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Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #3 Written by on April 5, 2013 | 26 Comments

And now, as they say, a very special Juke Box Jru.

Last month I was at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, a huge event with over 2,000 bands showcasing themselves to fans, reporters, and the industry. In attendance were former Eurovision performers Mor ve Otesi and maNga. Given TRT have withdrawn this year, I thought it would be nice to get some Turkish into the 2013 show, even if it was on the judges bench.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #3
with Mor Ve Otesi, and maNga 

Albania: Identitet, by Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko.
Ireland: Only Love Survives, by Ryan Dolan.
Bulgaria: Samo Shampioni, by Elista and Stoyan.
Norway: I Feed You My Love, by Margaret Berger.

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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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26 responses to “Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #3”

  1. Kevin says:

    What a surprising outcome.

    ALBANIA: I really don’t like it. Semi 2 is pretty bad so it might sneak through but I don’t think it will.

    IRELAND: Promising first 30 seconds but after that it’s very generic and with the chorus being the worst part I’m not sure this will qualify. If it does I think bottom 6 in the final.

    BULGARIA: i hated Water and this is even worse for me. I expected people to like this because it’s not that different to Water, but I’m glad it’s getting bad reviews. I fear it could qualify but probably not.

    NORWAY: Fantastic. If not the Netherlands I hope this wins. This will win that terrible semi easily and I think it’s definitely in the top 5 in the final.

  2. togravus says:

    Both MvÖ and manGa are my winners for the years they participated in ESC. 🙂

  3. togravus says:

    Norway – good
    Albania – decent
    Ireland – irrelevant
    Bulgaria – awful (but I really like ‘Voda’)

  4. MissPurple says:

    Ireland more likely to win than Norway? Best joke I’ve heard all year, I have to say.

  5. Martin says:

    Great to hear you with Mor ver Otesi – meeting them in Belgrade was a highlight for me – shame you couldn’t offer them a better selection of songs to rate!

  6. John says:

    Albania: Maybe – I initially had this down as a definite qualifier, but having had a closer look at the make-up of semi-final two (voting patterns etc.) it might be more difficult for them than I had initially assumed. They are still in with a good chance though…

    Ireland: Maybe – Weak. Everything from the melody, to the watered-down instrumentation to his thin, whiny voice is weak. Hopefully this doesn’t make it through, but in a ballad-heavy first semi-final it could undeservedly squeak through. Also, I can’t hear any genuine ethnic sounds at all.

    Bulgaria: Miss – I personally dislike this and find it fake and overblown. Plus I don’t like the unfair circumstances by which it was chosen (those televoters should be reimbursed for wasting money on their farce on their NF). Unfortunately I think Bulgaria will miss out on the final once again…

    Norway: Maybe – It’s a slick, modern pop song with a daring instrumentation that probably won’t do as well as it deserves. It should make the final (hopefully), but once it gets there it could do anything. One thing’s for sure – this is much, much better than Norway.

  7. John says:

    Oops, much better than Ireland not much better than Norway, lol

  8. Ewan Spence says:

    I know, but the Juke Box Jury song selection per show is worked out some time in advance. To unbalancee this one would mean a really really horrible show for Sharleen to judge later in the season!

  9. Shevek says:

    Well, the jurors really think Ireland 13 is what will do well in ESC. I would say that is likely, if the song hailed from Sweden, for instance. Ryan’s live vocals are not promising either.


  10. Stephen Colville says:

    Didn’t really like this special JBJ. Half the length, and shame we didn’t get some of the regular guests on, would have liked to have heard their views. I know It’s a coup getting Manga and Mor Ve Otesi on, but I felt it spoiled the show, mainly because they don’t really know anything about the songs or this year’s contest.

    Hopefully back to the normal next week.

  11. Pete L says:

    I do agree with Stephen Colville.

    I very much enjoy listening to JBJ and hearing ESC experts and fans debating the potential of songs in the upcoming contest. It’s a real treat.

    Lovely to hear from the Turkish guys, but that could have been an interview I guess.

    Now I feel like we’re missing a JBJ for these 4 songs, because the guys sadly had no idea was ESC was about or how to judge the songs’ chances in the contest.

    Keep up the great work Ewan, but I’d love to hear these songs appraised again by ESC fans / experts.

    All the best and thanks for all the hard work on ESCinsight! Love it! 🙂

  12. Kate says:

    Love those two bands (like seriously two of my favorite entries ever for Eurovision). But it was a bit hard since they don’t really know what this years contest offers (I don’t blame you though, I would have asked them on as well!).

