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Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #8 Written by on April 26, 2018 | 16 Comments

Our final six songs from Lisbon 2018 collect their hits, misses, or maybes as we prepare to leave for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. 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.

Juke Box Jury comes to close, but just before the Insight team flies of to Lisbon, Ewan Spence is joined by Ellie Chalkley (fresh from the revelatory Norwegian MGP) and Matthew Ker (following his part of the French-English collaboration). Where will the hits, misses, and maybes go? Azerbaijan, Macedonia, The Netherlands, Georgia, Norway, and Australia are about to find out.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #7
with Ellie Chalkley and Matthew Ker.

Azerbaijan: X My Heart, by Aisel.
Macedonia: Lost And Found, by Eye Cue.
The Netherlands: Outlaw In ‘Em, by Waylon.
Georgia: For You, by Iriao.
Norway: That’s How You Write A Song, by Alexander Rybak.
Australia: #WeGotLove, by Jessica Mauboy.

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 (facebook.com/ewanspence).

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16 responses to “Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #8”

  1. Catriona Colville says:

    Wow, shocking result for Netherlands. I expect it will do very well. Well said Ewan.

  2. James says:

    Azerbaijan
    -The song is very generic, the lyrics are very weak but Aisel delivers them well, but not well enough to elevate it to something I should care about other than enjoying it as filler music that I could dance to. Azerbaijan can do better.

    While no doubt Azerbaijan will qualify, it’s five steps back from what they offered to the contest last year so for me, it’s a disappointing MISS bordering on MAYBE.

    Macedonia
    -An odd combo of two genres that somehow works. I don’t have a problem with the song, but I worry more with how Macedonia would translate it to a live performance in Lisbon.

    So that’s a MAYBE.

    Georgia
    -My personal winner out of the bunch. “Sheni Gulistvis” is very authentic and very true to the style of music of Georgia. It’s sounds a little less jazzy for me but the orchestration should make it more accessible. This one is best enjoyed immersed in whole rather than expecting a hook in the first stanza. The song is truly timeless.

    HIT HIT HIT!

    Norway
    -A very divisive song. It’s not the best song, I agree. But it’s not as worse as people make it out to be. Alexander sells it like hot pancakes and I think he’ll do well, just not to the point of being in the running for the win.

    MAYBE

    Australia
    -Australia on their fourth year, seems to have found a formula that seem to work for them. While “We Got Love” is quite safe for Eurovision standards, the production is top-notch and Jessica Mauboy sounds fully committed when she sings (in part because she co-wrote the song with DNA).

    Hopefully she’d avoid the mistakes that Isaiah did last year with those weird vocal thingamajigs.

    So for me, it’s a HIT.

    😀

  3. Frau Loch says:

    How baised can one be? The guy who was allowed to translate the most repetitive song of the year calls that song a masterpiece and Waylon his song a miss? Lord have Mercy😂😂

    Lena won with trying to be British and she won. It makes the rant against Waylon irrelevant so I am glad you stood up for him Ewan.

    I agree that The Netherlands could cause a shock suprise victory but Netta is still the one to beat.

  4. frances says:

    But Waylon has a USP. There’s nothing like it in the comp. I think it’s under-rated and I expect it to do quite well because it stands alone and is well-performed. He’s also a bit of a bad boy in a field lacking ‘attitude’ HIT.

    Our Jess, on the other hand, doesn’t really have a USP. Everything needs to come together for her on the night. Even then, I agree that the fact that we are in the comp is still an issue for a lot of people. She’s Australia’s Sweetheart – and if she can melt European hearts the same way, maybe she’s a winner! We hope so, but this entry is beatable by something more comfortable for European audiences – with no controversy over where the next contest would be staged. HIT, but maybe not WINNER.

  5. Mark says:

    If you are going to discount acts who put on American accents but aren’t American, then you’ll need to go further than Waylon. Such as virtually every British female pop star of the past 15 years.

