Eurovision 2022 — the top 10 favourites for the song contest's showdown in Turin
We now have the final 25 songs that are vying to win the Eurovision Song Contest title in Turin.
Australia's Sheldon Riley will be one of the performers with his big ballad Not the Same.
If you want a bit of a form guide as to the likely winners, one option is the top 10 in the Eurovision winners' odds.
Australia is just outside the top 10 but still primed for a good result.
In a year when the common theme is a LOT of angsty ballads and dance numbers, there are a few stand-out upbeat songs … and one entry that could win this in a landslide — but could be nobbled by the juries.
Let's check out the main chances!10. Serbia: Konstrakta — In Corpore Sano
There's always room for a bit of performance art at Eurovision, and this striking performance from singer-songwriter Konstrakta (Ana Đurić) has made an impression.
The song, In Corpore Sano (In A Healthy Body), is a song about modern life, its focus on health and how to afford it.
Her staging has Konstrakta seated on stage with a washing bowl in front of her, literally washing her hands during the performance, while her backing crew hand her towels. There are references to Meghan Markle, there's hand-clapping, it's all a bit hypnotic.
The crowd loved it in the second semi-final.
"Oh, so how will they monitor me? In the name of health/And care about me? In the name of health/An artist (she) is invisible. In the name of health/You don't see me, it's magic. In the name of health"
This song also has a gun position in the draw. Just like last year's winners, Måneskin for Italy, Konstrakta will be performing in 24th place.9. Netherlands: S10 — De Diepte
S10 (Stien den Hollander) is a rising star on the local music scene — the 21-year-old indie pop/rap/dance artist sings in Dutch.
Fitting in with the angst theme in 2022, her song, De Diepte (The Deep), is about a person who is lost and confused.
It starts as a gentle guitar ballad, and then swells in the middle.
The staging is spare and revolves around the singer and her emotional performance.
"Here in the deep I continue to hear your name/Ooh aha. Oh my love what do I do?/I am deep and I don’t want to let you go"8. Norway: Subwoolfer — Give That Wolf A Banana
If you like your Eurovision entries with a healthy dose of bonkers, this one might be for you.
The mystery group are dressed in suits with yellow-gold masks on, two of them come with wolf-like teeth.
Behind them is a DJ dressed like an astronaut — who is supposedly last year's Norwegian entrant, TIX — on a sort of plinth above the stage.
Their performance comes complete with a full dance routine, a driving beat, synthesisers and the kitchen sink (well, not quite).
"Is that saliva or blood dripping off your chin?/ If you don't like the name Keith, I'mma call you Jim/And before that wolf eats my grandma/Give that wolf a banana"
This should go down an absolute treat with the televoters, but the juries might be looking for something slightly less "out there" for their winner.7. Greece: Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord — Die Together
In a year full of break-up and heartbreak songs, this one is possibly the starkest — just check out the title and the lyrics below.
Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord is a Greek-born singer of Greek and Norwegian parentage. She has a striking voice and this is a dramatic song, with the staging putting the spotlight on her.
If you take your Eurovision history seriously, this is an omen pick for the win.
The most successful positions in the Eurovision running list — to win the contest in the modern era since organisers began selecting the order — are 17th and 24th, both with three wins.
Greece will perform in 17th on Sunday morning.
"But if we die together now/We will always have each other/I won't lose you for another/And if we die together now/I will hold you till forever"6. Poland: Ochman — River
Krystian Ochman is this year's performer for Poland. He's from the United States but won the Polish version of The Voice two years ago.
As you might imagine, he has one of the best voices on show at this year's Eurovision, and he has chosen a big song to showcase it.
River has a touch of the Hozier's about it. It's an emotional number that talks about letting go and has a water theme as the name suggests.
The staging includes an effect that makes it look to the TV audience like there is water running down the camera lens.
It's a dramatic performance, and should do well with the juries, but it may fall short with the public unless they fall in love with his voice.
"Bury all of my things/Bury me in my skin/All that I've done/ Oh Lord, I'm done/Who'd wanna be a king/Pulling too many strings"5. Spain: Chanel — SloMo
The last time Spain won Eurovision was in 1968, with a song that had 123 la's in a song that was, unsurprisingly, called La, La, La.
