EUROVISION 2019 - TEL AVIV - ISRAEL

SECHUK JURY 2019 - MEET THE 22 MEMBERS  

The SECHUK JURY of 2019 will be a single jury (not split into UK/International as in previous years) and will comment on and scored the songs of TEL AVIV 2019 as they are chosen. The idea is that the songs will be voted on first impressions, as most TV viewers will do in May. The main difference is that in May they will be subject to the same production standards and opportunities, something that differs at National Selection stage. Individual Jury scores, plus an overall rating will be published. Here are the 22 Jury members who are critiquing the songs of 2019:

 TO THE LEADER-BOARD

AMAR Hodzic (AH)

USA

Hello  Europe and Hello World! I'm Amar and I live in the  United States  , no worries though, I'm originally from  Bosnia  so I truly have a feel for what Eurovision is all about! I'm 22 years old but 14 years old in the Eurovision community; 2005 was the year that I was first introduced to this song contest and I was immediately captivated. Ever since that first experience, I've been very musically inclined and have developed a true feel for judging music and judging how audiences will respond to certain songs and performances (even though I'm not the slightest bit talented in producing music). I am very open minded with music, artists, and performances and will take every genre into consideration equally and fairly. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what this year brings and I hope my critiques will be entertaining and accurate on the scoreboard in May! 

 

 

BENEDEK Botond (BB)

Romania

My name is Benedek Botond. I#m 38 years old and married with 2 children. I work as a Theatre actor, I'm one of the founders of the Theater 3G and a news reporter for Targu Mures Radio. From 2003 I have worked in several theatre plays, musicals and operas. I'm a Eurovision fan from 2007 and I love the unpredictability of the Contest. Also I enjoy watching artists from other countries and I like a lot to get to know new things about other countries. My motto for the contest is to be fair and honest.

 

 

DANNY Lynch (DL)

UK

I have been a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest for as long as I can remember. My first memory of Eurovision is Bobbysocks winning in 1985 when I was 5 years old, but I can’t remember much more than their sparkly pink outfits! In 1992, my parents bought a new  VCR  and I recorded my first Eurovision and from then onwards, my obsession grew and grew! The first Eurovision event I attended was Melodifestivalen in 2006, and I popped my Eurovision cherry in Belgrade in 2008, and apart from missing 2009 due to work commitments, I have been every year since. At Eurovision I work for one of the fan sites - interviewing artists, blogging rehearsals, dishing all the gossip and of course a little bit of partying here and there – Eurovision fortnight is my Christmas! My favourite Eurovision song ever is 'Quand je te rêve' by Céline Carzo ( Luxembourg  1990) and my favourite  UK entry is 'Where Are You by Imaani from 1998. I am looking forward for 2019 to begin and can't wait to hear the songs that will compete for the trophy in Tel Aviv in May!

 

DAVID Bridgman (DB)

UK

My love affair with  Europe ’s finest song festival began with a chance sighting of Brotherhood of Man in 1976. Maybe the flares swayed me. 1979 was the first full contest I watched and I swore that night that the next time the contest was in   Israel , I'd be there. OK it took twenty years but I made it! It was also the last one I went to.

 

 

DAVID Elder (DE)

UK

My  ESC  card was marked from a very young age. As a 5 year old I could be found lip-synching to Un Banc, Un Arbre, Une Rue when it was played on the juke-box in my parents’ café. I remember coming downstairs for a drink of water while the 72 voting was on, and I remember sending Cilla a postcard asking Cliff to sing “Come Back Billie-Joe” in 73. He didn’t. I watched the full show in earnest in 74 and haven’t looked back since. In 84 and 85 I was in the Scottish  SFE  juries and then in 86 I joined Mr Speirs at BBC TV Centre in  London to be on the  UK jury. We gave  Germany 12 points, and being half-German, I was delighted! I’ve been accredited as a journalist at every contest since  Zagreb in 90, initially writing for fan publications, but latterly covering the event for one of  Scotland ’s leading newspapers.  Jerusalem Riga , Kyiv and  Moscow were the best experiences;  Copenhagen 01 – hands-down – was the worst! My all time fave entry is Bem Bom by Doce from 82, and I can often be found raising my hands, clapping and hey-ing at the appropriate juncture. In real life I’m an HR Manager, have a charming husband and two gorgeous pussies called Bunty and Baxter!

