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Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #3 Written by on April 14, 2015 | 18 Comments

When a Juke Box Jury result surprises even the hosts and judges in the room, but everything is well-argued and justified, well, it’s nice to know that JBJ can still surprise, entice, enjoy, and start a discussion.

Kick it all off in the comments and let us know what you think.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #3
with Andrew Main and Donald McNaughton.

Serbia: Beauty Never Lies, by Bojana Stamenov.
Hungary: Wars For Nothing, by Boggie.
Albania: I’m Alive, by Elthiada Dani
Norway: A Monster Like Me, by Mørland and Debrah Scarlett.
Austria: I Am Yours, by The Makemakes.

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

  1. HarrietKrohn says:

    Serbia: I’m failing to see how this starts out as a ballad. That’s not a ballad?! It’s a mid-tempo pop song that turns into a horribly cheap disco thingie that I can’t help but hate. A Miss if ever there was one for me.

    Hungary: Oh, poor Boggie. This is nice in its own way, and I refuse to judge songs by whether they are right for the contest or not. I judge them by whether I like them or not. And this is kind of borderline for me. In a way I quite like it, it has a certain charm and Boggie is very nice-looking. But I also get bored rather quickly because nothing happens. A lot will depend on whether they can creat a special moment on stage. Sometimes it’s Maybe, sometimes it’s Miss …

    Albania: This song is neither here nor there for me, and the end is just her showing off her singing, the song no longer matters. I can’t be bothered with this song, or with judging it. Maybe.

    Norway: I think this one is actually very accessible. The first time I listened to it, I went WOW. That moment after the quiet part in the middle, when they both start singing together … goosebumps! They have to find something to do with these twenty or so seconds, but I do hope they will keep the presentation rather minimalistic and not overdo it. I also think that the song is so strong that it’s not as dependent on perfect staging as others may be. I don’t believe Norway can win, but to think there are ten songs in their semi that could beat this one?! Crazy. For me it’s a total Hit.

    Austria: Nice enough, but I don’t like his nasal and somewhat squawky voice. I’m surprised at how often I’ve played it already – I hardly ever notice it, which at least means it’s not horrible or too annoying. Maybe.

  2. Stephen Colville says:

    Before listening I’m assuming they picked Albania as their winner and underrated Norway?

  3. Stephen Colville says:

    So I listened to it. Didn’t expect Austria to get anything other than 3 misses.

    I’m sorry, but the comments about Norway (especially from Ewan) were a joke. If Norway doesn’t get top 10 at least I would be surprised.

  4. Donald says:

    Hi Stephen, sorry to hear you thought our comments on Norway were a joke. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal taste and what one thinks will make its mark on the night. I fear that this year Norway may struggle to qualify but I’m more than happy to be proved wrong.

  5. Esceire says:

    Serbia – The song is in my bottom 5 and does nothing for me, But looking at it objectively i think it will get Serbia a respectable result as we cannot deny that she has a very powerful voice which i think juries should reward and we also have seen in the past ( Iceland 2013,Albania 2012) that tele voters will at time reward strong vocals. Overall i think Serbia should get in the top 15 and possibly top 10 but no way a winner, -Maybe

    Hungary – I sorta like this song its in my top 25 or so but like Serbia i contradict my opinion with the objective view and objectively in such a competitive semi with so many beasts like Russia,Greece,Armenia taking all the votes along with other great songs like Belgium,Estonia,Russia i simply cannot see it qualifying. – Miss

    Albania – Like the last two songs I will have 2 contrasting views, Personally its good but i would never listen to it out of choice but the song itself imo is one of the top 5 songs interms of music quality and i think it could be a sleeper hit and i think it will get Albania a top 10 result, also elhida ( i can’t spell her name 😛 ) has a phenomenal vocal so she should gt extra votes so over all i think Albania defiantly have a top half finish in the bag – HIT (first hit of the JBJ Season)

    Norway – And here comes HIT number 2 :P, and i think this is absolutely superb that will comfortably get to the final and will be a certain top 10, not much more to say -HIT

    Austria – Idk what to think, tbh if this was the entry of any of the big 5 then i think it would do badly but having the gimmick of being the host i think could get Austria a higher position then they probably deserve , Maybe

  6. John Lucas says:

    Serbia: I actually think this is considerably weaker than Crisalide. I prefer it in Serbian, but it falls a bit flat for me in either language. It just doesn’t feel like it earns the shift into high gear, it feels crowbarred in. A possible surprise MISS.

