Category Archives: competition


The Journey to Eurovision

by Niall Drennan


June comes around, time to start

Earn your points, play your part

Vote, write, comment, create

Watch the deadlines, don’t be late


July or August, the host city unveiled

Time to start planning, everything detailed

Choose a hotel, book your flight

All is organised, just need to sit tight


November is here, the kids turn on stage

It’s Junior Eurovision, singers of a young age

A few weeks later, your code is sent

Buy the fan package, money well spent


January to March, national finals begin

Review all the entries, predict who will win

Rank each country, decide who is best

Who are the favourites and who is a mess


May is here, time to get going

Travel to the host city, excitement is showing

Check out the Village, attend the red carpet

Meet and greet and take selfies with artists


Dance at Euroclub, every night without fail

La La Love, Opa, She’s a Fairytale

Bed at dawn, a few hours sleep

Up early for sightseeing, Repeat, Repeat


Attend the semi’s, predict who goes through

Oh San Marino, you still have no clue

Good Evening Europe, it’s Grand Final time

Flags everywhere, the show is sublime


Europe start voting, the results come in

26 countries, which one will win

Votes are announced, the winner’s reprise

Was it predicted or perhaps a surprise


Depart the next day, pack up all your gear

Farewell to friends, see you next year

P.E.D. kicks in, back to the mundane

But not long to wait until we start over again



My trip to Eurovision 2008 in Belgrade, Serbia – Roy van der Merwe
2008 has been my only ever visit to a country inside the old Yugoslavia and I really had been looking forward to visit such a country. It was also the Eurovision with one of the biggest highlights and also some of the worst nightmares possible.
As normal Morten booked the hotel for us and it was one of the most interesting hotels – located very central but across a MacDonalds who had weeks before our arrival been burned down during their war. I however did not feel scared for one moment, I was especially impressed by the Serbian youth, they were really nice, friendly, helpful and eager to meet international visitors.
One of the two horrors about my trip revolved around foreign currency. Most people know South Africa has foreign currency control and you are allowed to get foreign currency only a month prior to your departure. I went to my bank and asked what currency I should take for Serbia. Obviously they did not have their money and I had to pick between UK ponds, US dollars or Euro. The bank said the safest would be TRAVELLER’S CHEQUES in AMERICAN DOLLARS. So that is what I picked. Imagine my shock when it turned out that SERBIA does not exchange AMERICAN EXPRESS traveller’s queues and I was stuck the entire Eurovision without money. Luckily Morten helped me – he loves shoes and I bought some expensive shoes for him on my credit card in exchange for money to use day to day.
The second horror involved our hotel. One afternoon it looked like rain so I told Morten I think I would go back to the hotel before the rain. I arrived in our room literally seconds before a water pipe burst in the bathroom and it started to flood our room. I spent 30 minutes trying to get all our luggage (and especially our precious promo singles) out of the room and into the passage. Once I had everything out of the room, I ran 4-5 floors down the stairs to call for help at reception. They finally managed to stop the water but by that time, our room was more than a meter in water. They took me and all the luggage to another room and once I got there, I just fell on the bed, totally exhausted. Meanwhile Morten came home, got his key to our room from reception and came up to our room. As he opened the door (by that time they had cleaned all the water) all he found was a totally empty room. He thought we had a robbery in our room. He ran down to reception and then was told about what happened and they took him to the new room where he found me sleeping on one bed with all the luggage on the floor.
But besides those two incidents, Eurovision was great, I loved especially Latvia’s entry and was really impressed with the way Serbia organized it and their disciplined volunteers.

I will go back any day to Belgrade for Eurovision despite everything.


This is from Andreas Vienna in Austria.

Well the anticipation for my LARA FABIAN concert – which I booked already back in November 2015 – for June 3rd, 2016 was badly damaged with all the bad news about terror from Paris, then riots, then strikes, etc. Just 2 days before the concert the air controllers announces a strike over the weekend so I cancelled my hotel. Only the next day at 8:30 I heard that this was postponed and so I booked a hotel again and flew early morning to Paris.

At that moment I did not even realised about the floods of the Seine, the main river that runs throw the city of PARIS.

Luckily I arrived safe, luckily I was able to get to the city with the airport-bus and luckily no strike at the metro.

So I was able to enjoy the LARA FABIAN concert in full at the sold out venue Palais des Congress. She sang nearly the complete track list from her new album MA VIE DANS LA TIENNE and also some of her greatest hits from the last 20 years like JE T’AIME, I WILL LOVE AGAIN, IMMORTELLE and J’Y CROIS ENCORE. The big surprise of the event was a medley of songs from the Swedish supergroup ABBA including Dancing Queen, Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! a man after midnight and The Winner Takes It All.

