It was with shock and sadness today that Eurovision fans learned of the death of Katie Boyle, arguably the greatest Eurovision presenter of all time.
Katie hosted four Eurovision Song Contests, in 1960, 1963, 1968 and most famously in 1974, the year Abba won with Waterloo.
Waterloo has been an enduring favourite of mine, and by 1988 I felt I was the only Eurovision fan in Edinburgh. That summer I saw an advert in a local paper that there was to be a Eurovision convention in the English seaside resort, Morecambe.
I was driven to the event by a fellow Eurovision fan from Edinburgh. In the car, he asked if I was shocked as to who they’d booked as the special guest. Special guest said I – who? The answer Katie Boyle and we have to dress for formal dinner tonight.
Thinking it was just a casual Eurovision weekend, the only items I had were a T-shirt and shorts. Imagine my embarrassment when Katie Boyle walked in like the Eurovision royalty she was, in a regal powder blue chiffon dress. I wanted to sink into a hole.
However, despite her regality, Katie was a down to earth approachable lady, and best of all a Eurovision fan. What we watched and presumed the truth behind the scenes, she knew it first hand.
She told stories of how her assistant and she spent Eurovision afternoon in 1974 dying ostrich feathers orange to match her dress. At one Eurovision she wore a dress so tight, she could not wear panties. She said she spent the whole show hiding behind the podium, but when she had to step out from it, her cards and hands were strategically placed to hide her private areas.
She also revealed that since 1963 she has been accused of cheating when Denmark won over Switzerland, after a callback vote and was challenged for not doing anything about it.
The next morning Katie arrived for breakfast in another glamorous white gown. Sharing breakfast with her fans, we all went outside to watch one more regal wave as she was driven off.
Today Katie turned and gave us all her last wave, as she leaves us all behind. Katie was a classy lady, a big Eurovision fan, and a much-loved TV personality and agony aunt.
She will be sadly missed. Katie died peacefully at home at the age of 91.
Below relive the glorious days of Eurovision long ago with Waterloo, the winner of the final Eurovision Song Contest, that Katie hosted.
Due to visa issues, Moldova’s DoReDos have had to cancel part of their promotion tour. The sad news came this evening from the organisers of London’s Eurovision party. With the song “My Lucky Day”, the band will represent Moldova at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
DoReDos have not yet commented on the situation, but this evening London Eurovision Party broke the sad news on their Facebook page: “It is with regret that the London Eurovision Party has to announce that due to issues obtaining visas, DoReDoS from Moldova have had to withdraw from our event.”
They followed it up with the good news that Stella Mwangi (Norway 2011) will join the party together with her partner from this year’s Norwegian final Alexandra, and also Swedish Benjamin Ingrosso. They have previously already added this year’s acts from Romania, Lithuania, Australia, Poland, Denmark, Switzerland, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Austria, Ireland, Albania, France and of course United Kingdom, so there will still be plenty of 2018 acts to enjoy.
DoReDos is also scheduled to perform at the Latvian pre-party in Riga on the 24th of March, which seems unaffected from the visa issues in relation to the band travelling to the United Kingdom.
In the video below take a look at this year’s Moldova entry My Lucky Day by DoReDos:
Saara Aalto felt the Finnish people held her down. Now she hopes for 12 points from the UK. When we caught up with her for a little chat, she wondered if someone within EBU revealed her name to the Irish delegation, and she talked about the Monsters she is still fighting. Watch our video interview with this year’s Finnish participant.
The months from an artist is selected and until the start rehearsing on the Eurovision stage is full of preparations of their stage design, outfit, postcard shooting and also promotional tours. We caught up with Saara Aalto a few days ago in this year’s host city Lisbon.
See alsoTrumps makes its Eurovision debut: What to expect from the Eurovision parties?
Saara is representing Finland at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, but due to her appearance on X-Factor UK, she is a well known name outside of her native country. It was a relaxed woman we met though she is quite busy preparing for Eurovision. In the video below you can watch our interview with her mixed in with clips from a performance of Monsters at the Trumps Eurovision party from Friday evening.
Laura Rizzotto, Elina Nechayeva and Ieva Zasimauskaitė. Those are the names of the three female singers who will each represent their Baltic country at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. Who will bring home the best result to their country?
The three Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, have all chosen a female singer to represent them at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. We take a closer look at the entries, and then we ask, which of them will do best in Lisbon, Portugal in May.
On the third of March, Estonia selected their Eurovision participant. Through two semi-finals, a total of ten entries had made it to the final of Eesti Laul 2018. With 70% of the votes, Elina Nechayeva won a landslide victory with 2015 Eurovision participant Stig Rästa as runner up.
