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Eurovision Grand Finale - ROMEO Guide

Eurovison Grand Finale cheat sheet

It’s time to get ready for the largest music event in the world, the Eurovision Grand Finale. We have another Eurovision cheat sheet for you, it’s designed to help you remember how each act performed at the semi’s and to give you some Eurovision history and just a little bit of gossip. As you watch the 26 finalists singing for the crown, scroll through this guide and enhance your overall experience. The countries and songs listed below are in the same order as they will be performed in the Grand Finale.

Eurovision Grand Finale - ROMEO Guide

Ukraine, Melovin with Under ‘The Ladder’

Melovin closed the second semi-final on Thursday and he’s opening the real final. That will put extra pressure on the Ukrainian entry, but at least he gets to sit back and enjoy the 25 other contestants afterwards. He was voted in 9th position on our own Romeo poll, so we always knew he was going to make it through. Melvin gives a solid performance even if he is dressed like the vampire Lestat from an Anne Rice novel.

On a more serious note, in the fourteen times that Ukraine has participated, they have always made it to the final, and this year they have made it through for the fifteenth time. As one of the most successful Eurovision countries, they have a reputation to uphold. Melovin is the artist’s name based on the word Halloween and the last name of fashion designer Alexander McQueen. (You can’t make this shit up!)

Spain, Amaia y Alfred with ‘Tu Canción’

Amaia and Alfred participated in a reality TV show in Spain ‘Operación Triunfo’, a bit like Big Brother. These two young Spanish kids fell in love, and won the show. Riding high on their fame in Spain, they were selected to perform in Lisbon. The love in this song is real, and you feel its authenticity. If the young couple can hold the truth and beauty together, they have an excellent chance of winning for Spain. Young love is powerful and these lovebirds are happy to share that power with all of you. Buena suerte España!


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Slovenia, Lea Sirk with ‘Hvala, Ne’

With 23 appearances since their debut in 1993 and 13 finals, Slovenia has some experience points at the Eurovision. The song this year features a repetitive sound in the chorus that can be taxing on your nerves. Lea brings a unique sound, and her voice is distinguished. We’ve heard reports that she likes to sing naked – cool! Although, she’ll probably wear something on stage in Lisbon – sadness! The song’s repetition may eventually break you and you could actually start to enjoy it. Our Romeo’s put Slovenia in 12th position on our own poll, so if it was up to us, Lea Sirk would not be at the final. #awkward #sorrynotsorry

Lithuania, Ieva ZasimauskaitÉ with ‘When We’re Old’

Lithuania’s sweet and beautiful ballad ‘When We’re Old’ doesn’t sound identical to Portugal’s ‘Amar Pelos Dois,’ but they share some melodic similarities. The major difference being Portugal’s ballad of love and beauty set the night on fire, while Lithuania’s ‘When We’re Old’ is more likely to lull you and all of Europe into a deep and uneventful sleep. She even wears a simple pink neglige that looks a little bit like a nightie. Check out the spooky graphics of ghost like senior couples to accompany this very simple but beautiful performance. Adding to the spooky staging, she is met by an anonymous smiling man to end the song. The question is, who is this guy and are his intentions honourable?

Austria, Cesár Sampson with ‘Nobody but You’

Austria is sending a classic man-ballad this year, quite the divergence form their Conchita Wurst days of legendary Eurovision glory. That said, Cesár is one of the best looking men in the show and his semi-final performance was professional, confident and charming, oh, and his outfit was super fashion forward. If this were a beauty contest, he’d be a shoe-in!

Eurovision Grand Finale - ROMEO Guide
César Sampson with ‘Nobody But You’

Estonia, Elina Nechayeva with ‘La Forza!’

This song traditionally has so much going against it: a classic opera number, singing in Italian rather than English, and performed with almost no movement; yet it is doing very well. Some optimistic bookies have even tipped it as the underdog to steal the win. Elina is beautiful; her voice echoes through the ages of time, her interactive dress floods the stage, her body is splashed in oceans of glitter and the scene is awash in galaxies of starlight. Tallinn, you know what you’re doing. Estonia survived steep competition in the first semi-final, do they have the gusto to make it to the crown in the final? ‘La Forza’ for the win!

Norway, Alexander Rybak with ‘That’s How You Write A Song’

Alexander opened the show on Thursday night and his performance was easily one of the strongest of the entire evening. Calm, cool, suave with just a hint of show biz magic. It’s a pity the song itself is more Sesame Street kooky, than a Eurovision winner.

