ENTERTAINMENT

Eurovision Song Contest: From These Final 26 Songs, Can You Spot The Winner?

22/05/2015 12:39 BST | Updated 23/05/2015 08:59 BST

Bang the drums, switch on that wind machine, swirl those cloaks - the Eurovision Song Contest final 2015 has (almost) arrived and, following the delights and disasters of this week's semi-finals, we're down to the elite few who must be good, because they've made it all the way through - a mere 26 of them.

Without further ado, here's the rundown of who's got what to offer on stage in Vienna on Saturday evening. We know where OUR money's going - do you?

ALBANIA: Elhaida Dani - 'I'm Alive'

A winner of Star Academy Albania AND The Voice of Italy - go figure. This song sounds like a Beyonce album-track, but a few stray points must go to the cloak. Two people wrote this song, possibly without ever meeting each other.



ARMENIA: Genealogy - 'Face The Shadow'

Three guys, three gals taking turns on impassioned vocals, occasionally together. Significant factor - high. Five of the artists represent families dispersed by the Armenian Genocide of 1915, with one singer coming from Armenia. But the song… would fit in a West End musical (not a long-running one).



AUSTRALIA: Guy Sebastian - 'Tonight Again'

If you're only going to get one stab at it every 60 years, better make it a goodie - and oh, how they have, with Guy Sebastian's smooth, pop-polished funk channelling Mark Ronson-lite for those Euro-palates.



AUSTRIA: The Makemakes - 'I Am Yours'

If scientists were asked to come up something diametrically opposite Conchita, they couldn't have done better than this, a deceptively ramshackle male duo with a catchy ditty, probably better suited for pub singalongs.



AZERBAIJAN: Elnur Huseynov - 'Hour of the Wolf'

If Josh Groban ever needs a warm welcome, he could always head to Azerbaijan, judging by the sound of Elnur (he won The Voice Turkey this year). No idea why it's said 'wolfing hour' but he gives it his all, and any extra energy required is more than provided by the strangely-matched pair of dancers.



BELGIUM: Loic Nottet - 'Rhythm Inside'

The lovechild of Sam Smith and Lorde DOES exist, and he once came second in the Belgian version of 'The Voice'. Here, he's up front and centre, with able support from a robotic crew dressed for the operating theatre. Extra points, surely, for Loic's lying on the floor and singing to the ceiling.



CYPRUS: John Karayiannis - 'One Thing I Should Have Done'

A perfectly paced ballad, with a surprisingly big end. Somewhere, Gary Barlow is humming along very approvingly.



ESTONIA: Elina Born & Stig Rasta - 'Goodbye To Yesterday'

No doubt one of 2015's cleverest songs from this charismatic duo, which actually tells an accessible story. The jingly-jangly guitar is straight from early 1980s indie, and their combative chemistry calls to mind the likes of McCall and McCullough, but this song might be a bit too... interesting for victory.



FRANCE: Lisa Angell - 'N'Oubliez Pas'

Once again, France bucks the trend by staying firmly in her native tongue, Lisa's voice rising ever higher under stirring strings. Probably not one for the dance floors of Europe this summer.



GERMANY: Ann Sophie - 'Black Smoke'

Sounding not very German at all, Ann Sophie instead has a touch of the Shakira about her strident tones, but this is definitely one of those numbers that could have benefited from some dance moves.



GEORGIA: Nina Sublatti - 'Warrior'

2013 victor of Pop Idol (Georgia) - is there a theme here? - Nina resides firmly in the indomitable, tireless female corner of the Eurovision ring. With fears and eyeliner for armour. I wouldn't mess. But, sorry, I'm listening to the song right now and I've already forgotten it.



GREECE: Maria Elena Kyriakou - 'One Last Breath'

Key change - check. Wind machine - check. Arms-awavering complete the credentials of this mighty Greek walking firmly in Conchita's power ballad footsteps. This time, it's comely Maria Elena who - yes, you guessed it - previously won The Voice (Greece). Do put your glass down in time for the key change - it'll knock out your fillings.



HUNGARY: Boggie - 'Wars for Nothing'

Impressively unadorned save for guitar strums, Boggie channels every charming folk singer for this sweet ditty with serious message. Which makes me feel doubly bad for making this my kettle break. Zzzzzzzzz.



