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Blog: Moving SloMo To Space

We have now heard and seen all 40 songs that will take part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022.

Let me be frank, this year’s show is a slow burn. Semi Final 1 is pedestrian. Semi Final 2 is bonkers. The Grand Final will be excellent.

Only Ukraine and Greece are bringing anything vaguely new to the table and effective for the first show. Norway are maybe up there, I doubt it personally, but the wolves are competitive on Tuesday but not Saturday with so much else that is excellent. Greece will also get swallowed up there.

Ukraine would, but we know the reasons why juries and televoters are looking to give Ukraine a decent score. The consensus in the community is that Ukraine needs 150 to be in the mix. That’s roughly 4 points per country. Keep an eye out for that. The shortening to a price under 1.8 is more because of other favourites drifting. Of the top 5 Italy, Sweden and Spain have drifted in the odds, resulting almost by default in Ukraine’s price creeping in.

Tuesday is so poor in comparison to what Ukraine bring (which, remember, isn’t an odds-on favourite for how well the song is perceived) that it’ll be interesting to see how Ukraine does with the wider world. Is it deemed to be a winner as the best thing on Tuesday or instead do others question what all the fuss is about? For those opposing Ukraine it’s going to be a brave game because my feeling is that those watching on Tuesday will lap it up compared to the rest and also because ⅘ of the Big 5 are now drawn first half. A late drawn Ukraine is a scary prospect.

The one song we know in the second half is the United Kingdom. Sam Ryder is the superstar. When he throws his head back, grabs the guitar and let’s rip it is one of the iconic moments of the year. He looks exactly like the next generation of UK mega star and the comparison I made on the podcast to Salvador Sobral I do not make lightly. He is at one with the music and is so ridiculously likeable. Ultimately people vote for a character and there is no character more cool and talent-show-dreamy this year. I doubt the televote appeal despite this - TikTok stats were woeful for the UK’s first rehearsal and he should be smashing it there. Sadly the UK doesn’t have a semi final before it to get a buzz and it still needs a kick to get over the line. But it should be there and will be a moment of the show. Enough to convince swing voters to get 200 televotes is still the dilemma.

Spain should also be there and the drift out to 30s on the outright one I think is too pessimistic. If the high street bookmakers equally move out this is a brilliant e/w opportunity. You may shout fanwank at me but Chanel performs it too well to be dismissed and this is a world class routine, better than ANYTHING we have seen like this since. First half draw is a downer but I can’t see this anywhere else other than 12th - you can’t let anybody sing after Chanel because she eats the stage for breakfast.

But what has happened with the Italians? The season’s megahit song has capitulated on rehearsal footage. Vocally abysmal yes, but we expected that. The problem is the lack of chemistry between Mahmood and Blanco, and they are lit up completely cold without any warmth. And yes, they can turn on the charm when it matters but too much of the lighting is frantic and showing off the stage rather than letting us connect with them. I wish it was just two singers in the spotlights and we just followed them for three minutes. Could be value later on but based on this performance a Francesco Gabbani result is more likely than a Måneskin.

I still stick to the fact that this show is top heavy, with some semi finalists clambering through that will rely on diaspora support or jury support alone and if you are missing either of them there could be some zeroes from the Grand Final televote.

If pushed now I think the Italian victory is forcing its way out of contention, and I bring Ukraine, Spain and the United Kingdom into those top three slots. Poland, Italy, Sweden are fighting 4th to 6th and then there’s a huge gap to the rest.

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