A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Saturday, May 18, 2013

ESC 2013: my final prediction

This is it, then. The big day of the 2013 Eurovision Final, where juries and televoters will come together and decide the winner. I took a long, hard look into my crystal ball and this is my vain attempt at predicting the result.

01 FRANCE L'enfer et moi / Amandine Bourgeois
An intriguing choice to open the contest, and I actually think this French bluesy rocker in marching boots will benefit from being the first one out. Not enough to be a real contender, but at least it won't get lost in between any other songs.
Prediction: 10 - 15

02 LITHUANIA Something / Andrius Pojavis
The man with the animated eyebrows is perhaps not the best performer this year, but he has something happy and natural about him, an ease that makes him appealing. It took him to the final, but tonight his entry is shark feed and nothing else.
Prediction: 21 - 26

03 MOLDOVA O mie / Aliona Moon
This entry looked stunning on screen but will be encumbered by the fact that it comes so early in the running this time. Could have been a contender had it been closer to the end of the presentation.
Prediction: 12 - 20

04 FINLAND Marry Me / Krista Siegfrids
Krista "Talk Of The Town" Siegfrids will be helped by the publicity her entry has created throughout the week, but her chorus is easy to retain and the ding dong-part stays in your mind. Could create a bit of a surprise in the end.
Prediction: 4 - 12

05 SPAIN Contigo hasta el final / ESDM
Clearly not the worst song of the year. But who is going to think this one is the best? Who is going to pick up their phones to vote for it? The most likely song to end in last place tonight.
Prediction: 23 - 26

06 BELGIUM Love Kills / Roberto Bellarosa
Little Roberto has grown with his task and maybe his nervous intensity breaks through the european screens also tonight, even though this feels more like a radio hit than a winner.
Prediction: 8 - 16

07 ESTONIA Et uus saaks alguse / Birgit Õigemeel
The clear and carefully crafted ballad could impress the juries, Birgit's flawless vocal as well, but it seems unlikely this would be any greater points magnet with the televoters.
Prediction: 14 - 20

08 BELARUS Solayoh / Alyona Lanskaya
The Belarusian beach party is catchy but ultimately too repetitive and too forced to be in with a real chance in the end. It will have its fans, but not enough of them.
Prediction: 17 - 25

09 MALTA Tomorrow / Gianluca
This ditty provides the Cosy Corner of the first half. It is very hard not to be charmed by Gianluca and his friends, but once the moment passes it is likely to be eclipsed by stronger candidates.
Prediction: 14 - 20

10 RUSSIA What If / Dina Garipova
I must admit to liking this more when that horrid video clip is out of the way. Dina sings really well and even though the backing group still comes across as a bit too frantic this could steal precious points from the Georgian love duet.
Prediction: 3 - 10

11 GERMANY Glorious / Cascada
Many people on location in Malmö still sees this as a potential winner but I can honestly not see this one getting the juries onboard. A hit in the making, but hardly a winner.
Prediction: 4 - 14

12 ARMENIA Lonely Planet / Dorians
Perhaps there is a market for old-fashioned soft rock like this also in the final. Gor Sujyan gives a powerful vocal performance, and in addition to a fair amount of friendly votes from here and there it will at least avoid any bottom placing.
Prediction: 15 - 22

13 NETHERLANDS Birds / Anouk
I am not going to beat around the bush - this would be my dream winner. It has everything I could ask for: quality songwriting, a fantastic performer and an original and unusual song with hit potential. Not the likeliest scenario but not impossible either.
Prediction: 1 - 7

14 ROMANIA It's My Life / Cezar
Half of Europe will not believe their eyes. Some people will laugh, some people will cry. Cezar is provoking a tropical storm of emotions and of course we need an entry like this to liven up the final.
Prediction: 12 - 18

15 UNITED KINGDOM Believe In Me / Bonnie Tyler
She was brave to enter, dear Bonnie, but this running order is not doing her any favours. I hope her fans will provide her a fair number of points, but the song is too polite to stand out or make a lasting impression.
Prediction: 13 - 22

16 SWEDEN You / Robin Stjernberg
To date, six editions of ESC ended with home victory. My gut feeling says it won't be a seventh one to add to the list this year, apart from that this feels like a real hit or miss. Surprisingly high or surprisingly low and nothing in between.
Prediction: 6 - 14

17 HUNGARY Kedvesem / ByeAlex
Since Hungary's happy hipster made it to the final, I have a little feeling that Europe has better taste than I dared suspect and that this could be a dark horse in the voting. Fingers crossed.
Prediction: 7 - 15

