1. ITV Report

Who to watch out for at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014

Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, reacts after qualifying. Photo: Reuters

It's that time of year again! Celebrating almost 60 years of pop music and European unity the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest will kick off tomorrow night at 8pm on BBC One.

After two gruelling semi-finals with several surprise knock-outs (including former Eurovision darlings, Ireland), 26 nations will fight it out to be crowned the winners and host the competition next year.

Graham Norton will be in the commentating hot seat here in the UK, and 125 million people will be watching across Europe and over the globe. Last Denmark won with Emmelie de Forest's Only Teardrops, so the extravaganza will be broadcast live from Copenhagen.

UK hopeful Molly Smitten-Downes will be performing last, but there will be plenty to entertain before then.

1. Ukraine

Widely expected to get a lot of sympathy votes from across Europe due to Russia's incursion and the recent deadly violence, Ukraine will kick off proceedings with 'Tick-Tock' by Mariya Yaremchuk.

Sang in English, with some impressive lights and a grown man running in a hamster wheel, it should be a lively opening.

2. Belarus

Belarus will be represented by Teo and his song 'Cheesecake', about breaking up with a girl.

This is only the third time the country has reached the final since making their debut in 2004. Bearing some resemblance to Robin Thicke, Teo sings about Patrick Swayze and maps.

3. Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan's offering this year comes from 29-year-old Dilara Kazimova, who won her country's The Voice and sings 'Start the Fire'.

Since debuting in the competition in 2008, Azerbaijan has only once placed outside the top five, so expect a respectable placing, despite the quality of the actual song.

4. Iceland

Definitely a contender for weirdest, Iceland's Pollaponk's 'No Prejudice' is catchy piece of ska-pop.

Could be a surprise hit due to peace-loving lyrical gems such as: "I may stutter when I speak, but you don't need to call me a freak. It's not trigonometry, inside we are all the same."

5. Norway

Carl Espen sing's Silent Storm for Norway, a power ballad with the usual accompaniment of smoke machine, piano and attractive violin players. Odds not great, but could be surprise hit due to the habit of Scandinavian countries voting for each other, and the fact that the song is good, if a little dull.

6. Romania

Paula Seling and Ovi sing Romania's entry, 'Miracle', written by Danish super producer Phillip Halloun and Swedish pop star Frida Amundsen. Starting as a power ballad, then turning into a a club tune, the duet has some very impressive lighting effects.

7. Armenia

Another favourite to win, partly due to the song, and partly due to the political nature of voting, Aram MP3 will represent Armenia.

His song, 'Not Alone' will be sung in English, and treads the power ballad to club tune path beloved of Eurovision classics. Watch out for some spectacular pyrotechnics.

8. Montenegro

Another power ballad, this time from Sergej Cetkovic, who sings 'Moj Svijet' in Montenegrin. Montenegro made its debut at the contest in 2007 but decided not to participate in 2010 due to financial reasons.

This is the first time Montenegro has qualified for the grand final, so many hopes will be pinned on Cetkovic, who said he was honoured and humbled to be representing his country on the European stage.

9. Poland

Proudly declaring their origins, Donatan & Cleo will represent Poland with their song 'We are Slavic'.

Accompanied by "farm girl" dancers, the song celebrates the beauty and charm of Slavic girls.

More than a little raunchy, with obvious nods to Shakira, this song was very popular in semi-finals. Lyrics to look forward to: "This is the Slavic blood, this is the beauty and grace."

10. Greece

London based rapper Riskykidd leads the vocals on this dance/rap hybrid by Freaky Fortune.

With a less than gentle nod to the recent political instability the country, 'Rise Up' is a catchy tune about "rising up above all difficulties and jumping out of what keeps us down."

11. Austria

Continuing the proud tradition of transgender performers at Eurovision, Conchita Wurst will represent Austria with 'Rise Like A Phoenix'. Despite petitions from Russia and Belarus to have her song blocked, Europe appears to have already fallen in love. During her performance at the semi final on Thursday, the audience chanted her name and Austria's chances of winning jumped from 25th to hot favourites.