  6. Shai says:

    Azerbaijan-
    It’s quite generic and over produced and the words are just silly.Not a song of Azerbaijan I will repeat hearing after the contest. There are better songs in this semi than this one and in this semi alone they are other songs competing on the same ticket of female/mid or uptempo song, There are still a question marks if she can sing this live .
    Azerbaijan always pulls this off and manage to qualify. There is first time for everything, tough-MISS

    Macedonia-
    There is a material for 3 songs here. Each segment could be a smashing song on it’s own. Even the Reggae section, a genre I don’t usually like, work here to a certain degree. I don’t know why the choose to have this structure to the song and it shouldn’t work but somehow it does, to a certain degree-MAYBE

    The Netherlands-
    In my head I know that this is a good song and that he is a good performer. Technically it’s perfect.Unfortunately I don’t get any emotional connection to the song and that’s never a good sign. So far all version I hear are longer than 3 minutes, so I am still waiting for the 3 minutes Eurovision version. I think The Dutch should considered themselves lucky that they are in semi 2 as it give them a chance to qualify. Cant see this winning, though – MISS

    Georgia-
    This is really a beautiful song with great harmonies. One of the songs I will take with me, from this year, after the dust has been settled down.
    It is in the same category as Croatia 2013, which had a similar vibe and sound. Unfortunately that one didn’t qualify and I see the Georgian entry having the same fate-MISS(for the contest)/ HIT (for me)

    Norway-
    Someone will need to explain me how a song based on 1 musical sentence, repeating itself over an over again, is becoming a candidate to win, based on the performance alone. Oh yes, it’s Eurovision and craziest things have happen in the contest. It’s quite annoying and at the end of the song, I don’t think I know better How Do You write a song? so the title of the song is quite misleading. Credit to Rybak he does sell the song but all the hard work is for a song that does’t not deserve that much of attention-MISS

    Australia-
    It’s ok. It’s quite a middle of the road, mid-tempo song. In this genre of female/mid or uptempo songs, we have several songs, most of them are in semi 1, which is in advantage for this song.It also enjoy a better structure than some of the song in the genre. Comes the final, it will be one of many songs, some of them better songs and than it will get lost.
    During Eurovision In Concert, she sung live and sounded just fine. I think that vocally, this shouldn’t be a problem- somewhere between MAYBE and HIT

    Last JBJ for the season.
    Let’s the fun begin, In 2 weeks we will have a winner. Some will like the winner, others will think it’s the worst Eurovision winner ever-Some things never change in the world of Eurovision 🙂

  7. Jeroen says:

    Dear Ellie and Matthew,

    Things seem to be getting completely out of hand. Being a proud Frisian myself (and consequently prone to slag off the Hollanders whenever given the opportunity), I find myself in the peculiar position of having to come to defend the Dutchies here.

    First of all, “there are no hills in the Netherlands”? In case you’ll be tempted someday, please visit the north, east, south and centre of the Netherlands. To be more specific: the provinces of Groningen, Drenthe, Overijssel, Gelderland, Noord-Brabant and Limburg. The Appalachian it ain’t, but there are hills aplenty. (Bonus: if you want to visit the Netherlands and discover the hills and enjoy warm temperatures, this is our biggest hill: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Scenery).

    Secondly, “pathetically calls himself Waylon”? The list is simply too long, but there have been countless artists in Eurovision who took a different name (Conchita Wurst, Mélovin, Blanche, Lys Assia to name a few). He adopted Waylon Jennings’s name in order to underline that, as an artist, he has always been subservient to the country(rock) music scene and to his source of inspiration Jennings in particular.

    BTW, on a personal note: Texas Lightning was by no means country music. It was a cheesy, albeit enjoyable pastiche with pale country touches. “No, no, never” is the cartoonish rendition of a four-year-old that doesn’t know what country and western music is. The Americans I forced to listen to this song and watch the performance, seemed to be covered with a blanket of collective shame. And by showing off that wardrobe, those moves and the cactuses, it looks as though Texas Lightning attempted to exploit every Texas stereotype to the max.

    Thirdly, Ellie, you don’t seem to be liking Waylon very much as a person or a musician. Fair enough. You seem to be getting allergic reactions to the song. That’s also understandable. Nonetheless, since you’re not charmed by Waylon in the first place, it sounds as though you are not only relieved to detest “Outlaw in ‘em”, but predominantly exalted and ecstatic. This results in a massive hissy fit, which suggests your hatred of Waylon is based on nothing but prejudice.

    Fourthly, “he’s trying to be American” or “he’s trying to sound American”? Country and western music is not the only music style that America has to offer. By that pedestrian and shabby logic, modern day pop music from America seems to have been imported by AZE, CZE, LTU, BUL, MKD, CRO, AUT, FIN, SUI, IRE, CYP, NOR, ROM, SMR, RUS, AUS, POL, MLT, HUN, LAT, SWE, SLO, UKR, GER, ESP and GBR. I didn’t hear any of you complaining about his when you were dissecting Azerbaijan and Australia in particular. Why shouldn’t countries be allowed to sing in Italian, even if it’s not their national language (LAT’07, EST’18) or their national sound (tango in FIN’89 and FIN’04). Furthermore, I refer to comments made by Frau Loch and Mark.

