John Kennedy O’Connors topp 10 for Wien

Torsdag slapp ESC-ekspert John Kennedy O’Connor sin flunkende nye 60-årsbok om Eurovision. I dag skriver han for escNorge og serverer dere eksklusivt sin topp 10 for årets konkurranse i Wien.

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escNorge Top Ten Reviews – Ten to watch out for in Vienna.
John Kennedy O’Connor

1. Italy: ‘Grande Amore’ – Il Volo.

Although it’s very old fashioned and I’m not actually a big fan of the qausi-operatic pop that’s been around for a while now, I really am enamoured of Italy’s song. I’d love to see one of the Big 5 triumph in Vienna and this is the most likely contender that I can see from the elite group. RAI seem to be putting more effort and interest into Eurovision now and although I don’t want to relive the chaos of Rome 1991 again, I hope this is the winner. The only thing I see as a negative would be that if it wins, I can’t imagine it being a hit. Eurovision desperately needs a global smash hit and I can’t see Italy providing it with this song.

2. Estonia: ‘Goodbye To Yesterday – Elina & Stig.

Possibly my favourite song from this year and potentially a major global hit. It’s very reminiscent of last year’s Dutch entry, but I think it’s better. Low-key, but with a really catchy, memorable melody. The dark lyrics might be off putting to some, but those who just like the tune and the simple styling could well go for it. It’s the one song from this year I could remember instantly on first hearing; in a good way.

3. Austria: ‘I Am Yours’ – The Makemakes.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw the photos of these lads, but the song has really impressed me. Again, simple but memorable. So different from Conchita’s song from last year, but with a similar instant power. I can’t see this as the winner, but I sense Austria may get an excellent result on home ground, especially if they set fire to the piano again on stage. Definitely in my top 3, but probably not that high on the scoreboard when the votes are counted.

4. Denmark: ‘The Way You Are’ – Anti Social Media.

Very Beatles and very catchy. I wasn’t impressed by the live performance in the Danish heat, but if the group can step it up a notch (or two) in Vienna, this one could really score well. It’s got bags of charm and is the only song of its kind in the contest, helping it stand out. Probably won’t get the better of Sweden in the Scandi field, but it really should. Maybe not a winner, but I hope it will score better than most polls are predicting.

5. Australia: ‘Tonight Again’ – Guy Sebastian.

Almost a re-run of the UK’s 2008 entry, ‘Even If’, only far superior. Guy really is a great talent and the song has enough pep to register. Plus, I suspect that a lot of intrigue and interest will surround Australia in Vienna and the international media will be all over Guy (and Finland’s PKN), helping him register with the wider audience who’ll only tune in on the night without hearing any of the songs beforehand. As soon as Australia was announced as taking part, long before the singer or song was known, I predicted a win. The song isn’t quite good enough, but instinct tells me it’s not impossible.

6. Azerbaijan: ‘Hour Of The Wolf’ – Elnur.

The Azeri’s take Eurovision very seriously and it appears they strive hard every year to come up with a contender, even if that means scouring the rest of Europe looking for song writing talent. I don’t think any of us can ever be sure of what the Azeri’s get up to with the juries, but even without the always rumoured influence, this one is going to score very well. Very dramatic from a good singer, with a really well arranged vocal backing. I hate the idea of Azerbaijan winning again or us ever having to go back to Baku for the contest, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it happened with this song.

7. Sweden: ‘Heroes’ – Måns Zelmerlöw.

Måns finally made it. I’m afraid this song does almost nothing for me and is a very weak offering from Sweden. I’ve included it because it’s clearly the fan favourite and the bookmakers seem to be dead certain it’s going to win. I’m afraid they’re probably right. It’s a case of style over substance. Take away the amazing staging and graphics seen in the Melodifestivalen and all you’re left with is a song that is actually very dull. Sort of Avicii-ish, but not nearly good enough. This is either going to run away with the win, or shock everyone and fall far down the board as Robin did in 2013. My fear is the former. I’m so tired of Scandinavian wins I’m afraid.

8. Finland: ‘Aina Mun Pitää’ – PKN.

Words fail me. They really do. By far the worst song I’ve ever heard in nearly 45 years of watching Eurovision. However, with the group’s back story and the propensity of the millions of viewers watching who couldn’t care less about who wins and are looking for ways to disrupt and take the p***, I can see this song storming to the top. It’ll be all or nothing. Either out in the semi’s or top 3. If it wins, the contest is in serious trouble.

9. United Kingdom: ‘Still In Love With You’ – Electro Velvet.

On first hearing, I really liked this. On second hearing, it was annoying. On third hearing I gave up. The video is terrific and brings the song alive, but without the video, I can’t see this hapless duo delivering. They just don’t have the experience or talent to carry off what will be needed on stage in Vienna to deliver and as such, it could be a hideous night for the Brits. Having written that, IF they stun everyone and turn in the performance of the night, then anything is possible. It’s quirky and different enough to stand out a mile in a good way. Or a bad way if they fail to perform it well enough. My money’s on the latter.

10. San Marino: ‘Chain Of Light’ – Michele & Anita.

It’s never a good idea to send a singer called Anita to Eurovision. I’ve made a note of this in my new book. Anita Thallaug & Anita Traversi = nul points. Anita Skorgan = various failures inc. nul points in 1981 as a backing singer. Anita for Austria = last place. If history repeats, Anita Simoncini may get her very young heart broken in the semi-finals. As the commentator and host for San Marino’s coverage, I do have a duty to cheer them on, but it’s not my favourite Ralph Siegel or Sanmarinese song. The running order has made it even more difficult. 18 songs have sung third in the semi-finals and only 4 have qualified, but 3 of them were from the second semi, so there’s some hope. I’m not holding my breath.

escNorge takker O’Connor for hans synspunkter for 2015. Vi minner om at du nå kan kjøpe The Official Celebration gjennom Amzaon – eller kanskje forsøke å vinne den gjennom sidene våre? Mer info om dette i løpet av kort tid.

Tilrettelagt av Eivind Charlie M. Sætre

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