Yesterday the heads of delegations met in Sweden to finalise the list of this year’s entries and to discuss some smaller and more mirco aspects of the contest. This meeting rarely tells us anything important but it does mark the end of national final season 2013 – and what a year it has been.
However now it is time for the real Eurovision debate to begin. 39 entries only one will leave as the winner? That’s the big question.
2013 will never stand out as a unique year of original entries. Empirical generalisations would appear to suggest that most countries have played it safe when picking entries, meaning that very few countries have selected something original. There has been a noticeable absence of really strong entries this year. It is unlikely that we will see the cutting edge performances like Euphoria or the tear-jerkingly amazing vocal performance of Pastora Soler. Norway is probably the only country really bucking this trend. Margaret Berger’s song is one of the strongest and most original entry this year.
What are the bookies saying?
The early frontrunners are the Scandinavian entries. Denmark, Norway and Sweden lead the odds on Paddy Power, followed closely by Netherlands. The problem here is that when a region of Europe all produces very strong entries it becomes very difficult for one of them to gather all of the votes. Instead they take over the top 10. However in other years we’ve seen two Nordic countries come in the top 5. If we broadly define the UK as a part of Northern Europe then we may also note that 2009 had three northern European countries in the top 5.
The Big 5
The Big 5 have produced a very mixed range of songs. The UK’s entry will probably advance their place on last year but it is difficult to image Bonny Tyler on the left hand side of the scoreboard. Similarly France have missed the boat again this year, though Spain’s entry is a bit below average it still is well received. Italy’s strong entry is similarly well receive. Germany’s entry is the strongest of the big 5.
What do I think?
Straight forward as predictions are it is a very, very hard year to call. The strength of northern Europe and the Caucus states such as Georgia, mean that some countries may lose out of qualifying for the final. I have been leaning towards Denmark of late though some other entries have caught my eye.
My full reviews of ESC will begin soon then I might be better able to put names on who will do well.