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Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury 2024 #4 Written by on April 16, 2024 | 7 Comments

We hit the halfway point of Juke Box Jury, so we’ve a bonus song in this week’s episode. 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.

It’s a six-song special for this week’s Juke Box Jury as a half-dozen musical moments heading to Malmö stop off to find out if they’ll get a hit, a miss, or a maybe.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #4
with Fin Ross Russell (Island Life Productions) and Lucy Percy (@JeMappelelPercy).

Iceland: Scared of Heights, by Hera Björk.
Germany: Always On The Run, by Isaak.
Malta: Loop, by Sarah Bonnici.
United Kingdom: Dizzy, by Olly Alexander.
Luxembourg: Fighter, by Tali.
Finland: No Rules, by Windows95man.

Stay up to date with all the discussions, news, and reviews as we get ready to travel to Malmö for Eurovision 2024 with ESC Insight. 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: Juke Box Jury 2024 #4”

  1. Mark Dowd says:

    Iceland: MISS. When the three panel members use the word “dated” four times in the first three minutes, you know the writing is on the wall. Race to the bottom with Moldova for last place in semi 1.

    Germany: MISS. ESC’s worst performing finalist in recent times had a huge opportunity to avoid last places with Ryk’s “Oh Boy,” in the National Final. They flunked it. This is middle of the road forgettable. Isaak is a German James Newman.

    Malta: MISS. Malta needs to rediscover some soul and depth instead of submitting year after year, these bland girly bops. It’s sub Cyprus pap and a bad way to kick off semi 2.

    UK: MAYBE. This needs stellar staging or it’ll fall below the radar. It’s pleasant but lacks a climax, a “moment”…could easily be confined to the hotel foyer if all goes badly. Radio friendly…that term again. Kiss of death .

    Luxembourg : HIT. Catchy, moves effortlessly between languages, great pimp spot. Tali is charismatic and the package is vibrant. Bienvenu de nouveau Luxembourg.

    Finland: HIT. This year’s “Trenetuel”…likely to get a tiny handful of jury votes but top four televote. Not my cup of tea but you see the instant appeal to the Saturday night audience. I don’t bracket this with “Cha Cha Cha” which is in a league of its own, but it is memorable.

  2. Harriet Krohn says:

    Iceland – The best thing I can say about this is that it did stay on my playlist for a few rounds before I kicked it off. Dated as hell, and not in a good way. It’s a shame because Hera deserves better, but I cannot see a path for her out of the semi. MISS

    Germany – You’ve been very generous with this, but I can’t see any other result but last or second to last. It’s not a bad song at all (if not quite my cup of tea) and ISAAK is a very competent singer, but he does not have the personality to overcome the lack of competitiveness. We have heard hints of what the staging will be like (more people on stage, lots of fire), and there’s nothing in there that suggests it will be in any way remarkable. Might scrape a few jury points, but that’ll be that. Unless Iceland decides that him being half-Icelandic merits a few calls as well. (It’s painful to think that we did have better options in the national final, but international juries and our own audience screwed us over, as per usual.) MAYBE for the song, MISS for the contest.

    Malta – I actually really love this song in its original version, guilty pleasure style. But the revamp has taken out all the elements that set it a bit apart from the many other songs in its genre. And Sarah does not seem to have the charisma to compensate for that. HIT (old version) for me, but clear MISS otherwise.

    United Kingdom – When this song came out I thought it was both unremarkable and annoying at the same time, which is quite a feat. But it’s among the entries that have grown on me the most in the last few weeks, although it still doesnt’t quite make top ten. With good staging I could see a mid-table result, but not really anything more. The fact that I had never heard of Olly Alexander before probably says more about me than about him. MAYBE

    Luxembourg – Love it! Not just because it’s soo cool to have all our nine neighbours participating at the same time, but the actual song is very cool. I love the Frenchness that is not chanson-y, the energy is great, it’s catchy … I haven’t seen it live, but I do think it should make it out of the semi. Probably won’t do very much on the Saturday, but for me it’s a clear HIT.

    Finland – I really don’t like this. As a song, it’s pretty much everything I don’t enjoy listening to. It’s funny that Mark Dowd described it as this year’s “Trenetuel” in the comment above mine – which was also a song I actively hated, so the comparison fits. 😅 I don’t think it has half the class of “Cha Cha Cha”, nor the general appeal, but as I find it soo hard to predict the result of a song that I kicked off my playlist after a first dutiful listen, I’ll just call it a huge MISS and be on my way.

