It's coming around to that time of year ago, where cheesy music takes centre stage and our nation fails miserably. No, I'm not talking about watching England play while in my local, I'm instead commenting on the one and only Eurovision Song Contest, this time hosted by Ukraine. I was quite impressed by last year's Eurovison song contest entries actually, there were a number of catchy tuned (is that legal to confess to?) and the winning entry at least had a message.
This year I notice that the Italian entry is close to even money so I've decided to do a quick first listen of the top 5 songs at this time according to the bookies:
Italy - (Francesco Gabbani - Occidentali's Karma): A bit unusual at first glance/listen as the singer isn't typical pop star material and doesn't have what I'd call the voice of an angel. Things get even more strange later in the performance when a man in a gorrila suit joins in!! It's a nice summery number though, an optimistic song - sung mostly in Italian - at a time where there's a lot of doom an gloom around. That's reason enough to like it really! Even Money
Bulgaria - (Kristian Kostov - Beautiful Mess ): If you could combine a James Arthur and Justin Bieber track you might end with something like this. It's instant, listenable and modern sounding. There's not much to fault with it. The video acccompanying it is good too, so maybe if they have decent visuals on the night along the same lines that might help matters! 6-1
Sweden - (Robin Bengtsson - I Can't Go On): Another modern sounding track with a touch of funk. Shades of Justin Timberlake to this one. Sweden is never that far off the mark nowadays where the Eurovision song contest is concerned, so this will be thereabouts. Possibly a bit generic / safe but it depends what voters are looking for. 10-1
Portugal - (Salvador Sobral - Amar Pelos Dois) - This one's certainly a bit different. Another song sung in the narrative tongue. It's a pretty song by a singer who can't seem to keep his head still for long! An Elvis Costello feel. A bit slow and understated, but if it stands out from the crowd who knows. 16-1
Belgium (Blanche - City Lights) - No, not Blanche from the Golden Girls. Following the pattern of 'sounding a bit like', this one has a London Grammar sound to it. Combining aspects that (somehow) appear to sound retro and futuristic at the same time, this is a moody number that is really quite listenable. Possibly slightly repetative but I like it. 20-1
I'll give the other tracks a listen closer to the contest to select the best of the rest and attempt to make a betting selection or two in this often unpredictable and zany competition! Forced to make an early selection out of the bunch above though I'd definitely go with Kristian Kostov - Beautiful Mess at 6-1 for their first Eurovision win. Bulgaria have to compete in a semi final first though since there are so many entries. It's even money to win semi final number 2, with its closet rival being The Irish entry by Brendan Murray. Even money doesn't sound like bad odds for winning the heat!