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Five fan theories we’re waiting to see tested

by | May 7, 2017

Five fan theories we’re waiting to see tested

by | May 7, 2017 | 2017 Home Blog, Eurovision, Featured

all images © eurovision.tv

Over in Kyiv, we’ve now seen the first and second round of rehearsals for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. And while the artists enjoy a well-deserved bit of time outside the arena at this evening’s opening ceremony (bring on the champagne! and some fresh air!), we’re going to take a look at five popular theories among ESC fans that will have been proven – or disproven – by this time next week.

1. The juries will punish Francesco’s ape
When a contest has a super-hot favourite like Italy this year, everyone instinctively starts looking for reasons why it “can’t” win. With Loreen it was the dark staging and a bit of snowflake-choking at the rehearsal stage (wrong), with Sergey Lazarev it was the theory that the juries would punish Russia for being, well, Russia (probably kind of correct). In 2017 it’s those unpredictable juries who find themselves in the fan spotlight again. Televoters are expected to respond extremely well to Francesco Gabbani’s choreographed routine with a dancing ape – but is that precisely the kind of lightweight fun that the juries will be only too happy to punish?

2. The first half of semi 1 will be a bloodbath
The running order plays an important role in the Eurovision Song Contest results – the producers wouldn’t have decided to take control of it if it didn’t! – and it’s widely accepted in the fan world that six songs simply can’t qualify from the first half of a semi-final. Yet before rehearsals began, all of Sweden, Australia, Belgium, Finland, Azerbaijan and Portugal were seen as likely qualifiers, at least according to the betting markets – and at that stage, the betting basically reflects what fans think (or fans with money to burn, in any case). Can they really all get through? Of course, Belgium’s Blanche in particular has slipped firmly into “borderliner” territory thanks to some pretty unconvincing early rehearsals – but if anything, it’s the likes of Tamara from Georgia, also performing in the first half, who could benefit as a result. So will it be six of one and four of the other on Tuesday night, or will the theory be right after all?

Treble trouble?

3. O’G3NE will fail – because female trios always do
When it comes to ESC, trios mean trouble. Entries where the lead vocal is split more or less equally between three singers have a poor record at the contest in recent years, from hilariously dressed Serbian girlgroup Moje 3 failing to qualify from the plum slot in their semi-final in 2013 to the crash-and-burn of fanfaves Femminem in 2010. The Netherlands have even suffered from this syndrome themselves, with Treble garnering very few votes back in 2006 despite busking in just about every major European city during their promo campaign. So will this also be a problem for their countrymates O’G3NE this year, as the fan theory goes? Their tight harmonies are very much seen as their big strength – which is useful, since their song is on the weaker side – but will voters prove resistant to the charms of a vocal trio yet again?

4. The UK will suffer from the Brexit factor
Lucie Jones is proving to be one of the big successes of the first rehearsal week, delivering largely flawless and well-staged performances of “Never Give Up On You”. But aren’t we all forgetting something? Last year the United Kingdom delivered a huge blow to the peacetime hopes of a continent by voting to withdraw from the European Union, and the resentment – and bafflement – is still felt far and wide on the continent. That said, it’s worth remembering that there are also plenty of Euro-sceptic televoters out there who probably quite approved of the UK’s decision (and who knows, the French election may yet have a sting in the tail in that respect). All the same, the theory goes, it’s entirely plausible that those all-important juries will choose to give the UK a kick in the arse for having the temerity to say “non, nein danke” to the European project – regardless of how well Lucie puts the song over.

Never give up on EU?

5. Valentina Monetta is inexorably on the rise
OK, I admit, this isn’t actually an especially popular theory. But just look at the facts, people! In her three participations to date, San Marino legend Valentina Monetta has done better each time, finally giving the microstate its first qualification for the grand final in 2014. So why shouldn’t her upward trend be a sustainable one? There has to be some reason SMRTV and Uncle Ralph Siegel have turned to her again this year, after all. Who knows – by midnight on Saturday, we might even be looking at San Marino’s first appearance on the left-hand side of the scoreboard thanks to Valentina and Jimmie.

Then again, they might already be back home and watching the show on TV by then…

What are your favourite weird and wonderful fan theories from this year’s competition? Let us know!

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