Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #6 Written by on April 18, 2017 | 12 Comments

We continue to review the songs for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest 2017 (and even the ones no longer going!). You can listen to Juke Box Jury and the ESC Insight podcast online. Add the RSS Feed to your favourite podcast application, or click here to follow us in iTunes and never miss an episode.

For the record, all songs were ‘attending Kyiv’ at the time of recording. And who knows, it might change again!

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #6
…with Lisa-Jayne Lewis (ESC Buzz) and Alasdair Rendall (OGAE UK).

Greece: This Is Love, by Demy.
Ukraine: Time, by O.Torvalds.
Russia: Flame Is Burning, by Yulia Samoylova.
Romania: Yodel It, by Ilinca and Alex Florea.
Montenegro: Space, by Slavko Kalezić.

Don’t miss an episode of the Eurovision Insight podcast by subscribing to the RSS feed dedicated to the podcasts. iTunes users can find us in the iTunes Store and get the show automatically downloaded to your computer.

About The Author: Ewan Spence

British Academy (BAFTA) nominated broadcaster and writer Ewan Spence is the voice behind The Unofficial Eurovision Song Contest Podcast and one of the driving forces behind ESC Insight. Having had an online presence since 1994, he is a noted commentator around the intersection of the media, internet, technology, mobility and how it affects us all. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, his work has appeared on the BBC, The Stage, STV, and The Times. You can follow Ewan on Twitter (@ewan) and Facebook (

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12 responses to “Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #6”

  1. mk says:

    Greece – she’s beautiful, the song at best is a MAYBE
    Ukraine – MAYBE – it’s OK, not sure appreciated very much at Eurovision
    Russia – won’t participate anyway…I don’t think it’s that bad as you said…would have been a MAYBE anyway…as I did not like Jamala last year, I don’t hate Russia as much as you
    Romania – MAYBE to HIT, I actually like it – it’s a very happy song…not sure it will do very well with juries
    Montenegro – Hmm…the ponytail I don’t like…I think I like more to listen to the song than seeing it…MISS to MAYBE

  2. Angelito says:

    The last 2 juke box juries aren’t appearing on itunes (i’m using itunes Australia) … are there any issues there i’m unaware of???

  3. Ewan Spence says:

    Angelito, you’re not the first to tell us this, but from what we can see, no issues. The web team will have a look.

  4. Angelito says:

    Thanks!! I’m getting antsy without my weekly dose of hit miss or maybe!!

  5. Marc says:

    I think Romania’s chances are not as great at the podcast suggests. Like Alasdair, I thought the song was a mess on first listen. It’s grown on me, but I feel those who’s be deciding (i.e. first-time-listening televotes) won’t be waiting for that.

  6. Shai says:

    Greece – Why when hearing this song I am reminded of Dana International 2011’s attempt at Eurovision?. Which sounded dated than and still sound dated here. It has it’s constituency and I am sure will get and impressive stage show that will hide all the weaknesses the song has and make this an attractive package for everyone. As a song it’s still MISS

    Ukraine – I’ll say it right away – I’m not really into rock. While I appreciate the diversity they bring to the stage, I can’t relate to the song as a song.For me it’s a MISS

    Russia – They withdraw and I don’t have to spend my time on this song. If I would judge it, than it would be a (huge) MISS

    Romania – I think I am one of the few who actually don’t like the song. Rap is really not my thing and Yodelling can be quite irritating and the combination of those 2 elements just give me pain in my ears. Admittedly, they sell the song very well but she need not to over do it because she has the tendency to be screechy at times. It will probably have the typical Romanian result ending just under the top 10 – MISS (for me) but a definite HIT(for the contest).

