With days to go until the big night in Stockholm, we thought it appropriate, nay necessary, to compile our favourite entries of the competition. The Eurovision Song Contest is world famous for bringing the camp, something which is distinctly lacking this year. This year’s common theme seems to be big, dance tracks, which always go down well in the arena. Of course there’s the obligatory 80s power ballads (FYR Macedonia and Poland) and the twinky boy band (Denmark) and on the whole, everyone has brought their A game this year. Here’s our top picks…
Sergey Lazarev – You Are The Only One (Russia)
Who? Sergey Lazarev is a former member of Russian pop duo Smash!! and is famous in his home country for hits like Obsession. Russia is looking like the one to beat this year. Yes, the lyrics may be daft (“thunder and lightning, it’s getting exciting”) but when did the words ever matter in Eurovision? The song itself is a huge pop track, with a pounding baseline that leads you right up to a thunderous chorus. His dress rehearsals have looked MAJOR, complete with dance routine and expensive staging. And Sergey is easy on the eyes too, which won’t hurt his chances.
Agnete – Icebreaker (Norway)
Who? She has had number ones in her native Norway as the lead singer of Tha BlackSheeps, a punk band. She also won the Norwegian version of Strictly Come Dancing, Skal vi danse? Icebreaker is full of pounding drums and dramatic strings, both of which compliment Agnete’s great voice. The song also has an interesting structure – the chorus is somewhat restrained, compared to the build, which is a classic dance banger. Our favourite!
Joe and Jake – You’re Not Alone (UK)
Who? Joe Woolford and Jake Shakeshaft were both solo contestants on the fourth series of The Voice UK. They became a duo after the show ended and went on to be chosen to represent the UK via the BBC’s Eurovision: You decide. You’re Not Alone is a great little pop song – think One Direction in the early days, with a rocky twist. It’s a song that builds so the lads will need a big performance on the night to get everyone on their feet by the end.
Douwe Bob – Slow Down (Netherlands)
Who? Douwe Bob is folk singer-songwriter. He is also the son of Simon Posthuma, who with The Fools famously created costumes for the likes of The Beatles and The Hollies. Bob’s effort for the Netherlands, Slow Down, isn’t your typical Eurovision fare; it’s a cool, laid-back guitar song that wouldn’t sound out of place on an indie band’s album. A refreshing change from all the electronic stuff this year.
Donny Montell – I’ve Been Waiting For This Night (Lithuania)
Who? Donny Montell previously represented his country in the contest back in 2012, but was beaten by Sweden’s Loreen and her absolute banger, Euphoria. His real name is Donatas Montvydas (ooh!) His entry for this year reminds us of a Joe McElderry or Westlife track, and looking at the track record for pop in Eurovision, that is by no means a negative.
Dami Im – Sound Of Silence (Australia)
Who? Dami Im is a Korean-Australian singer who won the Aussie version of The X Factor in 2013. She is one of the country’s biggest artists and became the first X Factor contestant to follow up a number one single with a number one album on the ARIA Charts. Sound Of Silence, the second-ever Australian entry to Eurovision, is quite stunning. Sounding like Sia’s little sister, the drama of it mixed with Dami’s enormous pipes stand it in good steed (although Oz’s rookie status may go against them.)
The Eurovision Song Contest takes place on May 14.