Its that time of year again! Eurovision Time! Like every year I do a preview of the Semi’s and attempt to predict who will get into the final.
This year the 57th Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Baku, Azerbaijan. 42 countries will be taking part. Montenegro returns this year to the competition while Poland and Armenia wont be taking part.
10 countries from each of the Semi-finals will proceed to the Final and join the five automatic qualifiers, the Big Four (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) and last years winners and this year’s host Azerbaijan.
The voting will be again be by a combination of Televoting and Professional Jury.
The First Semi Final will take place on the 22nd of May, followed by the Second Semi Final on the 24th of May and the final taking place on May 26th. All shows start at 8:00pm GMT (9:00pm CET)
Ireland has been drawn in the First Semi-Final and along with the 18 countries in this final Azerbaijan, Italy and Spain will be voting in this Semi.
All odds are from Paddy Power and correct on April 15th. Odds are for winning the overall contest.
01 Montenegro: Rambo Amadeus with “Euro Neuro”
If you tune in late during the first semi and you can’t figure out whats going on, its probably cause Rambo Amadeus is on stage doing what is described as “crazy jazz-funk music”. Im not sure if you would class it as music. Cant see this getting out of the Semi. Odds: 125/1
02 Iceland: Gréta Salóme & Jónsi with “Never Forget“
Iceland is one those countries I normally like and this year they have a duet. This is a bit of rock duet and is a good one. Jónsi previously represented Iceland in Istanbul in 2004 with “Heaven” and came 19th. While Gréta Salóme is a multi talented singer/songwriter who also plays the violin. They combine well on this song and should do well in Baku. Odds: 22/1
03 Greece: Eleftheria Eleftheriou with “Aphrodisiac“
I won’t even attempt to pronounce this ladies name, who is a good singer. She came to fame through X-Factor 2 in 2010, even though she didn’t win. This song is like many past Greek entries. Upbeat pop and catchy! I can definately see myself singing along to this! This should definitely qualify. Odds 22/1
04 Latvia: Anmary with “Beautiful Song”
“She was born in a distant 1980, in the year that Johnny Logan won” that is the first line if this entry from Anmary. She got her start when she came 2nd in The Talent Factory. This song is about fame and name drops a number of famous people. Its an interesting song, and one I do enjoy. Will it stand out at Eurovision is the question. Odds 100/1
05 Albania Rona Nishliu with “Suus” (Personal)
And the first Ballad is from Albania. Some years Ballads are few and far between and that can help make them stand out. Rona certainly has a voice that suits this song. She does a wonderful job with and hopefully can do it on the night. Odds: 100/1
06 Romania: Mandinga with “Zaleilah“
Bagpipes, an accordian, a catchy summer tune, whats not to love? Mandinga bring a bit of the the summer party to Eurovision with this song and I for one enjoy it. Mandinga play latino music, latin jazz, balkan salsa or even club music and this song certainly sounds like the perfect mix of them! Odds: 33/1
07 Switzerland: Sinplus with “Unbreakable“
And now a rock song! Sinplus are brothers Ivan and Gabriel Broggini who grew up listening to Queen, Bob Marley and U2. This is a good song, but not one you would listen to a lot. Odds: 100/1
08 Belgium: Iris with “Would You?“
Belgium send a young 17 year old to the contest, hoping to do what Sandra Kim did in 1986. Here Iris is singing a ballad, which to me is a bet meh and the odds are reflecting this. It will be hard for this to get out of the semi. Odds: 125/1
09 Finland: Pernilla Karlsson with “När jag blundar” (When I close my eyes)
And at the halway point, Finland sends a Swedish Ballad to Baku this year. It is another ballad, but its a nicer one then Belgium, but coming straight after them could harm it. It could sneak out of the Semi. Odds: 80/1
10 Israel: Izabo with “Time“
Israel are taking a different direction this year and are sending Izabo, a band that combines Psychadelic Rock, Disco and Punk flavoured with Arabic spices. This is certainly different and should be some fun on stage in Baku. This may well qualify. Odds 100/1
11 San Marino: Valentina Monetta with “The Social Network Song“
This is a bit of a strange song about love online and using social networks for love. Its one those songs that is trying to be current. Im not sure if it works. Odds: 150/1
12 Cyprus: Ivi Adamou with “La La Love“
This is another summer song that will be in my head for awhile. A more upbeat song then normal from Cyprus but a good move, but coming after the pop song from San Marino might make it harder for them.
13 Denmark: Soluna Samay with “Should’ve Known Better“
Denmark is another country I always like and this year is no exception. An excellent song which is a pop song along the lines of Carly Rae Jepsen and Taylor Swift which are popular at the moment. This should qualify no problem. Odds:14/1
14 Russia Buranovskiye Babushki with “Party for Everybody“
Buranovskiye Babushki or the Russian Grannies as they seem to be known as hail from Udmurtia, a republic between the Kama and Vyatka rivers in Russia. They are certainly very different to anything that has come to Eurovision in the past! They beat a past Eurovision winner to get to Baku so I think they are very much in contention for the top spot! Odds: 5/1
15 Hungary: Compact Disco with “Sound of Our Hearts“
After the Russian Grannies we have Compact Disco a dance act from Hungary. It certainly stands out after the last song, but if thats the only reason it won’t go further in the final. It certainly a song that will chart around Europe so will be in the final. Odds: 80/1
16 Austria: Trackshittaz with “Woki mit deim Popo” (Shake your ass)
This duo have their own unique genre “tractor gangster party rap” which may go down well in Ireland! For me it is a bit shouty, but one that will be played in clubs around Europe! I will be in the mix to qualify, but will the name but people off? Odds: 80/1
17 Moldova: Pasha Parfeny with “Lăutar”
This is a fun song from Pasha who is well used to winning international music festivals and is hoping to add a Eurovision win to his collection. This is a song that I certainly enjoy, but the bookies don’t think Pasha can take the top prize. Odds 100/1
18 Ireland: Jedward with “Waterline“
And to finish out the show, its Jedward!! Jedward, (John and Edward for anyone who has been living under a rock) Irish twins from Lucan, Dublin, try a second time to win Eurovision. Last year they came 8th in Dusseldorf with “Lipstick“. This is fast, uptempo pop song and should see them into the final. At the moment they are 3rd favourite at the bookies with odds of 10/1. Come on Jedward!
This is always the hard part, who I want to get in, and actually will. These are the ten acts I think will qualify in no particular order.
Who do you think will qualify?