EuroVisionary has boarded a time-machine, travelled to the end of the 1st semi-final, and can now reveal who will be happy at the end of tomorrows show, and who will be considering going home early.
Moldova – Sunstroke Project and Olia Tira – Run Away – The show opens with the most contemporary song competing in the first semi-final. Energetic and memorable (never a bad thing when you are first out of 17 songs to perform) it’s a great start to the contest.
Verdict: This will definitely be heard on Saturday night.
Russia – Peter Nalitch – Lost And Forgotten – Love it or hate it, Russia certainly has one of the more unusual songs this year. Complete with a Poogi style groan, it verges on the suicidal at times
Verdict: It’s hard to imagine a final without Russia, so Peter will have to do it all again.
Estonia – Malcolm Lincoln – Siren – Even weirder than the Russians, Estonia could have been forgiven for playing it safe after last year’s result. A lot will depend on how it comes across on screen.
Verdict: Votes from the juries will just about see it through.
Slovakia – Kristína Peláková – Horehronie – The song certainly deserves to be in the final, the only question is how the staging will be received.
Verdict: It will be a major surprise if the Slovaks aren’t at the party on Saturday.
Finland – Kuunkuiskaajat – Työlki Ellää – It’s quirky and has a sing-along quality. However, it is more likely to appeal to the juries than the public.
Verdict: Insufficient votes from the public will mean the Finns have to take an early sauna.
Latvia – Aisha – What For? – The fans like it, the bookmakers don’t. Success or failure could hinge on Aisha hitting the big note at the end.
Verdict: Songs that are loved by the fans don’t always qualify, but Latvia should be safe enough.
Serbia – Milan Stanković – Ovo je Balkan – Apparently, the words are quite amusing. It’s a pity, then, that the Serbs have chosen to sing in their own language.
Verdict: Keeping the joke among themselves will cost the Serbs a place in the final
Bosnia and Herzegovina – Vukašin Brajić – Thunder and Lightning – Rock songs have proved quite popular in recent years and Vukašin only faces competition in the genre from Macedonia.
Verdict: It will win enough votes from rock fans to see it through.
Poland – Marcin Mroziński – Legenda – This would stand a much better chance of qualifying without the sudden changes in styles during the song.
Verdict: The performance will be dramatic, but it won’t be enough.
Belgium – Tom Dice – Me and My Guitar – This is another song that the juries will go for, but even many fans have it near the top of their lists. Personally, I think it plods along a bit, but maybe I’m missing something.
Verdict: Popular opinion says Belgium will qualify and who am I to argue?
Malta – Thea Garrett – This Is My Dream – This is the biggest of the ballads in the first semi-final. It looks and sounds like a qualifier, even with the enormous nose prancing around Thea.
Verdict: There is always one song which is thought to be virtually guaranteed to be in the final but doesn’t actually make it. Step forward Malta!
Albania – Juliana Pasha – It’s All About You – This was the first song of the 39 to be chosen, the Albanian final being held before Christmas. They have had plenty of time to work on the song and the performance.
Verdict: Disappointment looms, but only just.
Greece – Giorgos Alkaios & Friends – Opa – There is lots of shouting, lots of banging and lots of lights. There is vibrancy about the Greek song which gives it wide appeal. The writers have made sure that we all know which country we are listening to
Verdict: If Greece isn’t in the final, it will be something of a shock.
Portugal – Filipa Azevedo – Há Dias Assim – Portugal do ballads very well, but the rest of Europe sometimes doesn’t understand. Credit should be given for keeping the song in Portuguese.
Verdict: It’s a shame, but there it’s hard to see the song appealing to enough people.
Macedonia – Gjoko Tanevki – Jas Ja Imam Silata – The second and last rock song of the evening. It would sound a lot better if the rap section was taken out
Verdict: Rap has yet to make a breakthrough in the contest, and even though it’s only a small part of the song, it will lose too many votes as a result.
Belarus – 3+2 – Butterflies – The Belarusian group changed the song after they won the national final, and it was a wise decision. Butterflies is beautifully understated, builds verse by verse as the song progresses up to a big finish. Whoever thought the gimmick in the girls dresses was a good idea should be sacked!
Verdict: Even a dodgy dress design won’t stop 3+2 taking their rightful place on the final.
Iceland – Hera Björk – Je Ne Sais Quoi – It could go either way for Hera. Coming at the end will definitely be helpful, but juries don’t usually go for this kind of pop song as it is very commercial and they like something that, in their eyes, is more musically credible.
Verdict: The public will disagree with the juries and Hera will, as with her dress, just about squeeze into the final.
So there you have it, ten songs to join Norway and the Big 4 in the final. Have we got the winner here? On Thursday, they will be joined by another ten from the second semi-final.