It’s a very busy weekend for national finals and song releases – as well as the trio of northern countries with national finals (see my preview), we have three other countries releasing their songs (Azerbaijan, Cyprus and The Netherlands), and also three further national finals of countries stretching from the westernmost country of continental Europe to the eastern borders of the EU…
Poland: Krajowe Eliminacje 2018
Poland will be hoping to maintain their recent run of success at Eurovision and with a strong quality national final, they have got a good chance again.
Gromee feat. Lukas Meijer “Light Me Up”
I’m not sure if there is a clear favourite in the 10 strong field, but this is probably the closest there is and is also my own personal favourite.
Ifi Ude “Love Is Stronger”
Something a bit different from Poland – half-Nigerian Ifi Ude serves up a classy, modern song.
Isabell Otrebus “Delirium”
The last of my three favourites from the Polish national final – there is something vaguely familiar about this that I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe it sounds like something we’d normally hear in Melfest or Rihanna’s “Diamonds”? Either way, I wouldn’t be unhappy if this represented Poland.
Portugal: Festival da Canção
This year’s hosts are once again holding their long-running national final, and the winner here is guaranteed a spot in the grand final. As is usual Portugal, the selection of songs is very distinctly Portuguese and unlike any other national final – whether you like that or not! The favourite to win withdrew a few days before the final as there were accusations of plagiarism flying around – I am actually quite relieved as it wasn’t my favourite!
Cláudia Pascoal “O jardim”
The new favourite to represent Portugal, it’s also one of my favoured songs from their final.
Peu Madureira “Só por ela”
This really couldn’t be from any other country than Portugal – it’s fado! Fado is a uniquely Portuguese music genre that originated from the host city, Lisbon.
Peter Serrado “Sunset”
The only English-language song in the 15 strong final, this scored badly with juries in the semi-finals but did well with the televote. Peter Serrado is Canadian born but half-Portuguese.
San Marino: 1in360
Always a crazy wildcard in the Eurovision mix, San Marino’s pan-European national selection process has been suitably madcap and chaotic. Yet after all that, there are some genuinely quality songs and good singers to choose from amongst the finalists.
Sara de Blue “Out of the Twilight”
The hot favourite to win even before a song revamp just this week, there is a chance this could deliver one of San Marino’s best results in Eurovision. Austrian Sara brings some great vocals and while the song is no groundbreaker, I think it more than holds its own against many of the already selected entries for this year.
Emma Sandström “Diamonds”
Last year’s favourite in the Finnish national final (and a Eurofan favourite), Emma’s live performance of “Circle of Light” in the final was a disappointment but she’s back with another Eurofan-friendly party banger. If she were to represent San Marino with this song, I am sure the fans would get behind this.
Jenifer Brening “Until the Morning Light”
Rounding out my three favourites is German Jenifer Brening, who is also loaning some supporting vocals in another of the finalists’ songs (after another artist dropped out).