Here are the next eight Eurovision entries, again chosen at random (which is, as you will read, rather annoying because six of these sound EXACTLY THE SAME). You can read last weeks here, btw.
Valentina Monetta has finally been given a rest this year, and instead San Marino will be represented by Anita Simoncini and Michele Perniola. Anita was born in 1999, meaning that ‘…Baby One More Time’ is older than she is. The song is called ‘Chain of Lights’, and is co-written by Michele (he’s 16 too!!). My issue with this song is that it doesn’t sound like a song sung by two sixteen year olds. It’s extremely dated, and although is clearly going for the mum-vote, falls flat in the same way as ‘Mother’ from last year. This will almost certainly get left behind in the second semi-final.
Current odds: 200/1 (38th favourite)
Greece have given us some of the best entries of recent times, right? ‘My Number One’! ‘Secret Combination’!! ‘Aphrodisiac’!!! (ok so this one isn’t great but it’s wonderfully 2007). This year, they’re sending Maria Elena Kyriakou, who is a teacher-cum-popstar (she likes to run classes for children who need extra help, which is surely the job of a teacher, no?). The song is called ‘One Last Breath’, and it’s another MOR ballad. There’s an attempt at adding some drama halfway through, but the melody isn’t strong enough to carry it. In a year with so many ballads, this one is a bit too bland. It’ll probably make the final though (Greece have never not been there).
Current odds: 100/1 (20th favourite)
Ireland have been struggling a bit over the last few years. Two years ago, Ryan Dolan came last in the final. Last year, Can-Linn feat Kasey Smith didn’t qualify. Both of these songs were pretty basic dance songs, with more than a hint of Ireland. They’re sending a ballad though this year, in the form of ‘Playing With Numbers’ by Molly Sterling (who has a 50 year-old donkey called Mick). There’s a strong whiff of Gabrielle Aplin in this song, and yet again, this is one for the Heart FM crowd. I do like this one though, and it feels more fully realised and complete compared with San Marino and Greece. This’ll probably go no further than the semi-final because it’s a bit nothingy and she’s on second.
Current odds: 125/1 (31st favourite)
Much like Greece, Romania have never not qualified for a final. Unlike Greece, they haven’t got as many good songs in their repertoire, but ‘Zaleilah’ from 2012 is pretty amazing. ‘De La Capat’ is what they’re sending this year though, which is by rock band Voltaj (Romanian for ‘Voltage’, fyi). Don’t let the term ‘rock band’ fool you though – this is another ballad (!!!). Here we find Voltaj having a sing-song about orphans, over a pretty standard ballad track. The ending is very bizarre – it takes you to the point of a massive last chorus but then finishes. Any other year I would say that this would get through just based on the lyrics, but there are a lot of ‘inspirational stories’ in it this year.
Current odds: 100/1 (21st favourite)
This year’s Icelandic entrant is Maria Olafs. She once played a young Michael Jackson, which is equal parts fascinating as it is bizarre. Is there’s one thing that Iceland do well, it’s sending a pretty woman singing a pretty yet amazing ballad. They did it with ‘Is It True?’ a few years ago, and they’ve done it again with ‘Unbroken’. Yes, this is yet another ballad, but it has a bit more fire in it than San Marino or Greece. I’m not just saying this because of the name, but it does feel like something wouldn’t sound out-of-place on any of the Demi Lovato albums. I think this has winner potential, although I do worry that perhaps the voting this year will be too split between the ballads.
Current odds: 50/1 (10th favourite)
Sweden have the best Eurovision ‘songbook’ of late because Sweden make the best music in Europe. Måns Zelmerlöw is this year’s entry, and this is his third attempt at it. He’s compared the contest to the Superbowl, and that’s pretty heroic. Speaking of ‘heroic’, the song he’s sending is called ‘Heroes’ (see what I did there?!?). Although this song sounds very much like ‘Lovers On The Sun’, it’s a banger of mammoth proportions and will undeniably liven up proceedings in the final (he’ll 100% be there). Although there are other songs that I prefer, I think this will win, and I think it will do so with a landslide.
Current odds: 6/4 (the favourite)
France came last in 2014, which is still rather unjust given that ‘Moustache’ was not the worst song last year (that honour went to Russia). Hoping to do better this year is Lisa Angell, with her song ‘N’oubliez Pas’ (‘Don’t Forget’). You’ll be pleased to know that we’re firmly back in ballad territory, this time with a song that was written about remembering the troops (it has also taken on a new meaning after the attacks in Paris this year). Taking the message out of the song, it’s a pretty standard ballad (it’s very similar to Greece). This won’t come last in a competition with ‘Still In Love With You’, but I can’t see it doing much more.
Current odds: 125/1 (25th favourite)
Most Eurovision entries can be put into one of two categories this year: ‘ballads by women’ and ‘songs that are inspirational in some way. France’s does both, and so does Poland’s Monika Kuszyńska. She was paralysed after a car accident, and here she sings about tolerance and acceptance. ‘In The Name Of Love’ is yet another safe and plain ballad, but there is something genuinely uplifting about this one. The video shows Monika looking back at clips of her before the accident, and it’s all actually really sad. Still, the song isn’t exciting enough to topple Sweden or Iceland, but this could sit quite nicely somewhere in the middle.
Current odds: 125/1 (32nd favourite)
Molly Photo: Albin Olsson License: CC-BY-SA-3.0