Eurovision 2013: Sofabet on another ESCtips podcast

The lovely chaps at ESCtips invited me back to be a guest on their fourth podcast. This one covers the second half of the second semi. So if you want to hear me discuss the entries from Greece, Israel, Armenia, Hungary, Norway, Albania, Georgia, Switzerland and Romania with ESCtips’ Gavster and ScandieAndy, click on this link.

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23 comments to Eurovision 2013: Sofabet on another ESCtips podcast

  • Boki

    Hi Daniel, I have one remark after listening to the podcast.
    You mention Albania and the fact that votes from countries like Swiss might be crippled because of the new system – I fully agree to that.
    Than again, you mention that Armenia has many friends in the semi but those friends are mainly diaspora based (there is only Georgia from ex-soviet block). So, in my view it could be hurt in the same way as Albania could, it’s best borderline Q imo.

  • Daniel

    You are right, Boki. What I will say is that Armenia have a greater number of diaspora allies in this semi than Albania, and of course both seem to benefit from places like San Marino and Malta.

    I calculate that Albania have five such allies in this semi, and Armenia have ten. That’s a relatively big difference, even though the new system shouldn’t favour both.

    • Boki

      That means I need to recount Armenia’s allies, don’t have the data with me but I found quite similar number to Albania. At this moment I can only say you are very wrong about Malta as Armenia supporter, Emmy got some points being the up-tempo type Malta appreciates while other etno songs got nothing. This year’s rock tune has small chance to get anything from Malta.

      • Daniel

        Malta’s song that year, ‘One Life’ wasn’t what you’d usually associate with Armenian taste. It did very badly in the televote overall but still managed seven points from Armenia. Coincidentally enough, this was the same amount of points Emmy got from Malta.

      • I’d agree with Boki that 10 friends for Armenia seems on the high side. According to my sheet, Malta for example has throughout the years on average given Armenia a full 2.68 points less than the average country has.

        I’d rank Bulgaria, France, Bulgaria, Greece, Israel and Spain as strong friends to Armenia, and Germany as a weak one. In all, that’s still a very impressive set of allies, and I’d expect Armenia to qualify despite the dreary song and the uncharismatic singer.

    • Daniel

      🙂 For the uninitiated, EV is referring to this rather remarkable three minutes. Cezar is not just the voice, he is the man!

  • eurovicious

    More thoughts on SF2 later but for now just want to comment that funnily enough, I also revised Israel downwards after initially assuming it would qualify. I still think it’s (much) more likely to qualify than not but far from certain. The Milim comparison is apt; I think the song’s more televote friendly than Milim (which came over poorly – the first time I heard it was on the night itself and it came over as an abstract mess) but only somewhat.

  • Justin

    Daniel like the other readers really enjoyed listening to you on the podcast.

    I particularly liked your point about how well the Ex-USSR countries did in the jury vote last year. Thinking back Ukraine surprised most of us with its jury 7th in the final; Russia’s 11th was a shock to me at least and who would have guessed Moldova finishing 9th. Azer in 8th was probably the only non-shock.

    This was big contrast to 2011 where Russia finished last; Moldova and Georgia were in the bottom half; Ukraine and Azer in the top 10.

    Im wondering if this is the shape of things to come. I also dont think neighbour friendly votes (ex USSR, Balkan) will be hit by the new ranking system in the same way as non-neighbour.

    If the above is correct its looking solid for Russia and Azer at least – who are also guaranteed a big televote haul.

  • Panos

    I think greece top balkan @1.1 and azerbaijan top eastern european @6 at sportingbet are good value bets.

  • eurovicious

    Oh my god, just watched Bonnie’s performance. The overall visual and artistic impression is worse than Englebert. Last place. Oppose in every market.

    • Daniel

      For those who haven’t seen it, here is Bonnie’s performance on the Graham Norton show last night.

