OK, so I only predicted six of the ten on Tuesday (Moldova – seriously?) but here I am again, putting my reputation on the line and giving you an early indication of who will complete the line-up for Saturday night.
Serbia – Željko Joksimović – Nije Ljubav Stvar – The perfect combination of musical depth and mass appeal. It will appeal to juries and viewers and this is a close as you can get to a guaranteed qualifier.
Macedonia – Kaliopi – Crno I Belo – With five ex-Yugoslav countries in this semi-final, surely they won’t all qualify. If there is one to go, Kaliopi could be the one, despite her fame in the region.
The Netherlands – Joan Franka – You and Me – Personally, I think she would be better off if she dumped the head-dress. However, no-one else seems that bothered and her song is simple, sing-along stuff. The Dutch have been unlucky in the past in not reaching the final, not this year.
Malta – Kurt Calleja – This Is the Night – Malta’s big problem is being in the same semi-final as Norway. This Is the Night will appeal to the same demographic as Stay but isn’t as good. This will prove to be Kurt’s downfall.
Belarus – Litesound – We Are the Heroes – It would be a good story if the song that didn’t win the national final climbed in to Eurovision final. It could easily happen.
Portugal – Filipa Sousa – Vida Minha – Albania, the classiest song in the first semi-final made the all-important top ten when it looked unlikely. Filipa should take heart from that and give it all she’s got. Saturday beckons – if there’s any justice.
Ukraine – Gaitana – Be My Guest – Ukraine always make the final but the sequence has to break one year. This could be the one, but I won’t be surprised if I’m wrong.
Bulgaria – Sofi Marinova – Love Unlimited – This is a good dance floor filler but ultimately disappoints after a promising start. What’s Bulgarian for ‘goodbye’?
Slovenia – Eva Boto – Verjamem – The youngest singer in the contest but you wouldn’t know it from her voice and performance. An incredible talent that the world will definitely see again on Saturday.
Croatia – Nina Badrić – Nebo – Nina’s fame and popularity should be enough to see her over this particular hurdle. Oh, and the song is pretty good, too.
Sweden – Loreen – Euphoria – Far and away the favourite of the fans, most of who are convinced the party will be somewhere in Sweden next year. Sorry to disappoint you, gentlemen, she will reach the final but will finish somewhere in the teens on Saturday.
Georgia – Anri Jokhadze – I’m A Joker – On the face of it, there is not a chance that Georgia will be in the final. However, anything is possible in the world of Eurovision voting, but there is nothing in Joker to see why it will make the final.
Turkey – Can Bonomo – Love Me Back – Many in Turkey were not exactly happy with TRT’s decision to select Can. Although the song is by no means a duffer, their anger will be justified when Turkey’s participation ends right here.
Estonia – Ott Lepland – Kuula – Estonia’s wonderful ballad is one of the best songs in the contest this year. If Ott doesn’t qualify, it will be a major, major shock.
Slovakia – Max Jason Mai – Don’t Close Your Eyes – There are no out and out rock songs in the final yet, but Max has possibly gone a little bit too far away being commercial to achieve Slovakia’s first appearance in the final.
Norway – Tooji – Stay – Despite the strange sounds used in the intro, Tooji’s pop song should achieve enough public votes, the only doubt is how the juries will respond.
Bosnia & Herzegovina – Maya Sar – Korake Ti Znam – Gentle Balkan ballads always go down well, she will get votes from her neighbours and the juries will like it, too. That will be enough for Maya to extend her stay in Baku.
Lithuania – Donny Montell – Love Is Blind – Like Bulgaria, Love is Blind gets off to a promising start. However, a mess soon develops and, even though Donny is on last, Lithuania won’t be needed on Saturday.
After all that, the ten qualifiers will be:
Serbia – Željko Joksimović – Nije Ljubav Stvar
The Netherlands – Joan Franka – You And Me
Belarus – Litesound – We Are the Heroes
Portugal – Filipa Sousa – Vida Minha
Slovenia – Eva Boto – Verjamem
Croatia – Nina Badrić – Nebo
Sweden – Loreen – Euphoria
Estonia – Ott Lepland – Kuula
Norway – Tooji – Stay
Bosnia & Herzegovina – Maya Sar – Korake Ti Znam