A look at Russia and Iceland

Just four countries have managed to please us enough to get an average score of 7 or higher: Belgium, Italy, Australia and The Netherlands. Today we’re looking at two countries who are in the bottom half of the current top ten with bookmakers: Russia and Iceland! Can they catch up with the four we mentioned before?
Polina Gagarina – A Million Voices
Rinor: The most predictable entry of the year! Yes, it’s the absolute same song, message and idea as the Russian entry in 2013. I think they’re playing safe, but they’re doing a good job at it. Polina is beautiful, she’s got a good voice, they’re probably gonna do a good performance as well. Mamma Russia is not going anywhere outside the Top 10… again!
Score: 7/10
Ryan: Uplifting ballad by numbers, but as usual, Russia is right on point with this one. Great song, memorable, and with the right performance, will easily do well in the contest.
Score: 8/10
Rodrigo: Have we not had enough peace ballads from them? I find this the worse of the three but with the best performer. Neither good, nor bad.
Score: 4.5/10
Simon: I can’t deal with the vapid chintz with a contrived message from Polina, even if the commissioned authors’ intentions were genuine. It’s basically the same song as Russia had in 2013 and 2014, but less good.
Score: 3/10

Nick: Judging on song only, this is quite good. A great performer with a good song with a nice little message in it. Coming from Russia, it’s a bit odd, but then again, she doesn’t represent Putin she represents herself and the broadcaster.
Score: 7/10
Peter: I don’t think I need to state why this is one of the most cynical songs of all time at the contest, but taken on its own merit, it’s a great Eurovision ballad by numbers that is sure to be performed well. I can’t see it winning, but should be safe for top five.
Score: 7.5/10
Dan: It’s a nice ballad, one of the better ones from this year’s pile. It’s very Disney, but I think with the right staging they could do a pretty good job with this. It’s an easy qualifier for sure but I really have no clue on where it would end up in the final. Saying that, it wouldn’t surprise me if we see Russia in the top 5 this year.
Score: 5/10

Maria Olafs – Unbroken
Rinor: Catchy, contemporary and well performed. I was a little surprised when she won the national final, because I thought Iceland would go for something more different, but I can’t unlike this song. The teenage tune behind it can help it, knowing the young audience of the contest.
Score: 8/10
Ryan: This one has kind of crept up on me – when it won the Icelandic final I found it to be fairly generic and anonymous, but the song in its new form has grown into a nice modern pop tune. Not sure about its chances in Vienna (it’s in the more difficult semi final in my opinion), but would like to see this in the final at least.
Score: 7/10
Rodrigo: A cute ballad that worked really well with the English translation. Like the melody and the simplicity of it makes it too charming for me not to like. The lyrics are quite easy to relate to and are actually well written (although a bit repetitive).
Score: 7/10
Simon: My third choice from their national final, but not a bad one. María had that rabbit in headlights look about her, and how well her vocals will stand up we shall have to see. Nothing original here, but I can’t help but have a sneaking regard for it, if they can pull it off on the big stage.
Score: 6/10

Nick: Her voice is a little irksome. The song is a typical Icelandic entry: It’ll do reasonably well, but will go by unnoticed afterwards. There’s not a lot to say about this, is there? It’s a three minute verse…
Score: 4/10
Peter:  I do think there’s a shortage of this kind of pure pop this year, so I’m grateful it’s in the mix, but it is just a little bit basic and repetitive for me to get particularly excited about.
Score: 5/10
Dan: This one caught my attention from the moment I watched the national final. María is perfectly suited to this song and she carries it brilliantly. Like Russia, I also feel as if it should belong in a Disney animation as its just the type of song my young nieces would enjoy singing along to. Whether that means it will appeal to the younger audience? only time will tell..
Score: 7/10

The story so far…
The answer we asked in the introduction can be asked with a clear ‘No’. Both Iceland and Russia fail to score higher than 7. Iceland scores a decent sixth place with a score of 6.29/10, just ahead of Belarus and Montenegro, but quite a bit behind Azerbaijan and The Netherlands.
Russia sort of fails to show this time with their Polina Gagarina scoring 6/10. She settles in a current tie with Germany, but as Ann Sophie scored an 8.5 as her highest with Polina being stuck with 8, Ann Sophie edges the battle.

  1. Belgium – 8.50/10
  2. Italy – 7.83/10
  3. Australia – 7.67/10
  4. The Netherlands – 7.00/10
  5. Azerbaijan – 6.92/10
  6. Iceland – 6.29
  7. Montenegro – 6.17/10
  8. Belarus – 6.17/10
  9. Austria – 6.08/10
  10. Germany – 6.00/10
  11. Russia – 6.00/10
  12. Latvia – 5.83/10
  13. Ireland – 5.64/10
  14. Serbia – 5.43/10
  15. Czech Republic – 5.14/10
  16. Hungary – 5.08/10
  17. Malta – 4.83/10
  18. Lithuania – 4.79/10
  19. Israel – 4.64/10
  20. FYR Macedonia – 4.14/10
  21. Armenia – 3.71/10
  22. San Marino – 3.08/10
  23. Moldova – 2.79/10
  24. Finland – 2.17/10

Twenty-four entries in and our ranking is shaping up nicely. Can anyone catch Belgium? Is it possible for anyone to score higher than Loïc’s 8.5/10? Two new countries will give it a go tomorrow: Greece and Norway!

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