Welcome to the first entry in our coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest, where I, as the official non-official PHF ambassador, will discuss with you my top ten favourite entries of this years competition. The contest itself isn't for another two months, but all the songs are already out which means we can start making our predictions for the winners. Get ready! And don’t forget to share your opinion in the comments section below as well as your personal top ten for the year.
For our non-European members, who are probably confused with all these fourty three entries, I recommend checking out this handy geography video first to learn the basics about our countries involved and their placement in this years competition.
10. Francesco Gabbani – Occidentali's Karma (Italy)
This song is actually not in my top ten. Francesco's is my eleventh favourite entry but I wanted to talk about him since he is everyone’s favorite to win the contest with…
ITALY! Francesco has been in the business since 2011, but become famous only last year with his song 'Amen'. He won this year’s Sanremo - an Italian competition which determines who will be sent to Eurovision as Italy's official entry. Actually, Eurovision as a format was inspired by Sanremo, which is a funny coincidence, isn’t it?
Francesco will sing 'Occidentali’s Karma' - a boppy Italian song which has already gained a lot of popularity in its home country and the rest of Europe. I have to admit that this song is such a grower!
After winning in Sanremo, will Francesco (and his monkey) win Eurovision too? Bring the crown back to the Mediterranean!
9. Artsvik – Fly With Me (Armenia)
Artsvik, who is 32, will sing for Armenia this year with her song 'Fly With Me'.
Her career began after she participated in The Voice of Russia, as well as The Voice of Armenia. Armenia has never won Eurovision and they don’t usually earn the highest places but the power in her voice, the choreography, and the light effects will probably change that! Artsvik probably has the most interesting song of this years Eurovision - a very unique and traditional sounding song that is getting a lot of great reviews from all of her fans around Europe. I’m so ready to fly with her.
Fun fact: Artsvik's name means "eagle" in English!
8. Alma – Requiem (France)
This French girl is my own personal choice to be the most likely contestant from one of the big five countries to win Eurovision this year.
She started her singing career in 2013 when she had her first TV performance during which she made the legend Celine Dion cry! This year she will fight for the crown with the song 'Requiem'. France has been trying to win the contest every year since 1977 but every time they have failed miserably.
Nevertheless, France usally gets into the top ten and I’m sure she will make her country very proud this year too. Embrasse elle?
7. Dihaj – Skeletons (Azerbaijan)
Dihaj will sing for Azerbaijan in Kyiv this year.
After entering to perform in Eurovision back in 2011 and losing to Eldar, who went on to win ESC that year, she's tried again six years later, and she is now Azerbaijan’s official entry with single 'Skeletons'! After graduating from Baku Music Academy in her home country of Azerbaijan back in 2010, she moved to London where she honed her craft as a musician.
'Skeletons' is an interesting pop song and one of the most highly thought of amongst Eurovision fans this year! Will she win this year? I guess we’ll see.
6. Triana Park – Line (Latvia)
Rock band Triana Park will sing for Latvia this year in ESC.
The band has tried multiple times since 2008 to get into the song contest and finally, in 2017, their dream has come true. Their style is very different to the others. The outfits in 'Line' are everything, the lead singers live vocals are just flawless, and the rest of the band kills it too. Triana Park's song is one of the favorites to make it all the way to the finals.
I don’t know where the contest will draw the line this year but one thing's for sure: they have one of the most interesting and unique songs of this years contest!
5. Anja – Where I Am (Denmark)
Anja will represent Denmark in Kyiv this year.
Although both of Anja's parents are Danish, she was born in Australia where she won their version of The Voice under the guidance of will.i.am back in 2014. She tried to represent Denmark in Stockholm last year with 'Never Alone' but only managed second place. However, she's finally made it a year later! She is listed as one of the favorites to win this year’s contest with the song 'Where I Am'.
Will she bring back the crown to Denmark like Emmelie De Forest before her? I am so ready for it to happen!
4. Svala – Paper (Iceland)
Svala is the Icelandic entry this year.
Svala has been in the record industry for years. She even had some hits around the year 2000 in the United States where she lives most of the time with her husband - her partner in love and in music. It's her husband who convinced Svala to sing in the annual Icelandic contest Söngvakeppnin and now she’s here aiming to get into the final.
Svala describes her style as electronic, synthetic, and bass-heavy. She will fight in Eurovision with her track 'Paper' - a song about about her strength, her fight with anxiety, and how music was her only escape.
She is a role model and I’m ready to leave all my problems behind and sing 'Paper' until I lose my voice! Are you?
3. Jana Burčeska – Dance Alone (F.Y.R. Macedonia)
Macedonia's best entry ever!
Jana Burčeska became popular after her participation in 2011 on the first season of the reality show Macedonian Idol. She is 23 now and she is sooo ready to snatch this award and thus bring the Eurovision contest to Macedonia for the second time ever. She changed the game with her song 'Dance Alone', and left everyone shook after the music video and song were released.
'Dance Alone' is exactly what Eurovision needs this year - a catchy, lighthearted pop song that everyone will definitely enjoy! And I’m sure Jana won’t dance alone the night she wins the contest.
Fun fact: Jana is a book lover and she also does a lot of charity work.
2. Timebelle – Apollo (Switzerland)
This amazing group will sing for Switzerland in Kyiv!
Timebelle's roots are in Romania but they currently live in Switzerland. After trying to get to Vienna's Eurovision contest in 2015 and ending up in second place, they've finally made it this year to represent their country with the best ballad of the year. 'Apollo', a a slower song with amazing production and vocals, will shine even brighter when performed live.
Will Miruna, Samuel, and Emanuel pull off what Celine Dion once did and bring back the contest to Switzerland? We’ll see! 'Apollo' better guide them to their victory. Good luck to them and congrats on changing the ballad game on Eurovision - I can’t wait to see them lighting up the stage with their extraordinary performance!
1. Blanche – City Lights (Belgium)
Blanche (whose birth name is Ellie Delvaux) is Belgium’s entry for this year's ESC. She’s 17, and she’s flawless.
Blanche started her career in 2013 uploading cover songs from her favorite artists. She ended up in the semi-finals of The Voice Beliguique last year where she stunned with her cover of 'Running with the Wolves' by my personal favorite singer AURORA. She’s now about to sing for her country in the biggest and best musical contest, Eurovision.
While she’s getting ready for the festival, she is recording her first EP! 'City Lights' will get a lot of kudos throughout Europe - it’s so different to everything this year thanks to the Kodaline and Birdy vibes and it’s about to snatch the weaves of all Europeans tuning in. Check her out and don't forget to vote for her if you like the song - I will give her all my money!
P.S. Her favorite Belguique entry is Sandra Kim's 'J’aime La Vie', which won the contest back in 1986.