Portugal are pretty consistent at Eurovision, having not got into the Top 10 since 1996 (they’ve never made it to the Top 5 either). This year, they’re sending Leonor Andrade, with her song ‘Há um mar que nos separa’ (‘There’s a Sea That Separates Us’, in English). Leonor describes herself as ‘transparent’, which is quite an odd adjective to choose, I think you’ll agree. Anyway, this song is shit. Not offensively bad, but shit in a way that could be rectified if they spent a bit more time on it. I wish the melody was a bit stronger, because I literally stopped listening to it about a minute ago and I can’t sing you any of it. Last place in its semi.
Current odds: 500/1 (40th favourite)
Albandia haven’t qualified for the final since 2012, which was the only year in which they finished in the Top 5. The song this year is called ‘I’m Alive’, which is by Elhaida Dani. This isn’t the song that Elhaida was meant to be singing; the author withdrew the original song (how Calvin Harris of him). Fortunately, ‘I’m Alive’ is a really lovely song. It’s an acoustic ballad about falling in love (think Ed Sheeran by way of The X Factor). It does build to a bit of an anti-climax though, and could really do with a massive, airpunch-able last chorus. It’s on the ‘pleasant’/’ok I need to vote for this’ borderline, but I can see this doing well.
Current odds: 100/1 (17th favourite)
Since their introduction to the contest in 2006, Armenia have only not made the final once (apart from the year they weren’t in it). Last year, they did quite well with Aram MP3, although that was meant to win so forth perhaps was a little disappointing. This time they’re sending Genealogy, and their song ‘Face The Shadow’. Genealogy are made up of five people from around the world who have Armenian heritage, and then one Armenian. The song is a little bonkers, with the one of the singers warbling over the middle-8 like a deranged Snow White. Again, this is another song that is perfectly pleasant, but isn’t particularly memorable. It’s no ‘Qele, Qele’ too.
Current odds: 125/1 (18th favourite)
Georgia came last in the semi-final last year, with ‘Three Minutes to Earth’ by The Shin & Mariko (what a terrible song). Much like Malta, Georgia are sending a song called ‘Warrior’ to the contest this year. Georgia’s ‘Warrior’ is performed by Nina Sublatti, who genuinely called her debut album ‘Dare To Be Nina Sublatti’. ‘Warrior’ is another ballad, but this one has a lot more power to it. It’s got an almost (but nowhere near as good) Sia vibe to it (perhaps a Sia-penned song for Demi Lovato). She has a really good voice too, managing to mix a good belt with a nice tone. Potentially a dark horse.
Current odds: 100/1 (16th favourite)
Israel haven’t qualified during the last four competitions (that Dana International song was bad though, let’s be honest). This year they’re sending Nadav Guedj, with his song ‘Golden Boy’. Nadav is only sixteen, which does make this song a little easier to digest. The song is arguably the most divisive in this year’s contest. I hate it. I’ve not managed to get through one full listen yet, because it’s so offensively bad. The lyrics are stupid, but not nonsensical enough to be just bonkers. It’s sort of like ‘Cheerleader’ by way of Eastern Europe. Europe is either going to love this or loathe it.
Current odds: 150/1 (20th favourite)
Norway are the unsung heroes of the Eurovision Song Contest. Every year, they enter a really high quality song, and every year they deserve to do slightly better. ‘A Monster Like Me’ is this year’s entry, which is performed by Mørland & Debrah Scarlett. Mørland was part of Absent Elk, who supported Girls Aloud on the ‘Out of Control Tour’. ‘A Monster Like Me’ is an amazing song. If I was Louis Walsh, I would be yelling ‘amazing amazing amazing’ right now. It’s a really touching ballad about letting someone you really fancy go, because they deserve better than you. It’s a beautifully simple yet totally elegant song. Potential winner.
Current odds: 33/1 (9th favourite)
Much like Norway, Denmark are another country who always send high quality songs to the contest. This year, they’ve chosen to send Anti Social Media, and their song ‘The Way You Are’. Despite being ‘anti social media’, they’ve got an Instagram and Facebook page (maybe it’s ironic?!?). You can tell that they’re aiming for a sixties ‘mod’-type vibe with this song, but it’s more in line with Rixton. Although this song really isn’t for me, it’s a nice change of pace next to the 25-or-so ballads in this year’s contest. Any other year and I would guess that it wouldn’t qualify, but I can see this just making it through.
Current odds: 150/1 (33rd favourite)
A country not known for sending particularly great entries is Latvia. In fact, they haven’t qualified for a final since 2008 (they sent ‘Wolves of the Sea’ that year). ‘Love Injected’ is the song entered this year, which is being sung by Aminata. I really love this entry. A lot of the songs this year feel very safe, and Latvia would have every reason to go with a safe entry. ‘Love Injected’ is bold though; it feels cool and ‘artsy fartsy’ (and ‘left lane’), in a way that we don’t usually get from a Eurovision entry. It’s a shame that the backing singers aren’t great, because this is definitely good enough to do very well.
Current odds: 66/1 (11th favourite)