The song is Eurovision gold, but the question of whether the woman dubbed 'The Bearded Lady' will be crowned Eurovision Queen may be decided by Eastern European countries.

12. Germany

Germany will be represented by Elazia, a young trio who were a surprise hit in the national competition to find a winner after applying as a 'wildcard' via YouTube. Their self-written song 'Is It Right' is worth a listen, but the bookies do not expect them to place.

13. Sweden

Another favourite to win, Sweden's entry is a classic power ballad 'Undo' sang by Sanna Nielson. Not the most original, but sang in English, it treads the time-honoured love song path taken by many winner.

14. France

Not to be missed, France's offering comes from Twin Twin and is a camp, catchy club song called 'Moustache'. Sang in French, it tells the story of a man who has everything he wants in life except facial hair.

15. Russia

Booed by a 10,000 strong audience in the semi-finals on Thursday, Russian twins the Tolmachevy Sisters will sing 'Shine' for Russia.

Ostensibly a love song, the lyrics could be constructed as political, which may damage the country's chances:

Sending out a message up above. Tell the whole world to show some love.

No one is going to bring me down, bring me down, you are my rising star. Maybe one day you will be mine.

Closer to the crime. Cross the line a step at a time.

However the booing may have been in response to the country's anti-gay legislation.

16. Italy

Some brilliant costumes and visuals in Italy's offering this year, 'La Mai Citta', by one of the country's biggest stars, Emma. Bookies are unconvinced she will make much impact.

17. Slovenia

Tinkara Kovac represents Slovenia with her song 'Round And Round'. Selected from a competition ran by the country's state broadcaster, the song is one of the least favourites to win, according to the bookies.

18. Finland

Finland will be represented by Softengine, a band just recently signed to a record label this year. Their upbeat song 'Something Better' features chanting, and did very well at the semi-finals but is considerably safer than metal legends Lordi, who had one of the most memorable wins on the competition with 'Hard Rock Hallelujah' in 2006.

19. Spain

Former X Factor contestant Ruth Lorenzo will represent Spain with her ballad 'Dancing In The Rain'.

Ruth came fifth in the the 2008 series of the show and her song was inspired by her time spent in London's cold climate. One of the favourites.

20. Switzerland

Switzerland's entry, Sebalter's 'Hunter Of Stars' features a lot of whistling and some impressive fiddle-playing. Jaunty, upbeat and odd, it could be a surprise hit.

21. Hungary

Andras Kellay-Saunders will sing 'Running' to represent Hungary. Another ballad mixed with some drum 'n' bass, the lyrics darkly detail the child abuse suffered by a friend.

22. Malta

Another folk-pop entry, Malta's song for Europe comes from sextet Firelight, singing 'Coming Home'. Very popular in the semi-finals.

23. Denmark

An unusually titled song for the host country, and not a favourite. Danish singer Basim will perform 'Cliche Love Song' for Denmark, accompanied by more Robin Thicke resembling dancers. Will be popular in the auditorium, but unlikely to echo future afield, according to the bookies.

24. The Netherlands

Calm After The Storm', sung by The Common Linnets caused quite a stir in the semi-finals and sailed through to the grand finale.

Now looking likely to do very well indeed, and with good reason.

25. San Marino

A momentous year for San Marino as it reaches the grand final for the first time. Valentina Monetta is the woman who got San Marino there, with her classic ballad 'Maybe'.

Unlikely to make much impact, say the bookies, but a big moment on the global stage for the small state.

26. United Kingdom

Saving the best until last? The UK's Eurovision hopefull Molly Smitten-Downes will perform her self-penned song 'Children of the Universe' at the very end of the competition.

The odds have been good for the 27-year-old singer. If she triumphs she will be the first UK winner since Katrina And The Waves in 1997.

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