28
April
2018

SuRie goes down a Storm on Norton Show and reveals her favourite 2018 entry

SuRie goes down a Storm on Norton Show and reveals her favourite 2018 entry

SuRie has performed her Eurovision entry Storm, on tonight’s Graham Norton show, ahead of departing for the Portuguese capital Lisbon. She also give us an idea of what we might expect on the Eurovision stage.

The Graham Norton Show is BBC One’s Flagship chat show, greeting stars of stage and screen, while also welcoming controversial US Presidential Candidates and UK Politicians. The show moved from the Corporation’s second channel BBC Two in October 2009, to fill the popular Friday Night slot. Since then the show has gone on to achieve great success and win multiple BAFTA awards.

SuRie’s entry has garnered mixed reviews, with many citing that the song is inoffensive, yet ultimately non-competitive. But it is a ‘Marmite’ song and many do love the song, especially from people across the continent. One thing that can not be denied is her love and joy for the contest and it’s competitors past and present. She has been deemed as one, if not the best, ambassador the UK has sent to the contest. She showed her true colours in Amsterdam when Madame Monsieur’s Émilie Satt was too ill to perform she stepped in to provide vocals for the duo.

Eurovision is about the music and the spectacle, but it was originally about bringing a war-torn Europe together, and showing the continent had strength when the countries worked together. SuRie’s actions is just a small example of how this ideal has been fulfilled over the years.

Tonight’s performance saw SuRie perform her electro piano ballad, while stood in the centre of a giant neon/LED frame. She wore a black and white asymmetric dress by Stylist and Costume Designer Frank Strachan.

She give a confident and assured performance and the crowd helped build the atmosphere by waving glow sticks and cheering along at the end. She was then invited onto the red sofa where she sat alongside Hollywood star Orlando Bloom and stars of British comedy Tamsin Grieg and Stephen Merchant.

Asked about her Eurovision competitors, she had confirmed she has heard all the entries this year and believes that Australia has a fantastic song which could go all the way.  Something Graham Norton himself agreed with, someone who has been outspoken about Australia’s participation in the contest.  Also Graham did mention he enjoys Finland’s Saara Aalto as one to look out for.

UK Eurovision artists have been given this spot to promote their song since back in 2011 Blue were the first artists to perform the nation’s entry in front of one of the biggest TV audiences of the week. With great exposure like this, with the added bonus of having the episode broadcast on BBC America it lifts the performers profile and Eurovision’s.

After tonight’s performance, how do you think SuRie will do? Let us know here at Eurovisionary.

Eurovision news worth supporting?

Support EuroVisionary on Patreon.com

Categories: Eurovisionary

27
April
2018

ABBA finally record new songs after 35 years – how do you feel about that

ABBA finally record new songs after 35 years – how do you feel about that

After a long, 35 years, the moment we have all been waiting for has arrived. ABBA, the famous Swedish band have reunited again in the studio, and have recorded two new songs.

ABBA, needless to say, is possibly one of the world’s most famous bands. Formed in Stockholm in 1972, ABBA has reached the top of various music charts with their famous hits, Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen, Fernando, and many more. Many of their songs are still remembered and listened to today, and so it was, of course, a surprise to discover that the band reunited in the studio and have started recording new songs, after 35 years of their absence in the music industry.

The band shared this information with their followers on Instagram.

As was mentioned by the group on Instagram, we know that there are two new songs and that one of them is named I Still Have Faith In You and the other is unknown.

ABBA’s spokesperson, Gorel Hanser, described the new songs to the Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet. “The sound will be familiar, but also modern”. She also said that the studio sessions were “just like the old times”. We also know from Gorel Hanser that ABBA will not return and perform on stage, but instead, something more interesting will happen. ABBA will perform as holograms on stage. One of the members of the band, Bjorn Ulvaeus, explained how the idea of holograms performing on stage came about.

“We were introduced to an idea by Simon Fuller who is, as you know, an entertainment entrepreneur of the format of American Idol and manager of the Spice Girls, and so forth. He came to Stockholm and he presented this idea to us that we could make identical digital copies of ourselves of a certain age and that those copies could then go on tour and they could sing our songs, you know, and lip sync. I’ve seen this project halfway through and it’s already mind-boggling”.

ABBA has won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, and since then, 400 million singles and albums were sold all over the world. Eurovision and ABBA fans are waiting for ABBA’s glorious return and the chance to hear the group’s new songs, which hopefully will be just as good as their old ones.

