wiwibloggs has around 50 correspondents from all around Europe and the world. We want to be as close to our readers as we can, so in the coming months will be introducing you to everyone on the team. First up is our northeast of England correspondent Katie Wilson!
Hey Katie! Could you tell us a bit of yourself?
My name is Katie Wilson and I am a fifteen year old student living in the North East of England. I love writing and travelling! I attended Eurovision in 2014 and the experience was one of the best of my life. I met wonderful people and achieved two major things on my bucket list: I watched Eurovision live and visited Scandinavia.
When did you start working for wiwibloggs and what’s your job?
I started working for wiwibloggs in July 2013 and my job is to cover news about the Eurovision singers I love the most. Sometimes I do editorials, interviews and reviews too, which I really enjoy.
When did you became a Eurovision fan?
I have always watched Eurovision. The first contest I remember vividly was Athens 2006 and Lordi from Finland. My mam never understood what was so great about Eurovision but it was a tradition for my dad and I to watch the show with sugary drinks, nachos and scorecards for every act. It was the only time I was ever allowed sugary drinks, so when I was younger I think that was why I loved it so much. By 2010, I would listen to a few songs before the show and have my favourites. 2012 was when I became a Eurovision nut. I remember texting my friend throughout the final with comments like “OMG the Romanian people are sooooo cool!”, “Look, the Turkish guy has built a boat!”, “The Maltese guy has a dance!”, “This Ukrainian girl is really talented!”, “I’m so happy! Sweden might actually win!” Something happened that night and I fell in love with Eurovision, I’ve never been the same since.
Which ESC song is your all-time favourite?
This one is really difficult. I think I have two. “Zaleilah” by Mandinga because that song is the reason why I adore Eurovision. The colours, energy and spirit of Mandinga has kept me smiling ever since I discovered them and I value them so much as artists. The other is “La Mia Citta” by Emma Marrone because I’ve seen it performed live in Copenhagen and it was wonderful, I’m even featured on the Youtube video of the performance for a millisecond. I had a fangirl moment and cried when I shook Emma’s hand!
Favourite Eurovision memory?
It was the Jury Rehearsal of the 2014 Final and I was watching the Big Five Perform live for the first time. I’d met Twin Twin a few days before and they were great. So down to Earth and happy to talk with me, therefore I was looking forward to seeing them live. When they arrived on stage they high-fived me, which was cool. When they were walking off stage after everyone had sang “Rainmaker” something really weird happened. Lorent stopped, pointed at me and said, “How are you?! We met!”. Everyone near me in the audience turned around and looked at me, all I could say was, “ummm…. I’m good?”. I still don’t understand how that happened. It was crazy. No-one believes me when I tell the story.
Do you have some Eurovision-related dream?
Something far-fetched like representing my country or somewhere else at Eurovision, that would be such an honour.
If you could change something about Eurovision, what it would be?
I’d like to have the Big 5 perform in the semi finals. I think it puts them at a disadvantage to not be able to perform twice during the week. People have their favourites and fall in love with songs before the Final, because of their Semi-Final performance. The Big 5 should have the opportunity to make an impression before Saturday like the other countries do.
Has being a Eurovision fan changed your life? How?
It’s opened my mind and given me a lot of opportunities. Through Eurovision, I’m able to tell people I write for a blog that has over 60,000 facebook likes. I know a lot more about different countries, their language, music and culture. I’ve also made some wonderful friends from completely different walks of life to me through Eurovision and wiwibloggs. I’ve also been able to visit Copenhagen, which wouldn’t have happened otherwise. I know of wonderful musicians and I have role models in my life that I wouldn’t have if I didn’t love Eurovision.
What kind of reaction you get when you tell people that you are a Eurovision fanatic?
Sometimes people roll their eyes or shake their head. Normally people are okay, they’ll nod and ask me why. People never tend to argue with me, if they do it’s only to wind me up. They know I’d win any argument we had about it, that’s why. Haha.
In your mind, what’s the greatest Eurovision injustice?
Cristina Scarlat coming last in Semi-Final 1. That was ridiculous. I was telling everyone the day before that I was convinced she’d qualify. She deserved to, the song was great! So unique, energetic and fierce. I don’t understand what people thought was wrong with it. Moje 3 not qualifying deserves a mention too.
Do you have some hobbies next to Eurovision?
I love learning foreign languages, visiting new countries and spending time with friends and family. Going out shopping, for walks or even relaxing at home. I have lots of exams coming up this year, mock exams in November and my final exams in June so I don’t have a lot of time for hobbies. A lot of my time is taken up with coursework and revising which is a little annoying.
What else you do on your free-time?
I love watching movies and reading, sometimes I attempt creative writing. My mam often teaches me how to cook too, although I prefer baking. Walking my dog is always fun and every weekend I try to do something sporty despite the fact I detest all exercise, haha.
What’s the best in your country and in the city/town you are living in?
The best thing in our country is probably something like our beaches or our nature reserves. If you visit the UK, don’t do something generic and visit Big Ben or Buckingham Palace. It’s boring, too pretentious and doesn’t represent the British people very well. I’d visit the North of England where the people are friendlier and there’s a lot more small traditions that not many people know about. In my city, we have the largest shopping centre in Europe. It’s AMAZING. I’ve spent endless days there and it’s never boring, there’s always something new.
Where you would like to travel the most, for the first time or once more?
I’d love to visit Australia where a lot of my family live, which hopefully I will do soon. I also thought Baku looked like a really interesting city from all of the postcards they used for the Eurovision final, so it would be nice to visit there. It’d be amazing to see Mandinga, Gaitana or Mariya Yaremchuk and the members of Moje 3 live in Romania, Ukraine and Serbia too.
What kind of music do you listen to besides Eurovision music?
I have quite broad taste. I love foreign language artists like Stromae, Cro and Marko Mandic. Dance music is one of my favourite genres, I like DJs such as Avicii and Robin Schulz – formerly Basshunter and Eric Prydz when I was younger, haha. Dance music with saxophones is always great too, Alexandra Stan is Queen for stuff like that. Mellow singers are wonderful too such as MIKA, Vance Joy, Sam Smith or Paolo Nutini. Whenever I feel like hip-hop I listen to Iggy Azalea, she’s brilliant. Labrinth and Example are some awesome British talent.
What is your favourite wiwibloggs article of all time?
This is a difficult one. The interview with Tooji in 2012 was brilliant, it was the interview that drew me to wiwibloggs. It really demonstrates how wiwibloggs is unique in its approach to Eurovision news and makes Eurovision gossip so much more exciting than other sites. I think my favourite article that I’ve written is my interview with the Tolmachevy Sisters. I find interviews the most demanding yet enjoyable articles to write and this was my first interview in a foreign language. It was also the first interview where I had to cover a few serious, must-answer questions like the reception they received in Copenhagen. I was very excited to talk to the twins and it was the most challenging interview yet the most fun, we’re similar ages so they’re very easy to get along with. We can talk like I’d talk to my friends.
Do you have a message for all the wiwireaders?
Firstly, thank you so much for reading our articles and posting comments telling us what we’ve done well or how we can improve, it’s very helpful. Just by liking the article on Facebook you’ve offered us a lot of support and helped me on my way to Copenhagen, so thank you for that. Secondly, don’t be afraid to take risks because those opportunities that seem small and insignificant at the time could turn into something amazing.