Tonight is the big night. Europe will choose its next Eurovision Song Contest winner. Over the past week, 20 finalists have been selected in the semi finals, and seven songs (the big 5, last year’s winner and guest of honor Australia) already had a spot on the saturday night to begin with. But who will win? I take a look at the iTunes charts, the bookmakers and the draw to predict the outcome.
The bookmakers are usually seen as an authority when it comes to predicting the outcome of the final of Eurovision. But what are they saying this year? Not completely surprising, they are tipping Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlöw as the winner. He has been in first place since he won the Swedish preselection and this hasn’t changed after his performance in Vienna. Who might be able to stop him? Maybe Polina Gagarina from Russia who climbed to the second position over the last week. Her impressive performance of ‘A Million Voices’ made her chances of victory grow. The guys from Italian trio Il Volo are at a steady third place and have been favorites from the start as well. They will perform for the first time live on the Eurovision broadcasting tonight, as they already had a place in the final as part of the big 5. Australia’s Guy Sebastian is now at number 5 as most likely winner.
During the semi finals there were quite a few countries that weren’t so high in the polls but made a big impression because of their performances. The best example of this is Loïc Nottet from Belgium who even rose to the fourth position with his contemporary song ‘Rhythm Inside’. Another very modern entry, ‘Love Injected’ by Aminata from Latvia, impressed the bookies as well and is now at number 9. If the bookmakers are right these two countries could well be the surprises of this contest, like Conchita Wurst and The Common Linnets last year, who only started to climb after rehearsals and the semi final performances. Estonia’s Elina Born & Stig Rasta were in top 3 with the odds for a long time, but are now at position six, still going for a great result. The top 10 is complete with Morland & Debrah Scarlett from Norway, another surprise from the first semi final Bojana from Serbia and early favorite who has now fallen a bit, Elnur from Azerbaijan.
Over the past few years, we have seen that the iTunes charts around Europe are a nice indication of which songs will do well in the contest, with the viewers votes at least. Last year it was clear that Europe really liked the Dutch entry The Common Linnets as their song was high in the charts after their performance during the semi final. They finished as the runner up in the competition. Big favorite for the win, Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlöw, is already in the iTunes charts of at least 25 countries and even tops the list in Lithuania. He has the second spot in Estonia and top 10 in Norway, Austria and Finland as well. Russia is doing very well too as they chart in around 20 countries with number 2 in Belarus and 11 in Moldova as best positions. Belgium did surprise iTunes buyers as well and is charting in 15 countries with highest positions in Russia, the Netherlands and Austria. Australia is close with 13 notitions in the charts, but keep in mind that they did not perform for Europe just yet, so they will definitely rise tonight. They are already at the 6th place in Sweden by the way! The same goes for Italy. Still, Il Volo already occupied the first spot in Malta and second place in Greece.
There are also countries that don’t impress in iTunes yet suprisingly, like Azerbaijan, only charting in Sweden and Austria on place 90 and 170 respectively. Maybe this is a song that will do better with juries. The same goes for Norway as they only reached the top 100 in Sweden, Austria, Finland and Switzerland. If we have to believe iTunes, Estonia is still a force to reckon with despite falling a bit with the bookmakers. They reached the iTunes charts in around 20 countries. They have four places in top 10 and 11 in top 50 which is very promising, compared to the other countries. Maraaya from Slovenia who just placed outside of the top 10 with bookmakers could be viewed as an outsider with a top 10 placing in Sweden and top 100 in Estonia, Austria, Norway and the Netherlands. Keep an eye on Latvia as well as Aminata made her way into the top 100 of nine countries already.
And then the draw which is not really a draw anymore as the producers decide the starting order of the songs. We can be short about this, Russia has a very good position as 25th, not completely at the end, but late and in between Azerbaijan and Albania, that are not viewed as favourites to win the show anymore. Sweden will have a bit of a harder task on 10th position, after the intriguing performance from Norway. Estonia will have to perform as fourth and a position so early on in the show, is never viewed as a very positive sign. The same goes for Slovenia as opening act. Australia and Belgium perform as 12th and 13th, good positions in the middle of the show. I would say Aminata from Latvia has a very good chance of standing out on the 19th spot in between the ballads from Poland and Romania that don’t seem to stand a chance at top 10. The same goes for Edurne from Spain who is placed in between Romania and Hungary, who are not expected to finish high. Position 21 seems a good one for the Spanish beauty, who is just outside the top 10 of the bookies at the moment. And what about Italy‘s 27th position? This could go both ways. Normally, performing as the last act is seen as positive, as you are fresh in the memories of the viewers. But it could well be people are tired of it at that point with 27(!) songs performing this year.
Things are looking good for Sweden still and I wouldn’t be surprised if they win with quite a margin. Of course we all hope for an exciting and nail biting finish of this year’s contest and who could do that? Russia, definitely! They are high with bookmakers, are charting high in iTunes and they might have the best starting position. Australia will definitely do well, because they are new in the contest and there is quite some hype around it. It seems everybody likes the song as well and Guy is a great performer. I find it hard to predict what Italy will do, but I don’t think they will grab the victory. A place in the top 10 should be possible though. And then the outsiders. Keep an eye on Belgium for sure as they are rising and rising. They are charting in iTunes and this song stands out no matter where you put it in the starting order. I think juries will be very impressed with Latvia‘s performance so they could sneak into top 5 as well. Estonia is still doing great in iTunes and I think juries will fall for this lovely duet as well. Top 10 should be no problem for them.
Ok, I am going to take the risk, this is my top 3 prediction:
Enjoy the show tonight!