They have been out of the game since Can Bonomo’s highly appreciated entry “Love Me Back” from 2012. He left the Turkish fans proud with a respectable 7th place. Unfortunately Turkey has not participated since then, but the fans are still there.
Out of the Eurovision Song Contest doesn’t mean that there are no Turkish Eurovision fans anymore, nor that they are sleeping. In Turkey, there are several fan clubs, with OGAE Turkey being most active. Eurovision has been highly popular among Turkish people even before it’s debut in 1975. The contest used to be like a national holiday until the 90’s. You would hardly see any people in the streets on the Grand Final night.
It was like a love and hate relationship although Turkey did not have much of a success in the 70’s and 80’s. In the 90’s, people started to lose the excitement, and Eurovision began to lose its popularity among the general Turkish population. It came as a big surprise when Sebnem Paker gained the respectable 3rd place with Dinle in 1997. But it wasn’t enough to get back to its glory days – until 2003. Sertab wrote history and brought the contest to Turkey. Sertab and her team were welcomed like heroes.
Although the Eurovision Song Contest is not broadcast today, most Turkish people still know about it, and many miss the days their country used to participate. However there is also a big number of people who think Eurovision voting is all political, where neighbors always vote for each other. For that part, participation or not, is not an issue they worry about. In general, people have little hope in participating again, but still they can’t keep themselves from checking up on the latest entries, especially the winner of the current year. If Turkish broadcaster TRT would only broadcast the shows, we’ll probably see a population still tuning in, no matter if their country took part or not.
Fan club in contact with TRT
OGAE Turkey currently has 190 active members. Back in 2012 when Turkey last participated, they had 120 members. So Eurovision is still fresh, and even growing in Turkey despite not participating.
The fanclub is frequently in touch with TRT, they keep repeating their request to go back to the good old days where Turkey used to take stage in the most popular TV show of Europe. Due to the government’s policies, the Turkish broadcaster unfortunately keeps turning down the request of fans – with explanations like complaints about the Big 5 countries’ direct qualification, neighbour voting, political voting etc.
OGAE Turkey members with Serhat (San Marino 2016)
Through their Facebook pages, Instagram account, YouTube channel, and a chatroom in which club members socialize and discuss Eurovision, the fans try to keep the excitement fresh, sharing news, their comments and their thoughts about the Eurovision Song Contest. They also organize and play online games through their website. The club members get together for Eurovision themed parties and meetings in Istanbul every year. Fans also get together on occasions like concerts, meeting with artists etc. These moments are shared with fans all over the world via social media, which is used effectively. OGAE Turkey, can just like other clubs in other countries, help fans with Eurovision tickets.
For now, there is no sign of Turkey returning to the Eurovision Song Contest, but Turkish fans are looking forward to a change of government on the 24th of June. Can that bring Turkey closer to Europe, and back to the contest? Only time will tell.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Laura Rizotto knows the language, the coulture and the music of Brazil. She has just released a cover version of an icon local love song – to celebrate the Brazilian Valentine’s Day.
To many music lovers, “The King” refers to Elvis Presley. That is, if you are not Brazilian. To them, “The King” is Roberto Carlos, not to be confused with the, also Brazilian, football player by the same name.
Roberto Carlos, now in his late 70’s, has been the role model of many artists in Brazil since the 1960’s, and many of his songs has forever burned itself into the memory of many people – one of those being this year’s Latvian Eurovision representatives Laura Rizzotto.
“It’s very special to me”. With those words, Laura published an English cover version of Como É Grande O Meu Amor Por Você, a well known love song by Roberto Carlos. She presented the song as being in relation Dia dos Namorados, which is the Brazilian Valentine’s Day. That day is on Tuesday the 12th of June, so with the publication last night, she is a bit ahead of time.
In the video below, you can hear Laura Rizzotto’s English version of Como É Grande O Meu Amor Por Você:
At the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, Laura Rizzotto represented Latvia with the self-written song Funny Girl. The song finished 12th with 106 points. She was just five points away from reaching the final.
This year’s Greek entry is now available to listen to in a full English version. With the Greek version, Yianna Terzi, didn’t manage to reach the Eurovision final as she only achieved a 14th place in the first semi-final on the 8th of May.
High ambitions and a lot of buzz was created around the 2018 Greek entry. Oniro Mou however didn’t have what it take to live up to it. Greek broadcaster wanted a song in Greek to represent them this year, but in case you are wondering how it would have sounded, if they had went for an English version, you can now make up your mind.
Yesterday, Yianna made an announcement on her Instagram account, in which she was lip-singing a bit of lyrics from Eternity, the English version. In that way, she has prepared the fans around the globe about the incoming song release.
See alsoMissed the final twice in three years – how does Greece move on?
Back on 22th of April, the Greek singer also released a snippet in which was joined by Stereo Soul, a well know duo who started their career the talent show X-Factor, and several times has tried to reach the Eurovision stage.
The full version of Eternity is however now available – listen to it in the video below:
ESC Insight has arrived in Lisbon, and the next two weeks will be full of opinions, thoughts, and editorial around this year’s Song Contest. But first, what are the team expecting from the Song Contest, what is Suzy expecting Portugal to offer us, and what do we think of the first day of rehearsals?
Eurovision Insight Podcast: Daily News From Lisbon, Monday 30th April
Welcome to Lisbon! ESC Insight has arrived in Lisbon as the first rehearsals get under way. Our first daily podcast from the Big Orange Sofa in Lisbon with expectations, explanations, and the excitement of the first day of rehearsals.