Alexander’s ‘Fairytale’ won back in 2009 for Norway. ‘Fairytale’ was a powerful love song that genuinely gripped the imagination of Europe. Alexander himself was a mind-blowing contestant; all-singing, all-dancing and even playing the violin to smash records and get the most points ever at the Eurovision (at the time). His impressive score has since been beaten by Jamala for Ukraine and Salvador for Portugal.

So with all of that in mind, Alexander has a lot to live up to, and a lot to lose. This time he sings a sweet song, but it’s just nice, nothing earth-shattering. You can never really predict what’s going to happen in the final, but history has shown that only Johnny Logan has managed to win twice at the Eurovision. Lena, Dana International, Niamh Kavanagh, and Charlotte Perrelli, were sent home disappointed on their second attempts. Good Luck Norway, because you’ll need it!

Portugal, Cláudia Pascoal with ‘O Jardim’

Portugal, last year’s surprise winners, this year’s hosts, has put on a great Eurovision so far with two successful semis behind them, they now are focused on the staging of the final. Hundreds of millions of fans will be watching from around the world. It’s all eyes on Lisbon. Cláudia Pascoal is the pink haired starlet taking to the stage to try and keep the crown for one more year with a song that can only be described as sonic magic. We are completely under her spell. Good Luck Portugal!

United Kingdom, For Great Britain, SuRie with ‘Storm’

SuRie has worked for the Eurovision Song Contest before; as a backing singer for the Belgian entry Loïc Nottet in 2015, and as a Musical Director for Belgian entry Blanche last year. Now she’s bringing all that experience with her to represent the UK this Saturday in the Grand Finale. If the UK win tonight, we’ll be attending the Eurovision in a new post Brexit Britain. That could be be super awkward, like visiting your ‘troublesome’ relatives at christmas time. Still it’s a solid pop-anthem and a good performance is expected from this seasoned Eurovision star. We still believe in chasing rainbows too! Good Luck SuRie!

Serbia, Sanja Ilic & Balkanika with ‘Nova Deca’

It’s not a bonafide Eurovision if it doesn’t have at least one entry in the style of that hypnotic and exotic Balkan sound! Fortunately, this year Serbia creates a mix of traditional Balkan sound and modern music. And it is a magnificent song, especially the female vocals. The official video is always so perfectly crafted that the live show is the real test to see if such same sound can be recreated. Israel was not as pop-tastic on Tuesday as their music video promised. ‘Nova Deca’ has faced the same scrutiny, but they delivered an impressive show on Thursday.

The male singer is bald, bearded and beautiful. He is a balkan sex god, and he can really sing. This group has great cohesion and are highly likely to make the top ten. Serbia is polling at 14 position in our internal vote, but that could change very quickly.

Germany, Michael Schulte with ‘You Let Me Walk Alone’

Germany has been last or next to last in the final for three years in a row. This could be the year they come back fighting with the well-crafted ballad, ‘You Let Me Walk Alone’ and a powerful performer, Michael Schulte. The song is a heartfelt, Ed Sheeran-like, ode to his father, and has a compelling construction. Will Michael manage to return Germany to glory days of Lena’s ‘Satellite’ and steal the hearts of Europe? Unlikely, Lena was one in a million, bu the German entry could make the top ten and restore a little credibility in Germany’s Eurovision back catalogue.

Albania, Eugent Bushpepa with ‘Mall’

Not only written, but also arranged by Bushpepa himself, ‘Mall’ was initially intended for his studio album. It was selected for entry at the Festivali i Këngës and won, thus making it their Eurovision entry this year. Bushpepa, is a rockstar, with tattoos, jewellery and a mostly black outfit, the boy is hot. ‘Mall’ means yearning, let me tell you, we all yearn for a bit of Bushpepa. The song is a great Albanian number, but will choosing not to sing in English cost him valuable points?

Eurovision Grand Finale - ROMEO Guide Eugent Bushpepa with 'Mall'
Eugent Bushpepa with ‘Mall’

France, Madame Monsieur with ‘Mercy’

Madame Monsieur has that certain star quality that Simon Cowell is always looking for. Her simple but stylish black outfit, slicked back blonde hair and red trainers, all combine to accentuate her power on stage. She proves that France, as always, has a masterful command of style and effortless poise on stage. She even comes with a touch of ‘Va Va Voom’ and though she sings in French, the words and the meaning strike at the heart. A very, very good entry.

