Eurovision 2013 – Final Predictions!!!
Here we are, less than one week out from the First Semi-Final! With rehearsals in full swing, we are seeing some of the last throws of changes and adjustments ahead of next week’s shows. Below, I will be giving my final review and predictions for each entry – pulling in everything I know and have learned in terms of history, betting odds, and fan chatter.
I’ll give a brief review of every entry, then dive deeper into who I think will win.
Starting with the First Semi-Final:
Estonia – This song has definitely grown on me since the first time I heard it. It’s still quite dull, though, and will make zero impact on the night. I fear that it will be struggling to avoid last place.
Slovenia – I love this song! And the fact that Hannah Mancini is American only makes me like it all that much more. Unfortunately, there’s usually only room for one club track in ESC and Norway owns it this year. Even within its own semi-final, Slovenia is less memorable (and appears earlier than) Montenegro and will likely suffer because of it.
Croatia – Classy, simple, clean – it’s lovely. It will garner points for being so culturally true, but it will suffer from being so early and so slow. Like Austria, I think it might sneak into the Final and then just sit there.
Denmark – This is the big favorite to win, I loved it since the first time I heard it at DMGP. If this song is not in the Top Five, I would be shocked.
Russia – Dina Garipova has a beautiful voice, but this song is sooo bland. It will do well given that its Russia and I wholeheartedly expect this to finish in the Top Ten.
Ukraine – I’ve said it before, the retooled version is miles better than the original, but it’s still a bit too theatrical, I think, to challenge for a win. I think being from the Ukraine will get the entry some points as will the sheer power of Zlata Ognevich’s voice. Unfortunately, the feedback from rehearsals is not good and her chances are sinking.
The Netherlands – Anouk is a rather amazing performer and the chatter is that she is keeping her presentation simple, which is perfect for this song. I think there’s a lot of positive buzz around this song but the Dutch’s stock seems to be dropping. I think she will qualify, but struggle to reach the Top Ten.
Montenegro – I’m still on the fence about this song, personally. Depending on the mood of the voters, I think this could take the last qualifying spot away from Austria or Croatia.
Lithuania – The song doesn’t entirely make sense and it’s not very dynamic. I think this will be challenging Estonia for last place on Tuesday.
Belarus – I think of this year’s 39 entries, Belarus’ stock dropping faster than anyone else. When Solayoh was revealed, it was immediately counted as a contender to win. Now, people think it will be lucky to qualify – which I think it will do as long as the presentation is decent.
Ireland – I think this is in a similar situation as Slovenia, except Ireland is a much more popular and successful country than Slovenia or Montenegro in ESC. I think that it will qualify for the Final, but not do too much after that.
Cyprus – Another one of my absolute favorites this year. But, like Estonia, I think it is a bit too dull to do anything. I think it benefits from being expertly sung (particularly, following Ireland) but I do not think Despina Olympiou’s fantastic vocals will be enough to bring success to Cyprus this year.
Belgium – This song gets better each time I hear it. Unfortunately, viewers only have one time to listen and Roberto Bellarosa is not necessarily a great live singer.
Serbia – This song is a hot mess, and I think it’s stock is also headed in the wrong direction. It has all the makings of a dud.
Bottom Line: Who do I think will qualify?
I think Denmark is the only one from this bunch that can actually win.
Take a quick breath. Ready? Onward to Semi-Final Two.
Latvia – I never particularly cared for this song. I recently looked up their other song from the Latvian, Sad Trumpet, it’s amazing, which makes me dislike this song even more.
San Marino – Already proving itself to be SM’s most popular entry, it scored a second placing in ESCToday/OGAE’s Annual Poll of Clubs. I think this could surprise a lot of folks and finish Top Ten.
Azerbaijan – I think Azerbaijan’s weakest entry yet, but it will benefit from the fact that Turkey is not voting. They even released a Turkish language version (which is awful, by the way) in order to capitalize on the Turkish diaspora.
Finland – Like Belgium and Estonia, this song has definitely grown on me and she has a cult following across Europe. But, most Finnish entries seem to garner a cult following of some degree (I’m thinking of 2010, especially) and still not go anywhere. I’m thinking that this will qualify and finish mid-table.
Malta – I really like this, it’s adorable, genuine, and very sweet. I do not think, though, that it will make a lasting impression on the night, but it could sneak through.
Iceland – This song is a bit captivating and is generally well-received throughout the fan-sites. I think it will qualify and has a chance to sneak up the scoreboard.
