Editorials & Opinion

“Should’ve Known Better”: SVT address app criticism but marginalise young adults

Last week the Swedish broadcaster SVT announced the biggest changes in Melodifestivalen voting since launching the voting app in 2015. On paper some of the changes sound very bizarre, but how they will affect the results? Why the change is a good thing? Let’s first focus on the good things that come with the change. Ever since the launching of the app in 2015, Melodifestivalen has received lots of criticism about the app vote. Many people believed that only the younger audience use the app and as you can vote for free on the platform, it might seem they have more power than the traditional televoters. For the next three years, SVT didn’t make any changes to the app vote, despite the criticism, but now they are finally seeing the flaws with the old app vote system. In 2015, SVT also added an animated heart to the screen to show how many votes the entry is receiving. Usually this made it too obvious as to who will qualify, removing all the excitement from the show. This year they won’t remove the heart, but instead it will change colour based on which age group is voting for the act most. This …

Who were the PR winners and losers of Eurovision 2018?

In the first part of ESCXTRA’s two-part editorial on PR, we asked “What is the true value of PR at the Eurovision Song Contest? In our second and final part of the series, we are looking at the PR winners and losers of Lisbon 2018. Part one of this series focused on the value of PR from the perspective of winning the contest, but Eurovision is about so much more than just lifting a trophy. In the world’s biggest music competition there are many different interpretations of success. When you factor in the various stakeholders such as artists, broadcasters, fans, and even the EBU – each with their own specific expectations – what actually constitutes success can be vastly different depending on who you ask. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the entries from Lisbon 2018 and try to unpick what was going on from a PR point of view, and who were some of the PR winners and losers. Win – Czech Republic Source: Tom O’Donoghue We’re kicking off with the Czech Republic and an ingenious move in creating a selection process in which public voting was via the official Eurovision app. This was …

Ten ESC songs perfect for Halloween

BOOOO…OOOO…OO…o. Ghost noises don’t really work in text format, but the point is that it’s October 31st! All Hallows’ Eve. Hallows’ Evening. Halloween. A day of feasting on expired candy and watching bad specials on TV. Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, it’s the perfect time to take a look at some of Eurovision’s more  SPOOOOOOKTACULAR entries. So grab a treat and let’s go down this fright-filled road together. Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah Let’s get the obvious out the way first. Just look at these guys. They are practically walking Halloween decorations straight from a horror movie. . When you are Mr. Lordi, it’s Halloween ALL year round, which likely means he’s the only person on October 31st walking around WITHOUT a costume just to change things up a bit. DJ BoBo – Vampires Are Alive We all know vampires love staying up late, keeping bats as pets and a steady source of iron in their diet, but there is one more thing they love most of all. And that is euro-dance. Don’t believe us? Just watch the video above. It’s 20% aerobics, 25% Dschinghis Khan cosplay, 45% Mannequin Challenge AND there are even a few notes here that are …

Opinion: In ESC and JESC, rules don’t matter anymore

Update: The original version incorrectly stated that the 1994 ESC was held in Millstreet, Ireland, instead of in Dublin. The article has thus been edited and corrected. Ask any devout Eurovision fan and they will almost always say that the most important element of Eurovision (and its variants) is the music itself. Music is what brings the Eurovision community together, and without the music, the contest would not exist.  At the same time, an important facet of ESC is not just the “S” part, but the “C” part as well. Eurovision is a competition at the end of the day, and as such, there needs to be rules. The European Broadcasting Union has the responsibility to make the rules of the contest and enforce them. However, in the past few years, the EBU has disregarded various rules that they are expected to enforce. Some violations occur more than others, and some violations are more egregious than others. Regardless, the EBU has done a poor job at following the rules. These upcoming five rules vary in severity and the amount of times the EBU has allowed the rules to be broken, but collectively, they show the incompetence of the EBU to …

Five must-have ESC songs for your rainy day playlist

A big rain storm just hit New York City, where I currently reside, on Tuesday. For hours on end, raindrops pelted my dorm room window and thunder clapped intermittently in the distance. Personally, I love the rain. Unlike most of the other people in my dorm, I think it’s calm, soothing, and peaceful. I attribute that to my rainy day playlist, the mix I designed specifically for when the rain falls and the wind howls outside. Songs on my playlist, I think, are elevated with the sound of the showers against the glass and the thunder lowly rumbling. Obviously, there are tons of songs within the Eurovision sphere on my playlist (What kind of eurofan would I be if I didn’t?). So, if you want to make your own playlist (or add on to one you may already have), here’s my top five rainy day Eurovision songs to listen to as the elements rage outside. Note: this ranking isn’t my ranking of these songs in general, but rather a ranking of how well these songs go with rain (imo of course). #5: “Kinek Mondjam El Vétkeimet?” by Friderika For my first pick, we go back six years before my birth …

