08
October
2018

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Eurovision Castaways with Peter Fenner

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Eurovision Castaways with Peter Fenner
http://archive.org/download/escinsight_20181007_582_castawaysS2E5/escinsight_20181007_582_castawaysS2E5.mp3

Pack your bags, grab your playlists, it’s time to return to Île de Bezençon, where it’s early May all year round, and Ellie Chalkley is on duty.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Eurovision Castaways with Peter Fenner

Our next guest to the beautiful Île de Bezençon is Icelandic Eurovision commentary writer and all-round cultural attaché Peter Fenner. Will he get his eight chosen Eurovision songs past the strict customs procedure of Ellie Chalkley? And does the Icelandic language have a word for ‘camp’?

As we work through the first few months of the new season, keep listening to the ESC Insight podcast to stay up to date with Eurovision, Junior Eurovision, and all the National Finals. You’ll find the show in iTunes, and a direct RSS feed is also available. We also have a regular email newsletter which you can sign up to here.

Categories: ESC Insight

03
October
2018

Eurovision Insight News Podcast: Dates For Your 2019 Diary

Eurovision Insight News Podcast: Dates For Your 2019 Diary
http://archive.org/download/escinsight_20181001_news_581/escinsight_20181001_news_581.mp3

Switzerland is our second country to lock in some names for its National Final (after Sweden), more dates for National Final fans to add in their diaries, submissions are opening and closing across Europe and beyond… We may not have many songs yet but the 2019 season is definitely under way.

Eurovision Insight News Podcast: Dates For Your 2019 Diary

More entries! More songs! More results! Ewan Spence reports on the latest Song Contest action with ticket sales, artist selections, and National Final details in the latest Insight News podcast

As we work through the first few months of the new season, keep listening to the ESC Insight podcast to stay up to date with Eurovision, Junior Eurovision, and all the National Finals. You’ll find the show in iTunes, and a direct RSS feed is also available. We also have a regular email newsletter which you can sign up to here, and you can support us on Patreon.

Categories: ESC Insight

02
October
2018

Croatia prepares for Dora comeback

Croatia prepares for Dora comeback

Franka (Croatia 2018)

Croatia achieved its best Eurovision result when they selected their entry through “Dora”. Kazimir Bačić, Director General of broadcaster HRT is determined to bring back that format, which was used from 1993 to 2011. 

In an interview to the Croatian daily newspaper “Jutarnji” from yesterday, Bačić confirmed that Dora is returning to HRT’s (Hrvatska Radio Televizija) program schedule in 2019. He explained that the national broadcaster will focus on investing in the entertainment show next year as they this year were forced into programming cuts due to many big sporting events.

First time Dora was used to select Croatia’s entry was back in 1993 when the country also debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest. After 2011, Dora was cancelled and the main reason for this decision were allegedly Croatia’s poor results in the contest and decreasing public interest. Since then all Croatian entries were chosen internally. 

In the interview Bačić also reveled that Dora will be held in the coastal city of Opatija, which doesn’t come as a big surprise as the city previously hosted the show 14 times. Actually, HRT was planing to use Dora as the selection process already this year, but it didn’t happen. 

Dora may proved to be the perfect solution for Croatia as their best results in the Eurovision Song Contest were achieved by the songs selected through Dora. Croatia’s best results came in 1996 and 1999. Back in 1996 Maja Blagdan finished 4th in Oslo with the song SvetaLjubav. Doris Dragović also finished 4th in Jerusalem with the song MarijaMagdalena. 

Below you can watch Franka’s performance in Lisbon this year, which wasn’t enough to qualify Croatia for the grand final: 

Eurovision news worth supporting?
Support EuroVisionary on Patreon.com

Categories: Eurovisionary

30
September
2018

Third international Eurovision network sees the light – EuroFans Network

Third international Eurovision network sees the light – EuroFans Network

Eurofans Network UK

The president of INFE UK, announced today that a third international Eurovision network is about to be launched. Its name is EuroFans Network and at the moment, nine countries are included.

