Editorials & Opinion

XTRA Predictions: Qualifiers of semifinal 1 of the Eurovision Song Contest

XTRA Predictions: Qualifiers of semifinal 1 of the Eurovision Song Contest

Tonight is the night. The first semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 is going to take place at the EXPO Tel Aviv in Israel. Seventeen acts will be battling for just ten tickets to the Grand Final. Who do our editors think will make it? Three unanimous picks 26 members of the ESCXTRA.com Team have sent in their predictions for tonight. Each of the members was asked to name their ten qualifiers in no particuliar order. The team agreed unanimously on three qualifiers. These three were the hot favourites if we’re following the odds: Greece, Cyprus and Australia. The three ladies from these countries were picked by each of our editors. At the other end of the board, no one believes Montenegro will make it, with only one editor thinking Finland will qualify. No other act scored less than five votes. Full predictions The table below displays the prediction from each of our editors. You can check out their individual choices below! We recommend viewing the table below on a desktop computer. Ryan CobbRigmo KannikeConstantinos ChristouOliver LewisMiki GligorovAivis Indāns Natalie WalpoleAustraliaAustraliaAustraliaAustraliaAustralia AustraliaAustralia BelgiumBelgiumBelarusCyprusCyprus BelgiumCyprus CyprusCyprusCyprusCzech RepublicCzech Republic CyprusCzech Republic Czech RepublicCzech RepublicCzech RepublicGreeceGreeceCzech RepublicEstoniaEstoniaGreeceGreeceHungaryHungaryGreeceFinland GreeceHungaryIcelandIcelandIceland HungaryGreeceHungaryIcelandPolandPolandPolandIcelandHungaryIcelandPolandPortugalPortugalPortugalPolandIcelandSerbiaSerbiaSerbiaSerbiaSerbia SerbiaSan MarinoSloveniaSloveniaSloveniaSloveniaSlovenia SloveniaSerbiaNick van LithTom RyanDimitris IoannouNathan WaddellTom O’DonoghueLisa BirdIsaac SturtridgeAustraliaAustraliaAustraliaAustraliaAustralia AustraliaAustralia BelgiumBelarusCyprusBelarusBelarusBelarusBelgiumCyprusCyprusCzech RepublicBelgiumBelgiumCyprusCyprus Czech RepublicCzech RepublicGeorgiaCyprusCyprus Czech …
XTRA Debate: Should we have more or less access to rehearsals?

XTRA Debate: Should we have more or less access to rehearsals?

As of yesterday, we have seen the first rehearsal of every semi-finalist fighting for a place in the final. However, does our consumption of rehearsal content lead to a detrimental impact for the acts and contest as a whole? The oddness of rehearsal week To me, rehearsal week is a strange period in the Eurovision calendar. Everything, yet nothing happens at the same time. For fans, this is the first glimpse of what we will see in the live broadcast. Will acts provide a carbon copy of a national or pre-party performance? Will they emulate their respective music video, or do something completely different? For internally-selected acts who have avoided the pre-party season this is the first time to see if the studio cut can be emulated in a live setting. However, for delegations staging concepts/outfits/props would have been submitted months ago. Hours would have been spent practising on home soil before coming to the arena of the year. So in many respects, these rehearsals are ‘nothing new’. Yet there is a big distinction between perfecting the performance in practice, and the reality on camera. View this post on Instagram What a blessing singing together with real pros and sweet …
My Eurovision Pre-Party Experience: Part 4 (Madrid)

My Eurovision Pre-Party Experience: Part 4 (Madrid)

With rehearsals in Tel Aviv starting shortly, I’m taking this chance to reflect on the pre-party season and the amazing experience I have over the past month and looking into what is in store for Tel Aviv. In this article, I am looking at my experience attending the London Eurovision Party, which is the final pre-party that I will be attending for the 2019 season. Last round of interviews before Tel Aviv One of the things I was looking forward to about the Madrid Pre-Party is speaking to more Eurovision artists. For some, it will be the first Pre-Party that they will be attending. This was apparent with artists such as Roko, where the Madrid Pre-Party is the first promotional event that they have attended in the 2019 season. We talked about the process of getting the song and how he manages to hit those high notes. The most surreal experience of my life I always see on social media how passionate and how much love the Spanish fans give to the contestants and to the contest itself. When I attended the Welcome Pre-Party on the Friday night, the crowd was cheering wildly when Miki (the Spanish entrant) arrived and …
My Eurovision Pre-Party Experience: Part 3 (London)

My Eurovision Pre-Party Experience: Part 3 (London)

