Whilst Eurovision is never complete without Graham Norton’s commentary, inherent politics (welcome back Russia) and a catastrophic British defeat, this year there is actually a great line-up of songs too. Since I could talk about so many songs after listening to the Eurovision playlist for literally weeks on end, I decided to narrow down my discussion to the bookmakers top five favourites to win- for the benefit of everyone’s sanity.
5) Elina Nechayeva- La Forza (Estonia)
La Forza, or ‘The Strength’, is Estonia’s entry to this year’s competition and is sung in Italian. The song is a strange mixture of Italian opera and dance remix, two genres I never really saw working together and honestly, after listening to the song I’m still not sure that they do. Elina’s voice is incredibly impressive and hits high notes I’m not even sure that I can hear, but I’m afraid the song is just out of my league when it comes to music interest.
4) Jessica Mauboy- We Got Love (Australia)
Australia aren’t letting anyone doubt that they deserve to hold a spot in Eurovision, as they are predicted top 5 with Jessica Mauboy’s ‘We Got Love’, an upbeat and poppy song by one of Australia’s most prominent female artists. The song is nice enough and is an easy one to get stuck in your head, but ultimately it is unsurprising. I’m not sure I’ll be excited to see the performance of this song, but like I said, it’s nice enough.
3) Mikolas Josef- Lie to Me (Czech Republic)
Mikolas Josef’s ‘Lie to Me’, in contrast, is anything but unsurprising. The lyrics don’t make a whole lot of sense and often just seem like words thrown together: for example I’d be intrigued to analyse “honey bunny up all night wannabe couplegoals queen” to it’s full potential… Yet, the song is upbeat and makes nice use of trumpet solo’s, making me excited to see how this will be performed- I’m just hoping for a camel on stage (check the lyrics)
2) Equinox- Bones (Bulgaria)
Equinox’s ‘Bones’ is Bulgaria’s 2018 entry, and the band’s specific creation for Eurovision makes it seem like Bulgaria is gunning for the win in Portugal this year. However, whilst my favourite thing about the song is the strength of the vocals, particularly from the female singer Zhana Bergendorff, something is just off about this one to me. Like Australia’s entry, whilst I can appreciate that this song is nice, it just doesn’t surprise or excite me… It may be deserving of a win elsewhere, but I think Eurovision deserves to be a little more fun than this.
1) Netta Barzilai- Toy (Israel)
I know it probably seems like I’ve slated every predicted win so far in the top 5 (because I have), but this is where it stops. This song is just brilliant, with all my favourite elements: feminist overtones, clever ways to hide swear words and chicken noises, above all else. It’s memorable, catchy and extremely weird- all the perfect components of a Eurovision win, and I’m intrigued to see if the stage performance will live up to the video. Ultimately, it’d be refreshing for something this fun to win after a few years of, in my opinion, underwhelming wins.
If you want a few other examples of Eurovision songs that you should listen to, since I’ve been fairly negative about this top five (sorry), listen to Madame Monsieur’s ‘Mercy’ (France), Waylon’s ‘Outlaw In ‘Em’ (The Netherlands) and most of all, ZiBBZ’s ‘Stones’ (Switzerland), which I think have been incredibly underrated by the bookmakers, and might just surprise us.
The full Eurovision playlist is here on Spotify, and the final airs on BBC 1 on May 12th.