Known for the iconic words, “take it away,” Jon Ola Sand, Eurovision’s Executive Supervisor since 2011, has become a veritable Eurovision icon and legend. Now, he bids farewell to the Contest.
Over the last 10 years, Eurovision has undergone growth in many areas, most notably in terms of its technological advancements and presence online. Over the last decade, Jon Ola helped the Eurovision Song Contest develop with the times, opening up to a younger audience with the introduction of the Contest’s app and official YouTube channel.
The Contest also proved its growing connection around the world, adding Australia to its roster of participating countries. Regarding their addition, Jon Ola said: “Australia adds flavour, diversity,” he offers. “And (Australia) has sent consistently really good acts (to the contest). Australia’s passion for Eurovision, incredible history with the contest and its high fan base (make) it logical to be included.”
Jon Ola Sand has become synonymous with the Eurovision Song Contest among the millions of viewers who have watched him begin the voting sequence with the iconic words: “take it away!”
The EBU has had nothing but wonderful words to say as they reflect on the last decade. “Jon Ola’s commitment and calm steady hand over the last decade has been invaluable to the EBU and its Members,” said Jean Philip De Tender, Director of Media at the EBU. “He has overseen the growth and development of the Eurovision Song Contest over the past decade and created, together with EBU Members, the most advanced entertainment show in the world helping to safeguard the longevity of this much-loved show that unites audiences from across the globe.”
For Jon Ola, the sentiments are just as deep. On 16 May, the evening of Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light, upon handing the reign over to new Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl, he took to Twitter to thank the fans: