Iiiiiih, the day has come! My very own Christmas, May 17th, New Years Eve and MF combined, culminating in a
three- four-hour show tonight. But let's not forget it's not all about tonight - have a look at Martin's very good description of the good life that is being a Eurovision fan, all year long.
So, what are we going to see tonight? Well, none of my biggest favourites, for one thing... :-( Albania, Estonia, Ireland and Georgia all failed to qualify from their semis, but we're still left with some proper goodies. And unlike what we've been thinking all season, it's suddenly actually looking quite exciting! I feel there's a handful of entries that are well ahead of the others, and hence should gather up a huge portion of the votes, similarly to 2015. Which could be good news for my predicting skills, as that's easily my best year in that regard! Then again, I didn't exactly excel at semi qualifiers this week, only getting 15 in total...
So, here we go!
1 Portugal | I promised myself I'd stick with my original and obvious Italy prediction and not get caught up in any last minute hype, but here we are... The performance is pure magic and gooseberrybumpy all through, and it really, really stands out. Contrary to most, I actually think it might do better in the televote than with the juries, as viewers don't tend to overthink things, they just feel. And really, that's all that's needed to fall in love with this.
2 Italy | Still keeps me entertained and interested all through. Pure joy, and a great song structure where one bit transitions perfectly into the next.
3 Bulgaria | This was absolutely flawless on Thursday. Lovely song, great singer, simple yet effective staging, and excellent camerawork.
4 United Kingdom | I suppose Belgium should've been here if we're going by the betting odds, so this is my attempt at something "risky" :-p Have loved the song (and her!) all season, and they've really made the absolute most of it. Hønepels all over the place for the big note and pyro!
5 Belgium | I've not really been buying into the 'she's bad, this isn't happening', as I think the song is way too strong to not have an impact either way. And even more so after seeing her nervy and "raw" performance on Tuesday - what looked like the entry's biggest weakness is suddenly one of its strengths.
6 Azerbaijan | I'm expecting a big gap in points between 5th and 6th, so why not a little horsie here? It's weird, but somehow in a good way, and she came across as likeable in the semi.
7 Armenia | Nobody's talking about this at all, which I find a bit odd - I've liked the song all along, and thought it looked and sounded ace in the semi. Nowhere near winning, of course, but should get a decent result, particularly since it's Armenia. And if most of the points are lumped together in the top 5, a good bunch of guaranteed televotes and some other random scores may well be enough for 7th.
8 Hungary | Thought this worked very well in the semi, and it feels sufficiently different in a good way to get decent support, even if it'll surely also fly well above many people's heads.
9 Romania | I assume it's getting about 🕸 from the juries, but enough from televoters to see it sneak into the top 10.
10 Netherlands | I assume it's getting about 🕸 from the televoters, but enough from juries to see it sneak into the top 10.
11 Greece | This isn't much of a song, but I was actually pleasantly surprised at the first chorus with the red background and flashing lights, thought it looked great. Then it all goes downhill when they try to be all swishy about it...
12 Sweden | Still dulldulldull.
13 Cyprus | Decent draw for this, and it looks good, so why not?
14 Norway | Am I overestimating good old Norge again? I really think it deserves to be at least this high, but still fear televoters will mostly forget about it.
15 Croatia | Glad it's there, oddly. Ost.
16 Moldova | I'm thinking this did very well in the semi televote without much competition in the cheap'n'cheerful department, but will get much more lost now with more competition and a very forgettable spot in the running order.
17 Ukraine | Not good enough to get a lot, but different enough to get something.
18 Poland | Based on its starting position I guess we can assume it didn't set the scoreboard on fire in the semi, and I doubt we'll see a repeat of their televote sprint from last year - unlike Michał, Kasia doesn't seem to have much appeal out of the core diaspora audience, despite having an accented S in her name.
19 Israel | Nice arms can only get you so far.
20 Denmark | I have one good thing to say about this: It makes Portugal sound even better coming right after it. Doubt televoters will care at all, but there's always some jury members that mistake screeching for good singing.
21 Belarus | I've thought this would have a shot at a top 10 result all season, but somehow it doesn't quite click on stage. Maybe they overdid the staging a bit, making them less human and more 'Belarus at Eurovision'...?
22 France | French and nice and all that, but I think it'll be largely forgotten.
23 Austria | Glad it qualified, but doubt it will have much impact when it's on as #4.
24 Australia | Still don't see how this qualified, with that lacklustre performance...
25 Spain | Should fall flat on its arse, but it's somehow just that tiny bit different that might make 2 random juries vote for it. Albania or so...
26 Germany | Decent, competent and just a little bit too average. Televote 0?
There you have it, my official prediction! Now I've deserved a bit of relaxing in the sun before starting on the Eurovision tapas cooking.
Good luck, and have a smashing evening! May the best song (Albania, that is) win, and may the voting be as exciting as last year!