During the successful time of their career, the band had to live through marriage breakups between Bjorn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Faltskog, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson, until the group finally split up in 1983, and fans have been missing them since.

ABBA is still remembered in the Eurovision Song Contest. Throughout the years, you can see at least one ABBA-related interval act during the finals. Be it in 2013, when Petra Mede mentions more than three of ABBA’s hits in her song in the final, in 2015 in the special Eurovision’s Greatest Hits in London, when various of past Eurovision winners sang Waterloo at the end of the show, or, a very recent one, when Måns Zelmerlöw and Lucie Jones sang a medley of ABBA’s most famous songs at the 2018 Eurovision – You Decide in the UK.

Eurovision news worth supporting?

Support EuroVisionary on Patreon.com

Categories: Eurovisionary

27
April
2018

Improving Eurovision’s Jury System, Examining The Significant Change To Jury Scoring

Improving Eurovision’s Jury System, Examining The Significant Change To Jury Scoring

2013 saw the EBU alter how the jury score was calculated. The second Malmö Contest saw individual jurors asked to rank every single song from their most favoured to least favoured (in previous years, jurors were only asked for an ordered Top Ten).

A jury as a whole can only hand points to the top ten songs. As such the full ranking method means that any song placed outside a juror’s first ten is effectively given a negative vote. In the past, if your song really turned off a single juror, that single last place rank could have dragged you out of the points of that jury, no matter what the other jurors thought of your song.

That has now changed for the better.

A System That Rewards Love

Speaking to ESC Insight, a representative of the EBU said “The calculation method which determines the points awarded by the National Juries has been changed to increase the value of a group of jurors over the opinion of a single individual. This has been recently approved by The Reference Group.” Further details can be found on eurovision.tv:

Rather than giving each rank given by a juror the same weight, the EBU will allocate predefined ‘score values’ to each ranking position, thereby increasing the value of the top-10 ranks, the top-3 in particular. These score values start with the value of 12 for the first rank and will decrease exponentially further down the ranking list. This is also called the ‘exponential weight model’. The sum of the scores for all 26 songs from the five jurors will create the national jury result where the resulting top 10 ranked countries will be awarded that jury’s 12, 10, 8 points and so on.

In practice, this new method of combining the jury rankings offers a number of advantages that increase the competitive nature of the Song Contest.

  1. A single juror cannot drag a song out of the jury’s top ten ranking by placing it at the bottom of their ordered list. Previously ‘single juror drag’ meant that a good jury song was one that did not upset anyone on the jury, now it’s possible for four positive voices to drown out the single negative voice.
  2. Conversely, a single juror who is incredibly positive can drag a song into the jury’s overall top ten rankings. If you can ignite the passion of a single juror you will be rewarded. Taking risks is no longer a barrier to scoring.
  3. And if you have all five jurors raking your song n the top two or three positions, you can be assured of a significant lead over the competition, offering a better chance of grabbing the douze points in the final calculation.

To coin a phrase, the juries as a whole will find it much easier to #CelebrateDiversity at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The marmite songs that would previous have to rely almost entirely on the televote will now be in a better place to grab some jury points, while the successful jury songs are far more likely to stand out from the crowd and be justly rewarded.

Let’s look at this in a bit more detail

Here Comes The Maths

How exactly does an ‘exponential weight model’ work in practice?

The new exponential jury scoring system uses a mathematical formula to turn each jurors ranked places into points. Your first place gets 12 points, your second place gets just under 10 points, your third gets just over 8, with the points value dropping exponentially towards zero – the system will run out to many decimal points in the final calculation. Jurors favourite songs get a comparatively huge score, in line with the general Eurovision scoring method.

Eurovision 2018 scoring chart, Ellie Chalkley

Eurovision 2018 scoring chart, Ellie Chalkley

Things get really interesting outside the top ten places though, because you can see that the relative difference in score between 10th rank and 18th rank is much less than the difference in score between 1st rank and 2nd rank! Being ranked low is still not great, but at least it’s not an effective score of -8 in the semis or -16 in the Grand Final!

To give you an idea of how this changes the jury ranks required to get points, I ran two simulations using my approximation of the new jury scoring method, one based on the Semi Final 1 data from 2016 and one based on totally random scores for the 2018 Semi Final 1.

Working With Real Data

Thanks to the public release of juror rankings from recent Contests, it’s possible to look at the impact of the new system using actual data. How did the ‘jury points’ under the new system translate to the announced points for the top ten songs… and the jury points scored by the eleventh placed song.

