Eurovision 2016: May 6 rehearsals

As well as a quicker tempo to the day, there are fewer new things to describe for the second rehearsals. Finland is a case in point: it’s largely the same as before, though the vocals and camera angles had tightened up – apart from her catwalk strut, where both still mildly suffer at the moment.

We got to hear Greece this time, and the female vocalists are only adequate. The visuals are carrying ‘Utopian Land’ as far as the song can go, but the last minute drags on the repetition of the chorus. Moldova’s Lidia has a cute, see-through little black dress with metallic detail, her cosmonaut is now in full silver attire, and there’s a verse in French. None of these feel like enough to lift the song into the qualification mix.

What I’m asking myself regarding Hungary’s ‘Pioneer’ is: how does it compare to the same country’s light-anthem-rock borderline qualifier in 2012? I think ‘Sound of Our Hearts’ is a marginally better song, and Compact Disco provided more energy on stage, although the addition of the monk drummer and his Kung-fu moves helped today. But Freddie does have looks in his favour, even if I’m not sure how well his gravelly voice works here.

He’s also helped by Croatia looking and sounding less than convincing straight afterwards. Like Elhaida Dani last year, Nina feels like a good vocalist trapped by a song that’s not ideal to perform. She’s still encumbered by her big tentacle dress too, and now her backing singers are hooded like evil monks. Nina biffed a few early notes in each run-through, but was generally secure for the finale; her feathery, metallic undergarment is fine.

The reliable, straightforward charm of The Netherlands stands out at this point. There are more close-ups now, though not enough in the early part of the song. The guitarist makes the most of his 15 seconds of fame during the instrumental bridge, and the only unknown is how the audience singalong will go. I don’t envisage too many problems for this brief interlude with a bunch of enthusiastic fanboys; plenty of them will presumably be Dutch.

Armenia is much as before. Iveta alone in a skimpy leotard and cape, red light occasionally shining on her face, thrusting her hips around. I think the connotations are unfortunate, and viewers prefer females who behave more demurely, like Zlata Ognevich. But she’s making a decent fist of carrying this demanding song alone on stage.

Plum-suited Serhat is alone for the first 1m45s of ‘I Didn’t Know’ until his silver-clad backing singers – who aren’t doing their main job well enough – join him off their plinth. This makes him look creepy and aloof, and the styling is dated in the worst way. San Marino could learn some lessons from Belgium on staging a disco number. This is the amateur night version.

Russia are still working out small problems with the very technical ‘You Are The Only One’. The screen doesn’t quite align properly for one of Sergey’s stepping stones, and the spotlights obscuring the swirl came back for one run-through before being ditched again. There’s another long close-up, but Sergey needs more, and the stage is far too dark. But it sounds very strong, and I have no doubt will look very slick by Tuesday. The whole routine says action hero rather than romantic hero, and the big question remains how much neutral televoters and jurors will respond to that.

There wasn’t too much that was new for the Czech staging. The first and last parts are still more impressive than the middle section, and I’m not sure there’s enough visual development, but at least we got more close-ups. Gabriela remains in good voice. Cyprus is another in the “doing well enough” category. There were less distracting cutaways to CGI wolves, which only now happens in the latter part of the song. Otherwise, this is much the same.

As was Austria. You know what you’re getting here: three minutes of charming whimsy. I still don’t think it’s the kind of thing juries take kindly to, but I understand its appeal. Estonia had come on nicely from a leaden first rehearsal. The camera is working much more in Juri’s favour, and it’s helped that he’s ditched the glasses. I’m not totally sold on the blue suit that makes him look like a young investment banker, tied into the playing card theme, but he seemed to have more confidence today.

Azerbaijan’s Samra couldn’t have been any less confident in her first rehearsal. She came along a little bit today, which is to say the vocals were merely poor, and she didn’t look completely lost. She tried out a few racy outfits, whilst her backing dancers looked like extras from a Mardi Gras parade in their kinky American Football-style clothes. They will be throwing every pyro at the finale.

