All Countries

It's time to say goodbye....

They say old soldiers never die, they just fade away...

It's been a blast from the very start, at times the stress was huge, the days were horrendous and the nights sleepless, but in the end Eurovision in Tel Aviv gets a 10/10 from me...

Thanks for everything, thanks to the readers, the viewers and most of all thanks to Andy for the opportunity all those years ago.

Much Love and peace out :-)

Semi two predictions....after San Marino who know's what will happen...

Mike;
Moldova
Switzerland
Sweden
Austria
Croatia
Russia
Albania
The Netherlands
North Macedonia
Azerbaijan

Austria is borderline and could switch with Lithuania - though I would love to see Ireland do it!

Daniel;
Switzerland
Sweden
Russia
Albania
The Netherlands
North Macedonia
Azerbaijan
Malta
Moldova
Ireland

Norway could just make it but not sure who I would put out for that

Finally got around to doing the My Heritage thing

I'm super curious to know what they find out, but suspect that in the end it will probably be a mix of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon - but you never know

"Dear Michael,‎
Thank you for activating your MyHeritage DNA
If you haven't collected and mailed us your DNA sample yet, please follow the instructions (which are also included in your DNA kit).
You can track the status of your DNA kit. We’ll notify you by email when your DNA results are available. You can expect them in about 4 weeks from the moment our lab receives your DNA sample. Your results will include your Ethnicity Estimate, revealing your ethnic origins. We’ll also search for people whose DNA matches yours — your relatives — so you can connect with them and learn more about your family history together.
MyHeritage offers much more than DNA kits! We invite you to discover your family’s history by building your family tree and exploring our collection of 9.7 billion historical records. To help you get started with your family history journey, we’ve created a private family site for you on MyHeritage, in which you can build your own family tree.
Visit your family site and create your family tree. We highly recommend that you do this, while you wait for our lab to process your DNA results. Your DNA Matches will be easier to understand once you have a family tree.
Best regards,
The MyHeritage team"

Semi one predictions from Mike and Daniel (2019)

Mike;
Cyprus
Poland
Czech Republic
Hungary
Serbia
Belgium
Georgia
Australia
Iceland
Greece

Georgia "might" swap with Estonia, and Slovenia are in with a shot, but not sure who I would put out for them

Daniel;
Cyprus
Poland
Czech Republic
Serbia
Greece
Hungary
Belarus
Estonia
Belgium
Australia

Iceland could make it but again not sure who would then miss out.....

Surprisingly tough semi to call in the end....

Nordic Party 2019

Once again the Scandinavian Delegations combined into the famous Nordic Party ensemble and invited selected members of the press to Euroclub for their Party.

First many many thanks for the invite from the Danish Delegation and Team Leonora - we are very appreciative of being asked again to attend this amazing event.

Euroclub was not yet officially opened, but we had a sneak peak of the venue - some pictures are below. Not too many as we had technical problems with one of our cameras - apologies for that

Nordic Party 2019

The party was, as always, one of the highlights of the event colander at the eurovision two weeks. All the Scandinavian delegations, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Estonia, were in there and partying and complimentary food and drink was served while we could mix and mingle with the various artists and members of delegations. We also spotted Hera Bjokr from Iceland Fred from Eurobandi (Iceland), Selma from Iceland, Krista Sigfrieds from Finland Sergey Lazerev from Russia and of course Fillipe Kikirov

We managed to grab few moments with all the delegations that attended and our favourite was, as always, chatting to Hatari - closely followed by John and the Mommas, but it was good to catch up with them all…

Finally at 23.00 general members of the press were allowed to pass into Euroclub and we were all then treated to performances from all the Delegations

Some comments on the sound quality in Euroclub, it did not seem that good, though it improved a little as the evening went on, I hope they resolve the issues they were having last night in time for the next parties

Some interviews are here; Performances in other blog post

ESCKAZ.com team day out in Jerusalem

Day trip to Jerusalem

ESCKAZ.com day out in Jerusalem

As we had a day off this year the team from ESCKAZ.com and some close friends decided to take a trip to Jerusalem to see the sights and take in the atmosphere - and also of course take the obligatory photo of the venue from 1999

ESCKAZ.com day out in Jerusalem

The day started by gathering at the Unicersity train station and taking a quick ride to the airport to change to the new shuttle train that connects Jerusalem and Tel Aviv - literally the whole journey took less than one hour and we were in the Old Town for Jerusalem

The first stop, right next to the train station was the venue from 1999, International Convention Center, obligatory pictures done, it was boarding the new light rail train to pass up to the Old Town…

Starting at one of the gates for the old city walls, our group meandered up through the old town to start the first stop of the tour, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre. While there were obviously queues to get into the Tomb area we decided to join the queue as we had several Orthodox Christians and Catholic Christians in our group. The experience was spiritual and we were so glad to go and finally do this - after many many years of wanting to go to Jerusalem

ESCKAZ.com day out in Jerusalem

Next stop for the Russian side of the team was a stop at the Russian Orthodox Church, Alexander Nevsky Church - they all got services said for friends and family back home and were super excited about that…

Via Dolorosa was up next, time to walk the street which Christ walked when he was carrying his Cross - we also found the place that he rested and stopped for a few moments there.

Temple Mount was closed for the day - it was a Muslim holy day - so we skipped that and passed straight to the Western Wall. Skull caps on we approached the wall and had a few moments there in contemplation - then it was food time!! And back to Tel Aviv in time for the Independence Day celebrations in Rabin Square

ESCKAZ.com day out in Jerusalem

Some photos are here if you would like to take some time to share our day with us..

Cocktail reception in Herzliya

Cocktail reception in Herzliya

Yesterday evening the City of Herzliya and the organisation of this year's Eurovision, KAN, hosted a cocktail reception in Herzliya Marina. All delegations were invited to take part in the welcome photo wall, and were treated to complimentary food and drink.

Cocktail reception in Herzliya

Tali Eshkoli and the Mayor of Herzliya gave welcome speeches and the audience were then given a concert by a local band who sang all the Israeli winning songs - and then the 4th placed singer from Eurovision 2005, Shiri Maimon performed

Cocktail reception in Herzliya

Cocktail reception in Herzliya

Day one is done....and what did we learn today

Well the most important thing we learned today is that everything, bar a hitch with sound for Cyprus at the start, worked more or less pretty smoothy

The press centre, while slightly disconnected again this year, like in Lisbon last year, seem to work really quite well. Wifi was perfect, the volunteers are my new BFFs - especially Roy at the interview rooms, and the air con was sorted pretty quick when - how shall I put this - it started to get rather warm and cozy in the press working area

We could maybe have done with a few more TV screens around - as the massive wall screen is not easy to see from all areas, but it was workable. I might bring a cushion for the chairs tomorrow though

As for the countries on today, well Poland were the total stand out for me, Cyprus - which we could not hear - disappointed me, but maybe that will change on the 2nd run through, Czech Republic again were doing what they do best, jumping around the stage and being too kool for school, missed Hungary, Slovenia, Belarus and Serbia, LOVE DMoll and Heaven - guilty pleasure - and sadly Finland, of those I saw, were the ones with most work to do....

Oh and there is food in the press centre - bit on the pricey side, but at least you can get something to eat - and coffee is good too, always a plus

Day two beckons and bed now....but not as exhausted as on previous first days