As people from across the continent refrain from getting together to avoid the coronavirus spread, Eurovision fans have found a clever way to enjoy the contest together. At the initiative of Eurovision Song Contest fan Rob Holley, every Saturday at 20:00 GMT (21:00 CEST), #EurovisionAgain hosts synced viewings of classic Eurovision Song Contests for fans to watch together at home, commenting on Twitter.
Once word started to spread after the first edition of #EurovisionAgain, a growing amount of fans joined the 28 March viewing of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest from Athens. The hashtag became trending on Twitter in the UK and even Spanish contestants Las Ketchup made it to the top-10.
The project was initiated by Rob Holley, a journalist who writes about Eurovision, pop music, travel and LGBTQ+ issues for, amongst others, The Independent. He says to Eurovision.tv: "I’m not hugely surprised by the popularity because the Eurovision Song Contest is the ultimate group viewing experience and the fandom is super enthusiastic."
The buy-in has expanded to known Eurovision names, as well. Holley: "In week one we saw Cascada and Sarah Dawn Finer comment on the tweet-along, and then last week UK 2006 artist Daz Sampson recorded an introduction for #EurovisionAgain…. and we might have someone special lined up for this Saturday too."
To add suspense, which Eurovision Song Contest will air on the night will be revealed only 15 minutes before the show starts. This week, fans gather to watch the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 from Moscow.
"It's so packed with love"
Holley got inspired to start #EurovisionAgain after the cancellation of the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam, which he expected to attend: "The cancellation got me thinking about the things I’ll miss, but also the joyful bits that fans recreate all year round. One of the funnest aspects of Eurovision is the Saturday night tweet-a-long. It’s so packed with love."
How to get involved
Once announced, fans can stream the chosen Eurovision Song Contest of the week starting at 21:00 CEST sharp and tweet along using the hashtag #EurovisionAgain.
#EurovisionAgain will also provide printable scorecards so you can be part of the voting magic. Once all acts have performed, they intend to publish a voting site, announced on Twitter, where fans can award points to nations as if they were members of the jury. The votes will be counted and verified by the project's 'Executive Supervisor' before they reveal the full scoreboard and, of course, the #EurovisionAgain winner of the evening.
The result of the vote after last week's viewing of the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 was quite a departure from the real scores. Lordi finished as runner-up to the triumphant Carola from Sweden, who finished 5th in Athens with her song Invincible.
The EBU has backed the initiative by facilitating more Contests to be available online. "It’s great that the EBU reached out to us to say they’ve enjoyed our fan project, and I’m over the moon that they’re looking into ways of working to get old contests online to coincide with #EurovisionAgain on a Saturday night - that’s an incredible commitment to fans," Holley concludes.