Liverpool Vision

Eurovision is being held in Liverpool, and it has been an amazing experience. The atmosphere in the city has been electric, with numerous events being held surrounding the contest ensuring that no-one is left out, even those who couldn’t get a ticket to the show itself.

Sadly, it all comes to an end today, but it will be a massive climax with the Grand Final at 8pm, live across Europe and beyond. 26 artists will compete on behalf of their country to secure the Eurovision crown and the honour of hosting next year.

Here are the ones I think you should watch out for.

FINLAND – Käärijä – Cha Cha Cha

Finland’s entry Käärijä is very charismatic, and has had the crowd eating out of his hand at every performance I’ve seen. This can be seen in the video above, and in this performance at the Eurovision Village, where he got a crowd hyped up and chanting “Cha Cha Cha” – no mean feat when you’re performing in Finnish. I think it will play well in the Televote.

He also brought his own mobile Sauna to Liverpool, where he convinced Slovenia’s band to strip to their undies. Which was nice.

SWEDEN – Loreen – Tattoo

The bookies’ favourite, but (whisper it) I don’t really care for it that much. Loreen stormed to victory in 2012 with Euphoria, and a lot of the hype around her seems to be based on previous form. She is a genuine Eurovision legend, but I’m not sure she’ll win.

SLOVENIA – Joker Out – Carpe Diem

Slovenian indie rock? YES! Their song, Carpe Diem is quite catchy, and at the second semi-final the bf and I (in the arena) got very invested in their success. I’m convinced you can hear Ben yelling “SLOVENIA!!!” on the live broadcast. Bonus points for recording an English version but then deciding to enter with the original Slovene instead.

I have warmed to them immensely since they released a behind the scenes video a few days ago, which made them look like a great bunch of lads who are having a fantastic time.

GERMANY – Lord of the Lost – Blood & Glitter

Germany have taken a cue from Lordi and sent an industrial metal band to the contest. No masks, but some leather gear that wouldn’t look out of place in a “specialist” Berlin club, and some seriously impressive staging. Germany hasn’t had much luck in the song contest in recent years. This is so different to any other song in the lineup that it will stick in the audience’s memory – always useful when it comes to vote time.

CROATIA – Let 3 – Mama ŠČ

According to Wikipedia: “In December 2006, the band was sanctioned by police after performing naked at an open-air concert in Varaždin. The band’s defence that they had not been naked because they had corks in their anuses did not convince the judge.”

They have promised that they will perform their winner’s reprise in the nude if they are victorious. Probably just as well that this is unlikely to win. It is certainly one to add to the long list of… um, let’s say “memorable” Eurovision acts.

MALTA – The Busker – Dance (Our Own Party)

Honourable mention for The Busker, who didn’t make it past the semi-finals stage against some very tough competition.

Whoever wins tonight, it has been a fantastic few days here in the city. I will write more about my experiences of Eurovision week in the days to come.