Monday, March 09, 2020

Waiting for Russia. In the meantime here are the contenders for 2nd place.

Ireland have a great Taylor Swift inspired pop song. It ought to be a big hit over here and I'd like think that it will go down well with our Eastern European partners too. It's all full-on, a bit manic but if Lesley Roy can put on an impressive performance she should rescue her country from a period of poor Eurovision experiences.

Montaigne puts on an impressive performance as slightly mad and breaking down. It will get a lot of approval in the Eurovision audience and should do well. I don't think it's quite the winner but it's likely to come close. A lot will depend on how she comes across in the two main performances. And, yes, Australia will certainly qualify.

Russia and Malta have yet to release their entries and each could well be potential winners. So hold this space!

The Romanian entry has a similar slightly mad feel to the Australian number. Again, much will depend on how well Roxen plays on the stage and I may regret having suggested this as a Top 5 track if it doesn't go well. If the voters are in a mood for this sort of slightly off beat thing this year then Romania will certainly get some decent vote scores.

The third in the 'slightly mad or off-beat' category is this quite appealing entry from Bulgaria. I think Victoria is well-known over there and has had a lot of success already so the big stage may not be a problem for her. The song is not that easy to perform well, though, so, whilst it is a contender (and the current bookies' favourite now in early March), it could just as easily fade away.

Talking of slightly mad, the Iceland entry is very weird. Weird electronic pad instruments. Weird-looking people generally. Long hair and a pale teal ill-fitting suit just to add to the weirdness and let's not mention the dancing, please. It is, though, an infectious, quite clever jazz-type of number and the singing is actually very competent. This could well be the winner this year.

This is a very good song and well-sung by Ulrikke Brandstorp. It is without any gimmick and one of only a few that are simply excellent ballads. I feel that this is the best of the group and, if the voters want this sort of track then this will get their votes.

Much as I wanted Francesco Gabbani to get the song this year, this guy does a brilliant job with the song that won their national competition. Superbly sung, it does, though, get a little boring around half-way through and needs a bit of a kick. Luckily, it does get a kick just in time and soars into the atmosphere very effectively. It is dated, though, and I'm not sure how Eurovision like dated stuff in 2020. Passion a-plenty, though and very Italian which everyone should admire.

France have one of the other good ballads that are presented without frills. This is slightly more commercial in places but also heads off in an odd direction from time to time. Luckily, like Italy it does get straight and starts to build pretty well. The singer will be popular. France have not done well with their single male singers, though. Some years back they started as favourites with a fantastic song, really well-sung but on the night the guy just failed to deliver anything approaching the video release. We'll give this guy the benefit of the doubt for the time being.

Finland are another country with a straight, no gimmicks entry. it's a good song but maybe just a little boring. Well sung and deserves some points but may suffer up against Italy and France with their singers and personalities on stage.

North Macedonia did really well last year and I think they have another chance of a high finish this year. This is an impressive pop song. The pair are a class act and this is far more likely to survive being played more than once than the Swedish entry.

You can never discount Sweden in this competition and their own selection process is almost as big an event nowadays as the Eurovision contest itself. They're chosen this group of three big voice and personality ladies with a commercial pop song. On second and third listening I begin to get tired of it, though, and they do sound a bit screechy to me and nowhere near as professional as they seem at the start on first listening. So I am already having doubts about how well this will do as I write. It did have five stars but it's now down to 3½.

This starts in an odd way and you may be tempted to discount it, with very little backing or obvious direction. However, stick with this and it very gradually builds and starts to make some sense. It's smart and clever and, if the guy can perform it well on stage, not an easy task, then it really is one to watch and could be a surprise. Not that The Netherlands particularly want to host the competition again - but they just might get a chance.

Greece usually manage to pull something commercial out of the bag for Eurovision and this is definitely a commercial pop song. Without the smart video, though, it lacks a bit of character, so Stefania is going to have to work hard to sell this on the big stage. It is one of the more memorable tracks (for the right reasons!) It should do well and ticks a lot of boxes for Eurovision. Just not a winner, in my opinion but sometimes songs pick up lots of fairly high scores and can challenge those that get lots of 12s but little else.

Next come a load of entries which are interesting but really very unlikely to get the support needed to win.

