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Eurovision Insight Podcast: Daily News From Rotterdam, Thursday 13th May Written by on May 13, 2021 | 6 Comments

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Thursday is one of the longest days of rehearsals is here, as the Semi Finalists polish their routines, the Big Five and our hosts have their first moments on stage, and the realisation that we have seen the winning song and its staging.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Daily News From Rotterdam, Thursday 13th May

Not only do we have more second round Semi Final rehearsals, but we have the first round rehearsals of our hosts and the Big Five. Do we still need the Big Five?

With Ewan Spence, Phil Colclough, and Fin Ross Russell.

With the rehearsals continuing, stay up to date with all the Eurovision discussions 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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6 responses to “Eurovision Insight Podcast: Daily News From Rotterdam, Thursday 13th May”

  1. Hi gents. This video might totally interest you….now you are talking about new TV techniques :-):

  2. Edmund says:

    Another note about the big five, it can be seen as a way of making up for the fact that smaller countries get the same voting power as larger ones, and often those smaller countries have closer connections with neighbors and may receive more points from them. So voters, especially televoters, in large countries may feel like their votes have less impact.

    Always someone said they’re the five most populous countries in Europe, but Russia is far more populous (and Turkey is bigger too but it’s mostly in Asia and no longer participates…)

  3. markdowd1959 says:

    If potential finance and population reach are big factors, there’s a strong case for admitting Russia into the club and having a “big 6″…they have a near perfect qualifying record anyhow…..maybe a chance to swell the EBU budget? I wonder if Russian TV has ever raised this??

  4. Frederic says:

    I really doubt Italy sees it as fully taking advantage of “being privileged”. This is such a fan perspective to be going that deep. They just send literally anyone who wants to go to Eurovision going down the ranking of San Remo. But this specific topic of discussion remains nonetheless extremely interesting and important to have – yet is not being brought up almost at all by fans in general when it really should be – because I am pretty sure that if this sense of advantage and “capitalism” (that you interestingly illustrated with examples of football competitions) didn’t exist, there’s a quite few countries (by now – and the list is getting longer lately it seems) that wouldn’t have just stopped participating. Turkey might be straight forward about it, but it’s not the case of all those yearly declining participation. This topic is all the more important that it stretches as far as the consideration and the perception of the few small nations still competing on actually achieving victory – especially in a year where both San Marino and Malta are tipped to be doing very well/possibly win.

  5. Shai says:

    One point of discussion, with regards to the Big 5, is that being directly in the final gives them a disadvantage as they aren’t enjoying the exposure the semi gives to other countries. The big 5 have difficulties to gain momentum, which performing in the semi does give to all other countries.

    @Fredric – since 2016 the following countries have won – Ukraine, Portugal, Israel and The Netherlands and they can hardly be considered as “big countries”. So small countries can win, just because they had a song which was liked by most Europe.

    I don’t think the declining numbers in participating has to do with the Big 5 issue, except maybe Turkey and even this is questionable. While they give this as a reason for their non-participation, they also weren’t really happy with the returning of the juries, but mostly, Eurovision doesn’t fit the Islamic value of the current government.

    As for other nations:
    Bosnia & Herzegovina + Montenegro have financial problems. Participation in Eurovision costs money. In the case of B&H, cuts were for funding and they couldn’t afford to participate.
    Hungary – see Eurovision as too gay and this doesn’t fit the ultra populist government who is very anti gay.
    Armenia – has withdraw this year because of the ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan
    Belarus – was sent home because of a song, which was basically a propaganda song and in breach of Eurovision rules.

    So, nothing to do with the big 5 issue.

  6. Shai says:

    Shi from, again. This time the approach of the big 5 and host country.

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