the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest in Athens. According to the website ESC Today, the Greek media have already put several likely – and not so likely – candidates forward. For starters, they’re tipping Sakis Rouvas – the hip-swivelling singer who almost scored a Greek victory at the 2003 contest with Shake It – as the likely male host of the show, although there’s no official confirmation of this.

They seem to be having a lot more fun speculating over the female host, however, suggesting such potential presenters as Nia Vardalos, the feisty actress-comedienne who shot to fame with My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Personally, Team Eurovision loves this idea, even though it sounds highly unlikely – although not nearly as far-fetched as their suggestion that a certain Yenovefa Anistonopoulou - aka former Friends star Jennifer Aniston – could be in line to present next year’s show…