ESC Insight

ESC Insight
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

24
April
2018

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #7B

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #7B
http://archive.org/download/escinsight_20180424_551_JJBJ2018_7b/escinsight_20180424_551_JJBJ2018_7b.mp3

So I’m sitting at The Infamous Scottish Eurovision Preview Party (Australia won by the way, in a landslide), and Serbia comes on. And I try to remember what it picked up in Juke Box Jury… There was a good reason for that.

A quick recount on the master spreadsheet revealed we were one short. It was time to call in the emergency podcast team…

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #7B
hosted by Lisa-Jayne Lewis, with Liam Clark (@theliamsclark) and Slavko (slavko.me).

Serbia: Nova Deca, by Sanja Ilić & Balkanika.

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

23
April
2018

Newsletter: Team Insight Are Ready For Lisbon!

Newsletter: Team Insight Are Ready For Lisbon!

In just a few days time, the ESC Insight team will be touching down in the beautiful Portuguese capital of Lisbon to bring you two weeks of extensive coverage from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. We’ll be delivering in-depth articles, rehearsal coverage, podcasts, travel guides, this very newsletter and much, much more.

Here’s your guide to the members of our core team who’ll be on location this year, and what they’re planning to produce for you…

Ewan Spence

Ewan Spence

Ewan returns with the almost-legendary “Hello, Internet!” to bring daily coverage from the heart of the Eurovision Song Contest to the four corners of the continent and beyond on ESC Insight’s daily podcast (which this year looks like a big, rather comfortable, orange sofa). Expect interviews, rehearsal reviews, chat, and more on the podcast – which will also go out on radio stations around the world with the help of Radio Six International. His pre-Contest favourite didn’t make it out of the National Finals, it ran out of metaphors…

Ellie Chalkley

Ellie Chalkley | ESC Insight

Ellie is in Lisbon to voyage to the alternative heart of the Song Contest. Whether it’s tracking down the technical team, asking non-Eurovision related questions to Eurovision artists or escaping the Press Centre to get a true taste of the city, she’ll be making audio features, writing articles and appearing on the rehearsal news podcast. She enjoys long walks on the beach, screamo and doing the dance moves to ‘Hvala Ne‘.

Lisa-Jayne Lewis

Lisa-Jayne Lewis | ESC Insight

Lisa-Jayne joins us directly from a whirlwind trip to Australia where she has been accompanying Slavko on a mini tour of the Aussie preview parties, so most likely she will be seriously jet-lagged and in need of a gin & tonic! She will be reporting daily for Radio Six International’s news bulletins and also has a very exciting, special project with Ewan that we’re not allowed to tell you about just yet.

Her pre-contest favourites include Israel, Bulgaria and Finland but as always Lisa works her own version of Eurovision Maths and she currently has 8 songs in her top 3!

John Egan

John Egan (by Gabrel Lascu)

John Egan joins us on the ground in Lisbon covering the rehearsals and looking at the mad maths of the Eurovision. If France, Estonia or Ireland lift the trophy he will be pleased.

John Lucas

John P Lucas

John Lucas is joining Insight on the ground for the fourth year running. He will be keeping the ESC Insight social media channels updated, overseeing the newsletter and contributing blog posts and podcast content throughout the fortnight. His pre-Contest favourite this year is Finland – and anyone caught using the F-W word in his presence will be on the receiving end of a very hard stare…

In addition to the core team, we’ll also be hosting special guest content from a variety of friends and fellow journalists, plus invaluable contributions from the members of our team who couldn’t make it to the live event this year. So keep reading, listening and sharing to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Got something you’d like to see us cover over the next two weeks? Feel free to let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best…

Anything Else?

Elsewhere in this week’s newsletter, Portugal’s national broadcaster RTP unveils some ambitious coverage plans for their first ever hosting, preview party season ends on a high note in Amsterdam and Madrid, and Estonia’s Elina Nechayeva gets some good news about her ambitious stage dress…

The full online version of the ESC Insight newsletter is available here. You can also subscribe here to receive the newsletter direct to your inbox.

