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REVIEW: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

REVIEW: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

**SPOILER ALERT: This article will contain spoilers of the plot of the film** It’s finally here! The initially mysterious ‘Eurovision movie’ is now available to stream on Neflix. We, the ESCXTRA Team, rushed to our devices to watch the film as soon as possible. We’ve watched, we’ve discussed, and now we’re ready to judge… Having been developed for decades, filmed over the past two years and delayed by an additional month, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is finally here! Now, we didn’t know what exactly to expect, but this is undoubtedly a big step for the contest. With Netflix investing in the Eurovision brand, we are perhaps looking at a future with far more interest in the contest outside of Europe (particularly in North America) than ever. OR it’ll have no impact whatsoever and we’ll all seek to forget it. Only time will tell. Early signs are positive, the film has been well-promoted by Netflix upon release and should introduce the contest to some new viewed. Further, the song “Husavik” already gathering some momentum in streaming and iTunes downloads. Irrespective of our views on the film itself, we all [mostly] agreed that we’re happy the film exists. …
Meet the ESCXTRA team! Conor

Meet the ESCXTRA team! Conor

Conor Kelly Hello! My name is Conor Kelly and I am 18 years old. I live in Ireland, in the South-East region not far from Waterford city. At the moment I’m in a bit of ‘transition’ phase of my life as I have just graduated (virtually!) from high school. I’m hoping to study to become a high school teacher in college, my subjects being history and geography. Hopefully I shall receive the equivalent of ‘douze points’ in my exam results! Your first Eurovision memory? Now this takes me back! I first began to take an interest in the Eurovision in 2009 (this seems to be a common year for many of us!). At the time, I was a big fan of shows such as the X Factor and after an episode of The Simpsons (!) I saw an advertisement for the Eurovision semi finals. It looked like my cup of tea so I decided to tune into the 1st semi final. I loved every minute of it and I have been hooked ever since! As an 8 year old I found Belgium’s Elvis wannabe particularly enjoyable! Your Eurovision Journey? So I first began to follow national finals and listen to …
🇵🇱 Slideback Sunday: Poland wanted us to know their sin

🇵🇱 Slideback Sunday: Poland wanted us to know their sin

As many countries in Europe are being lifted from lockdown, we are continuing our weekly slidebacks to look back at a memorable song in Eurovision history! Today, we’re off to Poland and looking at their 1996 entry. Kasia Kowalska was sent to Oslo to fly the represent Poland with the song “Chcę Znać Swój Grzech!” Still new to the whole “Eurovision” thing Being the mid-90s, Poland, like many Eastern European countries at the time, had a short history in the Eurovision Song Contest. Their debut was in 1994, with Edyta Gorniak’s song “To Nie Ja!,” which came 2nd. Their only other song that competed prior to 1996 was “Sama” by Justyna Steczkowska, which had impressive vocals but an unimpressive result, coming only 18th. In 1996, TVP chose 22-year-old Kasia Kowalska to represent Poland at Eurovision with the song “Chcę Znać Swój Grzech” (trans. I Want to Know My Sin). Kasia already had two Polish number one tracks to her name and was ready to take Oslo by storm. She qualified through that weird audio-only preselection round that they thought was a good idea in 1996 easily enough, coming 15th in that round. In the live final in Oslo, she got …
Weekend Wrap-up: This week’s Eurovision news headlines

Weekend Wrap-up: This week’s Eurovision news headlines

Welcome to the latest edition of our news round-up series which takes a look back at the Eurovision news headlines from the past seven days. Here you’ll find all the important news. Whether you need to catch-up or to remind yourself what has happened in the Eurovision world, this is the article for you. Want to read more? You can access the full articles by clicking on them. Netflix releases Eurovision movie “The Story of Fire Saga” It has been a long time coming but finally Netflix has just released the original movie “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”. Starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as fictional Icelandic band “Fire Saga”, it is time to follow their journey from small-town musicians to the world’s biggest musical stage! WATCH NOW: Netflix releases Eurovision movie “The Story of Fire Saga”!
Meet the ESCXTRA team! Justas

