The question on the lips of every Eurovision Song Contest fan is who will qualify for the final from Tuesday’s semi-final. Well, I’m going to stick my neck out, put my reputation on the line and other clichés to predict who I think will be celebrating and who will be drowning their sorrows.
I write safe in the knowledge that there are only 16 songs so I have to get at least four right. Let’s hope I manage a couple more at least.
Austria – Natália Kelly – Shine – Opening the show is never easy, especially when viewers will be voting after they have heard all the songs. There is always the risk that the opening song will be overshadowed even if it is worthy of a high placing. Isn’t that right, Engelbert? However, as only six songs will face disappointment, Natalia should have enough.
Estonia – Birgit – Et Uus Saaks Alguse – Many are saying that the Estonians will be packing their bags at the end of the evening, but I’m not so sure. It’s very classy and with a good performance, will stay in the minds of the voters. The juries will like it, too.
Slovenia – Hannah – Straight Into Love – This is the first up-tempo song of the night. Unfortunately for Hannah, the ones that follow are better. Sorry Hannah.
Croatia – Klapa s Mora – Mižerja – In an era of over complicating the staging, the Croats should be commended for letting the song do the talking, or singing, if you prefer. It will be in the final.
Denmark – Emmelie de Forest – Only Teardrops – No need to waste too much time here. Denmark is the favourite to win the whole thing on Saturday, and with good reason. If it’s not in the final, I will run naked through the streets of Copenhagen!
Russia – Dina Garipova – What If – Russia seems to qualify every year, they even deserve to this time! A young girl singing about everyone loving everyone else – what could possibly go wrong?
Ukraine – Zlata Ognevich – Gravity – On merit, this shouldn’t get anywhere near the final. It’s messy and hideously over staged! However, Ukraine is another country that always seems to reach the final, no matter how bad the song.
The Netherlands – Anouk – Birds – I have heard this song many times and still don’t know what to think. It has gone down well and the juries will adore it, so that should be enough for a first appearance in the final for The Netherlands since 2004.
Montenegro – Who See – Igranka – Following three slower songs may help their chances, but that is all the hope they have. It won’t be enough.
Lithuania – Andrius Pojavis – Something – I have to tell you something; the semi-final will be the last chance you have to hear this song live.
Belarus – Alyona Lanskaya – Solayoh – Despite the chaps behind her who seem to have ants in their pants, this should go through as it is the best up-tempo song of the night – as long as she doesn’t mess up the performance.
Moldova – Aliona Moon – O Mie – Changing the language to Romanian from English was a wise move. The English lyrics were vey repetitive. Now the song is more majestic and Akiona should be needed again on Saturday.
Ireland – Ryan Dolan – Only Love Survives – The Irish entry is the one I am most likely to get wrong. Most people think it will qualify, but I have a sneaking suspicion it won’t. I just don’t think it has anything to make viewers vote for it above everything else. I could be wrong.
Cyprus – Despina Olympiou – An Me Thimasai – All things being equal, Despina would be in the final. What should be remembered is that Eurovision often is unfair and songs don’t achieve what they deserve.
Belgium – Roberto Bellarosa – Love Kills – While the song has clearly been worked on since it won the right to represent Belgium, it still doesn’t have enough about it, in fact, it is quite forgettable.
Serbia – Moje 3 – Ljubav Je Svuda – Advantage – it’s the last song on. Disadvantage – the choice of outfits! Everything else aside, it is catchy enough to have sufficient impact.
I hereby declare that the ten qualifying songs from the first semi-final will (possibly) be: Austria, Estonia, Denmark, Croatia, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands, Belarus, Moldova and Serbia.