Saturday, May 16, 2009

My prediction for Eurovision final (Saturday)

I fared reasonably well with my top three prediction last year (I got the top two right, and my tip for third came sixth) so I'm going to be a bit more ambitious this time round and attempt the top five. Almost certainly a recipe for disaster, for as much as there's a red-hot favourite this year, the lower placings are very difficult to predict. For a long time I'd been feeling confident that, with both an extremely favourable draw and the Andrew Lloyd-Webber factor, the UK were set fair for a top five placing, but I'm now starting to get cold feet about that after the reports from today's rehearsals. Inexplicably, the juries vote after the final rehearsal, meaning that 50% of the vote is settled on the basis of something the audience don't actually get to see (can't be justified, surely?), so a less-than-perfect performance today may well have dented Jade's chances significantly. So, with that in mind, here's my wild stab in the dark...

Winners - Norway
2nd - Greece
3rd - Bosnia-Herzegovina
4th - Iceland
5th - Portugal

Possible dark horses - UK, Malta

I know I said last night that I thought we were heading back to Athens, and I'd stand by that if only Greece hadn't received such a significantly worse draw than Norway. I still personally don't fully understand the appeal of the Norwegian song, but there are times when a consensus of opinion is so strong you just can't ignore it.

I still can't make up my mind who I'll be voting for myself - with my personal rule of always voting for an entry entirely sung in a language other than English, it'll be either Portugal or Estonia, but on the basis of the semi-final performances they're quite evenly-matched for me. But my heart will be with the superb Icelandic entry all the way.

Of course, the fascination of tomorrow night will be to see how the new voting system works in practice. I suspect that although the political voting patterns will be somewhat diluted, they'll still be very noticeable. Let's not forget that Greece and Cyprus used to regularly swap 12 points even in the days when the voting was 100% jury.

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