The Eurovision season is well underway, with songs from Albania and Spain already chosen and the six UK hopefuls unveiled to the world. There’s plenty of activity elsewhere in the continent (and beyond) and here we take a look at some of the songs that you could well be seeing on your television on a Saturday this May.
FRANCE: ‘Roi’ – Bilal Hassani
The next country to choose its song for Europe will be France tonight. Over the last few years the French have seen their Eurovision fortunes improve drastically, and as a result they have a prime time Saturday night national final with high production values and a diverse range of songs. A couple of songs have had some buzz amongst the Eurovision fan community, but the distant favourite must surely be Bilal. With over 5 million YouTube views before the final has even taken place, a dedicated social following and an emotional song about self-acceptance all of the hype is with ‘Roi’ and unless there is a major upset, the competition must surely be wrapped up.
ROMANIA: ‘Army of Love’ – Bella Santiago
Romania has had a bit of a bumpy ride of a selection this year. After failing to qualify for the first time ever in 2018, this time they were determined to get it right, only to find that there wasn’t much to shout about amongst the songs they had to choose from. Cue a couple of withdrawals and a hastily organised “wildcard” selection, and suddenly we have ended up with this in the running. Bella Santiago has competed and done well in Romania’s national final before, and coming off the back of an X Factor win last month she could be be a shoe-in for victory with this high energy ethnopop offering.
LATVIA: ‘You Make Me So Crazy’ – Markus Riva
Latvia hasn’t had the more stellar record in terms of Eurovision results of late, although a 6th place in 2015 did herald a false dawn that was enough to revitalise its national final, which now takes place over several weeks with many high profile local artists participating. One singer who has stuck it out through thick and thin, through the good times and bad is Markus Riva, who has been a constant in Latvia’s competition for longer than most followers care to remember, yet has never won. He gamely continues however, and this year steps it up a gear with this Russian-sounding electro mid-tempo. In an average field, this could be the one that finally gets Markus over the line and gives him that Eurovision stamp he so badly craves.
AUSTRALIA: ‘Fight for Love’ – Courtney Act
After an initial guest appearance and a length stay of execution, Australia is holding its first ever televised national final this year, and they’re going big. Australia Decides will take place in an arena in the Gold Coast and boast an array of popular current artists, budding newcomers and old faces hoping for a comeback. The highest profile name for UK viewers is arguably Ru Paul’s Drag Race and Celebrity Big Brother star Courtney Act, who is entering dance-pop song that may have been met with a slightly lukewarm response on its own merit, but must be poised to give a memorable performance.
NORWAY: ‘We Try’ – Chris Medina
Norway’s ten competing entries were unveiled yesterday, and they aren’t here to make up the numbers this year. The final boast an array of lively, slickly produced, chart-friendly songs, many of which would be jumped on my most other countries choosing they representatives. Viewers of American Idol may recognise Chris Medina, who competed in Season 10 in 2011 and subsequently had a massive hit with ‘What Are Words.’ He now calls Norway home with his girlfriend and their daughter, and has found his way into the national Eurovision selection with this massive piece of stadium pop anthem reminiscent of the late great Avicii. He has a lot of competition, but this is likely to be one of the frontrunners.