November 8th, 2011. It was a day that started innocently enough. I was actually home from university, visiting family, and as such had nothing to do that evening. So as I was bored, on my laptop, someone pointed out on Twitter that there was actually a Eurovision pre-selection show going on.

A bit of background: despite being an out and proud Eurovision fan ever since Love Shine a Light rocked my world in '97, I had never really watched any national final shows (other than the UK entries, before Blue and Engelbert rocked up). I would go in to Eurovision week hearing the songs for the first time during the semi finals or the final. As far as I was concerned, that was good enough for me.

So when I saw that tweet - presumably out of the fact that there was nothing else to watch - I found a link to what turned out to be the Italian broadcaster's selection show for the Swiss national final. It was a horribly low budget affair that seemed more reminiscent of a student union's open mic night; one cutaway during a performance even caught sight of the presenters chatting by the bar. It was bizarre, the feed kept on timing out and buffering, but I was somehow hooked. How had I not been watching pre-selection shows before?

I started following the shows more and more. Inevitably, since it had been my starting point in to the national finals, I was gripped by the actual Swiss National Final. I was outraged when my personal favourite was beaten by a rock band who couldn't pronounce the lyrics the first time I'd seen them and still couldn't now. Of course, back then I figured I'd have forgotten about them by the time it came round to seeing them perform again in Baku. Of course, how little did I know that I'd be seeing a whole lot more of Sinplus, who seemed to be in competition with Anggun to see who could get to perform at as many different national finals as they could. To memory, Sinplus won after they managed to fit in two performances in one day (a particularly thrilling day, as you can tell).

At time, I questioned the sheer futility of what I was doing. Festivali i Kenges, which was the second national final at the time, made little to no sense but proved a fascinating look at scary Kosovan kids television shows in the adverts. Malta's national final lasted an eternity and repeated the same adverts over and over again. Cyprus seemed to have lost Ivi Adamou until halfway through their programme. There was the Spanish offering of "Pastora Soler, This Is Your Life (ft. Quedate Conmigo and two other less important songs)". "Best" of all was the Azerbaijani national final, where the only real positives were tears of laughter, the sight of a possibly captive audience and the fact it made me appreciate Safura as not being all that bad, for once.

Why did I do it? Because it was fun and most importantly, I knew I wasn't the only person suffering through all this. Thanks to Twitter, I knew I wasn't the only person watching a Latvian girl singing inside of a birthday cake (though I may have been one of the very few people who genuinely enjoyed the song).

On the night of the Melodifestivalen final, the worldwide "trending topics" were awash with people supporting Danny or Loreen (or what shade of mahogany Björn Ranelid would be). It was effectively a Eurovision community, with a very easy and public way to connect.

By the time we had got round to the start of rehearsals in Baku though, I was beginning to have my doubts. Going in to Eurovision week had always been quite fun previously because it was something new and exciting. Now, I had my favourites, I had the ones I wanted to qualify and I had the ones I didn't want to go very far. In the past, the Babushki would have been one of my favourite acts; after all, I had loved Wolves of the Sea, Verka Seduchka, even Rodolfo Chikilicuatre. I had loved the song when I first heard it, mainly because it had beaten the awful entry by Dima Bilan and the less-good one from t.A.T.u. Now, I was dreading the idea of them winning, because I had been convinced that it would be "bad" for Eurovision. It wasn't a popular thing to want them to win on Twitter, that's for sure.

Was I too involved? Was I going to be able to get through the semi finals and the final without thinking "well, that's not how it looked at x national final!"? How heartbroken was I going to be when Loreen didn't win and we would be off to Moscow again? In the end, I needn't have worried. Yes, I was massively disappointed when Joan Franka didn't get through and angry that Donny Montell had somehow managed to worm his way through to Saturday night, when it was even more out of date than That Sounds Good To Me. But it didn't lessen how much I enjoyed the show. If anything, I enjoyed it even more, finally seeing the payoff for months of build-up.

Fast forward five months on from Baku to last Saturday night. There I was, bored at home after work, with nothing good on television. So I went online to see a Lithuanian woman struggle to pronounce "Euphoria" (it came out as "Ewww-furrr-iuhhh", by the by) and Donny Montell's last hurrah (hopefully). It might not always be pretty, but bring on the road to Malmö 2013. I can't wait.

Follow Chris on Twitter - @katsjonouchi