Eurovision 2017 grand final: preview and thoughts

It’s almost time! I am not going to dare trying to do too many precise predictions as inevitably I will get them hopelessly wrong. I will do a bit of a quick preview of the Big 5 + Ukraine as I haven’t  covered them yet post-rehearsals. I do think this year will end up being much harder to call than we originally thought – at least 3 or 4 songs are in strong contention to win…

The automatic qualifiers: Big 5 + Ukraine

France: I love this song and the staging is suitably very French. I’m not sure it’s quite going to fulfil the potential of the preview countdown chart but it should still do well.

Germany: The song has been improved since we first saw it at the German nationak final and Levina is a really nice person. I do hope this can avoid coming last (as that would mean Germany had come last a record three times in a row) but I fear it may get forgotten in voting.

Italy: The pre-contest favourite by a mile, I don’t think has translated to the Kyiv stage as well and the presence of the gorilla may confuse non-Eurovision fans (if they can see it). I still think this has as strong a chance as any to win but I just think the odds on a third Italian victory are longer now.

Spain: Manel is clearly a nice guy and he’s formed a close friendship and admiration of Lucie Jones – he may bring some Spanish votes her way if we are lucky! None of this can save this song though and this is current favourite to finish in last place…

Ukraine: The host country is the only rock song in the contest so I’m sure both the home crowd and music genre will make this stand out. I expect this will end up higher on the board than might have been expected as Ukraine generally perform better than expectations.

United Kingdom: Rehearsal after rehearsal, Lucie has been nailing this vocally and connecting to the camera. The staging has taken everyone by surprise in how good it is. Expectations of how the UK might do have risen considerably. This being Eurovision and the UK at Eurovision, I’m trying to temper my excitement, but this is the best overall package the UK has done in many years (and definitely best staging). It deserves top 10 or higher but let’s see how the evening goes…

Some thoughts on the final: 

  • If Portugal were to win, I would be happy for them, even if the song doesn’t really do it for me. No country has been in Eurovision as long without winning (or even reaching the top 5 ever!) and this is their 50th appearance in the contest so would seem fitting.
  • Last place seems to be most likely to be between Germany and Spain. I would say Spain if I were to predict which of the two.
  • It seems impossible to predict how the UK will do – it could do exceed expectations and finish top 5 or it could be another false dawn and finish in 17th…
  • Italy could well be the winner still – but there is a risk it will flop (relatively speaking).
  • Romania will get a huge televote.
  • Croatia will probably do better than people are expecting or than it deserves.
  • Imri is gorgeous and I couldn’t ask for a better opening (to the contest).

But Matt, who will win?

Well until very recently I had confidently predicted Italy would walk this contest – it seemed a even surer win than Norway in 2009 or Sweden in 2012. Things have shifted considerably and now it’s looking like a battle between Italy, Portugal, and also Bulgaria. Bulgaria has been creeping up on the top 2 and I wouldn’t be surprised if it could snatch the victory.

Those three are most likely to form the top 3, but should any of them flop (and that is more likely with Italy and Portugal), then other dark horses are Belgium, Armenia, Sweden (of course) and even maybe Romania and the UK.

What I do think is that the winner will most likely have red and green in their national flag…

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