EURO­VI­SION FAVOURITES

Bray People - - ENTERTAINMENT -

IT'S Euro­vi­sion time again with the first semi-fi­nal tak­ing place in Den­mark next Tues­day night. Here are the ten favourites in the bet­ting (as ag­gre­gated on odd­schecker.com) … and what we think of them.

1. AR­ME­NIA: ‘NOT ALONE’ - ARAM

De­spite draw­ing the worst slot - it’s the first song in the first semi - this is the hot, hot favourite to lift the ti­tle Satur­day week. It builds from tin­kling piano to an in­tense crescendo, break­ing song­writ­ing con­ven­tion along the way (there's no real ver­se­cho­rus-verse struc­ture). Not an ob­vi­ous Euro­vi­sion win­ner then, but the book­ies should not be ig­nored.

2. SWE­DEN: ‘UNDO’ - SANNA NIELSEN

Nielsen fi­nally makes it to Euro­vi­sion af­ter seven at­tempts with a bal­lad that ticks a lot of Euro­vi­sion boxes: huge cho­rus, sim­ple lyrics, mod­ern sound not too re­moved from Mi­ley Cyrus’s ‘Wreck­ing Ball’. But will vot­ers find it all a bit too Swedish-hit-fac­tory pre­dictable? And will they look past the aw­ful pigeon English lyrics (‘undo my sad’)?

3. DEN­MARK: ‘CLICHÉ LOVE SONG’ - BASIM

For­mer Dan­ish X Fac­tor con­tes­tant Basim clearly wants to be Bruno Mars, but a song that starts ‘skuba duba dubda di­di­day, I love you’ just doesn't cut the mus­tard. Has an out­side chance but will surely an­noy too many people to suc­ceed.

4. UKRAINE: ‘TICK-TOCK’ - MARIYA YAREM­CHUK

The kind of sexy, catchy, europop that does well in Euro­vi­sion. And Ukraine could get a sym­pa­thy vote this year as well. Will do well.

5. NOR­WAY: ‘SILENT STORM’ - CARL ESPEN

The class act this year. A beau­ti­fully writ­ten bal­lad that has the po­ten­tial to win but de­pends on Espen’s per­for­mance which has been nervy to date.

6. UNITED KING­DOM: ‘CHIL­DREN OF THE UNI­VERSE’ - MOLLY

Molly Smit­ten-Downes is a bet­ter bet than Bon­nie Tyler or En­gel­bert Humperdinck but the UK needs to be five times bet­ter than ev­ery­one else to win, and this isn’t - al­though the cho­rus does stick. Only makes this top ten be­cause most of the book­ies are UK-based.

7. HUN­GARY: ‘RUN­NING’ - AN­DRÁS KÁL­LAY-SAUN­DERS

This guy can sing, and the tempo change in the cho­rus is in­ter­est­ing, but the sub­ject mat­ter (child abuse) and the stag­ing (it in­cluded a child and a teddy bear in the Hun­gar­ian fi­nal) will turn vot­ers off.

8. AZER­BAI­JAN: ‘START A FIRE’ - DI­LARA KAZ­I­MOVA

Nice, easy lis­ten­ing tune from the Baku singer and ac­tress Kaz­i­mova, but it’s un­likely this un­re­mark­able bal­lad will lift the crown.

9. RO­MA­NIA: ‘MIR­A­CLE’ - PAULA SEL­ING & OVI

Paula and Ovi fin­ished third in Euro­vi­sion 2010 on a pair of see-through pianos. ‘Mir­a­cle’ is a dance track that starts off well but be­comes a bit of a pro­duc­tion mess. They'll need more than trans­par­ent pianos this time around.

10. AUS­TRIA: 'RISE LIKE A PHOENIX' - CON­CHITA WURST

Strong of­fer­ing that sounds like a Bond theme, but un­for­tu­nately for Aus­tria, much of the fo­cus will be on the singer rather than the song. Wurst, born Tom Neuwirth, is a trans­gen­der artist whose par­tic­i­pa­tion has al­ready sparked a dis­taste­ful ‘bearded woman’ con­tro­versy.

Con­chita Wurst: Aus­tria’s en­trant has at­tracted hate cam­paigns on the in­ter­net

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