18 DENMARK Only Teardrops / Emmelie de Forest
The worst thing about high expectations is that they are very hard to live up to and the Danes would probably be disappointed with a second place tonight. They'd better prepare. This will go very far but not all the way.
Prediction: 2 - 6

19 ICELAND Ég á líf / EyÞór Ingi Gunnlaugsson
Iceland will do what Iceland normally does in a eurovision final: provide three flawless and likeable minutes that most people will like but that won't gather any larger sum of points in the end.
Prediction: 18 - 24

20 AZERBAIJAN Hold Me / Farid Mammodov
If the running order will have any negative effect on any song, the Azerbaijan could lose a point or two coming right after another soft ballad. Not that it will matter much. Will do a lot better than this rather tepid entry song really deserves.
Prediction: 3 - 10

21 GREECE Alcohol Is Free / Koza Mostra feat Agathonas Iakovidis
At this point, Greece will hit the audience like a punch in the face with its unstoppable raw energy after a number of more controlled and restrained performances. From a commercial point of view not the best choice of winner, but not an unlikely one.
Prediction: 1 - 7

22 UKRAINE Gravity / Zlata Ognevich
I hope this is the year when clean lines and simpler expressions will win over special effects, but Ukraine would also be a most possible winner. Not the best choice from a commercial point of view but Zlata's vocal abilities are sure to impress.
Prediction: 3 - 8

23 ITALY L'essenziale / Marco Mengoni
This fine piece of handicraft is bound to collect a large number of jury points as well as precious televoting points from the markets where Italian music is still doing well. Possibly a winner, but probably just a pinch too inaccessible in the end.
Prediction: 2 - 10

24 NORWAY I Feed You My Love / Margaret Berger
This song has a cold and electronic pop sound, highly present in the charts around the continent. Sorry Denmark, but if this year's winner is a Nordic country my money is on Margaret.
Prediction: 1 - 5

25 GEORGIA Waterfall / Nodi & Sophie
I know how big a favourite this is. But given that a similar song by the same composer only managed a tenth place in Baku last year and that a very similarly staged song won the ESC only two years ago, I think this one will score slightly lower than expected.
Prediction: 2 - 7

26 IRELAND Only Love Survives / Ryan Dolan
Modern but not too modern. A likeable performer with a boy-next-door charm to him that won't put older voters off. A positive and catchy chorus. Energetic, direct and easy to grasp at the end of the presentation. If there will be a surprise winner, it could very well be Ireland.
Prediction: 6 - 12

How good am I at predicting, then? Should be taken seriously at all? For the last ten years, I picked the right winner seven times (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2012) but ultimately I didn't think Alexander Rybak would win.

So take this with a pinch of salt - or a handful, perhaps - but Greece, Norway and the Netherlands stand out as the most likely winners for me.

Norway is the perfect pop winner to continue the direction set by Loreen last year. The Netherlands is the difficult and arty winner that could win as a result of the new way the juries score the songs. Greece could be the showstopper that collects heavy points from the Balkan countries that missed the final.

If I have to pick one, my winner is Norway. But my dream winner would be the Netherlands, for a number of reasons.

But what I know for sure is that I know nothing. This is a strong lineup with no clear or obvious winners (at least not once you decided you don't believe Denmark is the one) and the winner could very well be Germany. Or Ireland. Or Italy, Ukraine, Georgia or Azerbaijan. Or even Finland.

What I hope for the most is an exciting and close race, preferably where several countries are still in the running when the last county will cast their votes.

I feel more sure in the bottom. What on earth could save Spain from that undeserved last place I think is in store for them?


  1. While your accuracy is unfathomable, I agree with you on some points and I disagree on others.

    Greece, really - sounds like a disaster waiting to happen in terms of non-musically.

    I agree with Netherlands, as it's grown on me but I don't think people can remember it enough because the musical phrasing is so... unorthodox.

    I'd pick Denmark above Norway, despite them both being awesome, however I suspect that Malta will be a surprise higher rank over-all as it's a feel good favourite that can easily resonate.

    We'll see!

  2. I know this year the winner of Eurovision will probably be decided by the Balkans but I really don't think Greece will get enough jury support to win. It could win the televote, but with the dragback voting that will not be enough.

  3. Hungarian entry is a big disappointment compared to Kati Wolf. Hope it doesn't enter top 10. And hope for Moldova to be there instead. As for the rest of it - Norway winner and Denmark in the 2nd place. Not of a fan of Sweden's entry this year and hope Anouk reaches top 5. Finland deserves to be in top 10. Probably Azerbaijan and Georgia are to be voted, but I'm so sick and tired of their ballads greatly performed and not transmitting emotionally anything...
    Best of luck!

  4. As for the German entry - average club piece, I would have prefered Igranka instead...