Read back: Sam Ryder one of four potential Jury Vote winners (Eurovision 2022)

Sam Ryder singing for the UK in 2023. Source: EBU

Tomorrow it’s time for the grand final of Eurovision 2021. 25 countries will compete for the trophy in the long awaiting final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. But 50% of the results will already be decided tonight! Follow the jury rehearsal with us. In this blog you can read what we think of the vocal qualities of each country, and how we think the juries will react to their performance.

NOTE: The star ratings are our indication of how likely it is that the professional jury might vote for this performance. They do not display any personal preferences.

For more information on how to read this blog, check out our Jury Jargon Explanation.

Please keep refreshing this blog to receive the latest updates. Timeslots are indicated in CET. Newest update always appears on top.

23:51 – Thank you for watching

We are not staying around for the fake voting. Thank you for following us! Feel free to read back our descriptions and analysis below.

23:37 – Bottom scores for France, Romania and Norway

These three countries will likely be outside the top 20 when televote scores come in tomorrow night: France, Romania and Norway. France especially sent an entry that ticked a lot of red flags.

23:32 – Ukraine, Greece and Australia follow

Three more countries will have reached the jury top 10 tonight: Greece, Ukraine and Australia. For Greece, tonight may have been a slight disappointment. Amanda was not as great as in previous performances and will therefore not win the jury vote (something I thought was possible before the show.

23:27 – Italy, Sweden, UK and Poland fly high above the field

Four countries were absolutely amazing tonight. We are confident to predict either Italy, Sweden, UK or Poland as the winner of this year’s Jury Vote. Because all four of them gave almost flawless performances tonight, it is tough to make the final call between the four.

  • Mahmood & Blanco have a jury friendly classical Italian ballad. Vocals were strong, professionalism was there.
  • Sweden: a jury friendly song, inoffensive and middle-of-the-road. Vocally tonight her best performance so far.
  • UK: the prototype of a jury song, and vocally really strong towards the end after a nervous start.
  • Poland: similar in style to “Tout l’universe” that won the jury vote last year, combined with absolutely perfect vocals tonight.

We do not presume the situation in Ukraine will influence the Jury Vote to a degree that would prevent any of these four from finishing first with juries.

23:23 – Rankings updated, finalized

We have now described and ranked all of the performances. After the last performance, we updated and finalized all the rankings.

23:14 – Estonia – Stefan – Hope

I have always considered Stefan a great vocalist leading up to the contest. However, in tonight’s performance he missed a few of the lower ranked notes (and this is not the first time this week). Stefan shouts into the audience several times and he does not sing the “our hope” parts of the final chorus. His charismatic performance, in my opinion, is more for televoters, as they relate to his emotions more than juries do.

Juries tend not to like country music that much. Estonia probably made a smart move abandoning the eccentric country performance – at least when it comes to the jury vote. This eliminates the possible FOP-effect. Running order does not favor Estonia either; at least not with juries. He may have the pimp slot, but he comes after a list of very strong, jury friendly entries that do not contrast well for Stefan.

23:09 – Serbia – Konstrakta – In Corpore Sano

This has always been a very tough one to predict. Even now that it has survived the semi final, and is clearly picking up momentum with the wider audience, I am still not sure whether juries will consider this serious and high class, or eccentric and niche. The fact that the jury vote has always been dominated by negative voting more than by positive voting, does not help Serbia in that sense.

Vocal performance tonight was as good as it has always been. Konstrakta comes across like a solid theatre performer, in charge of her performance and her voice at the same time.

23:05 – Poland – Ochman – The River

Will this be the year Poland finally gets jury support? Kristian Ochman, a former talent show contestant (green flag) gives an amazing performance tonight. On key from start to finish. Never a doubt in any juror’s mind that Ochman could make a mistake. The note at the end of the bridge is technically very strong. Falsetto parts in the chorus are extremely difficult, and will be rewarded.

This should finish really, really high in the jury vote. First of all because of the amazing vocals tonight. Secondly because of the credible, serious atmosphere it sends out. And third of all because the song has a solid build-up combined with an inoffensive message.

22:59 – UK – Sam Ryder – Spaceman

Sam starts off a little bit nervous. He skips one note in the first verse, and is off-key at the word “searched”. The second verse is better, and as soon as the crowd gets into it, Sam gains confidence and starts showing off in the final minute of his song. Breaking the difficult notes just a little bit longer, ad-libbing where possible, not holding back even one bit. This song has a high level of difficulty and Sam Ryder lived up to it and then some.

Let me list the green flags in this entry outside of Sam’s vocal performance: a middle-of-the-road song, with a solid build-up. Easy listening guitar accents. You cannot really have anything against it. Level of technical difficulty is high, even beyond just the fact that falsettos are included. Sam is a charismatic and confident performer who looks like a professional all the way through.

