Eurovision ’22 – the Grand Finals are here – my predictions and observations!

OK it’s that time again – the Grand Finals of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest are about 90 minutes away, so it’s time for predictions – I blew it last year, so we’ll see how we do this year!

Here’s the running order of the grand final:

01  Czech Republic We Are Domi Lights Off English
02  Romania WRS Llámame English[d]
03  Portugal Maro Saudade, saudade English, Portuguese
04  Finland The Rasmus Jezebel English
05   Switzerland Marius Bear Boys Do Cry English
06  France Alvan and Ahez Fulenn Breton
07  Norway Subwoolfer Give That Wolf a Banana English
08  Armenia Rosa Linn Snap English
09  Italy Mahmood and Blanco Brividi Italian
10  Spain Chanel SloMo Spanish, English
11  Netherlands S10 De diepte Dutch
12  Ukraine Kalush Orchestra Stefania” (Стефанія) Ukrainian
13  Germany Malik Harris Rockstars English
14  Lithuania Monika Liu Sentimentai Lithuanian
15  Azerbaijan Nadir Rustamli Fade to Black English
16  Belgium Jérémie Makiese Miss You English
17  Greece Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord Die Together English
18  Iceland Systur Með hækkandi sól Icelandic
19  Moldova Zdob și Zdub and Advahov Brothers Trenulețul Romanian, English
20  Sweden Cornelia Jakobs Hold Me Closer English
21  Australia Sheldon Riley Not the Same English
22  United Kingdom Sam Ryder Space Man English
23  Poland Ochman River English
24  Serbia Konstrakta In corpore sano Serbian, Latin
25  Estonia Stefan Hope English

The biggest question today is “Will anyone from the Big Five upset the results?”

That answer could be “YES!” today.  Coming into the finals, there are three big five entries that have HUUUUGE fan support out there – France, Spain, and the UK (surprise!). Italy has also been doing well, but some fans don’t like the fact that Mahmood, who came thisclose to winning 2019’s contest, has teamed up with upstart Blanco for his song this year, and it’s hurting him in some pockets. Germany, despite having a good song, is an also ran this year, with minimal pockets of fan support.

Another question is “What did the Jury vote for?”, since the Jury vote scuttled no fewer than SEVEN fan favorites in the two semi-final rounds, favoring tunes from Switzerland, Moldova, and Iceland above fan-worshipped Albania, San Marino, and others.

It’s safe to say that five songs have solid support with the fans as potential champions:

Sweden – “Hold Me Closer”, Cornelia Jakobs

Norway – “Give that Wolf A Banana”, Subwoolfer

Serbia, “In corpore sano”, Konstrakta

Ukraine – “Stefania”, Kalush Orchestra

Portugal – “Saudade, saudade”, Maro

Of these five, I think the jury is least likely to go for Norway, although it will probably get one or two “douze points” from various countries. Ukraine, because of the ongoing invasion by Russia, will score some political points as well, just as they did in 2016 when “1943” by Jamala jumped into the lead and won at the last minute; Russia was then invading Crimea, a part of Ukraine. The jury also loves to give surprises out, and I think the biggest during the semis could be the same one during the grand finals – Switzerland. Despite general fan indifference (and some honestly out and out loathing) for their song, “Boys Do Cry” by Marius Bear, I think it will do far better in the televote than most people think it will, just as Portugal’s The Black Mamba did last year with their jury favorite “Love Is On My Side”, which the YouTuber ESC fans didn’t like at all but which finished high enough in the televoting to get the song a 10th place finish.

The one true unknown here is the United Kingdom – “Spaceman” by Sam Ryder has a HUGE fan following, just one year after the country got the first “nul points” score (0 from the Jury, 0 from the fans) at Eurovision in over a decade. The question is now if the Jury is behind the song as strongly as the fans – if the answer is yes, it could be a top five finisher; if not, it won’t make it any higher than 6th-10th most likely, at best.

So here we go – going strictly on my gut feeling based on what we know already from the fandom, how the televote tends to skewer at least two fan favorites, and how the judges have reacted to some of the surprises, here are my predictions:

TOP FIVE: (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

Sweden – “Hold Me Closer”, Cornelia Jakobs

Serbia – “In corporo sano”, Konstrakta

Ukraine – “Stefania”, Kalush Orchestra

United Kingdom – “Spaceman”, Sam Ryder

Spain – “SloMo”, Chanel

IN THE MIX BETWEEN 6TH-12TH: ( NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

Switzerland – “Boys Do Cry”, Marius Bear

Norway – “Give That Wolf A Banana, Subwoolfer

Australia – “Not The Same”, Sheldon Riley

Poland – “River”, Ochman

Greece – “Die Together”, Amanda Tenfjord

Portugal – “Saudade, saudade”, Maro

Lithuania – “Sentimentai”, Monica Liu

FAN FAVORITES GETTING SHAFTED:

The Netherlands – “Di Dipete”, S10 (from what I could tell during the semis, I got the distinct feeling she may have JUST barely squeaked through, but I could be wrong…)

France – “Fuleen”, Alvan and Ahez (Not feeling this as strongly from the televoters as from the YouTube contingent)

Estonia – “Hope”, Stefan (the country has a way of completely choking during the televote, although I admit, the top level song, as well as the stylish flair of the inspired Clint Eastwood-esque video could generate more support than I think it’s going to do)

So there’s my predictions – come by after the finals for my livestream and get all the dish on the show!

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