This is it. After months of whittling these songs down, we are about to crown the winner of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. I’m here to take you through our 25 runners and riders for the evening’s entertainment spectacular.
The semis saw some sad losses with a velvet bucking bronco, a Georgian circus troupe and Latvian vegetable enthusiasts all missing out. However, now is the time to look ahead. Here’s your handy cut-out and keep guide that’ll help you to find your favourite on the night.
#1 CZECH REPUBLIC 🇨🇿
We Are Domi – Lights Off
We’re off to an exceptionally strong start courtesy of the Czech Republic. This trio provides a lively electro-pop number to get the party started. If you like light shows for days then this is the one for you.
#2 ROMANIA 🇷🇴
WRS – Llámame
It’s Blackpool week on Strictly and someone’s pulling out all the stops for their Paso Doble. That’s this song. If you like high camp and dancers with their nips out this is the one for you.
#3 PORTUGAL 🇵🇹
Maro – Saudade, saudade
Imagine it’s a sunny day and you’re sitting on a delightful piazza enjoying a coffee. This song is playing in the background and it just fits perfectly. However, this is a song contest so not too sure how competitive this will be. If you like a chilled-out vibe this is the one for you.
#4 FINLAND 🇫🇮
The Rasmus – Jezebel
The year is 2004. The age-old battle between teenage body odour and Lynx Africa rages on, Robot Wars is on the telly and The Rasmus are in the charts. Well, that very same Rasmus are back and ready to rock. Has their music developed in the last 20 years? No, of course not! If you like the film IT and straining vocals this is the one for you.
#5 SWITZERLAND 🇨🇭
Marius Bear – Boys Do Cry
Yes, the song is called Boys Do Cry. In the music canon we’ve already established that Boys Don’t Cry, courtesy of The Cure. And that is very much the final word on the topic. If you like the John Lewis ads this is the one for you.
#6 FRANCE 🇫🇷
Alvan & Ahez – Fulenn
If one were to think of a celtic inspired entry at Eurovision one may assume it would come from our friends on the Emerald Isle. Well, no! Courtesy of the Breton region that’s what we have for France. If you like atmospheric mystery forest raves then this is the one for you.
#7 NORWAY 🇳🇴
Subwoolfer – Give That Wolf a Banana
Two dudes dressed as yellow wolves named Keith and Jim, who are themselves suited up, perform a slick song and dance routine retelling the mauling of Little Red Riding Hood’s Grandma as another dude dressed as a golden astronaut stands behind DJ decks and dances along. If you like literally the thing I’ve just described then this is the one for you.
#8 ARMENIA 🇦🇲
Rosa Linn – Snap
This is an incredibly sweet song and staging. It’s not in the running for a win but it’s certainly one you might want to add to your Spotify playlist. If you like Hey Ho by The Lumineers and a house made of loo roll this is the one for you.
#9 ITALY 🇮🇹
Mahmood & Blanco – Brividi
Up next it’s our hosts vying to do two in a row for the first time in nearly thirty years. Not since the days of Ireland and My Lovely Lovely Lovely Horse has a country done the back to back. If you like emotional boys and high notes then this is the one for you.
#10 SPAIN 🇪🇸
Chanel – SloMo
I can’t put it any better than Chanel herself, “Booty hypnotic, make you want more”. If you like three minutes of Spanish gyrating this is the one for you.
#11 NETHERLANDS 🇳🇱
S10 – De diepte
According to the artist this song is “a tribute to the sadness and memories that you carry with you”.
Kinda harshing the Saturday night buzz to be honest. If you like “oooooh” and “aaaaah” this is the one for you.
#12 UKRAINE 🇺🇦
The Kalush Orchestra – Stefania
A song about the lead singer’s mother staged in incredibly difficult circumstances. If you like a probable winner this is the one for you.
#13 GERMANY 🇩🇪
Malik Harris – Rockstars
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you crossed Sheeran pop with the more accessible end of Eminem’s back cat? If yes, then first of all WHY? And secondly, you’re about to hear what it’s like. If you like nice young lads singing a nice wee song then this is the one for you.