Eurovision 2018 scoring chart, Ellie Chalkley

Eurovision 2018 scoring chart, Ellie Chalkley

In the real 2016 Semi 1, there was a clear group of high scoring songs. The jury scores for these songs cover a range from 55 to 60, which is 5 x 12 or the theoretical maximum. The score required to get a single point varied between countries, depending on how closely the different jurors agreed, but it seems like a score of 11 can be enough to get into 10th place and get a single jury point.

Eurovision 2018 scoring chart, Ellie Chalkley

Eurovision 2018 scoring chart, Ellie Chalkley

11? That surely means that you could be ranked 18th and last in the semi by 4 of the jurors and 1st by one and still be in with a chance of getting some points, especially if the other 4 jurors all agree on their 1st ranked song. The more normal way of getting to 11-ish exponential points and that final scoring spot would be to be ranked at least 10th by all jurors. This all feels fair and just.

A Random ‘Base’ Result

In my totally randomised 2018 Semi 1, the range of total jury scores given to each song was much narrower, from 3.5 to 46 compared with 2.7 to 60 for the real data. It is still possible of course to score 60 in the random model, but this is very improbable. In order to score 1 point in the totally random data, you need to get at least 17 exponential points from the Jurors. You could get that by getting one 1st place, one 5th place and 3 x last place or – more likely – having all jurors rank you at least 7th.

Eurovision 2018 scoring chart, Ellie Chalkley

Eurovision 2018 scoring chart, Ellie Chalkley

While it’s unlikely a real set of jury data would look like this randomised trial, taken together with the real 2016 data, we have a boundary condition for how well you need to perform in order to score jury points.

Eurovision 2018 scoring chart, Ellie Chalkley

Eurovision 2018 scoring chart, Ellie Chalkley

As before, you’re assured points if you manage to place in the top ten of every juror, but you’re also now possibly in line for points if your song utterly divides the jury. The ‘Marmite Song’ can score once more.

Eurovision 2018 scoring chart, Ellie Chalkley

Eurovision 2018 scoring chart, Ellie Chalkley

Let’s Celebrate Competition

This change to the jury scoring system is a welcome step forwards to a more competitive Contest. It rewards positivity, it diminishes the power of a single juror to negatively impact a song, and it allows strong but divisive songs the opportunity to achieve a respectable jury score ahead of the televote the following night.

More importantly, it proves that the EBU has carefully considered the competitive angle of the Eurovision Song Contest. It remains a television show first of all, but it is a television show of a contest. ESC Insight has been critical of EBU changes that have emphasised spectacle over sporting considerations, but this subtle tweak of the rules opens up the Song Contest in a positive way.

It offers a better way to combine jury opinions, and it rewards songs that generate positive reactions in individual jurors. By allowing songs to gather solid jury votes while appealing to genre fans in the televote, it offers every song a better chance to go for the win at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Categories: ESC Insight

27
April
2018

Saara Aalto releases new album Wild Wild Wonderland

Saara Aalto releases new album Wild Wild Wonderland

Saara Aalto fans are rejoicing as today she releases her long awaited international album “Wild Wild Wonderland” which features her Eurovision entry Monsters along with her two other UMK competing songs. The album is released just two days after her show “Eurovision Wonderland Live” took place in London.

Today, Saara Aalto has officially released her first album in three years. Wild Wild Wonderland is the first album to be released through Saara’s new record label Warner Music and features all of this year’s competing national final, UMK, entries. Including her Eurovision entry for this year, Monsters which was certified as Gold earlier this month. The album, which was dropped at midnight, will also feature No Fear which was her 2016 Finnish national final entry, which came in 2nd place.

You know how much I’ve worked on this, we’ve all been patient and now’s the time!! This album is just like my life at the moment: adventures, big emotions, colors, pop, imagination, empowerment!!

Saara Aalto on Facebook

Following her success in the UK X Factor Aalto was offered a contract with record label giant Sony Music, but this wasn’t meant to be. In October last year Saara announced in an interview with The Sun that she has accepted a deal with their competitor Warner Music. In an interview she said “I was honoured I was signed to Sony. But later I felt like they weren’t the right team. When I met the people at Warner they were very excited about my style and making me into this big theatrical artist.”

The long awaited album features songs written by world-renowed composers and lyricists Linnea Deb, Richard ‘Biff’ Stanndard, Eric Bazilian and Xenomania’s Brian Higgins amongst others.

