Editorials & Opinion

Why now is the perfect time for the United Kingdom to return to Junior Eurovision

Why now is the perfect time for the United Kingdom to return to Junior Eurovision

The United Kingdom remains one of Junior Eurovision’s most successful countries. Yes I know fellow Britons, it’s shocking to hear that Europe seemingly does not hate the UK. This statistic isn’t riding on past glories either, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is a purely 21st century contest. Okay, the fact the UK have only participated three times makes such a statistic a bit less representative. However, we can’t ignore the fact that 67% of the UK’s Junior Eurovision appearances resulted in a top 3 finish. Only a handful of other countries can claim a similar success record. Third time… unlucky The UK debuted in the contest when it was held for the first time back in 2003 in Copenhagen. Two of the UK’s most successful acts at the time were chosen as the interval acts, Busted and Sugababes. British entrant Tom Morley finished in 3rd place with My Song For The World. Indeed, this was the same year that Jemini scored nil points which apparently wasn’t anything to do with their overly-repetitive song performed with wildly off-key vocals. Cory Spedding earned the honour to represent the UK at the 2nd Junior Eurovision Song Contest a year later. The Best Is Yet To Come finished in the top …
Analysing ten years of Eurovision odds: Why they are a good but imperfect indicator

Analysing ten years of Eurovision odds: Why they are a good but imperfect indicator

In recent years I’ve perhaps had a slightly unhealthy obsession with Eurovision odds. I often believe that they can’t be that wrong when it comes to the results at Eurovision itself. In the weeks before the respective contests I was convinced France had it in the bag in 2011, Armenia the same in 2014 and Russia in 2016. 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? However, for many fans, betting odds are considered the most important ranking when it comes to predicting where entries will finish come May. Fan forum rankings or YouTube views can always be skewed by either the often atypical taste of Eurofans or the size of the populations of 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 an indicator betting odds really have been in predicting Eurovision successes prior to action kicking off at rehearsals, we are about …
The 3 minute rule is ruining the Eurovision Song Contest

The 3 minute rule is ruining the Eurovision Song Contest

The Eurovision Song Contest has employed a 3 minute rule on songs since 1960. Whilst this rule may have suited the competition 57 years ago, the usage of it now ages the context and restricts entries to a specific format. This makes the contest somewhat formulaic and archaic. Unfortunately, it is this rule that is killing the contest. In a year where we are Celebrating Diversity, it is time to welcome musical diversity into the contest by removing the old-fashioned 3 minute rule. Assessing the three minute rule outside the Contest I ask a question to you, the reader. How many hit songs can you name from the last 12 months that have a timestamp of ~3:00? For clarification, I am asking for any song that has charted in the top 10, of a major nation in the last year, that had a duration of 3:10 or less. Whilst an exact figure is extremely difficult to calculate, a quick sweep of my iTunes shows that Dua Lipa’s low-charting “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” clocked at 2:59, Zara Larsson’s most recent release “So Good feat. Ty Dolla $ign” at 2:47, “Wherever I Go” by One Republic at 2:50, “Treat You Better” by Shawn Mendes …
The shame(lessness) of RTVE

The shame(lessness) of RTVE

In case anyone has been absent from the Euroverse in the last couple of days, there is DRAMA going on. Yes, with capitals, big, loud, nasty DRAMA. Spain chose the entry that will represent them in Kyiv last Saturday, and since then endless accusations, insults and physical attacks have flown from all over the place. The situation. Every single Spanish fan had proceeded under the assumption, for the last couple of weeks, that the contest would be between LeKlein, who had classified to the final stage of the competition after an online casting and a live casting, and Mirela, Spanish fans sweetheart with two (at that point) failed attempts to represent Spain in the big European stage. #TodosconMirela and #TodosconLeKlein feelings were in full swing when the rules of the final were announced. The controversial one was that in the event of a tie it would be the jury, not the televote (as is traditional in Eurovision circles, and even in Spain, where Ruth Lorenzo, winner of the televote, defeated Brequette, winner of the jury vote, in 2014) that would have the casting vote. In a moment that shocked no one, the voting actually ended in a tie. Not between …
Pointless stats: Love titles

Pointless stats: Love titles

Have you ever asked yourself fundamental questions about Eurovision like how to create a new country or how to start a crowdsourcing campaign to bring Andorra back? I do ask myself a lot of the same questions (mainly because I can see myself representing Andorra), but I also dig deeper in my heart. So yesterday, in preparation of Valentine’s day, I asked myself: how many Eurovision song titles have the word “love” (and derived) in them? Before showing you any graphs – let’s talk Methodology. What counted in the research? Any word that means love or the verb to love, in whatever language. Does this prove how many love songs have been created for Eurovision? Not at all: unfortunately it would be a massive piece of research going through each and every song, trying to determine the meaning. I tried, but in two hours I ended up classifying only 200 songs and it wasn’t enough. Are the numbers correct? Possibly. So please don’t point out that your calculations are different, because this is not an EBU funded research. Also: the songs already chosen for 2017 have not been counted! Then why are you doing this? Because it’s fun! And because I’ve found out you can …
San Marino for sale? The moral and financial price tags of Eurovision participation

San Marino for sale? The moral and financial price tags of Eurovision participation