What’s in a date? Analysing previous Eurovision finals hosted on 18 May…

Earlier this week, it was finally revealed that the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest would be hosted in Tel Aviv, the second most populous city in Israel. In addition, it was announced that the contest would take place on 14, 16 and 18 May. This won’t be the first time a Eurovision final has taken place on 18 May. In fact, it will be the third time! So what’s in a date? Just as we did last year, let’s take a look back at the two previous finals to take place on 18 May… 18 May: A Eurovision history The first ever Eurovision Song Contest took place in May. The Swiss city of Lugano hosted the 1956 contest on Thursday 24 May. Nevertheless, the contest wouldn’t be held in May again until 1977 when London hosted the contest on Saturday 7 May. However, on this occasion, the contest was actually scheduled to take place in early April. Yet, due to a strike by BBC cameramen and technicians, the contest had to be postponed for a month. Therefore, it was in Luxembourg in 1984 when Eurovision was finally scheduled to take place in May once more. Since 1984, most Eurovision Song Contests have taken …

My Eurovision 2018 Experience (Part 3)

As the 2019 season approaches, I am taking a look back at my experience during my time in Lisbon this year. This time I’m looking at my final days in Lisbon and what I got up to. Day 7 – Rehearsals for the Grand Final My seventh day in Lisbon consisted of watching the first Dress Rehearsal in the afternoon and the Jury Rehearsal later in the evening. The running order was decided after the Grand Final and was confirmed early that day. Day 8 – The Big Finale!!!!! My Final Day in Lisbon 🙁 Here it is!, the day that everyone is waiting for. It is the Christmas of Eurovision Fans, the Grand Final.  Whenever it is the Grand Final day, I always get mixed emotions about it. One, I’m very excited to find out who will be the successor and where we might potentially be heading to the next year. On the other hand, I’m sad because it will only take three more hours for it to be finished, then it will all be over for another year. Then I will be wondering what am I going to do with my life for the next seven-eight months. On to …

My Eurovision 2018 Experience (Part 2)

As the 2019 season approaches, I am taking a look back at my experience during my time in Lisbon this year. This time I’m looking at the first semi-final and the rehearsals for the second semi-final. Day 4 – Watching the First Semi-Final My reaction to Saara getting through will probably be enough to break people’s eardrums We’ve finally reached Tuesday!, which meant that it was now time for the first Semi-Final. The only thing I hate about the first semi-final is that there is a lot of great songs! and it was really hard to get the ten qualifiers I want. When I entered the arena, I was only rooting for two acts. I was rooting for Saara Aalto (Finland) and Eye Cue (FYR Macedonia). I was really happy that Saara made the final, but was gutted to see Eye Cue crash out of the Semi-Finals cos I really loved the song!. Other shockers were Azerbaijan not making the Grand Final. Aisel’s song really grew on me and did not doubt for a second that she would not qualify. I can look at Azerbaijan’s entries and I can think of other entries which deserved a DNQ. Day 5 – Watching …

My Eurovision 2018 Experience (Part 1)

As the 2019 season approaches, I am taking a look back at my experience attending the contest in Lisbon this year. I have previously attended the contest back in 2016, but this is the first time I’ve done Eurovision week.. IN FULL!! and I cannot wait to tell you all about my experience in Lisbon. Day 1 – Getting to Lisbon After a long week of working… I finally got to Lisbon!!!!! As they say… you save the best for last!!! :L, I did not get to Lisbon, until the next week after the rehearsals have started. I had this giddy and excitement at the airport awaiting for my flight. Despite the long delays, I have managed to arrive in Lisbon. When I got to Lisbon, I went straight to my place, dropped my stuff off and went straight to the venue. When I got there, Mikolas was doing a meet and greet and it was nice to see him once again, after seeing him in London and Amsterdam. I then went on to the arena and attended a couple of rehearsals. It was surreal being inside the Altice Arena (finally!) and it was a nice feeling to be able to …

Jury Rehearsals – Should they be made available?

To the average viewer, Eurovision Week is not a thing – the contest exists merely as a one night event. As fans, we know that Eurovision Week is so much more than 7 hours.  We start with the first and second open rehearsals, press conferences, opening ceremony and dress rehearsals – all of this in combination with the live transmissions (and our live stream of course!) More than just three shows Many fans are still unaware of the importance of dress rehearsals, more specifically the second of each show.  It is not an exaggeration to say that the second dress rehearsal is equally as important as the main live show itself.  This is the recording that the jury members from each participating country are asked to cast their vote on.  Although this is clearly stated in the EBU’s official rules,  it is something, which I’ve come to realise, is not clearly addressed during the live broadcast.  Do they want us to assume that the juries are voting in real-time or avoid giving an explanation as to why it technically can’t be done live? In the current system, the juries have a 50% stake in the overall contest result. I personally …