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Aussie fan of the week - Manoli

This week our Australian fan of the week is someone who has been super engaged with us from the very start of Aussievision - Manoli! You might know him from Twitter as @manoli_luxford

Here took some time out to answer our questions below:

What is your name and where are you from?

I’m Manoli Luxford, and I am from Sydney, Australia! What do you do or tell us something interesting about you? I am currently getting ready to start my third year of university, studying Communications, majoring in Journalism and Public Relations, and International studies majoring in Italy. Music is a passion of mine, so in between studying at uni, I also sing and write music articles here and there.

When did you first get into Eurovision?

I was kind of introduced to it at Greek Dancing when I was younger in 2005. I was around 7 and we had just started learning a dance to Helena Paparizou’s ‘My Number One’. It was my first introduction to a Eurovision song, but I officially got into Eurovision in 2007 when I was in Greece with my family and my cousins in the village were all playing Sarbel’s ‘Yassou Maria’, which was a banger might I add. Every year on from them, it’s been a tradition for my mum and I to watch Eurovision and have a party!

Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?

I’d probably have to say 2009. It had a lot of great performances that personally still stand out for me like ‘Jan Jan’, ‘Be My Valentine’, ‘Hora din Moldova’ and how could I forget one of my favourites from Azerbaijan, ‘Always’! The performances were either out there or just traditional and sticking to their roots which is what I like when songs have their ethnic sounds and also cultural staging. Plus, how huge was that stage!?

Always is definitely banger and that stage was ridiculously big! ~ Aussievision

Which Eurovision song:

Is the best?

I tend to change my favourite every few months. But the one that has stuck around all of the past year is Francesco Gabbani’s ‘Occidentalis Karma’. I wouldn’t say it’s the best, but it’s definitely fresh in my head and my favourite song from the past few years. I annoyed my Italian class at uni all year because I got so excited when our teacher showed us the song in class and I already knew it from San Remo. My teacher played it so often because of me and it was great. Maybe not so much for some of my other friends that didn’t like the song. Too bad the staging never translated well at the actual contest. Also, a special mention to you guys for introducing me to ‘Everyway That I Can’, I hadn’t listened to it before but I have come to love it! It has been stuck in my head a lot lately.

We are proud to introduce to you such an incredible song!

Is overrated?

‘Running Scared’ from Azerbaijan in 2011. It is absolutely horrible and I cannot stand hearing it. I have no idea how that won. While I’m at it, ‘Satellite’ (Germany 2010) was highly overrated for me as well.

Well Dale thinks 'Running Scared' is overrated while Mike thinks 'Satellite' is, so you have some agreement there...

Was robbed?

It has to be ‘Hear Them Calling’ (Iceland 2016). I don’t know what happened there. But I do wanna mention Spain’s Objetivo Eurovision and how Mirela was robbed. ‘Contigo’ was the summer song we needed. It was in native tongue and had a Spanish sound! Instead we got a bad Bruno Mars ‘Lazy Song’ rip-off and a boring Manel. Spain got what they deserved this year.

That's our first National Final answer to this question!!

Had the best live performance?

I’m going with ‘My Number One’ by Helena Paparizou (Greece 2005). Paparizou gave Greece their first win and that’s a great memory. She was able to sing very well while also doing choreography! I always loved the ethnic instrumental dance breaks the best, and then all of a sudden, strings come out of one the back-up dancers to create a lyre that Paparizou plays in the instrumental break! That’s iconic to me.

Did you last play?

The last Eurovision song I played was Ivi Adamou’s ‘La La Love’. My favourite song from 2012. I thought it would’ve done better than what it placed, but also looking back at the performance over time I feel like the backing male vocalist was overpowering and a bit too loud which threw off some parts of the song. Nonetheless, a jam!

Is your guilty pleasure?

Definitely ‘Be My Valentine (Anti-Crisis Girl)’ from Ukraine in 2009. Svetlana was pulling out all the stops, and even decided to add a drum solo cause why not?

A Eurovision masterpiece

Do you support any other countries other than your own?

Well I support any country that has a good song, but I always support Greece because of my Greek background. I stan Greece so much that I try to talk up their songs even when they’re not the greatest, except 2016 because I couldn’t find the strength to like it myself besides the instrumental break in part of the song. I will also be cheering on another country for next year’s contest and that is Italy! I’ll be studying in Italy for the whole year of 2019 and it will be very convenient if Italy wins.

Why should Australia be in Eurovision?

I think since entering the contest we’ve shown how to produce quality songs and performances that shouldn’t be taken lightly! We take this contest very seriously and it shows. A lot of people like to bag out Australia for being in the contest because we’re not in Europe. But, we all know there are other countries participating that are not particularly considered European countries. I think we bring passion and add something extra to the contest so we should be there.

Are you happy with Jessica Mauboy being our choice for Lisbon?

I am absolutely stoked about her selection! I had a feeling she’d be chosen, but I didn’t think it would be this soon! I am praying to the Eurovision gods that Jess and her team produce a banger track for the contest otherwise I will protest. Australia doesn’t need another ballad please!

Sea of Flags, Tonight Again, Sound of Silence or Don’t Come Easy?

Sound of Silence for sure! I wasn’t so happy when the song was first released, but Dami brought it to life with her performance!

Thank you for your time Manoli and good luck with your studies!

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