Through the official page of INFE UK which changed its name to EuroFans Network – UK Eurovision Fan Club, the new international network presented its logo. A new website which is launching very soon.

The United Kingdom has become a founding nation of a brand new interactive network for fans of the Eurovision Song Contest and we aim to become the most inclusive network for all those that love the world’s greatest entertainment television show. Embrace The Passion and Let The Adventure Begin! If you have an event at any time related to Eurovision, we will post the details across the global network and our press partners. Full details on how to do this will be coming very soon! UK Eurovision Fan Club

Kris Hague the president of the British fan club, who is one of the most active Eurovision fans in UK made the following statement at his profile:

EuroFans Network is the third international network of Eurovision fans, after OGAE and INFE.

Eurovision news worth supporting?
Support EuroVisionary on Patreon.com

Categories: Eurovisionary

28
September
2018

Ask ESC Insight: Three Minutes That Will Make You Fall In Love With The National Final Season

Ask ESC Insight: Three Minutes That Will Make You Fall In Love With The National Final Season

Ewan Spence

Someday’ by Hera Bjork (Denmark 2009)

I’m definitely playing to the gallery with this choice here, and I’m making the assumption that I’m talking to someone who already gets Eurovision, who tunes in during May (and maybe follows the action online), but needs a nudge to realise the same love and emotion is on show throughout the year… you just need to find it.

Which means turning to a Eurovision legend who’s been at the front of the stage, who’s backed up other successful acts, and who continues to love the Contest. And yes, while ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’ gets the heart racing, has the moves, and still fills the dance floor, for me the Danish 2009 selection is a far better signature song for Hera Bjork… and its gems like ‘Someday’ you miss if you aren’t following the National Finals.

John Egan

Get Frighten’ by Lolita Zero (Lithuania 2017)

Who doesn’t enjoy a classic Euro disco stomper performed by an impossibly tall Lithuanian drag queen and her minions? It’s got an instant hook, several OMG moments, and the best talking bridge since Sertab’s “Everyway That I Can” huh-huhed its way into our hearts.

The best part? One of the minions is actually doing the singing: Lolita’s lip synching. Like a proper drag queen. I’m still mad that this wasn’t in Kyiv… Europe was deprived of two minutes and forty seven seconds of perfectly choreographed car crash chaos. Hellooooo Europe!

Read more from John at 58points.com.

Samantha Ross

Human Beings’ by Karin Park (Norway 2015)

What do I look for when I peruse the seemingly endless parade of National Finalists? In a perfect world, I like to see songs that align with the music that I listen to outside of the Eurovision Song Contest bubble. I want a sleek, modern production, an engaging performer, an uplifting chorus, and (if it’s in a language I understand) a message or story that grabs me in the three minutes that a singer has my undivided attention.

For me, Karin Park’s ‘Human Beings’ checks all of those boxes. Knowing that Karin wrote the ever-so-industrially-slinky ‘I Feed You My Love’ for Margaret Berger, ‘Human Beings’ felt like both a logical continuation of a Eurovision path that started in 2013 as well as an invitation to explore her brilliant solo work. Yes, caffeinated bops and dramatic balladry will always be a part of the Eurovision landscape, especially to those who only know the Song Contest by reputation, but time marches onwards, it’s important to show newcomers that there really is no line between ‘Eurovision Music’ and ‘Everything Else’.

Wivian Kristiansen

“Fjaðrir” by Sunday (Iceland 2015)

I’m thinking that most of the hardcore fans are already following the National Finals, no? So I decided to go for a song I believe might tempt the more casual viewers into checking out a National Final or two.

The song I have chosen is ‘Fjaðrir’ (‘Feathers’) by Sunday, which was one of the finalists in Söngvakeppnin 2015. And it should, without a doubt, have been the Icelandic entry in Vienna. This song, especially the Icelandic version, is a perfect example of today’s modern Icelandic indie pop. You can literally hear the Icelandic landscape in this with Hildur’s atmospheric gliding voice on top of Guðfinnur’s electronica accompaniment. Sheer beauty. And something that will never win in Iceland, though I think it would do really well at the Eurovision Song Contest.

