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Eurovision Insight Podcast: Our Final Daily News From Rotterdam, Saturday 22nd May Written by on May 23, 2021 | 7 Comments

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Italy wins the Eurovision Song Contest, with France and Switzerland joining our three-times winner on the podium. As Rotterdam 2021 draws to close and we move into the off-season, let’s have a big group chat about the Song Contest.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Our Final Daily News From Rotterdam, Saturday 22nd May

With Ewan Spence, Ellie Chalkley, Samantha Ross, John Paul Lucas, Ross Middleton, Fin Ross Russell, Monty Moncrieff, Matt Baker, and Matthew Ker.

The summer is here, but our Eurovision insights will continue. Stay up to date with all the discussions, news, and reviews by listening to the ESC Insight podcasts. You’ll find the show in iTunesGoogle Podcasts, and SpotifyA direct RSS feed is  available. We have a regular email newsletter which you can sign up to here., and you can support us on Patreon 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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7 responses to “Eurovision Insight Podcast: Our Final Daily News From Rotterdam, Saturday 22nd May”

  1. markdowd1959 says:

    A small point regarding the discussion around alleged race bias from the public vote: to great everyone’s surprise, Tusse from Sweden managed to turn recent history on its head by getting more televotes for Sweden than jury votes. You would not have expected this at all for a person of colour if the race bias premise was an explanation of some recent voting trends.

  2. Eurojock says:

    2021 – A vintage Eurovision year. Thanks to ESC Insight for your coverage.

  3. Wim says:

    I think host countries always do poorly in the televote because people don´t want to see the same country win and organize the next show twice in a row. At least subconsciously this makes people reluctant to pick up the phone for them.

  4. Marc says:

    I wondered the same thing as Ellie when I saw the low televote for Malta, the Netherlands and San Marino. Benny Cristo also got zero televotes in his semi.
    To address Samantha’s question about host failures, I agree with Wim. I think that a lot of televoters will be thinking “they’ve had their turn”. Something they will all know is who won last year, and when there are 26 songs to chose from, that sentiment is enough to send votes elsewhere.
    Agree with Monty about Graham Norton, his commentary was excellent this year. Pity about Scott Mills and Amanda Holden.
    Thank you to Ewan and Escinsight for this year’s coverage.

  5. Jake says:

    Love you guys but I’m surprised there wasn’t more perspective to Malta’s televote shortcomings given all the excellent points your team made earlier in the podcast. You exhalted the year’s top songs for being authentic, unique, non-English and self-composed—ladies and gentlemen of the (jukebox) jury, Je Me Casse was none of those things. What you ultimately had was a good pop song in a contest filled with them. A girl in a silvery dress in a contest filled with them. The backing of multiple dancers in a contest filled with them. A Swedish composed song in a contest filled with them. That song was never written for Destiny—I would even go as far as to say those lyrics (while relevant) probably don’t reflect her personal experience. She was just a great voice singing a female empowerment song after another of those type of songs won the contest just 2 rounds ago. Sure, Destiny’s voice is standout, but so was Ana Soklic and Tamara Todevska and they got what they got from the televote. Juries always outscore voices compared to the public who focus on songs and staging more. Which is also the case for Cesar Sampson and Jon Lundvik. So while I acknowldge that unconscious (and even conscious) bias is baked in the cake—the reality is both of those gentlemen sang very gospel-infused songs—which is not necessarily a popular genre throughout Europe. If you also want to look back at UK’s best entries in the modern Eurovision it has happened with black performers. You know what Embers could’ve used?
    Fleur East singing it for an immediate upgrade in scores and impact!!
    Excellent job as always—your team is second to none in covering this contest. Always smart, thoughtful and funny.

  6. Eurojock says:

    Really excellent analysis from Jake.

  7. Shai says:

    I am bit late with my comments..

    The Netherlands – Authenticity wise, this should be up there at the top of the score board, but here comes the thing that is unique for Eurovision and that is the need to be instant in 3 minutes. Unfortunately the Dutch song is not very instance and need more listening in order to get to you. In Eurovison terms if you can’t impress in 3 minutes, you are doomed.

    Iceland – Sympathy voting has its limits. It will get you somewhere but it is not enough to win the contest.

    The way the zero points from the public has been read out, was harsh and cold. It showed no empathy with the singers who received this score. In 2019 the presenters at least said, sorry Germany you received zero points from the public. It sounded better than how the Dutch presentors gave the news.

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