Sunday 27 April 2014

Predicting Copenhagen (4)

So, finally here in the capital of the great nation of Denmark and see that we're doing our wild! predictons. Hmm... what is it that I would consider a wild? Well, from my side I have two items which, even though personally I maybe would not agree with (well, at least one), I think will happen:

Israel to qualify but fail in the final.
Slovenia to do much better than expected.

Every year there is always one song which is so hyped by the masses of Eurovision fans that it is impossible to see it for what it is - an ok song without any oomph. Yes, once you listened to it 150 times it does sound like the best song going but really, go back to the first time your heard it, and pretend you're not a Eurovision fan and call it again.

Slovenia on the other hand I only mention due to one simple fact - a friend of mine who attended the preview party I held last year hated everything apart from Denmark. This year he hated everything apart from Slovenia... coincidence?! I believe not!

Oh well, only two weeks left to go before we find out what actually will happen. But I for one will be happy to go back to Ljubljana!

Predicting Copenhagen (3)

Having spent two weeks almost in Copenhagen last year, I'm joining the gang who are spending two weeks definitely not in Copenhagen this year. Of course, we'll have our mobile "press centre" with us too, and I'm looking forward to blogging as usual about the betting markets and whatever the 2014 equivalent of Jonas Gygax's silly face is.

But in the meantime, I'm happy to jump at the challenge of some WILD PREDICTING! WILD! LIKE THE CARPATHIAN WOLVES! Sticking my neck out, here are some of things I reckon will happen over the next fortnight:
  • Austria will fail to qualify. Not because the conservative corners of Europe hate the idea of a bearded lady, but because it's a dog of a song and Conchita's vocals are shouty and horrible. Meanwhile, the fanboys will be doubly incensed because:
  • Georgia will qualify. Forget the meandering structure and the lack of a discernible melody: this is Real Music played by Real Musicians, and the juries will absolutely lap it up. Plus they've got Lithuania to give them all 58 points as usual. SHIN!
  • Finland will finish in the top 10. It's fresh, modern, credible and non-banal, and juries and televoters will love it in equal measure.
  • The Danish hosts will start their script in rhyming couplets before winking at the camera and saying "Only kidding!". (OK, so that's not a real prediction - but wouldn't it be amazing?)
Of course, just two weeks from now it'll all be over and I'll no doubt be looking back on my WILD PREDICTIONS with a face like this:

But that's the fun of it, isn't it? :-) Bring on the rehearsals!

Predicting Copenhagen (2)

I'm not travelling to Copenhagen either, so before Tom (our earliest reporter) arrives, I'll take Sam's encouragement and stick my neck out about something. I won't make any prediction on the semifinal threshold (that's impossible to predict anyhow), so I'll throw a couple of random darts at the final scoreboard itself:

- Greece will finish in the top 5.

- Russia and Ukraine will exchange points.

The former prediction is mostly due to the fact that the song already is a beacon of professionally produced Pop happiness in the more uptempo semifinal, let alone against the five million ballads that qualified from the other one. The latter is because, despite not really knowing the political situation there and how it might affect things, both songs have wide enough appeal in the region. And the region has mysterious ways.

There will be many surprises on the scoreboard, but I expect the winner to be something that was always going to happen and we just didn't want to believe it. As (almost) always.

And that's my neck stuck out, several times over!

Predicting Copenhagen (1)

I'm not travelling to Copenhagen this year, but that's not going to stop me making predictions. But instead of going all out, and predicting the qualifiers from each semi and who's going to win, I'm just going to stick to one prediction - one wild prediction that will make me look ultra-clever if it comes off...

San Marino will qualify.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that 'Maybe' is a good song. In fact, it's probably the most hopeless of the three attempts Valentina Monetta's had at Eurovision. 'Facebook The Social Network Song' was at least ridiculously laughable and fun to make fun of, while 'Crisalide (Vola)', for all its misguided slow-slow-fast structure, and fanboy-baiting sub-Italian balladry, at least sounded like it was written to actually try and attract attention and votes (and was ridiculously laughable and fun to make fun of).

'Maybe', meanwhile, is just nothing. It's just there. It's telling, really, that the fan community that had so much to say about 'The Social Network Song', and so much love for 'Crisalide (Vola)', is barely speaking about 'Maybe'. It's currently sitting in a mediocre, average and unnoticed 24th on the ESC Nation poll.

But I think that's safe enough. In a year with 16 songs in a semi-final, all of which have to be ranked by every juror, I think it's going to end up a safe 8th or so will all of them. Safe is often seen as the name of the game at Eurovision at the moment, under the current system, at least when it comes to getting a 'safe' result, i.e. qualifying.

For argument's sake, let's say that the jurors don't go for it, or their votes are diluted by an underwhelmed televote. I still think 'Maybe' has a decent chance of giving San Marino their first trip to the final. 'Crisalide', for all its fan-love, should never have been approaching qualifying, being the 'Sense tu in a wig' that it was. And it was 11th. We've seen in both the last two years that San Marino have, shall we say, a slightly suspicious level of jury-love. They don't have Malta in their semi-final this year, but they do have Azerbaijan, Albania and Montenegro, all old friends who love the parmesan and tinned ham, and with juries who have given some votes that have been, shall we say, rather interesting to analyse.

Will these countries even record a televote? Top marks from each of their juries would immediately be 36 points, before anything else has been considered - and in a semi-final of 16 countries, I think that 36 points could be enough to qualify.

That's it, I've stuck my neck out. I encourage my fellow bloggers to do the same, and tell us all their wild prediction for 2014.