I believe this is the kind of song that could potentially turn one of those ‘I don’t like Eurovision music’ people into, perhaps not a fan, but at least someone with a more balanced view of what Eurovision music is.

Read more from Wivian at EscXtra.

Brandon McCann

Temple of Love’ by BWO (Sweden 2006)

My quintessential Eurovision entry that got away. The defining hit from a popular Swedish band whose music I adore and learnt of through their appearances in Melodifestivalen.

I chose this catchy electro-pop entry specifically because I feel it’s a bridge between die-hard Eurovision Song Contest fans and pop music enjoyers even with no appreciation for the Song Contest. This is my ‘gateway’ song to help convert the masses to the Contest – nearly all of the time it works quite well and I couldn’t be more proud of it.

Brandon is the driving force behind WaveScope, a new Android app covering Eurovision news.

Sharleen Wright

Smile’ by Jamala (Ukraine 2011)

Our Eurovision Song Contest winner from 2016 comes with form, with a song that is a far cry from the brooding ‘1944’.

In 2011, the uptempo and annoyingly catchy ‘Smile’ emerged from a multi-week national selection process that has since gone down in National Final history. Jamala was quirky, popular in jazz circles, and had a song that was clearly hard to get out of your head from the first listen.

When it came to the Ukrainian National Final, Jamala went into the hotly-contested show also featuring Zlata (who went on to represent Ukraine in 2013) carrying the ‘favourite’ status. She was leading the public voting throughout the show, but when it came down to the final moments, a last minute surge of internet and SMS votes, alongside a lower than expected jury vote, left Mika Newton to emerge the victor.

It was discovered shortly thereafter that many of the SMS and internet votes for Mika were from the same source. The controversy saw Jamala claim she would never enter the competition again. Clearly, she changed her mind just five years later, but ‘Smile’, in my opinion, remains the song she should have taken to the Contest and in no doubt, would have brought Eurovision back to Ukraine much earlier.

Over To You!

Time to put your own thinking caps on! Which songs stand out for you? Which will entice the mainstream to spend their weekends discovering music from across the continent? Which stick in your mind? And to make it interesting, you all have the same caveat… no songs that made it to May.

Categories: ESC Insight

28
September
2018

Ask ESC Insight: Three Minutes That Will Make You Fall In Love National Final Season

Ask ESC Insight: Three Minutes That Will Make You Fall In Love National Final Season

Ewan Spence

Someday’ by Hera Bjork (Denmark 2009)

I’m definitely playing to the gallery with this choice here, and I’m making the assumption that I’m talking to someone who already gets Eurovision, who tunes in during May (and maybe follows the action online), but needs a nudge to realise the same love and emotion is on show throughout the year… you just need to find it.

Which means turning to a Eurovision legend who’s been at the front of the stage, who’s backed up other successful acts, and who continues to love the Contest. And yes, while ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’ gets the heart racing, has the moves, and still fills the dance floor, for me the Danish 2009 selection is a far better signature song for Hera Bjork… and its gems like ‘Someday’ you miss if you aren’t following the National Finals.

John Egan

Get Frighten’ by Lolita Zero (Lithuania 2017)

Who doesn’t enjoy a classic Euro disco stomper performed by an impossibly tall Lithuanian drag queen and her minions? It’s got an instant hook, several OMG moments, and the best talking bridge since Sertab’s “Everyway That I Can” huh-huhed its way into our hearts.

The best part? One of the minions is actually doing the singing: Lolita’s lip synching. Like a proper drag queen. I’m still mad that this wasn’t in Kyiv… Europe was deprived of two minutes and forty seven seconds of perfectly choreographed car crash chaos. Hellooooo Europe!

Read more from John at 58points.com.