Indeed, the past decade or two at Eurovision has been pretty bleak for Spain, with a lot of poor finishes.
A glance at the translated lyrics tells you where this one is going:
"I make all the daddies go crazy/I'm always first, never secondary/As soon as I make doom, doom with my boom, boom/And I got him making zoom, zoom/For my yummy"
This one is definitely going to pick up the same sort of vote that Cyprus got with Fuego a few years back — that came second — and so might this if it hoovers up enough public support.4. Italy: Mahmood and Blanco — Brividi
Hosting nations have not done well in recent years, perhaps because no one wants to repeat the Irish experience, when they won four times in five years in the 1990s, nearly bankrupting broadcaster RTE.
Italy are the hosts this year, and they have a shot at going back-to-back with the pop-rap ballad Brividi (Shivers).
Mahmood came second in 2019, singing Soldi.
He and singer-rapper Blanco are two of Italy's top stars, and their duet is breaking new ground.
Mahmood says it's not necessarily an LGBTQ love song, but it is an emotional performance from two male vocalists that has grabbed attention.
"And I would pay to go away/I would even accept a lie/And I want to love you, but I'm always wrong/And I get shivers, shivers, shivers"3. Sweden: Cornelia Jakobs — Hold Me Closer
Regular viewers of Eurovision will know that whatever song Sweden sends is rarely too far away from the pointy end of the contest come voting time.
We're there again this year. Cornelia Jakobs was the winner of the Swedish song competition Melodifestivalen, which decides who goes to Eurovision.
This well-written, well-performed heartbreaker is about saying goodbye to your lover after one more night.
It's not the first Eurovision song to mine this territory, and it wouldn't be the first winner either — 35 years ago, Ireland's Johnny Logan won the contest and had a big hit with Hold Me Now.
"Hold me closer/Although you'll leave before the sunrise/Might be bleeding, but don't you mind, I'll be fine/Oh it kills me/I found the right one at the wrong time"
There's a bit of history on the line here as well — if Cornelia wins, it will be the seventh time that Sweden has been victorious, matching Ireland's record from the '70s, '80s and '90s.2. United Kingdom: Sam Ryder — Space Man
This is NOT a misprint!
After years of a serious lack of love from the voters of Europe — including last year, where James Newman was very hard done by when he received the first ever double zero (no votes from the juries OR the televoters) for his song, Embers — the United Kingdom is back with a bang.
Sam Ryder is a TikTok star who racked up 12 million followers during the pandemic with his fun (and excellent) covers of various hit songs. His followers include Sia, Alicia Keys and Justin Bieber.
He has brought the same sense of fun — and knockout vocals — to this slice of British-sounding pop, combining an upbeat sound with more angsty lyrics.
Ryder has an impressive upper register, and he gives it a workout in this song, while the staging has a sense of "lift-off". This has been going up in the odds all through the contest.
"I'm up in space, man/Up in space, man/I've searched around the universe/Been down some black holes/There's nothing but space, man/And I wanna go home."
If this was any other year, this would be an even bigger chance to take home the prize — the reason it's not is because of —1. Ukraine: Kalush Orchestra — Stefania
Song-wise, there's a number of more-impressive entries in the final, although both the performance and the staging get the most out of this.
Stefania was originally written for the grandmother of one of the members of Kalush Orchestra — but the song, which fuses folk and hip-hop, has since taken on a life of its own.
One of the translated lyrics says:"I'll always find my way home/Even if all the roads are destroyed"
"Stefania mother mother Stefania/The field is blooming, but her hair is turning grey/Mother, sing me the lullaby/I want to hear your native word"
The real issue is whether the people of Europe — and Australia — decide they want to show their support for Ukraine, given current events, by giving their vote to Kalush Orchestra.
Countries cannot vote for themselves, but there could still be 39 sets of 12 votes coming Ukraine's way if the public is of a similar mind.
This won't do as well with the juries — but if it sweeps the board with the public that won't matter.
You can find out which of these songs — or a complete bolt from the blue — takes out the grand prize when the Eurovision Song Contest grand final takes place, starting at 5am AEST on Sunday.
You can join Dannielle Maguire and I here from 4:30am AEST for our live blog, covering the lead-up to the grand opening in Turin to all the songs and interval acts, the winner's announcement and more.