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Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #6 Written by on April 26, 2013 | 14 Comments

Not long now until Malmo and Eurovision, the ESC Insight team is set to fly out in seven days time to set up on the ground to start the daily coverage on May 6th. For the moment though, it’s time for another five songs to step up to get a hit, a miss or a maybe.

Long serving judges Andrew Main and Donald McNaughton join Ewan Spence to give their thoughts on Austria, Romania, Macedonia, Belarus, and Finland.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #6
with Andrew Main and Donald McNaughton

Austria: Shine, by Natalia Kelly
Romania: It’s My Life, by Cezar
Macedonia: Pred Da Se Razdeni, by Esma and Lozano
Belarus: Solayoh, by Alyona Lanskya
Finland: Marry Me, by Krista Siegfrids

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

  1. Chris says:

    Austria – miss; I think it’s bland.
    Romania – maybe; hate the song, but it’s Romania so it’ll do okay.
    Macedonia – miss; it’s okay, but I’m just not loving it.
    Belarus – maybe; as said, it will knock out something that deserve to go to the final. I hate it.
    Finland – hit; but it’s by far not a favorite for me.

  2. Stephen Colville says:

    Did not expect Finland to be so popular. I don’t know anyone who actually thinks Finland will do that well.

    Austria – Solid entry. Won’t light the contest on fire, but I like it. Maybe

    Romania – Garbage. Miss.

    Macedonia – Likely to finish bottom of It’s semi, and is the worst song in the contest this year. Miss

    Belarus – Catchy, slick and well sung. Hit.

    Finland – Katy Perry B-side with no melody. Will probably get 15th to 20th in the final. Maybe.

  3. Austria – maybe, I really like this song, but the live version does leave much to be desired.

    Romania – miss, I think countertenors scare off the general public. By the way, there have been several more popera entries besides Sweden 2009: Bulgaria 2009, Slovenia 2007, Latvia 2007. And Cezar is not even the first countertenor on the ESC stage: Bulgaria 2009, Azerbaijan 2008, Israel 2004.

    Macedonia – miss, but this is one of my favorite entries this year. I do thibk Imperija would have given them a better shot at passing through; I don’t think they stand a chance with this song.

    Belarus – maybe, I think this song is rather overrated, but, unlike a song from Greece or Turkey, it won’t be buoyed by by blind allegiance and will most likely finish mid-pack in a few Saturdays. I am a big believer in the Dutch entry, so I don’t think there’s any fear of Belarus keeping Anouk out the Final.

    Finland – maybe, this song has grown on me. It definitely had a Katy Perry feeling to it, but I don’t think it has a shot at all of winning. It’s too out there for the typical viewer. Not to mention that the performer is outspoken about her support of gay marriage, which will turn off a lot of viewers. And, I don’t see the juries going for this, either.

  4. Kevin says:

    AUSTRIA – I think it’s my least favourite in this (for me) strong semi. Not because it’s awful but because it’s bland like Chris said. Borderline qualifier.

    ROMANIA – I think it’s awful and I don’t think it will qualify. I expect it will be near the bottom of the jury table and I don’t think televoters will compensate for that.

    MACEDONIA – First song was great, this not so much. Could qualify, but if it does I don’t expect it to get higher than 18th.

    BELARUS – I kind of agree that this could be a potential top 5 for Turkey, but only because of the Turkish televote power. Spain for example would totally fail with this song and with the new rules I actually think Turkey would struggle as well.

    FINLAND – I really like it and I thinkit will qualify easily. But in the final I don’t think it has a big chance to finish in the top 5. I’m expecting something like 8th-13th. I don’t think it has huge chart potential either. If there is a hit I think it will be I Feed You My Love. For me that’s one of the few current sounding songs this year.

  5. Kylie says:

    Finland to get top 5 over Denmark? May I remind you guys that last year you adamantly said numerous times that Norway would win and Sweden had no chance. And look what happened…

  6. togravus says:

    Terrible bunch of songs …

    Austria – bland
    Romania – embarrassing
    Macedonia – incompatible
    Belarus – silly
    Finland – tacky

    If I was forced to listen to one of them on a regular basis, I would probably say ‘Heaven help!’, cross myself and whisper ‘Macedonia’ …

    Why do many people expect really bad entries to do well year after year (Iceland 2010, Hungary 2011, Norway 2012 … and now Finland)?

  7. Kevin says:

    Indeed Kylie. Everytime I hear Ewan slam the Dutch song I think of last year when he said after semi 2 that Norway probably won the semi and Sweden finished somewhere around 5th. 😉

  8. Shevek says:

    Austria – stale and anonymous;
    Romania – bad song and pretentious performance (a look at me, I am so good kind of thing);
    Macedonia – what is that? A complete mess;
    Belarus – corny, dated and devoid of any interest
    Finland – good singer, bad song.

  9. Kevin says:

    Listening to the podcast again Ewan actually said the Norwegian performance was disappointing, so I was wrong. No idea why I thought he said that. Maybe it was Keith Mills (although he hated Tooji as well I think).

