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Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #6 Written by on April 21, 2019 | 10 Comments

We return to the world of Hit, Miss, or Maybe with the latest Juke Box Jury. Five more songs face the judges as we discuss their chances at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. 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 into the home straight now and the back half of this year’s Juke Box Jury episodes. The hits, misses, and maybes continue to pile up, but do you agree with our judges? Let us know in the comments as always.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #6
with Elaine O’Neil and Matthew Ker.

Belgium: Wake Up, by Eliot.
Belarus: Like It, by Zena.
Denmark: Love Is Forever, by Leonora.
Iceland: Hatrið mun sigra, by Hatari.
Israel: Home, by Kobi Marimi.

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 (facebook.com/ewanspence).

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

  1. Hans Wollstein says:

    Sometimes I wonder if I live in the same universe as you guys. To wit: Denmark and Iceland. Denmark, an ear worm, cute and cuddly and something that the world perhaps needs right now. And then Iceland, which not only will be my bathroom break, but a bathroom break with the mute button on. Then, of course, I remember that I just turned 66 and that the first memory I have of Eurovision is the Kessler Twins on a rotating stage in 1959. And all is right with the world once again.

  2. Ewan Spence says:

    Hans, I *love* that everyone has a different view of the 41 songs, and that we can all take those on board. That said, in a world without love, hatred will prevail. Aren’t Iceland just coming at a classic Eurovision trope from a different end point?

    As for the 1959 contest, and the THREE rotating stage positions, just shows ESC started cutting edge and continued!

  3. Shai says:

    Belgium-
    On first listen it was a no.
    But further listening won me over. I quite like it although the chorus is a let down from the expectations the verse builds up.
    I hope he can sing it live because it’s a song that demand a bit of power in the voice and presentation – (a definite) MAYBE/(with a slight chance of)HIT

    Belarus-
    It’s a slice of inoffensive pop song but for a song called “like it”, it doesn’t do much to make me like it.It’s there. It lasts 3 minutes and has no impact at all -MISS

    Denmark-
    My frist reaction when hearing this song was sweet, innocent, inoffensive and a bit childish. The staging in DMGP enhance this feeling very much.
    It threw me back to Austria 2016. The big different is that Zoë has such a sweet character  that you could believe in what she was singing. Her it’s a bit more calculated and I am not entirely buying the sweetness coming from Leonora.
    As a song it’s memorable enough to grab your attention and can hit the right sentiment with the viewers at home. Not sure how this will go, but it can go either way-MAYBE

    Iceland-
    When Cornald Maas, presented this song during Eurovision in Concert, he called it “the most disgusting song of this year”. It was reinforcing my view that this is a  very divisive song.
    Than there is the title of the song which translate as – Hate will prevail – which raise the question where does this fit in the ‘Love, love ,peace peace’ the Swedish were talking about 3 years ago, albeit with a wink.
    The 3rd thing that struck me  is that song is using a niche musical genre which can’t be regarded as main stream. Not a bad thing, in general, but a disaster when it comes to Eurovision.
    Last but not least- their stage show is far from being family friendly and let the parents explain their children about BDSM and what it all means.
    I have to say that their stage persona come across as arrogant and aggressive, which might alienated the viewers.
    One of the panel said that if someone makes a research and get the joke, that the person will understand this. How many accidental Saturday viewers will make the effort to make the research? Probably not that much,

    You need to have a song appeals to the mass and this song doesn’t have that mass appeal.
    To me this song has no appeal. I am sure there people who like this, the question remain- are there enough people to vote for it and get it beyond the semi? I am not sure about this at all.
    I will give it to them that the chorus sound good but also doesn’t really belong to the whole composition.-MISS

    Israel-
    Those who know me, know I have a soft spot for the Israeli entries. When possible I will try and defend the Israeli entry. But now and than comes an entry I have difficulties to defend.
    This is one of the cases. It is earnest but dull. I don’t hate it but think it’s going nowhere.
    A classic case of the home entry where you know the broadcaster doesn’t want to win again.
    What works for it is Kobi’s unique voice  and the fact that live, he lifts the song and make you very emotional.

    It’s fighting for the last place and if it will eventually happen, it will be the first time ever this happens(a trivia fact for your next Eurovision pub quiz), as Israel has never finished last.
    Second to last, several times, but never last-(mostly)MISS/(with a slight)MAYBE

  4. Hans Wollstein says:

    You’re right Ewan. Which was my point, as obscure as that may appear from what I wrote, because as much as Iceland is marmite and I personally find marmite disgusting, I’M GLAD THE ENTRY IS IN THE CONTEST. Matthew said is better that I: Eurovision may finally have become relevant to the music industry. These are exciting years for us who’ve followed the contest longer than we sometimes care to admit.

  5. Ewan Spence says:

    Hans, so say we all!