 

DEAN Asker (DA)

UK

My first memory of Eurovision was when, at the age of 6, I fell asleep before I knew if Rock Bottom had won the 1977 Contest.  Of course it didn’t and I was very disappointed about the   UK  ’s second place the next day.  My passion was truly cemented in the 1980s, and when Bobbysocks won. I was delighted.  The first time I saw the Contest live was in 1995, and I’ve been to 22 contests in total. Highlights include the  UK  win in 1997, and everything about 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.  My favourite Eurovision entry is Det’ Lige’ Det (Denmark1984), although ‘Is It True’ (Iceland 2009) runs a close second. 

 

DOUWE Reveler (DR)

Netherlands

My love of the Eurovision Song Contest spans more than 30 years and started when I discovered a book that my Mom used to note all of the points allocated on Eurovision night. My earliest ESC memory is watching the 1978 show and thinking how fantastic it was. Since then I have had the great fortune of being able to attend several national finals as well as 11 actual Eurovisions - 1989, 2004, 2008 - 2016 (with front row seats in Moscow- an absolute highpoint and unforgettable experience!!) In 2014 in Copenhagen  I was Delegation Host for Azerbaijan which gave me the opportunity to witness things from a very different perspective and was fascinating.  Tel Aviv 2019 is just around the corner and although the contest has grown and undergone many changes it is still as much fun as it always was.

 

EDDIE De Souza (ES)

UK

My first Eurovision memory was aged 4 seeing Bucks Fizz win and from that moment onwards I was hooked. I've been to national finals in the  UK Norway Denmark and of course, Melodifestivalen in  Sweden . 2013 was my first live ESC experience which was amazing – can’t wait to go again. As a keen composer, I have written a few songs and am just waiting for my big Eurovision break. My favourite Eurovision entries are Amen ( Israel 1995), Je n'ai que mon âme (France 2001) and Je ne sais quoi (Iceland 2010).

 

 

EDWARD Till (ET)

UK

My love of Eurovision goes back to exciting Saturday evenings in the late ‘70s when I would watch the Contest with my younger brother.  It remained a permanent feature of my life, notably when I was living in Poland in the ‘90s and was able to watch that country’s first steps.  Later my brother organized a big party every year, and I would fly back from Warsaw especially.  I always wanted to see it live, and the Athens contest provided the opportunity.  This was meant to be a one-off, but when Germany won in 2010 and in the company of a college friend from Hamburg , we decided we absolutely had to go to his home town to see how they would put on Eurovision.  We had to make do with Düsseldorf , again on a “one off” basis, but with the proviso that if somewhere interesting like Azerbaijan won, we would go again.  The rest is history and we haven’t missed another one!

 

ELENA Lundqvist (EL)

Finland

My name is Elena, and I'm am 29 years old multi-geek. I'm born into a household where the Eurovision song contest is a more celebrated holiday than Christmas, so I haven't had much of a chance to not be a fan of ESC . My first esc-memory is probably from early 90's when I was looping the recording of Yugoslavia 's entrance from 91, " Brazil ", driving people, mainly my mother, crazy. I tend to like the entries that stand out one way or the other and I believe a good show always reels in points. My favourite entries are Rock n' Roll Kids, The Voice and Hard Rock Hallelujah (of course haha!)

 

FREDERICO Braga (FB)

Portugal

Eurovision was initially a family event; we watched the show enjoyed it together. In 1981 I got my first Eurovision LP and that year has become quite important for me since it’s when I think I became ‘officially’ a fan. After that, I remember cassette recording both the Festival da Canção and the Eurovision Song Contest. A few years later I started recording them on VHS and the passion became truly cemented.  I love Eurovision because it is great music, it is international and cosmopolitan. And it is also great fun. Eurovision also means meeting lots of wonderful people from across Europe and the world, some of whom I am proud to call friends.

