24
November
2017

EBU: “Online voting is a test for adult Eurovision”

EBU: “Online voting is a test for adult Eurovision”

Tonight at 18:00 CET, the online voting for Junior Eurovision 2017 starts. It’s the most serious experiment with online voting in the Eurovision world thus far. According to EBU’s Chief Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand, it’s an experiment that could lead towards the adult contest as well.

“For the time being, we’re happy with the current voting process at adult Eurovision,” Sand states. “But technology develops, so for the future, who knows, online voting could be a good solution. That’s why it is good to test it out here at Junior.”

So how does it work?

If you want to cast your vote in Junior Eurovision 2017, you can do so through this website. The voting starts at 18:00 CET. The EBU also released an introductory video about the voting process which you can watch HERE.

You can vote for at least 3 countries, and maximum 5, including your own country. All votes from all countries will be added into one big pile, then calculated into percentages, and then recalculated towards 928 points (exactly 50% of the total vote). This means that if more Polish people vote than for example Australians, Poles will have a bigger influence on the outcome of the contest.

Voting is free, and everyone can vote one time and one time only. How the EBU exactly plans to execute this plan and control that people do not vote more than once, is not made public yet. However, Jon Ola Sand told ESCDaily that he thinks the system is secure enough: “We don’t think so, because you have to vote for at least three countries. We think it’s a fair system – as fair as it gets.”

Criticism

Ewan Spence from ESCInsight wrote a rather critical article about this feature. According to his calculations based on last year’s viewing figures, Poland could indeed take a 44.000 vote lead over Italy simply by people voting for their own country. Spence is also afraid that the early voting slot will shift the attention away from the actual live performances on Sunday night.

This shift away from the live-tv broadcast, is however an intentional consequence by EBU. Sand: “We also broadcast the show online, and we want to engage online viewers already before the contest. Voting is a way to do that.”

Categories: ESC Daily

23
November
2017

Australia: Isabella Clarke’s vocals almost too good to be true

Australia: Isabella Clarke’s vocals almost too good to be true

Australia’s second rehearsal today led to much debate in the press center. The question was whether the vocals we heard, were actually live or not. Stephanie Werrett, Head of Delegation for Australia, answerred the question at the press conference. “We used a backing track on one or two runthroughs, but the majority was live.”

“If you could not tell the difference, then that is good news for us!” Werrett added, with a smile on her face. Isabella then stated that she plans to stay humble until the very end. Her only focus is on the performance, and on the happiness that she and her girls feel when they are on the stage.

Visual choices

There was plenty of reason for Werrett to smile, because Clarke’s rehearsal did not only go well vocally. The shot choices worked out too. Had the Aussies been trying out many different things at the first rehearsal, today they were determined in what they wanted to do.

The first 6 seconds show each of the backing singers one by one. Then Isabella comes in the shot, with her back to the audience. After that, there is a lot of movement on stage, but the camera men run across with the girls to capture it well. The ending on the catwalk is shot from very closeby.

Watch the full Australian press conference by Isabella Clarke below:

Categories: ESC Daily

23
November
2017

Tbilisi 2017: Liveblog of Day 4

Tbilisi 2017: Liveblog of Day 4

On Day 4 in Tbilisi, we’ll get started on the second round of rehearsals. Australia takes the stage for the second time with Isabella Clarke! Team ESCDaily will also follow favorite Belarus and all the other countries closely in this liveblog.

In the following blog, you can find the latest JESC news from Tbilisi with the newest update appearing on top. For in-depth rehearsal coverage, check our rehearsal blog.

Times are displayed in CET. Photocredits belong to EBU (Thomas Hanses).

14:16 – End of the blog

We’re heading out to do some editing of the materials. Stay tuned to ESCDaily for interviews with Muireann from Ireland and Nicole from Cyprus!

13:39 – Watch the full Australian press conference here

13:07 – Albania cancelled

No Albanian rehearsal today, nor their press conference, due to technical difficulties. It means the official program for today is over.

13:01 – Steph Werrett confirms: Izzy was singing live

At the press conference, the Australian HoD confirms that Isabella was singing live for most of the runthroughs. “We were using a backing tape for the second runthrough, in order to save her voice, but the rest of it was live. It’s great that you apparently can’t tell the difference!”

12:56 – Still no Albania on stage

We’re waiting for the program to continue while we’re also still very much enjoying the positive feeling after Isabella’s rehearsal!

