Thursday 10 April 2014

When in Rome er... Amsterdam!

It's finally happened - I've lost my virginity! (It's been a long time since I said that!) A huge congratulations to the team behind Eurovision in Concert which I attended for the first time. The event took place in Amsterdam last weekend. 25 acts, thousands of party goers and so much fun! Amsterdam is a great city anyway but it was the perfect choice to host such a huge sell-out concert - a testament to how well-organised it is and how popular Eurovision continues to be despite the detractors.
It was a pleasure to meet some of the acts from 2014 before the concert at a special press event prior to the concert. The highlights for me included two special ladies - Molly from the UK and Ruth Lorenzo from Spain (via X Factor!) Not only were both absolutely gorgeous, they were so nice too. It can't be easy putting up with Eurovisionistas for so long (that's why I drink!) and yet these two were consummate professionals.

The concert itself was great fun - Denmark's winner Emmelie De Forest opened the show with "Only Teardrops" and some scantily clad boys (which unsurprisingly went down well in the hall!) 25 acts is a huge number but it flew by! One of the more serious moments occurred when Aram from Armenia performed to a chorus of booing. There were reports that he had made derogatory comments about Conchita from Austria and was alleged to be homophobic. It might have been taken out of context, who knows, despite his protests and apologies, the crowd were unforgiving.
Apart from that, the atmosphere was brilliant. It was a pleasure to meet Maribelle the night before, who sang my favourite ever Eurovision song, "Ik Hou Van Jou" from 1984. She didn't seem to believe me when I told her how much I loved the song, oh how we laughed! 
It is not easy to arrange such an event and a huge well done to the organisers! Fabulous time was had by all!
All eyes now turn to London and to the London Eurovision Party which has been going strong since 2008! London has a more intimate feel which makes it different to its Dutch sister. This year it's going to be held in a new venue, Cafe De Paris in Leicester Square. It's already sold out and there are over 20 acts performing!! That's not including the lovely Nicki French and her cheeky but adorable counterpart, Paddy O'Connell, who are both always so enthusiastic when it comes to Eurovision and it always shines through. Good luck to one and all!
It'll be there although I don't know how much dancing I'll be doing as I'm running the London Marathon earlier in the day. Hoping to beat my time of 3:38:24 from 2013!
On a serious note, many of you know that I'm running for Leukaemia Care, a small charity based in Worcester. My cousin previously ran for them and they do great work. It's going to be a very emotional run on Sunday as last year I was cheered on by my aunt who sadly passed away last year. I'm going to give it my all and will certainly raise a glass of prosecco or five to her after the race!
Now here's a special treat for you - my lovely friend Jude Habib has kindly donated all of her old Eurovision CDs for auction. All you have to do is go to my JustGiving page and donate a minimum of £5 and you'll be entered into a raffle and all the CDs can be yours! Please leave a note on the page though so that I know the donation is Eurovision-related!
A huge thanks to Jude and to you all for your generosity and support!
Thank you Amsterdam and hello London!!!!!!!

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