Meet the ESCXTRA team! Justas

Justas Buivydas Hi! My name is Justas, I’m from Vilnius, Lithuania and my biggest passion in the world is Eurovision. I love analyzing this contest from every possible side: music, vocals, history, predictions, odds, statistics, politics, etc. and I am trying to invent a new profession for me and it will be called “A reviewer of Eurovision”. In a picture down below you can see me talking in the morning show of our national broadcaster LRT. Damn was I wrong when I predicted that Jurijus will qualify to the final or Ieva AT LEAST will end up in the top 5 😂 Aside from Eurovision, I love history, politics, sports (especially basketball) and If you want to see some pictures of my beloved cat, you can find me on Instagram as @buive. Your first Eurovision memory? I was only 7 years old but I specifically remember my mom being excited because Ruslana won Eurovision in 2004. Ukrainians are like brothers to Lithuanians, so that was actually a big deal and few weeks after winning Eurovision Ruslana came to Lithuania to perform during a charity event which was broadcasted on TV. I tried watching Eurovision in 2005, but since I was …
🇷🇸 Beyond Eurovision: Marija Šerifović

🇷🇸 Beyond Eurovision: Marija Šerifović

Over this summer, we are premiering a new series called Beyond Eurovision. Every week, we look at what happened to Eurovision stars since they took part in the contest. Next up in the series is Marija Šerifović, who won the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest for Serbia. What happened after her triumphant win? Where it all began Back in 1984, in the city of Kragujevac in what was then Yugoslavia, Marija was born to drummer Rajko and folk singer Verica Šerifović. In her early years of music, she won many competitions including the Budva Music Festival and the 2005 Radio Festival. These wins all followed her debut album, “Naj, Najbolja” which was released in 2003. A second studio album, “Bez Ljubavi”, came in 2006 before her first concert in Belgrade a year later. 2007 not only marked her first concert in the Serbian capital, but it also marked the start of her journey towards Helsinki and Eurovision… The Eurovision adventure After taking a year away from the contest, as part of Serbia & Montenegro in 2006, Serbia took part in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time as an independent nation in 2007. The search for their debut artist was …
Meet the ESCXTRA team! Bente

Meet the ESCXTRA team! Bente

Bente van Leijden Hello everyone! My name is Bente, I am 21 years old. I am from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s in International Studies at Leiden University, where I specialize in Russia/Eurasia as a region. In this major, I learn about the history, culture, politics and language of my chosen region. In September, I will minor in European Culture at the University of Amsterdam. ESCXTRA invited me to join them in June 2020! Feel free to follow me on Instagram, my handle is @bente_vl. Your first Eurovision memory? I have a specific memory of watching Junior Eurovision in 2005 with my sister. The United Kingdom was our least favorite and we both liked Russia. The Netherlands’ song “Stupid” still gets played at parties sometimes, and every Dutch young adult will most likely recognize it and sing along if they hear it! I had the official CD of the year and would listen to it and rate all the songs on the official 1-12 Eurovision scale. Honestly, it is not a surprise that I ended up as a big Eurovision fan many years down the road.  As for ‘adult’ Eurovision, which is not meant to sound …
BLM and the fallacy of ‘celebrating diversity’ in the Eurovision Song Contest

BLM and the fallacy of ‘celebrating diversity’ in the Eurovision Song Contest

This has been an incredibly painful few weeks. Attempting to crystallise my thoughts has been equally painful. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests has prompted a broader discussion of the ideas of privilege and a reappraisal of popular culture. It has also unearthed some toxic and problematic mindsets in a number of individuals within the fandom. Of course, for a handful of us, we already had a hunch… BLM within the Eurovision fandom We need to be prepared for uncomfortable conversations and questions. These discussions are thought-provoking, eye-opening and enriching… but they are also hard. It is difficult to explain to colleagues and peers why they might be allocated more privilege than someone else. To illuminate systematic inequality, or the violence that has knowingly or unknowingly occurred through our language or actions. Similarly, it is difficult recognising that you may enjoy systemic privileges over others, the stages of privileged racial identity development. It is equally difficult to relive the violence of racism to those who ‘don’t get it’ over and over to try and help them understand. I hope the widespread peaceful protests of BLM leads to positive change and enables these conversations. I also hope that the BLM movement …
Spotify Update! Who got streamed the most since #Eurovision week?

Spotify Update! Who got streamed the most since #Eurovision week?