The next day I had a long walk from Notre Dame till the Eiffel tower along the Seine to see the damage the flood has caused. Several bridges were half way hidden by water and some even closed. That led me again to ABBA, one of their songs is called OUR LAST SUMMER with lines like “walk along the Seine, round the Notre Dame … we sat down in the grass by the Eiffel Tower”. Very funny 🙂



Our second entry comes from Armin Duttle from Switzerland.
The visit of the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev  Ukraine happened at the end of my holiday in the Ukraine.
Because I have a penfriend friend in Ukraine, I thought it would be nice to combine a visit to him and Eurovision,
I got tickets for the Friday evening dress rehearsal for both of us (I bought the tickets from a colleague of my
penfriend).The tickets for the finale were too expensive, so we had to settle for the Friday night show.
My penfriend does not live in Kievm so one day before the Friday show, we came to Kiev. Of course we visited the place around the arena,
where the ESC would happen. There was so many flags and posters everywhere to see in the streets of the center of the city, especially around the ( now famous ) Maiden square.
The dress rehearsal show was  great and happened without problems. The real highlight of the evening was the appearance  of the Klitschko brothers!
We stayed near the venue and were able to walk to the flat after the show.
It was in the flat there we watched the next night the final. Kyiv_Palace_of_Sports


We have received the first entry to our lonely planet competition – from SOPHIE LLOYD
Stockholm 2016 was my first time to Eurovision and I had such a great weekend. I traveled with my boyfriend Harry and my friends Abi and Sam. We went to the jury final on the Friday night and although that was clearly the main highlight, one of the most memorable times was on the Friday afternoon when we had just arrived and went to meet our friends Beth and Stuart for a drink. They live in Hong Kong so we hadn’t seen them for a while and they were perched out on a pontoon on the water with a whole group of people drinking rose and sitting in the sun. Stockholm looked so beautiful. Everyone we met was also going to Eurovision and we were all so excited and looking forward to the show. It really showed the best of Eurovision – bringing people together from all around the world and the chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones!


We will open the competition for the JAMALA t-shirt and JAMALA bag also to people other than GROOT FM radio listenaars. There is one t-shirt and one bag up for grabs.
Interested Euro fan outside of the Groot FM catchment area must do the following.
Send you name and e-mail address to
Answer two simple questions
1 – Is Riaan Grobler a Groot FM presenter – yes or no
2 – Is Jamala Ukraine’s second Eurovision winner – yes or no
Unfortunately the t-shirt is a LARGE so you do not have a choice of size.
You will be put into the draw for both prizes, but there will be two winners, one gets the t-shirt and one the bag. The first name drawn has a choice – t-shirt or bag, the second name drawn will have to settle with whatever is left.
Unfortunately if the winners are outside of South Africa, you will have to pay the postal cost – 6 euro for the t-shirt and 5 euro for the bag. We have a sponsor (courier company) should the winners be South African (unfortunately they do not deliver overseas so then we have to post it).


In honour of Lighthouse X I said there will be 10 competitions in the run up to be departing on 30 April. so this is the 10th competition.

But I have misjudged myself with how many items there are for fans to win, so there may be more competitions in the last days before my departure – I will see.

This one will be special. In 1984 THE HERREYS won Eurovision from starting position 1 with Diggi loo diggi ley, dancing in their golden shoes. I really love this song and it has been a dream of me to have it covered in Afrikaans (it is quite an easy song to cover in various languages and I have covers of it in at least 7 other languages besides Swedish and English). Now finally after 32 years there is an Afrikaans version – obviously called DIGGI LOO DIGGI LEY as well. I do not want to say too much now of this because it is a surprise gift to Richard Herrey (one of the 3 brothers) and now the CEO of the Hard rock cafe in Stockholm. I will give him a copy when we are in Stockholm, the exact day and time will be announced. but it will be either Tuesday 10 May during the OGAE Finnish pre-party and Thursday 12 May when we meet with Thomas Gson and Minus one of Cyprus.

There will be one extra copy for a fan of Eurovision who will be in Stockholm and all you have to do to win this is share as a comment to this post your memories of Diggi loo diggi ley.

As you can see from the attached article from 1984, The Herreys were suppose to come to South Africa but half way on their journey they were called back by the Swedish government in protest against the government of South Africa at the time. So I was deprived of seeing Herreys and only met Richard for the first time in 2007 in Helsinki during the Eurovision there.



The next competition focuses on Cole van Dais. The competition is in two parts.

Part 1

A brand new CD can be won – it is a duet CD by Cole with duets by several artists – the index will be discussed in greater detail later but there is the song LOVE SHINE A LIGHT which is a duet between Cole and Katrina (from the waves) and a Soweto choir.

Part 2

This is a Cole t-shirt – very beautiful as you can see on the picture.

To win the CD, you have to list the name of won Eurovision song (besides Love shine a light) which she has covered. You can just say Belarus 2008 or whatever. This is for any fan reading this post.

To win the t-shirt, you have to write how will you wear it in Stockholm, to what event – like I could say I will wear it when I do a shift at the fan stand. This therefore is only for people who will be physically in Stockholm, as the winner will have to wear it one day so a photo can be taken



The next competition is about the ABBA song THE WAY OLD FRIENDS DO which was covered in Afrikaans many years ago, originally by Anneli van Rooyen. Several other artists covered it as well, and one of the most recent is by BRAVO, a 4 man band. Bravo actually toured in Spain some years ago and performed there at Spanish holiday resorts and got good reviews from the crowd when they sang Abba songs.

In order to win copies of the single SOOS OU VRIENDE (like old friends) by BRAVO, you must tell us which Eurovision artist you would like to be friends with – doing things together – maybe a long holiday or just hand out at the movies.

Rebecca Mikaelsson, a graphic artist from Stockholm, Sweden once again did a beautiful cover for this. I like her work a lot, you cannot help but notice the covers and that is so important in the music business.



Rebecca Mikaelsson, a graphic designer of Stockholm, Sweden has designed a new cover for the Afrikaans version of Thank you for the music – Dankie vir die music. Due to this extra cover, a few more copies of the promo single becomes available for fans to win. Obviously Rebecca herself will get a copy as she has designed this beautiful bright and colourful cover.