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!
NICK VAN LITH
Aged 22, I’m lucky enough to be the Deputy Editor in Chief of ESCXTRA.com. I was introduced to writing six years ago by Liam Clark. Writing was something I always wanted to do and to then be able to do it for Eurovision was a great opportunity. I’m still grateful for Liam’s advice back then. I then joined ESCXTRA.com as a founding member. Guess you could say I’m one of the oldies! You can follow me on Twitter as well:
Your first Eurovision memory?
My very first memory is from 2003. I was just eight years of age and couldn’t stay up too late, but I was there when Austria’s Alf Poier joined the stage. I had no idea what was going on, but there was an Austrian man jumping about, with cardboard animals and random rock bits. It was utter madness. So I was sold.
Your Eurovision journey?
It’s one with ups and downs. From 2004, I remember agreeing with my dad that Ruslana really had to win. After that, my mind goes blank… All I remember from 2005 is that our commentator thought Greece was falling behind too much to win. In 2006, I bought Lordi’s CD and was cheering them on immensely. Not once did I notice my now all time favourite.
I think every single Eurovision fan has an entry they once believed could win to then see it end up failing badly. Very badly. For me, that has to be Slovenia 2008, Vrag Naj Vzame. I was convinced she’d take it home to Ljubljana…
2010 was the breakthrough for me. I had seen the contest and thought it was good when listening to the songs before the contest, but to actually check the national selection results happened that year. I was in a hospital bed, spending my days doing nothing. So what did I do? I checked Wikipedia and saw Hera Björk had won some show in Iceland. With a French title. Sold, once again. When Lena then won the show so convincingly, Eurovision had won a superfan. Satellite is still in my all time top ten.
Why is Eurovision special to you?
Eurovision was a bit of an escape for me. Away from the closed culture I had at home, I dived into the internet to find people from Australia, Venezuela, Malta, the UK and the Netherlands all discussing that one contest, where I could discover new music. It was – and is – a magical place for me, despite some of its fans’ negativity. I’m a language lover and to dive into the history of the contest is always fun to do.
Eurovision is such a surreal place. One could really say it breaks the general day for me. And that’s really what you need. Discovering music, discovering language, discovering new people. That’s really what makes this so good.
What attracted you to ESCXTRA?
Nathan said it, but this one is tough for the founding members of the ESCXTRA team. I guess it was the idea of founding a website that wanted to move forward and do that little bit extra for all of those fans of the contest. Luke Fisher founded it and took the entire ESCXTRA team in and made sure we did what I hoped we’d do: Bring people closer.
Now Nathan has taken over as Editor in Chief, I’m delighted and honoured to be working alongside him. As part of the ESCXTRA team, we really want to keep the spirit of the contest and the site going forward, to make sure you can enjoy the contest to the fullest.
And finally, your top 5 Eurovision songs of all-time?
Just five? Really? There are so many more that deserve a place here, but here we go:
5. Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah (Finland 2006)
4. Sofia Vossou – I Anixi (Greece 1991)
3. Jalisse – Fiumi Di Parole (Italy 1997)
2. Marie Myriam – L’Oiseau Et L’Enfant (France 1977)
1. Anna Vissi – Everything (Greece 2006)
So you need to host a contest you can’t afford (thanks Måns and Petra). What do you do? Send in the biggest star you can possibly think of and give her such an impeccable ballad, with a knee drop. This finishing just ninth is a crime against humanity, even in a really strong 2006. Perfectly sung, perfectly staged, perfectly performed – perfection in three minutes. What a fantastic moment for Greece, for the contest and, definitely, for me.
Stay tuned for the next part in our Meet the ESCXTRA team series. On Sunday we will meet Wivian! 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!