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Daniela Ruah: How I got the Eurovision hosting job and revealing some juicy details…

Last year in Kyiv, Portugal won the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 with Salvador Sobral’s Amar Pelos Dois. It was Portugal’s first win and RTP has been working hard to prepare for the show, including selecting four hosts: Filomena Cautela, Silvia Alberto, Catarina Furtado and Daniela Ruah. Daniela Ruah is well-known in the US for starring in CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles, and now she has given an interview with Billboard describing how she got the Eurovision hosting job!

Daniela’s Life

The American magazine began by asking about Daniela’s life, why she moved to the US from Portugal and when she knew that she was going to become a celebrity.

Daniela says that, when she and her family first moved to the US, the weirdest thing was their language:

My parents spoke Portuguese to me in the house so I understood everything. I replied to them in English, just because my whole life outside of the house, school and everything, was spoken in English. My cousins would speak to me in Portuguese and I had to reply to them in Portuguese, too.

She always knew that she was going to be a star – as a child she loved attention and when she got her first job in a Portuguese soap opera at age 16, she realised how much she loved it.

Daniela and Eurovision

Daniela describes Eurovision as being a big event and part of her life back in Portugal.

To this day, when you get together with friends, we ask each other, “Oh, do you remember that old song?” and we start singing something that was performed long ago.

Daniela was at her mother’s house in Portugal, with her husband, children, nieces and nephews, when they watched Portugal win Eurovision 2017.

We were all watching even though it was super late but we knew that Salvador had a really good chance of winning. His [jury] points kept going up and up and up and we were on the edge of our seats and we still had to wait another hour until the people’s votes came in. It was very exciting. My husband had never even heard of Eurovision before, and he was just as excited. He kept saying, “This is amazing. This is amazing.”

She thinks that every Portuguese person, at the moment that Salvador won, felt that they had won something too. It was a tearful moment for Daniela and she felt that Salvador’s condition at the time added greatly to everybody’s emotion.

The Hosting Job

After watching Salvador win Eurovision 2017, Daniela’s husband suggested that she should host the contest. He pointed out that she speaks English fluently and her face is familiar in all the participating countries (due to her show being broadcast internationally). It seemed crazy at the time, but after getting in touch with her agent in Portugal, it happened!

My agent forwarded an email from RTP saying, “We would love to have her. We’re so excited.” And then when we had our meetings and were doing our photo shoots, they said, “As soon as we put your name forward to the EBU, they were super happy about it.” I felt very welcome. And the other three women that are also hosting too are amazing. They’re in-house RTP hosts, and they’re incredibly talented. And for the first time, we have four women hosting!

As Portugal is a small country with a small TV industry, everybody knows each other, and this is no different for our Eurovision hosts. Daniela has previously acted with Catarina’s husband and has met Catarina many times when she participated in the Portuguese TV show Dança Comigo, which Catarina hosted. Silvia Alberto co-hosted Dança Comigo and interviewed Daniela many times. Then, Daniela has many mutual friends with Filomena Cautela so they have met before. Daniela says that they feel very comfortable and honored to be a part of this.

Revealing some juicy details…

Daniela also reveals details about how the hosting duties will be divided between the four hosts:

As far as I know, Catarina and I will be on stage while our other two hosts will be in the green room and conduct interviews backstage. Of course, we all know that anything can change.

To finish, she tells Billboard that Portuguese designers will create some of their dresses:

I’m looking forward to finding out what we’re going to wear. I know that sounds a little trivial and inconsequential. There’s also a factor of it’s in Portugal and were going to be viewed by all these people. We also want to give a little attention to our Portuguese designers. So I think at least two out of four dresses will be by Portuguese designers.

Are you excited to see Daniela Ruah hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2018? What do you think of the other hosts?

Let us know what you think in the comments below and on social media @ESCXTRA!

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Luke Malam

I've watched Eurovision for as long as I can remember, but my interest really built in 2008, after I decided to watch the semifinals online, out of boredom, before the final...I was blown away by the quality of the show and have been hooked ever since! I'm a competitive trampolinist and I love baking. I've also just completed a master's degree in Research Methods in Psychology at University College London.

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