Editorials & Opinion

XTRA Opinion: Our winners and losers from Eurovision in Concert 2019

XTRA Opinion: Our winners and losers from Eurovision in Concert 2019

Last night, Eurovision in Concert took place in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. 28 acts took to the stage to show a crowd of Eurovision fans what they were made of, a month before heading to Tel Aviv. A fair share of the ESCXTRA.com team attended the event and as you’re used to from us, we formed our opinions. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through our winners and losers from last night’s show! Click through the pages below to find out what we thought! Costa: I guess The Netherlands is a winner for me by virtue of living up to the immense hype behind it; as far as I know, this was Duncan’s first time performing the ESC-version of “Arcade” and it was utterly captivating. The added atmosphere of being in the audience, in the Netherlands, for his biggest performance to date was quite the moment. My other two winners were Georgia and Czech Republic. I wasn’t too much of a hater beforehand, but I enjoyed “Keep On Going” far more than I thought I would; the bass rearranged my vital organs and Oto was a force on stage in his own right, especially with the …
Analysing 12 years of OGAE voting: Why are the polls so similar to betting odds?

Analysing 12 years of OGAE voting: Why are the polls so similar to betting odds?

This is an updated version of an article published in April 2018 Every year, many Eurovision fans eagerly await the results of the annual OGAE poll. OGAE is made up of over 40 fan clubs from around the world. For the poll, they cast votes in Eurovision’s classic 12 to 1 points system. With the OGAE voting historically taking place across April, it is one of the first opportunities for fans to discover how a significant number of real people are reacting to this year’s entries. OGAE voting hand-in-hand with betting odds? Therefore, this can also have a knock-on effect in shaping the rankings at various betting agencies. Last month, we re-analysed how accurate betting odds from a month before the last eleven contests were in predicting the eventual finishing positions. There will be various references to this throughout the article below so it may be worth giving that a read first! As in the betting odds analysis article, we have taken statistics from all 12 OGAE polls that have taken place thus far. The poll was introduced in 2007 and has taken place every year since. Let’s have a look exactly how good an indicator the OGAE poll is …
XTRA Opinion: Our running order for semifinal 2

XTRA Opinion: Our running order for semifinal 2

Yesterday, we took a look at our ideal running order for the first semifinal. Opening with Finland, closing it with Greece, the first semifinal turned out to be quite a challenge to shape perfectly for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. Miki and Nick like a challenge, though! So here is our ideal running order for the second semifinal in Tel Aviv! Opening with Sw… No, we didn’t make a typo up there. We’re opening with Sw… But we weren’t quite sure whether to pick Sweden or Switzerland. Now, #1 is a slot where you can see how strong a song is. Like we said for semi 1, both Robin Bengtsson and Alexander Rybak opened their shows. That is why both Luca Hänni and John Lundvik could provide good openers there. The past four semi openers have been written by Swedes, so let’s do that again… Except both “She Got Me” and “Too Late For Love” have Swedish credits. It’s a very close call, but we eventually decided to open with Switzerland. Lots of ‘identity’ in here The next couple of songs in this half all have quite an identity. It’s not like we have a lot of similar songs in …
Xtra Debate: 1st September? What’s the point?!

Xtra Debate: 1st September? What’s the point?!

We are now on April Fools Day. As is tradition many spoof stories about Eurovision arise! But here at Xtra we want to take a different approach to proceedings by discussing the other “First of the Month” that’s close to our hearts. That being “Eurovision New Year” or 1st September to you locals out there. What even is Eurovision New Year? The “1st September Rule” is a key Eurovision rule. Any song that is released by any artist after the 1st September is eligible to be chosen by respective broadcasters around Europe to represent the said nation at the following year’s contest. This is primarily to do with having a commercial advantage more than a strict hard date as was the case a few years back. The compositions (lyrics and music) must not have been commercially released before 1 September 2018 (the Release Date). In case the composition has been made available to the public, for example, but not limited to, on online video platforms, social networks or (semi-) publicly accessible databanks and/or performed publicy, for example but not limited to during concerts, the Participating Broadcaster must inform the ESC Executive Supervisor, who shall have authority to evaluate whether the …
XTRA Opinion: Our running order for semifinal 1

