PREVIEW: Eurovision Song Contest final

WHEN?: 14/5 8pm (UK time) Link to watch below

WHERE: Ericsson Globe Arena, Stockholm

We now know all of this year’s Eurovision finalists after this week’s semi finals – and here we forecast how they’ll do.

  • Read on for our predictions for all 26 finalists

We’ll be updating this preview throughout the rehearsal period which began 2/5, so do check back with us and our revised opinions as the final draws closer.

9. SWEDEN Frans If I Were Sorry PREDICTION: WINNER

Q: When was the last time a country successfully defended its Eurovision crown? A: Ireland in 1994. Sweden ties with Ireland on seven wins to become Eurovision’s most successful country If Frans wins on Saturday 14 May. We think If I Were Sorry wouldn’t be out of place on Justin Bieber’s latest album and he’s our runaway favourite to win. Three wins in five years would cement Melodifestivalen’s reputation as the greatest show on earth. Nonchalant seems to be the word from rehearsals. It’s almost as if he’s already picking up MTV/Radio 1 play.

17. (2nd half) CROATIA: Nina Kraljić Lighthouse PREDICTION: 1st to 5th

Our dark horse to win the whole thing has drifted in the betting. The staging and live performance will be key to its eventual success but we’re quietly confident of a big finish. Look out for a frock horror in the stage show.

18. (2nd half) RUSSIA: Sergey Lazarov You Are The Only One PREDICTION: 1st to 5th

Russia are the only country to maintain their 100% record of qualifying from the semis. Polina’s near-miss last year seems to have heightened their resolve and, if performed well, this is definite top 3 material. Bookies’ favourite as we type. Douze points for the choreo which builds on last year’s winner’s and ramps it right up.

13. AUSTRALIA Dani Im Sound Of Silence PREDICTION: 1st to 5th

If the rumours of an Asiavision show in March to rival Eurovision are correct, this could be Australia’s 2nd and last appearance here. Sound Of Silence is suitably moody but we’d like more of a tune. Quite probably top 5 and with a great performance it could go all the way however. Outstanding vocal in Thursday’s semi.

7. ISRAEL Hovi Star Made Of Stars PREDICTION: 1st to 5th

Hovi has a very Eurovision look and stands out with his piano-led grower. It has the feel of a dark horse about it especially if sung with the passion Hovi looks like he can muster. Early rehearsal praise confirms it as 1 to watch.

11. (1st half) FRANCE Amir J’ai cherché PREDICTION: 6th – 10th

France’s best stab at Eurovision glory since Patricia Kaas finished 8th in Moscow in 2009. La Kaas didn’t have a great song and that is Amir’s trump card here. An uptempo groove with handclaps and a catchy Coldplay-esque refrain outdoes the UK’s Joe and Jake. Can he perform it live? Rehearsal reports that it all seems a little undercooked.

6. (1st half) ITALY Francesca Michielin No Degree Of Separation PREDICTION: 6th to 10th

The San Remo Festival has proved a consistently successful method of choosing quality entries for Italy and this is no exception. When the lyrics burst into English it all seems a little over earnest however. A touch of class.

25. (2nd half) Joe and Jake You’re Not Alone PREDICTION: 6th to 10th

We’ve a sneaking regard for this. We can see Europe being seduced by this young duo and their plea for togetherness with an EU referendum mere weeks away. Could even pull off what would be seen by many as a shock win although the UK hasn’t staged a decent Eurovision entry since Jade Ewen’s bow-in-the-face moment. Thumbs aloft from Stockholm for the energy the boys are bringing to rehearsals.

3. (1st half) NETHERLANDS: Douwe Bob Slow Down PREDICTION: 6th to 10th

Like The Common Linnets who were runners up to Conchita in 2014, this isn’t very Eurovision sounding and instead has its roots in American soul/folk. Expecting it to stand out and do well as a result.

21. UKRAINE Jamala 1944 PREDICTION: 6th to 10th

Let’s skirt over the politics that this entry inevitably stirs up and concentrate instead on the song … Next! We’re not fans. Well performed however. If you like that sort of thing.

2. (1st half) CZECH REPUBLIC: Gabriela Gunčíková I Stand PREDICTION: 11th to 15th

The country with perhaps Eurovision’s worst record – no qualifications for the final in four attempts. Anthemic and rousing ballad that should stir die-hard Eurovision fans. Lovely to see it in the final.

