#5 Bulgaria - If Love Was A Crime
Well Bulgaria, you are well and truly back in business. After a two-year absence they are back and looking for only their second qualification since their debut in 2005. Of course we all know their only entry to qualify (see: All-Time Top 5) and If Love Was A Crime has the ability to repeat that success. We are due a fan flop and I pray it's not this for Bulgaria's sake alone, but Poli Genova deserves to do well with a wonderfully lyrical and inspiring song.
#4 Malta - Walk on Water
Yes, I am one of those people who rank this highly. Despite the apparent fan-spiration with the bookies, I haven't met many people who put this in their top 5, or even top 10, and do you know anyone Team Walk on Water (who isn't from Malta?). Ira Losco gave Malta their highest ever finish when she managed 2nd way back in 2002 (since shared after their 2005 result) and could Walk on Water be about to join the Maltese success stories? Quite possibly. I have seen a lot call this the biggest "fanwank" of the year, and while I detest this new catchphrase everyone seems to be throwing around, I can see why people say it is. But I love it and can't wait for it to qualify (even if it will finish bottom 5 aha!)
#3 Russia - You Are The Only One
Russia and France are the two runaways and there is no denying why. Most people have Russia and France in their top 5, if not their top 10, and those that don't are by far the most vocal. They seem to have identified themselves Team Russia and Team France and have fallen for a Team Edward/Jacob style attack on the other team for absolutely no reason. While you will hear the two groups slagging each other off, remember that they are the loudest, and by no mean reflect the rest of the fan community. Enjoy Russia's entry for what it is...Sergey is hot, the song is super fun and super catchy, the production is flawless, the choreography is on point and the performance will be insane. Stop hating, start appreciating y'all. And stop talking about the consequences of if they win. Let them win first, then raise points about their ability to host. Because if we keep talking about "what happens if Russia win", we'll do exactly what we seek the contest not to be, and that's political. Don't politicise the song, because it allows non-fans to do the same.
#2 France - J'ai Cherche
Maybe it's because its France... no wait... definitely because this is France, I think I want this song to win even though it's my number 2, simply because we haven't seen a French entry this strong since maybe 2002, definitely not since 1991, and they haven't won since 1977. And they used to be such a powerhouse. It seems a completely hypocritical thing to say after what I just said about not politicizing the Russian song because it's from Russia, but actually, it's the opposite of what I'm trying to say as this song being French just happens to be a pleasant surprise, that is all. That is not political. People still doubt whether this could win, and we now know that France will be in the first half and this throws even more shade, but either France or Russia will win ('Do The Polls Lie?') and France, in my opinion, will do it. They will be victorious with both the televote and the jurors (proof). If I'm wrong then so be it, but hindsight has always told me to go with my instinct and not to fall prey to emerging entries. And this got my instinct buzzing from first listen. I am yet to play this to someone who doesn't like it as well, which knowing my friends actually means something.
#1 Italy - No Degree of Separation
This has crept up on my soooo hard! I am way #TeamFrancesca and even though I'd be delighted with any of my top 5 winning (actually any song apart from Germany), I think Italy doing it would just be fantastic. It's strange this is my favourite as well, as for so long I was so torn between France and Russia. It was actually my best friend who made me realise my love for it because she told me to stop singing it. I didn't even realise I had been. It's been uber-played on my iTunes, it's been my most sing-along, and my most pleasant surprise, and ultimately has made me fall in love with Francesca. Her song 'Sola' I would highly recommend. She is a special talent and would be a deserved victor in my opinion. Thank you Italy, once again!