WATCH OUT EUROPE! A STORM IS ON ITS WAY!
“I don’t think I’ll sleep tonight”, reckoned SuRie, winner of Eurovision: You Decide 2018. “It’s been such a buzz!”
And indeed it was. To coin a phrase, she took the audience by storm! Her song, Storm, written by Nicole Blair, Gil Lewis and Sean Hargreaves, received the biggest cheer of the night in Brighton’s historic Dome – home to the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest which saw ABBA win for Sweden with their sensational hit, Waterloo.
As the BBC’s Scott Mills told SuRie at the after show press conference, he could tell that she “was up for it” – to make the country proud! “The roof of the Brighton Dome was certainly raised”, said Scott – and it certainly seemed so sitting in the audience. The buzz around SuRie’s performance was just electric – as soon as she started singing, everybody was hooked.
Did she have anything to say to the fans that voted for her? She just thanked everyone so much because she “really dreamt about this moment”. She always wanted to go further with Eurovision for the UK – having helped out Belgium twice before, she was now thrilled to represent the UK in Lisbon.
Why did she think her song stood out? A mix of the storytelling at the start, a bit of pop and universal appeal was her reply.
Another emotion that SuRie had to deal with was regarding her fellow contestants. They had all become good friends and supported each other. She felt slightly guilty that she won because everyone was amazing on stage and off stage – even though it was a competition, it never felt like that.
SuRie admitted that she was not surprised when she won, as the reaction to her performance was so strong from the audience and she really believed in the song.
Having been part of Eurovision previously Scott claimed that she probably knew what to expect in Lisbon. “It’s the biggest show in the world,” replied SuRie. “It’s incredible. There’s no other show like it”.
She found her Eurovision experiences in Vienna and Kyiv very different from each other because of the cities themselves and the cultural differences. She expects Lisbon to be very different as well. While she was a backing singer before, in Lisbon she knows “all eyes will be on muggins here”.
What was her favourite all-time Eurovision song? She loved Guy Sebastian’s song, Tonight Again (Australia 2015). She just loved the whole persona and execution on stage.
Success in Eurovision isn’t just about the song of course these days – it’s now all about the performance as well. The staging in Lisbon will be difference to the one performed in Brighton. “That’s the fun of it,” said SuRie. That’s something for us to look forward to.
She thrives on the pressure of being watched by 200 million people. “As performers are all self-obsessed show-offs”, she said to much laughter!
When asked by Scott if she thought she could get onto the left hand side of the score board, she replied “Why not, Scott – everything is possible.” SuRie’s previous Eurovision experiences were in Vienna, Austria, representing Belgium with Rhythm Inside in 2015 and last year as the musical director for Blanche’s City Lights in Kyiv, Ukraine. Both entries came fourth in their respective years. May that trend continue – and even go up four more notches!
She was asked at the press conference that since music is her life, how was she going to react knowing that she was being watched by 200 million people? Was she ready to show all her passion? She replied that it is something that she really feels she should be doing. She’s very excited – and even though she might be shaking, she has an inner calm – and she’s going to try her best.
What is her definition of Eurovision? “It has the best people in the world” she said with much conviction. She admitted that before becoming Loic’s backing singer, Eurovision didn’t really mean much to her. But her mind was blown away from the whole experience in 2015. Eurovision celebates all the best things in life – diversity, the people, the different styles in music, she continued to say.
Even though she didn’t compose Storm herself, she knew it was the song for her when she first heard it. It just ticked all the boxes.
It appears that the nation agreed with her.
And what better way to celebrate the election of a hopefully winning song, than to party on down at the special Bar Broadway venue hosted by OGAE UK. With Eurovision songs blasting from wall to wall, much fun was had by all.
Full credit must go to the BBC for producing the best Eurovision: You Decide yet! The Dome in Brighton was a perfect venue with high production values. And the juries and public had six excellent acts to choose from. There will be a full report of the night in the Spring/Eurovision edition of Vision magazine out in late April.
OGAE UK wishes SuRie the best of British luck. We’ll be in Lisbon giving our singer as much support as possible!