    Hungary: I think you might be underestimating this. It’s very plaintive, and I think a stark, simple performance could really move people. The anti-war sentiment could be particularly prescient given the situation many of Hungary’s neighbours currently find themselves in (i.e. staring nervously at Russia). HIT

    Albania: I really want to like this more than I do. It feels like more of a showcase for Elhaida’s vocals than it does a properly structured song. There’s no entry point for me. But others seem to like it so perhaps I’m in the minority. MAYBE.

    Norway: Agree with the panel consensus. Too slow to get going, too theatrical, too depressing, not well staged – but a strong song underneath. MAYBE.

    Austria: Yes it’s safe, but I’m so pleased to see Austria making a real effort to maintain a high standard following Conchita. If she’d never existed this would stand as a huge step up from them from previous years. A really convincing radio hit. (HIT)

  7. Straight into the choices –

    SERBIA – another Balkan entry that loses everything when switched to English. This was okay in the NF but this has no hook, it is two songs but I don’t think they belong together. If ‘Beauty’ had been either a ballad OR uptempo, it might have worked. Non-qualifier again – MISS

    HUNGARY – this has something magical about it live, whether at A Dal or as a outdoor ‘spontaneous’ session. This will either bomb or hit a chord with the audience IF they take the lyrical content on board and we get a ‘Nicole’ moment – MAYBE

    ALBANIA – Elhaida can really, really sing live and this might get Albania into the Final, mainly on jury votes again. I prefered the FiK winning song, sung in Albanian and I think this will vanish amongst all the female solo ballads, “I’m Alive” not being the best of them – MAYBE

    NORWAY – this is the ‘fan favourite’ that is most likely to crash and burn this year. If this was sung in harmony throughout, this WOULD be a probable top 10 as they sound amazing together. Unfortunately, I personally cannot stand either singer’s voice individually live and they don’t sing together for the first 90 seconds. I think that a lot of televoters will tune out, go to the toilet, make a coffee etc. before the ‘excellent’ second half of this entry – this could be the ‘shock’ non-qualifier this year – MISS

    AUSTRIA – this is a nice safe entry for the host country. It’s not bad, it’s not brilliant, it’s just okay. Mid table safety for Austria, MAYBE

  8. PurpleKylie says:

    I couldn’t disagree more with you about Norway if you tried. Personally I think you ask for WAAAAY too much in Eurovision performances. The way it was staged in MGP was perfect, sorry that it doesn’t have all the frills and dramatics most entries have and that it was too simple and beautifully shot for the pickiest Eurovision fan in the world, sorry to be so harsh but you were VERY unnecessarily harsh on the performance and when this finished top 10 in May you will have egg splattered all over your face.

  9. Esceire says:

    to support the escinsight panels view on Norway you kinda have to ask yourself the question…if this wasn’t a scandinavian entry would people be going nuts for it? I highly doubt it, you must remember in 2012 for example Iceland and Norway were on a very popular blog imo rated very highly, they said Iceland could win the jury in the semi final…and they in the end were were beaten by the grannies and jedward in jury voting (embarrassing) and needed the jury to get them through, Norway the blog said that there would be no problems what so ever in qualifying and then they only got through on count back, so my view is basically any song from scandinavia is automatically the best thing ever! the song how ever even the haters can admit is a lock for the top 10 in jury and tele voting in the semi final making it a certain qualifier, in the final i do think it will be top 10.

  10. Ewan Spence says:

    Kylie, to reiterate from Facebook, thanks for the comments. I’ll happily take my licks in May if Monster Like Me goes Top Ten. In all the years of Juke Box Jury, my thoughts on every song are there for everyone to see. Do I get it right all the time? No. Am i honest with my thoughts? I believe so. Do I appreciate and respect all of the JBJ listeners, even if they have different viewpoints? Very much so.

    Thank you.

  11. Donald says:

    I’m more than happy to have egg on my face if and when Norway makes it to the Top 10. I was listening to one of the recordings from last year re The Common Linnets. Egg on the face all round.

