ESC Insight

ESC Insight
05
July
2018

Sing Sang Song: Wyn Hoop’s Musical Journey From Bonne Nuit To The Mediterranean

Sing Sang Song: Wyn Hoop’s Musical Journey From Bonne Nuit To The Mediterranean

Wyn Hoop. A very successful European basketball player, a kind of Lebron James? Nope. Known to his mother as Winfried Lüssenhop, Wyn Hoop represented Germany – or more accurately West Germany – in 1960 with the song ‘Bonne Nuit, Ma Cherie’.

Wait a cotton-picking moment, isn’t that French? Indeed it is, a French title for a  German language song. It might have been early in the Song Contest’s development, but delegations were still trying to maximise their votes from the jury.

Did it work?

Well, his 11 points meant fourth place for Hoop. So he did really well. The song was a stately lullaby interspersed with trumpet and brass from the Orchestra. At over four minutes minutes, it was one of the longer songs in Eurovision – there was no three-minute rule back then – and lyrically Wyn tells his lover that that he will never forget her whilst she is asleep.

How Did He Get To London?

I presume you don’t mean by ferry. Actually, it was a bit of a shock when Hoop won in Wiesbaden. The clear favourite to win the pre-selection was Heidi Bruhl, who ended up finishing second. However, Heidi had a massive chart success with her song, ‘Wir woollen niemals auseinander geh’n’, reaching Number 1 in the German charts in May 1960, staying there for seven weeks, ending up going Gold, and rated the fifth biggest seller of the year. Bruhl herself went on to represent West Germany on the Eurovision stage in 1963.

For Hoop, the jury voted in his favour, preferring the song written by Franz Josef Breuer and Kurt Schwabach to the other nine songs in the pre-selection.

A Bit Of An Unknown Then?

Well he learnt to play the piano and the guitar in his childhood years, and formed a jazz band called The Capitellos whilst working at the Post Office in the early Fifties. It was only later on that they started to make records, and when the band split up Hoop started his solo career. However, he did release singles under different names (‘Fred Lyssen’ and ‘Fried Lussen’) until settling on Wyn Hoop. So he had some form, but was certainly not as well known as others in the pre-selection.

Wyn Hoop (archive image)

Wyn Hoop (archive image)

After Eurovision?

Bonne Nuit, Ma Cherie‘ wasn’t a big hit despite finishing fourth. But Hoop went on to further success covering American hits with German lyrics. Perhaps his biggest hit was a cover of ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight?’. He also finished fourth in the 1962 Deutschen Schlager-Festspiele, which that year was the pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. As well as singing, Hoop also ventured into films, but his most significant career move was marrying the Austrian singer Andrea Horn in 1961.

For most of the rest of the Sixties and through the Seventies, the married couple performed and recorded as ‘Horn and Hoop’.

Wyn Hoop at sea

Wyn Hoop at sea

Anything Else Of Note?

Musically, how about the fact that Wyn Hoop discovered The Goombay Dance Band and so was responsible for the delightful ‘Seven Tears’?

Or how about the fact that Horn and Hoop are expert sailors and noted publishers of the sea? In 1978 they retired from the music industry and set up the Horn-Hoop-Maritim, publishing travel guides for sailors, writing a number of guides themselves about the Mediterranean.?

Wyn Hoop had a long career with Jazz bands,  numerous solo hits and hits with his wife, then started a second career running for the last forty years sailing and writing travel books. And he was fourth in the Eurovision Song Contest1960.

Categories: ESC Insight

27
June
2018

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Eurovision Castaways with Wiv Kristiansen

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Eurovision Castaways with Wiv Kristiansen
http://archive.org/download/escinsight_20180623_574_castawayS2E2/escinsight_20180623_castawayS2E02_574.mp3

The second year of trips out to the mysterious Île de Bezençon continues, where the time is always May, where the sun is always shining, and for thematic reasons you can only bring along eight Eurovision songs and a Song Contest luxury.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Eurovision Castaways with Wiv Kristiansen

We’re opening up Île de Bezençon for the summer, and inviting our favourite Eurovision people to bring their best loved Eurovision related songs and stories. Our next guest for the summer of 2018 is Wiv Kristiansen of ESCXtra, who is full of stories of unsolicited doorstep singing, intense French jazz and the power of language.