France is also performing well in the polls this year. The fans voted them second after Israel. The popularity could be due to a good song combined with a socially responsible message. Will that sentiment come through on stage without the music video? We’ll have to  wait and see. Bonne Chance Madame Monsieur!

The Czech Republic, Mikolas Josef with ‘Lie To Me’

In previous year’s, the Czech Republic has fared very poorly at Eurovision, but this is the year that everything could change. ‘Lie To Me’ is the perfect pop track and it fits with the Eurovision style seamlessly. Mikolas Josef is cute, young, full of pep and he even wrote the song himself.

Due to a back injury in rehearsals, he had to take his back flip out of his performance. The fans are staying loyal and even a pared down performance was still highly entertaining at the semis. He is playing a blinder and is fast becoming the social media darling of the event. How disappointing his back pack only had a sandwich in it, we all suspected it had far more magical treasures!

Denmark, Rasmussen with ‘Higher Ground’

Game of Thrones meets Eurovision! Viking Pop! The Danes have entered a song based on a legend about a Viking who refused to fight but stood up for what he believed in. So, it’s a peace message. The song was written by two Swedish composers who found the perfect interpreter of their Viking message in the Danish Rasmussen. The song has a 90’s feel, so get ready for major nostalgia. It’s very much a masc for masc warrior anthem. Pop it on the next time you’re getting ready to go out and see if you butch up for the boys.

Rasmussen, there’s something very Riverdance Eurovision 1994 about your stage show. Your ginger beard is the ultimate fashion accessory and we’re not really sure what you all chanted in VIKING backstage at the second semis, but if Filomena’s translation is to be believed you all love cute kittens. Ah cheesy Eurovions humour, it’s half the magic of the event itself.

Australia, Jessica Mauboy with ‘We Got Love’

It’s Australia’s fourth time to enter the Eurovision. Obviously, it’s not a European country, but neither is Israel, and Azerbaijan’s geography is up for debate.

Jessica already represented Australia in the Eurovision 2014 interval performance, in Denmark. Jessica is one of the most popular artists in Australia, famous since her participation in Australian Idols in 2006. Her song is a typical Eurovision pop-track with a positive message. ‘We Got Love’ is one of the better numbers in the competition. Though that dress is scandalously short and there’s a very real risk of Europe getting a flash of her personal coral reef! Regardless of potential wardrobe malfunctions, Australia should place in the top ten and our own poll corresponds to the same assumption.

Finland, Saara Aalto with ‘Monsters’

Saara Aalto is perhaps the most famous Finnish artist at the moment; known internationally after her very successful participation in The X Factor, UK, (she finished second). Finland has previously won with Lordi who are actual monsters, so hopefully Saara’s ode to monsters will follow suit.

Arguably a much stronger performance at the semis than the official video promised, she excelled and over achieved, well done! The performance opens with Saara strapped to a black and white rotating circular board. So, it’s a Finnish girl playing Russian roulette with her own singing voice and the thigh’s the limit. Her backing dancers are dressed in BDSM Italian police style suits and the dance routine is wonderfully easy to replicate. Monsters, will you seize victory at the Grand Finale? We will have to wait and see!

Moldova, DoReDos with ‘My Lucky Day’

Last year Moldova scored the highest place they’ve ever reached in a final and came in third place with the happy jolly tune, ‘Hey Mama’. Due to that success, they’ve stuck fast to the infectious cheerfulness formula with ‘My Lucky Day’; a delicious mix of traditional folk music, and euro pop. The stage act is a bit clumsy, but strangely enough, that also fits the tune.

They have embraced the idea of, ‘let’s just do silly jolly nonsense’ and gone at it with 100% commitment. The stage show is a large white box with many doors and windows opened in a hypnotic and chaotic order to reveal shenanigans and canoodling. A fun and whimsical entry, it is unlikely to win but it actives the objective of light entertainment.

Sweden, Benjamin Ingrosso with ‘Dance You Off ‘

Representing Sweden in this year’s competition, Benjamin Ingrosso will be performing the song ‘Dance You Off.’ The lyrics are about getting over an Ex by embracing the party spirit. Benjamin shares 6th place in our beauty poll with Ryan O’Shaughnessy, and both are young, established artists in their home countries. Sweden has performed incredibly well at the Eurovision. Could this be Benjamin’s year to take home the trophy? We’ll see.