      • I actually enjoyed this performance compared to the croaky radio version last week. The backing singers are stronger. I would probably lower my expectations more towards 15th-20th, but with stronger staging I would place slightly higher.

        It is progressing, so I’m looking forward to seeing this in rehearsals next week.

        • Nitro

          I also thought it was decent. If Bonnie remembers her camera angles she’ll definitely dodge the jumbo position.

          • eurovicious

            I love Total Eclipse Of The Heart and Holding Out For A Hero as much as the next woofter, but this is like watching your serial-divorcee aunt at a provincial wedding reception deciding to have a go on the karaoke after one too many glasses of champers.

          • eurovicious

            It makes Engelbert look like Rufus Wainright.

          • Nitro

            I could totally see my old folks voting this drunken auntie =)

            I feel it’s much more dangerous to be boring than old and muddled. Take Israel as an example of what may qualify. Wouldn’t Bonnie beat Moran Mazor in the finals?
            I found another recent performance with more flattering camera angles:
            [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnvVYwdfZps&w=560&h=315%5D

    • eurovicious

      Here’s Bonnie miming on German television this morning. Still swaying like a drunkard.

      [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u2ChuTM8I0&w=560&h=315%5D

  • Shai

    Regarding Israel:
    I think it is an anomaly in Eurovision terms.
    Qualification record is 50%. For a country with no natural voting allies, it is quite a decent percentage of success. 50% of success is a percentage many countries would love to have.Israel managed to qualify during the full televote era and even when the juries have returned.
    If I am not mistaken on the time Israel has qualified, they had an accessible song(and I deliberately not using the term a good song), combined with a good vocals(even Milim had good vocals in the SF). The main question here is how accessible Israel’s entry for 2013, because there is no doubt that Moran have a good voice and can sing quite well.

    If you want to compare the 2013 Israel’s entry, you should compare it to the 2005’s entry.Both are ballads sang by a female singer. In the podcast one of the commentator, was complaining about the presentation and described it as dull-well what do you expect, it is a ballad. You can’t jump and have a dance routine to such a song.Again, I go back to the 2005 presentation-a singer belting out a ballad with a piano player guitar player and 3 backing singers(which can be also described as dull), I suspect we will see somewhat of the same this year(I admit that Shiri Maymoun looked stunning on tv, which was a huge asset, but that aside).

    Another comment in the podcast, was that the song after Israel, will make the viewers forget the Israeli song. Norway is the stronger in the next 4 songs, in compare to Armenia and Hungary the Israeli song is stronger and more accessible.
    I go back to the 2005 contest-in the SF of that year Israel was performing 7th, in a run through 5 female singers. During the built up to the contest, I remember a lot of reviews saying that all of the 5 female singers, will cancel each other, and therefore no one of them has a chance to qualify.The only one who managed eventually to qualify was Israel. This year Israel is singing between Greece(male group singer) and Armenia(another male singer). a chance to actually stand out.

    Last year Albania manage to qualify, with a less accessible song, than Israel this year.And her performance was…dull(and very static).
    My point is that sometime the presentation need to fit the song.

    My main point is that I don’t think you can rule out Israel qualification chances this year. I don’t think it will win.It will just have a decent placing, somewhere mid-table, where it belongs.

  • chewy wesker

    Thanks Daniel for sticking these videos up, totally missed Bonnie on Graham Norton, surprised the odds didn’t come in, not even a little??? As for Cezar not only do I feel a place in the final is on the cards, but I see him in a total new light, I’m thinking of a top ten and maybe even the next James Bond…lol

  • Does anyone have a video of Ryan Dolan performing on The Late Late Show from Friday night? I can’t seem to find one on YouTube.

    • Daniel

      Hi Tim, you can watch it by going to the RTE website. Download the RTE Player app if you haven’t already – it lets me watch The Late Late Show from Friday May 3 and Ryan is handily on at the start. Looks like it might be a dry run for the Eurovision staging and Ryan was effective in engaging with the camera.

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