Montenegro have black outfits now, and what feels like an even darker stage for their growlathon. It doesn’t keep the interest. Iceland, on the other hand, really upped its game today. There were new effects in the floor, and a great moment when what looks like a real Greta dissipates, and the real thing comes right back into shot. Every camera angle was working for ‘Hear Them Calling’ today, and the backing singers were lifting the tune.

Bosnia is also very ably performed but their styling is incredibly off-putting. Someone needs to tell Deen that wearing an all black-outfit with leather trenchcoat and jackboots behind a barbed wire fence looks very unfortunate. Dalal is wearing an ugly pair of curtains, and Ana has tights with cutouts. The girls still start out in bacofoil too. The fashion roadkill is distracting from an otherwise earnest entry.

Malta have made plenty of changes. Ira’s hologram now starts out in bigger form on the floor, and she’s in front of her backing dancer in a more flattering, flowing black slitted dress. She stands at the edge of a watery LED floor, as a predominantly blue backdrop turns to predominantly gold. The ineffective technology has been ditched, which is an improvement, but this means it rather lacks a concept.

Moving onto the much-anticipated French rehearsal, Amir was alone on stage in an informal blue suit with a gorgeous blue cosmos backdrop. He gives a Sergey eagle pose to start things off, in what was a rather tense and static set of run-throughs. Vocally, the hidden backing singers are giving him great support in those places that he needs it, apart from the first line of the freestyling section, which was notably off on each occasion. Amir needs to relax and play on his charm to get the best possible result. Without it this time around, the press centre reaction was muted.

Spain’s backing singers are not doing such a good job in their sparkly basketball top dresses, whilst Barei in a similar metallic number, fakes a fall at the point the music stops in the video. I started off rolling my eyes at this gimmick, but had come round to it by the last run-through. I don’t think it’s persuading juries to like ‘Say Yay’.

Tomorrow sees the remaining Big 5 give their first rehearsals, followed by all of the second semi-final on their second tries. Please keep the conversation going below.

67 comments to Eurovision 2016: May 6 rehearsals

  • teo4

    At this point Daniel, which song do you think has better chances to qualify: Bosnia, Estonia or Hungary?

    • Daniel

      That’s a good question Teo as I feel these three are on the borderline. I have a straightforward answer: Bosnia has the best price (twice as good as Hungary), the best place in the running order and the most friends among those three. So that’s my pick from a betting perspective.

      • teo4

        Thank you Daniel for the immediate response, Bosnia is my pick as well, regarding the price. I’m also thinking that laying Hungary may be the best price I can get at this point from the 1st semi and I’m looking forward for your analysis to see if we share the same thoughts.

  • MGR

    I was blind when I believed in Sweden

  • Chris Bellis

    Can’t speak for Daniel, but for me only Estonia has the legs for Eurovision. Who knows what the juries will think – very difficult choice between those three. I wouldn’t be surprised if none of them qualify. All borderline.

  • MGR

    I thought that France will be funny, ridiculous, complicated, dull and intricate, but it will be maximally simple and direct. Three shots, like Mans Zelmerlow or Il Volo.

  • MGR

    If someone want to say that Ukraine will win ESC 2016, please look at calendar. Now we have May, not 1 April!!!

  • Copypasting the following from esctips if that’s okay, but I’ve tried to get my head around the Ukraine hype and this is what I’ve come up with:

    To Ukraine’s credit, I will acknowledge that some people will find it very moving, and if the staging is showing signs of a happy ending or hope for a bright future in a clear way, that helps its case. Suus proved that there is room for audiences to be moved by tearjerkers. Spain’s Quedate Comigo is another interesting example of that, but that didn’t have the darkness 1944 does. Ukraine definitely has the most emotional song this year. Unquestionably. But I think it’s one that grows on you.

    The first time I heard 1944, my takeaway was Caucasian ethnic instruments, Michael Jackson’s “Stranger in Moscow”, and a dreadful morbid wailing, I had it down as a potential non-qualifier but knew straight away Ukraine would never allow for that possibility. I didn’t get it. Others did, and will.

