So here it is...after months of anticipation, excitement, controversy and MUSIC, the final of the 57th Eurovision Song Contest is upon us. What a year it has been since Ell & Nikki stole the crown in Dusseldorf, but I feel many will agree when I say that it has been another typical year for Eurovision.
Let's begin with the withdrawals of Poland and Armenia. Poland announced that they were withdrawing due to financial reasons. Which lets be honest, is fair enough seeing as they are hosting the European Football championships in a few weeks time. However, Armenia have a completely different story. Armenia withdrew as they were cautious about the safety of their participants. Armenia and Azerbaijan have had political difficulties for a long time. Let us not remember what happened in 2009 over the two countries...
Switzerland announced that Sinplus would be their representatives what feels like years ago...and finally, the UK were the last country to announce their participant in March of this year. And it was none other than huge international star, Engelbert Humperdinck. If I was Serbian, I definitely would have been annoyed about this. Zelijko Joksimovich is pretty famous, but has nothing on the Hump! And what about Sweden? Ever since we first heard Loreen perform Euphoria in Melodifestivalen, she has been hot favourite to take the crown. Their last win was 1999, and so is it right in saying they are long overdue a win? Probably not when you look at the Portugese record... Jedward were chosen to represent Ireland again, and even though they were not popular in the fan polls, they certainly stormed the stage with a performance that trumps Lipstick from last year. Kaliopi thought she would have another crack. In 1996, she didn't qualify in the pre-qualifier, and Crno I Belo was maybe not the best pick, but it proved to be successful with final qualification! And then of course there is Jonsi, returning with partner Greta Salome. Iceland were a fan favourite, and with a performance like that, I'm sure they can pull off a credible position this evening!!
So before we knew it, we were in Eurovision week! And even more controversy. I'm sure a lot of BBC viewers tuned in on Monday to see that documentary on Azerbaijan (cough, human rights record). Ott Lepland caused a storm when he missed rehearsals, but who could tell? Ott has an amazing voice, and hopefully Estonia can pull off a much better finish than Getter Janni's Rockefeller Street from last year!
The semi finals? Tuesday saw little shocks, but it was all on Thursday. No qualification for Eva Boto and Slovenia? It was a brilliant song but unfortunately, she couldn't quite make it. Through all the ballads, it's fair to say she was one of the better performances on Thursday... The Netherlands couldn't do it yet again! You have to feel sorry for the dutch. Joan Franka's "You and Me" was a cracking song, probably the best for years, but it still couldn't make it. Here's hoping for something even better next year, with a better draw! 3rd did them no good.
And now we are here. 20 mintues away and the final is about to start. I'm sticking to my guns, Sweden are going to win. But Serbia will cause them problems no doubt...and you cannot rule out Russia, Moldova and Ireland, who will no doubt feature. Pastora Soler was told to lose...could Spain avoid another bottom 5 finish? Let's hope so. The Big 5 all have amazing entrants this year. Could they all feature in the top half?
Good Luck to all countries and finalists! The final of the 57th Eurovision Song Contest begins 20:00 on BBC, 21:00 CET and 00:00 in Azerbaijan!
C'MON ENGELBERT! BRING IT ON UNITED KINGDOM!