The real answer? No one knows. The odds are all over the place, and it’s going to come down to the voting pattern of a bunch of schmoes who only watch Eurovision the night it airs, instead of following along with every dramatic twist and turn as it plays out over the season.But here are a few of my thoughts:
Melovin opens the show with Under the Ladder. My god, I want this performance to be shown on a loop in Hot Topic stores across the United States to bring a new crowd of Eurovision fans to the contest. I want this staging to be stretched out into a feature-length film about Melovin’s vampire transformation (preferably with an origin story about how he got bit backstage at X Factor Ukraine). I want this staging to come with a 4D version where his new perfume is sprayed all over your house during the performance so you get a sense of what it’s like to smell like Melovin (answer: surprisingly citrusy). This whole performance screams: LIFESTYLE CHOICE and I am going to launch the accompanying magazine that tells you how to live your best Melovin.
There are a couple of other bangers in this section – Slovenia and Norway. It will be interesting to see if Slovenia repeats the ‘music outage’ trick, and to see if Rybak, still suffering from the flu, manages to connect with the crowd from the virtue of being ‘King of Eurovision’. Most of the first eight songs are going to be heavy on the ballads. Expect genuine emotion during Lithuania, manufactured emotion during Spain, technical perfection without emotion during Estonia, and oh so much emotion from those baby brown eyes during Austria. The first section will end with Portgual’s song, so expect a big reaction from the crowd. (And the lyrics are dead simple so you can probably learn it and impress your friends with your Portuguese prowess).
The next eight songs are where you should position your mid-show snack replenishment run. After a strong start by the United Kingdom, there are two missable songs (Serbia and Germany) followed by Albania, which is notable mainly for Eugent Bushpepa’s incredible vocal range. Make sure you are back in your seats in time for France, which will make you cry, who are followed by three great performances – Czech Republic, Denmark, and Australia – to close out this section.
And then we get to the ‘jump on the dance floor and slut drop it’ portion of the evening, which features most of the potential winners back to back. The show starts with the acrobatic and very Queer performance by Finland’s Eurovision muse Saara Aalto, followed by the ethereal space-age harmonies of Bulgaria, the cheeky polyamory of Moldova, and the unstoppable pop machine that is Sweden.
And then we get to my boys – Hungary’s AWS, a band that will screw up your sponsored content on Twitter for months – who will tear up the arena with a pyrotechnic and vocal firestorm. In my heart, I think I want this to win, although I can’t imagine how it will manage to beat some of the more audience-friendly performances like Norway or Denmark.
Israel then comes out to slay next, and you can spend the following three minutes ignoring the Netherlands and recovering from Netta. The dark horse candidate Ireland comes up after that, followed by the club banger crowd favorite of Cyprus. Italy closes the show with a confusing and dour performance.
My top five for tonight are going to be:
Hungary, Israel, Moldova, Ukraine, and France, with an honorable mention for Denmark. But no matter what happens tonight, I can say that this has been an awesome Eurovision season, filled with good songs and good shows and great experiences.
I’ll be livetweeting tonight @anngav so please follow me over there to get all the latest reaction.