Yes, once again it is that time where we all get excited about a little-known TV Show which happens every May (and the occasional April). The Eurovision Song Contest season is in full swing right now and as of Saturday, all of the competing songs for this year’s contest has been revealed. I can safely say this, and without bias as well I would like to think, but this is the most exciting line-up of songs in the contest ever. I really cannot pick a winner just yet, and I love how current and contemporary the songs in this contest are.
The dates of this year’s show are between the 9th – 13th May 2017, with the first semi-final being on the 9th May, the second semi-final on the 11th May and the Grand Final on the 13th May. If you are in the UK like I am, then you can catch the semi-finals live on BBC4 HD and BBC1 HD for the Grand Final on the Saturday night.
I, sadly, will not be attending this year’s show in Kyiv, Ukraine. I did want to go, and had intended to take a trip to Kyiv in May, even booking a hotel (wth free cancellation) and looking at flights. I made a decision not to go late last year, when back then, it looked like the organisation of the show was in shambles. I can definitely say that now things are looking really positive and I am sure it will be a fantastic show, but back in November and December time last year, the outlook wasn’t looking too great and so I made a decision to sit this contest out. I fully intend on being back for 2018, wherever it may end up, which leads me to this…
So every year you will probably hear me say that the contest is getting better and better and that this year is the “best ever”, but honestly, I truly think this year’s contest is. The content of the songs is so fantastic that I found it so hard to sit through and think to myself, this one sounds like a winner, or this one sounds like a contender. Many countries have brought their “A” game this year, which I guess means a lot of countries have the appetite to win the show and go on to host the contest next year.
Let’s talk about the bookie’s favourites then, so as you know, the bookie’s favourites are always changing and they can never be taken for gospel on who is going to win. Who remembers Conchita Wurst for Austria winning completely out of the blue in 2014, when she was not in the Top 15 of the bookie’s odds right up until the week of the show, when even then she didn’t actually become the bookies favourite. Such a shocker! This time around, though, there has been a steady contender sitting at the top spot on the bookie’s board and that is Italy. Francesco Gabbani is representing them this year with the song “Occidentali’s Karma”, which is completely sung in Italian. The song is catchy, uplifting, unique, fun and what makes it stand out is the dancing gorilla who appears in both the music video and the live performances with Francesco when he is performing. There is definitely a charm to the entry, but personally, I can’t see it winning the trophy. There are so many other songs in the show this year who I think will appeal to both the National Juries (who have 50% of the vote) as well as the general public, and I think only Italy will charm the televoters but not the National Juries (unless he can really improve his live singing!).
Some of the countries to look out for in this year’s contest include Belgium who is right up there as another favourite to win, with a really fantastic song which doesn’t sound out of place on the radio and TV right now. I also really like Sweden’s entry and we could possibly be looking at going back to Sweden again next year. Bulgaria and Australia have come out with some fantastic modern ballads which I really think will do well for them with a great stage show, and let’s not forget the yodelling song from Romania. You have to see it to believe it, but it is so catchy and I think can work it’s charm and ear worm itself into the ears of the listening public.
What about the UK?
Well sadly for you brexiters, leaving the EU (European Union) does not mean leaving the EBU (European Broadcasting Union), and so we can continue entering the contest even after we are taken out of the EU. This will not mean that the rest of Europe are going to “hate us” either, as for once, we have actually sent a really decent song and I can see it doing well (by well I mean mid-table which is better than being last). We have sent a really nice ballad this year sung by the lovely Lucie Jones, and she really knows how to sing having had experience in both The X Factor and from performing in musical theatres up and down the country. The song itself has recently been revamped and has been given a much more modern feel, which wouldn’t feel out of place on an Ellie Goulding album for example. I think we will at least get a decent score from the National Juries this time around, and depending on our starting number and where we perform in the show, will determine the amount of public votes we may get. If we get a late draw, I could see a lot more better chances for us.
I have to say that I am proud of this years UK entry, after many years of let downs and failures at the drivel that the BBC has sent forward. I think in the last few years the songs that we have sent that I have really loved have been from 2009 and 2011, and then now 2017. I will be supporting Lucie in spirit this year for sure.
So, like every year, I rate all of the competing entries and put them in an order down to #1. I have rated this year’s entries already and I am ready to share my favourite songs from this year’s contest with you. There are 20-second preview clips for all of the songs from 43-4 and then the Top 3 has longer previews in this coming video. The video is 16 minutes long, and looks at every single entry this year, so join me, if you will at counting down with me. Don’t forget to check out the entries for yourselves as most of them are now on streaming platforms too, get behind your favourite entry.
So here we go, you ready? Here is my preview of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, I am so excited!
There will be more Eurovision themed blogs to come in the weeks leading up to the contest in May, stay tuned!