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Podcast: Eurovision 2015 Part 1

ESCtips’ ScandieAndy, Gavster and Tobias Larsson combine their vast experience and share their expert opinions on the first half of semi final 1.

Read our individual song reviews by clicking the links below:

FYR Macedonia

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About Gavster

ESCtips Owner   I’m a qualified designer and dedicate a lot of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.


  1. Nice podcast guys. Had to laugh Gav when you labelled Elina with the ‘face like a smacked arse’ label. I’m starting to think my Mother’s words are going to be anticipated and doing the rounds in the future. 😛

  2. Excellent. I love listening to you guys EVERY year!!!

  3. Great work,Andy even seems to of added some more languages to his repertoire.

    For me the first half is all about Belgium and Estonia.How they are staged,delivered and sold.Both are capable of challenging top 5 in the final for me.Both could also bomb.
    Im looking forward to part two for this semi mostly though.I see Belarus and Albania as possible challengers for the win if the delegations get things right, so will be interested to hear others views.

  4. Super podcast guys, I very much enjoyed it 🙂

    Andy’s point comparing Rage against the Machine to PKN, is a valid one, and alike himself and Tobias I’m on the side of the Fence which has Finland has a Top 10 threat on final night. It’s as though Aina Mun pitaa is so unorthadox, loud and uncompromising that it might just work. A kick in the teeth for the Eurovsion purist it might be, but personally I believe Finland’s entry is in concomitance with with other “Irregularities” of the contest from bygone years including Lordi, Cezar and the 2013 Greek entry.

  5. Very much enjoyed this first podcast of 2015 though at times it sounded it bit like an advert for mobile phones and doorbells! I especially echo the positive comments on the original approach of Belgium’s entry. The contest does need variety and counterpoint, especially in the final, so let’s hope it can slip through to the sing-off on 23rd May. It made me reflect all the more (casting an eye ahead to the 2nd instalment of SF 1) how much, MUCH stronger is the line-up to SF2.

  6. Very nice that the podcasts are back again. Especially with such very popular guys 🙂

    When it comes to the comments on the Dutch song, I agree that it’s a poorly written song. It was actually composed by Anouk (NL 2013), who had it in her database, with the idea to use it at some point in the future (or probably work it out further). The fact that the song had already been there for a while, is not really a good sign, but Trijntje got very eager about it, and decided that she really wants to sing this song in Vienna. The Dutch selection commision, still the same people who were also responsible for the 8 failures in a row, were happy that a ‘big name’ wanted to go to Eurovision, and immediately agreed with the song. And so, this is the result…

    Btw, the name of the person doing the choreography is Pannecoucke, it is pronounced as pan-cook. This shouldn’t be too hard for anyone. And indeed, it means ‘pancake’, which also makes it a strange family name in Dutch 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind words and I’ll take on board the pronunciation tip!

    • Hi PeterNL,

      Is there some official confirmation that he’s indeed doing the choreography this year too?


      • Yes, he has said he’s working on this year’s staging.

        • Ok, cool! Thanks. Like you, I really wonder how he could save this entry though.

          • I agree with this. I have the feeling that many people are scared to write off the Dutch song too easily, after last year’s unexpected success of the Common Linnets. But it is really a poor song, performed by a not very charming lady, and with a poor draw in the beginning of the show. It would really surprise me if Mr. Pannecoucke can create a show that would lift the whole thing so much that it can qualify for the final.

    • Great podcast guys ;-). Liked it, but “smacked arse-face” for Estonia :-P? Come on…..you haven’t seen Trijntje’s booty yet :-P.

      Anyway, I disagree about the comments about the song Peter. The fact itself that it was an “old” shelved composition doesn’t say a thing about the actual song. If “Calm After The Storm” as we know it now as a song was an old previous shelved entry, would it be bad? Off course not.

      Because in the end it IS about the total package on stage. The mix needs to be perfect, not just one aspect. And although I know that this podcast is about judging the studio versions of the songs, in the end we need to do more with the staging information we have right now. It’s one of the reasons why Sweden for me still is the contender for victory.

      But also knowing that certain stage directors with established CV’s are helping out countries should not be underestimated. It’s IMO already a recipe for more success than if you only judge the song.

      Now about the song “Walk Along”. YES, it’s prefab, YES it’s dated (Natalie Imbruglia), YES it’s not artistic, and indeed YES it’s repetitive. But for me personally repetitiveness can be a unique selling point. In Holland we have a word for that: “oorwurm”….or in English: “ear worm”. In that sense Netherlands sticks to your head. Many Russian and Azerbaijani entries too (think Azerbaijan 2011, 2013….and does someone in here think that Russia 2014 is actually quite similar to Estonia this year?). Don’t forget, we “fans” tend to overanalyze a lot. It’s all about what televoters and judges will hear for the first time next month.

      I love the Belgian and Latvian entries, but they are also less “straight in your face” as for instance Sweden. They are songs that could most certainly enter the TOP 10 in the final, but also songs that most certainly could turn out to be potential winners. A bit like “Birds” (NL, 2013) or “Et s’Il Fallait Le Faire” (FR, 2009): Artistically relevant, but not widespread voting magnets.

      So far, I do think that Netherlands is underestimated. Not for the quality of the song, but for its total package and staging potential. I see it as a guaranteed qualifier, neighbours or not. If your act is top-notch, then you also got a lot of 2-pointers, 3-pointers and 4-pointers. And those could easily drive up a song towards 60+ points. Certainly not a winner, but in any case good qualification material.

      • Correction: “They are songs that could most certainly enter the TOP 10 in the final, but also songs that most certainly could stick at the Bottom 5 spots of the TOP 10.”

  7. “Face like a smacked arse” is a fair comment…

    Belgium’s the best song of the semi, I’m very interested in how they’ll stage it, I would imagine something like the video to Lorde’s “Tennis Court” but with more going on, they shouldn’t go for long sweeping shots, keep the camera work very tight on who is on stage.

    I feel slightly envious that Andy can accurately translate Tobias’ phone call, I’m in the process of learning another language but I wish I was fluent in something other than English.

  8. Belgium is my favourite. I’m just glad my country can vote this year.

  9. Great light-hearted and informative podcast. I must admit, I have been reading the articles on this site for a few years without commenting, so it’s great to be involved.

    I agree with alot of the things discussed about the first half of the first semi-final.

    I think Belgium is a real dark horse, who could gain a lot of points from the juries with originality (I am thinking Netherlands 2014 in comparison). I am really confused how their odds are greater than the likes of Finland.

    Finland are no way a contender and their odds are ridiculous. To me they are a novelty act. However, I always look at the novelty acts to see if they can challenge the title. Those falling in the potential winners category over previous years are Ukraine 2007 and Russia 2012. Both in one way or another had a fun personality accompanied by their catchy song which attracted the televotes. On the other hand, there are the UK 2007, Ireland 2008 and Serbia 2009 to name the ones off the top of my head, could be classed as a novelties, yet UK did not score many and Ireland and Serbia failed to qualify from the semis – only just though and I feel Finland could be in that boat as well.

    Personally, Belgium, Russia and Azer should have shorter odds the Finland.

    I look forward to the future podcasts and May.

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