12:41 – Ani follows Armenian press conference

The question is whether Misha speaks English. But even if he’s not – Ani will be able to understand him, as she herself is Armenian.

12:34 – Technical issues

Albania has had half a runthrough and then, the clock stops. The Georgian crew has some technical issues.

12:12 – Video for Armenia

Here’s Misha singing “Boomerang” live in Tbilisi:

12:00 – Albania last up

The team will focus on the Australian press conference which happens at the same time. We do not expect many changes to the Albanian rehearsal compared to the first round, which was already solid.

11:53 – Armenia not confident

Misha can’t seem to feel confident on the stage. Whether it is the hoverboard, or the boomerang, or simply the big arena in front of him. He does not look, nor sound comfortable on stage.

11:41 – Videos for Australia

We taped several runthroughs for you. Check them out below:


11:35 – IT’S LIVE

In the last runthrough, we hear Isabella gasping for air one small moment. Just enough to prove to everyone around that this is indeed a live performance. Stunning.

11:29 – Canoo in the Aussie postcard

Isabella stands on a bridge while canoos come through a beautiful Georgian river.

11:20 – Too good to be true?

The great vocals of Isabella throughout every runthrough now raise questions in the press center: is she singing live, or are the Australians using a tape to focus on camera shots? Obviously, using a tape is allowed during rehearsals. But if this IS live, than Isabella’s performance really is overwhelmingly good.

11:03 – Isabella pitch perfect

Australia is on stage! Isabella’s vocals were hard to judge from the press center during round one, but today we hear her impressive voice echo through the arena. The delegation has made its decision regarding camera work and all ingredients are now there for a top result.

10:54 – Helena recovering vocally

In later runthroughs, vocals are stronger for Belarus again.

10:36 – Video for Belarus available

10:29 – Something about those vocals

Belarus still looks amazing, but does not sound as strong as in the previous performance. Is Helena holding back, or did she catch a cold? The difference is too big to be a simple coincidence.

10:18 – Purple cape

Helena’s purple cape looks almost attached to the purple colours in the backdrop. Visuals for Belarus are still great.

10:04 – Belarus & Australia, top favorites preparing

Earlier this week, we reported that the two upcoming countries (Australia and Belarus) were the winners of the day. Now they’re ready for their second rehearsal in Tbilisi.

09:39 – Preparing for EBU interview

We’ve been invited to speak to the EBU about any organizational issues of the contest. I can’t go into too much detail just yet, but stay tuned for the video later this week!

09:19 – Lunch break

We’re counting down until after the break, when it’s Isabella’s turn for the second Australian rehearsal!

09:11 – Snow

If you like mismatches, you are gonna love Cyprus’ postcard: it has a lot of snow in it!

09:06 – Check out Nicole’s second rehearsal

08:58 – Filming downstairs

Ani is downstairs to film, while I’m working on our interview with Ireland’s Muireann.

08:47 – Act strong, vocals weak

The Cypriotic delegation has managed to find a solution for the tall, slightly stiff performer they have for this upbeat song: Nicole stands still on the catwalk but is shot in quick camera changes between her and the backing dancers on the main stage. It works, visually, but vocals are weak in the verses.

08:41 – Cyprus last up before the break

We did not see the Macedonian postcard, but the Irish one again. It means, however, that the Macedonian rehearsal is over and Cyprus is up next.

08:34 – Macedonia’s rehearsal

Check out for yourself: Mina Blazev – Dancing through Life.

08:30 – That’s what rehearsals are for

And in runthrough 3, the shots work out.

08:22 – Only two runthroughs for Macedonia

Some of the distorted camera shots (during chorus) were flipped today from two days ago, and the delegation takes its time to talk to the crew.

08:08 – Confusion: where does the press go?

Volunteers try to show us the way to the arena, where we can film rehearsals. It all goes down in a jovial yet chaotic Georgian way.

07:59 – Postcards

We get to see every country’s postcard for the first time. There were two traditional dancers in Georgia’s postcard.

07:46 – Video for Georgia online

Check out Grigol Kipshidze’s first rehearsal HERE.

07:36 – Moon backdrop for Georgia

Grigol is still vocally sound in his first runthrough of the second rehearsal round. Video coming up soon!

07:22 – Check out the Irish rehearsal

07:19 – Atmospheric camerashots

The camerawork is strong, not too many wide-shots, but pans of the stage portraying Muireann to the atmospheric backdrop.