San Marino RTV has refuted claims of a ‘pay-and-you’ll-go’ approach to its national selection, after accusations that they are requesting €500,000 from potential Eurovision artists in order to represent the microstate in Kyiv. Last week came the report from an Italian newspaper that the one time Sanremo Giovani winner Tony Maiello has been approached by an agent working for the public broadcaster of San Marino to represent the country. The singer has shared its experience to “Il Fatto Quotidiano”, currently one of the most read newspapers in Italy, to highlight the selection procedure by the Mediterranean enclave. In few screenshots the agent that has been rendered anonymous by the newspaper reportedly asks the singer whether he’d be interested in participating, stating clearly that a singer should consider a €500,000 investment for “promotion, the travel do[sic] the city and other costs”. It is not a surprise for followers of Eurovision that some broadcasters require the artist to cover some costs and Eurovision fans would not be shocked at confirmation of San Marino practising this.  A flat denial has been issued this week. In response to the accusations, SMRTV assembled a short press release which states, “We have not had any contact with Mr. …
Why Georgia must host this time… if it wants to

Why Georgia must host this time… if it wants to

Following Mariam Mamadashvili’s win on Saturday night, our attentions now turn to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2017 and who will host the event. Mariam’s victory with her song “Mzeo”, meaning “Sun”, confirmed Georgia’s place as the untouchable force of the Junior contest and, after being passed over on their previous two wins, surely it is now the turn of the Caucasus nation to host the competition, if indeed it wants to host. Sitting pretty at the top It has taken Georgia just ten participations to establish themselves as the top nation for young talent in Europe. One would find it hard to deny Georgia the title. They have won three times, been runner-up once and had three further top-five finishes. That means that 70% of their entries have finished inside the top five at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Year Artist / Song Place / Points 2007 Mariam Romelashvili / “Odelia Ranuni” 4th / 116 2008 Bzikebi / “Bzz” 1st / 154 2009 Princesses / “Lurji prinveli” 7th / 68 2010 Mariam Kakhelishvili / “Mari-Dari” 4th / 109 2011 Candy / “Candy Music” 1st / 108 2012 Funkids / “Funky Lemonade” 2nd / 103 2013 The Smile Shop / “Give …
Why Kazakhstan could make their Eurovision debut in 2017…

Why Kazakhstan could make their Eurovision debut in 2017…

escXtra recently looked into the possibility of Kosovo joining the Eurovision Song Contest and now it is time to head further east. Kazakhstan have broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest since 2010, have territory in Europe’s geographical boundaries and broadcaster Khabar Agency became an associate member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in January 2016. However under the current rules of the Eurovision Song Contest, Kazakhstan are not able to compete. It’s time to investigate why this is the case and why we could still be about to receive the news that Kazakhstan will in fact participate in the 2017 contest. What are Eurovision’s entry requirements? To participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, the current rules state that a broadcaster must be an active member of the EBU. To be able to become an active member of the EBU, rather than an associate member which the Kazakh broadcaster was admitted as at the beginning of this year, the country the broadcaster represents must be either in the European Broadcasting Area (EBA) or a member state of the Council of Europe. Why isn’t Kazakhstan in the EBA? The International Telecommunication Union defines the EBA using lines of longitude and latitude. The line of longitude that determines the …
Kosovo at the Olympics.. Could Eurovision be Next?

Kosovo at the Olympics.. Could Eurovision be Next?

History was made at last nights Olympic’s Opening Ceremony, which was held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Kosovo made their first appearance in the Olympic’s, one in which they were recognised as independent nations. What a momentous occasion you may say and yes you would be correct. Malinda Kelmendi, who is competing for the nation at Judo is holding the flag Kosovo has wanted independence from Serbia since 2008, however there have for a number of years been mixed reactions about whether the country should be recognised as an independent nation. However, since July 2016, the country has received recognition from 109 UN (United Nations) member states. It shows what a long way the nation has come and the acceptance onto the Olympics enforces this. Now could this step on such a global stage, make way for Kosova to compete in other international events, such as the Common Wealth Games and even Eurovision. One thing for certain, is that there is definite interest in Kosovo sending a representative to the European song contest, so is it only a matter of time… I guess we’ll have to wait and see. What are your thoughts on a possible Kosovan Eurovision entry?
#makeitstop #canttakeitanymore #petpeeves

#makeitstop #canttakeitanymore #petpeeves

No matter how much we all love the Eurovision Song Contest, there are always going to be things we‘d rather not hear from the stage, be it musical genres (for me that would be traditional schlager), singers‘ voices and the way they use them, instruments (bagpipes, anyone…)…the list of #petpeeves goes on and on. And as with everything else; these (to me) horrible things might be the exact things that make others love Eurovision! #1 Singing out of tune I‘ll start with a thing I believe most of us can agree on, which is when an artist sings out of tune. It doesn‘t matter how good the song is, or how cute the singer is, or how much you might love this kind of music; out of key singing kills a song off. Every single year we hear singers who seem like they couldn‘t sing in tune to save their lives, and even though it might be just nerves on the night; it‘s an instant turn-off. From this year I‘d like to mention Azerbaijan and Switzerland. A few artists have even managed to win the contest without hitting more than a few correct notes (Dima Bilan, anyone?), but the all …
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