    Montenegro – It’ has an end of the 70’s sound but with a bit of a modern twist. It’s super gay and aim to that section of the audience, which may be not enough for him to get beyond the semi. Expect a fully OTT staging which again, may not be enough.
    Did anyone notice that his lip sync isn’t perfect in the video? MISS/MAYBE

  7. HarrietKrohn says:

    Greece – The first minute is okay, but then it turns horrible and cheap and in a way very, very Greek. One of only two songs this year I absolutely hate. For me it’s as MISS as miss can, but I’m afraid it’ll do okay on the Saturday.

    Ukraine – No, rock has not tranditionally done well at Eurovision, but we all know Ukraine don’t want to win again, and anyway, this is as much a consensus winner as Jamala, it came second in the jury and in the televote and went home with the victory. But I actually really like it, even if I always forget it when I list my favourites of the year. But when it’s playing, I’m enjoying it a lot. HIT for me – for the contest, probably not so much.

    Russia – On first listen I thought what a load of nothing this was, and I thought it was clear from the beginning that Russia never intended to participate, because otherwise they would have sent a decent song. I’m stopping right here so as not to write myself into a rage.

    Romania – I actually agree with Shai so much that I don’t need to write anything myself. Just see above. 😉

    Montenegro – Slavko has something very sleazy and a bit … icky about himself, I don’t know, the man makes me shiver for all the wrong reasons. But I’m totally enjoying his song, as long as I don’t have to watch. Always puts me in a very good mood, especially when the beginning with the somewhat creepy lyrics is over. I thought Ewan described pretty well how this song is so bad it’s actually really good again, I just don’t think everyone will get that and we might not see Montenegro on stage twice. MAYBE, because Slavko is a miss (although he gets credits for going through with his thing) and the song is a hit.

  8. Alex C says:

    Greece – HIT/MAYBE. It’s a bit on the basic side but, particularly in its current form after about the third reswizzle it gets the job done. This should get the standard regulation Greek vote and no more than that which puts it on the hit-maybe borderline.

    Ukraine – MAYBE. Don’t think I can really add much more on this. Will be a respectable showing but will be far enough down the table that NTU won’t be worried about next year’s budget too much.

    Russia – MISS. This is such blatant trolling that I think it might be genius. Pure dagnasty evil genius. If it had turned up I think this would have been Russia’s first non qualifier but as it is, they’ve saved face.

    Romania – HIT. Clear televoting winner in Semi 2 and potentially even the final if it runs late and Italy gets a first half draw (because really “the one with the yodeling” is just as strong a pull as “the one with the gorilla” as far as kitschy quasi-gimmicks goe). I don’t think this will be a massive jury fave but, hey, stranger things have happened.

    Montenegro – MAYBE. This is so camp and ridiculous and I sooo want it to qualify but I think I know in my heart of hearts that this is doomed.

  9. Eurojock says:

    Greece – I’m with HarrietKrohn on this. It starts well but then degenerates into a cheap club track and ends up sounding like a Coca Cola advert. But given the team behind it we maybe can expect spectacular staging. On this basis my provisional view is it will qualify and end up mid-table in the final. HIT

    Ukraine – Despite hearing it many times, it is not a song I’ve paid a lot of attention to so thank you for the tip about the semi final performance, Ewan. This staging theme gives it more power and meaning. Time is an authentic rock number more like Georgia or Montenegro last year, than the faux rock of Cyprus. If it was from one of these countries it probably wouldn’t get out of the semi. Being Ukraine, they might come with effective staging on the big night which will elevate it but, that said, I can’t see this ending on the left hand side of the board. MAYBE

    Russia – Either Russia were sending a singer that would be difficult to boo or they anticipated not turning up in Kyiv. Either way this was never intended to be a contender. Had Yuliya turned up I hope they would have installed a ramp to get her on the stage. The situation in Vienna 2015 where the Polish act had to be carried on off-camera was a disgrace.

