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Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #5 Written by on April 14, 2019 | 9 Comments

The Juke Box Jury team sit down with five more songs to share out the hits, the misses, and the maybes. 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.

We’re in the middle of preview season, but that; s not what counts What counts is the jury scores in our latest edition of Juke Box Jury!

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #5
with David Elder and Ross Middleton.

Germany: Sister, by S!sters.
Slovenia: Sebi, by Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl.
Albania: Ktheju tokës, by Jonida Maliqi.
Cyprus: Replay, by Tamta.
Switzerland: She Got Me, Luca Hänni

As the Contest draws ever closer, you can stay up to date with all the Eurovision news by listening to the ESC Insight podcasts. You’ll find the show in iTunesGoogle Podcasts, and SpotifyA direct RSS feed is  available. We also have a regular email newsletter which you can sign up to here.

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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9 responses to “Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #5”

  1. Mio says:

    Germany: Miss
    Last year Michael sang about his real father, and the authentic emotion came through.
    “Sister” seems to be about a hypothetical sister and comes across as overly workshopped.

    Slovenia: Hit (for me)
    I think there are challenges to overcome for the competition, but I do love this song, especially the lyrics. I imagine a beautiful starry night sky and the Milky Way above on those turning LED screens in Tel Aviv. But how will they choreograph the singers and tell the story of their relationship? I hope they surprise us.

    Albania: Hit
    There is potential for substantial jury respect (thinking of “Suus”). Also, there is an emotional story that is relatable to the diaspora of any country and to anyone separated from someone they love.

    Cyprus: Maybe
    This will do well, but how well? It comes across as arrogant to me. Most people will probably be having fun and not thinking about the story the lyrics tell. However, my sense is that good pop songs full of “Attitude” (the singers celebrating their own sexual prowess) can rise to mid table finishes. But, there are not many of these kinds of “I’m so hot” songs in Eurovision history, for a reason.

    Switzerland: Hit
    It’s mid table for me personally, but I think it is heading for a top 5 or better finish. Luca is an entertainer and will likely make the most of his time on stage. He’s got this.

  2. Harriet Krohn says:

    Germany: MAYBE
    It was in my bottom 2 at the national final and I couldn’t believe it actually won. I’m not hating it because my favourites didn’t win – as a matter of fact, I don’t hate it. It’s not a bad song, I’m fine listening to it, but I agree with David – who is going to vote for it? I can’t think of anyone. All we can hope for to escape last place is the juries dishing out points for voices, not songs, as they like to do.

    Slovenia: HIT
    My absolute favourite this year. It’s hypnotizing and draws me in and I could listen to it all day. Totally unpretentious, they’re doing their own thing (which is after all what “sebi” is all about) and I thought the atmosphere at EMA was very intimate and enjoyable. If they can recreate that at a bigger scale, I don’t see why Slovenia shouldn’t make it to the final, although I can’t see them finishing high on the Saturday.

    Albania: MAYBE
    This doesn’t really get me – maybe it’s just too dramatic for my personal taste. I can appreciate the song, but that’s more an objective thing than something that would make me pick up the phone. But it’s a sure qualifier for the singer alone.

    Cyprus: MAYBE
    “Replay” for me is a stronger, more interesting song than “Fuego”, but it won’t sell itself as cheap and therefore won’t do as well. The fact that everyone’s saying this is Fuego 2.0 isn’t helping either, but of course it’s qualifying and it will do reasonably well, maybe top 10, but certainly no podium.

    Switzerland: HIT
    This is one of the songs, exactly, that I can’t help but sing along to – it makes me want to dance, and I’m not a natural dancer. Dance songs don’t usually do the trick for me, but this one does. Of course it helps that as a German I know Luca very well, who after all got his break on German TV. (I don’t think he won Idol because he’s such a great singer, but rather because he’s just so damn likable.) I do not see Switzerland winning or even finishing top 5 (the juries will stand in the way of that, and also I don’t think his voice is good enough), but for Switzerland it will be their very best result in ages, and well deserved.

    By the way, I do see an obvious televote winner (and it’s not Iceland), but I’ll get to it once you get to it. 😉

  3. petefenner says:

    The pizza, cake and Findus pancakes gave me indigestion. But well done on discussing the German entry for about ten minutes. X

  4. Ewan Spence says:

    I wasn’t timing it, we managed ten minutes??? 🙂

  5. Shai says:

    I watched the German national final and vocally they were the best. All the other singers were either out of tune or simply couldn’t sing the song they were singing,
    Yes. It sound like something coming from “Frozen” and it’s not the worse song in this year’s line up.What work for them is the dynamic between their voices that actually complete each other and have a different texture.
    I am also in the opinion that Germany attitude is that the national final is only a part of work in progress. The work will end when the song reach Eurovision stage MAYBE

    My first reaction was no. But than on further listening, it got under my skin. It’s a song you can present as an atypical Eurovision song. A song that doesn’t sound as a song coming from of the contest.
    It is very understated and very low key in its presentation. The Eurovision version got a bit volume that enhance the song but does’t ruin the song. MAYBE(for the contest) but a personal HIT for me

    The drums that lead the song are good. She has a good voice but her voice isn’t enough to hold a song that basically run in the same musical sentence for 3 long minutes.
    I have difficulty to connect to the song while she wailing at me.
    Well, at least they kept it Albanian, which should be applauded – MISS