    Lastly, “not enough support for country in Europe”? Any music style is good enough for Europe, however niche it may be, as long as it has quality and an appealing aspect for televoters. If angry Hungarian rap can get you a (televote) top ten result, I strongly believe anything can.

    Pardon my French for writing this tantrum text, but had you dismissed “Outlaw in ‘em” by giving it a MISS, simply because you didn’t like Waylon (be it voice or performance) or because the song is not according to your personal taste, then there would be no problem. But I felt like I had no choice but to react in order to correct the fallacies, the incongruencies and the lack of knowledge that led to your opinions.

    Have a great time in Lisbon, guys!

  8. Jeroen says:

    Hey, it’s me again.

    I just wanted to show one more example of Dutch country music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEPIpTpoPs

    BTW, I don’t intend to offend or verbally assault anyone. I simply hoped to convey my disagreement based on content in a respectful manner. Hopefully I succeeded.

  9. Andrew says:

    Season 1 of Australian Idol was probably the best, with all the top five (and a few others) going on to future success. Jess was runner up to Irish incomer Damien Leith in season 4. I think she does have the chops to cut through internationally, with a beautiful sweetness to her singing voice (check out Who’s Loving You from The Sapphires soundtrack). Looking forward to the show soon…

  10. Hi @jeroen – I’m not in anyway offended! We make an entertainment podcast to provoke a reaction and you’ve reacted strongly which is nice.

    It’s the ‘subservient’ bit of the Waylon-Waylon Jennings relationship that is a bit sad for Waylon as an artist. By linking himself to the outlaw country thing (which he explicitly is in both his name and the title of Outlaw) he’s saddling himself with the outdated, hackneyed imagery of deep-south pro-gun toxic masculinity. And he’s not even doing it in a very sophisticated manner, which is a shame because I like a daft guitar party tune as much as the next woman.

    Prejudiced? Maybe, if you mean I’m using what I already know about Waylon and how he presents as an artist and a person to inform how I feel about this song. Am I generally prejudiced and ignorant about the Netherlands, not so much. I lived there for a couple of years, and loved it dearly. I also know that the Dutch music scene has more to offer! If Waylon wins, I’d actually be ok with it because I’d get to have a lovely 2 weeks back in NL. I might even come early for Koningsdag and stay right through.

    Thank you for apologising for your first comment, we welcome respectful debate.

  11. Harriet Krohn says:

    Azerbaijan: Nothings special, but not the worst in its genre either. And Aisel is really beautiful, which shouldn’t hurt Azerbaijan’s chances. I don’t see a spectacular result for them, but they should qualify. MAYBE

    Macedonia: Weird song, but not bad. Normally I really, really hate raggae (so much so that I can never remember how to spell it), but i can kind of overlook it here because it’s not dominant. I fear a typical Macedonian staging and a flight back home before Saturday, but the song is okay and gets a MAYBE.

    The Netherlands: I agree with Ewan that if this is how Waylon feels than it’s totall fine for him to present himself this way. That said, as much as I want to (the Netherlands being my closest neighbours), I can’t make myself like him. He comes off as arrogant to me, and then I don’t like country music either. So for me there’s just nothing in this to make it anything other than a MISS. (How it will fare in the contest, however, I have no idea. Texas Lightning, by the way, was the band of comedian Olli Dittrich, so the cliché staging was just that – comedic. “No, No Never” never took itself seriously, which is also what makes it different from “Outlaw In ‘Em”.)

    Georgia: I might just not be sophisticated enough to love this. I do quite like it, but at times I also find it rather boring. Not sure they can create that moment of magic they absolutely need to get out of their semi. (My mother, by the way, loves this – but she is not the kind of person to watch the semis in the first place or even vote. Pity for Georgia.) MAYBE

    Norway: What is that song? It’s repetitive and annoying, but also alarmingly catchy. And of course, Rybak has buckets of charm and can sell this thing. I’m still surprised people are considering this as a contender for the win – seriously?! I can’t see it scoring high enough with the juries, and I don’t think the televoters will have this at the top either. Just being Rybak won’t entirely be able to hide the fact that the song is just too weak. It will get a decent result though. MAYBE

