STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – Good evening Europe this is Stockholm calling and live from Globen (or Globe Arena) this is the 61st Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final. 26 countries participate, Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw host the show while Justin Timberlake will rock the arena in the interval act. Europrediction by oikotimes.com has spoken: it seems that Russia and Australia will fight for the trophy. The show is aired in all participating countries plus Portugal, New Zealand, China and for the very first time in the US. The stream will be available also via YouTube. (photos in this post are taken from BBC Eurovision Facebook Page).
01. Belgium: What’s The Pressure sung by Laura Tesoro: A great start. Laura is so fresh and her move to her up-tempo entry are natural. That’s no fake choreagraphy here. Being first to perform can be a disadvantage, but at least, we’ve enjoyed that great opening!
02. Czech Republic: I Stand sung by Gabriela Gunčíková: It’s the first time we have the chance to see a Czech entrant during the Grand Final. Gabriela gives a flawless, classy performance of one of the best ballads of this year’s line up. The staging is really nice on screen and this song should do well with the juries.
03. The Netherlands: Slow Down sung by Douwe Bob: I’m not a huge fan of this « country » ballad but I must say that Douwe is just perfect for the exercise. A clever staging and a good interaction with the crowd for the last part of his song. Last time Holland went for country (2014) it was a big success. Let’s hope the same to « Slow Down »
04. Azerbaijan: Miracle sung by Samra: The first “tailor made” Eurovision song this evening. Lucky us, Samra is less off key tonight and gives a very good performance. The land of fire surely deserves its nickname, given the effort they put in staging a flamboyant act. I’m afraid, that may not be the best year for Azerbaijan though…
05. Hungary: Pioneer sung by Freddie: Handsome Freddie is giving a great performance here for a rather dark entry. The song is just perfect for him and his very manly voice. Nothing special in the staging, but “Pioneer” doesn’t need any gimmick. Unfortunately, being performed so early may mean viewers will soon forget this entry.
06. Italy: No Degree Of Separation sung by Francesca Michielin: Sweet Francesca is perfectly performing her Sanremo entry. The staging is really beautiful and creates a genuine atmosphere around the young singer. Italy could surprise us tonight since “Nessun Grado Di Separazione” could be high in juries’ votes.
07. Israel: Made Of Stars sung by Hovi Star: Israel is granted us with the most beautiful ballad this year. Young Hovi Star is perfect and delivers a rather moving performance, surrounded by stars (of course). The second part of the song is much more powerful and beautiful on screen.
08. Bulgaria: If Love Was A Crime sung by Poli Genova: Poli definitely is Eurovision fans favourite. Her bilingual up tempo modern entry has conquered more than one heart during Eurovision week. The staging looks great (even though I’m not a huge fan of her futuristic outfit). She can definitely be called a dark horse tonight, given reactions in the audience. Maybe not juries’ favourite, but she’ll go high in the second part of voting I guess.
09. Sweden: If I Were Sorry sung by Frans: Time for the quietest entry of the evening, but not the worst one. Host country has decided to be very simple (for once) and the performance focuses on young Frans. “If I Were Sorry” is a good song and they of course love it over here. Even though I can find it a bit boring on radio, I must confess the performance is quite effective when performed live. A 7th victory on its way? One never knows…
10. Germany: Ghost sung by Jamie-Lee: Welcome to Jamie-Lee’s universe. The manga girl takes you to a futuristic forest to perform her nice ballad. A very mystical atmosphere here that could seduce many. I like the way she looks as fragile as a porcelain doll but has a great voice. She definitely embodies her song “Ghosr”, and at least, Germany is offering something original this year.
11. France: J’ai cherché sung by Amir: Amir has been called a favourite all the way to tonight’s final. The song is really good and everybody seems to enjoy singing along his “You ou ou ou ou”. France has nevertheless opted for a rather simple staging. Will it help it stand out and take the trophy? Not sure though. But at least, the country has taken the contest seriously for once!
12. Poland: Color Of Your Life sung by Michał Szpak: ack Sparrow ‘s on stage now. Sorry, this ballad is soooo boring to my ears, though perfectly performed and staged. But I can’t see this one doing very well tonight.
13. Australia: Sound Of Silence sung by Dami Im: A strong contender here. Dami Im is so professional and as such a great voice that I can’t see her achieving a disappointed result tonight. The audience just loves her and she gives a flawless clever performance, conquering a whole continent. To my mind, this lacks a little bit of emotion though. Nevertheless, we should get ready to a first Australian victory…
14. Cyprus: Alter Ego sung by Minus One: The first rock act of the evening is performed by Minus One. As far as pop rock is concerned, this is a brilliant act. The lead singer, François, is just perfect for the role, dark and mysterious. The staging is great, even if I don’t understand the cages. Well it’s Eurovision… The contest needs this kind of entries, so, whatever the outcome, “efcharisto “Cyprus.
15. Serbia: Goodbye (Shelter) sung by Sanja Vučić ZAA: Sounds just like a modern version of Serbia’s only winning entry “Modlitva”. Sanja looks beautiful and is performing a great powerful ballad. I like the staging, because backing vocalists and dancer are cleverly involved with the singer. The voice is flawless and strong. Of course we have Balkan elements, but come one, we love them!
