Scenarios away from the favorite victory

With the song “Stefania” dedicated to the mother between rap, dub and nuclear split flute folklore, the group of six, which emerged from a rap trio, leads the betting odds, albeit narrower than a few days ago.

The fact that the country at war is the favorite for the competition immediately led to nonsensical comments on social networks: the song contest was politically pushed and bought (by whom? NATO? The EU? The reptilians?), and in general politics should not play a role in a music competition. But in the decades-long history of the competition it has happened again and again – because it doesn’t take place under a glass dome in which the world outside is hidden.

Ukrainian success story

The fact that Ukraine is traded so highly has to do with the quality of the song and the country’s contributions as a whole. And with 16 participations, there have been two wins and seven top five places so far. In the previous year, the group reached Go_A the second most audience votes and fifth place overall. If the Ukraine actually wins this year, it would probably have the voting audience to thank for it – and less the expert juries.

And there is Sweden again

Because juries are considered to be more of a structurally conservative factor and usually vote for well-crafted and not too unusual music. And then, at the latest, other potential winner countries will come into play – above all Sweden. Scandinavian pop perfectionism has always held the country in high esteem. This year, Cornelia Jacobs is another participant whose song “Hold Me Closer” seems less cold and calculated. With the concentrated attention for other countries, it flew under the radar for a long time. But at the latest in the semifinals on Thursday, she underlined her title ambitions barefoot and in a husky voice.

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British resurrection?

Great Britain is one of the most successful participating countries in the history of the Song Contest with five wins and 15 second places. But the golden age is long gone, and after a few last and almost last places, it is surprising that this year with Sam Ryder a candidate with realistic chances of winning the final according to betting odds.

Ryder is one of those artists who came to great fame via TikTok and who only made the classic chart breakthrough afterwards. In the run-up to the event, the powerful-voiced Brit was already celebrated as the perfect overall package with his radio-ready number “Space Man”, written by a whole armada of top-class songwriters.

A second Big Five country also signals that, after years of feeling listless, people really want to get involved again this year: Chanel from Spain is appearing with “SloMo” and a Latino dance performance, in which there is obviously a lot on all levels was invested.

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Is Italy staying the course?

Italy is a double in the final this year: as one of the five major contributors and as host. Since the Song Contest grew into a mega event in the 1990s, the winning title has been passed on to a different country every year. And very often the contributions of the defending champions suggested that it could not have been in the interest of the host country to organize and, above all, finance the expensive shows again.

In Italy, however, the contribution will be determined without compromise in the Sanremo Festival in a complex selection process – so it could be tight for the RAI. The fact that this year’s contribution “Brividi” by Mahmood & Blanco could repeat Maneskin’s success story cannot be completely ruled out in view of the bookmakers’ rating.

Banana wolves probably dependent on the audience

As a last winning scenario, there is still the possibility that a witty contribution between Dada and Daft Punk, between comedy and dance banger wins: Norway. With the incognito duo Subwoolfer and the song “Give That Wolf a Banana” a clever PR coup has succeeded, a Masked Singer story in the Eurovision show. However, Norway has recently fallen behind when it comes to betting odds, and juries are not known for considering funny entries as artistically valuable. In this respect, the audience should provide the whole big surprise here.

Live ticker on ORF.at

The final can be seen live on Saturday from 9 p.m. on ORF1 and in the live stream on tvthek.ORF.at. ORF.at accompanies the competition with a live ticker – including pictures, animated GIFs and social media comments.

Sad surprise?

At least two death-wishing ballads could make it into the top five, which are surprisingly well received. Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord represents Greece with “Die Together”, a modern song with a strangely explicit fatalism. Ochman from Poland sings “River” rich in metaphors and fluently, musically very oriented to the winning title of 2019, “Arcadia” by Duncan Laurence. A surprise in the sense of a top placement might also be Rosa Linn from Armenia, who starts with a slightly livelier ballad. For all other participants in the two semi-finals, a place in the top ten would be a great success.

FM4 at it again

After a break of many years, FM4 accompanies the Song Contest again this year. Director Kurdwin Ayub and super fan Florian Alexander have invited the top FM4 duo, Duscher and Gratzer, to the studio – you can hear them on FM4 and stream them on tvthek.ORF.at.

The two “Big Five” countries that have not yet been mentioned, France and Germany, lack the starting advantage, at least to have been heard by the viewers of the semi-finals. The Breton trio of women Ahez and the electronic musician Alvan had been highly publicized beforehand that their trance-like folk number would go well, but it can be doubted. One could almost feel sorry for Germany. With the song “Rockstars”, Malik Harris manages to catch the ear, but – at least what the betting odds predict – could go down without a sound. But it’s only settled at the end – and of course that also applies to the front seats.

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