If there’s one thing we can rely on in Eurovision, it’s that Russia will send a ballad about world peace. Two years ago they sent ‘What If’, and last year they send the abomination that is ‘Shine’. This year they’re trying with ‘A Million Voices’ by Polina Gagarina. This is definitely the best of the three; with more power than the former and more of a tune than the latter. Taking Russia out of the equation, this sounds like a song that would rake in the votes. The only thing that brings this down is that for a song about diversity and ‘a million voices’, there is a real lack of diversity in the video. I reckon this’ll come Top 5.
Current odds: 28/1 (7th favourite)
Last year, Belarus ‘treated’ us to the slightly creepy ‘Cheesecake’, which I loathe just because it came one place higher that Molly. This year, they’re sending something completely different in ‘Time’ by Uzari & Maimuna. Much like EVERY OTHER COUNTRY THIS YEAR, it’s a ballad. It’s a good ballad though, and it sounds quite ~lush and expensive. Maimuna (the violinist) is a bit of a pointless addition though, given that she won’t be able to play the violin live on the night. It’s the kind of song that you wouldn’t buy, but equally wouldn’t skip if it came on shuffle on Spotify. I’m guessing it’ll make the final, but no higher than the right-hand side of the leaderboard.
Current odds: 100/1 (16th favourite)
This year’s contest is being held in Austria (just in case you didn’t know although I imagine people who read this blog and fans of Eurovision are one and the same). The entry they’re sending to try to retain the crown is ‘I Am Yours’ by The Makemakes. I hadn’t heard this one before writing this but I really like it. It’s a pretty love song, with a rock tinge which is almost identical to Hozier. I’m really surprised this hasn’t got the same hype as Sweden or Spain because it sounds like something that could be a hit outside of Eurovision. If they hadn’t won last year, I would say this is a contender but I’m going to guess somewhere on the lower left-hand side of the leaderboard.
Current odds: 125/1 (26th favourite)
One entry that does have a lot of hype around it this year is Finland’s Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, with ‘Aina Mun Pitää’ (which translates to ‘I Always Have To’). This is the shortest song ever to ‘grace’ the Eurovision stage and yet it’s still about 90 seconds too long. It’s just a bit of a racket in all honesty. I get that it’s a nice message but this is a song contest and this song is dire. It’s a shame that this is going to do really well when they’ve had some really great entries over the last few years (last year’s ‘Something Better’ was a strong 8/10). I think this’ll almost certainly come in the Top 5, but hopefully taste will prevail.
Current odds: 22/1 (5th favourite)
Conchitas out of ten:
If you think the UK have been doing badly in the contest of late, spare a thought for the Czech Republic, whose best result is second from last in a semi-final. They haven’t been in the last five contests, but they’re back this year with ‘Hope Never Dies’ by Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta. He sang and composed the theme tune to a Czech show called ‘The Mall’, which sounds like a 10/10 show. This song is yet another ballad, and it’s just incredibly dull. I’ve listened to this twice in a row and I cannot really remember much about it. I can’t imagine this turning the Czech Republic’s fortunes around, unfortunately.
Current odds: 300/1 (38th favourite)
The F.Y.R Macedonia have only qualified for the final once in the last eight contests, and that was with ‘Crno i belo’ by Kaliopi. This year’s entry is Daniel Kajmakoski, with ‘Autumn Leaves’. He won The X Factor Adria in 2013, and he even performed ‘Stay’ by Hurts during one of the live shows. Anyway, ‘Autumn Leaves’ is another ballad (!!!), but this one has interesting, Poundland-trap moments thrown in. The song structure is quite bizarre too – there’s no second verse which is actually quite nice given how safe most of the entries are this year. I do think this pales in comparison to Belgium or Latvia though. I think it’ll probably just get through its semi.
Current odds: 125/1 (20th favourite)
Hungary had a really good, forward thinking song in last year’s contest (‘Running’). They’ve opted for Boggie this year, with her song ‘Wars For Nothing’. She’s apparently had worldwide success, but then so did ‘Gangnam Style’. I’ve listened to some boring songs so far for these blogs but this is something else entirely. Honestly, this is one of the dullest songs I’ve ever heard. Much like Finland, I know that this has a nice message and whatever, but again, it’s a song contest. You know it’s bad when Russia do a world peace ballad better than you do. Perhaps if they go all out on the gimmick it’ll make the final but I hope not.
Current odds: 125/1 (25th favourite)
Serbia are back! They took a year off last year after not qualifying in 2013, but are returning with ‘Beauty Never Lies’ by Bojana Stamenov. According to Bojana, she “knows how to knit and cook… but, watch out, my voice will blow up your mind”, which is the kind of confidence I like in my popstars. This song starts off as a ballad, before turning into a fun but cheap Eurodance song. You know how every year there’s one song that the fans love but the general public don’t get (e.g. Hera Bjork, Malena Ernman)? I think this will probably be that song. Lower right-hand side in the final, I’d guess.
Current odds: 125/1 (21st favourite)