#14 LITHUANIA 🇱🇹
Monika Liu – Sentimentai
This one seems to be popular with a lot of Eurovision fans.
I don’t see it. If you like disagreeing with me this is the one for you.
#15 AZERBAIJAN 🇦🇿
Nadir Rustamli – Fade to Black
There’s loads of sad lads this year. This is one of them. That’s about it.
If you like a man with a gravelly voice shouting “THE WEATHER!” this is the one for you
#16 BELGIUM 🇧🇪
Jérémie Makiese – Miss You
Crikey, this section of the show’s a bit of a slog if I’m honest. I mean there’s nothing particularly wrong with this but it probably won’t leave an impression. If you like the phrase “hang on, which one was Belgium again?” this is the one for you.
#17 GREECE 🇬🇷
Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord – Die Together
Right, here’s one you won’t struggle to remember come the end of the show. A Greek lady, who is actually Norwegian, wanders around a graveyard of deceased furniture lamenting what happens should we die together. If you like a genuinely beautiful & haunting ballad then this is the one for you.
#18 ICELAND 🇮🇸
Systur – Með hækkandi sól
As the name suggests our Icelandic trio are sisters and turns out they’re thoroughly good human beings. They have used their time in Turin to advocate trans rights and show solidarity with Ukraine. Why am I not talking about the song? Well within that question holds the answer. If you like musical palate cleansers this is the one for you.
#19 MOLDOVA 🇲🇩
Zdob și Zdub & Advahov Brothers – Trenulețul
I know, I know. It’s been ballad-heavy but here’s some joy again! THANK THE LORD! How fun could a song about a train line from Chișinău to Bucharest be? Turns out, incredible fun that will be sure to put a smile on your face. If you like folklore and rock’n’roll this is the one for you.
#20 SWEDEN 🇸🇪
Cornelia Jakobs – Hold Me Closer
Emma Willis joins us from Sweden to provide the soundtrack to your next break up. “I’ll be bleeding, but don’t you mind, I’ll be fine” is one hell of a lyric. This is far from groundbreaking musically but it’s something different from Sweden and it’s done incredibly well. If you like a good cry this is the one for you.
#21 AUSTRALIA 🇦🇺
Sheldon Riley – Not the Same
Australia answers the question, “But what if we made The Masked Singer a bit easier”. It is in all fairness, a memorable performance with a beautiful vocal. If you like the big emotional solo number in a West End show this is the one for you.
#22 UNITED KINGDOM 🇬🇧
Sam Ryder – Space Man
Here he is, here’s our boy. In Sam Ryder, the United Kingdom has a chance at achieving our best result at Eurovision in over a decade. The voice, the song and the staging…it’s all there. If you like an entry you can be truly proud of this is the one for you.
#23 POLAND 🇵🇱
Ochman – River
This is a really beautiful and haunting number and the lad has some voice on him. Why then the Polish broadcasters have Michael Bay’d it half way through with so much visual trickery is beyond me. If you like a great song set to kitchen sink staging this is the one for you.
#24 SERBIA 🇷🇸
Konstrakta – In corpore sano
A previous interval act once said that the perfect Eurovision song should “be about something everyone can connect to”. That’s why we have this song about the plight of Serbian artists and their healthcare system. If you like an oddly beguiling performer that looks straight into your soul this is the one for you.
#25 ESTONIA 🇪🇪
Stefan – Hope
Yee-haw! Ride it cowboy! If you like a Baltic take on Americana this is the one for you.
After that, we have the returning 2021 victors Måneskin debuting their new single, Supermodel. The first Italian Eurovision winner Gigliola Cinquetti will take the stage before a medley from one of our hosts for the night, Mika. Yes, that Mika.
And then, then it’s the voting. 40 national juries will reveal their scores one by one, before the competing nations’ televote scores are added on. Now, the last time Italy held the Contest in 1991 this bit went very, very wrong. This may end up being a bit of a bumpy ride.
However, by some time probably just before midnight, we’ll finally have our winner. Thousands of songs submitted across the continent, down to 40 entries, 25 qualifiers and very soon…one winner.
Photo: EBU / Corrine Cumming / Sarah Louise Bennett