Meet the ESCXTRA team! Bo

Let's meet the newest member of the team!

Bo van Leijden

Hi everyone! My name is Bo and I live in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I’m a teacher in primary school, my students are about 8/9 years old. While I love teaching and working with kids, I have an even bigger passion; Eurovision! I’ve joined ESCXTRA in March 2022. 

If you want to, you can follow me on Instagram: @idkbo.

Your first Eurovision memory?

For my first Eurovision memory, we go all the way back to 2004. I was seven years old, and I was watching Eurovision for the first time with my mom and little sister. Being only a child, I was not allowed to watch it until the end, unfortunately. But I did happen to catch the performance of Austria’s Tie Break, ‘Du Bist”. For years, an image of the performance stuck in my head, with me not remembering what is was exactly. Flash forward to 2019. I was talking with my sister about our first Eurovision memory. That’s when it hit me; the image in my head was from Eurovision! The only that I remembered was that there were three guys who were, at one point, sitting around some sort of pole and singing. It took us a few hours to find the song but boy, I was so happy I finally found it! 

Your Eurovision journey?

From 2009 on, I have always watched Eurovision with my family, it is like a tradition for us at this point: we prepare food from all the participating countries and always give our 1-12 points. 2011 was the year my ‘casual excitement’ for Eurovision shifted into ‘full obsession mode’. It was all thanks to the Irish entry, Jedward. Can you imagine my hysteria when I found out they were participating again the year after with Waterline? I downloaded the song on my iPhone 3, played it on repeat for 2 hours or more. Even though they didn’t do great in 2012, they were the winners in my heart. 

A couple of years later, when I was old enough to visit concerts by myself, I started visiting the Amsterdam pre-party, Eurovision in Concert, every year. But I wanted more, to be at the actual contest. So that’s why, in 2019, I spontaneously booked a ticket to Tel Aviv and I saw my country winning the desired trophy. Wow! I definitely shed a tear or two that night. 

Last year my friends and I went to the semi-finals of the contest in Rotterdam. It felt surreal that it was actually happening inside my country! Some of my most cherished memories were created that week. 

This year, I have had the pleasure of visiting the Barcelona pre-party as well as Eurovision in Concert. You could say I’m a bit obsessed at this point. 

Why is Eurovision special to you?

For me, it’s hard to describe why Eurovision is so special to me. It’s more than just liking the songs, the unity, the fun. It’s a feeling like adrenalina (pun intended). A rush of excitement that lasts from the the start until the end of Eurovision season. I have discovered so many great artists over the last couple of years through Eurovision, whom I wouldn’t have found without it. I have been introduced to hundreds of amazing songs from tons of different genres. 10-year old me would not have thought I would be listening to Ukrainian techno-folk or Albanian rock by now, but I’m glad I am. 

What attracted you to ESCXTRA?

ESCXTRA has always been my favorite Eurovision-related blog. My interest in joining the team increased about two years ago, when my sister Bente became a part of the team. She always talks so fondly of ESCXTRA, the amazing team and the fun stuff she does, like interviewing artists and writing interesting articles. At the time I was busy finishing my study and finding a job. Now I’m totally ready to join the team and get to work on doing what I love: talking about Eurovision!

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

Probably the hardest question anyone has ever asked me! This is my current top 5, though I must say it shifts all the time.

5. AWS – Viszlát Nyár (Hungary 2018)

4. Duncan Laurence – Arcade (the Netherlands, 2019)

3. Fallen Angel – Tix (Norway, 2021)

2. La Venda – Miki Núñez (Spain, 2019)

  1. Sergey Lazarev – You Are The Only One (Russia, 2016)

I hope you have all gotten to know me a little better after reading this post!

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