It’s a never a complete mystery who’ll win the next Contest and with that in mind Team Wiwi has a few preliminary predictions for 2014. With region-by-region analysis we’ll point toward the key players for 2014.
Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland)
11/35 Top 5 Finishes 2006-13
It’s been a few years since Norway won the Contest and thanks to Margaret Berger’s 4th place finish, she’s put Norway in a strong position to campaign for a victory in Denmark. Though regional competition will be tough, Sweden and Denmark, Norge‘s most consistent opponents, have won too recently to really challenge for gold. The only thing counting against the Norwegians is the fact that the Melodi Grand Prix audience sent Stella Mwangi and Tooji to Eurovision…
The Former Soviet Bloc (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania)
9/35 Top 5 Finishes 2006-13
This region may as well be called Ukraine and Russia because they’re the only real challengers. With 8 Top 5 appearances between them since 2006, and a victory for Russia in 2008, they’ve been a consistent threat in Contests. Despite dips in form for Russia in 2009-11 and Ukraine 2009-10 and 2012, both returned with determination in 2013 and look hell bent on wiping out any competition facing them in 2014 – even each other.
The Caucasus: (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia)
6/35 Top 5 Finishes
If you want to talk about the Caucasus, you’re talking about all-conquering Azerbaijan. Sirusho aside there hasn’t been a concerted effort from Armenia for victory in a long time. Accounting for 5/35 Top 5 appearances Azerbaijan are the true Caucasian powerhouse and only a fool would rule them out of success in 2014. But the music does die eventually: no good streak lasts forever, especially in Eurovision, and I have a hunch that Azerbaijan apathy might strike hard in Denmark next year.
Southern Europe: (Greece, Italy, Albania, Cyprus, Turkey, Israel, Malta and San Marino)
6/35 Top 5 Finishes
Turkey might have been the most successful Southern European country overall, but if you want to talk about success since 2011, all you have to know is Bella Italia. Even with a snooze-inducing song they can do well, and they even snagged themselves the runner-up spot their first year back after a long hiatus. Italy is guaranteed to do well by virtue of being…well…Italian, and 2014 might just be the year that Rome claims the title.
Eastern Europe: (Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Moldova)
3/35 Top 5 Finishes
Romania is due a success in 2014, having previously placed in the Top 5 in 2006 and 2010. If they can pull out all the stops, Bucharest might even threaten for victory – it’s been a while since we were in Eastern Europe and the Romanians offer the region’s best hope for success.
Former Yugoslav Countries: (Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, F.Y.R Macedonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina)
4/35 Top 5 Finishes
The Former Yugoslavs are led by Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia. There record is almost guaranteed fixtures on the scoreboard; their Top 5 performance is erratic and with neither being in the Final this year, Former Yugoslav objectives look likely to be on qualifying rather than winning the Contest.
Western Europe: (Andorra, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Monaco, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom)
The United Kingdom’s time truly was 2009, having never reached the Top 5 since then and Germany’s ‘Satellite’ has been unceremoniously knocked out of a Top 10 orbit by Cascada’s colossal flop in Malmö in 2013. Without a German success story there really are no glimmers of hope for Western Europe in 2014, and I don’t need the WiwiBloggs Crystal Ball to rule out that scenario.
So what do you all think? Do Norway have it in the bag before Melodi Grand Prix has begun? Will Azerbaijan steamroll all competition for a crushing win? Will Western Europe shock us with a winner?
Photo: Sander Hesterman (EBU)