It's official Eurovision week is about to begin!!! It's only three days until the first semi final, and exactly a week to the day that the Grand Final will air. After months of searching Europe will be crowned with a new champion. The polls have been running, and the bookies have been taking bets, where some songs have faired better than others. Also, the rehearsals have changed the dynamics of these, with some songs not being praised as much as they have been, and now dropped in the odds. With all this in mind, the Eurovoxx team have comprised a list of 12 songs to look out for in the competition. Although, not all are front runners, it is believed these will fair well, and there may be a couple of dark horses in there, that might suprise many pundits and fans on the night. Take a seat, sit back, relax, read and watch their performances, and see if your favourites have made our list (in no particular order).
1) Italy with Francesco Gabbani, "Occidentali's Karma"
It is not going to be a suprise to see that this song has made it on to the top 12 to look out for. Since it was chosen as the winner of Italy's SanRemo festival on 11th February 2017, it has been the only song that people have been talking about as an outright winner. Italy has been successful at the contest winning in 1964 and 1990. It has made 42 appearances, with a 14 year break since 1997. Since 2011 it has consistently done well at the contest. Francesco Gabbani appears on stage with a gorilla (costume not real), and seems to be hitting the right spot for many. A very memorable song, and performance sung in Italian, will likely see this win. Although, not guaranteed it will take a lot to knock him off the top spot. Automatically qualified for the final (part of the big 5), he has broken numerous records on the way. He is the first Italian to win the SanRemo festival twice, he has topped over 110 million views on YouTube already. This is before he has even sung in the final. He is appearing in many of the Itunes charts of countries participating. He has also won the OGAE polls, and the press polls, and also is clearly the bookies favourite to win at 8/11. See his video here:
2 ) Portugal with Salvador Sobral, "Amar Pelos Dois"
Here is another song that Eurovoxx believes is tipped for great things. Over the years Portugal has not troubled the Eurovision leader board, scoring its best position in 1996 with 6th position. Since the semi finals, it has only qualified three times in eleven years. If Italy doesn't win, this song will. It is such a simple, but melodic ballad. Salvador doesn't move around on stage a lot, but he doesn't need too. One man, one stage. As one newspaper put it, "The world is falling in love with Portugal's best ever Eurovision entry". Unfortunately, he has been unable to go to rehearsals, and will only attend from this coming Monday due to ill health. The song written by his sister Luisa Sobral , has also been sung by her in rehearsals. Salvador a quiet man, has shone away from media attention, and did not want the world to know he was ill. Regardless, of his situation this is a beautiful song, it scored highly during the OGAE polls, and received millions of views on YouTube. It is currently the second favourite to win with the bookies at 9/1. Whatever happens, it is believed this song will give Portugal its best ever position at Eurovision. The whole team at Eurovoxx wish Salavador a speedy recovery. See his video here:
3 ) Iceland with Svala, "Paper"
Svala won the honour of representing Iceland on the 11th March 2017 with her song "Paper" which won Songvakeppnin 2017. At Eurovision Iceland have had mixed results, it received its best positions with second place in 1999, and ten years later in 2009. Iceland have failed to qualify for the final 5 times including last year. A beautiful woman, with a beautiful heart will do well for Iceland this year. A strong voice gives you goose pimples when you hear this song, and is easily memorable. It has a strong modern, yet electro feel to it, which should earn her votes with the public, and professional juries. She went down reasonably well with her rehearsals, and although not voted the best by the press polls, we believe at Eurovoxx that this will progress to the finals, and do well in the final. We are putting this down as one that will sneak under the radar. Not scoring highly with the OGAE polls, and is lagging right down there with the bookies at 600/1. Nevertheless don't write this song off. Good luck Svala, and see the video here:
4) Finland with Norma John, "Blackbird"