 

GARY Speirs (GS)

UK

Abba's win in  Brighton hooked me in - so, I'm a long-term fan! I'm a proud Welshman from  Cardiff , but  now live in Brighton and held a special birthday party at the Brighton (Abba) Dome in 2013 (on the 39th anniversary of Abba winning Melodifestval!). I have made many great friends through Eurovision travels and this makes every gathering a very special time. I have had some great fun with the contest; with Tel Aviv 2019 possibly being the 30th Contest travelled to. I was also honoured to be a member of the UK Jury for Eurovision 86 in  Bergen (with David Elder). I love the fact that Eurovision has taken me to places I may never otherwise have visited, like Riga , Tallinn , Kyiv,  Belgrade , Baku , Istanbul and Moscow ! Oh, and not forgetting little Millstreet… My amazing  Moscow front-seat 3 seconds of "TV-fame" certainly outed my ESC passion to lots of people who didn’t already know… Best entries... BAILAR PEGADOS, TORNERO, KUULA, GRANDE AMORE and MALL  among many others. Here’s hoping the 64th Contest in 2019 wows us all and that we get a winner that we are all happy with!

 

JOSÉ Mora Rivera (JM)

Mexico

I've been watching the contest since 2005, but I'm a collector of the nicest songs since 50's. I have had the pleasure to attend live shows of my 2 favourite Eurovision superstars: Patricia Kaas and Anna Vissi. Someday I hope I can attend the other of my favourite divas: Charlotte Perrelli. Here in   Mexico we can see the show live due to the Television Española (TVE) signal and that is the big event I cannot miss ever. Greetings from Guadalajara .

 

KEVIN Burton-Mee (KB)

UK

What is this thing that everyone is talking about…? This Eurovision thing!  A question Petra and Mans asked at  Stockholm in 2016!  I have been passionate about Eurovision for many years with 1979 being the year were things changed.  The winning “Hallelujah” by Gali Atari and Milk and Honey really captured my imagination.  I was fortunate to make it to Stockholm in 2016 and witnessed a totally awesome display of Eurovision heaven.  The entries this year showed just how spectacular the countries of Europe (and Australia ) can bring together the greatest music show on earth.  Here’s to Tel Aviv 2019! 

 

MARK McCanney (MMc)

UK

I've been a fan of Eurovision all my life, watched my first contest in 1993 and attended my first contest as a very excited 16 year old boy. Since then I've attended 7 more contests and look forward to it each year along with the many dear friends I have made as a result of this wacky but much loved contest. Long may it continue! 

 

MARTIN Palmer (MP)

UK

My descent into Eurovision madness continues I'm now not only a Eurovision blogger "Let Me Be The One - Eurovision Through The Ages" (http://eurovisionthroughtheages.blogspot.co.uk/) but also a Eurovision radio show presenter on Bradley Stoke Radio BSR FM 103.4 (bradleystokeradio.com)!  I'm back again to promote my thoughts and preferences about the entries for Tel Aviv, as a veteran of the OGAE SCC UK Jury (five years) and this Jury (four years).  2019 sees me at Eurovision again, Israel being a new country for me - question is, will it be as fan again or as radio press this time?  Even though I adored Laura Rizzotto's "Funny Girl" in Lisbon, 1977's winner Marie Myriam still holds my heart more than any other with "L'oiseau et l'enfant".  44 years of watching the Contest and counting - can Tel Aviv be as good as my favourite ESC in 2013?  Here's to 42 top songs for 2019!

 

MATT Meyer (MM)

UK

Eurovision began for me with the contest in 1990 when I was 13 and it was the 'them and us' aspect that appealed to me. I became a 'proper' fan of the contest in 1993 mainly due to 'Our Sonia' singing, but I very quickly appreciated (and enjoyed) hearing so many languages. As I know (British) Sign Language, I hope to see this featured a bit more in the future. Confession time - I have only been to one contest itself, that being the one held in 2000 in Sweeeeden and do hope to go again one day; it was great to experience the atmosphere and meet up with some of my overseas friends. My favourite all-times are very hard to pinpoint but I would say "I evighet" from Norway 1996 is right near the top and as for the UK favourite... it's Pearl and Teddy from '59! Whatever my comments are about the songs, I wish them all the best of luck as it's not their fault I might not like a song but it'll be a proud moment for them to represent their country. 