  6. Harriet Krohn says:

    Belgium:
    I listened to this podcast about 4 hours ago and I’m still singing “I came to fight, I came to fight over you …” – I don’t think the chorus is as weak as you’re all saying. It may not be as strong as the verses, but then I don’t think these are as strong either. It’s a good song, but not a great song, and I daresay that Eliot is not a great singer/performer either. I see this in the final, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Belgium stayed in the semi either. MAYBE

    Belarus:
    Guilty pleasure alert! Musically this is very thin, there are hardly any changes within the song and so it becomes very repetitive in the end, but it does lift my mood for at least 2 minutes. As I don’t follow JESC Zena is not someone I recognize and I’m sure the same goes for the majority of viewers on the Saturday – although it probably doesn’t matter because I don’t think they’ll even get to see her. MAYBE

    Denmark:
    There is something charmingly French about this song, and it’s not the fact that it has French lines in it (a German line too, by the way – the only German words sung in the contest and the first ones, I believe, since “Woki mit deim Popo”). I quite like it, it sticks in my ear – I hope they’ll change the staging a bit though, because Leonora staring at me nonstop for three minutes is a tad creepy. MAYBE

    Iceland:
    Ah, Iceland – finally a sign of life from the island of fire and ice! You may or may not like the song, but everyone will have to admit that this isn’t playing it safe (and losing … again). I struggled a bit with the entry at first, this really isn’t my genre, but it has grown on me a lot. People who already know and hate the song will use it as a bathroom break, but everyone else won’t be able to take their eyes off it and talking about it with their friends – what the hell is this?! You don’t have to appeal to everyone, you just have to have a target group and mobilize that to pick up the phone. Lots of people are saying Iceland win will the televote, which I don’t think they will, but this is a great thing to happen to Eurovision and I’m sure it’ll be rewarded with a good result. HIT

    Israel:
    I don’t now much (read: basically nothing) about Israeli music, so I can’t tell whether this is something truly Israeli that they are sending now because it’s their chance to present it on the Saturday without the risk of losing it in the semi, but to me it sounds like a standard, old-fashioned power ballad – shouldn’t it at least be in Hebrew? The pathos with which Kobi tells us that he is someone is almost ridiculous, I can hardly take this seriously, although he obviously does very much. It took me way more listens to warm to the song than the voters will get. Maybe it won’t finish last (that’s probably a battle between Germany and the UK, and since I previsouly said the UK wouldn’t finish last, that’s decided), but not much higher either. MISS

  7. Ben Pitchers says:

    Belgium: MAYBE. I quite enjoy the song but find it hard to get really excited about. It’s of good quality and the rejection of falsehoods is a good subject, even if the lyrics are a little opaque. Eliot’s accent is a little hard to understand at times but is good enough. It’s quite an intimate little song, so they need to get us to connect with Eliot on stage. I think it has a good chance of qualifying but I don’t see it doing well enough with the public vote in the final to get into the top half.

    Belarus: MAYBE. This was the best choice at the national final and has been polished up well in the final version. The chorus is the weakest part because it’s too repetitive but it does have a good hook. Zena is confident and can sell it well on stage. I think this will be popular with younger voters, but do weakly with the jury vote. I think it has a chance of qualifying and ending up on the right hand side of the scoreboard.

    Denmark: MAYBE. I think this is charming and sweet, albeit twee (weaponised saccharine is a fantastic description!). I really like the staging and am glad it is staying for Eurovision; the chair gives the audience a visual recall. However, Leonora is an unremarkable vocalist. There’s also one piece of bad English that sticks out badly (‘don’t you never ever give up love’). Coming after Romania in SF2 will help as this will be a more easily digestible song for the audience. Denmark have qualified before with charming but vanilla songs, and this could do it for them again. I can’t see this doing really well in the final and could end up in the mix for last place if it gets lost in 26 songs.

    Iceland: HIT. Congratulations to Iceland for finally choosing something that won’t go unnoticed or fail to qualify, and in Icelandic to boot! This isn’t the type of music I’d normally listen to, but there’s enough there for me to like. The techno dance music is great and Klemens’ part provides relief from Matthias’ demonic vocals. You could dance to this in a club even if you didn’t like it. Everyone will have a reaction to this. Could this win for Iceland? It’s not out of the realms of possibility. It depends on the juries. They’re the kind of act that could capture the momentum and just eclipse everything else because nothing else is like it. It seems a bit obvious to compare it to Finland’s win with Lordi but if the stars aligned maybe it could do it.

    Israel: MAYBE. I watched the national final and was surprised that Ketreyah didn’t win, but then I’d missed the talent show journey Israel had watched Kobi go through. I think they’ve chosen the exact right song for him to sing, it suits his voice and singing style. He brings out the emotion in the song and delivers the message home. Like Kobi, it’s theatrical and could easily be a cut from a musical. It’s nothing new in terms of what we’ve seen before. I also think it’s a shame that Israel didn’t choose a song in Hebrew to represent them on home soil, and that they appear to have stepped away from songs in Hebrew altogether. At first I thought this could end up coming last for Israel but I think there’s enough there to avoid that. Enough jurors will appreciate it.

  8. Eurojock says:

    Belgium – Good modern sound in the versus. Disappointing chorus. Jury support will take it through but nothing more. MAYBE

    Belarus – On a par with the uptempo version of Sweet Lies at UK’s You Decide. My instinct is NQ but the Eurojury data gives it some hope. So just a MAYBE.

    Iceland – Eurojury warning alert on its likely jury score!!! If any song can gain momentum through the contest it’s this one. But at the moment I see it 6th -10th or mid table. A strong MAYBE

    Denmark – These happy little toe-tappers have their limits at modern Eurovision and they need to be delivered with charm (Malta 2013) Unfortunately Leonara exudes all the charm of (as one pundit memorably put it) a concentration camp commandant’s wife. At the London pre-party when she exhorted the audience to sing along it was truly scary. Borderline for qualification. MAYBE (And by the way, with her perched on that high chair, I’ll spend the entire 3 minutes worrying she’s going to fall off and break her neck)

    Israel clearly are not going for the double. Bottom 5 and MISS

  9. Love Jukebox Jury and I’m trying to keep score of your hit miss or maybe, but I couldn’t figure out what you gave Israel. Was it three “Maybees” or something else?

  10. Ewan Spence says:

    …checks notes… three maybes by the looks of my etchings!

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