07:05 – Official outfit?

After the casual t-shirt in rehearsal round 1, Muireann now wears a short-sleeved black dress with randomized stripes. Vocals are better today than in round 1.

06:57 – Reversed order

Rehearsals were in alphabetical order the first two days, but today and tomorrow, they will be reversed. It means that Australia is on only after the break and we’ll start with Ireland.

06:51 – Welcome to day 4

Team ESCDaily has set up camp at the Olympic Palace. We are ready for Isabella and seven other artists to take the stage today!

Categories: ESC Daily

23
November
2017

Muireann McDonnell: “You have to show everyone the real you”

Muireann McDonnell: “You have to show everyone the real you”

Muireann McDonnell certainly is one of the most unique personalities in this year’s Junior Eurovision. The Irish representative is completely herself on stage, no matter what people say. “You have to show everyone the real you.”

“This is not about making it big, or becoming famous. This is about the experience. I learn something from this, every day, and that’s what I take with me when I go home.”

Whether she does make it big in JESC 2017 or not, we do not know. However, Muireann did have a great second rehearsal with strong vocals, and a nice indie vibe to her performance.

Check out the full interview with Muireann McDonnell below:

Muireann had the chance to do some sightseeing in Tbilisi already. “We went out, we went to a restaurant actually. I tried some Georgian food and it was delicious. I just don’t know how to pronounce it anymore…”

Categories: ESC Daily

23
November
2017

Live: Albania cancelled, rehearsal day over

Live: Albania cancelled, rehearsal day over

On Day 4 in Tbilisi, we’ll get started on the second round of rehearsals. Australia takes the stage for the second time with Isabella Clarke! Team ESCDaily will also follow favorite Belarus and all the other countries closely in this liveblog.

In the following blog, you can find the latest JESC news from Tbilisi with the newest update appearing on top. For in-depth rehearsal coverage, check our rehearsal blog.

Times are displayed in CET. Photocredits belong to EBU (Thomas Hanses).

14:16 – End of the blog

We’re heading out to do some editing of the materials. Stay tuned to ESCDaily for interviews with Muireann from Ireland and Nicole from Cyprus!

13:39 – Watch the full Australian press conference here

13:07 – Albania cancelled

No Albanian rehearsal today, nor their press conference, due to technical difficulties. It means the official program for today is over.

13:01 – Steph Werrett confirms: Izzy was singing live

At the press conference, the Australian HoD confirms that Isabella was singing live for most of the runthroughs. “We were using a backing tape for the second runthrough, in order to save her voice, but the rest of it was live. It’s great that you apparently can’t tell the difference!”

12:56 – Still no Albania on stage

We’re waiting for the program to continue while we’re also still very much enjoying the positive feeling after Isabella’s rehearsal!

12:41 – Ani follows Armenian press conference

The question is whether Misha speaks English. But even if he’s not – Ani will be able to understand him, as she herself is Armenian.

12:34 – Technical issues

Albania has had half a runthrough and then, the clock stops. The Georgian crew has some technical issues.

12:12 – Video for Armenia

Here’s Misha singing “Boomerang” live in Tbilisi:

12:00 – Albania last up

The team will focus on the Australian press conference which happens at the same time. We do not expect many changes to the Albanian rehearsal compared to the first round, which was already solid.

11:53 – Armenia not confident

Misha can’t seem to feel confident on the stage. Whether it is the hoverboard, or the boomerang, or simply the big arena in front of him. He does not look, nor sound comfortable on stage.

11:41 – Videos for Australia

We taped several runthroughs for you. Check them out below:


11:35 – IT’S LIVE

In the last runthrough, we hear Isabella gasping for air one small moment. Just enough to prove to everyone around that this is indeed a live performance. Stunning.

11:29 – Canoo in the Aussie postcard

Isabella stands on a bridge while canoos come through a beautiful Georgian river.

11:20 – Too good to be true?

The great vocals of Isabella throughout every runthrough now raise questions in the press center: is she singing live, or are the Australians using a tape to focus on camera shots? Obviously, using a tape is allowed during rehearsals. But if this IS live, than Isabella’s performance really is overwhelmingly good.

11:03 – Isabella pitch perfect

Australia is on stage! Isabella’s vocals were hard to judge from the press center during round one, but today we hear her impressive voice echo through the arena. The delegation has made its decision regarding camera work and all ingredients are now there for a top result.