It’s already been a little over a month since Eurovision week ended after airing “Europe Shine A Light” back in May 2020. But who was streamed the most on Spotify since then? We checked the streams before on Tuesday right before the YouTube show for the first semi-final aired and check who received the most streams till now. Spotify streams sorted by the most streams since Eurovision week! #CountryArtistSongDif. since Eurovision weekStreams 19.06. 4pm CETStreams 12.05. 6:30pm CET1IcelandDaði FreyrThink About Things14,298,94822,745,4078,446,4592ItalyDiodatoFai rumore3,347,18625,159,85221,812,6663RussiaLittle BigUNO2,250,8815,205,7752,954,8944DenmarkBEN & TANYES1,911,8654,184,4632,272,5985SwedenThe MamasMove1,899,02810,389,9878,490,9596GermanyBen DolicViolent Thing1,328,1213,939,2842,611,1637LithuaniaTHE ROOPOn Fire1,310,1513,877,8922,567,7418NorwayUlrikkeAttention1,018,3985,903,2954,884,8979MaltaDestinyAll Of My Love897,1321,030,989133,85710The NetherlandsJeangu MacrooyGrow862,6163,838,5822,975,96611BulgariaVICTORIATears Getting Sober817,0871,878,9061,061,81912The United KingdomJames NewmanMy Last Breath787,1552,126,1671,339,01213SwitzerlandGjon’s TearsRépondez-moi760,3471,855,1131,094,76614AzerbaijanEfendiCleopatra727,2551,323,729596,47415SpainBlas CantóUniverso605,7313,390,5252,784,79416FranceTom LeebThe Best In Me535,5861,385,106849,52017IsraelEdenFeker Libi515,3431,733,3771,218,03418AustraliaMontaigneDon’t Break Me502,7151,946,7841,444,06919RomaniaRoxenAlcohol You483,3501,421,261937,91120GreeceStefaniaSUPERG!RL433,3071,481,5211,048,21421AlbaniaArilena AraFall From The Sky386,363656,775270,41222ArmeniaAthena ManoukianChains On You386,0451,192,872806,82723FinlandAkselLooking Back354,8581,545,3151,190,45724BelgiumHooverphonicRelease Me351,8741,418,3861,066,51225IrelandLesley RoyStory Of My Life321,271644,989323,71826AustriaVincent BuenoAlive312,272734,057421,78527CyprusSandroRunning271,822661,369389,54728UkraineGo_ASolovey269,453641,526372,07329Czech RepublicBenny CristoKemama259,0381,007,429748,39130PolandAlicjaEmpires248,132939,698691,56631PortugalElisaMedo De Sentir229,032801,471572,43932GeorgiaTornike KipianiTake Me As I Am218,763425,947207,18433LatviaSamanta TinaStill Breathing197,124850,401653,27734EstoniaUku SuvisteWhat Love Is192,371623,643431,27235North MacedoniaVasilYou188,515389,443200,92836San MarinoSenhitFREAKY!178,990430,748251,75837CroatiaDamir KedzoDivlji vjetre170,673342,649171,97638BelarusVALDa Vidna161,303504,895343,59239SerbiaHurricaneHasta La Vista158,365904,490746,12540MoldovaNatalia GordienkoPrison138,428440,083301,65541SloveniaAna SoklicVoda104,483181,53777,054 Landslide victory Since the Tuesday of Eurovision week 2020, Iceland got BY FAR the most streams of them all. Moreover, Iceland will soon pass Italy to become the most listened Eurovision 2020 entry overall. Italy is one of the countries that naturally always have many streams because they use a popular …
Editorial: BLM and the Eurovision fandom – Committing to long-term change

Editorial: BLM and the Eurovision fandom – Committing to long-term change

Firstly, it’s important to acknowledge that we as Eurovision writers sit among a range of sites, representing fans from across the continent and beyond. Many of these sites, us included, have spoke about issues around diversity and representation at the contest before. For example, Eurovision podcasters Isobel Chillman and Roland Bodenham spoke to this on a segment for ESCInsight. Ellie Chalkley also published a phenomenal piece around Mahmood’s journey to Eurovision last year that included similar themes. More recently, as we stand in this moment of increased discussion around issues faced by Black communities in the West (and beyond), a number of fellow Eurovision sites have used their platforms to speak out on this issue. For example, Connor from ESCUnited published an editorial about why Eurovision fans should care about the Black Lives Matter movement. Wiwibloggs also published an incredible editorial about Black artists’ contributions to the contest throughout its history. We of course must note that a number of these came in response to a Eurovision fan posting a thread of sites featuring Your Face Sounds Familiar on Twitter. This show frequently features blackface as a form of light entertainment for European audiences. In 2020, I personally do not …
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