Photo – Garrett Mulhall of EurovisionIreland.net

 

Ok People the day has arrived and can you imagine it but the Press Centre is EMPTY!! I think people will arrive in for the last dress rehearsal that begins at 5.30pm Azeri Time or 1.30 GMT. But last night we had the Jury Voting Semi Final. All the main contenders sung amazingly well so I am just going to briefly Talk about my predictions for the Eurovision Winner.

Firstly I think this will be a close race but one country – due to the running order draw – could be on for a big win. So my Top 10 – and in my Best X-Factor voice – in no particular order, the contenders are as follows

  • Russia – The Grannies “Party for Everyone “
  • Spain – Pastora Soler – “Quedate Conmingo”
  • Italy – Nina Zilli – “L’amore e Femmina”
  • Sween – Loreen – “Euphoria”
  • Serbia – Zeljko – “Nije ljubav Stvar”
  • Cyprus – Ivi – “La La La Love”
  • Ireland – Jedward – “Waterline”

 

Russia – This is the big party novelty song of the year and has a wonderful draw from the unlikely position of number 6. The reason why this has a great draw is because we will have the slowest start to a Eurovision Final EVER with 5 relatively slow opening song and then you get The Grannies. Look we all know their vocals are not good and they miss their camera angles but that is endearing. I can imagine that they will get the 12 points from the majority of the former USSR states so they should be up about 60 points over their competitors. What will be interesting to see is where the Juries will place Russia – especially the Western European countries. Keep a close eye on Russia and expect them to get a HUGE cheer in the hall. If we win the Russians have said that we will be going to St Petersbourg or Sochi next year.

Spain – This for me is a classy song from a wonderful singer. Pastora last night in the hall for the dress rehearsal had some people cying following her performance. When she hits that big note the goosebumps run up your arms. There is a big and lively Spanish contingent of fans – and they will let them selves be heard. I truly hope this comes Top 3 as it is a cracking song and would sound wonderful in English. The Spaniards have said that if they win we will be going to Seville next year.

Italy – Looking and sounding wonderful. This is the type of song that will do well with both Juries and the Public. I cannot see it winning either of the votes but should finish Top 3 with both which could see it win. I have a soft spot for Nina as she lived in Ireland for 5 years and was an absolute pleasure when I spent some time with her in Euroclub and she told me of her time in Killala. A great Retro song with an Amy Winehouse vibe. The head of the Italian delegation – Eddy, who has become a good friend whilst here in Baku – has told us that if Italy win then we are off to Turin for Eurovision Next Year.

Sweden – Still the leader in the betting odds Sweden has been getting better with each performance. Loreen should score well with all of the Nordic countries and the Northern European countries. Will it though get many votes from Eastern Europe will be the deciding factor. There is a large Swedish group of fans here and they are convinced that they are going to win. The juries are told that they are to chose a song that they believe could be a commercial hit. Already charting across lots of European countries this could fit the bill. The Swedes have told us that if they win then we are off to Stockholm – which is a city that I do like.

Serbia – This is the song from one of this years returning Eurovision Artists. What I can see is that he will get all the 12 points from the Balkan countries and the surrounding countries like Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania etc. This will have him with about 60 points in the bag so this could be a challenge to Russia. As for how it will translate with the West of Europe remains to be seen. It is probably more of a Jury song but don’t discount it. If Serbia win then we are off to Belgrade again.

Cyprus – Well we have become very friendly with the lovely Ivi and the Cypriot Delegation here in Baku. Ivi has been absolutely belting her song out for the 2 weeks and the performance has been amazing on stage and what has been very interesting is that the Scandanavian countries are LOVING this song and if what their delegations have been saying to us we can expect Ivi to be scoring well from these countries. That is no surprise as one of the main composers is from Sweden – Bjorn Djupstrom – and it has a sound that you would expect to see at Melodi Festivalen. I think this could be a good bet to win. It is a shame that Cyprus didn’t get a better draw but Ivi looks and sounds amazing and you can see that she is enjoying herself on stage. If Cyprus win then I have been told that we are off to Limasol next year – the location where Cyprus held the Junior Eurovision in 2010.

Last but not least IRELAND – Jedward are singing and performing amazingly well. They have been going down a treat with the local media here in Azerbaijan and I am hoping that this is a good omen with the other former USSR states. We already know that Waterline has been a hit in Estonia and Latvia and Sweden so far. The fact that Jedward were held until the final qualifier on Tuesday night gives me hope that we could have been pretty high in the result. The big advantage that Jedward has is that their stage show is highly visual. They have the best Prop of the contest – their Water feature – which looks amazing on stage. We all know that we have thousands of Jedward fan sites all over Europe and what we really need is to get all of those groups to vote for our Twins. Can we do it?? Well if we do then we will be in Dublin next year and I will happily welcome all of you to my home town.

A few other countries that I would note would be Malta. I was so happy that Malta qualified for the final as Kurt Calleja singing “This is the Night”. Kurt is like Ivi from Malta and is having great fun on stage and his dance routine is so visually stunning and memorable. I would also rate the Ukraine as they have one of the best singers in the contest in the form of the charming Gaitana singing “Be My Guest”. Vocally and Visually stong this has a Euro 2012 football vibe to it. And I am going to go say Romania and Albania. You couldn’t get more contrasting songs that have their charm. Romania is a party anthem while Albania is intense and maybe have a niche appeal. Juries will love this. Estonia is one song I would love to see in the Top 10 and it could go Top 10. A classic song and reminds me of a young Johnny Logan. So that is my Top 10/11.

Personally I think that there are 3 standout moments in this years contest. First is when pastora hits that big note in her song for Spain, Then there is the point when Loreen lies on the ground and the Snow falls on her. She did this in the Swedish final and it still looks amazing. Finally we have JEDWARD. At the end of their sdong when they run into the waterfall it is spectacular and the image stays in your mind. so can these 3 moments help either of the songs win – only a few more hours to go. What is interesting to see that there is a poll here in the Press Hall and the voting in it is rather strange but it is probably reflecting the high number of Azeri and Turkish press here. Currently Azerbaijan lead the poll – and this is an amazing performance by the host country. Sabina looks stunning and I think it could make the Top 10. Second is Turkey – which is good but I can see it almost makig the Top 10. as a point of reference Ireland is down in 22nd place – but I cannot see this happening. Here is the full listing.

Picture – Garrett Mulhall EurovisionIreland.net

 

No security will be tight here for the final – like it is for all Eurovision Song Contests. Due to the location of the Crystal Hall – right on the coast of the Caspian Sea – there are over 5 Naval Boats present – patrolling the harbour. Tonight our tickets are printed with our names on them and our passport numbers – which we have to bring to the venue. Security is tight but I am happy about that. You fell very safe here which I like.

  • Tell me what you think of my predictions?
  • Who do you think will win?

 

 

 

 

 

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