For all the latest Eurovision-related news and analysis, you can also follow ESC Insight on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: ESC Insight

21
April
2018

Don’t Go Without Me: Rebooting Music Careers At Eurovision 1988

Don’t Go Without Me: Rebooting Music Careers At Eurovision 1988

There wasn’t much to indicate that 1998’s Eurovision Song Contest would be one of historic proportions.

One could argue that the world’s favourite Song Contest was in the midst of a terrible slump. Viewing figures were falling across the continent and the Contest hadn’t produced a major hit since Nicole’s ‘Ein Bißchen Frieden’ six years previously. Thanks to Johnny Logan’s second Eurovision victory (with ‘Hold Me Now’), RTÉ would be hosting the Eurovision for only their third time. Just as in 1981, the Simmonscourt Pavilion would be the venue used to stage the live show.

As the results came in, two countries with very different Eurovision track records battled for the title. Switzerland’s 1980s Eurovision entries either did very well (five top five results with one winner) or badly (five outside the top 10). Meanwhile the 80s were an era when the United Kingdom did consistently, if not overwhelmingly, well: one winner, four other top five results and only one song that did not place in the top 10. 1988 would be a battle between a country whose recent Eurovision fortunes had been something of a roller coaster versus another that did consistently well.

The Duelling Reboots

The UK found a consistent level of success with acts who had limited previous chart success. In Dublin, Scott FitzGerald carried the Union Flag. His Eurovision entry, ‘Go’, was written Julie Forsyth, who also sang backing vocals onstage in Dublin. FitzGerald was the epitome of a one hit wonder whose duet with Yvonne Keeley ‘If I Had Words’ had made it #3 in the UK charts in 1978. Eurovision 1988 represented a chance to showcase himself on one of the biggest musical stages in the world,  a second chance at stardom.

Scott FitzGerald and Yvonne Keeley – ‘If I Had Words’ (Source: YouTube/belkin59)

Switzerland would be represented by a rarity: a teenager in need of a comeback. Céline Dion was a local celebrity in (French) Canada when one of her singles became a massive hit in France.

Céline Dion – ‘D’amour ou d’amitié (Source: YouTube/Ina Chansons)

‘D’amour ou d’amitié’ earned a gold record in France, something no other Canadian artist had achieved by that point. The lyrics were written by Eddy Marnay, who had also penned the lyrics for Frida Boccara’s Eurovision (co)winning ‘Un jour, un enfant’. Dion and Marnay would work together through her teen years, with edgy and hip songs like ‘Mon ami m’a quittée’ (My Friend is Gone) and ‘Tellement j’ai d’amour pour toi’ (I’m So in Love with You). Songs like these gave Dion the sort of catalogue that little girls and grandmothers loved, but not anyone else. Dion never had a big hit in France after ‘D’amour ou d’amitié’ and her cheesy chart toppers in (French) Canada were drying up by the late 80s.

It was time for a reboot. Starting with this gem:

Céline Dion – ‘Lolita’ (Source: YouTube/CelinedionGR1)

This is indeed the heartwarming song about a teenager girl imploring her older lover to help her lose her virginity – or she will find someone else to do it. Let’s just move on to the results…

The Scores On The Doors

It’s worth remembering that in 1988 we were still a decade ahead of any significant public input to determine a Eurovision Song Contest result: juries determined the winner. Delegations seeking the win worked along those lines, trying to send entries that would inspire support among music and media professionals. Which, it should be said, did not exactly produce a series of winners (or entries) that fired up the European singles charts of the 1980s (or indeed the 90s).

