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Podcast: Eurovision 2017 Part 2

We’re back to discuss semi-final 2 and are joined by Rob Furber from @EntertainOdds and @KeithM.

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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. Thanks guys 🙂

    To see Romania as a contender for the semi-win is a bit of a stretch for me… Agree it can challenge for the televote-win, but I think it really needs to smash it to close the gap of the jury points.

    Totally agree on the last bit about Portugal, fingers crossed. Looking forward to the rehearsal(value)week, hoping you guys will keep us updated as soon as possible about the positive and negative suprises 🙂

  2. Some really thought provoking comments in this podcast.

    Keith’s advice of dispensing with the no-hopers first is sound – for me that is Lithuania, San Marino, Malta and Ireland. (Gospel choirs are more X factor than Eurovision!)

    I had fancied Denmark and Estonia as potential top 10 in the final – but after the podcast I am less sure. I still think both will qualify – in Denmark’s favour is the fact that Anja has excellent stage presence.

    A question about Hungary – The song is about the plight of the Roma people. Is this a televote winner East of the Danube where my (admittedly limited) understanding is that the Roma community is not always popular with the wider population?

    FYR Macedonia – I don’t think the problem is Jana’s singing (the evidence from Israel is that she can sing it live). It’s more her lack of dancing ability and stage presence.

    Croatia – I just have a sneaky feeling that everyone is going to have their expectations dashed when this finally shows its hand. Of the two novelty songs, Romania is by far the stronger contender.

    Norway – I agree with the panel and I think this will do very well with the juries. There are not that many strong jury friendly songs in Semi 2.

    Netherlands – Despite the sad topic of this song, after many listens I can’t say I’ve ever felt genuinely moved by it (unlike, say with Finland). And that may be it’s biggest problem.

    • EurovisionBettor

      An answer about Hungary. The roma communities are not popular in any of the countries they reside. Not a monogamous and completely “borderless” culture, but they share the love for music despite of the nation they live in.

  3. Did the family test on semi final 2, some interesting thoughts. First off they hated any song that was a ballad (disliked Malta,Netherlands,Ireland,Bulgaria) They as you’d expect disliked Hungary quite intensely, they also disliked Norway after only 5-10 second’s, similar story with Romania except that one was maybe within 3-5 seconds. The song they hated most by a distance was Lithuania which was so bad that they nearly pleaded with me to skip it after about 1 minute. As for songs they liked, they where quite fond of Austria,Denmark, Split opinion’s on Estonia one liked it the other thought it was shite. The one entry that got the best reaction by far was Israel, both of which really liked it. other reactions were Macedonia they seemed to like watching it but then said it was shite when watching the recap, San Marino split opinions sort of. Croatia my dad loved which shocked me and I don’t really remember what my mom said. Belarus they thought was pure shite, Switzerland they just didn’t care for at all and the only thing they found notable about it was all the old people on it and just started comparing them to the old person in the Macedonia video, Serbia they just found very boring and said it will get completely lost with it being first performing. Overall bar Israel they didn’t like that many bar Croatia which my dad loved which give’s us more of a reason not to rule him out!

    • Does anyone of your family vote in Eurovision?

    • EurovisionBettor

      What were their opinions on semi-final 1?

      • I did one test with my 10year old niece on semi 1. Showed her all the songs of the first half in run one. The next day the second half and in between Italy, Spain and UK. She has never ever watched Eurovision before and I even had to explain to her how Eurovision works. I did not tell her the country names, only name of performer and song and I did not say anything while watching because I did not want to influence her opinion in any way.

        This was her ranking of the ones she liked:
        1. Australia
        2. Sweden
        3. Italy (3min studio version)
        4. Moldova (live performance with the brides)
        5. Armenia
        6. Montenegro

        No idea why Australia was her favourite. Maybe she found him cute (but she is the type of girl that is more interested in lego or video games than boys).
        She totally disliked Georgia, Albania, Finland, Portugal, Poland and Slovenia.
        She did not seem to get Belgium at first, in the recap at the end Belgium and Sweden were the only songs she was humming to.
        I was surprised not to have her Italy higher because she always has nonsense in her head and I thought the gorilla would fit perfectly into this.
        Watching her reaction, when the gorilla came on screen it was indeed the moment where she got excited.
        At the end I showed her the SanRemo Performance. While I was doing the dance moves I asked her if this isn’t much better than Australia or Sweden. She told me that she thinks its funny, but she likes the other two songs more.
        She then asked me how much one vote costs and now she wants to vote 10 times for Australia o_O

        Those are just a few reactions when in the actual contest millions are going to watch and most performances are going to be totally different than in studio-version, so the value I get from these reactions is rather low. But I do think it is entertaining 🙂
        Last weekend I showed her the top 5 of 2016 without letting her to know the actual placements. Her reaction when Sergej walked up the wall was priceless. It was by far her favourite. Ukraine was her last.

