Someone has looked at a whole bundle of ratings and come up with a Top 37 for Eurovision 2014. It's also a quick way to remind yourself of who does what.
I won't spoil the surprise as to the Top 3 but if Poland make #10 in the real thing I will be amazed! Apart from that, and a couple of much lower placings than I would predict for Denmark and Azerbaijan, each of which I reckon stands a serious chance of winning, this is an interesting little guide.
This is, of course, definitely not an Official Top 37! There won't ever be a Top 37 - just a Top 26 once the Semi Final eliminations have been completed. So Georgia won't actually be #37. Call Katie, folks, and see if she's free for 2015.
Armenia still stand as favourites but Sweden is now firmly established as a challenger, Armenia's odds widening while Sweden's narrow. The host country, Denmark, though have seen the greatest move and I still think they have the catchiest number and stand a very good chance of achieving the double.
United Kingdom look like having their best finish for years. Top 7 would seem pretty sure as things are at the moment. The lyrics really are terrible, though. At least Denmark admit to clichés.
After listening to the main contenders again today I see Azerbaijan and Belgium doing better than current predictions and, in particular back Spain and The Netherlands for surprise Top 10 places. Armenia will be up there, for sure, but I don't think it is at all clear who will win this year.
Betting odds shown are digital and from Betfair at 5pm BST today.
According to the Eurovision.tv official site, this is where the contest will be held this year. What an ugly couple of buildings! I can only presume the (uncredited) photographer has found a strange rear view or something. No doubt beautifully furnished and decorated inside but if acts arrive and get this as a first view expect to see some gloomy faces at rehearsals.
The latest movements in betting odds for this year. Armenia still way out in front but Sweden has closed considerably with a good song by probably the prettiest girl in the competition. Nice to see United Kingdom with a predicted #5 place.
My own predicted Top 10, before allowing for good neighbourly voting, is:
Denmark Sweden Armenia UK Azerbaijan Belgium Spain Netherlands Germany Norway
You may notice an absence of Balkan nations here. Only Slovenia has a hope. Neither Serbia nor Bosnia Herzegovina have entered and they usually do pretty well and collect votes from each other. Macedonia and Montenegro have dreadful performances this year. That may well mean that Slovenia do well, collecting good votes from all their friends as the only viable entry for the region. so they may make the Top Ten.
I have also put in Spain and Netherlands, both distinct outsiders at the moment. Spain have the excellent Ruth Lorenzo performing their track and I am sure she will do much better than the bookies seem to think. Netherlands have a really cool folksy track that reminds me of Alison Krauss & Robert Plant. It is actually one of the few interesting and really well-written songs. Belgium have another - a bit old-fashioned but it's another one where if the guy performs really well then it will get loads of votes.
If I have to drop one to let Slovenia in due to neighbourly voting then it would be Germany. Their girls may not meet with everyone's approval, although it's a good entry.
'I love a cliche love song'. Great line for Eurovision. There is a Bruno Mars feel about this, not that he would want to admit to having anything to do with this. Just as you thinkit's over, it starts up again. Quite a good track, actually. It's fun and, if well-performed livethis is lmost certain to make the Top 10. Win? Maybe, It could do as well.
This is a classy performance and a well-written song too. Germany really have got the general idea of this competition now. I can't see this winning and it may be a bit too left field to get support across the board but I wish them well.
I have posted the video before but if I add it here it will get considered on the same level and at the same time as the others. It is one of our better entries, for sure. It does need that echo, though, and a fatter sound that I can't see being achieved easily on the Eurovision stage live. 'Power To The people' always gets at least a few votes from people around the world so Molly will be safely lifted up at lkeast to the left hand side of the board. I see us making Top 10 this year and, yes, it has an outside chance if she performs really really well and several others don't
Please. I want to have a moustache. No I don't. We have a singer that Jedward's PR people should sue and some very nice girls doing some dancing and that is about it. Oh, there's a song. But it's rubbish.
Well, it has taken all this time but the penultimate track that I hear sounds like the one that really could make it. It helps that I have total confidence in the singer, X Factor 2008's Ruth Lorenzo, who will always be remembered for her marvellous Purple Rain so we have half of this track Dancing In The Rain put safely home already. She is a great singer and this is also a brilliant song that will appeal across many mentions. perhaps the younger fans won't vote for her but this the one to challenge Armenia. She made 5th place in X Factor. She might make Top 5 again.
