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Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury 2021 #4 Written by on April 12, 2021 | 5 Comments

Juke Box Jury continues its weekly review of the songs heading to Rotterdam in 2021. 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.

Our annual look at all the songs entering the Eurovision Song Contest continues with another five Rotterdam-bound songs from the 39 ready to be discussed. As always, join in through the comments!

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #4
with Scott Reid and AJ Clay.

Czech Republic: omaga, by Benny Cristo.
Switzerland: Tout l’Univers, by Gjon’s Tears.
Poland : The Ride, by Rafał.
Belgium: The Wrong Place, by Hooverphonic.
Cyprus : El Diablo, by Elena Tsagrinou.

As we get closer towards May and the Song Contest, you can stay up to date with all the Eurovision news and reviews by listening to the ESC Insight podcast. 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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5 responses to “Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury 2021 #4”

  1. Eurojock says:

    Czech Republic – Agree that this is underrated. Juries could go for this in a good to middling way.

    Switzerland – The song has potentially huge jury and televote appeal. The live performance is everything. If he sits at his keyboard and does Duncan 2.0, he won’t win.

    Poland – A very unadventurous 80s retread that pales in comparison to most of the other bangers this year, delivered by a performer who doesn’t inspire confidence in his vocal abilities live. NQ.

    Belgium – Sorry Hooverphonic, if our JBJ panel is correct, Eurovision is entirely the wrong place for quality songs like yours. Why didn’t you serve us up yet another ethno-banger? PS – I for one am hoping the staging will constantly cut to the other band members – to show their severed heads in a glass case.

    Cyprus – A devil of a banger – the best in the contest (if you don’t count Malta as an out and out banger). Amid all the discussions around ‘memes’ and ‘Head and Shoulders’, it’s worth pointing out that nobody was particularly excited about the video version of Fuego. The excitement started when everyone saw the staging at first rehearsal. That said, I don’t see Cyprus winning, for the main reason that Fuego didn’t win. Juries are reluctant to get fully on board with this type of ‘straight down the line’ dance floor banger.

    PPS – When you played the 80s quiz show music at the end while you were counting the votes, I thought you were reprising Poland.

  2. Shai says:

    Czech Republic-
    A happy song, put a smile on your face and while the song is going you tap your foot , shake your head and you find yourself dancing and singing this song. There is something very unpretentious and almost effortless about this song , which make you like it even more.
    It does need a big audience which will support this song and lift it up. The lack of audience, or the not so much audience in Rotterdam we are heading too, may be to the disadvantage of the song – HIT(albeit with a question mark)

    His 2020 song was one of my favourites and this is also very good and I am happy is staying true to himself and to his style. Something in the composition makes this song slightly less accessible than his 2020 contribution, but it’s still a very good song. I understand the comparison to Arcade and there is a question if it has a sufficient distance from 2019 not to be considered a copy of the last winner. Another question is:what king of mode the Eurovision audience has on the night. Will it goes for the heavy, depressing song or for a more light hearted song. We will know in May. Regardless of all of the question marks, this is a HIT(at least for me)

    One of the songs embrassing the 80’s at this year contest. It’s not working because it’s bland and unimaginative. His voice is the kind of voice that has no distinction and also doesn’t serve the song at all. Just making the song more bland than it already is-MISS

    I may be in a minority here, but I actually like the song. It’s a kind of song I would listen to outside Eurovision. But in Eurovision terms, it’s not competitive enough for the contest. Alex Callier, from Hooverphonic has writing credits for this song as well for the 2018’s Belgium song. And you hear in the sound of the song. And both have the same problems-good songs which fail to excite the voters. Let’s just hope that Hooverphonic’s performance will be better than the one from 2018 – MISS/MAYBE(unfortunately)

    Cyprus has found a niche for itself. Ever since Fuego they tend to send the same sort of song. In 2019 they send Fuego version 2.0. This year they send a banger which sounds familiar and is on the verge of being a plagiaat. I don’t think it’s very original and I like my songs to be more original than this one. Already in 2019 they have failed to win or even reach the top 10. They are participating in the 1st semi, which has quite a lot of bangers and I am not sure how this will play for them. I also think that if she has a weak vocals or a performance that is not a strong one, it may lose ground – MISS/MAYBE

  3. Shai says:

    Cyprus – After posting my respond I have realized how strong and catchy the chorus of the song is. So it is still MISS/MAYBE but I acknowledge it can do better

  4. Edmund says:

    Just wanted to say two things:
    Scott perfectly articulated my feelings about Omaga.
    And that I very much disagree with Ewan that Fuego did well because of memery. Fuego did so well because it was a great banger with great staging. Replay was a good banger with good staging. El Diablo is a meh banger (with the cringiest lyrics) and I really hope it doesn’t do well so Cyprus can stop doing mediocre Fuego-clones.

  5. Ben Pitchers says:

    Czech Republic: MAYBE. This is easy to like and remember after one listen. Has a very current sound compared to all the 80s references in SF2 and Benny is charismatic. I still think it’s a borderline qualifier, especially as it will be performed third. The Czechs have proven they can qualify but they’ll need to really stage this well.

    Switzerland: HIT. There isn’t many ballads this year and Tout l’univers is a standout one. Gjon sings in a different way than the other acts this year. Whether it’s a style that’s to everyone’s tastes will be interesting to see, especially if it’s a battle between the two French language ballads. I personally prefer France. Switzerland has really upped their game starting in 2019 and even if this can’t go all the way to the top it’s looking like we might not have to wait a long time for a 3rd Swiss win. This oozes quality and talent and is captivating enough people to be considered a definite frontrunner.

    Poland: MISS. The whole song feels phoned in, as if TVP were running out of time to choose and just bought a cheap Swedish MF reject and chose a singer for it. The song stays in the same gear and there’s no development. Rafał can handle singing it live but isn’t charismatic on stage. If he wears sunglasses at Eurovision it makes it very difficult for the audience to connect with him and gives him an aloof and arrogant look. I don’t buy him as the cool, 80s movie cool guy he’s trying to portray. I think it’ll be difficult for it to qualify or get a high ranking. In SF2 it is followed by three much more memorable songs and suffers from coming after the Greek entry, which is doing the 80s sound much more successfully. I really hope Poland put as much effort in as they do for Junior going forward this decade.

    Belgium: MAYBE. I enjoy listening to this when it’s on and but I don’t seek it out to listen to. The retro 90s sound makes me feel like I’ve been familiar with it for a long time. The problem this entry could have is how competitive it is in a contest. There’s nothing to worry about in terms of live vocals, but the staging needs to bring about the story of the song or find some way to really engage the audience. If Hooverphonic end up giving off the impression that they’re too cool for the contest and seem like they’re performing just another gig it’ll cost them qualification. Geike needs to be able to find the camera and sell the attitude of the song’s protagonist. If that happens, they could qualify from their difficult semi.

    Cyprus: HIT. I agree about Cyprus’s trying the same thing over and over seemingly until they win. Luckily they are producing strong, if expected entries. When the chorus thumps in it really grabs you and sticks in your mind. The Spanish feels tacked on and a bit silly but in a song like this it’s not really about the lyrics. I think it could do without the child’s voice repeating ‘I love el diablo’: it’s over-egging the pudding. This should qualify easily but I think it will do more similarly to Replay than Fuego in the final.

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