26 year old Elina is a soprano singer from Tallinn, Estonia. She has a master degree from 2016 in classical singing from Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. Where many after winning a national selection goes on to hosting it, she went the other way being one of the hosts of the 2017 edition of Eesti Laul.
Elina’s winning entry La Forza is written by Ksenia Kuchukova, Elina Nechayeva, Mihkel Mattisen and Timo Vendt. The last two have previous Eurovision experience as Mattisen also wrote Et Uus Saaks Alguse (Estonia 2013) while Vendt wrote Amazing for Tanay (Estonia 2014).
See alsoEstonia: Fan favorite Elina Nechayeva wins Eesti Laul 2018
For the fourth time, Latvia used Supernova as their method for choosing their Eurovision participant. After three preliminary heats, they had reached the final on the 24th of February. A jury of music professionals and public voting crowned Laura Rizzotto as winner.
Laura Rizzotto is 23 years old is quite international being born in Brazil, grown up in the US by a father who is Latvian and Brazillian, and a Brazillian mother of Portuguese descent. Laura has a degree in Musical Art from California, and last year, she earned a master degree in music from Columbia University in New York.
The title of Laura’s Eurovision entry is Funny Girl, and she wrote the song herself.
See alsoLaura Rizzotto wins Supernova 2018 and will represent Latvia at Eurovision 2018
After six heats, an online wildcard rounds and two semi-finals, Lithuania reached the end of a long selection process on the 11th of March where the final took place. The jury points placed Jurgis Brūzga ahead of Ieva Zasimauskaitė, but as tele voting placed Ieva first and Jurgis only fourth, it will be Ieva representing Lithuania at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.
Ieva is 24 years old, and for her five is now the magic number, as it wasn’t until her fifth attempt she finally won the Eurovision ticket. She also tried out in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. Though music has always been a part of her life, she has a bachelor degree in Hotel Management from International School of Law and Business in Vilnius.
When We’re Old, that’s the title of Ieva’s entry. It is written by Vytautas Bikus.
See alsoIeva Zasimauskaitė wins Eurovizijos Atranka 2018 and heads to Lisbon to represent Lithuania
Estonia and Lithuania will both compete in the first semi-final, while Latvia has been allocated a place in the second semi-final. All three countries naturally hope to win a spot for the final on the 12th of May. But which of the three entries do you think will do best?
Lisbon’s biggest gay club – Trumps – held its very first Eurovision party. Catarina Pereira was the event’s headliner and special guest, but other surprises took place such as the club’s own Eurovision show where the outrageous Drag Queens covered former acts such as Ukraine’s 2007 Verka Serduchka among others.
You don’t want to miss Trumps’ Eurovision parties. Lisbon’s biggest gay club announced last week they’ll be throwing Eurovision parties until mid-May in order to celebrate Portugal’s first time ever hosting the Eurovision Song Contest. According to the club’s director, Trumps is set to be this year’s biggest unofficial EuroClub for the music festival.
The first party happen last Friday and, besides the headliner Catarina Pereira, other familiar faces were present such as Filipa Azevedo (2010) and Dora (1986). The doors opened at 23:45h and everything was ready to welcome the Eurovision fans. The stage had the event’s official promo on repeat while songs such as Invincible (Sweden, 2006), Golden Boy (Israel, 2015), Heroes (Sweden, 2015), Shady Lady (Ukraine, 2008) and many, many others did the warm up for the night.
At roughly 02:30h the outrageous Drag Queens took over the stage. Each of the four, paid homage to an Eurovision act. Carola (Sweden), Verka Serduchka (Ukraine) and Charlotte Perrelli (Sweden) were the chosen acts for the first night but none seemed to impress the judge – the DJ – who awarded all 1 point except for the Verka’s imitation that got 11. In between, one of the other Drag Queens performed Filipa Azevedo’s Há Dias Assim and was joined by the singer herself that was also in the club that night.
The headliner, Catarina Pereira, took the stage right after and surely proved everyone why she is so loved amongst Eurovision fans. With an epic version of Canta Por Mim (Festival da Canção 2010), Catarina even asked her former rival (Filipa Azevedo) to sing a little bit of her song: “I am sure this girl knows it”, she said before handing the microphone. Before leaving the stage – and as promised – Catarina performed Loreen’s 2012 winning song Euphoria and officially opened the Eurovision party.
Overall, the following hours were a mix of Eurovision songs and Pop music that made sure to satisfy everyone in the audience. For the following weeks, there’ll be room for even more Eurovision songs according to the club’s owner.