    I’m relaxing my view, just slightly, that 1944 is going to split Europe right down the Iron Curtain. I think there’s potential for 1944 to get a result like Suus but be seen as a “cooler” song perhaps, but I still think it’s going to struggle in the west and most of its support will come from diaspora, especially Turkish. Others who can’t relate to Jamala’s “situation” may well assume the song is about the recent Crimean invasion and find their connection with it that way. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Ukraine had absolutely no problem with that misinterpretation.

    Back in 2014 when everyone was saying Conchita would never win over the east, I wished I or someone else had the balls to say “but what if she does?” If 1944 does win over the west like Conchita won over the east, then fair game. I’ve got to acknowledge that possibility.

    At the moment I’m weighing up potential contenders by trying to think of reasons why they will win and why they won’t. I still haven’t attached my sails to anyone’s mast yet. Ukraine’s position in the final running order will be telling.

    • Ande

      The second verse adds a glimmer of hope but any more would take away from the songs main intent (to shame those who wronged without shouldering the blame). Empathy is a highly commendable motive and humans are social creatures who needs credible justifications for their actions(votes).

      A happy ending would mean the guilt tripp would lose effectiveness and as such I’d much rather see a distressed Jamala end on her knees with tears rolling down her cheeks.

  • Astute contribution Ben.

    I think if Ukraine was up against other quality songs with soul and depth there would be a greater threat to her chances, but against Russia’s showy vacuousness, it makes 2016 a very binary year (especially if France looks, possibly, set to disappoint its backers.)

    I think appeals to, “this has never won before” and “for this to win would be unprecedented” ring increasingly hollow. Juries and the public are not set in stone and tastes and moods evolve. What worked in 2008 may not work at all in 2016. The song appears to be a piece of serious mini–theatre which took people aback on Thursday by its impeccable staging and Jamala’s undoubted, searing vocal talent.

    I’m not saying she’ll win. But I think there are some people on here who are not taking the threat as seriously as perhaps they should.

    • I think as a song, 1944 really goes against the grain of recent Eurovision winners in its compete lack of chart friendliness. Is it high-calibre, timeless class? I’d say no, more of an ethnic prog rock song, but it’s debatable.

      I’m turning Ukraine a cautionary green from a previous red, not much more.

    • Rob4

      i think those of us who say nay – and are experienced gamblers – have still taken out insurance… i know i have.

  • Lake

    Here’s video of Ukraine’s actual staging for some idea of what the press saw (at the end of the video):

  • Ande

    In a competetive but wide open year it’s important to have a clear target audience in mind. Let’s ask ourselves: “Who would vote for this song?” Here’s my comprehensive list:

    “You Are the Only One” – Kids & others with ADHD

    “1944” – Human rights advocates

    “J’ai cherché” – Hopeless romantics

    “If I Were Sorry” – Teenagers & Matt Simons-fans

    “Sound Of Silence” – Simon & Garfunkel

    “Walk on Water” – Jesus

    • Chris Bellis

      Jesus is very popular in many Eurovision countries…but thanks for making me laugh. Among your humorous entries is a nugget though – “If I Were Sorry” – Teenagers & Matt Simons-fans. That covers a very wide base, and makes me happier that I put so much on a top 5 for Sweden.

  • Black n Blue

    I’m doing a Ben, and copypasting what I said over at ESCtips:

    I’m immensely curious to see which way the juries go. The beacon of quality is coming from Ukraine and Sweden, two original, contemporary numbers with distinct core messages and succinct productions. With the French missing the mark, Armenia being too aggressive, and Italy perhaps being too subtle, I’m inclined to feel as though Jamala and Frans should be our Jury top 2, and should contend outright with Sergey.

    With Sweden you have an entry that divides fan opinion but is valued by the betting community. Russia similarly divides fan opinion, and although standing as the market leader, is not valued by the more experienced punter. However based on the recent reception to 1944, Jamala seems to be winning over the hardcore fans, the press, music snobs, a majority of punters, and has gone from being something macabre and esoteric, into an entry with astounding universal appeal, a support system no other entry has this year.

    Jamala’s 1944 is a remembrance of her Grandmother, and more generally is a lament for the dead. What strikes me is that on a global level, music in 2016 has undoubtedly been tied to that of remembrance, with the recent deaths of David Bowie, Prince and many more icons within the industry (Billy Paul and Merle Haggard too). My point is that this Ukrainian entry may well connect with a wider audience thematically, since the world has become familiar with the act of lamenting the dead within a musical and sociopolitical context in 2016. Just food for thought.