    Romania – I’m with Alasdair on this. I cried also when I first saw this- with anguish. They can’t even rap in tune. Of course it’s a gimmick. I can imagine the discussions that went into coming up with a lyric that ‘justified’ putting these two entirely different genres together. I can also imagine juries absolutely hammering this. That said, it has charm and chemistry, it works and it’s fun. For me the nearest parallel is Donaton and Cleo in 2014, but there’s only so far under the new scoring system that juries can hold this back. Yodel It could do extremely well in the televote – so top 10 is a possibility but ultimately Occidentali’s Karma, as a less divisive ‘fun song’ will put it in the shade. Nevertheless, HIT.

    Montenegro – This has got ‘loser’ written all over it. Slavko’s singing voice is not great. It’s a cheap club track and the overtly gay sex message may not go down too well with more conservative voters. 8th – 12th zone Ewan? 18th zone more like. MISS

  10. dimitris esc says:

    I just have to say that i dislike Romania this year.I don’t even find it pleasant and fun.It’s just annoying.It may do well with televoters,though.

  11. Thank the Lord I wasn’t on this JBJ – you’ve got my 29 (Greece), 24 (Ukraine), 39 as was (Russia), 43 now 42 (Romania), 38 (Montenegro). None in my top half!

    Great guests, nice to hear the lovely Lisa-Jayne again (hope you enjoyed your ‘duties’ in London). Well done to getting your own euphemism out there, Ewan…

    Greece – MAYBE. Demy’s entry is one of those annoying songs with three differing musical styles all in a single package. The slow ballad part drifts along too slowly for the pumping Euroclub anthem section to regain any pace or tempo – despite utilising the vocal talents of one of Greece’s best pop singers, this hot mess may not see Saturday night…scraping into the Final and ending up mid-table might be enough for Greece this year.

    Ukraine – MAYBE. Always good to see some soft rock at Eurovision and O.Torvald sort of obliges. Sort of, as it’s a very quiet offering until you hit the “one minute to go” mark, when this kicks up a gear and enters Cyprus/Georgia 2016 territory. But will voters hang around for two minutes for that to happen? This is not the best Ukrainian entry ever Alasdair – have you missed almost every single other entry from Ukraine? As for being a headbanger, Ewan, I suppose as far as Eurovision is concerned, maybe…

    Russia – Non Starter, would have been a MISS. Russia were risking a Final DNQ this year anyway. Not because of Yuliya Samoylova, who has a great voice and vocal range in Russian, but because she’s was having to sing phonetically lyrics in English and it showed. The pace of the song is so, so slow too – limited staging opportunities could save this from SF oblivion…Ukraine missed a trick here, surely letting Russia attend and then bomb out at the SF stage, whilst the host nation waves them goodbye flicking the bird would have felt a lot better, surely?

    Romania – MISS, MISS, MISS (for me) MAYBE (for ESC). The most attractive yodeler ever but that’s the only good thing about this entry. If the UK or Ireland had sent this, we would be accused of not taking Eurovision seriously. Hip hop and yodelling? Really? This is annoying in the extreme and I just hope that even the Romanian diaspora leave this one to crash and burn…they do have good chemistry, agree there with Alasdair and Lisa-Jayne demonstrates what will happen with this entry – total Marmite! Enough people loving this to haul it into the Final but it won’t be popular enough across the board to make a challenge for the title, as there are lots of far better songs this year with slicker routines. It has a niche, admittedly a very annoying one!

    Montenegro – MISS. Positives first – this adds to the diverse nature of the entries in 2017, “Space” is superbly uptempo and is humorously packed full of euphemisms within the lyrics. If Slavko persists with the poses, the pouts and the semi-nakedness in Kyiv, however, laughter at him instead of votes for him will be the order of the day…
    One of the definite DNQs this year.

    Serve up some decent Eurovision fayre next show, eh Ewan? 😉

  12. Martin says:

    Great commentaries this week (kudos to you Lisa-Jayne in particular for your breathtaking commentary – you almost matched that of the fabulous David Elder!).

    We are listening to you this week while working on our outfits for Kiev! How much more Eurovisionary can you get?

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