10:54 – Helena recovering vocally

In later runthroughs, vocals are stronger for Belarus again.

10:36 – Video for Belarus available

10:29 – Something about those vocals

Belarus still looks amazing, but does not sound as strong as in the previous performance. Is Helena holding back, or did she catch a cold? The difference is too big to be a simple coincidence.

10:18 – Purple cape

Helena’s purple cape looks almost attached to the purple colours in the backdrop. Visuals for Belarus are still great.

10:04 – Belarus & Australia, top favorites preparing

Earlier this week, we reported that the two upcoming countries (Australia and Belarus) were the winners of the day. Now they’re ready for their second rehearsal in Tbilisi.

09:39 – Preparing for EBU interview

We’ve been invited to speak to the EBU about any organizational issues of the contest. I can’t go into too much detail just yet, but stay tuned for the video later this week!

09:19 – Lunch break

We’re counting down until after the break, when it’s Isabella’s turn for the second Australian rehearsal!

09:11 – Snow

If you like mismatches, you are gonna love Cyprus’ postcard: it has a lot of snow in it!

09:06 – Check out Nicole’s second rehearsal

08:58 – Filming downstairs

Ani is downstairs to film, while I’m working on our interview with Ireland’s Muireann.

08:47 – Act strong, vocals weak

The Cypriotic delegation has managed to find a solution for the tall, slightly stiff performer they have for this upbeat song: Nicole stands still on the catwalk but is shot in quick camera changes between her and the backing dancers on the main stage. It works, visually, but vocals are weak in the verses.

08:41 – Cyprus last up before the break

We did not see the Macedonian postcard, but the Irish one again. It means, however, that the Macedonian rehearsal is over and Cyprus is up next.

08:34 – Macedonia’s rehearsal

Check out for yourself: Mina Blazev – Dancing through Life.

08:30 – That’s what rehearsals are for

And in runthrough 3, the shots work out.

08:22 – Only two runthroughs for Macedonia

Some of the distorted camera shots (during chorus) were flipped today from two days ago, and the delegation takes its time to talk to the crew.

08:08 – Confusion: where does the press go?

Volunteers try to show us the way to the arena, where we can film rehearsals. It all goes down in a jovial yet chaotic Georgian way.

07:59 – Postcards

We get to see every country’s postcard for the first time. There were two traditional dancers in Georgia’s postcard.

07:46 – Video for Georgia online

Check out Grigol Kipshidze’s first rehearsal HERE.

07:36 – Moon backdrop for Georgia

Grigol is still vocally sound in his first runthrough of the second rehearsal round. Video coming up soon!

07:22 – Check out the Irish rehearsal

07:19 – Atmospheric camerashots

The camerawork is strong, not too many wide-shots, but pans of the stage portraying Muireann to the atmospheric backdrop.

07:05 – Official outfit?

After the casual t-shirt in rehearsal round 1, Muireann now wears a short-sleeved black dress with randomized stripes. Vocals are better today than in round 1.

06:57 – Reversed order

Rehearsals were in alphabetical order the first two days, but today and tomorrow, they will be reversed. It means that Australia is on only after the break and we’ll start with Ireland.

06:51 – Welcome to day 4

Team ESCDaily has set up camp at the Olympic Palace. We are ready for Isabella and seven other artists to take the stage today!

Categories: ESC Daily

23
November
2017

A Georgian Wine Adventure…

A Georgian Wine Adventure…

I’m guessing that when someone asks you where in the world wine come from your immediate thoughts go to France, Spain & Italy or maybe the countries that the wine world labels as ‘new world’, places like Australia, New Zealand and Chile.

But…

Have you ever tried Georgian wine? No? Well let me tell you about it and hopefully by the end of this, you’ll be googling your nearest specialist wine shop to get some Georgian wine in your life.

Having studied wine for many years and achieved my WSET Advanced Certificate in Wines & Spirits and worked freelance for the Decanter World Wine Awards since 2008, I was already well aware of the beautiful wines produced in Georgia and coming to Tbilisi for JESC I couldn’t resist organising a little wine tasting for some of my dear friends and colleagues in the press centre.