Now we are reporting from backstage at Eurovision, remember to stay up to date with all the Eurovision news by subscribing to the ESC Insight podcast. 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.
As is the tradition, the first Monday of rehearsals means the release of the names of the jurors for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. In line with recent years, the list features a broad mix of artists, music or media industry professionals and ‘others’.
2018 Jury membership criteria
According to this year’s rules each delegation’s jury must:
Have five members, including a chairperson
Be citizens of the participating broadcaster’s country
Juries cannot include employees of a participating broadcaster as members
Members cannot have been jurors in 2016 or 2017
Jurors are supposed to be music industry professionals, specifically “radio DJ, artist, composer, author of lyrics or music producer.”
Feature some balance based on age, gender, and background
The last requirement is particularly vexing, since there is an odd number of jury members and only five members in total.
A scan of the list of jurors shows there are a fair number who don’t seem to line up with #5. “Artist manager” is one example of this, as are “journalist”, “stylist”, and “Deputy Head of Professional Arts Department of the Ministry of Kulture”.
Unlike in some recent years, all delegations have provided a complete list of jurors before rehearsals began.
There are a number of Eurovision alumni on this year’s list, including two former winners. Niamh Kavanagh gave Ireland its fifth victory in 1993 with ‘In Your Eyes’. In 2010 she brought Ireland back to the Grand Final, finishing 23rd with ‘It’s For You’. Emmelie de Forest brought Denmark its third victory in 2013 with ‘Only Teardrops’. She also composed the 2017 UK entry ‘Never Give Up On You’, which finished 15th.
Artists who have previously competed in the Eurovision:
Nathan Trent (Austria 2017)
Laura Tesoro (Belgium 2016)
Tom Dice (Belgium 2010)
Mary Roos (Germany 1972, 1984)
Aminata (Latvia 2015)
Amber Bondin (Malta 2015)
Cristina Scarlat (Moldova, 2014)
Nina Zizic (Montenegro 2013)
Michał Szpak (Poland 2016)
Bojana Stamenov (Serbia 2015)
Tijana Milosevic (Serbia 2017)
Guri Schanke (Norway 2007)
There are also a few artists who’ve sought to represent their country at various national selections. Sweden’s Mariette Hansson participated in the 2015, 2017 and 2018 editions of Melodifestivalen. Bryan Rice competed in the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2010. K-One is on the Swedish jury. He co-wrote Sanna Nielsen’s ‘Undo’, which finished third in Copenhagen 2014.
We aren’t provided data with respect to the ‘background’ of jurors. We do know, however, their dates of birth and (ostensive) genders. Broadly speaking, the gender split is even.
Our youngest juror at 16 years is Karl Killing who competed in Eesti Laul 2018. The most seasoned juror is Zdenka Kovacicek from Croatia, who is 74 years young. Azeri jury chairperson Mubariz Tagiyev is 70 years old, only a few months older than his fellow Azeri juror Tunzala Qahraman. In fact, with Nurlana Cafarova (their youngest juror) aged 30, the age range for the Azeri jury is 42 years.
What happens next
Juries do not vote during the live broadcasts. The second dress rehearsal for each show–called the Jury Rehearsal, cunningly–is live streamed to a sequestered jury room in each broadcaster’s studios. They complete and submit their votes that same evening.
That means half the scores for each stage of the competition are determined before the public shows. Sometimes differences between the broadcasts matter–a lot. In 2011, the UK entry (‘I Can’, Blue) featured a wobbly jury vocal and a much better one on Saturday night. The juries ranked Blue 22nd (57 points): the public had them 5th (166 points). The following year Loreen choked on her prop snow during the jury final. ‘Euphoria’ nonetheless topped both the jury (296 points) and public (343 points).
During this year’s Grand Final broadcast, the participating broadcaster is required to read out the names of the jurors live. Once we know the 2018 winner, the detailed jury votes for the semi-finals and Grand Final are routinely published on eurovision.tv.
Being a Eurovision fan who has tasted the delicious banquet that is the on-the-ground live-show contest, it’s hard when you have to stay at home and feast on lean pickings served up by your mates who are all enjoying themselves in the land of Pastéis de Nata for May 2018. Rather than suffering serious FOMO or forcing myself to adopt a European timezone for the next fortnight (cause one actually has to work and earn a proper living), I’ve been seeking out ways to enjoy the contest here at home and take a whole bunch of people along with me for the ride.
One of the best ways to share the love, introduce your some of your non-fan colleagues to the contest and have them feel invested in the results is to run a sweepstakes.
Download your ESC Insight Eurovision 2018 Sweepstakes Kit here
Sweepstakes aren’t about betting or strategy, but about a game of luck. For a small investment, you stand the chance to win a significant amount more. It doesn’t require entrants to necessarily know the songs, the history of the contest or the artists. But rest assured they will be more keen to follow along when they think that doing so could be to their monetary benefit.
The potential of having your workplace or other organised environment (perhaps a class or another social group) are endless. Working in the travel industry, I use a sweepstakes to encourage my colleagues to learn more about the countries they have drawn and then share their tourism knowledge with others as part of the experience.
In addition, you can use it to run some related events – perhaps a screening – or write some emails or newsletters to entrants where you can share your knowledge of this years contest.
Eurovision is about bringing people together. I highly recommend using a Eurovision sweepstakes as a launchpad to not only create new fans, but to create conversation in a positive and culturally embracing way. And if it makes your working life more bearable and helps you get through the season whilst remaining separated from your mates all in Lisbon having a good time, all the better.