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Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury 2021 #6 Written by on April 26, 2021 | 10 Comments

It’s time for show six as we carry on with our season of Juke Box Jury. 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.

Another week, and another five songs heading to Eurovision 2021 via the Juke Box Jury room. What will we make of the music this week? Will you agree? And what exactly are elliptical curves anyway?

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #6
with AJ Clay and Ross Middleton

Croatia: Tick Tock, by Albina.
San Marino: Adrenalina, by Senhit, ft Flo Rida.
Spain: Voy a Quedarme, by Blas Cantó.
Ireland: Maps, by Lesley Roy.
Italy: Zitti e Buoni, by Måneskin.

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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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10 responses to “Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury 2021 #6”

  1. markdowd1959 says:

    Croatia: a MISS. Fishing in a VERY crowded up-tempo pool, she will be blasted away by the likes of Malta, Cyprus and Azerbaijan. Sure enough, it’s an improvement on recent years, but in SF1, this isn’t enough.

    San Marino: HIT. Blessed with SF2 draw. Catchy, fresh and has the Senhit pulling power. No way is this in danger of NQ. Will have a fight on to stand out in the grand final with a crowded market, but it is going there, no doubts!

    SPAIN: MISS. Prime candidate for last place finish. Who will pick up the phone for this? Juries may give Bals a few crumbs as he is a competent singer, but the recent ghastly Iberian record is set to continue with a last five finish guaranteed. Lo siento mucho amigos.

    Ireland: Maybe. Many attractive qualities but can she knock it out live? Major doubts there, as the RTE launch video was shot on top of the RTE roof in Dublin and she was lip-synching (badly.) This is going to be 10th to 13th in the bloodbath semi. I hope it makes it, but fear it may miss out.

    ITALY: HIT. Not my cup of tea, but see the appeal as it will stand out if pitched in the final between two low key ballads. Fishing for votes against Finland, but suspect this is a lower top ten finish as Italy always seem to pull it off on the night.

  2. mark dowd says:

    PS..thanks guys. As ever, an excellent listen.

  3. Shai says:

    It’s catchy and it works quite well until they run out of ideas at around the 2 minutes mark and start repeating itself, where it loose steam. It can go anywhere in this semi and it doesn’t easier in this semi where there are similar songs aiming for the same constituency-MAYBE

    San Marino-
    First a confession(or 2 of them) – I am not on Twitter and prior to his participation in this year’s contest, I had no idea who Flo Rida is. So the whole Twitter excitement have passed me by.
    There is a lot going on in the song. From the oriental beat/sound to the cheap orchestration. There is a rap section. It’s as if there were throwing ideas to the song without a bit of editing. It’s almost too much. This has the signs of a car crash just waiting to happen. There is a question if she can sing this life because if she doesn’t it going to be a hot mess. If they get it right it will do well in the contest- It’s quite an enormous – MAYBE
    P.s. – How does the performance going to look like, if Flo Rida doesn’t make it to Rotterdam? He is not a backing vocals, which can be pre-recorded. He need to sing live and not on a video link.Is there possibility that if he isn’t in Rotterdam, Senhit will need to carry this song of her own, or bring someone else as a substitute. All will be revealed by the first rehearsal, which will be on everyone’s agenda. That’s how you create an hype, but hype can be quite dangerous.

    This is a case study of how to take a singer who has a unique voice and throw his chances away with a bland song, which doesn’t do him justice. Bottom 5 and a big chance to finished last- MISS

    Composition wise, this is quite good. By far the best Irish entry in the last decade. My worries are concentrated in the text. First there too many words in this song and second the speed in which the words are been delivered is not easy to sing. It’s feel like she is running a sprint and has difficulties to catch her breath. I also have some concerns in her ability to sing this life. I think the song is written in the wrong register and doesn’t fit her vocals capabilities -MAYBE but if they get the vocals right, this could turn into a HIT

    There is a lot of words in this song. The question is of this will an advantage or disadvantage for this song. I’ll acknowledge that this a good composition but I also have to admit that rock isn’t a genre I like to hear. I just can’t relate to it in any way. Personally it’s MISS/MAYBE case, because of the genre.However, I can’t deny that it could be a Hit for the contest(unless RAI will F**K Up the staging again)

  4. James says:

    “Who will pick up the phone for this?”
    I do. Funny enough, I’ve been listening to quite a number of Spanish-language artists of late with similar hard-hitting ballads: Pablo Alborán’s “Saturno” and Carlos Rivera’s “Otras vidas”, the latter of which it’s been getting some really good exposure because it was the theme song of a popular show in Mexico, “Empire of Lies”.