But first, a little history…

Georgia is proud to call itself the ‘cradle of winemaking’, claims that what we know today as a multi-billion dollar, worldwide industry began in Georgia are sometimes disputed amongst wine scholars but what is definitely known is that Georgian’s have been producing wine for some 8,000 years (long enough to get it absolutely right!) In fact wine production and wine itself is completely embedded into Georgian culture, you simply cannot separate the two.

Fortunately for us this means that if you show even the remotest interest in the wines you will become immediate friends with a Georgian. I recommend that you make friends with a Georgian who happens to be the sommelier at one of Tbilisi’s most sought after wine shops and wine academies. ‘8000 Vintages’ is named in tribute of the 8000 years of wine production and celebrates the diversity of regions, grapes and wine producing styles of Georgia.

Our special JESC wine flight…

Did you know a group of wines being tasted is called a ‘flight’? No? Well now you do!

Mtsvane

We began with a Mtsvane which is Georgia’s principal white grape variety. This one is made in the international style; it is soft and fruity with hints of apple and soft citrus fruits like lime and grapefruit, there is a beautiful fresh acidity with a medium finish, on a Eurovision scale our team gives this wine 8 points. If you like Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Albariño then Mtsvane is going to be the Georgian wine for you to try.

Rkatsiteli (Qvevri)

This is probably the second most well-known of Georgia’s white grape varieties, however this wine is made in the traditional Georgian style of viticulture called Qvevri, which is named after the clay jars used to make the wine. This is a more natural style of winemaking where the grapes are fermented in contact with the stalks, skins and seeds allowing the tannin to develop in the fermentation process and the grapes natural yeast to covert the sugar to alcohol. The wine is like nothing any of us have ever tasted before and in ESC points we give this wine a 5, not because we don’t like it, but because it’s so far off our wine radars we’ve got very little comparison. If you like more aromatic wines like Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Muscat then give this one a go, but be prepared!

Saperavi

You cannot talk about the Georgian wine industry without talking about Saperavi which is the queen of all Georgian grape varieties. Saperavi grapes produce a highly tannic, full bodied wine with flavours of cherry and redcurrant, this one is no exception. Saperavi can be altered in the wine making process and although the red fruit flavours are there the wine that we try has been aged for 6 months in French oak barrels so there is more complexity of flavours, there are now hints of vanilla, almond and butter through the wine. We love this wine, all of us – it gets the famous 12 points and Brent enquires as to how much it would be to ship a case back to Australia, that should be recommendation enough! If you like Syrah, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon then do your best to find some Saperavi, you’ll be glad you did.

Saperavi (Qvevri)

The same grape variety but this time made in that old Georgian wine style that we had before, the flavours of cherry and redcurrants are still present but with the greener more earthy flavour that the natural yeasts bring to the wine. Again we don’t have a reference in any of our collective wine back-catalogues so find it difficult to score this, we reckon it comes out at about a 6 points, generally we prefer it to the other Qvevri style but it’s clear this style of wine does not sit too comfortably on westernised palettes. If you like more spicy aromatic reds like Carmenere and Shiraz then this might be up your street, but those are very loose comparisons.

Sweet Red

Made from Saperavi again (I told you this grape was important to the Georgian wine industry!) but this time as a sweet wine. Now, don’t get put off; if your only experience with sweet wines are a bit of cheap Sauternes from your Nana’s house believe me there is more out there to be sampled. This wine is a bit of an eye opener for everyone in the group. It has the flavours we’ve now learned to expect from Saperavi but this time the wine is allowed to keep some of the residual sugar and therefore is much, much sweeter than expected. However, don’t be thinking that it’s just like drinking syrup because there is more going on in this glass. There is balanced acidity, the tannin of the wine is giving it body and texture and the alcohol is beautifully wrapping it all in a warm finish. It’s a very well-earned 10 point from us.

There’s a whole lot more out there…

So that’s just 5 wines and the shop itself carries more than 500 different wines, which is just a fraction of what is produced in Georgia. So now to more practical matter, where can you get it. Online the Georgian Wine Society (www.georgianwinesociety.com) operate mail order within the UK, Marks & Spencer (www.marksandspencer.com) have 3 Georgian wines in their selection, however two of them are the Qvevri style and only 1 is an international dry white; other than that find your local, independent wine merchants as that is where you are most likely to find Georgian wine in the UK.

And now I’m thirsty, someone pass me that bottle please!

Categories: ESC Insight

<<  84 85 86 87 88 [8990 91 92 93  >>  
SSL Certificate