Greece – Great song! It will definitely qualify, but how will it do? I think it depends on the running order – if it’s surrounded by two ballads (like it is in the semi-final) I think it has a real shot of being Top Ten, otherwise, it will finish mid-table.
Israel – The question is, will the amazingness of this song be outweighed by the horrendous fashion and hairstyle? Probably.
Hungary – I really, really like this. But it’s so soft I think that it will be loss among the shuffle.
Norway – This song is very different from the grand majority of ESC entries, which means that it will either be wildly successful or fail greatly. It has a lot of fan support and haunts you long after listening – it’s bound to do well.
Albania – This song seems to be fairly popular, but I do not know why. It will benefit from being the only rock song in the Contest this year.
Georgia – “Eurovision by Numbers” is the phrase that everyone seems to be throwing around for this entry. I agree, but I don’t mind – it’s a fantastic entry in my opinion and can challenge for the win.
Switzerland – I love this song but it seems to be getting mixed reviews. I think it’s just good enough to qualify (when was the last time the Dutch and the Swiss were in a Final together? 2003 I think).
Romania – Romania will be the next country with a 100% Final qualification rate to fall (as Turkey did in 2011 and Georgia did in 2012).
The Bottom Line: Who do I think will qualify?
I think Georgia and Azerbaijan are the most serious contenders.
Whew! Blink a few times – maybe take a sip of water – onward to the Final!!
France – I love! this song. It’s great! For some unknown reason, no one else seems to. I think with a really good presentation (Amandine Bourgeois alone on stage (the backing singers can be off-camera on the catwalk – like Sweden last year) with flames that grow higher throughout and begin to dance by the end), this song could be a dark horse.
Germany – I like this a lot, I wonder if Europe will get up and dance or be tired of all the club tracks between last year and this year. I think Cascada, on name alone, will be able to break the Top Ten.
Italy – In my opinion, this is the most overrated song this year. Everyone is talking about how much they love it and how great it is, but I do not see what separates this entry from Iceland or Israel (or even Cyprus and Estonia for that matter) – they’re all well sung ballads in my opinion. Expect it to fight with Georgia for jury points.
Spain – I really like this entry, it’s really sweet and I love the Celtic sound (the band is from northern Spain, where Celtic Galician region is). However, it will merely be a palate cleanser between whatever two song its performed between. I don’t think it will be last.
Sweden – I think this song has great potential, but I have yet to see Robin Stjernberg perform this song live well. While the viewing public may not care as much, the juries will (remember Russia 2011?).
United Kingdom – I like it; it’s grown on me. Most of the comments I see and the betting odds all seem to have this song doing well (except for Britons, but after following the Contest since 2007, I do not think there is a single thing the BBC can do that won’t make British fans whine).
Bottom Line: Which of these six do I think can finish in the Top Ten?
So, who’s going to win?
I think there are only four legitimate contenders: Denmark, Italy, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.
Denmark – the big favorite among the fans and the bookies – by a country mile! This song’s biggest challenge is whether it can withstand being in a field of 26 others. If this song is stuck in the first half of the Grand Final, then it can sink. It’s a great song, but it doesn’t leave a lasting impression; if it’s mixed with other pleasant entries (like Switzerland, the UK, Spain) or more memorable entries (like Ukraine or Norway) then it will be forgotten by the average viewer.
Italy – perceived, by just about everyone, as the strongest ballad in the field this year. If Marco Mengoni has to worry about Eythor Ingi (Iceland) being within close range, then I he’ll also have to worry about losing votes to him. The two songs are similar in appearance, tone, and mood and can split votes, resulting in lower placings for both of them.
Georgia – a powerful, stirring ballad that represents one of the best efforts of ESC legend Thomas G:son. Conversely, the drawback from of having a renowned ESC composer writing for you – all his songs have a similar sound and put this song at risk of sounding generic.
Azerbaijan – Turkey is not competing, leaving Europe’s biggest diaspora up for grabs and ripe for the picking for mini-Turkey: Azerbaijan. Everything about this entry is average – thehttps://eurovisionobsession.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=608&action=edit singing, the lyrics, the music; I also doubt Azerbaijan wants to host again so quickly after last year’s Contest.
I stick by my prediction from a few weeks ago, Denmark and Georgia will be battling it out for victory.
Be sure to check back on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday when I will be posting my annual live notes! Every year, I take notes as I am watching the Semi-Finals and Grand Final and post them here for your reading pleasure! The shows occur at 3PM here, so I have to watch the semi-finals later in the day (hence why the notes are posted the following day). I will try to keep my Grand Final notes on here live this year after Twitter failed me last year – so be sure to check back in on Saturday!