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Meet the ESCXTRA team! Micheál

Read to learn more about ESCXTRA's newest team member, Micheál!

Hey guys! My name is Micheál (pronounced “Meehall”) and I am 22 years old. Ireland is my home country but I’m currently studying Mathematics and Spanish in Glasgow, Scotland! Besides Eurovision, I really enjoy travelling, playing tennis and playing piano, so who knows? I could write the next winning Eurovision song!

Here is my Twitter if you would like to follow: @saoasflores

Your first Eurovision memory?

I don’t have a vivid memory of my first time watching Eurovision. In saying this, I do remember when I was 6, I was bewildered by the metal band, Lordi. I think the first year that I sat down with my family to watch the show was 2009! Following the show, Fairytale by Alexander Rybak soon became a new fixation of mine.

Your Eurovision Journey

The soul of Eurovision has possessed me since 2009 and it has immersed itself into my life meaning there’s no turning back.

2009-2011: The Beginning

When I think of Eurovision during the years of 2009, 2010 or 2011, I feel a lot of nostalgia because I used to watch the final without the knowledge of Semifinals. Additionally, I would watch the show with my whole (sometimes extended) family and sit anxiously with them during the results. I remember feeling curious about the meaning of one of my (now) favourite songs: Rändajad by Urban Symphony.

Urban Symphony - Rändajad (Estonia) Live 2009 Eurovision Song ContestUrban Symphony – Rändajad (Estonia) Live 2009 Eurovision Song Contest
Rändajad achieved sixth place in Eurovision 2009

2012-2021: Obsession

Since 2012, I can safely say that I have been obsessed with the show that we all know and love. I religiously watch the semifinals and final every single year. 

I discovered National Finals in 2015 and this is where I realised that Eurovision consists of more than just one week in the year. My favourite National Final song is Statements by Loreen (Melodifestivalen 2017).

Loreen – StatementsLoreen – Statements
Loreen lost to Anton Hagman in Andra Chansen by 85,674 votes

2022: Turin

This year was the first year that I got the chance to go to a live show as I had tickets for the Jury Final! I flew into Milan and swiftly hopped on a train over to Turin. The atmosphere inside the arena was surreal, I felt like I was dreaming! My favourite performance of the night was Saudade, Saudade by Maro (Portugal).

MARO - Saudade Saudade - LIVE - Portugal 🇵🇹 - Grand Final - Eurovision 2022MARO – Saudade Saudade – LIVE – Portugal 🇵🇹 – Grand Final – Eurovision 2022

This experience was jam-packed with dancing, singing and meeting so many warm people from across the continent. When I wasn’t in the arena, I was in the adoptive home for Eurofans in Turin: the Huntsman Pub. This is where I met so many eurofans and even a few artists (Brooke, Andrea and We Are Domi).

Why is Eurovision special to you?

To me, watching Eurovision has always been a family event. My family and I have been watching the thrilling show since I was a child. Eurovision week is, without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite week of the year. I remember that I was fixated with the results and the voting system. Eurovision has created a space for me to make friends whilst listening to great music and I feel extremely proud to be a small part of this big community of eurofans.

What attracted you to ESCXTRA?

Personally, I have been searching for an outlet to express my opinions on Eurovision. Building on my journalistic abilities has been something that I’ve always wanted to do and ESCXTRA will give me the tools to not only be creative, but improve on my writing skills.

I have been following ESCXTRA since I started becoming a eurofan on Twitter and I have always enjoyed their content. Not only do I appreciate the many articles that keep me up to date on the contest, I adore how ESCXTRA gives their writers a place to express their own opinions without a filter. Although I have been unsuccessful every year that I have taken part, I love Eurovision Prediction.

Your top 5 Eurovision songs of all-time?

5. Secret Garden – Nocturne (Norway 1995)

Ireland’s secret 8th win had to be included in this list. This beautiful composition by Rolf Løvland never fails to enchant me and the smooth notes of Fionnula Sherry’s violin transport me to a whole other universe. If you haven’t heard this winning song before, I strongly recommend that you listen to it!

Nocturne - Secret Garden - Norway 1995 - Eurovision songs with live orchestraNocturne – Secret Garden – Norway 1995 – Eurovision songs with live orchestra

4. Hari Mata Hari – Lejla (Bosnia and Herzegovina 2006)

Musically, Željko Joksimović can do no wrong. Everything about this performance is just perfect. The starry sky staging, Hari Mata Hari’s breathtaking singing and the delicate composition all send goosebumps my way. Please come back, Bosnia and Herzegovina, we miss you!

Hari Mata Hari - Lejla (Bosnia and Herzegovina) 2006 Eurovision Song ContestHari Mata Hari – Lejla (Bosnia and Herzegovina) 2006 Eurovision Song Contest

3. Lesley Roy – Maps (Ireland 2021)

Say what you will about this performance but as an Irishman, I am extremely proud of our song. For many Irish people living abroad (like myself), we have found that this song makes us long to return home. This is enhanced by the scenery of her music video which I highly recommend that you all watch.

Lesley Roy - MAPS - LIVE - Ireland 🇮🇪 - First Semi-Final - Eurovision 2021Lesley Roy – MAPS – LIVE – Ireland 🇮🇪 – First Semi-Final – Eurovision 2021

2. Duncan Laurence – Arcade (The Netherlands 2019)

Shivers crept up my spine when I first heard the exposition of the backing vocalists. I am delighted to see the success that the song has made across the world and on every social media because I believe that it is more than deserved. I will love this song for years to come.

The Netherlands - LIVE - Duncan Laurence - Arcade - Grand Final - Eurovision 2019The Netherlands – LIVE – Duncan Laurence – Arcade – Grand Final – Eurovision 2019

1. Cláudia Pascoal & Isaura – O Jardim (Portugal 2018)

I don’t know where to begin with my all time favourite song. A dream of mine would be to meet Isaura to thank her for creating this masterpiece. I think that Europe lost its police force that night because how else would we allow such a robbery to occur without a trial? However, if you turn the scoreboard upside down, O Jardim came first and that’s the world I want to live in!

Cláudia Pascoal - O Jardim - Portugal - LIVE - Grand Final - Eurovision 2018Cláudia Pascoal – O Jardim – Portugal – LIVE – Grand Final – Eurovision 2018

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