The 13th episode started at 18.16 on Sunday 24 September. Elsje van Jaarsveld presented it while Ilse Schurmann wrote the text and produced the show. Technical production is by Wihan Nel. Due to the world cup rugby match between South Africa and Scotland on Sunday 10 September the 11th episode fell by the wayside and so although this should have been episode 13, it is episode 12. Sadly, the last one in the series.

This episode again ended after 20 minutes at 6.30 pm. During that time, only 4 songs were played. This is because the episode was shorter due to another rugby match at the World Cup in France.

SONG 1 was GRANDE AMORE by IL VOLO. This is the 2015 Eurovision entry for Italy. The trio sang the song in Italian, but later a Spanish version was also recorded as they became a famous in Latin America. The fan club OGAE Rest if the world, of which I was the president at the time, made good luck postcards for all the participants in Vienna and handed it to them. I personally found one of the Il Volo guys very arrogant. The delegation did not give the press copies of their entry and we were forced to go and buy the CD at a local shop where the group would be to sign it. Many fans thought this song would be the winner but in the end it reached only came 3rd.

SONG 2 was HEAVEN by JONSI. This song was the 2004 Eurovision entry for Iceland. I have loved the song from the very first time I heard it. I got to meet the composer Sveinn Runar Sigurdsson and got the rights to cover it in Afrikaans. Nelius Ferreira wrote the lyrics and Tobi Jooste recorded it as KAAPSTAD. Jonsi did not do well and the song only ended in position 19th. I met Sveinn several times at Eurovision over the years. In 2005 in Kyiv he met his future wife, who is Ukrainian. In 2017, again in Kyiv, he bought me tickets for the shows in the VIP area. Jonsi too came back to Eurovision in 2012 in Baku in duet with Greta Salome.

SONG 3 was NOCTURNE by SECRET GARDEN. This song represented Norway at the 1995 Eurovision song contest and turned out to be the winner. The composer of the song is Norway’s most famous composer Rolf Lovland, who’s biggest hit is You raise me up. 1995 was my first year with accreditation and with my friend Morten Thomassen, who is Norwegian, we were backstage when came from performing. Morten had a huge banner VICTORY FOR NORWAY. Although I was happy that Norway won, the song is not a favourite as it is far too instrumental for my liking.

R S G has a big connection with this song. MARTIN LANE (or Thinus Esterhuizen) worked for years for R S G and he covered this song on piano. Unfortunately, I can’t find it on Youtube to share and have it just on a CD I got as present from Martin.

SONG 4 was BELIEVE AGAIN by (Niels) BRINCK. It is Denmark’s 2009 Eurovision entry. One of the composers is Ronan Keating, who was a member of Westlife. This is another song that did not do well and ended only in 13th place. But the song was covered both in Dutch and Afrikaans and reached platinum status. The Dutch cover was done by Jeroen van der Boom as WEER GELOVEN and HEINZ WINCKLER covered it in Afrikaans as EK KAN WEER IN LIEFDE GLO.

Because the episode featured just 4 songs, I have decided to add a 5th song to end the series for me on the biggest highlight possible. I am writing about my personal number 1 Eurovision song from all the just over 1700 songs. It is LIED FUR EINEN FREUND by CHRIS GARDEN & MAXI (a mother and daughter duo). It is the 1988 Eurovision entry for Germany and was composed by Ralph Siegel with lyrics by Bernd Meinunger. It has been my dream that someone in South Africa will cover it in Afrikaans but so far, I have not found anybody. I do have it in English and French though.

Elsje got Wihan, the sound engineer, to talk a little and then also Ilse Schurmann, the producer, to do the same. I appreciate Ilse thanking me for my assistance on air. It made me feel good as Eurovision is my passion and I listen to Eurovision songs daily.

The series has ended and it is sad, but I gather all good things do come to an end. Hopefully R S G will do another series next year. After all, there are just over 1700 songs and next year’s Eurovision will add a further 38 to 40 songs.



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