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Podcast: Eurovision 2016 Part 2

ESCtips’ Gavster, freelance writer & broadcaster, Roy Delaney and Ewan Spence from ESC Insight combine their vast experience and share their expert opinions on the second half of semi final 1.

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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. Another interesting podcast, my views on this half :
    Czech Republic – The more I listen to this, the better it’s gets. I don’t think it’s got enough on first listen to really take the televote, but juries should reward this. Best vocalist of the year? I’d go along with that.
    I think it’s worth backing this for top 10 in the final. I’m fairly confident this will qualify.

    Cyprus – I am very disappointed with the lives I’ve seen of this one and I don’t think it’s doing as well as I did before, should make it through with Greece voting. 15th- 20th in the final.

    Austria – Fanwank of the year. Even if the French give it 20 points this ain’t going to get through.

    Estonia – this is borderline. I can’t decide either way if this will make it through. I think it’s just scraping through as a jury 8th place, televote 11th. I like it -but be that as it may 😉 – it’s coming no higher than 20th in the final.

    Azerbaijan – good, but generic, song. Samra isn’t the strongest performer. I don’t see this as a jury top 10. 7th- 12th on the televote. Borderline.

    Montenegró- balkans will give it some appreciation, It’s coming last in every other country in this semi. Potential last place.

    Iceland – I think this is qualifying. Right side of the scoreboard in the final.
    It is too dark for televoters, Greta isn’t that votable and if Greta does cock up her timings she’s in huge trouble. 16th- 19th.

    Bosnia – Borderline in. Enough diaspora and allies just to get through.

    Malta – I can’t decide how this is going to do. I’m open minded on it pending staging – and if that staging is excellent, it can do well. Will qualify no trouble. Could get top 10, could come 20th.

  2. The fact that the first half is much stronger in both semis is making this much harder than usually. I think you’re focusing too much on the draw and the 4 out of last 6 thing will fall apart this year.
    Seven of last years top 10 were in the first half. And that was in a field of 26.
    Estonia, Iceland and Bosnia are all much closer to NQ imo. I know that means it’s seven qualifiers from the first half, but whatever.
    The top 3 is kinda obvious (RUS, MLT, ARM). Any chance someone (Douwe) breaks in?

  3. Thanks for your thought-provoking podcast guys and it’s always good to have Ewan guesting. Most of your analysis I agreed with but I was amazed you had such a downer on Malta. Surely, this is sailing into the final from the pimp slot. For me the song is incredibly well produced and has all the attributes of a modern Eurovision winner and it really gets into your head. The main concern is the live performance. Ira’s vocal may crack under pressure and in the pre-parties the song lost something from the video. But then again the pre-parties are never the best place to judge the overall package – only the vocals and the singers’ stage presence. Where I do agree is that how well this does overall will depend a lot on whether they pull the staging off. If they manage it and Ira avoids any bum notes, I still see this as a contender for the win – and there are not many songs this year that really look like potential winning songs – Russia?, Sweden? France? (and there are well founded doubts about all of these). Other potential top 5 songs – Latvia, Ukraine, Serbia, Armenia – good as they are don’t have the feel of winners – unless we have a result that is untypical of five of the last six Eurovisions.

  4. Ewan pretty much touched on what I would have said in Iceland’s defence (sort of) regarding the combination of gloomy staging with the happy feel to the song. Dark and light, sad and happy, it’s a very very commonly applied artistic principle. It may well be the case that Greta’s specific flavour of her dark and light don’t match, like combining chocolate ice-cream with a fruit sorbet, instead of vanilla, to pick a metaphor off the top of my head. I’m much more bothered by how the package feels like a plastic, manufactured expression of Iceland as a country.

    I wouldn’t specifically come from the angle of criticising Greta for taking this direction with her staging at all, I would instead express my concern that she’s trying to be a bit too clever with the overall package and it’s coming across as a little bit pretentious. It’s for that reason that it’s becoming difficult to connect. I think it’s a little bit misguided to fixate on having any kind of dark theme to her staging in the first place. This isn’t X Factor, anything CAN work if done right, Nina Sublatti is walking proof of that.

    But, I would agree that Greta isn’t quite getting the balance right, and I do wholeheartedly agree with Gav that I would prefer to see the graphics turn more positive in the climax. I did spot new graphics in her Amsterdam performance though. Looks like they might be going with a starker white background with smoky Shiva armography.

  5. Here we go:

    Czech Republic/Czechia – Absolutely deserves to qualify, the fact that she’s been sandwiched between two big thumping song scares me…

    Cyprus – As much as I dislike this song, it’s a likely qualifier, probably not troubling the top 10 in the final though unless they pull a maNga.

    Austria – Fanwank flop written all over it, I enjoy the song but that Princess Peach staging is too sugary and pink and will put the casual viewers off.

    Estonia – I really like this, I feel it comes across as very classy coming after that massive lump of candy floss. Sadly I think it’s only borderline…

    Azerbaijan – Completely empty hook and feels like a long 3 mins. Will likely get through because they have a good chunk of their “partners in crime” in this semi…

    Montenegro – My tip for last place in this semi. Just ugly sounding and unappealing. And btw, I almost got trampled watching Queens Of The Stone Age at Reading Festival, great gig though!

    Iceland – My personal favourite in this semi and my 2nd place overall, but that’s just my inner goth speaking. I do get the arguments in the comments section that it may be too artsy and pretentious for the viewers in the final.

    Bosnia & Herzegovina – It’s a mess but a glorious mess in my opinion. I think it’s got a good chance of qualifying, they’ve got the draw and they’ve got friends and diaspora in this semi.

    Malta – Pffff…

  6. As each day goes by my worry for the Czech Republic grows, the fact that SVT put it next to the bookies favourite and a G:sson song indicates to me that SVT feel the CR are not up to much :/

  7. Per this podcast, Austria won’t qualify because although the fans love it they don’t really matter in the big picture, but Montenegro have no chance of qualifying because it’s not a genre those same fans – who had no influence on proceedings a couple of songs ago – can get to grips with.

    Thoroughly enjoying your “how much do SVT want this to do well” strand though.

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