In a matter of days we’ll have seen the first rehearsals for all our songs this year. Forever more the 2018 entries will be associated with the visuals & staging concepts and no longer just be the audio in it’s own right. Before we take this big leap into the unknown I want to nail my colours to the mast and talk about my own top 10. Last weekend saw the Infamous Scottish Preview Party take place, this was the first time I’d actually considered my ranking for all the songs. So before we dive into the fortnight of madness I wanted to share with you all my top 10 for 2018.
10. ESTONIA 🇪🇪
Elina Nechayeva – La Forza
Had I written this list a month ago La Forza would have likely featured much higher. I’ve enjoyed the majority of the operatic numbers we’ve had at Eurovision in recent years and this no exception. I remember loving just how dramatic and OTT the track was on first listen. The flashy staging complimented this melodramatic song nicely, and I for one wasn’t surprised when it romped home to victory in Estonia. Whilst my interest has drifted in recent weeks I still think this has the potential to do very well on the night. Or crash out in the semis. It’s opera at Eurovision…who knows?
9. AZERBAIJAN 🇦🇿
Aisel – X My Heart
I’ll not lie to you dear reader, I was surprised this one snuck in to my top 10. Getting it out of the way early doors, I will concede that the lyrics are utter nonsense. It’s bizarre that she’s wanting to risk her own cyber security by ‘tearing down firewalls’ or that she’s comparing her own strength to that of a ‘canonball’ but I just love it. Using X to mean ‘cross’ does irritate me as well but despite that it’s a good ol’ slice of pop fun and puts a smile on my face. You can’t argue with that. Should qualify but won’t trouble left hand side on Saturday.
8. SWITZERLAND 🇨🇭
Zibbz – Stones
Somewhat similarly to Azerbaijan I was surprised I had this entry ranked quite so highly. I have had a soft spot for this song long before it was successful in winning De Entscheidunchwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch so I’m happy to include it in my top 10. Stones is exactly the kind of song I would listen to outwith the Eurovision season and one I will continue listening to for years to come. Unlike the song the video does not have to be three minutes long, Zibbz have taken advantage of that this year adding more of a dramatic impact. I’ll be very interested to see how that transfers to the stage. They’re clearly seasoned performers and I’d love them to qualify but I’m not convinced they will
7. DENMARK 🇩🇰
Rasmussen – Higher Ground
Whilst I’m not claiming this song is a dark horse for the victory it does feel like Higher Ground is slipping under the radar. All the ‘favourites’ obviously have their champions. Those who enjoy the more ‘acquired tastes’ of Georgia, Hungary, Montenegro etc. will vehemently defend them. For me, Rasmussen hasn’t got the love he deserves. The song itself is a fairly stirring number and the staging could easily lend itself to the stripped back Portuguese stage. It should qualify and I hope it gets the votes on the Saturday night.
6. NETHERLANDS 🇳🇱
Waylon – Outlaw in Em’
Now this entry I am definitely flagging up as a potential dark horse. It’s going to sail through semi final 2 and come Saturday night your casual viewers are going to lap it up. I like to think of it as a panto version of a country song. It is ridiculously overblown, ridden with cliches and Waylon himself is playing a character almost as much as someone like Verka. And to be honest it ticks my boxes. Although Rybak has stolen his thunder he’ll also have the returning hero storyline to use in the coming weeks too. I’m not too sure if the juries will go for it but I’d expect a big televote behind ‘im. *spits tobacco*
That rounds off the first half for today. Come back tomorrow when I’ll share my top 5 from this year’s Contest.