This summer, we are running a series of feature articles that is slightly different to the norm. We think this is the perfect time for you (and us!) to find out more about the ESCXTRA team! Twice a week we’ll meet two of our team members. What is our personal Eurovision story? Why did we want to be a part of this website? What are our favourite Eurovision songs of all-time? How can you get in touch with us on social media? Read on to find out!
I am 23 years old, from the Wirral in the United Kingdom. I’ve just completed a master’s degree in Research Methods in Psychology, and I’m looking for a job! I joined ESCXTRA in March 2017. You can follow me on the following social media handles:
Facebook: Luke Malam
Your first Eurovision memory?
My earliest Eurovision memory is of 2001. I can just remember watching a big concert-like event, with all different acts from around the world. When the voting begun, I had absolutely no idea what was going on and didn’t understand it whatsoever (I was only 7 at the time). Unfortunately, I can remember being very disappointed in the United Kingdom’s entry, but I loved the Swedish entry!
Your Eurovision journey?
After my first Eurovision memory, I remember virtually nothing until 2005. I had taken a quick look at some of the songs before the contest, since I got very excited about the UK’s entry after watching it win the national final. My favourites were Romania, Spain, and Hungary. A bizarre selection, I know, but I can remember being horrified at Greece winning, I thought (and still do think) that the live vocals for My Number One were horrendous, although in the months after the contest, it became my first Eurovision obsession.
Each year, I would watch the contest and get excited in the days before the final. Then, in 2008, the UK selection resulted in the worst song being selected, to my complete dismay. However, during the programme, they showed a “sneak peek” at some of the other entries competing in 2008, including Malta’s entry, which I fell absolutely head over heels in love with. It was the best thing I had ever heard and I could not stop listening! So that year I watched the second semi-final to see how Malta did, and almost cried when they didn’t qualify. However, I was shocked at how much I enjoyed the rest of the entries in that semi-final! I was hooked.
Since then, my love for Eurovision has only grown. Each year I’ve watched more and more of the countries national selections and become more and more excited for the contest every year. I hope to go to my first Eurovision next year in Lisbon!
Why is Eurovision special to you?
There’s nothing quite like this contest. People get so passionate about it, and to hear songs from all over Europe is really exciting to me. I’m really interested in languages too, as well as English I can speak Norwegian, Swedish, some Danish and French, and I’m also learning Portuguese ready for next year’s contest! So of course, I find Eurovision and the many languages in the contest really cool to hear! My favourite non-English song has to be France’s entry last year, Amir’s ‘J’ai Cherché’.
What attracted you to ESCXTRA?
Until 2012, I was not part of ANY Eurovision community, and didn’t pay too much attention to Eurovision fansites. I had no idea what the fan favourites were, or about pretty much anything other than what I thought.
Then, during one of my rare visits to a fansite, I saw somebody linking to the ESCXTRA livestream. I was intrigued and began watching. I remember the first face I saw was Liam’s, and after spending a few hours there talking to the team in Baku, I just couldn’t leave.
One guy in the chatroom, who some of you may know as PeterP, began replying to virtually every comment that I made and wouldn’t leave me alone. To be completely honest, I was very creeped out, but after talking for a while, we added each other on facebook, and now I’d say that he is one of my best friends, along with TheBroCode who joined our facebook chat a few months later (after also being hunted down by PeterP. Such a creep).
This is why I love ESCXTRA. It brings people together in an amazing way and it has honestly changed my life for the better by giving me these amazing friends!
(P.S. ‘My Friend’ is literally my least favourite song to ever exist. How dare you, Croatia.)
And finally, your top 5 Eurovision songs of all-time?
I have my all-time Eurovision rankings always prepared in a spreadsheet, so I can easily give you my top 5!
5. Luminița Anghel & Sistem – Let Me Try (Romania 2005)
4. Emmelie de Forest – Only Teardrops (Denmark 2013)
3. Ivi Adamou – La La Love (Cyprus 2012)
2. Helena Paparizou – My Number One (Greece 2005)
1. Lena – Satellite (Germany 2010)
Since I first heard Satellite I absolutely LOVED it. Lena has since become my favourite artist, and I think her music is fantastic. If you want to start a conversation with me, mention Lena! The only song that could’ve beat Satellite was Anne Gadegaard’s entry into Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2015, ‘Suitcase’. It’s my favourite song ever, and I still haven’t forgiven Denmark for not sending it.
Stay tuned for the next part in our Meet the ESCXTRA team series. On Sunday, we will meet Nathan! Remember you can share your Eurovision stories with us in the comments section below or via the comments sections on our Facebook page @ESCXTRA. We would love to hear them!
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