Friday, May 17, 2013

The finalists

It all happens Saturday night and here are my very brief thoughts on the chances of the 20 who have made it through to - and the 6 automatically qualifying for - the Finals.

{The numbers are the amounts you could win for betting 1 for each act to win.}

Armenia 760
A dreadful noise. 70s style rock and moustaches, no chance. Goodbye. Who the hell voted them in??

Azerbaijan 19
They want to win again so there's a cute guy and a box and this will appeal to gay voters as well as straight. A possible winner and certain Top 10, probably Top 5.

Belarus 390
Cheerful Eurocrap which would do better if it wasn't for the fact that several countries don't like Belarus much at the moment. Normally Top 5 but may struggle to reach Top 10 this time.

Belgium 450
Another cute boy. Cute song. Instantly forgettable though. Stick to making chocolate, folks.

Denmark 1.8
This is the year they either win or come close to winning yet again with an excellent song. We could be in Copenhagen in 2014.

Estonia 590
Beautiful girl in a big white dress. Some fine moments in this song and it might just inspire voters across the board and get enough 6s and 7s to stand a chance. Possible Top 5.

Finland 65
Yes, this is great fun. It's the Oh Oh Ding Dong song. If the ESC2013 voters are in a fun mood then this is a potential winner. Definite Top 5. One of very few that will be internationally successful this summer.

France 290
As one of the automatic entries in the Final, few have seen this yet. Quite a dramatic performance and not what you tend to associate with France. A passionate girl in a black dress will suprise the audience, I think, and deliver a stunning performance but not, I fear, get many votes. It's good - just not Eurovision.

Georgia 44
The more I hear this the worse it gets. First time you think Yes, this could win. Second time. Er... Third time God this is pathetic. So it stands a chance then and should be Top 10.

Germany 60
Another country going straight in but everyone will have heard of Cascada. Glorious is a poor copy of last year's winning song. It is catchy and, if voters are prepared to forgive the copy or were asleep last year, it could make Top 10. It's not going to win, though, Much depends on how she performs - she has been a bit dodgy in rehearsals and looking old.

Greece 48
How on earth this can have got through is beyond me. Who wants to see old Greek men in kilts? Oh. You do. OK. Total rubbish. And don't talk to me about alcohol please. (That's another story).

Hungary 300
Quirky. Odd. Lovely. I'd love to see this win. It won't but it's a cool little track and will make Top 10 at least.

Iceland 300
I am surprised this made it through to the final. It is, though, one of only very few big ballads so if the voters like big ballads and beards then this guy will do OK. I think it'll be a right hand side of the table job though.

Ireland 60
Another of the cute boys this year. Cheesey smile, song and performance. Just what Euro voters like. I don't but it'll do quite well.

Italy 36
Italy like to be different in their entries and this is another quality entry but not one that will win. Expect to see it getting consistent mid-range support, though and to be a Top 10 contender.

Lithuania 560
This is Mr Eyebrows, singing about his shoes. Don't ask! I love this and predicted it would do well a long time ago. he is gathering quite a following and is charming in interview. Hey, Lithuania have nothing to lose, although putting on ESC2014 could cost them their year's defence budget. I'm going to say this will be Top 10, possibly a surprise winner.

Malta 210
Another great entry! Cheery, smiley singer and happy band behind him who just seem to have fun with this clever little song about Jeremy in IT. It's Top 10 for me.

Moldova 260
This is the one with the stupid dress. She has to stay fixed in position all through the song which doesn't exactly help put it across as well as some movement or interpretation might but no, someone somewhere decided that the dress should grow and grow and have all kinds of strange lighting effects which makes you wonder what she must have eaten the night before. A passionate performance that voters will remember and so vote for. Top 10. Just.

Netherlands 38
Some song about Birds by an ageing folk singer. It's pleasant enough and might even have won in 1972. 2013? I don't see it happening somehow.

Norway 10
Second favourite during much of the run-up to the Final so you'd expect this to have something that made it so highly recommended to betting people. Despite two or three viewings, I don't see anything that makes it Top 10, never mind winning. The girl is talented and experienced and, yes, she does have the almost obligatory white dress (very long and very tight version which doesn't exactly compliment her body) so maybe that's why.

Romania 200
If bizarre yodelling opera soprano from a bloke is your scene then you'll enjoy Romania. I'd rather go and make some coffee. He'll probably do really well.

Russia 18
A nice, straight, no gimmicks ballad from Big Red. They really have tried everything over the years and seem to be permanently fourth. A good performance from an excellent girl singer, popular in her country and well-known in the surrounding nations too. This has to stand a chance of getting us to Moscow in 2014. But it won't. They'll be 4th again.

Spain 720
I adore this song. No-one else seems to as it is almost the least fancied of them all (barring Armenia). Why? It's a cool song, great theme, pretty girl who was married to a racing driver. It is very slow to start and get going, though, which may explain why no-one seems to be interested in it. Maybe she will surprise us all on the night when we have to see it all and realise how good the second half is. I'll win nearly £2000 if Spain win. Vote Espana!!

Sweden 100
Because Sweden have an automatic entry to the Final so haven't had to perform few people have heard their entry. It's actually very good. Yet another cute guy. (2013 is definitely The Year Of The Cute Eurovision Guy). If I were gay I would be delighted. This will be Top 5. It may even surprise us all and give Sweden a second win and they can keep all the Malmo logos til next year.

Ukraine 15
We know that Ukraine will be in the Top 5. They always are. Or nearly there. Another good quality entry, not as commercial as last year or as sexy as some previous years but good enough to make them third favourite this year. That implies a 3rd position but I have a feeling Mr Eyebrows and The Jeremy Song, plus several others will steal votes this year. And Denmark and Estonia have the sexier white dresses.

United Kingdom 130
And then there's my own good old England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and probably The Channel Islands too (I can never remember if they're part of UK or just Great Britain). We've dug out Bonnie Tyler from what most of us had thought was well-deserved and, frankly quite welcome, retirement. It's a well-written song and she'll perform better than our ridiculously badly planned effort last year but it's a right hand side of the table job, I'm afraid. Just thank God there's Armenia to take the bottom slot.

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