Keep listening to the ESC Insight podcast as we face the summer months between season. 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

25
June
2018

Nixon Vs Kennedy: Unlocking The Eurovision Song Contest Through The Radio

Nixon Vs Kennedy: Unlocking The Eurovision Song Contest Through The Radio

Why is there such a discrepancy in the televote and the jury vote? It’s a question asked by many after each edition of the Eurovision Song Contests (and also asked after many National Finals). Following another Eurovision first that happened in Lisbon we can add another piece of evidence to this question.

It’s also a fun opportunity to strip back the Song Contest, remove one of the senses that contributes to the experience, and take a different look at the Contest.

Eurovision Song Contest Trophy 2018 (Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Eurovision Song Contest Trophy 2018 (Thomas Hanses/EBU)

“Doesn’t He Look Tired?”

But first, let’s turn briefly to one of the most notable and competitive events where TV and Radio offered different angles – the 1960 US Presidential debate between Richard Nixon and John F Kennedy.

The more experienced debater in Nixon (at that time the sitting Vice President) took on the issues of the day and strongly argued many points – mostly on foreign policy in the first debate – that many called the debate a victory for Nixon. At least those who were listening on the radio.

Sen.John F.Kennedy (l) and Vice President Richard M.Nixon from NBC studios 10/7

Sen.John F.Kennedy (l) and Vice President Richard M.Nixon from NBC studios 10/7

Thanks to his experience of political debate on radio, Nixon understood the format, knew how to measure his voice, understood how cadence and pitch could be used to make subtle points, and why he needed to be less of an attack-dog to soften his image. What he didn’t consider was how well his suit jacket blended into the background of the set, how his failure to ask for TV makeup emphases a ‘five o’clock shadow’, and the impact of his slumped physical shape.

The victory on TV, and arguably the overall victory, went to Kennedy.

Even today, when test groups are gathered to measure the difference between the TV and the Radio presentation, Nixon takes the radio while Kennedy takes the television (The Power of Television Images: The First Kennedy-Nixon Debate RevisitedJames N. Druckman; The Journal of Politics; Vol. 65, No. 2 (May., 2003), pp. 559-571):

I find that television images have significant effects—they affect overall debate evaluations, prime people to rely more on personality perceptions in their evaluations, and enhance what people learn. Television images matter in politics, and may have indeed played an important role in the first Kennedy-Nixon debate.

The Euroradio Song Contest

Even though we all know what is meant when the public says ‘Eurovision’, strictly speaking Eurovision is just the transmission network that connects the member broadcasters of the EBU. This isn’t the only network maintained by the EBU, there is also Euroradio. The EBU’s members not only had the option to broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest on television, they also had the option to broadcast the Song Contest on radio (although it would still be called the Eurovision Song Contest, not the more technically accurate Euroradio Song Contest).

That also means that the rights for radio broadcast are available to passive broadcasters – an option that was taken up in the US this year by Dave Cargill (Executive Producer at Cargill Gardiner). Along with the support of the EBU, Portuguese broadcaster RTP,  lead US station WJFD, and the legendary production team of Radio Six International’s Tony Currie and Leo Currie; Ewan Spence, Lisa-Jayne Lewis, and Ana Filipa Rosa took to the American airwaves with the first US radio broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest.

You never want a blank monitor during a broadcast (image: Ewan Spence)

You never want a blank monitor during a broadcast (image: Ewan Spence)

Which meant that this year there was an interesting option to have a group of professionals in the music and radio business the chance to sit down and listen to the Song Contest without the visuals from the Altice Arena, but with a professional commentary team guiding them through the process. Naturally we took notes…

What The Panel Thought

Like many of those listening in America, the radio panel (which may be the closest we get to an ‘American Jury’ at the Eurovision Song Contest for many years) had not been following the Song Contest in excruciating depth – they covered people who knew and listened to the Song Contest because it reminded them of their family’s home, those who were aware of the Contest in a broad sense, and some who were new to the entire concept of the Contest. In other words a relatively representative slice of the population.

