Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Eurovision Top 10 Predictions

Prediction time. Here are the countries that I think will comprise the Eurovision Top 10 this year.

10 Malta

There's a certain Carrie Underwood feel to this lady's intensity and she can certainly sing. The song is still not great and not exactly memorable which is why it doesn't rate more highly but, out of the dark haired big ballad ladies with serious songs this year, she is likely to be the third favourite amongst voters. It is difficult to choose between her and Italy who probably have the better singer but my current thinking is that Malta will get a few more votes.

9 France

Already high in the charts in several countries, France have a good-looking bloke and a very catchy number, satisfying two of the criteria to do well in this competition. I just wonder whether it may not have peaked too soon and I am also unsure whether the live performance will match the video. In the blokes poll, he is likely to be a good second.

8 Cyprus

Those voters who like a rough-looking band of slightly older blokes and those who just like a bit of earthy singing and live euro-ballad-rock have few choices this year which ought to propel Cyprus into the higher regions of the board this year. It's a good driving number, well-sung and I suspect the band will be good on stage live too.

7 Bulgaria

The young girl pop star will always have a place in the Top Ten and this year it's the girl from Bulgaria. She is very popular there already and has a fairly good track. Not brilliant but it will get plenty of votes from those who like this sort of thing. Fairly modern with a hint of politic and rebellion in there too. She also has little competition in the sector.

6 Ukraine

A very powerful song and a tremendous performance will make this entry not only much talked about but also voted for by Ukraine's many friends out there. It has the potential of being a winner but I feel it may be just a little too dark and heavy on the political side to attract as many votes as would be needed. It will get respect, however, across the board and, in a year when there seems no obvious runaway winner, the middle ranking points mean a lot.

5 Russia

Big Red are predicted widely to win this year. They have a good song and the compulsory good-looking bloke to sing it. He is a major star in the big country and will appeal hugely to Russia's neighbours too, where voters may well have his albums on their shelves already. I just feel that this track is missing something. It is all big, dramatic back-screen projection and digital this and that but whilst that is enough to get it near the top I just feel it will fall at the final hurdles when the 40-odd countries allocate their top numbers on the night. He is the #1 ballad guy, though, this year.

4 Australia

A fabulous singer who will be really popular and I am confident she will put on an excellent performance too. It is just a shame that the song isn't better. Australia could have taken the 'Europe' crown this year with this girl but someone has chosen the wrong song for her. That's probably just as well as it is a long way to Sydney for every other entrant in this competition. Miss Im is, though, the best female singer this year.

3 Spain

I am going out on a bit of a limb with this one. It is, though, one of few pop songs this year and voters do need a pop song. It is catchy, cheerful and even has its own dance attached. I am not keen on the way they dress Barei in the videos I've seen so far and some of the dancing has been embarrassing but I am ancient now and may not appreciate what youngsters really enjoy now as much as I may need to. This has a lot of fans from what I can gather and is possibly the only track that'll get your foot tapping. It will get votes and, possibly, this year is a good one for an average pop track to do well.

2 Croatia

One of my favourites, this is a beautiful and quite atmospheric song. Unusually, the artist, Nina has been pretty well hidden from us so far so I don't know how well she will actually perform this on the night. I am hoping she will look and sound as good. It is a good, well-written song and has a Balkan feel but also a Celtic feel so covers quite a few important bases from the start. If it's a folk sort of year then this is the one to vote for.

1 Sweden 

So here it is. I do believe we will be back in Sweden again next year if the young lad singing about not being sorry performs this well. It is quite unlike anything else this year and the boy is a popular star over there already. He knows how to perform on stage and the track will be popular across a wide range of current genre pop fans. Assuming the votes do allow a good flow of the younger element preferences and aren't all from crusty old communists and Balkan warriors then the boy will do well.

Other entries that I feel are worth a mention and may still surprise us include:

United Kingdom

I haven't given up hope that Joe and Jake will manage to put in a strong and tuneful performance. If they do then their catchy and actually quite well-written number deserves a Top Ten place and could knock a few of the above off the charts.

Iceland

It's a good song and has what will probably be the most dramatic back-screen effects. They do count for something as they make the performance so memorable when it comes to remembering who to vote for. If the girl does a good job and the setting is as dark as the videos have been then this may kick out one or two of the others.

Austria

They may not make it through the Semis, unfortunately, being in a tough group this year and will be competing with Netherlands (below) to get into the Final. I think this is a great track, very Eurovision, sung in French and quite delightful with, again, a groovy back-screen too. It is, perhaps, rather dated but then so am I. I'd love to see this do well but am resigned to that not happening. If it does squeeze through to the Final, however, it could well be one to surprise us all.

Netherlands

'Slow down, brother', sing the band. They're good and it's a cool song that trundles along nicely. The Netherlands have done well in the past with similar numbers that just appeal in a gently pleasant way to voters. Not enough to win, though. I like this a lot and if it gets through to the Final then it may be one to watch too.

Italy

I had Italy in the Top 10 initially but replaced them with Malta. Neither are going to win and I may have underrated Italy's chances of making the Top 10. Their singer is excellent, really good, and the track is reasonable although the video that went with it was dreadful. That is irrelevant on the night, however, and if this girl puts on a spirited and passionate performance and the Maltese lady doesn't then they may well swap positions.

Germany

In a year short of modern-style pop stars Jamie Lee may do better than I am predicting. She has a slight sense of the Satellite girl about her but she is not sufficiently different. She'll do well and a few votes either way could make the difference between where she comes in the middle of the Top 20.

FYR Macedonia

'Donna, donna, donna' will stick in your mind and you'll be thinking how much like a cross between Charlene from Texas and Chrissy from The Pretenders this girl is. Now that's no bad thing at all. A good, catchy song and a good singer ought to be a winning combination. It's Macedonia, though, and they'll be lucky to reach the Final.



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