Features

Meet the ESCXTRA team! Part 3 – NATHAN

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!

NATHAN WADDELL

Aged 23, I am the current Editor in Chief of ESCXTRA. Having started writing for other websites nearly 8 years ago, following the discovery of Melodifestivalen for the first time, I joined ESCXTRA as a founder member in 2011. You can follow me on the following social media handles:

Twitter: @Nathan_7

Your first Eurovision memory?

The very first time I encountered the Eurovision Song Contest was in 2002, just in passing on the television at my grandparents’ house. I was immediately interested, hooked and enjoyed what I was seeing. The following year, I watched the show on my own out of choice and began my love of the competition. From 2004, we began to watch the show with our neighbours and family friends. Eurovision became a celebration for me and an excuse to spend time with some of our favourite people.

Your Eurovision journey?

In 2007, for the very first time, I discovered the songs in advance of the competition itself. I cannot describe the joy of this moment. I immediately found my favourites (Belarus, Cyprus and Sweden) and eagerly awaited the competition. Of course, all of my favourites had results that I believed they didn’t deserve… and at that point, I became a real superfan of the competition.

In 2008, I watched Melodifestivalen in full, week-by-week, enjoying the chance to find my favourite songs before they even made their way to Eurovision itself. The utter joy of discovering Linda Bengtzing when she performed “Hur svårt kan de va” will stay with me forever. How can you not love this performance?

The following year, I was fully switched on to finding as many entries in advance of the competition that I could, but Melodifestivalen would always be the annual highlight for me.

Why is Eurovision special to you?

I have grown up with a deep-rooted love of music and an appreciation for many music genres. For me, Eurovision represents such a vast range of styles that it taps into my love of discovering new music. In addition, I have an interest in politics and political geography, two things that Eurovision inherently presents, year on year. Finally, I have always been a keen linguist, continuing French and Spanish to completion at degree level. When you combine all of these factors, Eurovision fits the brief!

What attracted you to ESCXTRA?

This question is more difficult to answer for the founding members! The opportunity to be part of a progressive team, one which was bringing the readers and live stream viewers closer to the contest than ever before was always the big selling point. Plus, I was fortunate enough to work underneath Luke Fisher as the original Editor in Chief, someone who was always bringing new ideas and pushing ESCXTRA to every corner of the continent. We owe a lot to his vision and I hope that I can continue to build ESCXTRA in a forever modernising world. One thing has never changed here, the people of the Eurovision Song Contest matter the most. We will continue to bring you, the readers and viewers, closer to the Eurovision Song Contest and we will allow the performers and their delegations to tell their stories themselves directly to you.

And finally, your top 5 Eurovision songs of all-time?

Frankly, this is the impossible part of this! Many songs just missed the cut, particularly from 2006-2007.

5. Anonymous – Salvem el món (Let’s Save the World) – Andorra 2007

4. Evridiki – Comme ci, comme ça – Cyprus 2007

3. Ruth Lorenzo – Dancing in the Rain – Spain 2014

2. Loreen – Euphoria – Sweden 2012

1. Yohanna – Is it True? – Iceland 2009

Long-time readers of the website will know that I believe Yohanna was utterly robbed of a Eurovision win. To this day, I still think that this would have been the greatest Eurovision winner of all time. Perfectly written, stunningly sang and impeccably performed by all involved. It has made me cry, it melts my heart and it gives me goosebumps. Thank you Iceland, thank you Yohanna and thank you to the songwriters, Óskar Páll Sveinsson, Tinatin Japaridze and Chris Neil, for delivering this beautiful song to the greatest competition of all time.

Stay tuned for the next part in our Meet the ESCXTRA team series. On Tuesday we will meet Nick! 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!

Nathan Waddell

I am the Editor in Chief of ESCXTRA, a huge Melodifestivalen fan and love sports. You can find me singing along to Scandinavian Eurovision entries, listening to the latest chart music on Spotify or watching the football and tennis on two different screens at once.
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