Saara Alto announced as headliner
Trumps second Eurovision party is happening next Friday – 16th of March – and, this time, Filipa Azevedo herself will headline the night. On top of that, the club has just announced via its social networks that Finland’s representative, Saara Alto, will also be tomorrow’s special guest. The Monsters singer is doing a 20 minutes set.
More news are yet to come in regards to Eurovision parties in Trumps. In the meantime, check our compilation video of what happened at the very first party:
With Eurovision being held in Lisbon for the first time, one may need some guidance on how to get around in the city. Here’s some information you may find useful to plan you trip in regards to transportation.
For the first time ever, the Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Lisbon as Portugal won the contest for the very first time last year with Salvador Sobral’s Amar Pelos Dois. Every year, a big amount of Eurovision fans travel to the host city so they can witness their favorite music show live. While planning a trip to Sweden may not be as hard as the country has won so many times, a trip to Lisbon may not be as simple as it is an entire different universe to many Eurovision fans.
Transportation is something one should always plan ahead of their trips as it is quite easy spending more money than what you actually need. Well, take a look:
1 From and to the airport
2 From and to the arena
3 Around in Lisbon
From and to the airport
Most international fans will fly to Lisbon. Therefore, getting out of Aeroporto Humberto Delgado – or simply Aeroporto de Lisboa (Lisbon’s airport) – should not be a very tough task as there’s a high taxi network working 24/7 and even other means of transportation such as the underground and even buses. If you intend on using services such as Uber, you can… Just not from and to the airport. So, here are your alternatives:
Aerobus: you can purchase tickets online or on board to the bus driver (0,40€ difference). The prices go from 3,60€ to 6,00€ per person. As for the ride, it can take up to two hours as it features various stops. This service works from 07:30h until 23:00h local time (a new shuttle arrives to the airport every 20-25 minutes),
Underground: the service starts at 06:30h and closes at 01:00h every day. Each ticket costs 1,45€ per person but if you have to buy the rechargable card (Viva Viagem), it adds 0,50€ to its final price. Tickets are purchased in automatic ticket vending machines right before the underground entrance. You can check its network online.
Bus (Carris): if you prefer to take a bus yet not pay as much, there’s other alternatives such as the buses numbers 705, 722, 744 or 783. If your flight arrives at night, then bus number 208 is your alternative. The respective schedules can be found in Carris website.
Taxi: there’s a high taxi network standing right outside of the airport. In busy periods, you may need to wait a few minutes to get one.
Friendly tips: Get the card Viva Viagem as soon as you get to Lisbon as it is rechargable and will allow you to use Zapping with all different types of transportation: underground, bus, train and even boat. For each transport, the price charged changes (more info here).
Let us simplify the information for you:
Price range (per person)
How to purchase?
Means of payment accepted
3,60€ – 6,00€
Online or on board
Cash or card
Each 20-25 minutes
07:30h – 23:00h
1,45€ – 2,05€
Automatic ticket vending machines
Cash or card
Each 3-10 minutes
06:30h – 01:00h
1,40€ – 1,80€
Automatic ticket vending machines or on board
Cash or card
Unable to predict
Depends on the destination
To the driver
Cash or card (selected cars)
Unable to predict
From and to the arena
Altice Arena is located near the train station, the underground station Oriente and even a bus terminal. You can use all of those to get to the arena.
If you’re staying in central Lisbon, the underground service will be your best option but if you’re staying in an Airbnb apartment not as central, other means of transportation would be more useful. Once again, we’d recommend the usage of Zapping.
Underground: Altice Arena is located in the Oriente station (red line). Please notice that the Arroios station is closed. It would take you less than 10 minutes walking to get to the arena.
Train: it may be within your best interest to use the train if you’re staying in Sintra or Azambuja lines. For Cascais line, it is not as simple. You’d have to take the train to Lisbon and then the underground to Oriente’s station. Again it won’t be 10 minutes from the train station to the arena.
Bus: the buses 705, 725, 750, 759, 794, 400, 706, 728, 744 and 782 all stop near the Oriente train station. It will take you less than 10 minutes walking to get to the arena.
Price without zapping (with card Viva Viagem)
Price with zapping (and card Viva Viagem)
1,95€ – 2,25€
Only for Sintra and Azambuja lines
Around in Lisbon
With your card Viva Viagem and Zapping, you can go anywhere as long as it is charged and use any mean of transportation. For central Lisbon, the underground will serve you better. The service is more frequent and it is also the fastest alternative. The buses and the trams could also work for you if you prefer to view the city instead and have no rush.
If you want to explore more than Lisbon, for example Cascais or Sintra, the train is your best option. In the respective locations, there are specific local buses that you can also use.
We certainly hope this article helps you on how to plan your trip properly. More articles to guide you through Lisbon are yet to come. Stay tuned!