All 39 Eurovision Song Contest entries are already available to watch online on eurovision.tv. Not patient enough to wait for the big day, we have had a sneaky preview look and passed our own judgement. We have graded each song according to both our own personal tastes and to what we think its chances are of success.
Here are six of the 17 songs that will be performed in Semi-Final 2 on Thursday, May 16. Come back tomorrow for the next instalment!
Who the hell are we to judge?
The euronews jury is made up of three music-loving but unfortunately not music-playing journalists, who reserve the right to be honest while trying to remain respectful to the performers: Mark Davis (normally found listening to Pearl Jam, Jake Bugg, the Stone Roses), Thomas Seymat (Alt-J, Franck Ocean, Daft Punk) and Marie Jamet (Marvin Gaye, Pulp, Clinic).
Gianluca Bezzina – Tomorrow
MJ: A happy indie ballad done by a ukelele-backed. It might not be ground-breaking but at least there’s sunshine and youthful exuberance! Quite refreshing when you’ve had to sit through dozens of Eurovision songs. 10 points (out of a maximum 12), 66-1 to win.
MD: They remind me of that group Fun that all the young folk are listening to at the moment, which means they might be fashionable (I wouldn’t really know to be honest). And I’m with Marie: more sunshine and happy faces please. Give Europe’s jobless youth something to smile about! 8 points, 20-1 to win.
Elitsa & Stoyan – Samo Shampioni
MJ: A rare eastern sound to the music, and an ever rarer outing for a gaïta (Balkan bagpipes), boosted by plenty of percussion and a wall of dance beats. It’s sung in Bulgarian but there’s plenty of repetition so you don’t miss much by not understanding the lyrics. If nothing else, it makes you want to tap your feet. 8 points, 80-1 to win
MD: It’s certainly quite different to anything else I’ve heard thus far in this year’s Eurovision list, which is certainly no a bad thing. I imagine his would be great to see live at a street carnival, what with all the drums and noise. And I’d love to have a go on a gaïta. I would be surprised though if this song won, as it doesn’t quite fit the Eurovision mould. I wouldn’t mind being wrong though. 9 points, 66-1 to win.
Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson – Ég á Líf
MJ: A good old-fashioned viking blond, complete with beard and long-but-clean hair, sings what could have been a Celine Dion hit in Icelandic. It seems a song of tragedy but apparently, according to the child’s drawing used in the video it has a happy ending. 4 points, 40-1 to win.
MD: Everything’s very folkloric about Iceland’s entry. It’s simple, traditional, humble and, quite frankly, difficult to say anything bad about. Having said that, it’s also difficult to get excited about. If I was wistfully gazing out to sea from a mist-enshrouded cliff-top, and I spoke Icelandic, I would probably start belting out Ég á Líf at the top of my lungs. But as a non-Icelandic speaking philistine sitting on my sofa watching Eurovision, I would probably take this as an opportunity to put the kettle on. 6 points, 50-1 to win.
Koza Mostra & Agathon Iakovidis - Alcohol Is Free
TS: Balkan music band Koza Mostra teams up with folk music veteran Agathon Iakovidis for a punchy old-meets-the-new song. If all else fails, the catchy Hellenic ska of Alcohol is Free could still be the anthem of the next batch of Erasmus students heading to Greece in September. 9 points, 33-1 to win.
MD: I can picture these guys as the support act at a Goran Bregovic gig. They’re not quite in the same league as Brega but definitely in the same ilk. It could go either way for this unashamed drinking song: it’ll either be loved for its Balkan folk craziness or ignored for its rustic lack of sophistication. I hope it’s the former but I fear it’ll be the latter. Obviously it will get 12 points from Cyprus. 10 points, 33-1 to win.
Moran Mazor – Rak bishvilo (Only For Him)
MD: Curvacious Moran Mazor’s powerful lungs belt the song out with energy in abundance. Sounds like about a million other songs, nothing really grabs the attention. Apart from Moran Mazor’s curves. 3 points, 100-1 to win.
Dorians - Lonely Planet
TS: Dorians deliver an effective classic rock ballad, which is not a song about a travel guide. Too bad the cheesy utopian nonsensical lyrics delivered by a bouncy singer sound oh-so-very 90’s. 6 points, 80-1 to win.