Ranking the Songs of Eurovision 2015! Part 2: 30-21

This year’s Eurovision Song Contest will be upon us in a matter of weeks and, following Conchita Wurst’s victory in Copenhagen with ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’, the contest will take place in Vienna, Austria. Forty countries will take part in the annual singing competition, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2015. This year sees returns for Cyprus, Serbia and the Czech Republic, with Ukraine withdrawing for financial reasons. Also, as part of the anniversary, Australia, who are huge supporters of the contest, have been awarded a one-off guest invitation, meaning Eurovision will be bigger than ever before!

If you missed positions 40-31 you can find the post through the link here.

In this post, the second part, I will continue to count down my personal top 40 of this year’s contest and also will judge the chances of each of the competing nations. This part focuses on positions 30-21. Don’t forget that this is my own personal opinion and not affiliated with any other organisation (I’ve always wanted to write that!)

30) Romania – “De la capăt (All over Again)”
One of the most successful countries in the last few years at Eurovision, Romania has consistently been in the final but the last time they placed near the top of the leader board was back in 2010, where Paula Seling & Ovi finished third. However, this year doesn’t look as promising for this nation despite being represented by established band Voltaj. The song attempts to blend Romanian and English but the result is a somewhat tame attempt at pop-rock that never seems to completely take off. The message of the song is heart-warming and the story within the music video does elevate it, but when this is stripped away in Vienna the song alone may not be strong enough. I think that it will scrape through considering it is Romania’s entry but we could be looking at their worst result for several years.

DJ’s Prediction: 20-27th

29) FYR Macedonia – “Autumn Leaves”
Originally released in Macedonian, this was the first song of this year’s contest to be unveiled and it began to show its age before being revamped into English. The song is a sweet affair, with clichéd lyrics aplenty but still seems a tad forgettable after listening to all 40 songs. The one thing it does have on its side though is an up-tempo and feel-good melody that stands out from the unusually high number of ballads in this year’s competition. Macedonia have had an awful recent record of qualifying for the final; they have only managed to get through their semi-final once (2012) in the last seven years. This will be right on the boundary between qualifying and not qualifying but in a competitive semi this may sadly just miss the cut.

DJ’s Prediction: Out in Semi-Final

Daniel Kajmakoski

28) Armenia – “Face the Shadow”
After finishing 4th in last year’s contest, Armenia’s artist selection was probably the most innovative, bringing together six singers from across the world who had Armenian genes, hence the name of Genealogy. When it was released there was huge controversy over whether the song alluded to the Armenian Genocide (this year is the 100th anniversary of it) or not. With this much discussion over the song I expected more quality, especially since they brought together six artists who are relatively well-known. The song itself is a bit of a mess, almost giving the feeling that it is unfinished. The chorus lacks punch and the multiple artists representing different styles actually feel like a hindrance. Nonetheless it will probably do quite well considering Armenia’s record in the competition but I doubt that it will challenge for the top positions.

DJ’s Prediction: 7-12th

27) Lithuania – “This Time”
Lithuania’s entries in recent years have not been a huge hit with me and in my opinion a couple did not deserve their place in the Grand Final. Last year was an absolute disaster so I’m glad that they have turned it around and brought together two singers in what can be described as an upbeat country song. The artists do have chemistry and the song bounces along at a brisk rate but at the same time doesn’t really possess that much depth in the vocals. Judging by Lithuania’s recent record in Eurovision it seems likely that this will progress but I don’t think it will make much of an impact in the Final. Though it is so much better than the horror shows of the last two years.

DJ’s Prediction: 20-27th

26) Portugal – “Há um mar que nos separa”
Portugal is another country who, like Macedonia, hasn’t had the best of luck in Eurovision lately, last qualifying back in 2010. This year sees the departure of the traditional Fado and Latin music that was criticised for not being ‘modern’ enough and the entrance of Leonor Andrade’s light rock ballad. Light would certainly be the word I would use to describe this song, despite the beautiful title, which means ‘There’s a sea that separates us’. Leonor’s vocals in the national final were also quite weak, though whether nerves played a part was unknown. I personally like this song, despite it never really reaching top gear. If the live performance and song is sharpened slightly, we could be seeing Portugal in their first final for several years. However I have doubts as to whether this will be the case and if this song isn’t improved, I sadly can’t see it making the final.

