A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Saturday, May 14, 2016

ESC 2016: three reasons why Russia won't win

I'm so sorry for this post, Russia. It isn't really about you at all. I think your song is a catchy little number and I think Sergey is a great pop star. I even predicted Russian victory earlier today.

And yet it doesn't feel right. I am not convinced Russia will win. I don't feel it in my glittery little Eurovision-shaped heart.

My prediction is more about me giving in to what seems likely and me not being able to find one single standout song that the rest of the world would agree on. There are strong candidates but none of them seem like a more likely winner.

So let me just list three reasons why Russia is not going to win tonight. Just to explore my own conflicting emotions here.

1) This shouldn't be a televote winner.
Last year the viewers around Europe wanted an old-fashioned, stylish, well-executed power ballad with operatic undertones instead of the slick, hit-friendly song with the cool projection. Why would they want this overblown stage show all of a sudden?

2) This shouldn't be a jury winner.
The song sounds very much like a couple of songs that did really well back in 2008-2009, something. Not even then - when they were flavour of the month - did the juries back them. In 2009, Sakis Rouvas was a favourite to win with almost the same song until the juries stopped him from doing so.

3) People will want to go somewhere else.
I'm not a fan of this point but let's be honest about it. Quite a few people will be reluctant to vote for Russia because it is Russia. Quite a few of the juries will have been told - although it's really against the rules to do so - that it would be nicer if Russia didn't win. Ukraine already stated they will withdraw next year if the contest is held in Russia. This contest is not supposed to be political but you know what? It is. And because of point 1 and 2, also this will have a bit of an impact tonight.

If I am totally wrong here - and totally right earlier today - I hope the victory can be a springboard for the excellent Sergey Lazarev to conquer the international market as well.

Or maybe we will all be surprised, with our jaws hanging down, as Petra and Måns congratulate Georgia and the EBU start looking for suitable venues in Tbilisi.

Either way, enjoy your evening. May the best song win, regardless of politics. Good luck Russia, and everyone else.

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