Portugal have a very serious and smart entry. Two girls singing well but it needs more uplifting parts and just is nice but not nice enough.

The Czech Republic have one of the very few modern-sounding numbers this year. It's solid and seems well-done but i reckon it has limited appeal and it's not a winner.

Germany have a track called Violent Thing which seems to be going along with the slightly odd theme to many of this year's entries. It sounds like a girl but is a young lad and it's a good track, modern-ish. Kids will like it and it seems well-produced and ought to keep Germany off the bottom rung on the scoreboard.

Switzerland bring us a serious and moody track which is sung very well and has generated some support amongst the bookies, or, at least their punters. I'm not so sure and think it unlikley to get the big votes and it gets a bit tedious as you get hlf-way through.

And now for the distinctly average ones:

Austria, good quality, quite modern number but not very memorable.

Cyprus, no Fuego this, and all a bit predictable. Decent enough performance but lacking something to keep our interest.

Estonia, a good-looking bloke and a serious singer. Very dated Westlife stuff. Reasonable but forgettable and a bit boring.

Spain, apparently stealing from Italy in terms of the type of song and delivery too. It could have some appeal but I suspect it will fall between the two camps Italy getting the votes for teh style and someone else like France or Finland getting the votes for the singer. It's a bit formulaic and, as often is the case for Spain, they may struggle with what isn't a bad entry at all but which just doesn't appeal to anyone very much.

Belarus, this may have some appeal for the kids although they won't like the drab grey suit fashion much. It's all fair enough with a dance theme going on but it's really going nowhere.

Denmark, nice couple but it is all very average indeed. It may even struggle to qualify as there may be a lot of competition in their group. I ahven't checked that yet but it's not a good choice from a country you might be expected to rely on to do well.

Belgium, a classy performance for sure and a nice track but it never seems to go anywhere. It just leaves you thinking that she's pretty and that's OK.

United Kingdom, it's a decent enough song but it sounds like many that have gone before and the oh-oh-ohh bit plus the (pause) last breath are so dated now. It doesn't deserve a lst place and may pick up enough 2s and 3s to climb up the right hand side of the scoreboard but that's the best we can hope for.

Croatia, a solid, serious number. One for the Balkans, all right. Well-sung and authentic sort of full volume song but just a bit tedious after a while.

And now the bad stuff:

Armenia, sexy girl, modern track, some ctachy bits and vaguely interesting in places.

Israel, commercial, dated but could be popular and a great dance track.

Azerbaijan, not the best of starts to a track. Oh dear, then it changes completely and gets strange. Stop-start seldom works for Eurovision. They do have the oil, though and a lot of money.

Moldova, gets better towards the end but a disappointing entry from the little nation that usually entertains us well and surprises even itself with the success and votes from other countries on the night.

Poland, big ballad, singer tries too hard to be passionate. Tedious and dated.

Slovenia, Another big voice from a tall blonde. Not a track you'll want to listen to again in a hurry.

Ukraine, very cultural, one of th few this year that are. But this is not in a good way. Strange voice and even stranger attire. But there are big drums with bouncing flour, a guitar that has a firework stuffed in one end and a flute so that's OK.

Lithuania, vaguely entertaining bloke in very weird trousers and making flame impressions with his hands looking most odd. A favourite with the bookies so that's worrying.

Georgia, full blast and strange combination of rock chap with excellent female backing. Doesn't quite work, though. Credit for the different approach and it stands out but some national typecasting may not go down well.

Serbia, three frightening and tuneless girls in sexy outfits. Hasta la vista from the 90s. Frantic and unpleasant.

Abania, scary girl in leather, plenty of passion but not a lot of song.

Latvia, very scary blonde. Latvia does weird. Badly.

San Marino, not yet released. I am not expecting very much.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Likely contenders for the the mad, mad Eurovision 2020

These are the likely contenders as I see things at the moment. Now, I haven't heard all the songs as some haven't even been released yet so we're talking of Top 10 or perhaps higher finishes but plenty of good odds ought to be available at this stage.

You'll be glad to know that Ireland have a great entry this year with a real pop star and a great track that will be a hit anyway and has a good chance on the Eurovision stage too. Huge odds too as Ireland have struggled even to qualify recently.