  12. Esceire says:

    btw i must contradict you Ewan, I believe Norway actually had only a day to reword everything, i know for a fact Sweden (who selected on the same night) had only a day to submit there plans for esc.

  13. Ben Cook says:

    Wow at negative reaction to Norway! I thought the very simple staging in MGP was extremely effective – I even liked the way they came away from them during the instrumental bit because it made it all the more intense when they went back in close and circled them during the climax of the song. I think it’s the best song of the year and I think it’s going to so better than the more favoured duet from Estonia, because they have better chemistry.

    By the way I know they are asked to send a second video of them performing the song for them to have an idea on camera angles, but I’d be surprised if this was expected to be finalised by the HOD meeting. I’m sure there have been plenty of examples of songs chosen very late that have ended up looking completely different in ESC. Azerbaijan 2013 for example was chosen right before the deadline IIRC.

  14. Shai says:

    Serbia – The words are bit in your face with their not so subtle message.And half way through the song turns to that “gay up tempo song” that people tends to connect with Eurovision -MAYBE

    Hungary – It’s a massive sleeping pill(I think this is something also Donald said). Very,very boring song – MISS

    Albania – it’s a bit repetitive and it sounds like the composer of the song wasn’t sure how to continue the built up the song. I should, though, give it more credit than initially I have – MAYBE

    Norway – love the song.loved it from the first time I heard it. tre must be said: it may be too dark for Eurovision and I have no idea how this will be received by audience at home. A big HIT for me.

    Austria – Familiar and safe. Not bad in its genere – MAYBE

  15. HarrietKrohn says:

    @Ben Cook: I know that Germany changed their whole backdrop and everything at the last minute in Copenhagen.

    It would be unreasonable to have to have a perfect stage show planned out right after the selection when you don’t know which song will win before (you’d have to have a detailed plan for each of the songs otherwise) and the stage used for the NF will in most cases be very different from the one at the contest itself, with different possibilites and limitations. Especially for the NFs that took place at the last possible moment, this would be very unrealistic.

  16. Seattlesque says:

    Great JBJ discussion – and fun to read the responses…
    Serbia: Disappointed with the English, but also feel the cheesy disco ending undermines it. MAYBE.
    Hungary: Please, make it stop. And now, after Ewan’s comment, I hear Paul O’Grady saying, “With your donation of just €12.95, a Eurovision fanboy can get his collector’s edition Australian scarf. That’s a lifesaver.” Thanks, Ewan… MISS. Please.
    Albania: This has really grown on me and I just hope it has the immediacy it needs to get out of the semi. HIT
    Norway: In MPG, I thought Debrah’s vocals were dodgy (sorry, PurpleKylie!), so I fear that – despite being a well-written song – if the staging is off and she is hit by nerves, I might be curtains. MAYBE.
    Austria: Lucky it doesn’t have to get through a semi, to my mind. The 70s vibe really doesn’t do it. MISS.
    With all the misses and maybes for me this year, I could be down to a 15-song final. 🙂

  17. PurpleKylie says:

    Also I must point out that I interviewed the Norweigan duo after they won, and they PERSONALLY told me that they will look to bring the performance to a bigger scale

  18. Ali Nella Houd says:

    Very interesting views, both in the podcast, and above.

    Serbia – I think the fans and juries will just get it over the line in the semi, and from there it could go quite well (i.e. left hand side). The switch to up tempo is refreshing – and most people have their telly within earshot of their kettle nowadays, so they may all come rushing back, cuppa in hand, for a boogie when the beat kicks in. MAYBE

    Hungary – Sir Humphrey would call this a “brave decision”. I do love its poise, sincerity and simplicity, so I hope there’s a miracle, but being realistic … MISS.

    Albania – This did not make my personal top 20, but I imagine its energy and the lustre of the vocals may get it into the final. From there, though, I would think it would finish only mid-table at best. MAYBE

    Norway – This is my personal no. 1, but I concede it may struggle in Vienna unless there is something eye-catchingly brilliant in the presentation. I have faith that they can do it (in which case the sky’s the limit), so will vote with my heart here … HIT

    Austria – My antennae may be out of whack, but I can’t imagine ESC-dom warming to this. I certainly didn’t. Too repetitive, clichéd and … yes, safe. Right hand side. MISS

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