wiwibloggs has more than 40 correspondents from all around the world. We want to be as close to our readers as we can, so in the coming months we’ll be introducing you to everyone on the team. Today we’re talking to our California correspondent Francheska.
Hey Francheska! Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello, I’m Francheska, and I am 17 years old and I live near San Francisco. I have not had a chance to go to Eurovision because that is when my final exams are (and it’s flippin’ expensive), but I pay very close attention every year! I’m half-American, half-Eastern European, and I will be enrolling in university next year (don’t know where yet, though)!
When did you start working on wiwibloggs and what’s your job here?
I started in June 2013, and I mainly write updates on certain artists (i.e. Andrius Pojavis and Cleo and Donatan) and editorials. I also like to join Wiwi Juries as often as possible, just to put in my two cents (see: Eurofest, MGP and Melfest 2014). My main claim to fame here, however, is my GIF lists.
When did you become a Eurovision fan?
I had an ABBA phase when I was 13, and I saw that they won the Eurovision Song Contest. I googled it and the first video that came up was Alexander Rybak singing “Fairytale”. Funny enough this was a week before ESC 2010 (which I did not see the live broadcast of, sadly). A serious Youtube binge ensued. Watching ESC 2011 live from my computer made this fascination pretty permanent.
Which ESC song is your all-time favourite?
I have too many! “L’Essenziale” is probably my big favorite, because it’s romantic without being too sappy and Marco’s voice complements the instrumentals incredibly, and it makes me fangirl into infinity. “Something” by Andrius Pojavis (because it’s simple rock and not too theatrical) and “Et S’il Fallait le Faire” by Patricia Kass also rank highly.
Favourite Eurovision memory?
Watching Marco Mengoni perform “L’Essenziale” via the webcast. I may or may not have been hypnotized.
Do you have some Eurovision-related dream?
To go see Eurovision in person! I have yet to go to Europe, and going to Eurovision would just complete me! Also, meeting some of my favorite acts is high on that list!
If you could change something about Eurovision, what would it be?
I would like to see if there was a way that acts that place second in national selections could somehow perform in the final (like a Europe-wide Andra Chansen). There have been a lot of great acts that were left behind!
Has being a Eurovision fan changed your life? How?
It definitely has! Eurovision has given me such a powerful context to learn about cultures, languages, and even politics. Eurovision has made me more globally aware as well as informed. Also, there was a brief period in my life that had some problems, and I was not in a good place. Being able to catch up with Eurovision and live through the songs helped me emotionally and give myself space to figure out all of my issues. Also, Eurovision led me to wiwibloggs, which makes Eurovision a million times better for me!
What kind of reaction do you get when you tell people that you are a Eurovision fanatic?
“What the heck is Eurovision?” Usually followed by “America should join!” (Usually followed by me screaming).
In your mind, what’s the greatest Eurovision injustice?
There are so many, I can’t even count them! One of the biggest ones for me is probably the fact that Dmitry Koldun did not win in 2007 (it was great song and has fantastisk staging!). Paolo Meneguzzi not qualifying in 2008 is also simply awful, as is Filipa Azevedo not doing better in 2010. Andrius placing 20-ist (his words, not mine) also irks me. The biggest injustice to me, however, is Brequette not winning Spain’s national selection last year (I am still infuriated!)
Do you have any hobbies outside of Eurovision?
Just listening to music and keeping up with news. I also really like to write stories and short descriptions of places: I find it to be very therapeutic. Mainly, though, I volunteer at a local youth center for low-income children.
What else you do in your free time?
I usually search for new shows and movies on sites like Hulu or Netflix. Also, whenever I can, I try to go to San Francisco and walk about (especially in Fisherman’s Wharf). I’m also quite active on my Tumblr account (although not very recently, sorry!), where I tend to make a lot of bad Eurovision jokes.
What’s best about living in your country and in your city/town?
Best thing about the US is probably how diverse the population is. Especially geographically speaking, because it sometimes feels like you’re entering a new world since attitudes are so different. Best thing about San Francisco is hard to pinpoint, but I like to say that it’s because it’s a very cultural city in terms of new developments and how some places are very easy to walk around. It’s also very beautiful around Christmas, which makes me feel happy and fuzzy inside.
Where would you like to travel the most?
I would love to go to Italy for an entire month, just traveling the entire country. I’d also like to go around Eastern Europe and visit my relatives and where my ancestors lived (my grandfather had an orchard right outside of Warsaw, and I’d love to have the experience of seeing where he grew up).
What kind of music do you listen to besides Eurovision music?
Mainly rock, such as Green Day, the Killers, Imagine Dragons, and whatnot. I love keeping up with Eurovision singers after they perform as well (I have a lot of Dima Bilan, Cleo & Donatan, and Loreen in my music library, for instance).
What is your favourite wiwibloggs article of all time?
Anything by the Wiwi Jury! Those reviews are so sassy and fun that I can’t help but smile when I read them (even when I disagree tremendously with them).
Do you have a message for wiwireaders?
Thank you so much for reading and making us the number 1-read Eurovision blog! Every constructive comment, like on Facebook, retweet, and read helps us out so much. Also if anyone wants to start a Kickstarter to bring the American wiwibloggers to ESC 2015, please do so! (Just kidding!)