It’s Eurovision week! Fans and contestants are already in Rotterdam ahead of the grand final tonight (22 May).
As with each year, several acts have emerged as the favourites to win this year’s competition, from Italy to Iceland.
Let’s take a look at our personal favourites:
A 42-second clip of Italy’s entry, Måneskin, was posted on 15 May and has already racked up more than 350,000 views, which should give you an idea of just how much interest there is around this fantastic band. Their song, “Zitti E Buoni” is a high-octane rock song that shows off frontman Damanio David’s growling vocals. Before Eurovision, the band had already enjoyed success in their native Italy with their 2017 debut single, “Chosen”. Their debut album Il ballo della vita was released the following year and reached No 1 in Italy. The official music video for their Eurovision entry already has 21 million views on YouTube (half of those are me). After Mahmood came so close to triumph in 2018 with “Soldi”, it would be great to see a win for Italy this year.
France are competing this year with Barbara Pravi and her tender song “Voila”, which recalls some of the more understated James Bond themes. It features mournful violins and Pravi’s impressive voice, which is full of yearning. The carousel rhythm and her impassioned delivery both seem like direct references to one of France’s most famous singers, Edith Piaf.
The brilliant Destiny is representing Malta at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, with the empowering anthem “Je Me Casse”. The song includes a catchy but traditional folk hook built from a horns section (music fans might recall similar hooks proving successful for chart-toppers like Jason Derulo and Fifth Harmony), which could prove popular with judges. The video for “Je Me Casse” also includes some impressive visuals – if that translates to the live show, Malta could be on to a winner.
Switzerland are competing with a real-tearjerker, or Gjon’s Tears, to be exact. The 22-year-old singer-songwriter was due to compete in the 2020 competition but was prevented from doing so by the pandemic. Now he’s got another chance to impress the judges and the live audience, this time with his deeply affecting song, “Tous l’Univers”.
They’re back! Daði og Gagnamagnið were widely viewed as the big favourites to win Eurovision in 2020, going viral for their infectious song and dance routine for “Think About Things”. Fans were obviously gutted, then, when the competition was cancelled due to the pandemic. Fortunately the Icelandic band are here with yet another banger, “10 Years”, which includes a children’s choir and some snazzy new dance moves. We’re certain Daði og Gagnamagnið have a great chance at dancing their way back into the judges’ hearts.
And in case you were wondering, the UK is currently backed to finish last, with James Newman’s song, “Embers”.
Here’s the latest frontrunners and their odds from Ladbrokes:
Italy - 2/1
France - 10/3
Malta - 5/1
Ukraine - 15/2
Switzerland - 8/1
Iceland - 14/1
Finland - 20/1
Bulgaria - 28/1
Portugal - 33/1
San Marino - 33/1
The Eurovision semi-finals take place on 18 and 20 May. The grand final will be held on Saturday 22 May.