XTRA Opinion: Our running order for semifinal 1

Every now and then, we all dream of being part of the producing team behind the Eurovision Song Contest. One of those jobs is to come up with a running order for the contests. Why not dream? Time for us to make our own running orders! Today, it’s time for the first semifinal. Like last year, Miki and Nick decided to sit together and come up with our own running order. A strong opener When kicking things off, you need to look at the opener first of all. Looking at the past few openers, it’s fair to say that you want a happy opener or at least an uptempo tune. There have been strong openers, such as Robin Bengtsson’s “I Can’t Go On” and semifinal winner “That’s How You Write A Song” by Alexander Rybak, but also non-qualifiers like “I Want Your Love” or “X My Heart”. That is why we’re also opening with an uptempo tune: Finland. Pop and something different The first half has a couple of remarkable entries. Just think of Poland’s Tulia or the Slovenian entry “Sebi”. It’s a vast contrast with the efforts Cyprus and Belarus are delivering. It will therefore be key to give …
Eurovision 2019: The musicals coming to a stage near you!

Eurovision 2019: The musicals coming to a stage near you!

The Eurovision Song Contest has long been loved by the musical theater community but never has a Eurovision song inspired a full musical theater production. (Well sort of… If ABBA never won Eurovision we probably wouldn’t have gotten the magic that is Mama Mia…) I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t help but notice that several of our entries this year sound like they belong in a musical. But what shows would they belong in? Find out… “The Dream: The Musical” Croatia’s Roko has a powerful voice MADE for the stage. In “The Dream: The Musical,” a young revolutionary comes to power to bring peace across Europe particularly between Ukraine and Russia. The young Ukrainian born protagonist moves up the ranks in Russia’s government and after the passing of Putin becomes Russia’s unexpected President. When he gives his first national address to the public, the audience is mixed. The crowd is skeptical of his experience and vision, but when he steps out to address the crowd they are captivated with his oratory glory: We have lived the darkest night. Waiting for The day. Now the time for us is right. To arise and say. I dream of love. You …
Alesia Michelle’s 2019 Eurovision Acts to WATCH!

Alesia Michelle’s 2019 Eurovision Acts to WATCH!

These are the acts to look out for in Tel Aviv, Israel. Whether they make it to the final or not. These are my top acts to WATCH!
Analysing 12 years of Eurovision odds: Is the contest becoming more predictable?

Analysing 12 years of Eurovision odds: Is the contest becoming more predictable?

This is an updated version of an article published in March 2018 In recent years, I’ve perhaps had a slightly unhealthy obsession with Eurovision odds and continue to do so. I often believe that they can’t be that wrong when it comes to the results at Eurovision itself. In the weeks before their respective contests, I was convinced France had it in the bag in 2011, Armenia the same in 2014, Russia in 2016 and Italy in 2017. They were all such strong favourites that surely they would follow in the footsteps of other strong favourites such as Alexander Rybak and Loreen? Nevertheless, this didn’t turn out to be the case. Are odds really a good indicator of the eventual results? For many fans, betting odds are considered the most important ranking when it comes to predicting where entries will finish in May. Fan forum rankings or YouTube views can always be skewed by either the often atypical taste of Eurovision fans or the size of the populations of the participating countries. Yet, with odds, people have to put their money where their mouth is. They have to think with their head rather than follow their heart. To discover how good …
Why America Shouldn’t Participate in Eurovision (A Series)

Why America Shouldn’t Participate in Eurovision (A Series)

The reasons are clear. My position has not changed, but as an American Eurovision fan, the question is constantly thrown my way.
Czech Republic’s ČT must be applauded for being Eurovision pioneers with ESCZ

Czech Republic’s ČT must be applauded for being Eurovision pioneers with ESCZ

Yesterday, Lake Malawi became the second winners of Eurovision Song CZ, the Eurovision Song Contest selection format launched by ČT for the first time ahead of the 2018 contest. Eurovision Song CZ uses a format never seen before and the Czech broadcaster must be applauded for their innovation. It all started with a surprise comeback After five years away from the world’s biggest entertainment show, ČT launched a surprise comeback in 2015. Of course, with the Czech public having very limited interest in the competition, it was natural for the broadcaster to opt for a series of internal selections. The internal selection of Gabriela Gunčíková in 2016 secured the Czech Republic their first ever Eurovision grand final appearance. In 2018, ČT took another leap forward, launching their first national final since 2008. But this wasn’t an ordinary national final. Instead, Eurovision Song CZ, or ESCZ, was held purely online. It was the first of its kind: innovative and, most importantly, successful. Mikolas Josef easily broke the Czech Republic’s record finish, placing sixth in Lisbon with the undeniable pop hit Lie to Me. Noticeably; it was a break away from the three internally selected ballads in the preceding years. “Most excitement per euro” It is understandable …
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