Right then team, here we go. Time for one final stop on the bizarre ride that has been the 2022 national final season. What started off with the Eesti Laul heats in November will finally reach its crescendo tonight. With only three selections featuring, this round-off will have a more sedentary feel. And yet, there’s every chance we’re due the biggest meltdown of the lot. Well, here goes nothin’…

ICELAND 🇮🇸

I’ve mentioned previously that whoever gets the Icelandic gig has big shoes to fill. To follow the iconic campaign of Hatari, the global viral success of Think About Things and then a top-five finish (without the artist even being in the arena!) is certainly going to be a big ask. However, Songvakeppnin has the act to do just that. I suggested at the start of the season that Iceland find another charismatic group with a strong aesthetic and guess what…they bloody well have one. Now don’t get me wrong, Kutla’s Þaðan af is a strong entry but it HAS to be Turn This Around from Daughters of Reykjavík. This is exactly the energy that can keep Iceland in the top 5!

Prediction: Daughters of Reykjavík, Turn This Around

PORTUGAL 🇵🇹

Courtesy of it’s western time zone and the fact Portugal doesn’t mind a late night, Festival da Canção will close off this year’s season. I always think it’s a nice one to finish up with. Firstly, it’s chilled nature makes for a more relaxed viewing experience and secondly, it has Filomena Cautela. They have literally saved the best host till last, apologies to Babs Schöneberger! Packed with varied delights, FdC has once again served an eclectic final further demonstrating why it’s one of the best of the season. This does, however, make it tricky to call. I could make an argument for more than half of these winning through on the night. Given the melancholy theming of the year and the outright beautiful vocal performance I’m going to pluck for…

Prediction: Aurea, Why?

SWEDEN 🇸🇪

There’s been a few times this year when Eurofans have bemoaned the expert juries. The Irish in studio panel burying Brooke in second last and Terra receiving similar treatment at the hands of the Benidorm Fest jury both immediately spring to mind. However, when it comes to Melodifestivalen, if the Eurovision fan community are to get their wish they will need the juries to come to their aid. We know Anders Bagge is winning the televote, he’s going to have big “Roop in PiN 2021” energy. This is a foregone conclusion.

However, in Cornelia Jakobs’ Hold Me Closer Sweden have a song that gives them their best chance at winning Eurovision since 2015. Although not universal, this is an opinion widely held amongst the fandom but seemingly not the Swedish voting public. Although Cornelia’s live performance is just as precisely rehearsed as your typical Melfest entry it’s raw and unpolished feel gives the impression of being something different from previous years. With Melfest making changes and moving on from the previous stewardship this could be their perfect winner.

So basically we’ve ended up with a clear televote winner and a hopeful jury winner. But what if the same person comes solidly second in both? Well, I’m going to stick my neck out here and go for a surprise-ish victor.

Prediction: Klara Hammarström, Run to the Hills

And after all that, we’re done. Kind of. There will still be a few internals to release before Monday and Armenia waiting till the 19th. I’m glad your back lads but can you not just reveal your song and get this whole thing done and dusted.

Then it’s just the small matter of picking a winner in May.

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