16. Lithuania: I’ve Been Waiting For This Night sung by Donny Montell: The song is a bit more than average but this is probably my favourite on screen. What a great use of LED screens and I especially love the end of the song. Donny can definitely sing, perform (and even jump!). Not a winner, but a strong performance from the Baltic state!
17. Croatia: Lighthouse sung by Nina Kraljić: I just loved that song when first heard on the radio. An almost Celtic ballad, with modern elements and an astounding voice. Well, the staging doesn’t help here. First of all, the outfit is rather difficult on the eyes and the voice ain’t as good as it used to be. Nevertheless, Croatia is doing a great come back with this beautiful entry.
18. Russia: You Are The Only One sung by Sergey Lazarev: Sergey is THE clear favourite tonight: very good Eurovision song, very good performer and a remake of Mans’ staging from last year. It’s a great show on screen indeed. The question is, isn’t that too much, and don’t we forget Sergey performance in the midst of all those effect. Well, if Eurovision has become a show contest, this will win. If it’s still a song contest, maybe not…
19. Spain: Say Yai! sung by Barei: What a performance from Barei tonight! She’s setting the arena (and the press centre) on fire with her very catchy “Say Yay!”. The voice is good, the staging is good, the music is good and the gimmicks are clever ones for once. I just love her!
20. Latvia: Heartbeat sung by Justs: In for some electro sound? Good then! Young Justs is perfvorming the most modern entry (not to say up to date) of the evening. You either like it or hate it I guess. Well I do, and I can feel Aminata’s touch in “Heartbeat”. Last year’s Latvia did very well, and I don’t see why it would be different this year. The Latvian entry could even become a hit in most of European night clubs this summer…
21. Ukraine: 1944 sung by Jamala: She’s my personal favourite, because I’m one of those who still want Eurovision to be a SONG contest. Moving performance, incredible voice and of course a touching topic. Today is the eve of Ukrainian national day for what happened in Crimea years ago. Wouldn’t it be the perfect day for victory. Jamala just touches our souls with her performance. Ethnic, modern, emotional, unique could be the recipe for a Ukranian second trophy tonight. I guess juries will go for this one (but will the public will?).
22. Malta: Walk On Water sung by Ira Losco: A Maltese dance act now. The archipelago is in with something modern for once and I’m glad they did. Ira is just perfect and the staging is quite pleasant. Nevertheless, being just after Ukraine may make this performance look a bit cheap. Ira may not make juries walk on water tonight… but nice try!
23. Georgia: Midnight Gold sung by Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz: Underground rock on Eurovision stage? Really? Well yes. Even if I’m not an amateur of this type of music, I was told that “Midnight Gold” was a very good track in its category, and what a dynamic staging! Even if I was surprised they qualified, I must confess this song is growing on me. I’m sure the points Georgia will received tonight will surprise one that one fan! Beware!
24. Austria: Loin d’ici sung by ZOË: OK, I know this entry is very popular over here, that I should feel flattered she’s singing in French. But I just can’t listen to this! I guess I’m too old for this “Heidi” cartoon theme song revival. Too bad Zoë is too old, that would be a perfect Junior Eurovision entry for Austria’s debut someday. It’s sweet, far too sweet and childish. The staging and voice are perfect though. The problem here is the song, but that’s just my opinion since she will do very well I guess.
25. United Kingdom: You`re Not Alone sung by Jack and Joe: A typical British pop act from the 2 lads. Their performance has much improved, and could save this average song from disaster. The boys are doing their best but the song remain so so and voices here aren’t flawless I’m afraid. I guess the UK will be last among the Big 5 tonight…
26. Armenia: LoveWave sung by Iveta Mukuchyan: Forget about the song, it’s all about the staging and the good looking singer here. I’m afraid, the “alarm” effect is the only real interest of this performance. The Beyonce look will please one than one eye for sure, and the efforts Armenians put in producing a great staging will be much appreciated. I must say that the outcome of this one is difficult to predict…
This is the end of the 2016 competing part for the Eurovision Song Contest. Now we move to the interval section of the show beginning with a comedy video, continue with the recap of songs and of course the amazing videos of Swedish music history. The amazing SVT show for Eurovision 2016 continues with the superstar Justin Timberlake who presents a medley of his songs ending it with the performance of his brand new song. The latest look at the odds: unchanged top for Russia. It seems we go to Sochi! The big change in the odds is Spain who now ranks 4th in the bookies odds.
The interval part continues with a recap of the songs and then the hosts present us the ultimate receive for Eurovision victory based on “scientific” method by a scientistic in Switzerland. The duo present an amazing act with figures from the past Eurovision winners giving advices of how to win the contest. Alexander Rybak appears on stage. Lord are also on stage when the hosts perform their amazing schlager Eurosong to win Eurovision while the features of Eurovision make the audience go frantic. With open T-Shirt Mans introduces us to Lynda Woodruff (the EBU spokesperson) making amazing remarks. Video will be provided later on! An amazing act. Highlight “We were asked why we are in Sweden? Answer: we ask the same question ourselves every winter!”. The nerd nation documentary is aired now. Now after Mans performing his brand new song we move to the voting. GOOD LUCK ALL!