THE BIG FLOWER FIGHT ON NETFLIX: Exclusive interview with contestant Eoghan Riordan Fernandez

British competition show The Big Flower Fight premiered in May this year on Netflix, transporting viewers into eight episodes of mind-blowing floral creativity that has never been seen before. Contestants from all walks of life are challenged to create gigantic floral structures that quite literally serve as veritable works of art – each and every one. From “Enormous Insects” to “Fabulous Floral Fashion”, not only is the viewer treated to the unbounding creativity of the contestants’ work, but the show also keeps you on the edge of your seat – making you wonder if they are going to meet the brief, build the installation without any hiccups and complete the task within the allocated time. Hold on to your hats, Netflix binge watchers… The Big Flower Fight is here to suck you in!

Even though you have lived in Ireland all your life, you have a strong Span-ish heritage due to your mother being from Bilbao. We know you studied in Granada, have siblings living in Málaga, and regularly visit Spain, attending various conventions around the peninsula, so have you ever considered moving here yourself?
Yes, I’d love to move over to Spain and I speak Spanish fluently. I’ve thought about it many times but I’m separated and have children here in Ireland, so I don’t feel I can leave here for the time being as I want to be with my kids.

How did you become involved in the Netflix competition show The Big Flower Fight?
My friend Hannah was informed about the show and she suggested that I apply, so I decided to give it a go and fill in the application form. The show’s production company got back to me straight away, and that was really it. I had to then find a teammate so I asked an old college friend, Declan, with whom since university I had collaborated on various projects. I felt our skills complemented each other’s, making us a good team for the show.

Did the contestants become close during the show and have you kept in touch with any of them since the competition took place?
We did all get quite close during the show as we were all going through the same stresses and strains, so we bonded really well. Since the show, we have a WhatsApp group where we keep in touch, but we all live quite far away from each other so we haven’t yet managed to meet up.

Had you ever made flower sculptures before on this kind of scale?
Not really, no. I had created several large vertical gardens but nothing like this so it was really a fantastic challenge in every way.

How competitive are you? Were you in the competition solely to win or was there an element of just being happy to be part of the whole experience?
When we first went into the competition, we were quite in awe of the talent of some of the contestants, but we quickly got into it and realized it was anyone’s call. We obviously wanted to win but the whole experience was amazing from start to finish and we are so pleased we were given the opportunity.

When you were knocked out of the competition in the fifth round, making the “Magnificent Mobile”, how did you feel about the decision?
We were totally gutted! Where other contestants had help from carpenters, etc., we carried out the whole construction ourselves, so I suppose we felt our hard work in that area was perhaps overlooked. However, the reality is we totally respected the judges’ decision and we understood that many other aspects of the installation had to be taken into consideration and, even though I thoroughly enjoyed making that particular installation, it just wasn’t our day that day.

We assume being on a show like this must have had a huge impact on you. Has it changed anything about your life and your career moving forward?
Yes, the experience was definitely life-changing. It’s not every day that someone gets the opportunity to be involved in something as big as that, so I’m very grateful to have been part of it. Going back home after weeks of filming in such an intense environment was really strange though. During filming, we had no time for ourselves as it was full-on the whole time, so coming back home and being able to properly relax and have time for yourself was quite a weird sensation. I’d carried out some high-profile projects in the past but nothing like The Big Flower Fight. Since being on the show, I’d now be open to doing more television work as I really did enjoy it and I’d love to carry out more large installations. So, let’s see where the future leads…


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