Norma John won Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu on 28th January 2017 with the song Blackbird. At Eurovision Finland too, have had mixed affairs never really troubling the leader board until 2006 when they won with Lordi. Since the introduction of the semi finals Finland have missed failed to qualify on six occasions. Norma John consist of two friends Leena and Lassie, and the song is all about splitting up, and how you feel. The song has a dark cinematic feel, and is a very moody powerful song, that may see the pair stand out at Eurovision. All dressed in black, she sings while he plays the piano with the background a plethora of black and red ripples of waves, and electricity. We believe this one will stand out. It made the top ten in the OGAE polls, and has been received quite warmly amongst fans, during their first rehearsals they came top of the press poll with 72 points. Currently with the bookies it's a good bet in position 8 at 66/1. See the video here:
5) Romania with Ilinca feat. Florea, "Yodel it"
Romania chose its entry on the 5th March 2017 with their selection show Selectia Nationala 2017. Romania have had a reasonable amount of success at the contest being present 17 times, and having 5 top ten positions. Their best result to date in 2005 and 2010 with third positions. Since the introductions of the semi final Romania has always qualified with the exception of 2016 where they were disqualified due to financial reasons. Ilinca feat. Florea won their national final with ease. It's a very different song to Eurovision, and we believe it works, and is one to look out for. The public and juries should like how different it is. It is an unusual mix of rap and Yodel that seems to work. It may not win, but is certainly one to look out for to do well. A very colourful background, that has everything happening. She dressed in red, and he in black should yodel their way into the final. Scoring only 18 points with the OGAE voters, but having respectable odds off 40/1, this is one to keep an eye out for. See the video here:
6) Netherlands with OG3NE, "Lights and Shadows"
Internally selected OG3NE were selected to represent the Netherlands on 3rd March 2017 with the song "Lights and Shadows". Netherlands have performed well at Eurovision winning a grand total of four times, and ranks in the top 10 most successful countries. Since the introduction of the semi finals Netherlands have struggled, and had to wait over 8 years in order to qualify. However since their renaissance they have done extremely well in qualifying every year since 2016. Eurovoxx believes this will be another one too, and certainly one to watch in the final, and compares its potential success to the Common Linnets in 2014. It comprises a bevy of three beautiful women all dressed in black. It's a fantastic song of hope, and the harmonies that these three have are exquisite. All three can sing, and harmonise fantastic together. It only scored 3 points with OGAE, however since their rehearsals have scored very well with the press polls. Again, the bookies seem to like this with reasonable odds at 70/1. People seem to be listening to the final, it is one we believe will qualify for the final, and dare we say it top 10? See the video here:
7) Armenia with Artsvik, "Fly With Me"
Another internally selected song enters one of our 12 to watch. Artsvik selected on Christmas Eve, with the song presentation on 18th March 2017, Eurovoxx believe this is another dark horse and one to watch. Making its debut in 2006, it has been very successful, it has got to the final 90% of the time, and reached top ten on seven occasions. This is a cool folk infused track, that looks just as cool on stage. Greatly choreographed, with blacks, reds and purples, the fireworks help to make this a memorable track. She also has a great voice!!! Regardless of it only scoring 7 points with the OGAE voters, it does look good on stage. It has good odds, and it currently looking at being 5th favourite with the bookies 20/1. See the video here:
8) Azerbaijan with Dihaj, "Skeletons"
Yet another internally selected song Azerbaijan is popular amongst the Eurovoxx team. It is also popular with a lot of others too. At Eurovision it has been very successful. It has qualified for every semi final, it has made the top 5 in five consecutive years, with it even winning in 2011. an up-tempo number, with a grand voice, the song should be a dead cert for qualifying to the final. It may even make it on to the left hand side of the leader board. The staging is certainly memorable, all in black with large chalk boards with graffiti written on. NO!!!! it is not an illusion there is a man up a ladder wearing a horses head. It is Eurovision so expect the unexpected. In the OGAE performing that day with 65 points. Even the bookies have taken kindly to it putting it just after Armenia with betting odds of 40/1. Will it be the land of fire again. See the video here:
9) Bulgaria with Kristian Kostov, "Beautiful Mess"
