eurovisionr: Hey Jade, for those that don’t know you, how would you describe yourself?
Jade: I’d say I’m a fairly easy-going person who loves music (including Eurovision of course!), food and travel – I’ve lived in 3 different countries in the last 3 years!
e: So you love music and Eurovision, how long have you been a fan of Eurovision?
J: As long as I can remember I’ve loved Eurovision, but I started taking it really seriously a few years ago when I found some friends who love it as much as I do!
e: Nice! Do you usually watch it with friends and family?
J: When I was younger I would always watch with my family, but now it’s more with friends – either way I make a full night of it!
e: So you’re currently in China, following living in England and a year in Italy. . . Does anyone in China know about Eurovision and how will you be watching it this year?
J: Eurovision isn’t that well known in China but they do love a good singing/talent competition so I’m hoping I can sway a few of my Chinese friends into becoming fans! Fingers crossed the internet will provide us with a good link and we’ll all be able to watch it at my house over a couple of pineapple beers (even if it will be very early on a Sunday morning for us!) Alternatively they do sell Danish Bear Beer at the local 7-11…
e: Wow sounds really fun – hopefully you will be able to do the live updates again this year! Do you feel there are differences in opinions of Eurovision around the world and how does they compare to the United Kingdom?
J: Of course I’ll be doing updates – following on twitter is a really great way to watch the event and see everyone else’s opinions! From what I can tell, the biggest difference is how seriously people take it – I mean in Italy no one really talks about Eurovision, but I hear it’s massive in Australia.
e: Interesting! And they aren’t even in the competition!
J: I know! And the time difference is even worse for them! Doesn’t seem to stop them though…
e: You mentioned you may open a few Danish beers on the night – can Denmark win twice in a row? Has this happened before?
J: People have won twice in a row in the past (I think the UK even managed it at some point in the early days!) and Denmark have got a pretty good song again this year. Who knows…?
e: If we go back to the UK, with regards to the British presenters, who gets your vote, Graham Norton, Scott Mills, Terry Wogan, Sara Cox?
J: Terry is a legend, of course, but I’ve gotta say my favourite is still Scott Mills – I love that he’s just as passionate as I am, but still has a snide comment or two!
e: I totally agree, Scott ftw. Have you heard Scott’s club remix of Molly’s song?
J: Wow, that’s certainly…different from the original! – I’ve definitely been missing a lot of the build up by being here in China 🙁
e: When did you originally decide you wanted to make eurovisionr, is it a lifelong ambition?
J: No! It was a spur of the moment thing – I’d been playing with the Guardian’s Pontifficator to help you select a new Pope (Jorge all the way!) and realised Eurovision definitely needed something similar. Every year it seems so hard to pick just one favourite and eurovisionr seemed like a good way to get someone to make that decision for me!
e: Awesome! So, final question, what’s the winning formula?
J: I can’t tell you that! 😉 You’ll just have to have a go for yourself!
e: Right, James, your turn! Let’s start with your favourite greeting. . .
e: Yoyo, James! So, give us your best ‘about me’ speed dating style. . .
J: I’m James, I <3 tech and programming cool things! I also love music, right now I’m actually listening to bassy house music in sunny Bath. (The city, not in the Bath) 😛
e: Haha! Of course, all good techies know that baths and electricity don’t mix! So tell us a little bit about your role at eurovisionr – you’re the guy who makes it all work, right?
J: Haha indeed! Dangerous combination. Yeah, I’m that guy behind the scenes. My aim is to create a usable, fun experience which works cross-platform from devices with small screens to desktops with super wide monitors.
I see eurovisionr as a site I can play with and experiment with the latest technologies. This year I set out to learn the slightly hipster MEAN stack, with MongoDB, Express, AngularJS and Node.js. It’s been an amazing experience so far. Last year my aim was to become a pro at responsive design with Bootstrap and that has been a success too.
e: So it’s a bit of a playground for you then? Any big plans for making it even better next year?
J: The web evolves at an incredible rate, no doubt there will be a new technology to learn this time next year. I think we can do even more cool things, we’ve barely scratched the surface with what we can do.
e: You said you’re a fan of music, but would you describe yourself as a fan of Eurovision?
J: Originally I wasn’t, but since eurovisionr I now see it as a fun, colourful competition and it’s great to be a part of it. I’ve done various music things in the past which means, if I want to, I can give an informed opinion, however I mainly leave that part to the Eurovision expert!
e: Where will you be watching this year?
J: Last year, funnily enough, I had a Come Dine With Me competition which coincided with the final! This year I’m not sure, if I was really out there I’d go to one of the parties in Bristol.
e: From one extreme to another then! Who will you be supporting if you do go out?
J: I haven’t decided yet as eurovisionr isn’t quite finished 😀
e: I guess we’ll have to wait and see! Anything you’re most excited about seeing in the show?
J: All the flashing lights and pyrotechnics from Denmark’s awesome stage! It’s going to be a huge show! Plus the bearded lady is intriguing…
e: They do seem to have really gone all out on that stage! Do you think there’s room for Eurovision to embrace more technology?
J: Definitely. If we can create eurovisionr in a week I wonder what the official tech guys are working on. Mobile is the obvious answer, everyone will be watching with a mobile device nearby, so voting throughout the show rather than phoning up is an obvious one.
What would be really cool is using an Oculus VR headset to experience Eurovision as if you were actually in Denmark right next to the contestants, this could be awesome. Maybe combine that with Google Glass and see tweets streaming in as you watch without having to keep checking your mobile device!
e: Sounds great! Is that how you see the future then, with more direct viewer interaction?
J: For sure, I think TV will head towards a more personal interactive experience, watching live events is the perfect platform for this, there are opinions streaming in all over the world on the web while events happen, yet the actual content doesn’t reflect this opinion – advertising will likely be one of the first things to change, with live TV advert breaks it’s an ideal time to personally target the audience rather than showing generic ads, you can’t easily ad-block live TV advertising and if it was more relevant you wouldn’t want to block it.
e: Of course personal opinion is a big part of Eurovision so it would be great to see more interaction! In your opinion can Molly win for the UK this year?
J: As usual I am sceptical, and at first I wasn’t sure, but the more I listen to it the more I think she has a good chance! Although she doesn’t have facial hair, and I hear that’s an important attribute this year…
e: We hear it is too 😉 ! Finish off with your favourite way to say good bye?
J: Ciao amigo! 😛