Eurovision used to be a time of pride for Irish people. Not anymore. We no longer back our own runners and instead, we look to the east because that’s where the real showmanship is these days. However, the Scandinavian entries are very strong this year and if I were to place bets on anyone, I’d go with Israel, Iceland, Italy, Georgia, Latvia, Norway and Slovenia.
Here’s a round up of some of the acts – in alphabetical order – to look forward to this year. I’ve also included fun facts about some of the entries so you can impress your friends on the night with interesting tidbits.
‘Tonight Again’ – Guy Sebastian
Australia don’t even go here! Geographical lines aside, this is quite good. A bit like a sophisticated High School Musical song. Guy Sebastian won Australian Idol in 2003 and he’s quite a successful pop star in his own right. This song is something that Olly Murs would gnaw his right arm off for.
‘I am Yours’ – The Makemakes
We have some lovely Barry Manilow piano magic to kick this one off and then POW! bouncy chorus that sounds like a jauntier version of Coldplay’s The Scientist sung by Robbie Williams. As this year’s Eurovision is hosted in Austria, this will get a big response from the crowd but it is not deserved.
‘Face The Shadow’ – Genealogy
Armenia. The country that brought us the Kardashians. This song is all over the place. It swings from opera to 80s hair rock and sounds like a comedy number from a Muppets movie.
‘Hour of the Wolf’ – Elnur Huseynov
This song is as dramatic as fuck.
‘Rhythm Inside’ – Loïc Nottet
This is where Belgium try to be Lorde.
‘Time’ – Uzari
I expect a very sexy dance routine to go along with this and Uzari strikes me as the type of man who enjoys being shirtless. “Time is like thunder, beating like thunder” is a seriously brilliant lyric. Can’t wait for this one, Belarus.
‘Hope Never Dies’ – Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta
The stage production for this is going to be fantastic. Marta and Václav sound like they are singing for the lives. I’m into it. I feel like they’re going to take a Beauty and the Beast approach to this performance.
‘The Way You Are’ – Anti Social Media
Mika, is that you?
‘Aina Mun Pitää’ – Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät
From the country that brought us Lordi’s Hard Rock Hallelujah, we have Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät. These guys have an interesting back story. Formed in 2009 through a charity workshop for adults with development disabilities, they are the focus of a documentary film called The Punk Syndrome. The song is grand but their documentary is probably worth checking out.
‘N’oubliez Pas’ – Lisa Angell
Don’t Forget. That’s what the song’s title translates to in English and guess what? It’s totally forgettable.
‘Warrior’ – Nina Sublatti
Oh, this will be good. This is a fighting song with massive war drums and lyrics that don’t really make sense. I think Georgia will do well.
‘One Last Breath’ – Maria-Elena Kyriakou
Another good song. Bloody hell. This will be one of the more heartfelt numbers. Maria-Elena will emote more than Celine Dion, especially what that whopper key change comes in.
‘Wars for Nothing’ – Boggie
This is Hungary’s version of ‘Imagine’. I feel if Boggie wanted to be taken seriously as a singer-songwriter, she wouldn’t have called herself Boggie. Anyway, this drippy number will be a good time for you all to go to the toilet or grab another drink.
‘Playing with Numbers’ – Molly Sterling
Molly is 16 years old and still in secondary school so I’m not going to rag on her too hard but Christ. We won the Eurovision SEVEN times and this is no ‘The Voice’ by Eimear Quinn.
‘Golden Boy’ – Nadav Guedj
Nadav is apparently Israel’s answer to Justin Timberlake and he makes history by being Israel’s first entry to sing in English. “I’m a golden boy, come here to enjoy and before I leave, let me show you Tel Aviv,” he sings. Brilliant. I’ll go with you anywhere, Nadav.
‘Unbroken’ – María Olafs
Of course Iceland’s entry is brilliant. This is the type of inspiring electro-pop that the likes of Katy Perry and Demi Lovato would be all over.
‘Grande Amore’ – Il Volo
Big love. Big build up. Big voices. Il Volo are a hipster three-piece operatic pop act. If they weren’t custom built for Eurovision, then I don’t know anymore. This is powerful stuff. Well done, boys.
‘This Time’ – Monika Linkyte and Vaidas Baumila
This has a bit of the Avicii-styled guitar riff going on that is very on trend as well as hand claps and a good, old-fashioned HEY! to get us all on our feet.
‘Love Injected’ – Aminata
This is a dark-pop number with some nice R&B undercurrents going on. You’d expect this from the likes of AlunaGeorge.
‘I Want Your Love’ – Eduard Romanyuta
Eduard attempted to represent Ukraine three times between 2011 and 2013 but this year he gets to represent neighbouring country Moldova. ‘I Want Your Love’ is the type of pop/R&B song that would have been huge in 2003 but will Eurovision politics effect his chances? I dunno. Probably.
‘Autumn Leaves’ – Daniel Kajmakoski
Lots of wonderful nonsensical lyrics on this piano ballad. Imagine lip reading any One Republic song badly and you have FYR Macedonia’s entry.
‘Warrior’ – Amber
Uh-oh. Another song called Warrior. What do you make of that, Georgia? Many of this year’s entries were inspired by The Hunger Games. Death, battle and overcoming huge obstacles are the main themes this year.
‘Walk Along’ – Trijntje Oosterhuis
This sounds very like a Natalie Imbruglia’s ‘Torn’ mixed with Nickelback’s ‘Photograph’ i.e. terrible.
‘A Monster Like Me’ – Mørland
‘A Monster Like Me’ is a beautiful duet between Kjetil Mørland and Debrah Scarlett and it’s easy to picture Christina Aguilera singing this with some indie kid to gain her some street cred.
‘In the Name of Love’ – Monika Kuszynska
This is a snooze fest. Move along.
‘De La Capat’ – Voltaj
There was a bit of controversy over this song because Voltai wanted to sing it in Romanian and English. However, the people of Romania were not happy but Voltaj fought and now we have ‘De La Capat (All Over Again)’ in our possession. It sounds like an Enrique Iglesias song and I mean that in the nicest way possible.
‘Beauty Never Lies’ – Bojana Stamenov
“Beauty never lies, no it cries, ‘here I am.’” This song is very literal and very bad.
‘Heroes’ – Måns Zelmelöw
This song is currently the favourite to win. Like Lithuania, they borrow some technical traits from Avicii. We have twangy guitar, some unce once beats and what sounds like a children’s choir. No. Not my cup of tea.
‘Here For You’ – Maraaya
This is a bit of a quirky number that sounds like Marina and the Diamonds doing a Bond song. There’s a break in this song that will hopefully provide a great dance routine.
‘Chain of Lights’ – Anita Simoncini and Michele Perniola
This song has a lot going on in it. The singers are 16 years old and they’re asking everyone to light a candle and to build a chain of lights. I dunno, this song has one too many religious connotations. It scares me.
‘Still In Love With You’ – Electro Velvet
Oh, Christ. This is by far the worst song in the competition. It’s 1950s swing-meets-tepid electro-meets-hot mess-meets honky tonk nightmare. It’s like they want to do badly. Minus 100 points.