Internally selected like many others in our list, this song has won many fans since its release on March 13th 2017, including some of us at Eurovoxx. Not the most successful country at the contest, it has participated ten times and only qualified on 2 of them. 2007 was the first year when they came 5th, and 2016 where they had their best ever position with Poli Genova. Kristian Kostov is Eurovision's youngest artist this year. For a young person he can really sing, and should be another cert for qualifying. He may even do one better than last year. The lyrics are simple, and his performance is flawless. Eurovoxx believes he has a haunting voice which will do well in the contest. His staging is cool and simplistic and the combination of black and white engages the viewer. The song has scored very well with OGAE voters getting 120 points. It also scored fairly well with the press poll, after his rehearsal. For many weeks leading to the Eurovision it was second favourite with bookies. It has dropped two places to fourth with odds at 14/1. We feel this is one to watch, and expect it to be in the top 5. See the video here:
10) United Kingdom with Lucie Jones, "Never Give Up On You"
Making a change from the previous entries this one was internally selected on the 27th January 2017 with the national final Eurovision You Decide. The United Kingdom has been very successful at Eurovision and is one of the most successful nations winning the competition 5 times, and coming second on a record 15 occasions. However since 1998 it success has turned to failure only making the top 5 twice since then, and coming last on 3 occasions. Something, that never occurred until 2003. The song was written by Denmark's 2013 Eurovision winner Emmelie de Forrest, and is sung by the west end singer Lucie Jones. It is a very big dramatic ballad, sung extremely well. Although, we doubt it will win, we predict that it could do very well, and make it onto the left hand side of the leader board this year. It went unoticed until the rehearsals, where Lucie's elegant, and powerful performance saw fans and pundits take a good look at it. Sung with a simplistic gold and black background it certainly catches the eye. It didn't score very well with OGAE only scoring 12 points. However, in the big 5 including Ukraine during the rehearsals it scored second favourite after Italy. Even in the betting odds it moved up ten places since this and is now at 150/1. See the video here:
11) Moldova with SunStroke Project, "Hey Mamma"
Winning their national final O Melodie Pentru Europa 2017 was selected on the 25th February 2017. It has participated in the contest 12 times since its debut since 2005. It has been fairly successful qualifying 8 times, with its best result in 2005 achieving 6th position. Fans of Eurovision will know that Sunstroke Project has participated before during the 2010 contest. They were popular then, and are popular now. Eurovoxx love them, it is such a fun song, and all the members have such huge stage presences. It also seems to have mix of styles, dance, reggae, disco? More importantly it has the famous Sax Man who certainly knows how to play it. The performance is fun, with all members dressed as brides and grooms, it certainly wont be left at the alter. Eurovoxx believes it will qualify easily, and the fun element will be a welcome break to all the ballads in this years contest. Unfortunately, it didn't score a single point with OGAE votes, but it is liked by many fans. If you want to bet on it the odds are at 200/1. We think this will suprise many on the night. See the video here:
12) Croatia with Jacques Houdek, "My Friend"
The last of the internally selected songs, "My Friend" was chosen on the 2nd March 2017. Croatia made its debut during the 1993 contest as an independent nation. It has made 22 appearances, and reached its best position of 4th place in 1996 and 1999. Since the introduction of the semi finals has failed to reach the final on five occasions, but made it in 2016. Eurovoxx believes this song has a lot going for it. It has lovely lyrics, Jacques has such a good voice, but he seems like a genuinely, nice , humble guy which will strike a chord with many of the viewers. Probably not an international run away hit, we believe it will score with the viewers. Jacques has a very powerful instrument, and we think this one will sneak in there, and be a song that will slip under the radar. The song is choreographed beautiful with staged fireworks against a black back drop. The violin and Cello is also a really nice touch in this song. OGAE voters only gained 6 points, and doesn't really trouble the bookies at 500/1 . Regardless of this we still feel its one to watch, he has real stage presence. See the video here:
That's It!!! Here is the 12 songs, that Eurovoxx believe could be the dark horses, and ones to look out for at Eurovision. They cannot all win, but believe one will, and all will do well. In under a week we will know how right we were. In a week Eurovision will have a new winner. Stay tuned to Eurovoxx to find out. Bon Chance a la participant. Don't forget we are online at twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. So please like, heart, @, #, tweet Eurovoxx. Get all your gossip, news, features and interviews here.