Since her parents died, it has been harder to find “the old-timers who do that stuff,” Ms. Bresic said, referring to Eurovision parties. But watching the contest reminds her of her mother and father, she said, and “their preferred bubblegum-pop style” with “folkloric traditions thrown in.”
Ms. Bresic tries to get her children, who are in their early 20s, to watch with her — but, she said, they usually just roll their eyes. “Maybe in five or six years’ time,” she said, “they might think it’s quite a cool thing.”
Ricardo Mohammed, United States
Mr. Mohammed has a singular way of keeping track of time. Asked when he started his Eurovision viewing party at Hardware, a gay bar in Hell’s Kitchen, New York, he replied, “Emmelie de Forest won that year.” (For the uninitiated, that would be 2013.) He also remembered a trip to London, “the year Nicki French represented England” (otherwise known as 2000).
Mr. Mohammed, a.k.a. D.J. ohRicky, discovered Eurovision as a child in his native Trinidad, via British broadcasts. Access to the contest was more difficult when he moved to New York in 1986 at age 16, and he would keep up by buying import singles and watching VHS tapes mailed by a friend of a friend.
In 1997, he started working for a company that distributed music videos to clubs and bars across the United States. “I would contact the record labels overseas to get the videos they made specifically for Eurovision,” Mr. Mohammed said. “I got the Dana International video for ‘Diva’ from Germany and I put it in the clubs over here,” he said, referring to the transgender Israeli winner of the 1998 competition.
Mr. Mohammed, whose Eurovision favorite is the 1973 Spanish entry “Eres Tú” by Mocedades, said the closest analogy for the contest was Broadway. “Those fans know the statistics, like how many Tonys someone won,” he said. “It’s the same for Eurovision die-hards: They know the last time a country won, who wrote a particular song.”