With rehearsals in Tel Aviv starting shortly, I’m taking this chance to reflect on the pre-party season and the amazing experience I have over the past month and looking into what is in store for Tel Aviv. In this article, I am looking at my experience attending the London Eurovision Party, which is the third pre-party of the season. Running on Adrenaline and Loving It! The week leading up to the London Eurovision Party has been busy. As per the previous two articles, the weekend before that, I was in Amsterdam for Eurovision in Concert. Then the following Thursday, I went to Riga for their Pre-Party. By the time Sunday arrived, I was a bit sleepy (what even is sleep?) Nevertheless, I was excited to head to London. Ungodly hour but let’s go to #LEP @LDNEurovision pic.twitter.com/HBGgNvDPuI— Timvision (@eurovisiontj) April 14, 2019 After waking up at 4 AM, I was ready to face the coach ride to London and before I know it, I have arrived in London once again. Soon enough, it was 9AM, people are already busy getting everything set up. As the day went by the Eurovision Bus has arrived and artists have their sound checks and …
My Eurovision Pre-Party Experience: Part 2 (Riga)

My Eurovision Pre-Party Experience: Part 2 (Riga)

With rehearsals in Tel Aviv starting shortly, I’m taking this chance to reflect on the pre-party season and the amazing experience I have over the past month and looking into what is in store for Tel Aviv. In this article, I am looking at my experience attending the annual Pre-Party Riga, which is the second pre-party of the season. New Party, New Country The Riga Pre-Party has always been an interest to me for a while now. At first I thought it wasn’t taking place. However, when the date was finally confirmed, I booked my flights and Airbnb, then suddenly I was off to the Baltics once again. Before the promotion begins, the Press in attendance, along with KEiiNO did a walking tour of the old town and also trying some Black Balsam!. The weather might’ve been cold, but it was certainly nice to walk around and explore as much as possible. View this post on Instagram It might be cold but that doesn't stop us going around Riga with @keiinomusic 📸 @eurovisiontj #PrePartyRiga A post shared by ESCXTRA (@escxtra) on Apr 12, 2019 at 1:10am PDT The Interviews Begin… In the afternoon, the press event began where Edgars Kreilis, …
XTRA Debate: The power of building and losing momentum

XTRA Debate: The power of building and losing momentum

The Eurovision season is long. Some say it’s not long enough, but for others, it definitely seems it is way too long. Songs that receive praise at first lose momentum, multiple listens cause original ‘no hopers’ to climb the ranks of many fans. How does this phenomenon actually work? And what is the power of momentum at the Eurovision Song Contest? Bilal Hassani’s crown is fading One of those suffering from a season being way too long is French representative Bilal Hassani. When the French announced their line-up for Destination Eurovision, Bilal’s “Roi” was the one that stood out. Comments on (especially) Twitter suggested it could possibly be a contender for a victory in Tel Aviv, carrying out the strong LGBT message of hope and acceptance. Now, we’re three months after the final of Destination Eurovision. The chances of France winning the Eurovision Song Contest this year are minimal. According to EurovisionWorld.com, Bilal Hassani now has a 2% chance of winning. He’s only just outside the bookmakers’ top ten. In the OGAE voting, “Roi” is in thirteenth place with just twenty points. Back to Lisbon… but who and when? The second prime example this year is Portugal. When the eccentric …
My Eurovision Pre-Party Experience: Part 1 (Amsterdam)

My Eurovision Pre-Party Experience: Part 1 (Amsterdam)

With rehearsals in Tel Aviv starting shortly, I’m taking this chance to reflect on the pre-party season and the amazing experience I have over the past month and looking into what is in store for Tel Aviv. In this article, I am looking at Eurovision in Concert, which was the first Pre-Party of the season. Eurovision in Concert for the 2nd time in a row After 2018, I initially decided not to attend Eurovision in Concert. Instead, I was planning to attend Israel Calling (to try and vary things a bit). However, Israel won the contest in Lisbon, this lead to Israel Calling not being hosted in 2019. When the date was announced for this year’s Concert, I did not even think and I just went on and booked a ticket, because I know that the concert and the after-party will be a blast. Since I was a spectator for Eurovision in Concert, I was with the other Eurovision fans at AFAS Live. I may or may not have been the first one in the queue. Let’s just say that I was desperate to get After-Party tickets that I sacrificed sleep in order to be the first one in the …
XTRA Debate: The great return of the songwriters?

XTRA Debate: The great return of the songwriters?

Is it time to regulate songwriters, and bring in new blood to Eurovision?
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 …
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