    I’m not sure what some Eurofans want from Spain despite the country already sending songs that are up in their alley.

  5. James says:

    I know this is just a matter of taste but I’m not sure why one would consider a song that a singer wrote in part as a response to the deaths of his family members in the past year would be considered “bland”.

  6. mark dowd says:

    James..I’m a big fan of Pablo Alboran and have several of his albums. Blas is a talented vocalist but the blandness here isn’t the message (how many people have picked its moving sentiments up I wonder) but its status as a musical composition. I’ve played it a few times to people and it fails to register. Lack of a hook, memorable melody..I don’t know. I hope it’s not 23-26 but I fear for Spain again.

  7. Shai says:

    @James – What Mark Dowd said and I will add that if you sing a non-English song, you have to make sure your song is still clear to everyone who doesn’t understand your language. There are enough examples for song sung in in a language different than English, which stil managed to break the language barrier and have captivated the viewers. Some of them won Eurovision. The Spanish song is sadly, not one of them.

    You can sing the full numbers in the telephone book, if you want to, but make sure it is an interesting song.If your song doesn’t engage the listeners/viewers than you lost them for good. They will take a toilet break, or chat through the song and the song will fail, no matter what the song is about

  8. Eurojock says:

    Croatia – The staging and Albina’s stage presence should see this out of the Semi

    San Marino – I’m with Ewan. This may not do as well as the fans expect.

    Spain – A textbook example of how to finish 26th

    Ireland – Lesley was struggling to hit the high notes at the Spanish pre-party. While it is Ireland’s best song for years, it could fail to qualify.

    Italy – Will do well in the televote and the Eurojory votes so far suggest top 10 with the juries. Top 5. PS: Based on the Eurojury scores I’m not so sure the jury result will be as spread as Ross imagines. Malta could be running away with it.

  9. Ben Pitchers says:

    Croatia: HIT. I absolutely love this and have been listening to it a lot the last few weeks. The production is great and she’s got a great voice. I think it stands a good chance of qualification, but Croatia will need to stage it much better than it was at Dora where the camera was too unfocused on her and too many wide shots. I agree with Ross and think this is the best Croatian entries for years.

    San Marino: HIT. Well done to Senhit for coming back with a much superior entry to last year and 2021. She’s also playing the media attention game so well with the discussion of whether or not Flo Rida will be at Eurovision. I imagine he must be going – the lyrics on the official website list the rap. The risk of anticlimax if he isn’t there wouldn’t be good. I think Senhit has the best meme-worthy banger over Azerbaijan, Moldova and Cyprus and has a much better larger-than-life diva presence. This should have no trouble in qualifying from SF2 and could get San Marino their best ever result if not their first top 10.

    Spain: MAYBE. It’s a well made ballad. The word that comes to mind the most is ‘pretty’ and I like the lyrics. I may be biased because I speak Spanish. Blas has a beautiful voice and this is better than the last few Spanish ballads. If he knocks it out of the park with the performance and really portrays the emotion of the song down the camera this could do better than a lot of people expect. However, the fact that there’s going to be a tweaked version of the song we’ll only hear on stage (like France last year) suggests that he/TVE aren’t totally confident in it. It really irritates me when songs are tweaked to death after being released. If it isn’t staged well then it looks like another typical result of 20th or below.

    Ireland: MAYBE. I enjoy listening to it despite the sound mix in the studio version where the vocals in the chorus are being muffled by the music. I’ve seen her sing it live and I don’t think her being able to perform it well is too much of an issue. It has a momentum to it. I do think that this song has a memorability issue among the other SF1 songs. Supposedly Ireland are doing something interesting on stage that hasn’t been done before so maybe that will help. There’s a chance for this to qualify but I think it will come down to how many points it gets from the juries.

    Italy: HIT. This is another great entry from Italy. It took me a couple of listens to warm up to this, but I felt the same with Soldi and look how well that did in 2019. I love how unpredictable it is to predict what Italy will send to Eurovision. It is wordy but delivered with such conviction. Whether or not this will be another top 10 for Italy remains to be seen but Italy always has a chance.

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