If there’s one televisual event that I never miss it’s the Eurovision Song Contest.
My love for the three hour TV marathon knows no bounds and the fact that my dad actually represented Ireland back in 1991 (see the fella swaying in the salmon coloured suit below) probably adds a bit of extra meaning to the whole thing for me.
Yeah. There’s me da. Scarleh.
Let’s face it, I’m just DYING for the chance to deliver that all-important “Hello Europe, Dublin calling”.
This year’s contest takes place next Saturday, May 10th in Copenhagen and, despite my best intentions to actually get tickets for a change, I’ll be watching it from the comfort of my own sofa.
Here, in particular order, are the songs I think/hope will do well on the night.
UPDATE (May 9th): It’s looking like a two horse race at the top with Sweden and Austria now battling for glory.
Dancing In The Rain – Ruth Lorenzo (Spain)
I’ve been a big fan of Ruth Lorenzo since her X Factor days because she quite simply has a cracking voice.
I’m not entirely sure this ballad makes a big enough leap (ie it’s got a good key change, but it needs just a TINY bit more oomph) but I’d say Lorenzo will belt it out and give the Spaniards a fighting chance at claiming the crown for the first time since 1969.
Tick-Tock – Maria Yaremchuk (Ukraine)
There’s no doubt but that all eyes will be on Ukraine and Russia at this year’s contest: Politics almost ALWAYS plays a major part in these things.
Little miss Yaremchuk is rated fairly highly by the bookies right now and her song ain’t half bad. I mean it’s not Ke$ha’s Tick-Tock, but is that necessarily a bad thing?
I doubt she’ll actually win but chances are she’ll do well.
Children of The Universe – Molly Smitten-Downes (UK)
I’m going to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of this song. It really sounds like something I’ve heard before/something that belongs in Hair (the musical) in my opinion.
However, it’s quite possibly the most cracking tune the UK has produced for the contest since Katrina and The Waves shone their light back in 1997. There’s no denying Molly has talent and the song is said to be hugely popular in mainland Europe. If it doesn’t finish in a strong position I’ll eat my Mac.
But not really.
Silent Storm – Carl Espen (Norway)
The Scandinavians really should just give us all lessons in how to do Eurovision because, year after year, their entries create a buzz and Norway’s latest offering is no exception.
Now, being honest, i’m not mad about this song but Espen sings it wonderfully. The simple production (just himself and a piano) evokes memories of another wonderful ballad (you were theirs and they were… mine, but that was once upon a time) that stormed to victory 20 years ago.
Can Carl bring the keys back to the top? I wouldn’t rule him out anyway.
Running – Kállay-Saunders (Hungary)
I don’t know why but this really reminds me of something Craig David might have released at some stage.
It’s actually a decent little song but it’s not my winner. Fair play to Hungary though, I’ll be surprised if this doesn’t finish on the left hand side of the scoreboard.
Cliche Love Song – Basim (Denmark)
Denmark’s little Bruno Mars is doing fairly well in the online betting stakes and a quick listen to the song reveals why.
It’s the kind of thing you could actually hear in the charts and he’s got a great production going on. The hosts might be on to something with this one.
Not Alone – Aram (Armenia)
The clear favourite (it’s had over 2 million views on YouTube lads, let’s face it, it’s going to do well) is another of those songs that I’m just NOT feeling this year.
It’s a decent track, he’s got a decent voice, but I just can’t help but feel a bit bored by the time it actually kicks off. Chances are it will do the business on the big night though. Decent staging and an almighty key change will always keep the televoters (and juries) more than happy.
Rise Like A Phoenix – Conchita Wurst (Austria)
Move over Dana International: Conchita has arrived and she’s got one belter of a Eurovision ballad. It’s no wonder she’s neck and neck with Aram in terms of YouTube views.
This tune has rightly been described as a Bond-esque ballad and the way it’s sung is quite simply spectacular. This is one song I wouldn’t mind losing to.
Undo – Sanna Nielsen (Sweden)
SVERIGE! SVERIGE! SVERIGE! Can you tell this is my favourite? It gives me actual chills.
Ever since I heard Undo during Melodifestivalen (yup, I watched it ALL online lads) I’ve been in love with the song. It’s haunting, it’s sung well AND it’s got that Eurovision key change that every winner needs.
I’m really hoping the trophy heads back across the Oresund Link, not least because the other half has promised he’ll bring me to next year’s contest if it returns to our beloved Sweden.
And as for Ireland?
I really don’t rate us this year. At all. The songs chosen for the national selection were poor at best and, despite the fact that it isn’t the worst song ever, our entire production is essentially last year’s disaster repeated with a girl instead of a fella.
She can sing, and sing well, but we’re forever sending the same people from the same circles and it’s really ruining our chances of actually doing well.
We just don’t seem to be willing to accept that Eurovision is a SONG contest. Say what you will, Lordi didn’t win because of those masks: Hard Rock Hallelujah was a brilliant, memorable song. Lena Meyer Landrut came out with one of the BEST under the radar, non-typical tunes the contest has ever seen.
It’s a good song we need, not techno Irish tap dancing that attempts to pull in the votes off the back of Riverdance. And since when was ‘Irish tap dancing’ an actual thing?
Add to that the fact that the chorus of our current entry is basically ripped from Only Teardrops and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Have we forgotten the fact that a similar situation cost Mickey Joe Harte dearly way back when? Funnily enough, it was a Danish song we were accused of ripping off then too.
Talk about the wrong kind of Eurovision history repeating. WWJLD?
Hold me now lads, hold me NOW.