We’re only hours away from the 60th Eurovision final, and while I am very jealous of the girl I met last night for having got (apparently free!) final tickets, I am also looking forward to partying with the Georgians on the Vienna Rathausplatz. I’m in Team Nina from now on! (Together with Team Estonia. And Team Maraaya. And about three others…) I dont have time or battery for a full review/prediction post, so I’ll just note a few thoughts on the favourites (mainly) and my Top 10 prediction.
– Belgium will not win. Despite what others said, I am still convinced Australia and maybe even Sweden got a better draw, and they both have wider appeal. Belgium will be too polarizing to win. Still, it will do better than Tom Dice.
– Italy and Russia won’t win either. I assume Russia will lose quite a few votes simply for being Russia, and the song might be good, but it is not outstandingly good. And somehow, Polina never managed to bring it to life, despite her efforts and having real musicians on stage, it never lost its plastic feeling for me. Italy relies too heavily on its vocals, and the only moment I ever thought of it as a contender was hearing Il Volo on the Rathausplatz. But on the night, over TV, the impressiveness of their voices simply won’t be there as much, and without it (like on the studio) it just gets cheesy.
– Australia will get into the top 3. Guy Sebastian proved in his rehearsals and in the village, at least for me, that he’s one of the most professional contestants there are this year, and I expect him to nail this song perfectly tonight. Add one of the best draws possible in that first-half-bloodbath, a very catchy song that has quite a lot of hit potential and The Australia Factor, and you got yourself a real contender.
– Latvia will do good, but not bring danger to the favourites. For that, like Belgium, it lacks general appeal – and while I love the visuals of Latvia, some people will certainly get alienated by the quick cuts and lighting of it.
– The UK won’t come last. Yes, the song sucks, and yes, Alex looks completely lost on and off stage, and yes its incredibly cheap, but it’s entertaining. It is a bit like a bad disaster – terrible, but you’ll keep watching. Plus, Ireland, Malta and Australia are there to lift them up. Everything better than 20th would be a huge surprise though.
– Georgia will score really well, and I don’t say this because of my love for them. (#TeamNina) Together with Germany, it is the only thing resembling an uptempo in that second half, its visuals are stunning and it has a few friends there as well. Plus, coming after the most low-energy song of the night is the perfect draw for it – Nina couldn’t have chosen a better spot if she was allowed to.
– Sweden will win. Not by a landslide, but comfortably enough, about like Conchita did. It has a good draw inside its half, it stands out song- and performance-wise and it was very convincing in the semi.
– Estonia and Slovenia will end up close to each other in the mid-to-low top 10. Both got bad spots, but I think Slovenia got it slightly better – starting the show provides a little bit of standing out by default. People are much more likely to forget they liked song Nr. 4 than song Nr. 1. Estonia might have put Sweden under pressure if drawn in second half, but it didn’t happen, so unless something special happens, we’re not heading to Tallinn either.
– The surprise of the night might be Montenegro – in both directions. It basically should do like any average Balkan ballad, finishing in the comfortable anonymity of a 16th place. But with 20-24 points from Bosnia and Croatia missing and buried in the ballad-sea of the second half, might Knez bomb? Yes, but he might just as well shoot up into the top 10. After all, it was Zeljko who wrote the song, which is pretty much a guarantee for some quality music. I have no idea how to rate this one.
The UK and Albania can count on a few friends and, in the case of Albania, the draw, while Poland’s only selling points are a bland song, the fact nobody can really dislike it and that wheelchair. But seriously, out of 27 songs, why would you pick In The Name Of Love? There are at least 25 more memorable ones, and that last one is probably better than Monika’s.