    • Ande

      I agree. Unless Amir steps it up three notches Jamala holds the keys to the empathy votes. Ukraine also feels like a default winner as the package lacks any obvious weaknesses (besides perhaps being a tad depressing).

      Sergey has troubles connecting through the lens and the dated song might struggle to finnish top 3 with juries.

      Frans has a weak vocal that some juries might take note of, the draw is also problematic for an understaded song that relies heavily on televotes.

      I’m not too worried about Amirs vocals, the main issue here is the lack of effective presentation and difficulty achieving intimacy with Amir on such a big stage.

      Malta & Australia
      I can’t see Malta nor Australia doing well enough in the televote as they lack any unique USP and have only “above average” stagings. Being in contention with 10 other “classy” female vocalists doesn’t help.

      • Ben Cook

        But doesn’t Ukraine have just as many question marks hanging over it as the other contenders? So any of them could be a default winner.

        • Ande

          Which ones?

          + She nails the cameras
          + Unique USP
          + The best staging (with Russia in contention)
          + “1944” should be more credible than “You Are the Only One” and “If I Were Sorry” with juries.

          • RonH

            And what would you think of:
            – It is a political song, and EBU (and many viewers and some governements) don’t like political songs on Eurovision.
            – 1944 is a sad song and families prefer happy tunes when they watch TV on a saturday night with the kids
            – 1944 not a song any first listener can sing along in the last minute.
            – the typical fan (and the officials of EBU) will be shocked by the idea Ukraine would be organising ESC next year.
            – the melody of 1944 is not what the average viewer of Western Europe likes.
            – we know what the song realy is about, but the televoter does not care when he drinks his beer and eats his chips.
            Do I need to go on?

          • Ande

            – The political message could in theory piss off some juries, but if they follow their judging criteria it shouldn’t. I’d be suprised if juries other than Belarus or Russia marks it down.
            – A sad boring song is a bad idea. Sad songs that channels viewers emotions usually does well however (see Estonia or Romania last year).
            – People not being able to sing along is an issue yes.
            – We have no past indication that voters/juries bases their votes on organizing capabilities.
            – The background melody is fine, no? It’s the singing that is less accessible imo.
            – Most viewers doesn’t vote at all. More important is if those who does care will pick up their phones and vote?

            To sum up I do feel you have a valid point about the singing not being very accessible, This might hurt Ukraine’s televote in a similair fashion to Suus and Aminata.

          • RonH

            Of course I am also wondering what will happen to Ukraine this year. Still at this moment I estimate not getting involved in the present hype is the better quess. Last year I was amazed by the staging of N’ Oublier Pas, yet it turned out to be a big mistake to put some money on it even though the theme and lyrics were less tough than 1944.

  • dash berlin

    Agree with Ron really, Ukraine has top 5 potential, but its not got enough widespread appeal to win.
    As the market is still suggesting, it’s Russia by default – probably won’t see a significant move for an outside until the SFs now

    I think France will get a top 10, but that’s about it. The jurys will kill it if he can’t sing – I can’t see it landsliding the televote either because most of it is in French….I’d just like to point out something from last year which is worth noting when checking spotify/itunes – Sweden was comfortably clear in those rankings last year and didn’t win the televote. Shockingly its higher performance with the jurys over Italy got the W

    Sorry for lack of contributions this year so far, struggled to get into the blandness this year. I’m on way to Stockholm tonight though, so should get into a bit more now 🙂

    Oh and just to add to Ron’s last point, it was like Armenia last year – there was a message behind that song, but anyone that wasn’t Armenian simply didn’t care (enough to vote)

  • Milton

    Like most of us on here I’ve been trying to make sense of Ukraine from the tiny live clip we have seen. The people who saw it on the monitors at the hall are describing an extraordinary, breathtaking piece of art. Regardless of whether people get or care about the theme it sounds like its going to make a huge impact.