 

PAUL Camacho (PC)

Spain

Born in  France of an Irish mother and a Spanish father, I was probably predestined to like everything 'European' and so it went. The first Eurovision I remember is the 1990 edition in  Zagreb and particularly remember the French song from Joelle Ursull 'White and black blues' and I since then did not miss any Eurovision song contests. Every year I cannot wait to discover each song selected by every country entering the competition. So best of luck to everyone again this year.

 

ROBERTO Giorgi (RG)

Italy

I'm from Italy and I'm a huge Eurovision fan. I was in Düsseldorf in 2011 for our comeback and it was amazing to meet my friends all over  Europe . The unexpected second place in  Germany was, for me, even better than a real victory. I grew up with the songs of Sandie Shaw, Séverine, Vicky Leandros.  ESC  1977 was the first one I ever watched on television. It was amazing following our 2015 participants, the guys from Il Volo, in their mega-successful Summer Tour in Italy . Apart from our Euro-classic "Grande amore", my faves are The Common Linnets and Patricia Kaas. ESC  is an exciting, deep and involving experience.

 

ROY Van der Merwe (RM)

South Africa

As a child I grew up without Eurovision as  South Africa did not get TV until 1976 and of course it was not broadcast here. In the 70's as a child I did hear some euro songs, usually the winners and those in English that made our charts, like CONGRATULATIONS, PUPPET ON A STRING, WATERLOO, COME WHAT  MAY  , BEG STEAL OR BORROW, SAVE YOUR KISSES FOR ME etc. Vicky Leandros was very popular here and toured here, so COME WHAT  MAY went to number one.  South Africa was also after SWEDEN the second country to know of ABBA and in fact they had 4 number one hits here prior to winning EUROVISION with  WATERLOO . I was invited to attend EUROVISION in  MUNICH 1983 (!) - My first time at EUROVISION in the audience. Since 1993 I have never missed a contest and since Dublin 1995, I’ve had P accreditation, so attending the run-up to EUROVISION. My taste is quite different from most but that is what makes it so special - something for everyone! I am also very active in the music business here, getting local singers to cover EURO songs (almost 500 have now been covered directly because of me). I attended my first Junior Eurovision recently in Malta and now I am hooked on that as well.  

 

SALLY-ANN Fawcett (SF)

UK

Hi! I'm Sally-Ann Fawcett, from  London via Scarborough  , and I had the privilege of co-founding the very first Eurovision Song Contest fan club in the  UK  in 1987. We held a small gathering in Scarborough , and year by year saw a huge increase in number of members - all of whom had suffered, like me "The only  ESC fan in the world" syndrome. I co-hosted the Network Song Contest with David Elder on a number of occasions, and credit the fan club with quite literally changing my life, introducing me to people who have become my closest friends. I'm also a beauty pageant judge and author of "Misdemeanours - Beauty Queen Scandals" - my other big passion. I'm delighted to be part of the 2019 jury and it may be my last appearance, because if the  UK  wins I will die with joy (and shock!) on the spot!

 

SAMANTHA Ross (SR)

USA

Living in the United States , I didn't have the luxury of growing up with Eurovision. However, when I started attending university I learned more and more about the ESC and quickly became an addict. In 2009, I started my own blog (mostly to keep myself from talking my family's ears off about it), I eventually became a contributing editor at ESC Insight (www.escinsight.com), and have also worked closely with the team from Eurovision Ireland (www.eurovisionireland.net). I have also worked with the official web team for JESC in 2014 and 2015.  I'll be making my ninth trip to Eurovision in 2019, and I couldn't be more excited! My favourite ESC entries are "Madness of Love", "Na Inat", "Deli", "Coming Home" (both Firelight's and Sjonni's Friends!), "Same Heart", "Pokusaj", "Tonight Again" and I've got a soft spot in my heart for "Eläköön elämä". See you all Tel Aviv!