22. (2nd half) MALTA: Ira Losco Walk On Water PREDICTION: 11th to 15th

Ira Losco (2nd in 2002) sensibly ditched the song that won the Maltese selection for her and instead plumped for something co-written by Melodifestivalen regular Molly Pettersson Hammar (who we were expecting to appear on stage Tuesday but think we may have heard).

8. BULGARIA Poli Genova If Love Was A Crime PREDICTION: 11th to 15th 

Poli finished 12th in the second semi in Dusseldorf in 2011 but this is written by Swedes, very modern-sounding pop and should prove her passport to Saturday night’s show. Bulgaria have only made the final once in nine appearances but we’d be surprised if this did better than that showing (5th).

15. SERBIA Sanja Vučić Goodbye PREDICTION: 11th to 15th

Borderline qualifier. Angsty with a touch of the pan pipes. Sounds like a song waiting for the acceptable moment to break into a screech. Much better live than in the studio.

20. LATVIA Justs Heartbeat PREDICTION: 11th to 15th

Latvia did well with something contemporary last year (6th) and we’re as cool about this as we were about that. We’ll happily concede that this is a grower (not always great for Eurovision) and we now have it shading Slovenia out of the final at the end of the first week of rehearsals.

5. (1st half) HUNGARY: Freddie Pioneer PREDICTION: 16th to 20th

Gravelly throated Freddie has an impressive rock voice but we felt it was a little too early Tuesday and dour to make the final. We were only right with 6/10 of our semi 1 predictions. This wasn’t one of them.

  1. BELGIUM Laura Tesoro What’s The Pressure? PREDICTION: 16th to 20th 

Beginning like so much of a rip off of Queen’s Another One Bites The Dust and then only slightly managing to morph into something else. Will the juries scupper its chances?

4. (1st half) AZERBAIJAN: Samra Miracle PREDICTION: 16th to 20th

Swedish authors figure in a number of entries this year and Azerbaijan maintains its tradition of looking north-westwards for its writers. This wouldn’t be out of place in greatest show on earth and Swedish Eurovision selection Melodifestivalen. Much better than expected Tuesday night.

24. (2nd half) AUSTRIA: Zoë Loin d’ici PREDICTION: 16th to 20th

Sounding like a French entry from Eurovision’s halcyon days many years ago, its appearance in the final made the fanboys happy. Loving the yellow brick road but what’s the French for twee?

19. (2nd half) SPAIN Barei Say Yeah! PREDICTION: 16th to 20th

Harmless bit of fluff from Spain which might’ve graced the charts 20 years ago but seems a little dated now. Unlikely to have made it out of the semis if Spain weren’t already pre-qualified.

23. GEORGIA Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolita Midnight Gold PREDICTION: 21st to 26th

The rock song we’re rooting for from the semis which manages to sound both fresh and Britpop while boasting the strangest lyrics. Oddball video too. Could quite mark the point in the contest where no-one’s quite sure what just happened.

26. (2nd half) ARMENIA: Iveta Mukuchyan LoveWave PREDICTION: 21st to 26th

Armenia can usually be relied upon to enter something commercial and different yet this is a real disappointment. Ethno-pop lacking a real hook that we have down as borderline qualifier at best. Getting better rehearsal write ups than we were expecting.

14. (2nd half) CYPRUS: Minus One Alter Ego PREDICTION: 21st to 26th.

Unusual for Cyprus to go quite so 80s rock. Hadn’t a clue it had been written by Thomas ‘Euphoria’ G:son until Tuesday night. It’s still a fast forward from us.

10. (1st half) GERMANY Jamie-Lee Ghost PREDICTION: 21st to 26th

No amount of Alice In Wonderland nightmare staging theatrics can save this. Not at all bad but that just doesn’t cut it in Eurovision.

12. POLAND Michal Szpak Colour Of My Life PREDICTION: 21st to 26th

Rousing and anthemic but it’ll have to go some to qualify from the dreaded runner-up slot.

16. LITHUANIA Donny Martell I’ve Been Waiting For This Night PREDICTION: 21st to 26th 

Donny finished 14th in 2012 and we don’t mind saying we’ve a soft spot for this despite its rather cliched lyric.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Melodifestivalen. Link to watch the Eurovision Song Contest. Enjoyed this preview? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham

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