22:52 – Australia – Sheldon Riley – We’re not the same

Sheldon starts off really strong during the first two minutes of the song. Both in the smaller low ranked notes and in the big high notes. However, after climbing the stairs, the adrenaline gets to him and he quickly decides to cut out a few more difficult ad-libs. Because of this, he manages to finish the song without mistakes. Strong vocal performance all in all.

This type of ballad is not the typical kind of jury ballad. It does not have a classical build-up and is not easily accessible. However, in the field we have tonight, it is still one of the more jury friendly compositions out there.

22:47 – Sweden – Cornelia Jakobs – Hold me closer

Cornelia sounds a bit shaky in the first three sentences of the first verse. Nerves, perhaps? Already so many times during this week, her performance was cut off right at the beginning. She finds her volume during the pre-chorus and sings well in the first chorus. The further into the song we go, the better the vocals become. One big ad-lib in the final chorus sounds a bit shaky but not off-key. This is one of her better performances of the week and thankfully, the technique works!

Sweden has sent jury bait for years in a row now. This song does not fall out of that category, even though I expect the split to be less extreme this year. Still, since we are only focusing on juries right now: this is a jury friendly song, because of its classical structure, credible presentation and inoffensive sound.

22:44 – Moldova – Zdob si Zdub – Trenuletul

Juries tend not to like highly ethnic songs. They are also not a fan of songs featuring multiple genres. The power of the Moldovan entry is the fact that it is a fusion between two different genres; however I highly doubt juries will see it the same way.

Vocally, not much we can say from the lead singers performance. The level of difficulty of the song is not that high, but he performs it well and brings the energy across to fans both in the arena and at home.

22:40 – Iceland – Systur – Með hækkandi sól

This has been highly advertised as a jury entry. However, I urge you to keep in mind that our model shows juries generally do not favor country music. Example: Common Linnets had a higher televote than jury vote. Juries do, however, like harmonies to increase the level of difficulty for vocals.

Those harmonies do sound good tonight. The unexpected mistake in the bridge that we heard on Monday, was not there tonight. Flawless performance, though I am not yet convinced by the song’s jury potential particularly in a bigger and stronger final field. On top of that, the performance is quite the opposite of professional; it reminds me of a village fair performance.

22:37 – Creating more contrast

We have been updating some of the star ratings in order to create a clearer contrast. In other words: the 3-star-group was getting too big, and therefore we decided to split it up / move some countries to a lower category.

22:35 – Greece – Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord – Die together

The start of this song is vocally very demanding. Amanda’s timing is impeccable, and the notes all come out right. She is slightly on the edge at the word “always” in the first chorus, however this is a minor detail in an otherwise flawless first minute. In the bridge, she slides of one note at “rip it out”, and later another one at the ad-libs. Aside from the bridge, this was another strong vocal performance.

The ballad may be moderne and innovative (hence more suitable for younger televoters) however it also has the typical structure of a classic ballad, which is a genre juries love. My best guess is therefore that they will like this as well. As I mentioned on Tuesday, Fokas’ staging is subtle and subdued enough not to annoy or put off juries.

22:29 – Belgium – Jeremie Makiese – Miss you

Jeremie, a former talent show winner (green flag), starts off solid with a flawless first verse. However, in the first chorus, things quickly unravel for him. He is off-key at two, maybe three high notes. Second verse is solid. In the chorus, Jeremie struggles again, although he does not make any big mistakes here as he did in the first. Final chorus features another two big mistakes. Not Jeremies best night tonight, to say the least.

Juries tend to like soul music and the type of vocals Jeremie displays. He may be an inexperienced artist who does not display the so-called “Mans-factor” at all. However, his talent show background and the big level of vocal difficulty of this song should give him at least a little bit of credit.

22:25 – Azerbaijan – Nadir Rustamli – Fade to black

Nadir misses a note low at the word “reverie” (first verse). In the pre-chorus, he slides off a higher note. Strong vocals in the second verse and chorus. The long big note in the final 30 seconds comes out very strong, however, in the final sentences Nadir misses another small high note at “love goes bad”.

The song is the type of rational ballad that is usually more popular with juries than televoters. The jury members will not mind the lack of emotional connection as much as televoters will. That makes this song another one where the discrepancy could be big (jury vote high, televote low).

We have seen juries punish Azerbaijan when they had big stagings in previous years. The act with the dancer and the huge stairs will probably not get that same treatment. A “Start a Fire” result is more likely.

22:20 – Lithuania – Monika Liu – Sentimentai

Monika misses a lower ranked note at the end of a sentence, twice during the first verse. First chorus solid. Second verse and chorus come out fine, Monika sounds more comfortable as she progresses through the song. A good vocalist, which is obviously something jurors reward.

