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.
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.”
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The sun brings out our freckles 🙂 #Eurovision favorite @itsduncanlaurence is keeping his cool ahead of the semi-final. He was very loose and relaxed over afternoon drinks (water and Coca-Cola) ???? #Eurovision #ESC2019 #Eurovision2019 @songfestival.avrotros @omroep.avrotros #eurovisionsongcontest #myheritage @myheritage_official