Eurovision - The Grand Final Preview

Eurovision - The Grand Final Preview

Karl Fradgley

The big night is tonight.

The remaining 26 competing countries take to the stage in a glittery, bombastic, drama infused, musical battle for the coveted glass microphone .... but only one will emerge the champion of Eurovision 2017.

Italy has remained the strong favourite for months .... until yesterday when Portugal overtook Italy to become the bookies favourite. Portugal have never won in 40 years of trying. Italy last won in 1990.

Bulgaria has since closed on these two - Bulgaria have also never won and only qualified for the final twice before. In all this looks set to be a 3 horse race, but at Eurovision you just never know.

Tuesday and Thursday saw a bloodbath of semi-final selections. There were surprise qualifiers - looking at you Cyprus! and there were shock exits namely Finland who were outstanding on Tuesday.

There was also the not so shocking exit of Ireland - despite a brave performance of a dud of a song, this will be the 4th year in a row Ireland will not be in the grand final line-up.

The "how do we fix that for next year" is a whole other article but something really needs to be shaken up in RTÉ. The team working on the Irish entries is just not getting it right - on any level really.

Ireland maybe out but there is still plenty to cheer in tonight's show.

Israel opens proceeding and France closes the show with a dizzying visual. The six prequalified finalists get to show off their wares tonight.

Italy - "Occidentalis Kharma" - 2nd favourite and I would have said almost impossible to beat. Last years winner was dark this is up beat and fun - complete with dancing ape and all( it's a metaphor people). Its a been a massive hit on the continent and is officially the most watched Eurovision entry ever online.This would suggest Italy can't be beaten.

Ukraine - as hosts are automatically placed in the final. It's a rock song called "Time" and it's a strong entry, assured of a mid table result but nothing more, which is probably the desired result for the producers in Kyiv.

Spain - have not won since 1969 ... believe it or not they are not gonna win this year either. In face, I would say this is a contender for last place. "Do it for your Lover" is basic, boring rubbish and about as Spanish as sushi. With such a rich musical culture and history - Spain you should and could be doing much better than this .... really!

United Kingdom - "Never Give Up On You"

This is an interesting one. Wonderfully performed with pitch perfect staging this would be a serious contender in any other year. A top ten seems very likely for UK though. It's amazing what happens when you listen to the fans and start giving a s**t. - looking at you RTE! Great draw for this in the running order too and I wouldn't be surprised if UK break the top five. Bravo BBC.

Germany - "Perfect Life" .... it's perfectly fine but, as a buddy of mine said yesterday .... "she has the charisma of a packet of digestives"

Another bum result for Germany ..... where is Lena when you need her?

France - "Requiem"

France came 6th last year and another good result is on the cards this year. Alma sings this well and its gorgeously presented with a 360 view of rotating Paris by night. Taking the cliche and owning it ! Last in the running order will hamper France's chances though, which is a real pity - Eurovision in Paris would just be amazing.

So that's your lot folks. 42 songs previewed, 26 finalists for your pleasure and only 1 winner. So who is it going to be?

Portugal is my absolute favourite entry this year. I have been saying Italy will win by 100 points for weeks. Bulgaria have a real star on their hands .... I am sure it will be one of these three.

I am gonna stick with my original prediction and say Italy will do it. Portugal for second and Bulgaria third. That said .... I really really really want Portugal to win.

Enjoy tonight people .... I know I will :)

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