Shouting into the audience is something Monika did a lot during previous performances, and she does it on several occasions tonight as well (red flag). She has talent show experience (green flag) in The Voice of Lithuania.

The song is inoffensive, mild sounding and slightly dated: classic jury food. However, how will this be perceived by jurors in a larger field, with higher over-all quality in terms of both songs and vocals?

22:16 – Germany – Malik Harris – Rockstars

Malik misses the very first note of his song. He recovers quickly, though, getting through the rest of the verse solidly. His rap/parlando parts sound comfortable, he displays a good feel for the rhythm. For most of his performance, he puts jurors At Ease. They can comfortably sit back knowing Malik simply will not miss.

This entry may not be ranked high with bookmakers, but for juries, there is plenty to like. The song is inoffensive middle-of-the-road pop combined with rap elements (a genre juries historically like more than televoters). On top of that, Malik’s performance sets the tone of a true musician, a credible and serious artist.

22:10 – Ukraine – Kalush Orchestra – Stefania

Vocally, this performance is not truly demanding. There is a large part of rap involved, and the choruses feature one (difficult) note, repeated several times. Credit to the group, they sing it well and confidently – however that is what juries expect in a song like this. The rapper with the pink hat comes across like an experienced performer.

Tough to predict whether juries will like this composition or not. Historically, they like rap songs, however they do not like ethnic influences. Will they consider voting for Ukraine to be the politically correct (green flag) thing to do?

22:06 – Netherlands – S10 – De Diepte

Nerves in S10’s voice during the first verse, however she stays in key. During the first chorus, she finds her voice at full strength. Slightly on the edge at one high note, but no major issues. Second verse is strong. Vocals in the final minute are stronger than on Monday.

The composition itself is a bit too modern and innovative to be perfectly suitable for (older) jury members. Perhaps the over-all image of this performance is is still inoffensive and credible enough to gather jury points. S10 looks like a serious artist for sure, however obviously not (yet) an experienced one.

22:02 – Spain – Chanel – Slo Mo

The first verse is shaky. Two missed notes on the low side in the first chorus. Second verse is a bit better than the first one, without big mistakes. If anyone thought Spain could get jury support for singing and dancing at the same time, I highly doubt that. Especially after Chanel misses a few more ad-lib notes in the final part of the song. However, if you would exclude vocals and simply judge Chanel on her professionalism as a dancer – there is nothing I could argue against that.

Spain is ranked high with bookmakers and the televote appeal is obviously there. Jury support is less likely based on the cheap clothing and highly sexualized dance routines. The act may be perceived as sexist (red flag) by female jurors. As for the song: while not jury friendly, it has happened before that juries voted for club songs such as “Fuego” when the performance was strong.

21:58 – Italy – Mahmood & Blanco – Brividi

Mahmood misses one note low in the first verse. First chorus is solid, the harmonies sound good and Mahmood now nails the falsetto parts. In the second verse, Blanco struggles with two lower ranked notes while he stands on the piano. No big missed notes. Second chorus sounds very strong. Interesting to see how juries will react to the parlando part of Blanco in the bridge. Especially now that the performance has been toned down (less aggressive), I think they will like it.

Juries are big fans of the traditional Italian ballad, both in terms of language and in terms of structure. In the presentation there is also plenty to like. It is credible (green flag), with soft colors, and the whole thing expresses calmth and composure more than anything else.

I am happy to call Mans-factor on this one. Mahmood and Blanco have by far been the most professional on stage of everyone tonight. They showed up and performed when they needed to.

21:54 – Best one so far?

Debate among ESCDaily editors whether Armenia, with a slightly less strong performance, is still the best juries have seen so far. Some think yes, others think it could also be Switzerland (or Portugal).

21:52 – Armenia – Rosa Linn – Snap

After a small technical break, Armenia is on. Rosa Linn is a strong vocalist who also looks comfortable on the stage. However tonight, her voice does not seem to have the volume and confidence that she displayed earlier this week. She does not miss many notes (just the “I” in “I need time”, first pre-chorus). However, close followers know Rosa Linn is capable of more. This does not put jurors at the back of their seats, which is something she is capable of doing.

I have said this often already: Indie songs are better suited for televoters. However, this one is very middle of the road and inoffensive. Juries have no obvious reason to vote it down – but don’t get fooled into thinking it is a classic jury song.

21:46 – Norway – Subwoolfer – Give that wolf a banana

The first solist wiggles through some of the rather difficult tone walks. No big mistakes though. Second solist sounds more confident. Second verse also solid. As mentioned on Monday, the chorus is rather flat. Final verse is also solid. There is no reason to dismiss this purely on vocal performance, but of course there are many other off-putting factors to this performance.

