I'm having a quiet hour in the press centre with some associates and it's nice and quiet. A bit like the first Sunday. We're discussing what could win - more later - and determining the merits of cherry, feyxoa and pear fizzy pop. It's all very pleasant. And like the lull before the car crash that takes place at midnight local time.
Anyways, what could win? We're finding possible reasons for pretty much every song. I was working for another parish in the Crystall
Loreen has been a favourite among the fannage for months and while she's not the best singer, it's a very modern progressive song and will be a summer hit all over Europe. Serbia's Zeljko (Dennis Waterman of Belgrade if you will) is a solid performer. He'll mop up large amounts of votes from his end of Europe, and he's on late in the draw. And Pastora sings the arse out of her very very good ballad.
But what else could there be in the final mix on that lucky left side of the scoreboard? The grannies will do well. Maybe not win. But will do well. Iceland has arguably the best song from the Nordic area of Europe. It's dramatic and a contrast to the aforementioned grannies before it. Estonia (mu isumaa, mu õnn ja rõõm) has always been my own personal favourite this year. Ott can not only carry a tune in a bucket, he can do it without spilling a drop and place it deftly in one of those water containers you used to see on 'Jeux sans frontieres'. Fingers crossed he'll be there in the final mix.
Turkey was the big crowd favourite on Thursday night. He sells a humdrum Turkey-by-numbers song very well and it's full of gimmicks that seem to work. Don't be surprised if the audience reaction bumps this up a few notches. Jedward are Jedward. Mad as toast and bouncing around the stage after what must be several litres of fizzy red pop. Getting wet on stage is fraught with problems and could go horribly horribly wrong. But they have a huge fan base all over Europe and might be up there too. Ukraine has sent its anthem for Euro 2012 and is upbeat, catchy and will have the crowd on its feet.
Onto the rest of the rest of the big five plus one: Engelbert is saddled with too early a draw to win. But like Jedward he is a known name all over this great continent of ours and might mop up some middle order votes here and there. Anggun (10 dollar) seems to be doing too much with this. It's busy busy busy and gymnasts doing things with boxes just doesn't work. Italy is a class act. She's confident, professional and knows what she's doing. A contest in Turin would be very nice. Azerbaijan have gone down the respectable-yet-won't-win road. A very wise choice as winning two years in a row is never advised. Sabina'll do well on home turf, but we won't be here next May. Germany had a world beater of a song when they got here. Great performance, genial singer, good pedigree. But somehow it gets lost immediately after Spain. Fair play to ARD and the other big five broadcasters for really raising their gamesthis year, but it ain't going to Germany.
The other songs I've not mentioned are also all in with a slim chance. You have your favourites - I have mine. We know it's going to be a darn good show tonight. We're going to have the winner we deserve, just as we do every year. We're going to look forward to going to [insert city name here] in 2013 and doing it all over again.
If I don't manage to blog before the show, enjoy it, sing along, dance around, drink your fill. And I'd like to thank you all for reading my musings over the weeks.
I love ya all