I want to start by saying that I actually think it’s a really good selection of songs this year. There’s maybe one song I don’t like and one song that I don’t think is eurovision enough and that’s it. The other 40 aren’t half bad. But nobody is here for nice and neutral, so with that in mind here’s some opinions on my Top 10 selected by gender, genre, and region;
1 Point – Greta Salóme, Hear Them Calling
Let’s be honest, this song is a total, Måns-Loreen mashup (read: knock-off). I mean it works, it’s not a bad song, but apart from being blonde and spending slightly more on the graphics, it’s all been seen before.
2 Points – Barei, Say Yay!
Yes, the Spanish may hate it but I don’t. Sure it’s in English, sure the backing SINGERS don’t have the dance moves of the video but really it’s an upbeat song with a positive vibe and a charismatic lead. What more could you want, Spain?
3 Points – Sandhja, Sing it Away
My second favourite of the disco-influenced songs this year (What’s the Pressure is my fave, with Serhat a close third) I’ll be sad when this doesn’t qualify. Which it won’t, because it’s first up in a difficult semi-final and they didn’t get the memo about relying on technology for the staging.
4 Points – Iveta Mukuchyan, LoveWave
My main problem with this song (apart from the RIDICULOUS talking introduction) is that it’s trying to be about 8 different genres at once. I think they might have pulled it off, and the odds would suggest it’s looking good, but that might be because she’s wearing what is basically a swim suit on stage.
5 Points – Ira Losco, Walk on Water
So they got one of my fave melfest singers to co-write this (Molly Pettersson Hammar <3) and you can hear it. I love the slight electro-tinge in the chorus and that it touches on being a ballad without being boring, plus Ira just announced she’s pregnant so that’s bound to bring in some sympathy votes.
6 Points – Samra, Miracle
The amount of times I have woken up singing this would imply it’s a great song. I’m actually not sure. It should be, but there’s something slightly forgettable about it that means it took a few listens before I could answer the question ‘who did Azerbaijan send this year?’ without pausing.
7 Points – Jamala, 1944
I do love an entry that is totally political but gets away with it because ‘We’re not really saying that – it’s a metaphor/reference to something else bad!’ but this song manages to bad-mouth Russia AND be a genuinely good (if totally bizarre on paper) song. I see this inspiring lots of electro-ballads next year.
8 Points – Lidia Isac, Falling Stars
It’s upbeat, it’s dancy, it fun and yet I don’t like it. Sorry Moldova. I’ve tried but it just doesn’t click with me. Perhaps it’s the fact she doesn’t have the same stage charisma as some of the other artists this year, perhaps it just covers too many of my must-haves without offering a surprise. Either way, I probably won’t lose any sleep when it doesn’t qualify.
10 Points – Agnete, Icebreaker
The first time I heard this song I physically cringed at the tempo change for the chorus. It goes against every rule of pop music and (now I’m used to it) that’s what makes it great. Will this Marmite effect cause problems in the semis? Maybe, although I’d say the boring staging might be more of an issue. Either way this song deserves to make the final and (hopefully) it will.
12 Points – Poli Genova, If Love Was a Crime
I LOVE THIS SONG. I love Poli, I love her voice, I love the electronic influence, I HATE the outfit (although I am prepared for it to work better on TV than in photos), and I didn’t even have to game the system to get it as my winner. I will be thoroughly looking forward to seeing Bulgaria into their second EVER final on Thursday night.
James was too busy working on other (real world) things to offer criticism other than “they meet my criteria of being attractive males” and “Belarus is exciting and unique and worth watching!”, meaning I’ve taken it upon myself to write some for him. So, based on band members, gender, language, age and facial hair, here is James’ Top 10;
1 Point – Sergey Lazarev, You Are the Only One
Do you know what happens when you keep money in the Eurovision budget? You send great songs to the competition, songs that have great staging and songs that win. Sure, some people can’t afford to win and Russia are still likely to get booed but at least they give the competition the seriousness it deserves.
2 Points – Hovi Star, Made of Stars
Eurgh, ballad. I mean it’s not a bad ballad and the odds have decreased dramatically since rehearsals, but if I can’t dance, I don’t care.
3 Points – Donny Montell, I’ve Been Waiting for This Night
Donny Montell came back to the competition this year to win. He won’t. Not because it’s a bad song but because it’s not good enough in a year of very good entries. And possibly because of his perm and the fact he basically cat-fished us with his press shots.
4 Points – Freddie, Pioneer
Competing with the UK entry for most novelty percussion act on stage, this song has got all the feel of a mid table finish. Attractive singer, average song, vaguely interesting staging, but no excellent anything.
5 Points – Michał Szpak, Color of Your Life
While it may only be the Brits and the Irish who vote this song down for the spelling alone, it’s been decidedly middle-of-the-road in the odds for weeks. Ballad, facial hair, OTT costume, it checks a lot of Eurovision boxes but again, brings nothing special to the table.
6 Points – Douwe Bob, Slow Down
You know when I said there was one song I think isn’t Eurovision enough? Well this is it. It’s acoustic, it’s not got a single bit of Europop in it and its going to feature 10 seconds of SILENCE. Yes, modern life is hectic and we should all take a break, but Eurovision is extravagant and OTT and NOBODY WANTS TO SLOW DOWN HERE. I mean, the results are going to take long enough as it is…
7 Points – Justs, Heartbeat
Written by last year’s entrant Aminata, the Latvian song this year has a sense of familiarity that could mean another Top 10 finish. It’s cool, it’s modern, it’s different and yet all most people care about is if he’ll wear the orange or the black leather jacket.
8 Points – IVAN, Help You Fly
Something fun from Belarus, just as you’d expect. Sure it gives an excellent example of why metal singers don’t make very good solo artists but it’s exciting and interesting and probably not going to qualify. 🙁
10 Points – Juri Pootsmann, Play
Also using the ‘we did well last year let’s send the same song again’ plan that Latvia have employed is Estonia. Although Juri is infinitely better looking than Stig (or maybe even Elina) his bravado doesn’t seem to be everyone’s cup of tea on the stage.
12 Points – Frans, If I Were Sorry
Can Sweden do it two years in a row? Maybe. It’s a song that’s so modern it’s managed to get BBC Radio 1 airtime already (a major feat even after you’ve won the competition) and Frans is cute in the kind of non-threatening way that should appeal to most of the audience but as for the final results? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Want a go finding your Top 10? Take a look at our homepage!