Track list

  1. Monsters
  2. Hän
  3. Dance!!!
  4. Queens
  5. Half a heart
  6. Dance like nobody’s watching
  7. Sirens
  8. Don’t deny our love
  9. My touch
  10. Walking on nails
  11. Domino
  12. Wild Wild Wonderland
  13. No Fear (Bonus track)

Saara will be competing in the first semi final on the 8th of May where she will be fighting for a spot in the final. To get to know Saara a bit better, take a look at our video below where she shows more of herself as well as clips from a performance of Monsters from Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago.

Eurovision news worth supporting?

Support EuroVisionary on Patreon.com

Categories: Eurovisionary

27
April
2018

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #8

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #8
http://archive.org/download/escinsight_20180426_552_JJBJ2018_8/escinsight_20180426_552_JJBJ2018_8.mp3

Juke Box Jury comes to close, but just before the Insight team flies of to Lisbon, Ewan Spence is joined by Ellie Chalkley (fresh from the revelatory Norwegian MGP) and Matthew Ker (following his part of the French-English collaboration). Where will the hits, misses, and maybes go? Azerbaijan, Macedonia, The Netherlands, Georgia, Norway, and Australia are about to find out.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #7
with Ellie Chalkley and Matthew Ker.

Azerbaijan: X My Heart, by Aisel.
Macedonia: Lost And Found, by Eye Cue.
The Netherlands: Outlaw In ‘Em, by Waylon.
Georgia: For You, by Iriao.
Norway: That’s How You Write A Song, by Alexander Rybak.
Australia: #WeGotLove, by Jessica Mauboy.

Don’t miss an episode of the Eurovision Insight podcast by subscribing to the RSS feed dedicated to the podcasts. iTunes users can find us in the iTunes Store and get the show automatically downloaded to your computer.

Categories: ESC Insight

26
April
2018

Travelling for Eurovision? What to expect from cloudy Lisbon

Travelling for Eurovision? What to expect from cloudy Lisbon

If your bag for Lisbon is filled with only t-shirts and soft clothing, you may want to add a few warmer pieces as the weather won’t be as sunny as you might expect for the Eurovision host city. Here are a few advice of what you can expect from Lisbon during the highly anticipated Eurovision weeks.

The rehearsals are about to start which means many Eurovision fans and press are about to arrive to Lisbon. To give you some peace of mind and assure you’re making the right choices on what to take with you, here’s what to expect from the Eurovision host city in the following two weeks.

Contents

  • 1 Eurovision to welcome lower temperatures
  • 2 Payment methods: cash or card?
  • 3 Welcome to Lisbon

Eurovision to welcome lower temperatures

According to IPMA – Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera – Lisbon is not welcoming its visitors in its usual shiny way. Instead, a significant drop in the temperature is set to happen next Saturday (28th of April) along with a 100% prediction of raining. The temperature trend is expected to continue until the Eurovision’s Grand Final with slight improvements. While it will most likely rain until the 2nd of May, from that day on the temperatures will rise once more. On the 5th, an average of 20º degrees is expected in the capital.

With no concrete data yet, IPMA is expecting the main Eurovision week to deliver better results. While it can still rain, the chances are 20% lower.

Payment methods: cash or card?

Should you bring cash with you or can one of your plastic cards do? In most occasions, it’s completely up to you what payment method to use as most international cards are accepted in Lisbon, just don’t forget to check with your bank applicable charges of international usage. Other than that, there’s only a few exceptions when using your debit or credit card.

Keep in mind that not all places accept card payment, and some who do accept it won’t take it if the final bill doesn’t amount more than a certain value. If that happens, you shouldn’t have to worry much as it isn’t hard to find an ATM to withdraw money from in center Lisbon.

As for transportation, it’s important to highlight what means of payments you can use when asking, for example, for a taxi. Know that some do accept card payment, but not all. Our best recommendation is to ask, before getting into the car, if the driver holds that possibility. If not, you can use other alternatives (Uber, for example) or simply call the taxi service and ask for a specific one.

The Eurovision Song Contest is right around the corner. Read our advices, make your final decisions and enjoy your trip!

Welcome to Lisbon

We have covered various issues in order to help you prepare for your time in Lisbon. Do check out our other articles listed below:

  • Public transport in Lisbon
  • Where to eat and at which prizes?
  • Five sightseeing tips
  • More sightseeing tips for a relaxing day
  • Do’s and Don’ts – how to be a nice guest in Portugal

Eurovision news worth supporting?

Support EuroVisionary on Patreon.com

Categories: Eurovisionary

<<  1 2 3 4 5 [67 8 9 10  >>  
SSL Certificate