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It’s May and that means only one thing: Eurovision.
This year we at Vada have teamed up with the Terrence Higgins Trust in aid of their Eurovision Party Fundraiser to bring you our annual Top 10 – as voted for by a guest jury.
This year we welcomed back former Mr Gay Australia David Francis and were pleased to be joined by Gustav Dahlanden, Sweden’s Melodifestivalen expert who blogs for the international fan base, alongside the folks at the Terrence Higgins Trust.
Eurovision 2018 is being hosted for the first time in Lisbon, following Portugal’s victory in Kiev with Salvador Sobral’s song “Amar Pelos Dois”.
After last year’s fallout between host Ukraine and Russia, we see Russia return from a year’s absence with Julia Samoylova singing her song “I Won’t Break”. Russia of late have really thrown a lot at winning the contest for a second time and will be hoping the artist banned from performing in Ukraine will take victory this year.
Among the returning artists, Lisbon welcomes 2009 winner Alexander Ryback. Under the combined jury-tele vote Ryback holds the record score of 387 points with his song “Fairytale”, representing Norway.
Australia is back for a fourth time with Jessica Mauboy, who performed “Sea of Flags” as the interval act in Copenhagen. This year she’s hoping to better Australia’s second place position in 2016 with her song “We Got Love”.
This year is a wide-open contest with multiple frontrunners. The bookies initially backed Israel’s Netta with her song “Toy”. France’s Madam Monsieur was also an early leader with their song “Mercy”. Ryback also bounced back from early critics to be considered a frontrunner once again.
In the semi-finals, Cyprus represented by Eleni Foureira, and her song “Fuego”, became a high-riser in the bookies’ odds to take the crown.
Finland’s Saara Aalto, who found fame in both Finland’s version of the Voice and the UK’s X Factor, is a strong contender with her song “Monsters”. If we look at other songs, Sweden’s Benjemin Ingrosso and his song “Dance You Off” won both the public and international jury vote in Sweden’s national selection.
The last two times this has happened, Sweden went on to win the contest with Loreen’s “Euphoria” and Måns Zelmerlöw’s “Heores”. If Sweden win they will tie with Ireland for the nation with the most Eurovision wins.
In the first semi-final we witnessed, Azerbaijan missed out on the final for the first time since they entered the contest 10 years ago. Ireland finally qualified for a final for the first time in five years with former Britain’s Got Talent finalist Ryan O’Shaughnessy and his song “Together”. The Czech Republic have qualified for their second final in six attempts over 10 years. Mikolas Josef will be performing “Lie to Me”. Josef hasn’t had a smooth ride having had a hospital visit after a back-flip went wrong.
The second semi-final saw yet more drama. Firstly, prior to the show, the EBU (Eurovision Broadcast Union) announced they had withdrawn broadcasting rights from Chinese broadcaster Mongo after they censored two acts during the first semi-final.
Ireland with their same-sex dancers was censored as was Albania, due to the artist having visible tattoos which was a breech of Mongo broadcasting rules. Further to this, the final will be without Romania and Russia, as they joined Azerbaijan in losing their 100% qualification record.
Romania are represented this year by The Humans with their song (ironically named in hindsight) “Goodbye”. Ukraine now remain the only nation to have a 100% final qualification record after MELOVIN qualified with his song “Under The Ladder”.
From what we’ve seen so far, no song has the title of Eurovision winner in the bag and with the split jury and televote being announced separately, it could turn into quite the tense night.
You can help raise money for the Terrence Higgins Trust by hosting your own Eurovision party . Click the link to download your fundraising pack.
Below are the results of our annual public and jury vote:
Eurovision will be broadcast live tomorrow on BBC1 from 8pm.