Overall, the best description of the 1988 scoreboard would be flat. There were only seven points between the third and seventh ranked entries. At the other end of the results table there were five very lowly ranked entries  that earned between zero and ten points (sadly, Austria received the dreaded nul points). The average score per country for the winner was only 6.85 points our of a possible 12. Despite there being two entries finishing well clear of the rest, this was not a year with a landslide result.

In fact, there was a lot of love for a lot of entries. Ten of the twenty-one entries received at least one douze points. Five countries – Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Luxembourg, and Yugoslavia—each received three top marks; each also ended up in the top six.

But the Contest demands a winner. 1988 was no different.

Scott FitzGerald – ‘Go’ (Source: YouTube/escbelgium4)

With only three juries left to report, the United Kingdom had a fifteen point lead over Switzerland…

France blanked the UK and gave the Swiss a single point, cutting the lead to 14 points…

Portugal gave the Swiss twelve points, but the UK only three: now the lead was down to five points…

The Yugoslav jury, not known for voting reliably for either country, gave the Swiss six points, and a lead of a single point. Any score for the UK and Fitzgerlad would win… Seven points to the Netherlands… Eight to Germany… Ten to Norway…

Then the camera crew sprinted away from the UK delegation to the Swiss, Fitzgerald knew it was over, and the final twelve points went to France.

‘Ne partez pas sans moi’ beat ‘Go’ by a single point, on the last jury.

Céline Dion – ‘Ne partez pas sans moi’ (Source: YouTube/juan8969)

The Legacy

We should acknowledged that neither entry was a hit. ‘Go’ didn’t manage to make the UK top 50; Dion’s entry only managed 11th in the Swiss charts. Yet there is some irony here: Dion did ‘go’ on to bigger and better things, ‘leaving without’ FitzGerald.

Scott FitzGerald never had another hit. Céline Dion, of course, became a global superstar within a few years of her Eurovision victory. She’s currently 11th on the all-time global music sales list. All the acts ranked ahead of her started out in the anglosphere. Her album ‘D’eux’ remains the best selling French language album in history.

And that’s how you reboot a career.

Fast forward to 2018. Ki Fitzgerald, Scott’s son, member of Busted who have had eight top 10 UK singles including four number ones, is a strong music producer and songwriter working in LA and London. He’s also  the co-author of Saara Aalto’s ‘Monsters’. Hoping, no doubt, to finish a place better in Lisbon than his Dad did in Dublin.

Saara Alto – ‘Monsters’ (Source: YouTube/LRT)

Categories: ESC Insight

21
April
2018

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Hilda’s Wall Of Death

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Hilda’s Wall Of Death
http://archive.org/download/escinsight_20180420_550/escinsight_20180420_550.mp3

Ewan Spence returns to the insight News chair to look over the final previews, to talk about EuroVillages and Fan Cafes, and run down the start of a new cycle of PR stories for the general public. Lisbon 2018… seven days closer…

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Hilda’s Wall Of Death

SuRie builds bridges to France, EuroCafe announced, and Hilda the Stage has her wall of death. Ewan Spence and ESC Insight bring you seven more days of news from the world of the Eurovision 2018.

As the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 draws ever closer, keep listening to the ESC Insight podcast 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

20
April
2018

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #7

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #7
http://archive.org/download/escinsight_20180418_549_JJBJ2018_7/escinsight_20180418_549_JJBJ2018_7.mp3

The seventh round of Juke Box Jury as Ewan Spence is joined by Elaine Dove and Robert Peacock to talk bananas, life jackets, and school backpacks. The hits, misses, and maybes are going out to Cyprus, Albania, Malta, France, and the Czech Republic.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Juke Box Jury #7
with Elaine Dove (Sing in The City) and Robert Peacock (The Wee Review).

Cyprus: Fuego, by Eleni Foureira.
Albania: Mall, by Eugent Bushpepa.
Malta: Taboo, by Christabelle.
France: Mercy, by Madame Monsieur.
Czech Republic: Lie To Me, by Mikolas Joseph.

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

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