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Meet the ESCXTRA Team! – Alyce

Read to learn more about ESCXTRA's newest team member, Alyce!

Alyce Collett

Hey everyone! My name is Alyce, and I’m 23 (almost 24).

My day job is a sports journalist, covering five different sports which certainly keeps me busy.

Outside Eurovision, sport is my biggest passion. My favourite sports are Aussie Rules Football, cricket and soccer, among many others.

Eurovision Journey

2016 – How on Earth did I discover this amazing contest?

Despite my age, I unfortunately didn’t grow up watching the contest. It took me until I was 18 to start watching the show, and nowadays I wish I had started watching it a lot earlier.

The first contest I ever watched was the 2016 contest. Now the problem is I don’t actually remember how I actually found the show! Oops. I must have been channel surfing and found the show, but one thing I do remember is I must have watched the semi finals because I loved the Bosnian song that year (I’m so sad that they’re not in Eurovision anymore but that’s a rant for another time).

2017 – Discovering Junior Eurovision

The following year I discovered the magic that was the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

Now again I don’t remember how I discovered the contest, but I also wish I’d started watching JESC sooner then I did.

Junior Eurovision saw my first disappointment at the result (I was not invested enough in 2016 to be annoyed at the result despite my nationality). My winner was ‘Speak Up’ that year, and I was so annoyed when it didn’t win! I’m still annoyed to this day it didn’t win. You were amazing Isabella!

2019 – My first National Final

Australia Decides 2019 was the first National Final I ever watched. After years of internal selections it was so nice to finally be able to have a say in who the Australian representative was going to be.

Although Kate Miller-Heidke was not in my top three, but in hindsight I’m not too annoyed she won because we got that amazing staging in Tel Aviv.

2020 – My first non Australian National Final

It took me another year to finally watch one of the European National Finals. I’m not really a morning person, so that’s why it took me so long to finally start watching the European National Finals.

The first one I watched was actually the Belarussian National Final. I’d heard so many stories about the Belarussian National Final, but I really enjoyed it! My winner was Keysi, but as someone who loves non English language songs I’m glad VAL won. 

2020 – My winners actually start winning stuff!

One thing I have discovered is I unintentionally give my favourites the kiss of death. Whether it be National Finals or the actual contest, my favourites never win and often don’t do very well. Well that all appeared to change in the Junior Eurovision National Final season of 2020.

2020 was also the first time I started watching Junior Eurovision National Finals, and this particular tale begins in the Dutch National Final. My winner was the girl group Unity, and despite all the challenges that show threw at them they won!

Then at the actual Junior Eurovision contest, my winner was France, and Valentina won too! I was beginning to think my luck was turning around. Oh how wrong I was…

2021 – My first Eurovision heartbreak

At last year’s contest in Rotterdam was the first time I’d experienced the heartbreak of my favourite song not qualifying. My winner last year was Ireland, so I’m sure you can probably guess where this story is going.

Ever since the song came out in February, I’ve absolutely adored this song, but as the contest began to come closer I was growing increasingly worried that she wasn’t going to qualify. On the morning of the first semi final, as soon as Belgium was announced in the qualifiers I realised Ireland’s chances were over and I burst into tears. I was on the verge of crying all the time for about 24 hours straight. Gosh I’m almost welling up as I write this.

I love that song and I loved that staging, it was magical!

As much as I was devastated my favourite didn’t win, I was more devastated for Lesley herself. I’ve never met her personally mind you (although I’d love to some day), but I knew how much effort and work she had put into the whole package, and how much of a fan of Eurovision she is.

Why is Eurovision so special to you?

It combines so many things I love – music, cultures, geography, the Olympics, politics. Eurovision is the Olympics of Music, and I love the nation versus nation aspect of the contest.

I also love the variety of songs you get in the contest every year. I’ve never been the kind of person that enjoys listening to normal radio pop music, so the fact that there is a platform where I can enjoy a bunch of Balkan ballads and Finnish rock in the same year is amazing!

What attracted you to ESCXTRA?

The opportunities and the comradery more then anything else. When I was given the chance to write for ESCXTRA by the team, there was no way I could say no.

I have written for another Eurovision site (who shall remain nameless but you might be able to guess based off my nationality!). So I come with a lot of experience already and now it’s about starting afresh. As well as bringing an Australian perspective to the news and content, while surrounded by people from all walks of life and nationalities from across the world.

Top 5 songs of all time

5 – ‘Requiem’ by Alma (France 2017)

My 2017 winner, and I’m still annoyed this didn’t finish higher.

I possibly fell in love with it because it’s in a language I somewhat understand and can sing along to ( I learned French for 4.5 years at high school), but it’s also an amazing bop so that’s always going to get a tick from me.

4 – ‘Wild Dances’ by Ruslana (Ukraine 2004)

Although I wasn’t watching the contest in 2004, I heard this song in a Eurovision documentary and fell in love with it instantly.

An ethnic bop with traditional sounds, it ticks all the boxes for me.

3 – ‘Spirit in the Sky’ by KEiiNO (Norway 2019)

My 2019 winner, and one of very few artists whose work I’ve followed religiously since their time at Eurovision.

It’s funny, I didn’t even listen to all the MGP songs that year. I just heard ‘Spirit in the Sky’ just before the final and went ‘I don’t care that I haven’t heard all the songs, but if this doesn’t win I’m going to be so angry’. Thankfully they did and I didn’t have to get angry.

2 – ‘Story of My Life’ by Lesley Roy (Ireland 2020)

This was my 2020 winner, and really the proper full on beginning of me becoming the Irish stan I am today.

I’ll never forget the first time I listened to it. I was in a hall in Melbourne secretly listening to its debut on Irish Radio while at an event and not looking too suspicious/weird while doing so!

Haha anyway, this song is a bop! It’s catchy, it’s anthemic, what more could you want?

1 – ‘Maps’ by Lesley Roy (Ireland 2021)

As previously mentioned, my 2021 winner was ‘Maps’, but it is also my all time winner.

That song just connected with me in ways no other song has before, or ever will before.

It’s catchy, it’s an anthem and you just can’t help but sing and dance along to it.

It’s my go to song when I’m feeling down, and it just gives me this indescribable pick me up when I’m feeling a bit down.

Where to find you on social media?

You can find me on Twitter at @Ally_C98

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