Australia have a good entry too. A super actress / singer playing a slightly mad role which could well catch the emotions on the night. The country always throws everything it has into the competition and is going to win before long. This could be their year. Again, great odds at the moment.

Malta have one hell of a massive singer - some big-voiced and limbed kid who won their X Factor competition last year and blew everyone away with her raw talent. Not my style by any stretch of the imagination but she's got Eurovision written all over her ample frame. I'm backing her even before the song is issued. Modest odds but look around.

Romania often do well as they attract votes from all directions. Maybe not a winner but a great entry that will go down well again. Similar style to the Australian - a sort of mad, slightly left field theme this year. Much fancied.

Russia will win again before long. They've come really close and will be throwing the Putin sink behind their entry as well as tweaking our social media feeds to promote it. The band is the weirdest punk bunch but they are very well-known across Eastern Europe. Probably banned here but they've had huge hits with the most crazy stuff and their YouTube stuff has visitors in the many millions. Again, I haven't heard the actual track - no-one outside the Kremlin has - but I can almost guarantee that it will run all the others a close race. Odds are not great but if it is as commercial or crazy as I expect then they'll shorten damn quickly and you won't get a look in later. Pop a fiver on at least.

Lastly the weirdest of all is Iceland and yet it is also strangely tuneful and very memorable. Someone has designed the suits and stuff very well so there's this tall, long-haired gormless-looking twit and a bunch of nerds doing a dance that would make even me look cool. It's a blend of jazz and stuff I can't put a name to but I am convinced it will be Top 5 and the odds will tumble. They're also not great as people have already latched on to this one, unfortunately.

There may well be others in contention but I have a strong feeling this year that one of these will be the winner and certainly Top 10.

More another day. UK is very average. Lithuania are current bookies' favourite. Likely Top 10 but nothing special and it simply can't compete with the ones I've mentioned. Its odds are way too short at this very early stage to even consider a bet. They'll lengthen for sure.

I may need to add Norway to this list as the sensible entry.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

No Francesco but some quality from Norway this year

An impressive performance here to win the competition for Norway's entry to Eurovision this year. One to watch.

But there's always going to be Malta.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Good luck, Francesco!

Francesco Gabbani could return to Eurovision this year. I do hope so as this is a great track and, even though it is the only entry I've heard so far, I'm backing in to win at this stage. Just hope he makes it through the Sanremo finals!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Cock-up On The Eastern Front

It seems that there was a mistake in the way the Belarus jury votes were allocated. They had been excluded from applying their actual votes as their Semi final results had been released published early, against EBU regulations. Instead, someone invented some scores! But they got the formula wrong - or the formula may have been right but the calculations wrong! Whatever the case this is all a bit weird and has resulted in a change in the final results.

The Netherlands, fortunately for everyone other than Italy, still win and the Top 4 remain the same. Sweden are now 5th and Norway 6th and North Macedonia 7th. There are a few other changes too. Here are the revised scores in total:

  1. Netherlands (498)
  2. Italy (472)
  3. Russia (370)
  4. Switzerland (364)
  5. Sweden (334)
  6. Norway (331)
  7. North Macedonia (305)
  8. Azerbaijan (302)
  9. Australia (284)
  10. Iceland (232)
  11. Czech Republic (157)
  12. Denmark (120)
  13. Cyprus (109)
  14. Malta (107)
  15. Slovenia (105)
  16. France (105)
  17. Albania (90)
  18. Serbia (89)
  19. San Marino (77)
  20. Estonia (76)
  21. Greece (74)
  22. Spain (54)
  23. Israel (35)
  24. Belarus (31)
  25. Germany (24)
  26. United Kingdom (11)
There's really nothing I can say.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The bookies were right after all!

Well done to The Netherlands. Although they didn't win either the Jury or Tele votes, they did accumulate enough points to win overall. I was pleased with my predictions and Norway did win the Tele vote, with North Macedonia very nearly winning the Jury vote!

Italy 2nd
Australia 9th
Russia 3rd
Azerbaijan 7th
Sweden 6th (1st in Jury Vote)
The Netherlands 1st
Iceland 10th

Long shots
North Macedonia 8th (2nd in Jury Vote!)
Norway 5th (1st in TeleVote!)
Switzerland 4th

Here are the summaries:

Find us on Google+