Of the twenty-six songs in the Grand Final, there was a clear winner from the panel, with all bar one of the top spots going to Austria. Perhaps unsurprisingly the audio performance from the Netherlands all scored highly and was the only other country to top a panellist’s list, and was second with those who rated Austria first.

Three other songs had very strong reactions – the Czech Republic, Lithuania, and Germany. At the other end, Hungary, Serbia, and Australia picked up the ‘nul points’ from our panel.

The feedback also had some delightful questions, with my favourites including ‘When does Armenia come on’, requiring a quick nod to the semi-finals and reminding our Armenian panelist that Sevak did not qualify; and ‘what does the crowd do when waiting for the next song?’ Which is a good question…

Implications

This year thirteen EBU members broadcast the Song Contest on their radio networks, but there is no clear way to break out the votes in each country to those watching on TV, those watching on radio, and arguably those watching online through other methods such as the EBU’s YouTube channel or those preferring to watch another broadcaster (e.g. expat Swedes watching the SVT stream). Every country has one main number for the public to call in and vote on.

In terms of Eurovision winning strategies, there’s not a large enough audience tuning into the radio that would merit a specific strategy – the mix of visuals with the singing remains key to the televote – but it’s worth noting that the songs that performed well to the radio listeners also scored highly in the jury voting during the Grand Final. While juries see the EBU TV feed and can see the full package, the US panel only had the audio to judge. There is a clear trend towards the juries following a similar pattern and focusing on the singing.

At one point, each jury member voted live on screen (EBU)

When the split results come in each year, there are always questions about why certain songs have such a wide discrepancy between jury and televote scores. Part of that could be down to the difference between Friday night and Saturday night, but Eurovision’s radio presentation in the USA suggests something more fundamental.

The professional juries are putting a greater focus on what is heard over what is seen.

Do Try This At Home

Due to rights issues, Eurovision’s US radio broadcast is not available online to ‘listen again’. EBU members who broadcast the show on radio may have it available on catch-up services.

Or you could head over to the official Eurovision channel on YouTube, pick a year (here’s 2016), and minimise the window just after you hit play. Maybe go back a few years so you can’t remember the exact results, score the songs, and see if you are closer to the televote or the jury vote.

Categories: ESC Insight

11
June
2018

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Lisbon 2018’s Radio Preshow

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Lisbon 2018’s Radio Preshow
https://archive.org/download/escinsight_20180610_GFRadioPreview_573/escinsight_20180610_GFRadioPreview_573.mp3

For the second year, ESC Insight partnered with Radio Six International in the hour before the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 to preview the show on radio stations around the world. Now you can have the chance to listen again to the show online.

We’ve made a few edits to the broadcast to cut out the full-length music track, but you can still picture the scene. Lisbon… 2018… one hour to go…. and as the excitement builds, Ewan and Lisa-Jayne preview the upcoming  show, invite some guests into the studio, and generally get all excited ahead of the Song Contest.

With special thanks to Tony Currie and Radio Six International, Ade Bradley, and Gianluca Allaria.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Lisbon 2018’s Radio Preshow

Join Ewan Spence and Lisa-Jayne Lewis and a cavalcade of Eurovision guests including Australia’s Jessica Mauboy, Germany’s Michale Schulte, the EBU’s Jon Ola Sand, and RTE’s Marty Whelan… but there are many more, enjoy the journey. First broadcast on Radio Six International and affiliate stations on Saturday 12th May 2018.

Lisbon is be over, but we have Junior Eurovision 2018 and Eurovision 2019 to look forward to. Keep listening to the ESC Insight podcast over the summer for more Eurovision news, fun, and chat. 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

11
June
2018

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Our Final Podcast From Lisbon, Sunday 13th May

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Our Final Podcast From Lisbon, Sunday 13th May

We have our winner, the summer stretches out in front of us, and this Eurovision Song Contest journey is over. But as it comes to a close, we all gather for falafel to say goodbye to Lisbon and the 63rd Contest.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Our Final Podcast From Lisbon, Sunday 13th May

Our final edition of the podcast from the Big Orange Sofa in Lisbon – ESC Insight and friends of the parish take a light-hearted look back at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. With thanks to Ink Cafe in Lisbon for hosting.