    Fuego was such a huge success so it was bound to happen that there will be some songs that will be influences by it(and someone managed to mash up Fuego with all this year clones and it’s very confusing affair).
    This one is very very similar to last year’s effort and this should be no wonder as the same team is behind both entries. Fuego didn’t do it for me and this one doesn’t do it for me either. It’s almost too calculated for its own good. It seems the writers were busy to put the pieces of the puzzel together but forgot to put some sole in it.
    I think there is an unwritten Eurovision rule which say that an entry which is too similar to last year’s success, will fail. I am also not convince that she is the right singer for the song or if she has the energy to lift the song high as her predecessor did – MISS (for me) and MAYBE/HIT(for the contest)

    I like this one. I know it’s fluffy and has no valuable nutrition ingredients but it just works. He has the energy and the charisma to elevate the song. He can dance, which will get everyone dancing and clapping with him. The are questions mark about his live singing abilities but that can be solved with backing singers.-HIT

  6. zelenovi says:

    Now, I know better than to argue with personal opinions, so even though I was sad to hear the treatment of my personal favourite Slovenia, I won’t touch that. But one part I do feel needs challenging – that their place in the running order makes their qualification unlikely. On the contrary – I think Zala and Gašper should be very happy where they are!

    My evidence: I see the progression of semi 1 like this. Cyprus – def Q. Montenegro and Finland – I have not come across a single person who thinks either are decent. Seem certain NQ. Poland – interesting, but loud and grating to many, probably borderline at best. And then after two loud songs, you have the quietest of all, and I thought the EMA staging was fantastically effective. It’s such a change of flavour from either Poland and Czechia, I think it will really stand out and come after a run of weak songs.

    I hope so anyway, I love these guys’ entire back catalogue and seriously wish them the best.

  7. Sharleen Wright says:

    Thank you for the wonderful memories of Findus pancakes. Always the reliable go to for a dinner with salad by my cooking-phonbic mother in the 80s. They are sorely missed by me.

  8. Eurojock says:

    Have been too busy to listen the podcasts as yet but here are my thoughts on this batch of songs anyway:

    Germany – A well constructed song that unfortunately only songwriters will appreciate. Sweden 2013 anyone? The Eurojury Poll results point to a potential and undeserved last place. MISS

    Slovenia – A fan favourite that I don’t suspect will be quite so favourite with juries or casual televoters. Should just have about enough to qualify and then finish right hand side of the board. MAYBE

    Albania – Another fan favourite that I don’t expect will float the juries’ boat. At best borderline to qualify. MAYBE

    Cyprus – Actually a better song than Fuego, but (a) Tamta is unlikely to be a better performer than Eleni and (b) Fuego got there first. The Eurojury poll suggests some jury support but it is going to be a long way behind the jury front runners. In the circumstances 6-13 looks the most likely outcome. HIT

    Switzerland – The Eurojury Poll suggests there is something there for the juries (it could be in their top 5) and the televote potential is obvious. A lot will depend on the live performance but Dirty Dancing is perhaps the best placed song to grab the trophy if The Netherlands falls flat on its face. Top 5 potential. HIT

  9. Ben Pitchers says:

    Germany: MISS. The message of female unity of the song gets lost and it’s easy to mistake this as a reunion song between two feuding sisters. The open music sounds like a child’s toy, which also suggests a family connection. North Macedonia’s song gets the same message across more effectively. The ending is too overwrought. The singers are better than the song and I think it had more of a chance in the smaller field of the German NF than it will in a 26 song final. I think this is in danger of coming last in the final and is the weakest big 5 effort.

    Slovenia: MAYBE. I enjoy this song more every time I hear it, but I was underwhelmed after watching the performance after it won EMA. Like a lots of entries this year, it sounds great as a radio song but there’s less certainty as to how competitive it will be. It does stand out in SF1 as it doesn’t sound like anything else. Performing in 5th is quite early on and their static nature during their performance probably won’t help. It feels authentic and somewhat daring. I think it has a chance to qualify but I have no idea how it’ll do in the final if that were to happen.

    Albania: MAYBE. Jonida is a reliable, experienced vocalist and this will be powerful live. It’s taken me a few listens to really appreciate this song. Songs on this subject have worked before, as for Romania in 2015. There’s lots of viewers in many of the countries in SF2 who will be able to relate to family members seeking better prospects outside of their home country. It will probably suffer coming after Russia. I think it has a good shot of qualifying and a mid table placement in the final if they have some effective staging.

    Cyprus: HIT. I enjoyed this from the first time I heard it. I know lots of comparisons have been made to Fuego, but I think it’s of similar quality. I think the summery dance hit vibe positions it to do well in the contest and afterwards. Tamta is experienced and a star, and I’m sure Cyprus will be putting the same effort into the staging to try to secure another top 10 placing in the final. I don’t think it will win because there’s too many other similar songs this year. I also wonder how many viewers who only tune into the final every year will necessarily remember what Cyprus’ entry was last year and how much of a positive or negative factor that will be.

    Switzerland: HIT. Finally Switzerland has a song that’s a surefire hit. Each year it’s not necessarily the winner that’s the most influential song on the following year’s contest, and this proves how that crown goes to Fuego for the 2019 contest. I enjoy it in the same way that Ross does, it’s cheesy fun but hollow and I would choose Replay over it every time. It’s too much of a cocky song by a straight guy, in the same way that I Can’t Go On was, for me to really love it. There’s a few slightly cringeworthy lyrics (‘getting rowdy rowdy’) and I always think he’s singing ‘she go solo’. It has good staging potential, especially as Luca can dance well. It’s well positioned in SF2 to get a lot of votes, especially from Germany and Austria, and maybe reach the top 3. With the right staging and performance I would say this should be top 10 in the final.

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