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My Heritage DNA test

Andy on Sun, 05/05/2019 - 22:17

Today our colleagues from Latvia and Russia - Maksims Toločins and Andrey Kozhin have passed DNA test on the My Heritage desk in the press-center. Their samples will be now sent to the laboratory in Texas, US and in around 1.5 months of time they will be able to find out if they have distant relatives among 2019 acts (Andrey hopes it's Kate Miller-Heidke).

If you're interested to find out what is your heritage - welcome to the desk in the press-center and check https://www.myheritage.com/eurovision/ - alternatively one can buy the testing package on the website for €69. By the way, Eurovision package plays EBU anthem Te Deum when you open it.

At this moment, My Heritage has revealed results of testing of 3 acts: Michael Rice, Ester Peony and Tamara Todevska and we will keep you updated on the new exciting revelations. Read more at:


My Heritage DNA test

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

With a nod to Silvia night....and some accreditation comments

So congratulations, I have arrived
I'm Silvia Night and I'm shining so bright
Eurovision nation, your dream's coming true
You've been waiting and waiting for me to save you
Wham bam boom

Oh my God…


Well we came, we saw and we decided that maybe it was really a good idea if we went to bed. Been on the go since 2.30 a.m. and the words, CRASH and BURN don’t really seem to cover it - so NO! there is not gonna be a welcome video this year, NO! we do not plan on having a few drinks tonight like we’d normal do and NO! Nothing is open. Well apart from the local rip off supermarket - £60 for a few bars of chocolate and some bread and cheese and milk - oh and eggs, and (ffs) £5 for a packet of Tim-Tams - really Daniel, really?????

Before we go some very brief notes on Accreditation collection, as I’ve had about 5 billion messages already on the subject…

First the good news, it was a totally pain free experience - they did not even have to take a picture this year - Ukraine could learn a lot here!!
The slightly bad news is that the whole ESC bubble area is quite a way from downtown Tel Aviv - but a taxi from the airport - four persons plus luggage - with wait and drop us back to apartments was around £40, which I’m happy with….
As for when you get there, ask the driver (or whoever) to get you to GATE 1, then follow the road straight up for about 200m, then a left turn towards Pavilion 11 and bingo you’re at the accreditation tent. They had beer too….I asked where could I get some from but just got strange looks.

All in the four of us had our passes in under 10 minutes

More information is on the ESCKAZ.com event page http://esckaz.com/2019/event.htm

Rehearsals are about to start....

So while we are all waiting for Saturday morning to get here, why not check out some of the Promo Party clips from the last month

Is your favourite there? Did you get a shock at some of the singing? Who went up, who went down?

Madrid Pre-PartyES 2019 interview photos




and Moscow

Tel Aviv Eurovision 2019 is almost here....שלום And Dare To Dream

Let me show you Tel Aviv.....


Twas the night before Eurovision and all was quiet down Clapham way, until almost like a whisper Better Love started - Greece are back with a bang this year, despite what the nay sayers think….May is here, Eurovision is here and Tel Aviv here we come….

It’s been a long year since Netta won over Europe’s hearts with her Toy(s) and, even though it was, at times, in doubt, the gathering perfect storm that is the Eurovision circus two weeks in Tel Aviv is almost upon us. Less than 12 hours before most of the ESCKAZ.com team arrive there and we’re sat at home, looking at the luggage and thinking just how the hell are we going to get all that on the EasyJet flight - opps

Israeli Party 2018

Tel Aviv has really stepped it up gear these last few weeks, with preparations in full swing in the Arena, The Press area, Euroclub, Eurovillage, Eurofancafe and around the rest of the city, for more information please visit the ESCKAZ.com event page here for the in depth coverage of all that side of the contest http://esckaz.com/2019/event.htm
This is not our first time in Israel, having spent some time there at the first Israel Calling Event in 2016, but this time we plan on trying to see a little more of the place, with a side trip to Jerusalem. We’ll bring you all the news from that, the tourist side of Eurovision, as we can…

So what are we expecting from Eurovision this year? Well aside from the big favourites from The Netherlands, Russia, Italy and Sweden, there are some really cracking songs this year - some standouts for me include Azerbaijan, Albania, Greece, Spain (!!!!), North Macedonia, and for all you Euroclub banger-freaks out there, Norway Cyprus and Finland should light you up, the BDSM crowd have Iceland, and for all the ballad lovers there’s a few to choose from too. Like Latvia. No really!
On the down side there are some real turkeys too, Australia slipped up this year, Belarus should try a bit harder, and that infectious “I need this song to go away now” slab from San Marino….
All that said I am sure you all have the songs you love already, the ones you skip every time and the ones that you still, even now after 50 plays, cannot remember the name of, or who actually sings it, without checking.

Still Mr Handsome from Spain will make it all better :-)

Madrid Pre-PartyES 2019 Blue Carpet photos

Semi two shocks and gasps

Well first up Serbia. Neither of us saw it coming - but in the end we were very happy for them to pass to the final on Saturday - scooping up the Balkan votes on 12th May perhaps? Well done to them...

I was a little emotional for Moldova, having followed them from the National final until their arrival in Lisbon and backing them for a top 10 place - I now feel they could go one better and place in the top 5. They would be overjoyed simply to qualify - so this is great for them.

Hungary, again, with it being my favourite song/performance in the whole show, I was totally OTT when they made it through - well done to the AWS, they also announced at th press conference that they are booked for a big metal festival in Berlin later this year. Funnily enough I think they were more excited about this

Ukraine. Possible winner of the televote in this semi, kinda deserved on this performance, even though I am not a huge fan of the song. Why do Ukraine always bring it with their staging?

Sweden. With such a weak song this year I was wondering if they would fail to make it to the final this time - that said he worked the camera like magic and turned it around on the night

Australia. Bad staging, ok vocal, but still they made it. This, apart from Mother Russia, was the big "shock" from last night - I have a feeling they just scraped in in 9th or 10th place

Norway. Again hate this song, such a load of nothing - but he performed the pants of it. And now, despite what the bookies say, he's in a great position to scoop up Eastern Block votes - along with Moldova and Ukraine

Denmark. Well performed, dark and gothic, worked for them. A great bunch of guys and was happy for them to pass - can see this doing a top 10 in the end

Slovenia. Big shock for me. Just do not get this at all. Despite what colleagues on the team say. It really does nothing for me - but it must come across very very well on stage

The Netherlands - Dad Rock did good in the end. I'm sure it was Waylon's eyes that sold this to the TV viewing public

And to all the other participants - you did your countries proud, especially Romania, Montenegro, San Marino and Georgia. I am sure you were all bubbling under the top 10 and did not miss out by that much....

Footnote. Mother Russia. Gone. Probably deserved that they went home. Do we think they will withdraw now? A quick scan of online Russian media today reveals next to nothing of the mood back in Moscow - but who know's - watch this space I guess....

Semifinal 2 qualifiers

Andy on Thu, 05/10/2018 - 23:00

The following ten countries have qualified for the Grand Final (in order of announcement):
Serbia: Nova Deca by Sanja Ilić & Balkanika
Moldova: My Lucky Day by DoReDoS
Hungary: Viszlát Nyár by AWS
Ukraine: Under The Ladder by MELOVIN
Sweden: Dance You Off by Benjamin Ingrosso
Australia: We Got Love by Jessica Mauboy
Norway: That's How You Write A Song by Alexander Rybak
Denmark: Higher Ground by Rasmussen
Slovenia: Hvala, ne! by Lea Sirk
The Netherlands: Outlaw In 'Em by Waylon