November 10th marks the start of the six-month countdown to the first semi-final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. After a summer of Måneskin world domination, “host city when?” and a certain former winner reforming, now is the time to look forward. Now is the time to share what I’m hoping to see from our plucky 41 in half a year’s time.

 ALBANIA 🇦🇱

I’d normally say, “just keep it in Albanian”. However, there was an act from last year’s Festivali i Këngës that was so entrancing, so beguiling…it can only be them.

ARMENIA 🇦🇲

No expectations, no demands. They’re back after a difficult time, just the fact they’ve been able to rejoin the party is good enough for me.

AUSTRALIA 🇦🇺

Just give it Jaguar Jonze. She’s what Australia needs, she’s what Europe needs. Job done.

AUSTRIA 🇦🇹

Given the variation of recent Austrian qualifiers, it’s tricky to find something concrete that actually works for them. They may need to look at these successes to make it back to the final. Cesar had his platform, Nathan his moon and Zoe her treadmill. Why not combine all three for, less a stanging concept, more a Total Wipeout obstacle course.

AZERBAIJAN 🇦🇿

Odds on which female historical figure this year’s song will be vaguely based upon:

  • Boudica: 7/4
  • Queen Victoria: 3/1
  • Florence Nightingale: 10/1
  • Maggie Thatcher: 50/1
  • Delia Smith: 1000/1

BELGIUM 🇧🇪

Remember Loic? Remember Tesoro? Remember Blanche? You guys were on to a good thing for a while. Try to rediscover your mid-2010s mojo, please! Just no songs that could even possibly infer an inappropriate maternal relationship.

CROATIA 🇭🇷

No real preference but if Dora can generate something as meme-worthy as this again, I’ll be happy.

CYPRUS 🇨🇾

Female soloist. Big bop. Big hair. Big staging. No need for panic, just Panik.

You just know her return is a matter of when, not if.

CZECH REPUBLIC 🇨🇿

Song wise they were definitely onto a good thing with Omaga. The live performance may have in the end been lacking, but it seems the Czechs have found their niche. Cheeky young lads trying to get a lady. Worked for Mikolas, worked for Lake Malawi and should have worked for Benny. Like Cyprus, they’ve found a decent formula. Now just stick to it.

Or failing that, bring back We All Poop.

DENMARK 🇩🇰

If they’re still up for it then guarantee a place in DMGP for Ben & Tan. Don’t get me wrong, by May I totally fell in love with Fyr og Flamme but there’s no doubt B&T deserved better. Were they to create some kind of entry then DR should say yes, say yes, say yes!

ESTONIA 🇪🇪

Eesti Laul hasn’t been the strongest of the national finals in recent years so the addition of heats is a very odd idea. It will, at least, start the national final season even earlier than the usual FiK-mas. With forty entries one can only assume we’ll see a few familiar faces…and smoulders.

Man sure knows how to find his camera.

FINLAND 🇫🇮

Keep UMK strong. After the decidedly dodgy run of one-act, multi-song selections UMK has returned to an eclectic mix of crackin’ entries. However, should she decide to return then just give it to Erika Vikman. If she chooses to grace Eurovision with her brand of high camp then Finns, you damn well pick her this time!

Send this and I’ll be a big Finn-fan.

FRANCE 🇫🇷

Keep France French. In 2020 we would’ve had a heavily Swedish-influenced flat-pack meatball of a song. The only French influence being such liberal use of an iconic tower it would’ve made Strictly’s Blackpool week proud. In the space of twelve months, they turned it around with a high-quality national final that produced one of the stand out entries of the year. Only denied victory by the act that would go on to become a global sensation. Same again please!

GEORGIA 🇬🇪

There was a theory that recent Georgian entries followed a pattern of “one for Georgia, one for Europe”. However, of late it would seem the entries have been only for Georgia. It’ll be six years since they last made the final after Midnight Gold in 2016. Perhaps given the success of Italy and Finland in Rotterdam it’s time for the return of the guitars.

More of this sort of thing please!

Be sure to check back later in the week when I’ll be taking a look over the rest of nations hoping to claim victory.

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