Our Predictions: 2016 Grand Final

So now it comes down to this: 26 songs competing to be your Song for Europe in 2016. Here our predictions:

Jen:

  1. Russia
  2. Australia
  3. Ukraine
  4. Latvia
  5. Armenia
  6. Austria
  7. Sweden
  8. Bulgaria
  9. Netherlands
  10. Georgia

Last place: Germany

Chris:

  1. Russia
  2. Ukraine
  3. Australia
  4. Sweden
  5. Bulgaria
  6. Latvia
  7. Armenia
  8. Netherlands
  9. Serbia
  10. Georgia

Last place: Spain

Fairly similar picks, as it turns out, with Jen picking Austria for a top 10 finish and Chris opting instead for Serbia. As for last place, Chris thinks Spain is an absolute mess, but Jen thinks Germany’s song will be long forgotten by the time the voting window opens.

At the top of the table, we both think it is Russia’s to lose. We know that there has been a lot of anti-Russia sentiment in the hall during the past couple of Song Contests, but Russia did not finish second last year based on neighborly voting alone. We don’t think there is enough anti-Russia feeling in Western Europe to keep “You Are the Only One,” a classic schlager number staged within an inch of its life, from winning the whole shebang.

Who are Russia’s closest competitors? If the Eurovision Song Contest is becoming more political, then Ukraine could pull off the win. The thing is, does “1944” sound like a song voters are going want to hear over and over again? The subject matter doesn’t exactly scream “Europe’s having a party” and we think that could hurt its chances.

Australia has a stronger song than Russia, but that staging drags it down. While watching the second Semi, our son asked, “Is she going to sit on that box for the entire song?” If a 7-year-old who sincerely thought Belarus’ staging was awesome can spot the flaw in your staging, then you’ve got problems.

UPDATED 14 May 2016: Jen adds that she doesn’t see Australia having any support from Eastern Europe. “Sound of Silence” is charting in Russia but doesn’t seem to have any traction elsewhere. This lack of support may be Australia’s undoing.

We would have thought Armenia was a dark horse to win, but we think being picked to perform last hurts its chances. To be honest, we were surprised that “LoveWave” is what the producers think is a good way to close the show, so we’re wondering if this is part of the sanction being levied on Armenia for waving the Nagorno Karabakh flag during the first Semi.

There are a lot of good songs and/or good performances in the Final. We would not be surprised if we get a repeat of the 2011 or the 2014 Song Contests, where a song off of most people’s radar takes the crown. But we’d be crazy not to predict Russia to take the title.

On a personal note, it’s been a tough Eurovision season for us this year. We’ve had to change our format a bit because we’ve been so busy with our day jobs. The kicker to this season is that Jen is on a work trip right now, so we’re not able to watch the Final together. It’s all kind of cast a pall on our enthusiasm.

But Logo presenting the Song Contest live in the United States this year has given us a small infusion of excitement. With any luck, there are going to be thousands if not millions of Americans who are going to watch this for the first time and wonder, “What the fuck is going on here?” And we’re looking forward to seeing the reaction from a new set of fans.

We are still having our Eurovision party, just a week later than usual. But we’re going to proceed as normal with the website with our recaps and superlatives. And we recommend that either the EBU or AAPOR reconsider their tentatively scheduled dates for their 2017 events.

6 thoughts on “Our Predictions: 2016 Grand Final

  1. “there are going to be thousands if not millions of Americans who are going to watch this for the first time”

    I don’t believe Logo’s ratings have EVER been recorded in the millions. According to my googles, a typical prime time show on that channel pulls only a few hundred thousand. Honestly, I think viewership-wise this is going to backfire on the EBU, since all the geoblocking has made the Contest a hell of a lot harder to watch, and not just in the USA. (They’ve blocked Canada! WHY have they blocked Canada?)

    I’m honestly not sure how I’m going to watch it myself. I have a plan A, B and C, after which I’m in big trouble. i hope there’s nothing important in the first couple minutes.

    My prediction? No. Friggin’. Clue. I’m just really looking forward to the post-Contest internet s***storm that seems absolutely inevitable this year. Does that make me a bad person?

    • That’s why I said, “if not millions.” Emphasis on the word “not!” 😀 But you do raise a good point. The deal has actually made the Contest less available to Americans (and WHY ARE YOU FUCKING WITH CANADA, EBU?!!). And there is always a post-Contest shitstorm, no matter what happens, because we hate it when the real world intervenes with our little Song Contest, yet we always inject the real world into our little Song Contest. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  2. I’ve done a lot of interesting analytics this year, but at the end of the day, you have to listen to your gut. So here goes:
    1. Australia
    2. Russia
    3. Ukraine
    4. Armenia
    5. France
    6. Bulgaria
    7. Hungary
    8. Sweden
    9. Netherlands
    10. Israel
    LP: Malta

    I realise that part of my betting on Australia to win derives from the fact that it is the only country out of three that I personally would like to win, but I am positive about Dami’s chances. Besides her, I am supporting Israel, Netherlands, and Serbia tonight.

    • I’ve been wondering if I’m overvaluing Serbia and undervaluing Israel. I also feel like France is going to flop, although in a Blue kind of way (just out of the top 10) than in a Twin Twin kind of way.

      • Well, Amir did come first in the OGAE polls, so at least we know that people like his song. Whether they will like his performance is another matter. Hovi’s performance amazes me, but he does not seem to have much momentum going into the finals. And I like Sanja a lot, too, but I seem to be the minority. Anyway, we’ll see how it pans out.

      • And while I am eagerly waiting for results, I have to say Italy, Georgia, and I guess Spain looked better than expected! Kind of wish I had them higher in the ranks!

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