Our thoughts on who will take the Eurovision 2014 crown...
As far as we're concerned, it's a NINE horse race...
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Wow. This is turning in to the most unpredictable Eurovision Song Contest since the turn of the century. In previous years it was clear in advance (sometimes months beforehand) which nation would walk away with the glittering crown – this year it’s not so simple. Several countries have a shot at glory.
Virtually all of the strong favourites have drawn a first half performance, and looking at the running order (which is decided by the host nation) the producers have clearly handicapped the artists in that no strong song has a strong position in the running order (usually deemed to be between approximately 18 and 24).
This level playing field has created what could be the most exciting climax to a Eurovision since 1998 when Malta, Israel and the UK were still in with a shot of winning right up until the final points were awarded.
To our minds there are NINE contestants in with a chance, and we’ve broken them down in to three manageable courses... because we're good like that.
The pre-competition Favourites
Favourites from the start…
Armenia / Aram MP3 – Not Alone
These guys are desperate to win the competition, but a lacklustre semi-final performance and slot early in the evening might just scupper their chances. The odds have been drifting all week, and the crown appears to be slipping away from Aram MP3’s grasp. Still, they’ve been touted as favourites for so, so long and people like to back a perceived winner.
Sweden / Sanna Nielsen – Undo
It’s not a secret that we’re no big fans of this Melodifestivalen ballad-by-numbers, but Sanna has charmed the hardcore fans, and Sweden always tend to shine at the World’s biggest non-sporting event. However, Nielsen’s unlucky number 13 in the running order and right before a tremendous French pop track that’s guaranteed to blow the cobwebs out of the stadium (and possibly Undo out of our ears).
Denmark / Basim – Cliché Love Song
There are lots of things going in favour of back-to-back Danish wins. Not only is Basim performing in the coveted 23rd position, but this is easily the most ear-wormy track of the evening, helped immensely by an energetic performance and the deafening cheers of a home crowd. On the subject of clichés, don’t buy into the oft trotted out “they can’t afford to host it twice” line – Eurovision is lucrative, and Denmark is hungry for the win.
The Ones Who Have Gained Momentum
These contestant’s odds have been shortening all week…
Austria / Conchita Wurst – Rise Like a Phoenix
You saw her performance last night, right? Conchita was the only artist to receive a standing ovation from the stadium audience. Flawless. Everybody is looking forward to seeing her on Saturday, and she’s 11th in the running order which is not a bad spot. Crucially Ms Wurst has something the other contestants lack – a story, and everybody loves a fairy tale ending.
United Kingdom / Molly – Children of the Universe
Molly’s been wowing the crowds and press during her rehearsals, and her odds have been consistently shortening (from 50-1 back in March, down to 6-1 on Wednesday). Like all the other contestants nobody is a shoe-in for the title, and the show-closing 26th slot can be a blessing or a curse, as Ireland (with an admittedly ropey track) found out in 2013 when they performed last and placed last.
Remember when our song was announced and everybody was ecstatic that the UK might place on the left side of the score board? Just remember that wherever Molly places on Saturday. She’ll do us proud.
Hungary / András Kállay-Saunders – Running
Good position, likeable song and a total spunk. We totally maintain that if András wants to win all he need do is perform the track exactly as he did on Tuesday night… but topless.
Seriously, those ARMS.
The Dark Horses
We’ve got a feeling about these ones…
The Netherlands / The Common Linnets – Calm After The Storm
With a prime position and beautiful stagecraft this track could just sneak it, and if we’re being honest “Amsterdam 2015” sounds like a LOT of fun.
Malta / FireLight – Coming Home
This could go either way for Malta. They’ve got a great place on the starting grid but might be overshadowed by Hungary and Denmark either side.
Russia / Tolmachevy Sisters – Shine
Not the most popular guests at the party, but the Tolmachevy Sisters certainly didn’t deserve a chorus of boos either.
Moscow 2015 is all sorts of “NO”, but the Russians have a tendency to get what they want so don’t rule them out.
OUR FINAL PREDICTIONS
This year truly is the most unpredictable song contest in years… that said we’re going to attempt to predict it anyway!
Don’t forget to follow @PTButton for live tweets during the competition and let us know your thoughts on our predictions for the final (below). Remember, it’s just a bit of fun!
26th - San Marino
25th – Germany
24th – Italy
23rd - Iceland
22nd – Switzerland
21st – Belarus
20th – Sweden
19th – Slovenia
18th – Ukraine
17th – Norway
16th – Spain
15th – Poland
14th – Greece
13th – Romania
12th – Finland
11th – France
10th – Azerbaijan
9th – Armenia
8th – Montenegro
7th – Hungary
6th – Malta
5th – Russia
4th - United Kingdom
3rd – Denmark
2nd - The Netherlands
1st – Austria (Winner of Eurovision Song Contest 2014)
Words Robin Holley, @PTButton