Eurovision kicks off in five days. Here are my preliminary thoughts but, as we know from previous years, the live performance can change everything (my picks are at the very end).
Albania | Sekret by Ronela Hajati – it’s fine, but nothing groundbreaking.
Armenia | Snap by Rosa Linn – it won’t win but I do like this song (it’s all the things that I sought in pub bands in the nineties).
Austria | Halo by LUM!X & Pia Maria – I loathe this kind of rhyming but I suspect others love it (or it wouldn’t keep happening).
Azerbaijan | Fade to Black by Nadir Rustamli – it’s fine but not particularly memorable.
Belgium | Miss You by Jérémie Makiese – two things about this song: firstly, it would do well regardless of Eurovision hype. Secondly, lots of Eurovision potential if Jérémie can hold his nerve and high notes.
Bulgaria | Intention by Intelligent Music Project – hello, 1992 calling, wanting it’s soft-metal-rock back.
Croatia | Guilty Pleasure by Mia Dimšić – lacks the required Eurovision smaltz/ razzle-dazzle/ vocal gymnastics but such a sweet song.
Cyprus | Ela by Andromache – very pretty, and like the mix of languages.
Czech Republic | Lights Off by We Are Domi – excellent earworm with a beat you can’t help but get sucked into.
Denmark | The Show by Reddi – strong Bonnie Tyler meets Cyndi Lauper vibes (not a criticism, just an observation). Love the massive tempo change, and the all-girl band.
Estonia | Hope by Stefan – Estonia goes Western…? No.
Finland | Jezebel by The Rasmus – where do all these Finnish heavy-metal bands come from? Seriously, every year. But I do like their pop of yellow.
France | Fulenn by Alvan & Ahez – as always, I want to remind France that the brief is not ‘be the coolest’.
Georgia | Lock Me In by Circus Mircus – idk… clowns are already weird and creepy without making them more so…
Germany | Rockstars by Malik Harris – love the chorus but this kind of smooth-lyrics-with-a-bit-of-rap-single-boy-singer is hard to jazz up to necessary Eurovision standards.
Ireland | That’s Rich by Brooke Scullion – meh. Teenage fluff.
Israel | I.M by Michael Ben David – with dance moves inspired by the Fitness Marshall, and some Megan Trainor sass, this song is such fun.
Italy | Brividi by Mahmood & Blanco – well, it’s tough being the host country, and a second win is unlikely, but this is a good song.
Malta | Out of Sight by Emma Muscat – lots of opportunity to flex the vocal chords – will probably poll well.
Moldova | Trenuleţul by Zdob şi Zdub & Fraţii Advahov – a group of dads who thought Eurovision might be a lark? No. Then again, the coolest Eurovision songs are the ones that don’t try to be cool. Could the daggy dads win?!
Montenegro | Breathe by Vladana – solid ballad (success comes down to staging).
Netherlands | Di Diepte by S10 – the other Eurovision fan in my household loves this song. I reckon it fades where it might otherwise build.
North Macedonia | Circles by Andrea – strong Alanis Morisette vibe, and with the right staging it could be very, very good.
Norway | Give That Wolf a Banana by Subwoolfer – they’re taking the piss, right? Anyway, it’s peak Eurovision.
Portugal | Saudade Saudade by Maro – pretty but no winner.
Romania | Llámame by WRS – a lot going on here and I suspect he should ditch his stylist.
San Marino | Stripper by Achille Lauro – wrong audience, Achille.
Serbia | In Corpore Sano by Konstrakta – I didn’t think it could get more weird than Norway’s entry, but then there’s Serbia. Clearly a strong Marina Abramovic vibe, and a nod to the memorable Polish butter-churners of 2014. Note: I barely got through the first few seconds of the clip because of the sound of people eating noisily, and it makes me want to spew.
Slovenia | Disko by LPS – overlook the fact that the average age of this outfit appears to be approx. 12 and enjoy the beats. And the bow-tar. And the fact that if they nail the staging on the night, it will be brilliant.
Spain | SloMo by Chanel – I don’t have much listening energy for Beyonce-wannabes.
Sweden | Hold Me Closer by Cornelia Jakobs – the fact that I am blasting this in the car and singing along tells me everything.
Switzerland | Boys Do Cry by Marius Bear – I like the hint of Joe Cocker in Marius’s voice, and I like the sentiment in this sweet song.
Ukraine | Stefania by Kalush Orchestra – Let’s not pretend that Eurovision isn’t political…. of course it is. And on that note, Ukraine will get lots of love this year, regardless of what they serve up. It’s nice that Kalush Orchestra’s mum gets so much camera time.
United Kingdom | Space Man by Sam Ryder – first year in a long time that I have genuinely rated UK’s entry. I hope they smash the staging.
My favourite is Sweden but also in the mix (in no order) are Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Lithuania, United Kingdom, and Denmark.
The current odds are suggesting Ukraine, Italy, Sweden and United Kingdom.
The fact that my 2022 Eurovision merch hasn’t arrived (yet) will not dampen my enthusiasm. Yes, I will be up at 5am three mornings next week.