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Best in Nordic Countries in Eurovision 2018

Which country will be best in Nordic countries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018?

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The Nordic countries have dominated the Eurovision Song Contest in the past decade, winning the contest 4 times since 2008 (Norway in 2009, Sweden in 2012 and 2015, Denmark in 2013). This fact makes the North part of Europe the most scary in a Eurovision race by the other competitors.

Sweden have been kings of Eurovision for a fair few years now. Winners in 2012 and 2015, the last place the Scandinavians have finished outside the top five was on home soil in 2013. In recent years they have sent a teenager (Frans), somebody who had tried countless times to represent her country (Sanna Nielsen), and of course the two winners, one of which, Loreen, is perhaps the most popular Eurovision winner of all time. Benjamin Ingrosso will represent Sweden in Lisbon. The performance is quite slick, but I do wonder how he will cope in Lisbon due to a lack of LED screens. The song is quite Justin Timberlake-y meets Justin Bieber, with breathy, sexy-ish vocals and a slight R&B lilt.

Alexander Rybak will try to repeat the victory of this Scandinavian country nine years ago, when, in Moscow, he conquered Europe with his "Fairytale" ; the song proposed for this year’s competition is very lively, from the musical point of view, but too childish in terms of the lyrics. Bookmakers place it among the favorites so it can not be ruled out that it ended up as Dana International, winner of the Eurovision in 1999 and that was on the verge of the final in the 2011 edition.

Rybak is an excellent performer, and despite a sub-par number, he does sell his tune fairly well, even if the whole shebang comes across as quite cringey. With a bouncy beat, Rybak begins by playing the air violin, and then the air drums and electric guitar. Several drawings appear around him as he sits, including musical notes, a football and comic-book swirls.

It’s been over a decade since Finland’s only victory in the Eurovision Song Contest to date, with ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’ by the band Lordi. Since then, results have been hit-and-miss. Punk rock failed in 2015, ‘Sing It Away’ failed to leave an impression in 2016, and Norma John (albeit surprisingly) failed to make the cut in Kiev last May. A chart-friendly, modern dance entry, ‘Monsters’ is likely to see Finland back into the grand final. It starts off quite ominously before a clubby beat kicks in during the chorus. Saara is a great live singer and confident performer, and that will certainly be apparent in Lisbon. However, the staging for her song will have to change somewhat, as right now it appears more messy than complete. Otherwise, there’s little to pick up on. ‘Monsters’ might well be the most pop-oriented entry in this year’s contest, and while it may be too cheap for the juries, the public should dole out plenty of points, especially as it has been well-liked since it was revealed.

Iceland’s “Our Choice” is a pleasant ditty, but is in danger of being touted as the cheesy song of the year. There are no issues with his voice, but his song fails to leave a lasting impression. In a tough semi-final, he could really struggle.