  10. Mag says:

    For me this is a list of 5 maybes…with none really standing out…

    Austria – the song is OK, her interpretation seemed great in the original video, not so great at Eurovision in Concert in Amsterdam.

    Romania – I don’t really get the great aversion for the Romanian song…I actually like the high voice and this is what the composer intended. In fact Cezar wanted to make some changes (apparently he did “lower” some parts at Eurovision in Concert). Not my favorite entry in Romanian selection, but I preferred it over Luminita Anghel and Electric Fence. I’m not sure it will qualify – for sure not based on premises that Romania never failed to qualify…The only sure thing for Romania is Moldova voting for it and it’s not in the same semifinal this year.

    Macedonia – I did not like it originally. I like the fact that they changed some verses in English. Unfortunately Esma was a BIG disappointment at Eurovision in Concert and I think she will spoil the song.

    Belarus – gorgeous girl singing a catchy song that I think I’ve heard many times before…I think this will qualify.

    Finland – this is the closest to qualification from the 5 entries here…Sort of amused me first time I’ve heard it. I like it, but it’s not a hit…And actually she was doing a very aggressive campaign of promoting her song at Eurovision in Concert and London Party that was not really that professional. Like you could not hear other interviews because of her and her team.

  11. Alex says:

    Austria – MAYBE. This song and her performance are competent but not spectacular. Given how strong the first semi final is, she needs to nail it to stand a chance but I don’t think she’ll make it.

    Romania – MISS. It’s an enjoyable joke and it’ll do well on the televote but the juries will mean even a strong televote won’t save them.

    Macedonia – MISS. A complete and utter mess. Heading for 17th in semi final two with this dreck and deservedly so.

    Belarus – HIT. I don’t understand why people are getting funny about this song because there’s ‘nothing Belorussian(sp?) in this song’, I really don’t think it matters that much where the song sounds like it comes from. It’s a catchy song and comes after Lithuania which can only improve it’s chances. This’ll be around 12th – 16th in the final

    (Also, LOL at Belarus ‘knocking the Dutch out’, both of them are definitely through)

    Finland – MAYBE. I worry with this song that they’ll go too over the top to the point where it looks tacky. Plus this is WAY too kitch and camp to make any impression on the charts around Europe. I think this will qualify but it’d take a miracle AND a late draw for this to go top 10 let alone win the whole shebang.

  12. Ewan Spence says:

    Keith, no worries. I think with Norway 2012 it showed promise if everything worked out, which it clearly didn’t. We still haven’t had a solidly performed k-pop / j-pop number at ESC (poor Kevin Yohio).

  13. Harriet Krohn says:

    Austria – too boring to make any sort of impact. May just qualify, but that’s about it. And neither Switzerland nor Germany can vote for it in its semi, so she (Natália, not Natalie) really has to find something special for that night.

    Romania – argh. Having grown up with classical music, I keep wondering why people call this “opera” – it’s not. It’s a camp pop song sung by a countertenor, that doesn’t make it opera. I’m not so sure the juries will vote it down, given that they’re supposed to assess the vocal capacities (clearly there) and the originality (it doesn’t sound like dozens of other ESC songs, even if other entries have been similar), among other things. It’s still a horrible song and a pain to listen to (and watch …), so I can only hope it doesn’t get out of the semis. Once is more than enough, thank you very much.

    Macedonia – has grown on me, but after the first listen I was left a little confused. It’s like two different songs mixed together without even trying to combine them into one. I kind of like Lozano’s part, and I sincerely hope he won’t sing in English in Malmö, but Esma doesn’t make the song any better. I don’t know how to rate this myself, so I feel unable to make a prediction.

    Belarus – very much not my cup of tea. True, it doesn’t sound Belarusian (although I’m not sure what Belarusian actually sounds like), but does Azerbaijan sound Azeri or Georgia Georgian? We often expect the Eastern countries to sound like their countries, but in the West anything goes. (I don’t think the Danish entry sound very Danish either, but nobody’s complaining.) Not sure how the public will deal with this question, but it’s happy and catchy enough to make it through.

    Finland – it’s a fun song, but also kind of tacky and trashy. I’m sure it will qualify, but I don’t agree it will be a big hit around Europe or finish in the top 5, let alone win the contest. But it’s certainly a song you can remember when it’s time to vote.

    @American Andy: About Krista being pro gay marriage and some people not liking that: The hardcore fans who watch the semis will probably largely love her for this, and the big public on the Saturday will most likely not have a clue, unless their commentator talks about it – so I don’t think it matters one little bit.

  14. @Harriet Krohn — I can definitely agree that the average fan probably would not know about Krista’s stance on gay marriage. And the fans that do either won’t care or like her all the more for it.

    But I do have a bigger question to ask – people keep saying that only the “hardcore fans” watch the semis; I don’t buy that. The semi-finals have an overall lower viewership, I understand that, but what are the viewing numbers for countries that are participating and voting, and how do those compare to the Grand Final numbers? Where can I find these numbers? I find it hard to believe that people will not watch their own country compete, even if it is on a week night.

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