Dusseldorf/Turin The Ukrainian Kalush Orchestra is the big favorite going into the ESC final on Saturday in Turin. We tell you who the biggest competitors are, where Germany could end up and what else will be exciting.
Around 200 million people will again be rooting for the audience on Saturday evening (ARD, 9 p.m.) when 25 nations compete for victory in the 66th Eurovision Song Contest. The ESC final in Turin will be shrill and colorful as usual, but also offers many calm tones and is given a special political dimension by the Ukraine war. We present ten performances that you should pay particular attention to.
The political choice If you believe the betting odds, the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 is (almost) already certain. The idea behind this is that the solidarity with Ukraine after the Russian war of aggression is so great that it will also be reflected in the jury and telephone voting. The music fades into the background. Unfortunately. Because “Stefania” by Kalush Orchestra is a wild mixture of folk, hip-hop, dance routines and colorful costumes. That would also go down well with the audience at a “normal” ESC, but not win. The song is a bit too bulky for that.
The men’s duet In other times, the chances of an Italian host victory would not be bad. Mahmood & Blanco’s Brividi is an emotional duet about the freedom to love that avoids the kitsch trap with its high level of performance. Mahmood already showed in Tel Aviv in 2019 that he knows how to be successful at the ESC. At that time he just missed out on victory with “Soldi” in second place.
The Spaceman Great Britain is unusual this year, especially when it comes to the quality of the contribution. In the recent past, the motherland of pop liked to fight with Germany for the penultimate place, Sam Ryder (“Spaceman”) is one of the most promising participants at this ESC. The TikTok star (12 million fans) stands in a glittering pants suit between a flashing steel frame and sings about what it would be like to be in space. That will surely earn him the best British ESC result in many years.
Quiet tones In general, this year it seems to be an ESC of soft tones. Many countries rely on strong ballads. Nuances will probably decide whether it is enough for one of the front or rear seats. One of the most promising contenders for a surprise hit is the Dutch singer S10, who calls her song “De Diepte” an “Ode to Sadness”. A very reduced appearance with an incredible amount of feeling.
The tried and true The Swedes are full professionals of the Eurovision Song Contest. With enormous effort, the Scandinavian country looks for its participants every year. Cornelia Jakobs performs in Turin with “Hold Me Closer”, a perfectly produced pop song, which also has that special something that Swedish contributions have been missing a little lately. Jakobs sings in a smoky voice about the end of a relationship and is strongly staged. This is reminiscent of the great successes of the Swedes, who last won in 2015.
the aliens The neighbors from Norway, on the other hand, come across as wonderfully crazy. According to their own account, subwoolfers are two aliens who sing about giving the wolf a banana before it eats the grandmother. In the background, an astronaut plays the beats of the simple electronic song. Certainly won’t win a songwriter award, but in an otherwise very serious vintage it stands out 100 percent.
The repeat offenders The punk rockers from Zdob și Zdub are at the ESC for the third time. At the first Moldovan participation in 2005, the band landed a surprise success with the song “Boonika bate toba” (Eng.: Grandmother beats the drum) and took sixth place. In 2011, “So Lucky” was enough for twelfth place in Düsseldorf. This time the band has secured the support of a Moldovan folk music duo. The result (“Trenetul”) is somewhere between a village folk festival and a rock concert and didn’t let anyone sit still in the hall even in the semi-finals.
The Old Stars The most famous participants of this year’s ESC come from Finland. The Rasmus landed a world hit in 2003 with “In the Shadows”. Their competition entry “Jezebel” is a good song that doesn’t quite match the band’s greatest successes. The fact that the alternative rockers around singer Lauri Ylönen are still great live artists is also shown in Turin.
The clean one “In corpore sano” by Konstrakta stands out from pretty much everything else that can be seen on the ESC stage. The Serbian sits on a chair, washes her hands again and again and describes the fear that arises in people when they subordinate everything to health. The song, which is partly sung and spoken in Latin, looks like an art performance, but also has an almost hypnotic effect.
And Germany? For the German candidate Malik Harris (“Rockstars”), the main thing on Saturday is not to end up at the bottom. The 24-year-old son of ex-talkmaster Ricky Harris doesn’t have a bad song and his intimate performance is better than some of what Germany has already presented on stage at the ESC. The prognosis: It will be less embarrassing than the voluntarily (Jendrik, 2021) and involuntarily (S!Sters, 2019) comic appearances of the past few years. For a good result, the song is unfortunately not special enough in a strong field.
Here is the photo gallery: These participants are in the final at the ESC 2022 in Turin
#Eurovision #Song #Contest #beat #Ukraine #ESC