His semi-final performance on Thursday was lacklustre and underwhelming. Although it was structured like a an 80’s Michael Jackson performance crossed with Miami Vice, his cool jacket, figure hugging pants and cheesy smiles to camera just didn’t combine to give the ‘WOW’ factor essential to winning the show, although it did secure him a spot in the final.

Sweden has won six festivals to date and is the current ‘one to watch’ of the competition. Ireland still holds first place with seven wins under their belt, but Ireland’s glory days are a distant memory while Sweden’s lucky streak is much more recent and relevant. A win this year mean’s they’ll be tying with Ireland for the most crowns in the treasure chest.

Eurovision Grand Finale - ROMEO Guide
Benjamin Ingrosso with ‘Dance You Off’

Hungary, AWS with ‘Viszlát Nyár’

With a sound that echoes the passion and energy of Lordi, this heavy metal Hungarian band might be dismissed by a Eurovision audience as meaningless noise, but listen carefully and let them convince you they have something worthwhile to contribute. The band wants to make a different sound and they make music for the music and not to become famous. Extra points for singing nicely in Hungarian.

Israel, Netta with ‘Toy’

Oh Israel, you really dropped the ball in your live performance and though no real numbers have been released, we suspect you scraped a place in the final by the skin of your peekachoo. The official music video has caused a sensation across Europe and there were high hopes of seeing next years show in Tel Aviv, but Netta fell short of the mark. This song is so quirky, unique and off the wall, to sell it, you really need to deliver 110%. Netta gave us something below 50% on Tuesday. Was she saving herself for the final? Let’s hope she revs it up to full throttle and wins back the title of fan favorite.

The Netherlands, Waylon with ‘Outlaw in ‘Em’

Waylon is 38 years young and a highly established performer in The Netherlands. He dueted in the 2014 Eurovision with Ilse DeLange finishing in second place with a country tune, ‘Calm After The Storm’. This time he’s back in his own right, and although Waylon is a Netherland’s native, he’s bringing the experience and skill he picked up while training in Nashville, to try and take Europe’s most coveted music award. He won our beauty poll, let’s see if he has the same luck in Lisbon. Check out that leopard print, MEOW!

The Gay Dancers from Ireland's Entry 'Together'

Ireland, Ryan O’Shaughnessy with ‘Together’

News just in, Mango cut the gay dancers out of their Eurovision broadcast in China, going against the Eurovision’s commitment to celebrating love and diversity. The EBU is not impressed and action has been taken. The EBU has ripped up their contract with Mango and the final will not be broadcast in China. Ryan has commented that love is love whether its between two girls, two boys, or a girl and a boy. Bless his cotton socks. The ballad is garnering a lot of attention, so well done Ireland for presenting gay love to the Eurovision world. Ireland legalised gay marriage two years ago and currently has an openly gay Prime-minister, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. So, if they make a surprise win its rainbows and unicorns for all next year in Dublin.

Cyprus, Eleni Foureira with ‘Fuego’

Beyoncè crossed with Shakira and Jennifer Lopez poured into a golden emblazed body bodysuit that sparkles during her hypnotic hip dance. Eleni is a lioness and has the body of a goddess. The song is typical pop with a simple chorus, and we got it very very wrong when we predicted Cyprus would be frozen out at the semis. Her fiery bodysuit was incredible and only matched by her fierce performance. She stole the show and has gone from a ‘meh’ pop song entry to rise through the polls and have a real chance of wining. ‘Fuego’, you could set the mediterranean on fire from Lisbon to Cyprus. 

Italy, Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro with ‘Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente’

The final act to close the Eurovision 2018 Grand Finale, was selected from the music competition that the Eurovision itself is based on Sanremo. This year Italy has a socially conscious message about how all the attacks and wars in the world will not defeat us. Again, like Francesco Gabbani’s Occidentali’s Karma from last year, the message only becomes clear when you see the official music video. Sadly, it’s unlikely to do well and the stage perforce is typical Italian macho-machismo with two men dressed in black preaching to the audience. Might be a good moment to top up your drink ,or pop to the loo. See you for the results in just a moment.


Eurovision Grand Finale – ROMEO Guide

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Conclusion

That’s it for another year. We hope you enjoyed our Eurovision Grand Finale – ROMEO Guide. Congratulations to the winner and see you on the Island of Cyprus or on the Charles Bridge in Prague or maybe, just maybe on the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin this time next year. You can compare the actual results against what our Romeos predicted to see if we match Europe’s choices, or if we perhaps diverge?

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