    Australia: I don’t understand how this can be a contender for the win either, but maybe this time that’s just my personal taste talking, because this sort of song usually leaves me rather cold. It’s trying too hard to pull all the right strings, but I’m only going along to a certain degree. For some weird reason, the juries are often crazily in love with Australia, maybe because they are told they have to make up for the lack of love from televoters or something? I don’t know. I guess by the amount of hype this gets from inside the bubble this could finish quite high, but I hope that the winner will be a better song. MAYBE

    (Wow, what a maybe fest here. I almost have to be thankful to Waylon for shaking things up a bit. ;-))

  12. Gert says:

    Hey Ellie. Don’t worry so much. Music is not football. It’s not a sports where you score a goal and then you win. Eurovision is a jury sports by default, with more entertainment attached to it than figure skating on the Winter Olympics. And that’s why personal taste is Always clashing heavily with a certain outcome of the contest. Even for every winner in Eurovision there are millions of Europeans who disliked the eventual winner and actually didn’t vote for it.

    So no worries about the bit of ‘venom’ you and Monsieur Matthew injected in this podcast ;-). It was actually quite fun to listen at. And that’s the ‘X-Factor’ of Eurovision. It makes Eurovision so much fun. Still, I have to politely disagree with you. An adage that more people every now and then should use: “Let’s agree to disagree”.

    Where I do disagree with you is the actual biography about Willem ‘Waylon’ Bijkerk. To me it makes perfect sense that Willem in the end used Waylon Jennings’ name and adopted it as his artist name. And the reason behind that is actually more emotional and sad than many people think.

    Back in 2000 Waylon’s cassette tapes (he also sang country when he was a kid by the way) were discovered by record label EMI. That’s what kickstarted the interest in this young man named Willem Bijkerk. His first single at this EMI record label wasn’t an immediate success but it opened some very important, very heavy doors. That first single, which wasn’t a success, eventually ended up in Nashville and was heard by Waylon Jennings himself. The ‘real deal’ then phoned Willem Bijkerk, if he wanted to record some songs with him. Obviously Mr Bijkerk was stunned and said “Yes!”, forgetting to thank him.

    What followed was an intense 6 months in Willem’s life in 2002. Willem was welcomed by Waylon Jennings in his house in Nashville. In the studio’s they recorded songs together, and they toured for a couple of months in Miami and Nashville. And in between Willem slept, stayed, lived in Mr Jennings and Mrs Jennings-Colter’s home. Mr Bijkerk soon became some kind of ‘adoptive son’ of Mr Jennings. Then fate struck: Diabetes Type 2. Waylon Jennings had to cancel his tours. His health condition worsened. And on February 13th 2002 Waylon Jennings died of diabetes. Shortly before his death Jennings gave his guitar to Willem.

    Then, for Willem Bijkerk a different, more difficult time started in the USA, as one of the biggest facilitators of his careers was now dead. Important contacts between him and major Nashville studio’s and labels dried up. And soon thereafter Willem Bijkerk returned to The Netherlands, with no career, no money, no record label and a harsh end to his Nashville adventure. Soon, Mr Bijkerk’s then wife tried to continue his music career. But it had to be without his desire: Being able to make the kind of music he liked most….rock, bluegrass and rough-country. He managed to earn a bit of cash by performing on free concerts and weddings, but it made him depressed. After his divorce, Mr Bijkerk moved to Amsterdam. The small amounts of money he earned from the cheaper kinds of music entertainment he used for buying drugs. Mr Bijkerk became a drug addict. And on many occasions he wanted to end his life.

    With this important bit of biography, that has mostly gone unnoticed, I think it makes perfect sense Bijkerk honoured the man Waylon Jennings by adopting his name, both during work hours and in his private life. I think Mrs Jessi Jennings-Colter was tremendously honored by this. So to me, personally, as a passionate follower of Waylon, I think he’s not pretending here. He’s who he is. A man whose friendship with Waylon Jennings became his prime inspiration for his future music career. Culminating in a song that basically honors Waylon Jennings’ later music career (as part of the ‘Outlaw Trio’ Waylon Jennings, Tompall Glaser and Willie Nelson). And we get the honor to witness that on the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest. That’s quite a story eh ;-)? And it’s all true.

    Another aspect that made me disagree with you is the fact that many people still think Waylon’s influence on The Common Linnets was only minor. Within the Eurovision community that’s especially the case: 45% Ilse, 45% Hans Pannecoucke and only 10% Waylon. Really? Can I highlight something that makes duets work, and actually become succesful in the history of Eurovision (Netherlands 1972, UK 1977, Ireland 1994, Denmark 2000, Netherlands 2014, Estonia 2015)?That’s the basic rule of succesful duets: Chemistry.

