Saturday 18 May 2019

I'm giving in too...

Well, I say that. I actually ended up putting Netherlands top in my ESC Nation Message Board pre-rehearsals prediction, because I just couldn't see what else won. And I still feel like that now. At no point have I really felt that Arcade is a likely, or even really a deserving winner - but I don't see anything else winning either. And they can't all come 4th.

It felt quite easy to put the entries into blocks, and I actually have Netherlands and Australia above everything else, as I struggled to find entries to fill the Top 5. To be fair, I'm always like this - in the last few years I've always struggled to visualise these songs doing *well*. Which usually means there's some kind of surprise, like Sunstroke Project or Michael Schulte. If I were to call a surprise Top 5, it would perhaps be Slovenia or Norway. It might even be Spain, though I really don't think so.

So, without further ado...

1. Netherlands
2. Australia
3. Iceland
- I feel like this is the kind of thing that the build-up and the hype will really help; juries in particular really tend to follow hype, so I'm expecting that to make up for the underwhelming live performance.
4. Sweden
5. Azerbaijan
- to be honest, I was underwhelmed by this in the semi, after all the raves from the press centre, but I guess I'm probably missing something there, as I was pretty alone in that opinion. It also doesn't help that I really dislike the song!
6. Switzerland
7. Russia
- it never felt like a winner or even a Top 3 entry from the moment it came out, and I wish I'd had the courage in my convictions to bet on it earlier.
8. Slovenia - genuinely could come anywhere.
9. Malta - a little surprised they put it on first.
10. Norway
11. Czech Republic
- I'm more surprised they put this on so closely after Malta. They're visually similar, and I'm now considering getting out of my original Top 10 bet that I put on weeks ago.
12. France - which I guess makes them Top Big Five by default.
13. Italy
14. Serbia
15. Greece
16. North Macedonia
17. Estonia
18. Spain
19. Cyprus
- hugely underwhelmed by Tamta and everything about this in the semi-final, it wouldn't have shocked me if it had failed to qualify.
20. Albania
21. Denmark
22. San Marino
23. Israel
24. Germany
- 'too obvious to be last' is usually rubbish, but I'm hoping the S?sters might get a little bit of jury love to push them above a couple of other entries.
25. United Kingdom
26. Belarus

I'm finally giving in...


A bit of poolside and restaurantside Norwegian national day celebrations yesterday (mainly involving coriander, muy autentico), followed by a much more important day - IT'S EUROVISION TODAY!

My predicting skills improved greatly from semi 1 to semi 2 (7/10 and 9/10 respectively), so maybe I'm at my peak now? Here's what I think anyway! Have a great evening everyone!

1 Netherlands | I'm finally giving in... Still don't quite 'get' it, but it managed to win others over in the semi, so there clearly is something there that maybe just isn't for me. A bit like Denmark in 2013, basically. And a Dutch win after all these hundreds of years would be fantastictje!
2 Australia | The kind of thing that I'd imagine juries could ignore a bit, but then it's Australia, so here we are...
3 Switzerland | Great draw, great face, great arms, great energy.
4 Sweden | I've supported it all season (and it's still up there with North Macedonia as my absolute favourite!), but I'm caving in for the pressure.
5 Russia
6 Italy | Seems a bit disappointing in clips, but he was meant to be sick and stuff, wasn't he?
7 France | Erk, I promised I wouldn't get sucked in on the hype, didn't I?! It was probably this "exactly"-moment that clinched it. Still not at all convinced by the song, but I'm expecting both juries and televoters to get on board with the message, or maybe most of all with Bilal himself.
8 Greece | *does fingery handmove to reach high notes*
9 Iceland | This seems surprisingly forgotten considering what they're clearly aiming for.
10 Azerbaijan | I'm not at all impressed, but people seem to be, so...
11 Norway | My original thought about this was 'decently safe qualifier, lost in the final', but I'm starting to think it could get a decent amount of televotes from viewers looking for something cheerful and typically Eurovision-y with a hint of "local flavour" (even if that's as fake as can be). Hope it beats Rybak's result last year, at least!
12 Slovenia | I was a bit nervous this would be boring in the semi, but thought it was absolutely magical - monotonous, but sucks you in with the very initimate staging, which they're really nailing with the minimal interactions between them. A shy smile here, a gentle brush on the arm there... #swoon
13 Spain | Have disliked this ever since it was chosen, but his arms and the cheerful performance on last should secure a decent televote result, even if  I'm expecting the juries not to care.
14 Malta | Thought this looked really promising in rehearsal clips, only to look messy and average in the semi. With that early draw too, I can see it going down the Ira Losco route re: jury/televote split, i.e. opposite of Spain.
15 North Macedonia | YAY
16 Serbia
17 Cyprus | Unlike many, I think this works reasonably well (that wet-look-hairgel à la 1992 aside! WHY), but I always thought the song had a limited appeal anyway, so 17th seems about right.
18 Czechia
19 Belarus
20 Albania | Positively surprised at this qualification, but I assume it's without a chance apart from the Swiss televote and such.
21 United Kingdom | Can't see the televoters caring, but could get some random jury votes here and there.
22 Israel | I'm starting to appreciate it more after we did Kobi versions of various other entries at breakfast today. Malta works particularly well.
23 San Marino | This might have gotten some random cheerful televoters going on Tuesday, but I can't see anyone caring now it's buried at #7.
24 Denmark
25 Estonia | A handful of Swedish and Finnish televotes, and that's it? It bloody better be.
26 Germany | Oh dear.