  • MGR

    Russia and Netherlands have big projects (whole stage is filled, pasted and sealed) and they are obvious favorites to top 3. Sweden looks much more trivially and dimly, Ukraine and Australia do not even need a comment. France and Italy can make positive surprise, because it may be very elegant, simple, direct and accurate (three shots like Mans Zelmerlow or Il Volo). Similarly Lithuania and Latvia can be dangerous. Sweden, Norway and Hungary are ruined, Spain and Germany never had potential in reality. Denmark and UK should succeed, because duos and trios always work well in the ESC. I hope jury will not vote for Sweden and Russia only just because they are Sweden and Russia. This should be not enough, but they may be afraid and brainwashed.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Re the Ukraine.

    Generally speaking, I think bettors tend to conservatism. If something hasn’t happened before then there is a default position of not believing and not betting on that something happening at a specified future point.

    Even the odds-setters can take this position – after all, it’s still human judgement setting the price, setting the odds.

    For example, in hindsight everyone is in agreement that there shouldn’t have been a 5000/1 shot in the 20 runner race that is the English Premier League.

    It’s been noted that Paddy Power were only offering 2000/1 that Elvis would be found alive!

    For most of the season perhaps all pundits and experts assured that there was no way that Leicester would finish in a Champions League position, never mind be crowned champions.

    So next season, the first unfashionable side to start the season on a roll will immediately be labelled “The new Leicester”, meaning that that side will instantly be lumbered with an expectation (pressure) that Leicester never had to carry, as Leicester weren’t following in any precedent’s footsteps.

    (Funnily, Leicester cannot be that side as they will be playing Champion’s League football next season!)

    A couple of points to extract from that. A) The value lay with backing the unprecedented; and perhaps likewise the value will not lie with backing the attempted follow-ups (though perhaps or perhaps not, on that one). B) Ironically, in certain circumstances it’s easier to break the mould than to reissue.

    I recall on this site a few years ago a commentator made the excellent point that if Anouk’s “Birds” won that year’s Eurovision, then doubtless there would be a flood of waltzes entered into the following year’s contest.

    Conservatism comes in many forms. I know a number of casual bettors who do umpteen-fold accas on the Saturday football. They show me their slips, whereupon I see they’ve essentially backed all the long odds-on faves. It’s the very essence of what would not be judged a value bet. Compound non-value, in fact. (But understandable and not without logic, all the same.)

    It seems Ukraine was an unknown quantity, in terms of a parallel. Yet look again at that national final performance to see that it always has ticked a lot of boxes, ie a lot of established criteria.

    So there’s always been a welter of “cans” amidst the big “cannot”.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Just want to add the litmus test on the night for the Ukraine’s prospects will not be if Jamala makes you cognitively understand, but whether she makes you feel it.

      You can ask that of any performance.

      For example, do you feel ABBA helped you understand the nuances of The Battle of Waterloo?

      Of course, ABBA were using a metaphor, a means to an end, in this respect.

      Still, Jamala (too) personalises it all (to the nth), and makes a one-woman cult out of mourning.

      And if you feel it, will you want to be feeling it?

      Will her tragedy translation give you a heroic Child Called It elevation or leave you feeling ambivalent at feeling moody on a Saturday night?

    • RonH

      Fantastic analysis Guildo, yet Anouk came up ninth with her Birds and not many waltzes where presented at ESC since 2013. A miracle like Leicester remains possible, but they seldom happen when you expect them to. If Jamala turns out to be one of these miracles, I will have to take my loss, but I prefer to base my rational decisions on common sense and according to my calculated analysis Jamala carries to many red flags to give her a shot at the title.

    • Alpie

      Ben, with all due respect to your Mumy I remember what she said about Oz last year and it didn’t happen. Please give her my best regards but Ukraine will make it

      • Well she did say that if Australia didn’t win, Sweden would. I simply latched onto Australia based on that because its odds were higher. My methodology is honed more every year and this remains an important indicator for me to make sure I’m not betting on something that’s total rubbish. If you don’t find it useful then that’s fine.