Samantha Ross

Human Beings’ by Karin Park (Norway 2015)

What do I look for when I peruse the seemingly endless parade of National Finalists? In a perfect world, I like to see songs that align with the music that I listen to outside of the Eurovision Song Contest bubble. I want a sleek, modern production, an engaging performer, an uplifting chorus, and (if it’s in a language I understand) a message or story that grabs me in the three minutes that a singer has my undivided attention.

For me, Karin Park’s ‘Human Beings’ checks all of those boxes. Knowing that Karin wrote the ever-so-industrially-slinky ‘I Feed You My Love’ for Margaret Berger, ‘Human Beings’ felt like both a logical continuation of a Eurovision path that started in 2013 as well as an invitation to explore her brilliant solo work. Yes, caffeinated bops and dramatic balladry will always be a part of the Eurovision landscape, especially to those who only know the Song Contest by reputation, but time marches onwards, it’s important to show newcomers that there really is no line between ‘Eurovision Music’ and ‘Everything Else’.

Wivian Kristiansen

“Fjaðrir” by Sunday (Iceland 2015)

I’m thinking that most of the hardcore fans are already following the National Finals, no? So I decided to go for a song I believe might tempt the more casual viewers into checking out a National Final or two.

The song I have chosen is ‘Fjaðrir’ (‘Feathers’) by Sunday, which was one of the finalists in Söngvakeppnin 2015. And it should, without a doubt, have been the Icelandic entry in Vienna. This song, especially the Icelandic version, is a perfect example of today’s modern Icelandic indie pop. You can literally hear the Icelandic landscape in this with Hildur’s atmospheric gliding voice on top of Guðfinnur’s electronica accompaniment. Sheer beauty. And something that will never win in Iceland, though I think it would do really well at the Eurovision Song Contest.

I believe this is the kind of song that could potentially turn one of those ‘I don’t like Eurovision music’ people into, perhaps not a fan, but at least someone with a more balanced view of what Eurovision music is.

Read more from Wivian at EscXtra.

Brandon McCann

Temple of Love’ by BWO (Sweden 2006)

My quintessential Eurovision entry that got away. The defining hit from a popular Swedish band whose music I adore and learnt of through their appearances in Melodifestivalen.

I chose this catchy electro-pop entry specifically because I feel it’s a bridge between die-hard Eurovision Song Contest fans and pop music enjoyers even with no appreciation for the Song Contest. This is my ‘gateway’ song to help convert the masses to the Contest – nearly all of the time it works quite well and I couldn’t be more proud of it.

Brandon is the driving force behind WaveScope, a new Android app covering Eurovision news.

Sharleen Wright

Smile’ by Jamala (Ukraine 2011)

Our Eurovision Song Contest winner from 2016 comes with form, with a song that is a far cry from the brooding ‘1944’.

In 2011, the uptempo and annoyingly catchy ‘Smile’ emerged from a multi-week national selection process that has since gone down in National Final history. Jamala was quirky, popular in jazz circles, and had a song that was clearly hard to get out of your head from the first listen.

When it came to the Ukrainian National Final, Jamala went into the hotly-contested show also featuring Zlata (who went on to represent Ukraine in 2013) carrying the ‘favourite’ status. She was leading the public voting throughout the show, but when it came down to the final moments, a last minute surge of internet and SMS votes, alongside a lower than expected jury vote, left Mika Newton to emerge the victor.

It was discovered shortly thereafter that many of the SMS and internet votes for Mika were from the same source. The controversy saw Jamala claim she would never enter the competition again. Clearly, she changed her mind just five years later, but ‘Smile’, in my opinion, remains the song she should have taken to the Contest and in no doubt, would have brought Eurovision back to Ukraine much earlier.

Over To You!

Time to put your own thinking caps on! Which songs stand out for you? Which will entice the mainstream to spend their weekends discovering music from across the continent? Which stick in your mind? And to make it interesting, you all have the same caveat… no songs that made it to May.

Categories: ESC Insight

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