For the Aussievision song review podcast series we went out to 12 Europeans and 12 Australians to get their full 41 song order. This was way back in March so over the next few days we'll be going back to some of these jury members to get their thoughts ahead of the live show last week. Next up we have Lisa from the UK.
Her original ranking
Who is your favourite and has that changed?
My favourite even before there was a song, was Cyprus and Tamta. Due to always being a fan of hers. But… and it’s very fine margins, I think Malta has claimed my number one in the end. I’ve been fortunate enough to have followed Michela’s journey through X Factor Malta and attending the final in person. Malta are generally a country I like often in Eurovision and I’ve grown attached to Chameleon, which was previously second to Cyprus. It’s such a surprise banger given Michela’s usual ballad roots and it has a middle eight so good, that there’s two of them!
Who do you think will win?
I know there’s the obvious favourites like The Netherlands and Sweden, that will surely do well for their songs having commercial appeal and good vocalists. But I’m picking up a 2011 vibe to the contest this year. There doesn’t seem to be one clear choice and there’s several outsiders that can still pull out a swerve. If the vote splits between the men and ballads then something like a Malta, Greece or Italy could slip through. I wouldn’t discount Azerbaijan either after their rehearsal and Eleni like rise up the odds. Again that would be reminiscent of 2011 for another Baku contest. It’s hard to see past The Netherlands though, having been the consistent favourites for a while … and how long they’ve been waiting since their last win.
Who do you think will do better than expected?
There’s every chance Serbia could do really well. It has only that one tiny segment of English to to carry the message of the song. But that’s all it needs when there’s the emotional impact of Nevena’s vocal dancing across the Balkan violins. The staging in the rehearsal clips looks stunning as well with the astral projections which also convey the story of a love beyond the limits of time and space in the song. RTS have nailed one of the best packages that’s come out of the first week.
Who is your potential shock to not qualify?
I worry Norway could be the fan favourite and fan poll success that could potentially end up having a ‘Verona’ type result. It’s not like Norway aren’t predisposed to having shock results like this in their past, such as ‘Icebreaker’ and ‘Haba Haba’.
How do you think Australia will do and has it changed in your ranking?
I’ve been on the AUStronaut bandwagon for Kate since Aus Decides! ‘Zero Gravity’ has been in my top 10 consistently and during the rehearsals has creeped up to my 6th place. It’s been interesting to witness the change in perceptions from people that weren’t previously keen, now the visuals and staging has been upgraded. I think it can also come top 10 in the live final as well. The thing about Eurovision is that generally what does well is a competently sung song, one with a message that translates across the continents, is instantly remarkable and impactful to the casual audience at home and also has a good stage package to bring the whole concept together. Kate and ‘Zero Gravity’ achieve this on all counts. The imagery from the rehearsals with Kate and her flying ladies literally going into orbit is enough to convince me it’s striking enough to get the masses on their phones. That’s before Kate’s impeccable vocals are added into the mix with this electropera schlager bop.
Any other comments or predictions?
Other random predictions - one of Estonia or Finland will qualify and not both. It’s a similar concept to when there were both Macedonia and Serbia doing similar in 2017 - but both failed to qualify. Here though I do think it’ll be Estonia that’s the victor (excuse the pun!). It has the impressive visual that I saw at Eesti Laul and sits in a pack of quirky entries that might see it stand out with casual voters for being a safe choice. I also think Slovenia is coming for a ‘Blackbird’ style fan disappointment. It’s a song that only appeals to the niche ‘real music’ fans that are hyping it up. The interaction is very intense and off-putting. Despite the impressive visuals, it might be forgotten when Serbia outshines it. In semi-final 2 I still cling to the hope that Latvia can do the impossible from the odds like Slovenia last year. It is different for its Country vibe and stands out. There are 7 songs that seem to be the obvious qualifiers, so there are chances for the makeweight nations to pull out a shock. Something wild like Croatia and their angels could trigger the Jacques Houdek affect again and qualify. Similarly semi-final 1 has lots of rogue outliers that might get a surprise result with so many alternative choices and countries that usually struggle. I wouldn’t even put it past Georgia to do pull out a surprise. Most importantly though, enjoy the shows guys and good luck to Australia and Kate! Thanks for putting these ideas together and quizzing the jury on our updated thoughts - as well as exposing who we were! Haha!