    My response is Norway should be higher than Ireland, its just a better put together song. I am also seriously rooting for it because I am a personal fan of bringing genres (like Industrial) that are perhaps a bit uncomfortable for people into Eurovision. In addition, it gets into a very good groove in its tempo, which I think is important for these types of songs. It finds it space and dwells in it.

    Glad to here Albania getting love, I really hope it makes it into the final. We need some more rock! I also think I am the only person who likes Shamo, but that is because I actually enjoy their style of music (ethnic, almost new age).

    Also, Ireland is soooo boring. Wow. Talk about a song that might just bounce off people. But it could also be inoffensively okay enough to get through

  13. Ewan Spence says:

    It will be ‘business as usual next week’, and I do realise that this was a different show, but given the choice between staying the same course or trying something new, I’ll go for the latter. We’ll have lots of time to talk over these songs again during the daily shows from Malmo, and of course there’s every chance Terry will chat to some of them as well.

  14. Ewan Spence says:

    To be fair the majority of people casting their votes on May 14/16 will come to the songs not knowing the Contest either!

  15. Pete L says:

    True, 99% of viewers will be new to the songs.

    However I think these guys were saying “I think they like this kind of (rubbish, camp) pop song at ESC so it will do well in the contest.” whereas of course we all know there are shades of campy pop nonsense!

    Really look forward to hearing you and your ESC friends / colleagues discuss all the songs in Malmö!!!

  16. Shevek says:

    My feelings exactly, Pete L.

  17. Stephen Colville says:

    Also, yes I forgot about the results. Ireland being voted above Norway was the most shocking of the 3 shows so far. I would be flabbergasted beyond recognition if that happened on the night.

    Anyways, Ewan. You talk about trying something new, but JBJ has been going for several years now with very few changes, because It works. It’s a very enjoyable 30 minutes for an ESC fan. It’s not really meant for the casuals. I love the deeper analysis that the show brings. It’s really good when you have the likes of Luke, Rodrigo, Sam and Emma on. It’s fun and they know their stuff.

    I look forward to the show every week, and was just a bit shocked with what I got on this episode. I absolutely get why you did it, I just think it didn’t quite work here.

    Can’t wait to see Terry in Malmo though! I love your interview with Greta and Jonsi last year. 🙂

  18. Eric Graf says:

    … slowly coming to terms with the fact that I’m the only person on the entire gosh darn planet who REALLY LIKES Samo Shampioni.

    And I can’t vote for it. 🙁

  19. Ewan Spence says:

    Stephen (and everyone else), thanks for the comments and feedback. Rest assured it’s a one-off this year, and I’m glad you all understand why… and all the comments are being taken on board.

    Oh and I never interviewed Greta and Jonsi, it was Terry.

  20. Pete L says:

    *blushing* I like Samo Shampioni.

    But then I’m a massive fan of lots of Bulgarian music, especially the female vocal stuff. And this is a really fun hybrid of Bulgarian harmonies + vocal textures with a daft pop tune and dancey beats. It’s very silly and playful, but at least it’s memorable and not another dull & worthy ballad. 🙂

  21. Kate says:

    I also like Shamo, I also can’t vote though (in the US of A). So there are at least a few of us 🙂

  22. Chad Brown says:

    It won’t play for me.

  23. Eric Graf says:

    Chad –, where the podcasts are hosted, has been on and off the last few days. Try it again – it’s working for me as of 15 seconds ago.

    Kate – Maybe we should start a “USA for Bulgaria” movement or something? Could be counterproductive, I guess ….

  24. Chad Brown says:

    Working now… Thanks 😀

  25. Chris says:

    Norway – Hit. I’m not sure how it will do in the final.
    Albania – Miss; garbage
    Ireland – Miss; don’t like
    Bulgaria – Miss; it’s a mess and too much like 2007

  26. Mag says:

    Albania – I don’t feel it’s as bad as most people say. It might end up being a maybe due to Rona’s great result last year, but I don’t know…I definitely don’t hate it…It’s well above Greece for me…

    Ireland – instant hit when I’ve heard/watched the video before Ireland’s final. I think he needs to work more on the live performance. But in my top 10 and even top 5 if a great performance.

    Bulgaria – I don’t really like it. The best Bulgarian performance was for me done by Sofi Marinova last year, excluding her outfit and lack of “help” on the show itself…

    Norway – not impressed originally, but 39 songs later, this with Itally are my top favorites this year.

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