A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Saturday, May 14, 2022

ESC 2022: what the final looks like from here

The final lineup is completed and as every year it feels like everything went through a major earthquake. Everything looks different and everything you believed all through the season has been turned upside down. 

Loads of the songs who looked like contenders still in the semi final have been put in the shade - some because of the new mix, some because of their spot in the running order - and some new favourites may have emerged.

This is not my final prediction - you'll get that later today - but this is what the twenty-five songs in the final feel like with the new running order.

A good and energetic opener that has a retro electronica beat that I am very fond of. This was never in the running for victory in any way but opening the ball could possibly make it stand out in a better light than it would have at, say, spot 12. 
Grade: 3/5

The finalist where I really totally and completely fail to see what the rest of you see and enjoy and judging from its spot in the running order, host broadcaster Rai is with me here. Regardless, I am genuinely happy for Romanian tv to be back in the final. Hopefully this will inspire them to send more solid entries again.
Grade: 1/5

Wonderful singing but maybe not enough action to convince the audience this early on in the running. The average viewer isn't yearning for an oasis just yet but this is a high quality entry and further proof what good shape the Portuguese national final is in right now.
Grade: 3/5

Energetic commercial radio rock with a nerve, presented with experience and a certain amount of gravity. A bit too much of a shout out to what was hot in the charts two decades ago to be a real contender but it is always a victory of sorts for Finland to be in the final.
Grade: 3/5

Sometimes it's nice to be surprised and I honestly never thought Marius Bear would surprise us like he did in the semi final. However, I can't see this very gentle little song and its slightly clumsy performance break through the same way on a Saturday night. 
Grade: 2/5

Sometimes you look too closely at the running order in itself and forget how a strong song can break through on its own, regardless of where it comes during the night. Having said that, it feels like the producers failed this French piece of etno rave, dropping it very early without having anything properly building up to it. 
Grade: 4/5

The fun novelty song of the year, featuring anonymous wolves and dancing bananas, that would probably have landed a bit better some other year when the state of the world had a bit less gloom and doom about it. Will it be the relief the audience is longing for or just ultimately too lightweight? I have a good time but still lean towards the latter of the two.
Grade: 3/5

A sweet little moment but the video clip feel of the performance came across as more alienating than impressive in the semi final. Maybe we just want singers to seem more close, accessible and present after the pandemic? A right hand finish in the final.
Grade: 2/5

The best song in the final performed by two singers with a presence that can burn through a camera lense. Whenever they decide to turn it on. If everything comes together like it should, Italy could be the first host country to win since Ireland 1994. Maybe not the most probable outcome but far from impossible.
Grade: 5/5

Has emerged as one of the biggest favourites to win during rehearsals and this could be the point when I stand correct but I fail to see this one running away with the jury vote. Professional and a beat you can dance to but if the jurors do their job - they are explicitly told to favour originality - there should be other, stronger candidates. Top five is definitely within reach, though.
Grade: 3/5

Intense and sincere but runs the risk of coming across as the quiet moment that lowers the tempo once we got the party started. Definitely not helped out by the running order.
Grade: 3/5

A good song is a good song but Ukraine obviously has an emotional edge few others can compete with. Not everyone seems to get their head around this the way I had expected but in televote that won't matter much. One of the most likely winners.
Grade: 5/5

I thought the producers might flog poor Malik in the second slot - the disaster position - but maybe this is even worse. After four favourites in a row it will be blindingly obvious what a bleak effort this is, in spite of its spirited performance. 
Grade: 1/5

A very personable and original cabaret ditty in a national language making it to the final in a year when a lot of polite little numbers in English lost out is a very encouraging thing. Could get quite a bit of jury love but most importantly its presence makes the final better.
Grade: 4/5

Perfectly polished as always but also anonymous and surprisingly screamy in the semi final. Will probably pick up the odd vote from here and there but is hardly top ten material.
Grade: 1/5

One of the best voices this year sang his way to the final and rightly so. Very impressive singing, and while the song maybe doesn't rise to the same level it's good to see Belgium getting rewarded for sending in young talent.
Grade: 2/5

A well staged and well sung piece of drama that maybe lost a bit of its momentum with this running order. Four slow songs in a row was an ill-advised idea and Amanda is probably the one losing the most from it. 
Grade: 4/5

Too bad for Iceland but by now the viewers will have run out of snacks while waiting for the tempo to pick up again. 
Grade: 2/5

This seems like a golden (train) ticket: finally something fun and crazy and upbeat that will make everyone sit up in their armchairs. Nowhere strong enough to be a surprise winner but could maybe have chance at a top ten finish.
Grade: 3/5

Maybe not an ideal spot right after wacko Moldova but Cornelia has an intensity and a presence forcing people to pay attention. One of tonight's most probable winners.
Grade: 5/5

Another really good voice but a performer that doesn't always know when to hold back rather than to give full gas. This is a bit too much for my taste but will probably tickle the senses of more than one juror.
Grade: 1/5

The winner? Has the UK desert walk come to an end? Yes and no. This running order wrecks its momentum a bit - coming after Sweden and the emotional storm that is Australia - and I have not been a huge fan of Sam Ryders performance style and wish also he knew how to hold back a bit. This will be by far the best UK placing in over a decade but I would be very surprised if it was enough to go all the way.
Grade: 4/5

And a third consecutive entry with a male vocalist giving his vocal chords a wild ride. What were the producers thinking? A very good voice in a song that maybe resembles a few other songs just a bit too much for comfort.
Grade: 3/5

Known by the whole continent as the hand wash song, it now finds itself sandwiched in between a lot of boys at the end of the final. Probably not as good a spot as it looks on paper but just like Lithuania its main purpose is to make the final a better and more diverse place.
Grade: 4/5

Hunky Stefan gets to close the presentation of entries with his country-flavoured little song that is solid but never really rises beyond being nice. A wide smile and good energy could prove to go a long way as Estonia has a lighter touch than the five songs proceeding it. Just how far will be very interesting to see in the end.
Grade: 2/5

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