  3. shaidagoni1 says:

    This is sounds so generic and dated that even Hera’s voice and /or personality can’t lift it up and makes this sound special. It just pass me by, leaving no emotions. It is also a boring compesition which doedn’t make me wish to hear it again – MISS

    There is some charm in this song, which comes from the fact that this is a bit unpolished perfromance. He just stand out there and belt a song out, which seems to be quite personal. He has a good voice, and the song suite his voice very well. It’s not groundbreaking but it is alos not baige. We won’t see him making a dance routine but I hope the staging will be on point to elevate the song. The song text should resonate with the wider public and this should take Germany out of the bottom 5 position they have been hunging in since their succes in 2018 – HIT(the lower part of it

    We have heard all before and this year quite a lot. An over produced female upbeat song. No uniqness, no originality. Aiming for a certain group. Could be sung by any country and you wouldn’t even know from which country this comes from-MISS

    U.K. –
    At the start of the song I though we are heading to Petshop Boys’ “It’s a Sin”, which is also a node to the serie he played in. It’s a nice song, but nice never wins Eurovision. At a certain moment it looses steams, and start repeating itself. It is also a bit flat and miss something to grab you and say vote for me. This is not the song that will bring the U.K. a win they so much want. Mid table at best – MAYBE

    Luxembourg –
    Nice, pleasant and inoffensive, this is the best I can describe this song. The combination of English and French works here well. It’s not ground breaking, but it is catchy enough to rememebr it. Though it’s not the banger, which usually ends a semi, its place in the running order shows that the EBU want them to succeed in their first Eurovision outing in 31 years. They should quilify but they will not shatter the score board in the final-MAYBE(almost a HIT)

    Roy Delaney wrote a piece about this song in his Eurovision Apocalypse blog. His bottom line, if I am not mistaken, was: it’s a fun song but it’s trying too hard to be a fun song. I couldn’t agree more. I will add and say that this song is trying too hard to be weird and wacky. The staging is quite chaotic, which I suppose is the whole idea behind it. In the official video, on the Eurovision YouTube channel, the Window 95 icon is blurred and I believe they will not be able to use that specific icon in Malmö. There is chance they might even have to change the name of the act for Eurovision. There is no doubt that they are trying to cash on the success of Käärijä’s Cha Cha Cha and they are hoping to get an even better result than the one Käärijä got. Unfortunately for them,while they will get to the final, they will not even get close to a win-MISS(for me).

  4. Marc says:

    I don’t get why ‘dated’ is used so often to justify a miss. We all enjoy dated music, otherwise we’d throw away our record collections and never stream anything produced before 2019. I can’t agree that Finland is a hit. Did none of the jurors hear those painful falsetto notes at UMK? It didn’t bother the Finnish televoters, but they won’t have a say when it matters.

  5. Shai says:

    @Marc – I’ll try to explain.
    The word dated means old-fashioned and out of style.
    When it comes to music, there is nothing wrong with music made before 2019, but when a song sounds old without a modern twist, or when a song tries to evoke an old sound just for the sake of sounding familiar and doing it with no update, then it falls under the “dated” category.

  6. Mark dowd says:

    More thoughts on “dated”…if someone wrote a stunningly original ballad in the style of McCartney ‘s “Yesterday”…we wouldn’t be talking about “dated.” Above all its poor, clichéd overused melody and style progressions with a tired over familiar feel. Like Iceland 2024!

  7. Ben Pitchers says:

    Iceland: MISS. Sadly a disappointment compared to her 2010 entry, which was fantastic and should have done much better in my opinion. This feels so dated and there’s not much there for her to elevate. It feels like a long 3 minutes and they need to improve the choreography and staging. In danger of coming last in SF1.

    Germany: MAYBE. Another decent, radio-friendly song with a good vocalist. There’s something about this I enjoy quite a bit. It was the strongest entry in the national final. I think this is an entry that will get some love from the jury, maybe even enough to make it Germany’s best placed entry since 2018 (only needs to be 24th or higher).

    Malta: MISS. A lot of production for a song that only feels half finished. The ‘got me on loop’ hook works quite well but the rest is forgettable. I find it hard to connect to a dance song where the music behind it is a non-entity of bass beats. There’s also almost 25 seconds of music in the middle for a dance break and the last 20 seconds too. That’s a lot of a 3 minute song to dedicate to dancing, and if it isn’t incredible or memorable that’s wasted time. Being on first is going to make this entry hard to remember.

    United Kingdom: MAYBE. I like the song and think it’s a very solid entry, but what’s stopping me giving it a hit is that it doesn’t make me want to keep going back and listening to it. I had very high expectations too. I preferred last year’s entry, but that was a failure live. I think this will be the opposite, where the likelihood of Olly bringing it to life on stage is much higher. It’s probably a mid-table finish but could edge higher with some amazing staging and a great performance.

    Luxembourg: MAYBE. It’s wonderful to see them back and sending a song mostly in French and not far off from being all in French. It’s good quality and Tali knows how to perform it. I’m not sure why the revamp took so long. Being last in SF1 has probably pushed it towards an easy qualification. I think it will get a bit lost in the final, but just getting there would be a coup for RTL.

    Finland: HIT. A fun but ridiculous entry you can’t help but smile to and sticks in your mind. This is a more faithful attempt to do a cheesy 90s eurodance song turned up to 11 than Austria. They leaned in to the wackiness at the national final and I hope they do the same in Malmö without over-egging it (but the denim egg can stay!). Maybe he can just write Windows95 man on a white t-shirt to get around the no logos rule? I think this should have no trouble qualifying but I imagine will only pick up televote points in the final for a low top half result.

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