Eurovision

FANTEAM EUROVISION SONG CONTEST FINAL – PREVIEW AND TEAM REVEAL

GREATNESS AWAITS THE ACT WHO WINS EUROPES GREATEST SONG CONTEST

The Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 is here and FanTeam have turned the fun up to 11 with the €3,000 Eurovision 2022 Fantasy contest. 

After two spectacular semi-finals, we are down to the last 25 as the five founding nations join the twenty qualifiers. The semi-finals had some genuine shocks with surprises such as Lituania, Estonia and Iceland going through. The Icelandic performance was so boring, I was screaming ‘play Ja Ja Ding Dong’ at the TV!

IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE MUSIC

Whilst this is obviously a song contest, as nations became more experienced they realised that staging and performance are crucial to winning. A great combination of the three helped Conchita Wurst win in 2014 for Austria. Conversely, who can forget Safura’s terrible performance of Drip Drop in 2010 when she was the favourite to win. I’ve still not got over that! Why Safura, why?

For me, the entries that stick out for staging and performance this year are Portugal, Norway, Finland and Czech Republic. 

Portugal’s performance is simply the group standing around in a circle away from the stage. The intimacy suits their song perfectly. Norway is a crazy yet compelling combo of colour, striking costumes, lighting and dance routines. Hard to forget. 

Finland’s entry is slightly darker than many others with Stephen King’s IT imagery, balloons and palette suiting the rock nature of the song. Finally, the Czech Republic used every light in the stadium for their catchy dance track, combined with an energetic performance from the singer. 

These songs will need memorable performances as they’re all in the first seven in the running order. Talking of which….

THE IMPORTANCE OF RUNNING ORDER

In the last 20 years, only 30% of winners have come in the first half of the running order and only one with a single-digit draw (Turkey, 2003).  The average winning spot during that time is 17th.

Famously, no country has ever won from the number 2 slot so that doesn’t bode well for Romania this year.

How do we use this information? I would favour nations in the second half of the draw and if I had to choose between two entrants, this would be the deciding factor. If you’re still in doubt, pick a Baltic country. They vote for each other and generally do well.

STRATEGY

The tier system and scoring impacts directly on strategy for me. The bonus for winning your tier (30 points) is large in relation to the total scores of the countries (Italy won with 524 last year). It’s equally as important to not end up losing the 20 points for being bottom of a tier. Picking all five of the Tier Winners is the same as having an extra pick who would have come 13th in last year’s contest.

The bonuses for the Juries and Televote Winners are already being factored into your choices anyway so I’m not focusing on them so much. And we all know Ukraine is getting those, aren’t they? 

They are clearly the favourites by quite a margin and on the face of it, they look like a lock. However, taking them in Tier 1 impacts on your options for the other five picks and therefore reduces your chances of getting the other Tier Winner bonuses. Are they going to score enough points to make up for this? 

The other aspect to consider is that 50% of the votes come from national juries of five music professionals. Will they go with the sentimental choice of Ukraine or just pick the best acts? This is something which is very hard to predict. 

If you are playing only one entry, I would pick Ukraine. If you are multi-entering, the other songs in this tier are really strong and I expect them to be in the top 5. Not playing Ukraine gives you more options.

Here are my opinions on each of the tiers:

TIER 1

Ukraine is the most expensive country at 40m. This tier also contains the UK, Sweden, Italy and Spain. I’d love to get two out of Ukraine, Italy and Sweden here as I think they will make up the top 3. Since 1994, no host nation has won Eurovision which isn’t a good sign for Italy. However they have one of the strongest songs and Mahmood is a Eurovision favourite after coming second in 2019 with Soldi. Sweden is always a contender and this year’s Hold Me Closer is no exception. Being 20th in the running order is a big advantage too.

Sam Ryder’s Spaceman (United Kingdom) has gained a lot of positive press but I don’t believe the European nations are suddenly going to start voting for us after so many years of embarrassing results. For me, Spain is overpriced. It’s a very average song and it feels like we’re being transported back twenty years.

My picks: Ukraine & Sweden.

TIER 2

A really interesting group which includes two of the more memorable performances in Norway’s Give That Wolf a Banana and Serbia’s In Corpore Sano. Both of these are the sort of acts you’d only see at Eurovision. Norway’s is a crowd pleaser about giving a wolf a banana so he doesn’t eat your Grandma. Serbia’s song is about hand washing and Meghan Markle’s hair cleansing routine. It sounds a bit like it’s been written by a cult leader but it’s been very popular amongst the hardcore Eurovision fans.

Greece’s Die Together is another visually stunning entry and a dramatic ballad which could do well. Moldova’s song about a train journey (I think) is one of those joke songs which people expect to do well but rarely does nowadays.

My picks: Norway & Greece

TIER 3

This tier has my favourite song this year, Portugal’s Saudade Saudade. It’s a great combination of song and performance. The only thing it has going against it is that it’s third in the running order. 

Australia’s Not The Same is a dramatic, powerhouse of a song about the singer’s own struggles with autism. This has top 5 potential for me. The performance had a few issues in the semi-final but I expect those to be sorted for the final.

I am not sure how Estonia is even in the final and I don’t see Armenia or France doing much either.

My picks: Portugal & Australia

TIER 4

This tier is so strong. The Czech Republic, Finland and Azerbaijan all have top 5 potential. The Czech’s are kicking off the show with a thumper of a tune but it’s rare for a winner to come from that spot. However, in Tier 4 you don’t need a winner and I think this song will do well.

The Rasmus are representing Finland and you may remember them from their worldwide hit In The Shadows from 2011. This year’s song is written by Desmond Child who’s also written Livin’ La Vida Loca, Livin on a Prayer and Crazy. Some pedigree. Another act which has the disadvantage of going early.

Azerbaijan has a decent Eurovision record and Fade to Black will continue that trend. This has been written by Thomas Stengaard who also wrote last year’s instant classic El Diablo. 

My picks: Czech Republic & Finland

TIER 5

Unsurprisingly the weakest tier and none of the songs here should trouble the top 10. Romania’s Llamame was very popular in the stadium on Thursday night but they went from the dreaded no. 2 spot.

Marius Bear (Switzerland) is very popular on social media and his emotional performance of Boys Do Cry has a cult following. The other songs here have the potential for the dreaded ‘nil points.’

My picks: Romania & Switzerland

Below is my initial lineup but this may well change before lock. Thankfully FanTeam are locking the contest after all the acts have performed so you can watch the show and make changes based on how they perform. 

So sit back and enjoy the most extravagant and random entertainment event on the planet. 

I hope this article has given you plenty of food for thought – especially for those of you that have not played FanTeam Eurovision contests before, but want to give it a go. 

Please feel free to message me on Twitter @_smrf if you have any questions – all support queries should go to @FanTeamOfficial.

Best of luck to everyone entering. Have fun picking your lineups and hopefully we will see each other at the top of the leaderboard!

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

If you’re new to FanTeam then you’ll need to create a new account here – alternatively, head on over to fanteam.com and click the green ‘Register’ button in the top right corner.

Existing users can click the graphic below for direct access to the game lobby.

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