    • eurovicious

      Spotify streams:
      Frans – If I Were Sorry: > 30 million
      Amir – J’ai cherche: 1.1 million
      Sergey Lazarev – You Are The Only One: 600,000
      Jamala – 1944: 250,000

      Ben and I are on the same page about this – the song is musically/lyrically inaccessible and a buzzkill, its message neither clearly conveyed nor one that allows people to feel good about themselves (unlike Conchita 2 years ago). Of course it’s nailed on for a very high placing, but I’ll be extremely surprised if it wins. It’s not young-people-friendly or cool, and there’s no sense of overcoming darkness, just lamenting it. I’m sure it looks and sounds great, and it’s this novum that everyone’s reacting too, but the song (which, unlike the viewers, we’ve known for 2 months and are now taking for granted) is the issue. Ukraine has previously been able to get great results with not-that-great songs thanks to staging wonders and strong performers, and will do again this year for the same reasons, but a win? I doubt it.

      In terms of it getting an anti-Russia vote… Conchita gave people a way of voting against Russia on the gay-rights front, Jamala gives people a way of voting against Russia on the political front. Yet I’m not sure how many ordinary people in Western Europe care about the political front. Russia can act with brutal impunity and invade as many places as it likes, yet at the end of the day, many Westerners’ most commonly voiced concern about the country will still be “it’s homophobic”. They care about Russia oppressing gays but not about Russia seizing Crimea. (Yet, for instance, none of the same right-on outrage is popularly directed at countries that massively restrict women’s reproductive rights, like Ireland or Poland, as unlike homophobia, this – for some reason – isn’t a virtue-signalling cause celebre the way “Eastern Europe is homophobic” has become.) Most Brits on the night won’t know what a Tatar is, or if they do, they’ll think it’s a condiment or root vegetable. Next to accessible personalities like Frans, Amir, Justs, Sergey or [insert your fave here], I strongly suspect Jamala will come over as too much of a “wailing wifey” (from the Nishliu stable) to trouble the pole position.

      • Ben Cook

        I agree it’s very unlikely to top the televote, but it’s still very possible that it’ll win overall just by winning the jury vote and coming top 5 on televote, if juries don’t rate the likes of Russia and Sweden.

        I still see Sweden as most likely winner though, and it looks like it’ll be back up to 3rd by this time tomorrow.

        • I agree with Ukraine being able to nab the trophy via the jury vote and doing “good enough” on the televote. Same as last year in that sense. Crucial difference being the new untethered voting system. If the public don’t like Ukraine, she can topple to 2nd or 3rd overall.

          The reverse is true for Sweden. If Mans couldn’t win the televote from 10th in the running order, how can Frans win it from 9th with a less memorable package?

          • Ben Cook

            By being the best contemporary song in the contest.

            Måns didn’t not win the televote because he sang 10th. Il Volo would’ve beaten him regardless.

            I don’t believe draw has more than 10-20% effect on points personally. Only crucial when it’s close.

          • Ben Cook

            Also, although Måns did only come 3rd in televote, don’t forget he did still score 279 televote points which in some years would be enough to win the televote. He lost it because Il Volo got 366 points, not because he sang from 10th. And Frans isn’t competing against Il Volo.

    • TikTok

      What’s your mum favourite ?

  • MGR

    Help! What do I need to believe in Ukraine, just like you?

  • MGR

    OMG I have read eurovicious and these facts are new for me. For me Sweden is clearly blown up on this stage, but of course this song is very popular because of performances in Melodifestivalen. Then it was very deep, addictive and engaging. Now it will be very dull, shallow and unproductive, but this popularity on spotify is extremely giant for me.

  • MGR

    Please stop Sweden! This popularity on spotify is not fair! It should be banned! Frans – cheater!