        • Thanks meridian_child. I’m always very interested in neutral people’s reactions to Eurovision songs. I did a few tests with my mom.

          Test 1. Moldova, Sweden, Italy (3 min studio version).
          Her favorite was Sweden, Moldova – 2nd, Italy – 3rd. I think she will change her mind when she sees Italy live and at least put it to 2nd place between the three. She also said she doesn’t think any of the three could win Eurovision.

          Test 2. Switzerland, Denmark, Estonia.
          Her clear winner was Estonia. Switzerland – 2nd, Denmark – 3rd.
          I can understand why she liked Estonia so much. It reminds me of Modern Talking and she is a big fan of their music.

          Test 3. Portugal, Armenia, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan.
          Bulgaria – clear winner. Armenia – 2nd, Azerbaijan – 3rd, Portugal – 4th.
          I can sort of understand why she put Portugal to 4th position. She prefers standard Eurovision songs. Portugal’s song is very different from what you hear in Eurovision. She also didn’t like Ukraine last year. Last year when I played her 1944 she said the song is not suitable for Eurovision at all. 🙂

          So I always take her opinion with a pinch of salt but it helps me with my own estimations.

      • In the comment section of semi final 1 podcast, it’s like the 140th comment so scroll down a bit!

        • EurovisionBettor

          Thanks. And yes it confirms how personal these opinions are and therefore I dunno if we can ever gather enough meaningful information IF we aren’t going to give them a real questionnaire with several different slots to mark when they reckon some aspect fits a certain performance. I’m actually about to do this with some of my friends on the upcoming saturday, and they’re going to hate me for it.

          • Some performance’s we might have to wait until there live at ESC for people to get them. I always remember Norway 2013, my mom thought it was shite when I showed it to her beforehand and I in disbelief asked her to repeat herself incase I miss heard, but then come the final song 24 by the time it got to the chorus she suddenly went like ” Oh yeah thats good” with a look of I was right 🙂

        • I must say you all have very indulgent families. I tried the ‘family test’ on my wife and she told me to fuck off.

  4. My analysis of the second semi-final has led to the following pre-rehearsal conclusions:

    Green: Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, Norway, Denmark, Belarus, Israel, Hungary,

    Amber: (Serbia) Switzerland, The Netherlands, (Austria, FYR Macedonia, Croatia)

    Red: San Marino, Lithuania, Malta, Ireland

    Of the Ambers, Serbia is more of an Olive. Neighbour and diaspora televotes should see it through, but it still needs a fair to middling jury vote to seal the deal.

    Three of my other Ambers are really Blood Orange:

    The televote likes a cheeky chappie and if Nathan plays on this Austria might do better than I am anticipating, but it has to do a whole lot better to be in with a chance of qualifying. The early running order and lack of friends in this semi don’t help it.

    I have assumed FYR Macedonia are going to mess up the performance and staging, but if they don’t, the accessibility of the song coupled with the support of semi 2 allies means they sail through.

    Croatia is very much a ‘wait and see’. I doubt juries will appreciate Jacques’ particular brand of vocal dexterity but he just might go down a storm with the televote. So it remains just about amber for now.

    Switzerland’s song is good enough but they are borderline owing to lack of allies. With The Netherlands it all depends on how much the live Eurovision performance and staging can lift a pretty mediocre song.

    I can’t work out if Hungary is more one for the juries or the televote. My working assumption is a bit of both but that it will do better with juries. In a televote leaning semi, this actually helps its overall standing as there are fewer songs contending for the high jury points. I would welcome others’ opinions on the likely relative appeal of Hungary’s song to televoters and juries.

    • EurovisionBettor

      “I can’t work out if Hungary is more one for the juries or the televote. My working assumption is a bit of both but that it will do better with juries. In a televote leaning semi, this actually helps its overall standing as there are fewer songs contending for the high jury points. I would welcome others’ opinions on the likely relative appeal of Hungary’s song to televoters and juries.”

      Personally I was surprised of the jury support. I’ve seen similar audience reaction to Hungary’s entry this year as I saw for Poland last year. What I didn’t see last year though is the positive reaction on forums that Hungary has got this year. It wouldn’t be too much to assume that Hungary gets atleast 3rd in televote this year and the rest is up to Jury’s willingness to virtual signal. The latter is already catching some wind at Wiwibloggs etc. as we speak.

      And yes I’ve been probably the most “pro Hungary” commentator at the site this year, but I would turn my sled around and be vocal about it if the appeal I saw in the entry didn’t reach wider audience. You’ll be very safe putting Hungary into top8 this year, if you recognize the jury appeal and see how the audience is starting to react atm.

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