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! 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!
Hi there, I’m Sophie, 25-year-old from Germany with a huge passion for music, language, and all things Scandinavian. Actually, my mom being a big ABBA fan was the reason for many family vacations in Sweden which led me to learning Swedish and studying Scandinavian studies. I guess it was only a natural consequence that I also became a Eurovision fan.
Your first Eurovision memory?
I think my first Eurovision memory was seeing Lordi on TV back in 2006. I didn’t really watch the whole contest, I was rather just passing by the living room where those monsters were on screen. To be honest, I was quite scared, but also amazed by their crazy costumes.
Your Eurovision journey?
The first Eurovision Song Contest I really watched was just in 2010, though. Eurovision wasn’t really a big thing in Germany before that – or at least it wasn’t among my family and friends, unfortunately. But being a fan of Stefan Raab and all of his shows, I was drawn to the German preselection ”Unser Star für Oslo“. Everybody already knew after her first performance that Lena would win the National Final, but I think nobody imagined that she would actually bring back Eurovision to Germany.
I remember watching the contest all alone in my bedroom on a TV the size of a microwave – as I said, Eurovision wasn’t really a big thing back then. But with Lena’s victory, Eurovision got a whole new reception in Germany. And for me, personally, this was when my love for Eurovision was born.
Since then, I’ve been throwing Eurovision parties with my friends – year by year we got more and more into it and spent months learning songs by heart, rehearsing dance moves, writing betting lists and all.
Finally, my Eurovision obsession even led me to quitting my job to go to Vienna and become a volunteer in 2015. Volunteering at Eurovision was the most amazing experience ever and a dream coming true. I was completely consumed by the Eurovision bubble – looking behind the scenes and being a part of it myself was incredibly breathtaking. And it also led me to getting to know members of ESCXTRA and becoming a part of the team myself later that year.
After Vienna, I spent some time living in Iceland and then moved to Stockholm – very conveniently being the next host city for Eurovision. I got the chance to attend Melodifestivalen and report from the ground for ESCXTRA for the first time, which was both exciting and challenging. Then, last year in May, I witnessed my favourite city turning into Eurovision capital and it was a pleasure to be part of it all once again.
Right now, I’m back living in Berlin and I was able to watch Eurovision with my friends at home once again. As much fun as that was, I also really missed being on the ground, so I’m already planning my trip to Portugal now.
Why is Eurovision special to you?
There are so many answers to this question. I think the most special thing about Eurovision to me is how it truly connects millions of people all over the world sharing a passion for music, culture, and craziness.
What attracted you to ESCXTRA?
As I said, I met the ESCXTRA crew in Vienna, where I actually interviewed Simon at first as one of my volunteer tasks for the ORF. I was attracted mostly by the idea of the live stream, by the shared passion for talking and writing about Eurovision and by Liam’s TimTams. As I had been working as an online editor before, joining ESCXTRA seemed like a great opportunity for me to combine my passion for writing with my passion for Eurovision.
And finally, your top Eurovision songs of all time?
There is honestly no tougher question than this. There are so many Eurovision songs that I love, so it is almost impossible to pick just 5. But I will try, anyway…
5. Domenico Modugno – Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu (Italy 1958)
4. Cliff Richard – Power To All Our Friends (United Kingdom 1973)
3. The Olsen Brothers – Fly On The Wings Of Love (Denmark 2000)
2. Johnny Logan – Hold Me Now (Ireland 1987)
1. Carl Espen – Silent Storm (Norway 2014)
I get massive goosebumps each and every time ’Silent Storm’ is on. It just hits a nerve deep inside of me and I was incredibly touched by the live performance and by Carl Espen’s charisma on stage in Copenhagen.
Stay tuned for the next part in our Meet the ESCXTRA team series. On Wednesday we will meet Sagheer! 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!