  • Milton

    Those headline Spotify figures look extraordinary on the face of it, but as is often the case, raw figures can be hugely misleading:

    1. The huge majority of these streams were in Sweden, the home of Spotify. You can’t vote for your own country.
    2. The majority of the other streams were shared between 4 or 5 countries, so the potential impact is restricted to them.
    3. At least two of those countries have strong diasporas who will get the 12 and 10s leaving 8s at best for Sweden.
    4. The great majority of plays in those countries will have been on playlists, which means that the listener didn’t choose the song, may not have liked it and may not even have been in the room when it played.
    5. This contrasts with itunes where the listener has to hear a song that strikes a chord with them, and be sufficiently taken by it to seek it out and buy it with real money. France has consistently thrashed Frans on itunes.
    6. France is actually getting marginally more radio play than the supposedly radio friendly Frans. Compare and contrast:
    By the way, if you want a real laugh, here are superstar Sergey’s figures:

    Being on Spotify playlists does of course make people familiar with it and when he performs next Saturday, in the countries where he has been playlisted some people will recognise the song as something they have heard on Spotify which is obviously a plus. (although I suspect that most of that demographic will not be watching) Does that balance out the fact that he is an automatic qualifier and hasn’t had the benefit of a full semi-final performance? Personally, I seriously doubt it.

    • TikTok

      I still don’t see how Frans could do well with the juries. He didn’t even win the jury vote in MF.

    • Chris Bellis

      Am I being thick here? Spotify streams 30 million for Frans but this is accounted for by Spotify being a Swedish site? Sweden when I last went there had a population of about 9 million. I know there’s been a lot of immigration but….

      • Ande

        66% of streams are Swedish but that still leaves 10 million streams in foreign countries. Remember that the same person can stream a song multiple times.

        ‘If I Were Sorry’ has reached the same amount of Swedish streams as ‘Heroes’ now (19m). This means in little over two months ‘If I Were Sorry’ has amassed the same number of Swedish streams as the previous Eurovision winner did in over 14 months.

    • Jose Mendez

      Frans got played on Radio 1 this Sunday afternoon. I thought it was very unusual, as the BBC, traditionally, only plays the national entry, and it’s always been pretty much down to Graham Norton to do so on Radio 2.

      Reading his Bio on Wikipedia ( it appears his labels is Universal Music.

      Wondering… is the label pushing Radio time in other countries too?

      I can see Milton posted a link to, but I have no-way of checking in which stations has been played before, so not sure how much to get from it.

      To clarify, I am not building up a case to back Frans to win. I currently hold no positions in any of the Sweden’s markets.

    • I’m so glad you brought this up and did the legwork Milton, because I was just thinking about the exact same thing today. It’s a bit of a pet peeve I have with Spotify, that it’s basically just a new digital way for labels and corporations to impose songs onto people who aren’t that bothered about music and are happy to live under the belief that what they’re given is “the best” music. It’s just a 21st century fusion of the radio and a social network.

      (I don’t use Spotify myself, but I am aware that people can use it to look for music themselves as well. Just want to clear that up before someone counter-argues that.)

      Spotify might be a more dominant contribution to the shape of the charts nowadays in a handful of countries, but iTunes is still relevant in a hell of a lot more countries – AND you know for sure that every single iTunes sale is because someone manually and willingly clicked “Buy”. For all we know, Frans might have a Spotify surge next week that could be a result of his label forking out extra cash for heavier rotation. For the time being, I think iTunes therefore remains a better indicator of the entries’ successes between the semis and the final.

      I was wondering if there is a way to find out and separate how many of those streams for Frans are as a result of people actually looking for the song. Would be nice if there were Betfair style line graphs indicating streams over time and also whether the song was played by choice or simply on rotation. I’m sure valuable statistics like that must be extracted, as its very useful for the labels, but is it publicly available?

      Frans’ song is current like few other Eurovision entries ever are, and that’s why it’s getting the rotation plays. Under that mechanism, the song’s popularity is a self-fulfilling prophesy, so it’s kind of bogus to call it a viral hit. I’m actually kind of cynical that Frans must be the biggest pop star on this planet right now that’s not “working” most days due to school. But at the same time I respect him because I know I’d never be able to focus in school if I was in his position right now.

  • I realise its a rather irrelevant question, and one that can’t really be answered…but…would anyone like to speculate as to what price Margaret would have been right now, if her path had been the one that was widely expected a couple of months ago?

  • Chris Bellis

    netnerd – she would have got her vocals right by now and would be set to win the whole contest. Never mind.

  • KeyserSoze

    Serbian panel results for semi 2

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