So we’ve cogitated and pondered at length over the songs in the two semi finals but we still need to consider the Big Five. Oddschecker.com range of odds as at 5th April.
France – Sognu – Amaury Vassili
Song Sung Corse, every contest needs one. I’m not a popera fan but this is something else. Whether you think of it as an aria or a hymn, its haunting tune stays with you and if ever a song warranted the return of the orchestra, this is the one. The introduction is so Bolero that all it lacks is Torvill and Dean. Not sure we’ve seen him do a live performance of it yet, let’s hope it doesn’t unRavel (geddit?) He is (was) the world’s youngest proper tenor, apparently. Think it’s going to do really well. 9-2 to 11-2
Italy – Madness of Love – Raphael Gualazzi
Well an official Hoorah from me at the welcome return of la Bella Italia to the Eurovision fold. Of course, they already have their world renowned San Remo festival, and they chose the winner of the Newcomers’ Category to go to Düsseldorf. “Follia d’Amore”, in its original state, is taken from his second album. It’s ok. It’s quite nice. It doesn’t shake any trees. It’s a cheeky jazz-lite, the kind of stuff I don’t really like. You might though. 28-1 to 50-1
United Kingdom – I Can – Blue
Let’s start by saying it’s a great improvement on recent years – the strongest UK song for possibly a decade. I have my fingers crossed for the performance but I am concerned about Lee’s vocals. He really has to nail them. I love the “G-G-G-Get back up again, Woh!” motif. They’ve done a lot more homework than many previous UK entries and are promoting themselves round the continent, although it was a shame they couldn’t sing the song in the early days of their travels. I trust they will keep their kit on when they’re on stage. Modestly optimistic. 5-1 to 9-1
Germany – Taken by a Stranger – Lena
So was it wise for Lena to defend her title? This is a good song but it’s introverted and private. It doesn’t have the same immediate impact as Satellite, needing several plays to grow on you, and I think it will struggle to make the top ten. The lyrics are somewhere between weird and oblique and you can’t identify with them. No doubt she’ll give a stylish performance though. 8-1 to 12-1
Spain – Que me quiten lo bailao – Lucia Perez
This is a jolly party song, but a bit on the slight side. Probably more woh’s than it needs. Nobody can take away the good times Lucia’s had and why would you want to. She’s probably a hoot in the Plaza Major at midnight. I just think it’s going to come across a bit lightweight on the night. 50-1 to 200-1
So that’s all the songs run through. I’m perfectly happy with the standard this year, there are some pretty good ones there and lurking behind in National Finals land.
And who do I think will join them from the Semis? OK my stabs at premonition are as follows:
In alphabetical order:
Semi Final One – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Turkey.
Semi Final Two – Bosnia, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Israel, FYR Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine.
Next step in the Eurovision pre-season is the Eurovision in Concert show being held in Amsterdam on Saturday 9th April. More Eurovision blogging after that event.