Friday, 9 May 2014


Aaaaaah Eurovision week is going far too quickly! I don't want it to end. But one advantage is that the final is only one sleep away now...

Whose still hungover from the excitement last night? The Friday after the second semi final is always more tiring simply because we all stay up later for the draw. But for now, let's look back at another brilliant night of Eurovision.

The 10 qualifiers from semi final 2 are (if you don't know this by now, where the hell have you been?): Malta, Norway, Poland, Austria, Finland, Belarus, Switzerland, Greece, Slovenia, and Romania.

Let's first discuss the qualifiers...well are any of them a shock to you? With hindsight the qualifiers seem so god damn obvious! Performing near the end of semi final was always going to be more beneficial in such a wide open race to qualification, hence the success of Switzerland and Slovenia... and those early enough in the draw to qualify all had something going for them; Carl Epsen of Norway produced an absolutely stunning vocal guaranteed to get Mums all over Europe falling in love. Additionally, Poland had breasts, Finland had a fangirl rock band, and Austria had a bearded lady. Huge Congratulations has to go to Malta for qualifying right from position 1. Malta seemed to get a little abuse from Eurofans, which seemed absurd to me, but obviously Maltaford and Sons have popularity across the continent. A quick mention to Belarus - the performance was slick and was sure to get all the other Mums in Europe falling in love. Finally there was Greece and Romania: anyone thinking these 2 wouldn't qualify evidently knows nothing about Eurovision.

So let's get to the bit everyone is complaining: the non-qualifiers! 5 participants had to fail to make it and there was always going to be disappointment over who wouldn't make it. Before I begin, fans who complain need to accept it and move on. If you struggle with that, then ask yourself; did you give all 20 of your votes to your favourite who didn't qualify? If you did then stay pissed at the juries till next year, if not, then really just get over it!
The biggest complaint is Israel failing to qualify! Well, Mei Finegold certainly delivered a stunning routine, and although I originally couldn't stand 'Same Heart', it was beginning to grow on me. Nevertheless, it was in my opinion very overrated and to see it not make the final isn't that much of a shock. But I hear your protests already so I'll defend my thinking as to why they didn't qualify: it was too generic! Israel failed to qualify alongside Ireland, FYR Macedonia and Lithuania. On the whole, you could argue all of these are fairly simple. Someone who is going to like Israel will probably have also liked Ireland, FYR Macedonia and Lithuania. Them failing to qualify as well probably meant that their similarities worked against them and divided like-minded voters. That's my explanation of it anyway. Israel probably did the best of the 4, for Ireland gave a horribly lifeless performance, Lithuania's Vilija was rocking a futuristic Celine Dion outfit, and Tijana of FYR Macedonia didn't have the best vocal. But I sit here and criticise them in the smallest ways. In reality, all countries gave it there all last night and should feel very proud!
The only other qualifier I haven't mentioned is Georgia. And I don't feel I need to say any more.

But let's now discuss the draw for the final! Well as a UK citizen, you can predict my fangasm when other contenders like Greece, Romania, Norway and Austria were all allocated in the first half of the final. Its fate surely? We didn't have to wait as long as last year to see the running order, so thank you very much to Sand, EBU and DR for such a speedy release. I first saw the news on Ruth Lorenzo, Spain's entry, twitter, and couldn't fathom as to why noone else had reported on the running order for about 5 minutes...then realised I needed to update my twitter feed. The UK are to perform 26th and last...
My initial thought: well that's any chance of victory gone. My thought now: WE CAN DO THIS!
The best bit about the UK performing last is that 'Children of the Universe' has the potential to bring the house down! In reality, it's a producers dream because it can so easily finish the show. I guarantee that the UK was pencilled in to perform last since Molly grabbed that all important second half allocation. But what about the rest of the draw? Where does everyone stack up now?
Well Ukraine are opening the show. Hmmm... We could spend hours thinking about this, but if we just think about the song then surely we have a brilliant opener too. An attractive young girl with a modern and upbeat pop song, performed with a good looking man running in a hamster wheel. What a better way to open the show to fresh viewers! Looking down the running order and the producers have done a sterling job. Azerbaijan in 3rd...will they finish top 5 again this year? It looks certainly doubtful...early hot favourites Armenia are as early as 7th...not sure if that'll help them at all...Greece in 10th...Conchita will rock everyone for Austria in 11th...Sweden were given 13th, well we all expected that...the hot spots 16-22 give us Spain as potential contenders, but more importantly HUNGARY IN 21ST. Well surely we know we're all headed to Budapest in 2015? After that Denmark look good for at least top 10 in 23rd (but we all knew that anyway)...chart enthusiasts will be delighted with the Netherlands in 24th and so it looks good for them. San  Marino are in 25th, so at least we assured of Valentina Monetta not getting nil points. And then of course, the UK to close. As I just said, it looks very nice for Hungary to win...

The only people who still don't think Hungary could grab it are the bookmakers...oddschecker reports that many favourites are now drifting in the betting. You can get Hungary as high as 16-1 at 'bwin' which looks extremely tasty at the moment. Sweden currently lead, Austria have shortened to second, and the Netherlands look pretty in 3rd. As a Eurovision fan growing up in the 00s, I have to say that seeing those 3 as the top 3 seems absolutely bonkers, and the fact that Conchita Wurst is so hot to win is like winning in itself.

Below is the full draw for the final:

01 Ukraine
02 Belarus
03 Azerbaijan
04 Iceland
05 Norway
06 Romania
07 Armenia
08 Montenegro
09 Poland
10 Greece
11 Austria
12 Germany
13 Sweden
14 France
15 Russia
16 Italy
17 Slovenia
18 Finland
19 Spain
20 Switzerland
21 Hungary
22 Malta
23 Denmark
24 Netherlands
25 San Marino
26 United Kingdom

Good Luck to all performers in the final! A special Good Luck to Molly Smitten-Downes and the United Kingdom!

The final of the 59th Eurovision Song Contest will start in Copenhagen, Denmark at 21:00 CET, 20:00 BST on BBC1 for UK viewers.

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