PREVIEW: Eurovision Song Contest final

WHEN?: 8pm 14/5

WHERE?: BBC1 (UK, link below) or Ericsson Globe, Stockholm

We’ve had the two semi-finals – and now we know all 26 of the finalists in the 61st Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday. But how will they fare there?

  • Read on for the predicted finishes of each of the 26 finalists including the UK

  1. BELGIUM Laura Tesoro What’s The Pressure? PREDICTION: 16th to 20th (result 10th)

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?

2. CZECH REPUBLIC: Gabriela Gunčíková I Stand PREDICTION: 11th to 15th (result 25th)

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.

3. NETHERLANDS: Douwe Bob Slow Down PREDICTION: 6th to 10th (result 11th)

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.

4. AZERBAIJAN: Samra Miracle PREDICTION: 16th to 20th (result 17th)

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.

5. HUNGARY: Freddie Pioneer PREDICTION: 16th to 20th (result 19th)

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.

6. ITALY Francesca Michielin No Degree Of Separation PREDICTION: 6th to 10th (result 16th)

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.

7. ISRAEL Hovi Star Made Of Stars PREDICTION: 1st to 5th (result 14th) 

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.

8. BULGARIA Poli Genova If Love Was A Crime PREDICTION: 11th to 15th (result 4th)

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).

9. SWEDEN Frans If I Were Sorry PREDICTION: WINNER (result 5th)

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.

10. GERMANY Jamie-Lee Ghost PREDICTION: 21st to 26th (result 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.

11. FRANCE Amir J’ai cherché PREDICTION: 6th to 10th (result 6th)

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? Lukewarm response to rehearsals.

12. POLAND Michal Szpak Colour Of My Life PREDICTION: 21st to 26th (result 8th)

Rousing and anthemic but we didn’t see it qualifying from its dreaded runner-up semi slot.

13. AUSTRALIA Dani Im Sound Of Silence PREDICTION: 1st to 5th (result 2nd)

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.

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

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.

15. SERBIA Sanja Vučić Goodbye PREDICTION: 11th to 15th (result 18th)

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.

16. LITHUANIA Donny Martell I’ve Been Waiting For This Night PREDICTION: 21st to 26th (result 9th)

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

17. CROATIA: Nina Kraljić Lighthouse PREDICTION: 1st to 5th (result 23rd)

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. RUSSIA: Sergey Lazarov You Are The Only One PREDICTION: 1st to 5th (result 3rd)

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.

19.SPAIN Barei Say Yeah! PREDICTION: 16th to 20th (result 22nd)

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 werent already pre-qualified. A party song which is likely to benefit from its second half draw.

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

21. UKRAINE Jamala 1944 PREDICTION: 6th to 10th (result 1st)

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.

22. MALTA: Ira Losco Walk On Water PREDICTION: 11th to 15th (result 12th)

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).

23. GEORGIA Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolita Midnight Gold PREDICTION: 21st to 26th (result 20th)

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.

24. AUSTRIA: Zoë Loin d’ici PREDICTION: 16th to 20th (result 13th)

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?

25. UK Joe and Jake You’re Not Alone PREDICTION: 6th to 10th (result 24th)

Channelling our best Terry Wogan, we’ve a sneaking regard for this. We thought it unlikely to have made it through the UK qualifying but 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.

26. ARMENIA: Iveta Mukuchyan LoveWave PREDICTION: 21st to 26th (result 7th)

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.

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

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