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 and 30-21 can be found here!

In this post, the third 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 20-11. Don’t forget that this is my own personal opinion and not affiliated with any other organisation (I’ve always wanted to write that!)

20) Greece – “One Last Breath
For the casual viewer who tunes in every year to the contest, they may be surprised to find out that Greece is being represented not by a scantily dressed woman performing an upbeat number or a bunch of bearded men in traditional Grecian outfits, but by a ballad. However this decision could backfire on them in a year where the majority of songs are in ballad form. Maria Elena Kyriakou definitely sings her heart out but something about the song is slightly off-putting, like there’s too many syllables crammed into a single line or the melody is slightly off. Greece has made the final every year since the introduction of the semi-finals but I worry about this entry. Many have predicted that they will make the final solely because it’s Greece but with their usual source of 12 points Cyprus taking part in the other semi-final, I think that this will be a shock to many (but not me) when it isn’t called out as one of the finalists.

Maria-Elena Kyriakou

DJ’s Prediction: Out in Semi-Final

19) Poland – “In the Name of Love
Another country to go in the complete opposite direction to last year is Poland, who many will remember for the ‘Slavic Girls’ and the scrubbing of the pan. This year however they have opted for an understated yet classy ballad performed by Monika Kuszyńska. The song may be on the clichéd side and isn’t one expected to stand out from all of the other ballad entries, but what makes this song so emotive is the fact that Monika will be the first wheelchair user to perform at Eurovision. Conchita’s victory last year has opened the door to further social change on the stage and whilst this is not expected to move past the semi-final, the fact that she is performing last in her semi could see her squeak through. However I think it may just miss out.

Monika Kuszynska

DJ’s Prediction: Out in Semi-Final

18) Czech Republic – “Hope Never Dies
This country surprised everyone by announcing its intention to take place in Eurovision this year, having not taken part since 2009. Their record at the contest is abysmal, with only 10 points achieved in the semi-finals by their three attempts combined. However with the pairing of Vaclav Noid Barta and Marta Jandova, they should smash their previous best. The song itself is in ballad form but does contain rock influences, with Vaclav’s voice being a particular highlight. However, though I think the song is good enough to reach the final, I’m not sure whether it stands out enough on its own to get the nation to its first ever final. But this is still a welcome return to the Czech Republic.

Vaclav and Marta

DJ’s Prediction: Out in Semi-Final

17) Ireland – “Playing With Numbers
Last year Ireland had a decent song and ruined it with a lacklustre live presentation; this year I hope that history won’t repeat itself, as once again they have a chance to reach the final. Their entry this year is sung by 17 year old Molly Sterling and is a piano based ballad with a minimalist feeling about it. In the national final there was just her playing the piano and a couple of backing vocalists and I hope that Ireland don’t meddle with this system as for me the lyrics are what makes the song (“While I played with white lies and fiction/Unbeknownst to you/I played the victim/Well that was the last time I faced you”). Many would say that this song is too dull to reach the final but I really hope the national juries can support this.

Molly Sterling

DJ’s Prediction: 20-27th

16) United Kingdom – “Still In Love With You
On to our Eurovision entry for 2015 and potentially the most annoying song of the contest, even worse than Moldova’s entry perhaps. In reaction to Molly only claiming 17th last year, the BBC have decided to pair together two people that the British public haven’t heard of and given them a song that is 50% swing, 50% electro and 100% cringe. I really hope that this escapes the bottom positions, but looking at the reaction to the song from the rest of Europe, I don’t think that will be the case sadly. What may work in its favour though is that, despite all that I have just said, it is a camp, cheesy and fun number that will certainly stand out from the endless ballads in the contest. However, I’m sure that whilst some of the viewers will get behind it, the national juries will slaughter it. This year, every position away from the bottom is a bonus.

