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Eurovision Insight Podcast: We’re Top Of The Pops Written by on June 4, 2021 | 1 Comment

Just because it’s the summer does not mean Eurovision has gone away. The 2021 Song Contest may be over, but ESC Insight will still be here. Add our RSS Feed to follow us in your favourite podcast application, or click here to follow us in iTunes and never miss an episode.

A comparatively busy week in the world of the Eurovision Song Contest for June, with our 2021 artists continuing to find success around the world, the Song Contest once again proving its popularity on TV, and the momentum behind Junior Eurovision is starting to build.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: We’re Top Of The Pops

From the viewing figures, to the charts, to the awards, it feels like everyone loves Eurovision this year!

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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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One response to “Eurovision Insight Podcast: We’re Top Of The Pops”

  1. Shai says:

    The live back up tape is an interesting subject from a creative point of view. Each delegation was at a different stage of the creative process during making of the live backup tape.

    In general we can divide the delegations into 4 groups:

    Group 1 consist of the countries sending there NF performance as a backup tape. Sweden, Denmark, France, Estonia and Norway. Are the countries in this group. If you have seen their NF performance, you have also seen their performance during ESC. In some cases the performance has been tweaked a bit(France) or adjusted to fit Eurovision rule of maximum amount of persons allowed(Norway). But the performance during NF remains fairly unchanged.

    Group 2 consist of countries which were already at the end or almost at the end of their creative process. Their backup live tape was the end product and when the delegation has arrived to Rotterdam, they were ready to go on stage. Slovenia, North Macedonia, Latvia, Austria and Cyprus(the one who was almost at the end of their creative process)belong to this group.

    Group 3 consist of a great chunk of the delegations. By the time they made the live backup tape, they were in the middle of the creative process. Some of the elements we saw during ESC, existed already in the live backup tape. Between making the tape and arriving to Rotterdam, the delegations added or changed some of the elements. Bulgaria’s rock and colour plate were already there. Switzerland’s strange dance moves existed before we saw it in Rotterdam. Israel’s dance routine has already taken shape. Greece dance routine was their, although without the green screen effect(I actually like their backup tape staging more than the one they used at the end). The list is long, so I won’t name them all.

    The 4th group is the most interesting one as it consist countries where their live backup tape is quite different from their stage show during ESC. I have no idea why the changes have been made but the changes made, had influence on the performance as a whole.Their backup tape deserve a little bit more attention:

    Georgia – An intimate stage, accompanied with 3 backing singers, the performance looks more relaxed and focused. All of this disappear when he arrive to Rotterdam. Placing him alone on the big stage, was a mistake. He really didn’t look like he belonged there.

    Czech Republic – The live backup tape has everything the Eurovision performance missed. The dance routine was better and suited the energy of the song. Benny was far more relaxed than during his ESC performance. Vocals were fine. I wonder what happened between recording the tape and arriving to Rotterdam and why they have changed the routine.

    Malta – Destiny alone, in a transparant dress and a black bodysuite. “Je Me Casse” flashes at the background during the song. The backup tape lacked some energy. It wasn’t working. If this was the intended staging, Malta made the correct decision to change it, as this was quite a disaster.

    Serbia – I think the the performance on the recording was the intended staging for Rotterdam. But something wasn’t working there. They used some boxes for each singer at the beginning of the show, but that was hammering the energy coming from the singers and it also looked clumsy in execution. So they ditched it, which was the right thing to do as the end staging was far better and far more energetic compare to the performance on the tape.

    San Marino – Gone are the the over the top outfit but what also gone is any sign of any rapper to replace Flo Rida. You hear his voice coming form the recording but there is no one even pretending to to his rap. I do wonder how this could be accepted as a live performance when one of your singers is not there. A very strange recording.

    All in all, the live backup tape was quite entertaining to watch, from a creative point of view.
    I respect Ireland and the U.K. decision not to show the tape, but I wish i could see it from a creative perspective.

    One last note:For a live recording there was a lot of lip-sync there.

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