Meet the ESCXTRA team! Part 29 – EMANUEL

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!

Emanuel Filipe

Olá! I’m 19 years old and I’m from your next year’s hosting country. More precisely from a little village near to the Spanish border. But no, I don’t speak Spanish. “I’m from your next year’s hosting country” – You can’t imagine how good it feels to say this. I just can’t believe it. I think I will say it as much as I can until next year, as I don’t think it will happen again very soon. Bem-vindos a Portugal!

Your First Eurovision Memory:

My first Eurovision memory comes from 2008. But honestly, I don’t remember much about the show. I was seeing Eurovision with my parents and everything was very confusing. So many countries that I didn’t know, so many crazy performances…well, so much of everything. As I couldn’t understand what was going on I decided to ask about it to my mother, and she just smiled with an “Oh dear, it’s Eurovision. I don’t even know why we keep participating. We will never win”. She was wrong for once (and that makes me happy, I have to confess), and we finally did it this year. Besides the crazy performances, I just remember my parents’ disappointment with Vânia’s 13th place. Everyone was expecting much more. As I thought that we could vote for our own country, a 13th place sounded really good to me. After all, if we are just 10 million people, we would never do better than the Germans or the French…They were much more. I was dumb, I know. But forgive me. I was just ten years old.

Your Eurovision Journey?

As I said before, my first Eurovision memory is from 2008. Surprisingly I forgot about Eurovision for 4 years. How can someone forget about Eurovision for so long? Well, I don’t know. That’s a question that I make to myself very often. In 2012 my mother let me go out at night for the first time. I thought I had no luck because a huge storm started on that night, and we just decided to wait an hour to go out. I had to find something to do during that hour, and guess what: My father was watching Festival da Canção 2012. Yes. Thanks to a storm I’m a Eurovision fan. And also thanks to my father, who was until this May the biggest Eurovision hater that I knew. Oh, the irony.
I watched the show and I wasn’t impressed at all. I didn’t like any song, the voting was confusing…but who would be impressed by Festival da Canção? Maybe that’s the reason why I forgot about Eurovision once again…but just until June. From that month on, all this adventure started. I started to learn more and more about Eurovision. It was wonderful to discover that many of the songs that made my childhood represented Portugal at the contest. Since that month, this show has become a very important part of my life.
This is something very cheesy to say, but Eurovision is not only a show. It’s a lifestyle. My love for the contest never stops growing and everyone knows that. That’s the reason why my friends call me “Mister Eurovision”. This year I decided to go watch Eurovision live for the first time. It was my first big travel out of Portugal, and it was indeed the best week of my life. I shouldn’t say this but I started crying once I arrived at that arena for the first time. I just couldn’t believe that I was there. It’s a shame, I know. Feel free to make fun of me. I deserve it.

Why is Eurovision special to you?

Honestly, what I love the most about Eurovision is not even the music. That’s important, of course, but it’s not the main thing. What I love the most about the show are all the new friends that I have made during this five years. I’m sure that some of them will be with me for the whole life. I always loved to meet people from other countries. I love to know other cultures, other countries, how life is in other parts of the world, and Eurovision gives me all that. It’s like if I won a new family. This year in Kiev I had the opportunity to take this experience even deeper. I didn’t know anyone but I felt at home. That’s what is so good about Eurovision.

What attracted you to ESCXTRA?

I always wanted to do something like this. After all, writing about Eurovision is writing about what I love the most. I didn’t do it before because I thought that my English level would be a problem. Fortunately, it has been improving over the years and it seems that I’m finally ready. Besides that, it’s a pleasure to be on this team, that has been doing a great work. I’m sure that I will learn a lot with this experience.

And finally your top 5 Eurovision songs of all time?

I can’t say this is my all time top five. It’s really hard to pick just five songs between so many pearls. I picked this five today, but tomorrow I would probably pick five different ones. These are the songs that I decided to pick this time, just because I love them:




Just close your eyes and listen. Just close them. Isn’t this beautiful? If I have to pick my all time favourite, this is it. I saw Melodi Grand Prix in 2015, and I knew since that moment that they would be my Eurovision Winners. The Swedish winner was great, but this song conquered my heart. So pure, so relaxing. After two years I still don’t know what was that terrible thing that he did in his early youth. That’s the mystery that I love. The national final performance is even more impressive with the live orchestra. Please, let’s bring it back to Eurovision! Thank you, Norway, for this pearl. I even thought about selling one of my lungs just to vote for you. I was too weak to do that, but I voted as much as I could.
Stay tuned for the future parts in our Meet the ESCXTRA team series. 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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