Electro Velvet

DJ’s Prediction: 20-27th

15) Iceland – “Unbroken
A regular in the Grand Final in recent years, Iceland look to have another definite qualifier in Maria Olaf’s “Unbroken”. The song has hints of their 2009 entry which took second place and is a catchy upbeat number which will probably stand out from the large numbers of ballads this year. This entry gained controversy when it was announced that they were axing the backing dancers who competed in the national final, despite promising they would return. Maria’s voice and the song is good if not very special but this will still reach the final. This either has the potential to finish in the top 10 or the bottom 5, which is usually the case at Eurovision for this type of song. I don’t think the song is strong enough for the former though, but this deserves to at least be in the top 15.

Maria Olafs

DJ’s Prediction: 13th-19th

14) Estonia – “Goodbye to Yesterday
Ever since this song was first performed in the national final, many have tipped this to do well. In fact in the early weeks it was the favourite to win the whole contest, though it is slowly slipping down in the betting. This song tells the story of two people, Elina Born and Stig Rasta, who are coming to the end of a fractious relationship and the lyrics definitely reflect that, hinting at an almost violent relationship whilst mentioning mundane things such as smiling to the dog. The music video is really well done, probably one of the best in the contest. However for me personally, whilst the song is good and there is clear chemistry between the two performers, there is something missing. Maybe it is the vocals itself, for both artists have struggled slightly with the low notes, particularly Stig, which makes it hard to hear the lyrics at times. I hope that they keep the staging from the national final, which featured typical household items like a sofa and a lamp to reflect how the song can link to many relationships. This will no doubt do well in the contest and could challenge for victory, however I feel that it will fall short at the last.

Elina and Stig

DJ’s Prediction: 1-6th

13) Slovenia – “Here for You
Slovenia as a country in Eurovision has arguably never achieved the places that their songs deserve, perhaps the best example of that was in 2012, where Eva Boto finished only 17th in her semi-final despite being tipped to do very well and last year they came second bottom with a song that I thought deserved top 15 at least. This year they are one of several countries to approach the contest from a slightly different angle with Maraaya, a duo and married couple who have co-written songs in the contest before, including last year’s Slovenian entry. The singer of the duo, Marjetka Vovk, has a unique voice that helps to keep the song flowing nicely whilst giving it a quirky edge. The music is also quite easy to hum along to but like Estonia I can’t help feeling that something is missing in the song. However this should be aided by the interpretative dancer who will accompany them (look out for her, she’s amazing!) In spite of this and many believing this could be Slovenia’s best result for a while, I don’t think they are guaranteed to reach the final but I hope they do well.

Maraaya

DJ’s Prediction: 7-12th

12) Malta – “Warrior
The first entry on my ranking to have the name “Warrior”, this entry sung by Amber has undergone a bit of a transformation from the national final, which has received a mixed reception. For me it has helped the song as before it felt a bit hollow with Amber’s powerful voice the sole good point, but with the inclusion of string instruments this has been improved. It has only been improved somewhat though as I feel this is the weaker of the two Warriors, maybe because the power she gives off is slightly inferior to Georgia’s Nina. This wasn’t actually my favourite of their high quality national final (mine was Christabelle’s “Rush”) but it is still a good entry nonetheless. But unfortunately, in a year with many powerful female-led songs, this could get lost in the semi-final. I think it will just scrape through and maybe achieve a similar position to last year’s entry but this won’t really challenge the left hand side of the scoreboard.

Amber Bondin2

DJ’s Prediction: 20-27th

11) Belarus – “Time
This is yet another entry to have undergone a renovation since the national final, albeit only a small one. The song is performed by Uzari, who has previously composed Belarus’ 2014 entry for the Junior Eurovision song contest, and he is accompanied by violinist Maimuna. Almost having the violin as the backing track means this song is slightly unique in its nature this year as it is also a somewhat upbeat entry, especially in the last minute or so, where the beat becomes slightly infectious. Last year Belarus reached the middle of the leader board with a song that was like something Robin Thicke would throw into the bin so this entry could do well. I think this is their best entry since 2007, where they achieved 6th place with “Work Your Magic”. I hope that they make the staging interesting because that could be the deciding factor in whether they can reach the final or not.

Uzari and Maimuna2

DJ’s Prediction: 13-19th

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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