DJ’s Prediction: Out in Semi-Final

Leonor Andrade

25) Norway – “A Monster Like Me”
CONTROVERSIAL VIEW ALERT!
Looking through Youtube videos and comments of fans on various social media, this entry would certainly rate amongst the favourites to win. Mørland and Debrah Scarlett present a classy yet slightly dark ballad that is boosted by one of the most stylish music videos in the contest however I just can’t seem to gel with this. The live performance in the national final was okay, if a bit stilted, but when I put it next to a similar song such as Iceland’s 2012 entry “Never Forget”, I find it less memorable and to be honest a tiny bit dull. Though this presents an alternative ballad to the ones that rely on power, this song could either go two ways in the results. It could either be a large success like Azerbaijan 2011 or could go the same way as other ballads that have been a fan favourite and struggle for points. At the moment I reluctantly say the former however I won’t be completely surprised if this only scrapes through to the Grand Final.

DJ’s Prediction: 1-6th

24) Azerbaijan – “Hour of the Wolf”
Last year Azerbaijan blotted their near perfect record in Eurovision with a dull ballad that finished towards the bottom of the leader board. This year they have elected to go with a former artist, Elnur Hüseynov, who represented them in 2008 and there is no doubt that he has a great voice. Unfortunately he is let down by a song that almost seems unfinished; the first couple of minutes drag and possess somewhat strange rhythms before Elnur sings for his life right at the end. This is somewhat unsettling to me, the lack of any real build up before the power is unleashed. I am in absolutely no doubt that this is an improvement on their 2014 car crash and will reach the left hand side of the leader board as his voice life will be great. However this is still weaker than their other attempts so I will be very surprised if Eurovision is off to Baku in 2016.

DJ’s Prediction: 7-12th

Elnur Huseynov

23) Germany – “Black Smoke”
In the previous instalment of this ranking and in Armenia’s entry I talked about the controversy in this year’s contest. None have been more shocking and controversial than the German national final, where the winner, Andreas Kummert, turned down the opportunity to represent his country, despite gaining a huge 78.7% of the televotes. Therefore Germany will be represented by Ann Sophie, marking the second successive year the wildcard act took the crown. Her song is another stylish number with hints of jazz present. Ann Sophie has a very unique voice and this carries the song, which to me, similar to last year, slightly lumbers along. This song’s success will ultimately come down to its position in the running order and how the viewing audience is feeling on the night. If these go against them then I can see a similar result to last year, where Elaiza came 18th, however is another who can challenge for the top 10 with a good performance.

DJ’s Prediction: 13-19th

22) Switzerland – “Time to Shine”
In recent years there have been a surge of mid-tempo songs with a female artist who sings about her determination to succeed. Mélanie René’s song certainly fits into that description as she talks about this being her time to come out and succeed. The slightly dark tone and the music accompanying this song certainly lift it slightly from the superficial and clichéd lyrics however I do worry about this song in the competition, especially being in a semi-final where 7 acts have to go home. Those mid-tempo female-sung numbers that I talked about above did not do particularly well last year as in one semi all but one of the eliminated acts had songs similar to this. Neither the staging in the national final nor her voice were anything special but one thing this song has on its side is that it is quite easy to remember. Despite this, I can’t see this doing as well as Sebalter did in 2014.

DJ’s Prediction: Out in Semi-Final

21) Australia – “Tonight Again”
First of all, I’d like to say a huge welcome to Australia to the contest and any Australian Eurovision fans who may be reading this ranking. Eurovision is truly about reaching out to countries with different cultures and languages to ourselves and I’m glad that they have been given a place in the 60th anniversary of the contest. The name of the artist was kept under wraps by the Australian broadcaster for several weeks, which lefts fans hugely excited as to who it was. For me, Guy Sebastian is a worthy representative of the nation and his voice and style of music is something different from the norm in the contest. Therefore it is a shame that the song doesn’t really hit it off with me, despite Guy’s soulful tones throughout. To me it almost sounds like an album track that is played towards the end of the CD. Despite this it will certainly be something different in the Final and Australia will definitely be getting many votes on their debut. However if this were to win I don’t think it would be entirely down to the song.

DJ’s Prediction: 7-12th

Guy Sebastian

What do you think guys? Do you agree with my opinions and if not, who would you put in the middle of the rankings? And who do you think is going to win the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest?

You can tell me in the comments section below!

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