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.

http://archive.org/download/escinsight_20180513_570/escinsight_20180513_570.mp3

Categories: ESC Insight

11
June
2018

Testing Eurovision’s Rules Of Momentum With The Lisbon 2018 Results

Testing Eurovision’s Rules Of Momentum With The Lisbon 2018 Results

Netta Barzilai’s ‘Toy’ has delivered Israel’s fourth Eurovision victory–congratulations Netta! Now the show is over the communty has been given access to a fair amount of voting data. And we can use that to test our two rules of Eurovision momentum. Let’s jump right in!

The First Rule: From Semi Final To Grand Final

Rule one notes that whichever top qualifier comes closes to doubling its score from the semi-final will win.

Our top two entries were in the same order in the first Semi Final. Netta’s Tuesday night score of  283 points was 21 ahead of Eleni Foureira’s 262 points. Eleni won that semi-final’s televote (Netta was only fourth), but Netta handily won the jury vote (Eleni was only 6th). It was the 78 point gap between Netta and Eleni in the jury vote that could not be overcome–even with a 57 point televote lead for Eleni in that Semi Final.

As for the second Semi Final, the results were almost entirely irrelevant to the Grand Final results. Norway won the second semi-final after performing first in the running order. Sweden were second. Sweden won the jury vote, but were 6th with the public. Norway were only second in the televote (behind Denmark), but were also second with juries. In the Grand Final Sweden managed 7th overall, thanks to being second favourite of the juries (253 points): the paltry televote score for ‘Dance You Off’ (21 points) prevented a higher placing overall. Norway fared worse: 11th with the televoters (84 points) and 16th with juries (60 points).

Our other Semi Final momentum metric was whomever comes closest to doubling their semi-final score will win seemed to hold up as well. ‘Toy’ earned a total of  283 points in semi-final one. ‘Fuego’ earned 262 points.

In the Grand Final ‘Toy’ earned 529 points – just short of the doubling figure of 566 points. ‘Fuego’ in comparison earned 436 Grand Final points – only a two-thirds increase, points-wise.

The Second Rule: From Jury To Televote Points in the Grand Final

Rule 2 asks how much momentum do you need from the jury scores to be confident of overall victory.

Suffice to say the voting sequence this year was gripping, confusing and intense! In fact, the hosts did not manage this section of the show at all well. They burned quickly through the televote reporting – stripping away tension and excitment and failing to allow commentators time to discuss the results as they came in (for example, Sweden’w low televote score and why it was game over). In fact it was too quick for me to input data into a spreadsheet as they went!

The Friday Night Results – Jury Leaders

After the jury votes were reported, this was our top five:

RankNationJury Points
1 Austria271
2 Sweden253
3 Israel212
4 Germany204
5 Cyprus183

There’s an 88 point gap from Austria to Cyprus and only a 29 point between the eventual top two, Israel and Cyprus. There was scope for Cyprus still to overcome that lead, were Eleni to beat Netta in the televote. And if Austria could hold on to a similar score from televoters as the rest of the Top 5, ORF would be hosting us once more.

The Saturday Night Results – Televote Crowns The Winner

Here’s the top five of the televote scores:

PlaceNationTelevote Points
1 Israel317
2 Cyprus253
3 Italy249
4 Czech Republic215
5 Denmark188

Israel increased their lead over Cyprus by an additional 64 points. In fact, Israel and Cyprus were the only two entries to feature in the top five of both scoring components.  Based on the scenarios in our second article, this is a flat year–though not as flat as 2011, when the Azeri winning entry was the only entry in the top five of both scoring components.

Israel did break the 300 televote point barrier, but that was the last figure reported on Saturday night. So it had no predictive value.

A Note About The Path To Victory

It’s also worth noting Ewan Spence’s postulations as he discussed a song’s choice of path to victory. The theory postulated there was that you would need to pass 505 points to achieve victory at this year’s Song Contest. With a final score of 529, Netta snuck over the winning line with roughly 60 percent of the final score from televoters and forty percent from the juries – but a win is a win.

Although recent years have seen the second placed country also break the ‘fifty percent plus one’ winning line, Cyprus managed to (just) get over halfway to the line on the televote (253 points) but fell short in the jury vote (183 points) and failed to reach the 505 points mark.

Overall, our postulations held up well!

Categories: ESC Insight

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