    With the absence of one half, that Chemistry is gone. Without Waylon, or even rewriting “Calm After The Storm” as a solo performance for Ilse, there wouldn’t be the kind of success we witnessed during those 3 mins in May 2014. So when Ilse seduced ‘us’ with the camera’s, Waylon did exactly the same thing. I do agree that behind the scenes The Common Linnets are mostly an Ilse-project, but during those 3 mins televoters and jurors knew nothing about that. They saw a supposedly married couple singing about the ups and downs in their lifes.

    And that brings me back to this year. It should (!!) bring us back to this year. Eurovision is a ‘Now-Show’, not a ‘Past-Show’. Most rookies won’t compare Waylon with that magical performance from 2014. Simply because “Outlaw In ‘Em” is a completely different song. It’s rough, Steven Tyler-rough, a touch of AC/DC here, and a dash of outlaw-country and progressive-rock there. It conveys completely different emotions. No goosebumps, but outlaw-ish fun and craziness. No intense voteable sadness or melancholy, but pure, blistering, vocal, liberal madness and quality. So although I understand the comparisons, they fall a bit flat on me.

    Therefore I have to agree with Ewan a bit. Alexander Rybak and Waylon could actually be the ones televoters flock to by the millions. Both artists excell in their music with their charisma and telegenic capabilities, but with completely different music genres. And the Eurovision stage is never judgemental to music genres. From sheer utter camp/madness (Ukraine 2007) to glam rock (Turkey 2010), from scaled down Irish//American duets (Ireland 1994, Netherlands 2014) to Eurodance in its best form (Sweden 2012/2015), from melancholigal cinematic title tunes (Italy 2011, Portugal 2017) to vocally sublime political messages (Italy 1990, Ukraine 2016)……..as long as it audiovisually excells within its genre, as long as it conveys autentic emotions, how diverse they may be.

    Having said that, I could see Norway and Netherlands fighting an intense battle for the Eurovision trophy. Ooowh, and before I forget:

    SERBIA:
    –> “MISS !”

    AZERBAIJAN:
    –> “MAYBE !”

    V.J.R.MACEDONIA:
    –> “MAYBE !”

    THE NETHERLANDS:
    –> “HIT HIT !!”

    GEORGIA:
    –> “HIT !”

    NORWAY:
    –> “HIT HIT !!”

    AUSTRALIA:
    –> “HIT !”

    And before I close this, rather extensive, post, here are two great video’s from Waylon’s impressive career ;-):

    Performance with Dolly Parton & Emmylou Harris:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_o02nJU-1h0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y615APt9E3k

    Performance as a kid (with his famous hat):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTxzLl9ptJ8

    Performance during Eurovision in Concert 2018:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phhGXQEY7As

    Have a nice weekend all of you great music lovers at ESC-Insight. And let’s keep agreeing on disagreeing every now and then. Good luck in Lisbon!

  13. Ben Pitchers says:

    Azerbaijan: MISS. I am writing this on Sunday but have avoided watching the rehearsal impression so it doesn’t colour my opinion. Whenever I hear the song I always smile and laugh, but at it rather than with it. What a waste of Aisel – why choose a jazz singer who sings in Azeri to sing a mediocre English language pop tune? It sounds very similar to Kontopoulos’ effort last year for Greece, which was a similar waste of an artist who deserved a better song and only came 19th. The lyrics are just ridiculous and override any enjoyment I could have of the song. Who is she singing this song for/to? The moon? What does moon me up mean? At one point there was a rumour she’d be singing some of it in Azeri but this obviously never came to fruition. I also find it strange when a music video is shot and they went to Greece for it when surely there are parks in Azerbaijan that could have fit the bill. For some positive notes, the song is quite well produced and very catchy. Aisel is a good singer and will probably be able to reproduce it live. Going first in SF1 will probably help it and I could make arguments for it qualifying or not. I say this every year, but I’d love to see something more authentic from Azerbaijan next year.

