Eurovision 2013 – Big 5, Sweden, & Predictions!

esc2013 logo

And we have reached the conclusion of our five-part series previewing the 39 entries to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.  For those who may  have missed it, each day this week, I looked at one half or each semi-final.  Find those articles here: First Semi-final: first half, second half; Second Semi-Final: first half, second half. Today, I turn my focus to the six automatic qualifiers – the Big Five (France, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, and Germany) and Sweden, our host and defending champion.

France L’Enfer et Moi (Hell and Me) performed by Amandine BourgeoisNew French Flag Map

I rather like this song!  The lyrics are unexpected and tell a story of a painful, unhealthy love (think Bad Romance) that is poignantly performed.  The composition also fits it perfectly, always steadily driving forward, pushing the song further and further to the edge until it boils over. I have high hopes for this!

German Flag MapGermany Glorious performed by Cascada

How disappointing!  It’s a decent song, but I’ve come to expect so much more from Cascada.  I hate to say this, but I think Cascada will demonstrate why international mega stars, who are currently still relevant all around the globe (not just Europe), do not take part in ESC.  I think they will fail to reach the Top Ten. I don’t think they will embarrass themselves, I just don’t think they’ll do that well.

Italy L’Essenziale (The Essential) performed by Marco MengoniItalian Flag Map

So, after two years of reaching the Top Ten with remarkably popular jazz songs, Italy tries it hand at submitting a desperate, pop ballad.  It works, it really does.  I think if Megoni can win San Remo with this, he has a strong chance of taking ESC as well (lest we forget that San Remo was the contest upon which ESC was based).  Oh!  What if he actually was crying by the end of the song – that would better his edge!  Expect this song to do well!

Spanish Flag MapSpain Contigo Hasta El Final (With You Until the End) performed by El Sueño de Morfeo

What a pretty, sweet song.  It’s so nice!  It kind of reminds me of POR2009 – just a sweet, innocent song that makes one want to fall in love.  I think this will, like POR2009, finish in the middle of the pack.  It’s just not quite dynamic enough.

Sweden You performed by Robin StjernbergSwedish Flag Map

Meh.  The live version of this song leaves much to be desired and the studio version is marginally better.  This song has a lot of wow potential, particularly with all those extended notes throughout the refrain.  Who knows, with its favorable spot in the running order (16th) perhaps he will have an amazing performance the night of the Grand Final and surprise me (but I doubt it).  Next year we will not be in Sweden.

Briton Flag MapUnited Kingdom Believe in Me performed by Bonnie Tyler

If one old legend doesn’t work, try another!  That seems to be the BBC’s logic in choosing Bonnie Tyler after Englebert Humperdinck flopped last year.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Love Will Set You Free, but Europe did not.  I fear this song will have the same fate.  Though, with the fact that the Swedes will personally assign each song in the running order (except their own), the Britons will take a year off from whining about Eastern Europe and turn their ire northward, like in the olden days of the Contest!  I think this song is nice, but it doesn’t make a big impact and it’s vaguely reminiscent of late 80s/early 90s music (go figure!).

So, what do I think of the Automatic Qualifiers?

My Order of Preference How I think the final scorecard will look
France Sweden*
Spain Germany+
Italy Italy
United Kingdom France
Germany Spain
Sweden United Kingdom

*Who I think will definitely be Top Ten
+Who I think may be Top Ten depending on the strength of the Semi-Final qualifiers

So, what does all of this mean?

For the first time since 2008, none of the Big 5 are favored to win, or even be in the Top Five (as far as I know). In 2009, the UK was supposed to be tops, 2010 was to belong to Germany, France was to win in 2011 but only after defeating the UK and a strong German effort, and all were thought to be in the mix last year.  In my opinion, Sweden has the best chances of a Top Ten finish this year with Germany not too far behind.  Italy tends to do rather well, particularly since it’s rejoined the Contest, but I would expect a sub-10 finish this year.  While I love the French entry, I don’t think Europe will.  And the UK has little chances given the slower speed of the song and age of the performer.

So, how will they fare amongst the 20 entries I predicted would be in the Grand Final?Swiss Flag County

My Order of Preference How I think the final scorecard will look
Switzerland Denmark
The Netherlands Azerbaijan
Norway Norway
Moldova Moldova
France Georgia
Denmark Greece
Israel Russia
Hungary Ukraine
Azerbaijan Sweden
Greece Ireland
Georgia Germany
Ireland Switzerland
Austria Israel
Spain Italy
Malta The Netherlands
Cyprus Spain
Italy Austria
Bulgaria Armenia
Belarus France
United Kingdom Belarus
Germany Malta
Sweden Cyprus
Russia Bulgaria
Ukraine Serbia
Serbia Hungary
Armenia United Kingdom

Please note:Danish Flag Map

1.) These are based on my first listens and opinions.  The next round of predictions will have a bit more research to back them up.  This is also my first attempt to predict the final position of each entry this far in advance!

2.) As I said in January, I think Only Teardrops has the potential to win, and, honestly, is one of the best Danish entries in a long time in my opinion.  Even though I think the Netherlands and Switzerland should be duking it out for the top spot, I’m not foolish enough to think either country will win.  Both will be happy just to make it to the Grand Final and avoid last place.

3.) I don’t trust, nor can I predict, the Swedish producers.  When the running order was random, every entry had an equal chance of a crappy starting position or a great one, now, that’s not the case.  The Swedish producers will be deciding the running order and it is impossible for me to guess their prejudices, production opinions, and objectives for the show.  I say this because, despite how much SVT and the EBU deny it, running order drastically affects how an entry finishes on the scorecard.  Hopefully, next year, the EBU returns to randomized running orders.

This concludes my five-part series previewing the 39 entries to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.  The Heads of Delegations meeting was this past week, so I will have a post hitting some of the main points from that meeting tomorrow!


One response

  1. Pingback: Eurovision 2013 – Heads of Delegations Meeting | Eurovision Obsession

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