Right then team, we’re so very nearly there. We’re about to reach that point where our 40 songs go from being a playlist or a pre-party to the actual real thing. And with that, some will elevate themselves à la My Lucky Day or some are about to do a Maps and go all…yeah well, never mind. So before our entrants become fully-fledged performances forevermore, here’s my pre-Contest top 10. Shout out as always goes to the legendary Mr. Gerbear and his sorter for making this task so much easier. All personal taste, all just opinion.
Rosa Linn – Snap
When one thinks of vaguely Americana-infused entries at Eurovision one thinks the Netherlands. Y’know…stroopwafels, the highest proportion of bikes per person and country music. Except this year it’s Armenia who has taken up the mantle with, Mumford’s lesser-spotted daughter, Rosa Linn and Snap. The flowing, yet simple, lyricism lends this entry a sing-along vibe that feels akin to Ben & Tan’s Yes from 2020. There’s enough of a hook in there for it to stick in people’s heads, this writer included, and should prove popular with televoters and jurors alike. This is a simple joy of a song, befitting of a welcome return to the Contest for Armenia.
Reddi – The Show
This isn’t one that will feature in a lot of top tens for this year’s show so here I am to argue the case for Reddi. I admit that I am perhaps the purest target audient for this song. A mixture of a slightly over-wrought piano ballad with a soft pop-punk number is fundamentally up my piazza. When they perform live it’s quite clear that these lassies are having the time of their lives and I find myself fully swept up in that. The energy of the rockier section is something that would, in my opinion, enhance the show on the Saturday night. Is it perhaps too segmented? Will rock fans be put off by the time it properly kicks in and vice versa? If so, I’m set for Danish heartbreak two years on the trot!
Ochman – River
Poland finds itself right in amongst the very crowded “blokes emoting” market this year. If you like your fellas all mournful an’ that then this will be the show for you. The key aspect that sends Poland clear of the rest in this category is Ochman’s voice. The hauntingly beautiful vocal set to the piano naturally leads to a comparison with Arcade. Now I’m not saying that River is going to become the next TikTok sensation to come out of Eurovision but it should bring Poland their best result in a long time. The national final performance was less than convincing but if they’ve worked on this and made Ochman’s voice the star of the show they’re on to a good thing.
Brooke – That’s Rich
There’s a flash-forward episode of the Simpsons where Lisa’s future husband tells her “you’re like the flower that grew out the pot of dirt”. Well, that pretty much sums up just how the dumpster fire that was The Late Late Show ended up picking this little gem. Opening with an infectiously thumping baseline this ‘two fingers up to a former partner set to music’ is filled with energy and attitude. Just as the song is perhaps becoming a little samey Brooke has a spoken word section that takes it to the next level. They’ve got an artist and song that deserve a place in the final. However, the national final performance and Ireland’s track record at staging entries leaves one terrified at just how badly they could mess this up.
6. UNITED KINGDOM
Sam Ryder – Space Man
Oh come now, we all knew I was going to feature our Sam somewhere in this list. I have already written about why I think he is a clever choice and all his joyful jollies across the Continent have only served to solidify that belief. Space Man is nothing groundbreaking but Ryder’s live vocal will elevate this as high as he appears in the official video. Given our recent history of singers lacking sufficient stage presence to strike a chord, it’s a major turnaround. Like Ireland, there are still major doubts surrounding how this will look on May 14th but this still feels like a very positive move. One small step for Sam, one giant leap for UK Eurofankind.
Be sure to check back later this week for my top five selections before rehearsals get underway.