Hello Dear Readers! Today was a big day – we finally have a running order for the semi-finals! I will be making a post about that in the coming weeks. You can find the running orders here: http://www.eurovision.tv/page/news?id=eurovision_2013_semi-final_running_order_revealed.
Instead, while I prepare that blog post, I will give you another one that has been mulling over in my mind. The eight biggest surprises I’ve discovered thus far as I have been diving into ESC coverage. This list is unranked.
- Denmark is the big leader STILL. Check the polling sites, the betting sites, the commentary sites – Denmark is the favorite to win come May! This is not only surprising but rather pleasing! As soon as I heard the song I thought it was a winner, then it took DMGP, and now it’s the big favorite to win. How exciting! Is it too early to say next year in Copenhagen (or perhaps Århus)?
- Azerbaijan is nowhere to be seen. This goes beyond simply the fact that the Caucasus country is not on anyone’s radar in terms of succeeding. Normally, AZ is throwing money at the Contest; normally, we would have seen at least one official music video, a remix, and several tour dates for the Azerbaijani entry to promote their song. Perhaps they don’t want to run the risk of winning again so soon.
- The Netherlands is not only popular, but has a legitimate shot at winning. I love Birds, despite the fact that the lyrics require a lot of thinking about to help them make sense, it’s an amazing song and goes in a completely different direction than any other entry has for quite a while. Apparently, Europe loves this, too. And Anouk’s voice only sweetens the pot!
- Albania is popular?! I don’t understand it, but apparently there’s a large group of people out there who think this song is amazing. It’s okay, but I completely don’t understand the hype around this entry.
- San Marino may actually qualify this year. Despite being slotted the #2 spot in the Second Semi-Final (in case you did not know, no country has ever won the Contest being performed in the #2 spot, but people have qualified out of the semi-final from it) which means it will be harder to maintain its impression in viewers’ minds, it is rather popular and has a chance to qualify. It would be San Marino’s first ever trip to the Grand Final.
- Lithuania and Montenegro have a strong fan following, France does not. Searching around the internet, I have come across a lot of fan rankings and Lithuania and Montenegro actually seem to be fairly well liked around the world wide web. France, on the other hand, is not. Despite the constant whining of fans that there are too many “ballads” (which, there not, it’s really no more than any other year) this fast and unique song is not appreciated.
- Macedonia is getting a lot of backlash, still. Really, people? I understand that Imperija was an amazing entry, it was off-tempo, powerful, and beautifully blended the pop and traditional musical styles of Macedonia. However, Pred da se Razdeni fits these characteristics as well. So, what’s the issue?
The number of non-English language songs is increasing. I think it speaks volumes that Moldova switched to Romanian. More countries are using the ESC stage to display a part of their culture – their language. I think this is a change for the better. However, there has only been a few non-English entries that have had a serious shot at winning since 1998. Molitva.(SER2007) is the only non-English winner since the language rule was abandoned in 1999, and only the third since in the past twenty Contests (NOR1995, ISR1998, SER2007). This year, Moldova is the most popular non-English entry, but still does not have much chance to win.