The Norwegian Head of Delegation was convinced that juries would recognize this entry as a “serious” attempt. However, I have my doubts whether that will prove to be true. To me, this screams FOP-effect, in other words juries will feel like they are somehow fooled by this entry and downgrade it for that reason.

21:41 – France – Alvan & Ahez – Fulenn

First female solo sentences sound trembling. The first big high note is at the edge, though not entirely off key. Chorus is rather flat, almost impossible to miss notes there. Harmonies in the second chorus are not aligned, a technicality televoters may not notice but juries will. Can we compare this to the ethnic mess “Samo Shampioni” that was highly disregarded by juries?

If someone had asked me one year ago to create a total package for a Eurovision performance and combine as many red flags for juries as possible, I might have come up with something like this. An innovative electronical song with tempo changes. Last year’s result For Ukraine and Finland may suggest that this effect is slightly watering down. However when you combine it with a divisive sound, lyrics and outlook, and a chaotic performance, it is still very jury unfriendly.

21:37 – Switzerland – Marius Bear – Boys do cry

Marius starts off strong with a very solid first verse. In the chorus, he struggles with the sentence  “God only knows why”, however he does not miss a note. Second verse is again confident, more so than on Monday. During the second chorus, he starts to ad-lib some of his notes. They are still in key. Televoters generally do not like such vocal tricks, but jurors do (think Ott Leppland in 2012). Over all another solid performance, it seems as though reaching the final has released some of the pressure for Marius too.

The song is very well suited for juries: credible, sweet, completely inoffensive and with a recognizable American Disney sound to it. And while televoters will relate to Marius’ movements more easily (juries will distract points for perceived amateurism), there is still a serious atmosphere created on stage (green flag). I expect a high discrepancy between jury vote and televote (which could be very low).

21:33 – Finland – The Rasmus – Jezebel

The first verse sounds very weak, even though Lauri manages to avoid big mistakes. He is, however, slightly gasping for air between two sentences. Second verse, he misses two notes low, both at the end of a sentence. The choruses sound fine when Lauri is supported by live backing vocals. Finland does not use backing vocals on tape, and if juries notice this, it may help them. Lauri misses one more note (at the word “sun”) during the bridge.

Wednesday I mentioned Lauri’s qualities as a performer, the Mans-factor for professionalism on stage. While he still had that tonight, the entire performance came across a bit less energetic than on Wednesday.

Juries are not opposed to rock music, however the danger with rock songs is that they can be perceived as divisive. I think this one may just be accessible enough.

21:29 – Portugal – Maro – Saudade, saudade

Tonight’s performance is vocally sound, and therefore just a little bit better than the one on Monday. Nerves are probably gone after qualification. The solos are still a bit more shaky than the harmonies. However, no big mistakes, no missed notes. Solid performance, apart from a little slider at the note “write” in the final sentences.

Juries like harmonies. It increases the difficulty factor. As I’ve mentioned on Tuesday, songs that are alternative/indie tend not to go as great with juries as people expect. This performance has a kind of credibility to it. Since many jury members are concerned about voting for something fitting their image, this credibility could play in Portugals favor.

21:25 – Romania – WRS – Llamamé

On Wednesday, I pointed out that this song is one of the flattest in the competition. Every mistake would be extra punished, because it is almost impossible to go off-key in this one.

The lead singer gets excited by the crowd singing along to his song. This leads to him shouting into the audience more than he did in previous performances (red flag).

Just to clarify: juries can vote for uptempo songs and/or dance songs; they have done it in the past. However, this is not jury friendly within the genre, because of ethnic elements and a more trashy outlook. The latter is even more true within the current final field, in which the over-all quality is stronger.

21:20 – Czech Republic – We Are Domi – Lights off

Juries are not that quick to reward new, innovative or experimental songs. Especially not within the electronical genre. There will be jury members who like it, however it will simply be a bit too much love-or-hate. And in a jury vote, negative votes count relatively heavier than positive votes (in a televote, this works exactly the other way around).

Vocally, Dominika battles her way through the verses and pre-choruses, where the lower ranked notes give her trouble at times. She manages not to miss any notes, however, the At Ease status clearly does not apply here (quite the opposite). Despite the big high notes all being in key, this was not a vocal masterclass. She cut out her shouting into the audience, which removes a red flag.

21:01 – Show has started

As mentioned before, we only focus only on the performances tonight. How will juries perceive them?

Keep refreshing, in a few minutes we will be back with our update on Czech Republic.

20:51 – Here we go!

Team ESCDaily has studied jury results extensively over the past few years. We are confident that we know what jurors are looking for in a Eurovision performance. And tonight, we will describe each performance for you through the eyes of a juror! Stay with us, we’ll start soon!

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