    Macedonia: HIT. I really enjoyed this from the first listen. I like the genre changes and think they work well; I’ve always liked a reggae and pop sound together so I suppose it was unlikely I’d dislike it. Eye Cue come across as a professional and confident band, benefitting from being well-established for a few years. I like Marija’s voice and her delivery a lot. I’m glad Macedonia took a risk but came up with another great entry. I hope it is presented much better than last year’s entry and gets Macedonia to the final after such a dry spell. They always seem to get the short end of the stick from the running order and would benefit from being on nearer the end of SF1. I think they have a good shot at qualifying and if given a great presentation may get the votes from the west that have been out of reach in previous contests.

    The Netherlands: MAYBE. This wasn’t my favourite of the possible songs Waylon put out there but it’s a solid effort. I like how he chose a country-rock song for this year to contrast from Calm After the Storm. Waylon’s a very watchable performer and he has a great voice. Some of lyrics border on clichés you’d expect to hear in a country song. It’s probably time for the Netherlands to step away from all the country entries after this one. They have chosen artists whose careers are in country so at least they’re always authentic to the artists. I think he’ll qualify pretty easily but I’m not convinced he’ll be top 10 again in the final – maybe a third 11th place? I think there’s enough people who’ll vote for this – Douwe Bob did pretty well and that was very country too.

    Georgia: MAYBE. Their voices are beautiful and I applaud Georgia for taking yet another risk and sending something in the Georgian language. If this was in the more competitive semi-final I’d say it didn’t have a a chance to qualify but Portugal’s win last year shows that audiences and juries are sometimes ready for something more challenging. I’m not sure why Iriao had to be presented as Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao. It’s pretty redundant to add that to the name when it’s fairly obvious what type of music they perform. Like Matthew said, it reminds me a lot of Croatia’s 2013 entry, which was probably more accessible and had more friends in their semi and still missed out.

    Norway: HIT. I liked this song pretty much straight away and never understood the worst of the negativity towards it. I know everyone would have such high hopes for Alexander for his return but I think it’s a good but simple entry that does what it sets out to do well. I suppose it could be more ambitious in its scope. Alexander performed it really well at MGP and if they keep the staging pretty similar Norway should be in for an easy qualification and another top 10 placing. Alexander always comes across as a charming, natural performer who gives his all and really enjoys being on stage.

    Australia: HIT. Another solid entry from Australia with a very relatable, positive message. Jessica believes in the song and from the preview parties she seems like she can nail it live. She also comes across as a very likeable performer. I think it will qualify easily. It doesn’t have a huge explosion towards the end and does sound like lots of other songs that will be fishing in the same pond for votes in the final. Therefore, it could miss out on the top 10. I did notice the hashtag has disappeared on the official website, which is probably for the best!

    I hope you’re all having a blast in Lisbon!

  14. Eurojock says:

    Azerbaijan – Agree with Ewan and Ellie’s comments on this. It’s perfectly serviceable but lacks something. If this was the Semi One show closer it would sail through, but the number one running order slot puts qualification in question. However, Azerbaijan tend to find a way to qualify. MAYBE

    FYR Macedonia – A pink UPVC leotard, worn by a sexy female singer reclining on a bed singing ‘come and take me I’ll show you how it’s done’. What’s not to like?!!! Personally I like the song but, as per the panel’s comments, it may well not qualify. MAYBE

    Netherlands – The best song in this year’s competition – sung by a strong and charismatic singer. Juries will go for this in a big way. The public vote is more of a question mark. Almost certain top 10. In strong contention for top 5 and could win the whole thing. I’m with Ewan – HIT.

    Georgia – Coming after The Netherlands and Australia this will be totally forgotten. MISS

    Norway – This reminds me a bit of Moldova 2017. That song was nothing in itself but the staging lifted it to a new level. Rybak’s charisma will lift this to top 5 in the televote. Hopefully juries will vote it down a bit and this could deny it the win, but overall top 5 or even victory is possible. HIT

    Australia – As we have seen at both Adult and Junior, Australia have mastered the Eurovision brief. This song was written to fly on the Eurovision stage. I can see this topping the Jury vote. Whether Australia can do better than fourth or fifth in the televote is another question. The other question is whether Jessica’s vocal can stand up under pressure. This question arises not just as a result of the pitchy guest appearance at ESC 2014 but also the less than perfect vocal (in the verses) at the pre-parties. You could argue that there were technical issues – but it’s funny how you never see the best singers pointing to their ‘in-ears.’ Those reservations aside – a contender for the win if (or should this be when) Israel falters. HIT

  15. Martin says:

    That’s it, all done!

    HIT – Azerbaijan, Norway, Australia
    MAYBE – FYROM, The Netherlands
    MISS – Georgia

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