ISRAEL: Nadav Guedj - 'Golden Boy'

'The Justin Timberlake of Israel' no less - Paris-born Nadav is his country's big golden hope, hence the big golden sneakers. What could have been conventional pop is given a Middle Eastern kick, which could solidly build the bridges required by the theme of Eurovision60… or end up pleasing no one.



ITALY: Il Volo - 'Amore'

Two tenors and a baritone, with one looking like Timmy Mallett - what is not to like? This poperatic pow-thock could have turned up any time in the last half-century, such timeless chest-beating kept modern by the strings, and those Mallett specs bring it bang up to date.



LATVIA: Aminata - 'Love Injected'

Anyone remember the earth-shattering wails of Taja Sevelle? Aminata stands impressively still but her voice travels. It's a big old chorus, this.



LITHUANIA: Monika Linkyte & Vaidas Baumila - 'This Time'

This is the SIXTH time Monika has tried to represent her nation at Eurovision, second time for Vaidas, so douze points for effort. The song's unavoidably upbeat and toe-tapping, but pretty forgettable apart from their big smiles and even a cheeky kiss halfway through.



MONTENEGRO: Knez - 'Adio'

Montenegro's most popular artist with ten albums to his name, Knez could be this year's Engelbert, but with added circular stomping. It's a slow builder, but the backing staff with wearing doilies up top keep it interesting.



NORWAY: Kjetil Morland & Debrah Scarlett - 'A Monster Like Me'

Girls Aloud fans might recognise Kjetil from their tour support band Absent Elk, and obviously Debrah's that girl from the Norwegian version of The Voice. And if you think he sounds like James Blunt, wait until she turns up - Adele, anyone?



POLAND: Monika Kuszynska - 'In the Name of Love'

This singer has rock-band credentials, but she's left them at home, instead joining in with the Richard Clayderman piano tinkles, and smiling sweetly all the while. Strangely sticks in your head, though.



ROMANIA: Voltaj - 'All Over Again'

Victors at the MTV Europe Music Awards (2005), pop-rock outfit Voltaj could step in any time Elbow can't make one of their stadium fillers. There's a message in this multi-lingual offering, but it's only really the chorus that will keep the crowd happy.



RUSSIA: Polina Gagarina - 'Million Voices'

If you can overlook the irony of this stunning Russian singing of 'peace and healing', prepare to have your socks knocked off by the anthemic drums, the chest-beating chorus and, above all, the pitch perfect voice peeling the roof off the arena. And if you're not on your feet by the final note, check your pulse. A star is strangely born.



SERBIA: Bojana Stamenov - 'Beauty Never Lies'

Previously renowned for coming 4th in Serbia's Got Talent, Bojana swishes her fairytale cloak around the stage for this averagely plodding number, until the dance break takes us somewhere quite different. Just wish the energy of the song's latter half had kicked off approximately two minutes earlier.



SLOVENIA: Maraaya - 'Here For You'

The name's a witty combo of married Marjetka and Raay who, between them, ending up sounding like a speeded-up Paloma Faith. It's a great song, though, and if someone could just explain the headphones, that would be great.



SPAIN: Edume - 'Amanecer'

If it were just a competition for power ballads, everyone else would just have to pack up and start partying, because this one, by popular TV presenter Edume, is the biggest of the lot. Try imagining 'Euphoria's mournful cousin… you with me?



SWEDEN: Mans Zelmerlow - 'Heroes'

Fifth in Swedish Pop Idol, first in 'Let's Dance', Mans is the favourite to win this year with this incredibly slick package of catchy chorus, understated yet stunning graphics and, at the centre of it all, a man who really knows what he's doing.



UK: Electro Velvet - 'Still in Love With You'

The jury's so far out on this one, they just might not come back in until well after the contest. One thing's for sure, this retro-electro-swing number definitely stands out from the pack. Will such courage/perversity be rewarded? I fear not, but stranger things have happened.



The Eurovision Song Contest final will be shown live on BBC1 on Saturday evening at 8pm.

Best And Worst Of Brits At Eurovision

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK | FOLLOW US ON TWITTER