One of the few genuinely sexy performers, this girl does Italy proud with a strong performance but it's a bland song. Better than very many and they should pick up the youth vote that Denmark haven't already bagged.
This is a nice, pleasant track and the twins are certainly nice to watch. Russia almost always has to have a 'thing' and this year it's pretty identical twins. Beats old grannies. The song lacks something special to take it to the top but it should make the Top 10, politics permitting!
Almost Country in places. A well-written song. another Mumford & Sons number. I like this and it may catch on. The bit where the girl sings on her own needs to be better tuned. She sort of spoils it but otherwise does well.
Pretty scary stuff from a not particularly attractive singer with little on, clutching a sabre and talking of skinning you. Strong but no, not a contender, although it will have some votes for sure.
A very plaintive sound and darkness surrounds this track like one of their detective TV series. You do have to stop and listen to this and I don't know whether people will do that for long enough at Eurovision. A good song, certainly, and well sung but I can't see it being very popular. Norway will get plenty of votes, however, but it isn't likely to be enough to win. A good Top 10 bet, though.
Good gracious. This is odd. Let's all go back to the woods and play strange folk music, yodel and just be out of tune 'cos it's cool to do that. In 1967 this might have been played a few times on a pirate radio station. I can only imagine that they;re deliberately confusing us now and will actually do a tremendous job on the night. they will all invest at the current 1000-1 odd and make a fortune and buy Russia. Well, the Crimea, perhaps.
Ha ha! This will probably not even make it to the Finals! A not very pretty girl tells us how Slavic girls know how to use what their mamas gave them. Some nicer girls in the video but I would run a mile from the singer! Fun video for the men but this stands no chance at all!
Pretty girl with a beard. All good transexual stuff, I suppose. Not the best of tracks and, without a cool video, I can't see this doing a great deal. The audience may need prior warning.
This little nation never sees to get off the ground in Eurovision. With this track, called Attention someone has made an effort. the singer is pretty good but it stops and starts and is difficult to listen to for long. So, right hand side of the board again, if they even make it there. Which I doubt.
Now this is how you write music. Much better. A little bland at the start but it may catch enough voters on the panels with its rhythm and not upset them too much with its Festival-style romp at the end. I like this track. Could be a contender if voters are in a rocking mood.
Just about every year, excluding the chicken, Ireland have come up with an impressive song and mostly very good singers who can hold a note and a tune. Jedward spoilt a super song a couple of years ago. This is also well-written, about water again as it happens, but is it maybe just a bit too bland? It needs some build-up, something to remember it by later. Something is missing. Which is a pity. They should make the Final but I don't expect much more.
Another ex-USSR state with a pretty girl up front. I am not too sure what the blonde is doing but there you go. It is a crazy song. Typical Eurovision rubbish. It will appeal to quite a few I fear, a bit like Greek tracks used to. I really don't want to her it again although the girl can appear s often as she likes.
This is pretty horrible. I thought it might be another girl with a beard. She certainly looks pretty masculine and sounds that way too but I am no expert in these matters. Dreadful song that is hopefully going to fall at the Semis ad never be heard again unless you happen to have found this post several years from now. In which case, I apologise now.
The Swiss are doing catchy well with this one. Every year there are tracks that sort of take you by surprise on the night by being either particularly well-performed when they hadn't been before or by just grabbing the voters on the night and nearly winning, or reaching #4 when you'd never thought they'd get more than 4 points. This is one of those, in my view. Banjos and whistling are always good in Eurovision.
This is one country that always seems to be in the competition and always makes the left hand side of the board, often the Top 10. They have a knack for getting the beat right and appealing to people. This is modern, disco stuff by some decent-looking guys. It is not going to be everyone's cup of tea but I can see them getting a good pile of votes. On a night when there was no clear leader this might stand a chance. As it is, I doubt it. Edge of Top 10, let's say.
They haven't had much success so far. This should bring them to people's attention. It's a nice track, well-performed and runs along well. I doubt if it has got what's needed to win but I would expect to see it collecting a decent number of votes across the board. Nice.
At last. It's a Miracle. No that's the title. But after listening to a lot of dreadful stuff it is quite nice to get something along that actually does stand some chance of doing well. This is good. It is catchy and modern, with plenty of electro stuff to satisfy those that like that sort of thing. I reckon I have seen both these performers before. They're competent, too. I give this a chance. Not stunning but it has a chance.