One week ago we all dove head-first into the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest. Among other things, KEiiNO joiked their way to a televote win and Tamara Todevska slayed the jury vote — even if the full scale of her slayage wasn’t revealed until a few days later. Duncan Laurence won the night and Madonna caused a stir — even as she missed more than a few notes.

But as any Eurofan knows, the build-up is often more interesting than the end result. So, as you look for ways to fight your Post Eurovision Depression, we thought we’d point you to this 60-minute radio documentary from the BBC World Service that goes behind-the-scenes in Tel Aviv.

Listen to “The Arts Hour, Backstage: Eurovision Song Contest”

Presented by our very own William Lee Adams, who is a broadcaster at the World Service in his non-Eurovision life, the documentary includes this year’s best-placing acts. The Netherlands’ Duncan Laurence opens up about what a win would mean for Dutchies. Runner-up Mahmood from Italy talks about the pre-contest controversy he endured back home. Third place finisher Sergey Lazarev of Russia talks MARUV and “Scream”, and is joined by composer Philipp Kirkorov (who hosted the interview in his luxury suite). And jury vote winner Tamara Todevska reveals the dangers of her stage dress.

But there’s more. Noted creative director Sacha Jean-Baptiste walks through her hectic rehearsal schedule. Technical maestro Ola Melzig remembers some of the crazy demands he’s faced from delegations. Producer Christer Björkman opens up about the running order. Executive producer Zivit Davidovitch explains what it’s like to be only the third woman ever to hold her position. And Dr Dean Vuletic of the University of Vienna delves into the political controversies surrounding this year’s show.

Official Programme Description

“Come with The Arts Hour Backstage to the world’s biggest live music event. The Eurovision Song Contest was started in 1956 with just seven countries taking part. This year, it’s being held in Tel Aviv, Israel and will be watched by over 185 million people across the globe. Forty one countries, including Australia, are competing to lift the coveted winner’s trophy. Even the U.S. pop singer Madonna is providing the interval entertainment.”

“Expect fireworks, glitter and dazzling sequins as presenter William Lee Adams goes behind the scenes during the tense and exciting rehearsal period before the semi-finals and final, to talk to the people who make these live shows the icons of glitz and glamour so loved across the world.”

“He’ll be talking to some of the biggest stars in European pop music taking part in this year’s show, including the multi award winning singer and co-writer of Russia’s entry Sergey Lazarev and Philipp Kirkorov, Duncan Laurence from The Netherlands, who has gone from writing songs for Korean pop stars to going centre stage himself, Tamara Todevska from the newly named North Macedonia and Mahmood, whose semi-autobiographical song Soldi, has gone viral, despite right wingers questioning if he was the right choice to represent his native Italy.”

“Artistic Director and choreographer Sacha Jean Baptiste, explains why she is working with performers from not one, but two countries this year.”

“And we’ll also be talking to the contest’s Executive Producer Zivit Davidovitch, the man who describes his job as all the fun things that make a show – Head of Production Ola Melzig and the behind the scenes supremo, the man known as the godfather of Eurovision, Swedish Contest Producer Christer Bjorkman.”

“However the event hasn’t been without controversy, already Ukraine has pulled out and there has been much debate about holding the contest in Israel, so we’ll be finding out with historian and Eurovision fan Dr Dean Vuletic, how it’s possible to host a contest of this size, with so many countries, amidst different political agendas.”

 

Listen to “The Arts Hour, Backstage: Eurovision Song Contest”

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Stephanie
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You probably don’t know this, but a few days ago Duncan picked up another gig – he will be performing at the Pinkpop Festival in Landgraaf on June 10! He’s replacing First Aid Kit, who had to drop out due to health reasons, and the organizers agreed that there was no better replacement than the reigning Eurovision champion. Pinkpop is one of the oldest and best-known music festivals in the Netherlands, and he will be doing a one-hour set on the Brightlands Stage

Taker
Guest
Taker

https://youtu.be/Qk93aWUurNg
Watch this cover of arcade! It is wonderful!

David
Guest
David

I realy enjoy to hear the program.well done from israel.

Dawid
Guest
Dawid

It’s first time my favourite song won since Germany’s Lena.

Baloonbleu
Guest
Baloonbleu

OMG, I can’t stand the “real-winner-battle” from the ESC community after the results (I am Italian, just saying). Congrats to Duncan, can’t wait to come to Amsterdam (???) and thanks wiwi for contents and converage.

Anna
Guest
Anna

Mahmood thank you for your great exhibition and song; a lot of us you think you deserved to win!
I saw you yesterday in the concert in Mi Ami Festival in Milan, your city, you were amazing and you’ll become an international star!

Tubestan
Guest
Tubestan

Guys I just made reaction for the Grand final…
Unfortunately he (Duncan) was singing too much better than the winner performance as everyone told me in the comments on my video…
Man!!! That means he sing for win
He really doesn’t deserve the winning or his fans
I don’t think that Mahmood will do that 😀

Italy the real winner!!! Netherlands boring!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqmeq_jLFOg

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L.H
Guest
L.H

Please! Stop with your stupid reaction every time! Duncan is the winner! Deal with it!

Alex
Guest
Alex

Italy was boring.

Anna
Guest
Anna

Boring Mahmood ???? I think you are speaking about other performances and songs…
you can dislike it bur sure it was not boring….. and singing also in the semi final probably Mahmood would have won

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

@Tubestan: This spamming with your YouTube reactions under every article is getting annoying… And btw, when you show us your beautiful thumbnail every single time: “he don’t deserve it” is the worst grammar I’ve ever seen.

muyi
Guest
muyi

let’s all report his video to YouTube already did so if we all report his video YouTube is gonna remove it

Angelina
Guest
Angelina

You are just like Mahmoods father! only thinking about Money, soldi (money making on Youtube). You just don’t get it. Mahmood is talking exaclty about sad people like You! He talks about his Egyptian father who left him and his Italian mother when he was very young, and his father only came back for the money. Luckily Mahmood has a loving mother. In the video there are references to the love for his Italian mother, the Maria statue on the table, and the woman with the veil carrying Mahmood as a child is a reference to Mother and Child, Maria… Read more »

Angelina
Guest
Angelina

Btw Before the Eurovision you said you were waiting for a bomb attack on Eurovision.
You are crazy

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

Duncan was very emotional after his victory and I think he still sang well. As about Mahmood, he was also fantastic and he deserved the second place. You are too obsessed…

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Non-Eurovision life? Is there such a thing?

Seriously, though…I look forward to listening to this.

greta guldharsdottír
Guest
greta guldharsdottír

Jamala: Hi Jon Ola Welcome to Tel Aviv, so I have very uncomfortable question to you. Are the jury votes not valid?
Jon Ola: Not Valid of course
Jamala: Ok

dygh
Guest
dygh

*CLAPS FRANTICALLY*

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

LOL, this is SO GOOD!

Edde
Guest
Edde

2019 Was one of my Favorite years of Eurovision.
The others are 2011, 2016 & 2018