First of all, an apology is in order, since we have been somewhat tardy in doing updates this year. It’s not that we don’t care, it really isn’t. Just this year a little thing called work has gotten in the way even more than usual. So much so we may not even be liveblogging here on the big night itself – but the good news is your editor will be covering the whole thing as it happens for Metro Online. And rest assured we will be posting a link to that blog on here – so if all is quiet on Eurovision Blog come Saturday, you will know where to find us.
That aside, we couldn’t possibly let the semi-finals pass without offering our usual predictions on whowe think will be making the line-up come Saturday night – only this year it all seems a bit difficult. Could this be because we estimate there are too many potential qualifiers in the first semi-final and not enough in the second? It’s a real shame that the spread isn’t a bit more even, as we sense there may be a handful of songs in the first semi which would have sailed through to the final had they been in Thursday’s show – and the simple fact remains that something deserving probably won’t make it. But hey, let’s wipe off that sad face and carry on, stranger things have happened. Sure thing Sweden not qualifying in 2010 for one. And here’s who we predict will be leaping around the green room in joy come Tuesday night:
For it: Do we really need to tell you? Cute grannies in headscarves who have captured the hearts of Europe with their catchy tune, onstage baking and all-round chumminess? You do the math. In fact only reports that their singing isn’t exactly A1 – not really what a jury wants to hear – that is probably stopping them from winning the entire shebang right now. If this were still the days of 100 per cent televoting we guarantee they would ‘do a Lordi’ and absolutely trounce the competition.
Against it: Oh don’t be silly, there isn’t anything. In a year of unpredictability this is probably the surest thing you’re likely to get.
For it: Well, Aphrodisiac hasn’t exactly been one of the tracks that has set our world on fire this year – it sounds remarkably similar to every Greek entry from the past few years only about half as good – but that probably isn’t going to stop its passage to the final. This is Greece singing an ethno-pop song after all.
Against it: Everybody thought Turkey was a guaranteed finalist last year and look what happened then. And Sweden the year before that. If there is to be a shock non-qualifier we’d be tempted to say that the combination of unremarkable song and early place in the running order could make them this year’s surprise casualty. But we won’t. This is Greece singing an ethno-pop song after all.
For it: Because it’s Cyprus’ best effort in years, that’s what. And a favourable draw in the final (imagine if Ivi finds herself sandwiched between two ballads! Just imagine….!) coupled with a lively energetic performance could actually score them their best result in years too.
Against it: This has a vague whiff of ‘shock non-qualifier’ about it in much the same way that Belgium’s ‘sure thing’ Je T’Adore did in 2006. We don’t think it’ll happen but Ivi is going to have to sing REALLY well to make sure it doesn’t.
For it: Nice bright sunny pop song. Nice bright sunny singer. An entire fleet of Scandinavian love just waiting to be poured over it. It’s a goer, we’re saying.
Against it: Sweden entered a similarly cute blonde singer in 2010 and look what happened to them. Once again Soluna Samay needs to nail it to make an impact, otherwise she is likely to be forgotten in the cavalcade of Russian granny-ness which follows.
For it: Because it’s Jedward! And they’re doing stuff!
Against it: Has the Jedward bubble burst already? Well if it has then they’ll be on the plane back to Dublin on Wednesday morning – but we think there’s still enough love in the room for them to be able to pull off another final appearance this year. Although we wouldn’t recommend they try it again.
For it: That’s Iceland, you note. Not Ireland. And we’ve had this one’s card marked for long time in terms of its sheer dramatic brilliance. We wouldn’t even be surprised if Greta and Jonsi went on to win the whole damn thing. ‘Bout time we had a contest in Reykjavik don’t you think? The fact they are on right after Montenegro (who have about as much chance of qualifying as the Federated States Of Micronesia) will only further boost their chances.
Against it: Er, Jonsi didn’t do very well last time he was in Eurovision in 2004? True, but that wasn’t a very good song. This, on the other hand, is. The only real negative here, to be honest, is their ridiculously early draw in the running order which could potentially mean they’re forgotten. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen.
For it: Another one whose card we’ve had marked for months. And now the entire press contingency in Baku has jumped on its bandwagon. We saw it first!!!!! Seriously though this is another contender for the win on Saturday if it is even half as joyful to watch as it is to listen to.
Against it: We won’t have a word said against it, thank you very much.
For it: Because it is, for all intents and purposes, the same song as Romania. Only sung by a bloke who wants to inform us that the ladies love his trumpet. (It is worth noting at this stage that Pasha and Turkey’s Can Bonomo, with his heartfelt lyrics about guiding his ship into your harbour, are seemingly working very hard to ensure that this year’s contest is the Eurovision equivalent of a Carry On movie. Graham Norton is going to have a field day with this pair). Anyway, it’s gleefully bonkers, he’ll go through and all that. End of.
Against it: That will depend entirely on how much the ladies really do love his trumpet.
And here’s where things get a little fuzzy. Because we have four songs left that we really want to fill the last two spots, and can only choose two of them. We’re not at all sure about the ones we’ve chosen but here goes:
For it: Because we’ve loved Izabo for many years and therefore are biased. But also because this is one of the most distinctive songs in the contest. Love it or hate it there is nothing else like it.
Against it: It is a definite borderline effort and to be honest we won’t be a bit surprised if it doesn’t make it. But we’d like to think it will do.
For it: Because we want them to be on really early in the contest thereby forcing someone on the BBC to say Trackshittaz before the watershed. Snort. Oh why not, it’s fun isn’t it? And given our reaction when we first saw it was ‘This is SO making the final’ we feel we have to stand by that statement.
Against it: Well there is a lot of competition and something’s got to give. Again this is borderline and the oddness of it may be lost on some viewers. But we just have a hunch it’ll be there on Saturday night.
WOULDN’T BE AT ALL SURPRISED IF EITHER OF THESE MADE IT
Hungary – utterly love this song, and would love to see it in the final. But sandwiched between Russia and Austria – which are sure to be two of the more interesting performances of the semi-final – Compact Disco may have a real fight on their hands to make an impact, and the fact that their performance is reportedly fairly no-frills will either make it stand out or sink without trace. Besides, surely not ALL of the last seven songs in the contest can make it through?
Switzerland – again, we love the Eurovision equivalent of the Killers’ Mr Brightside, and a strong performance could tip the balance in favour of the Swiss, possibly at the expense of one of the last two we have openly admitted we’re not 100 per cent sure about. Not that we would be complaining if it did.
As for the others, here’s why we don’t think they will qualify….
Latvia – Anmary could, again, have an outside chance of making it but we sense she will just miss out.And will pull a sadface in her honour.
Albania – another one we dithered over but eventually decided to rule out of the running. Granted, Rona could pull off a coup similar to Lithuania last year if she gets jury love, but the song is just too weird for our liking.
Belgium – Iris is getting good word of mouth from Baku, and the song is pleasant enough, but there are an awful lot of ballads this year and there just aren’t room for all of them in the final.
Finland – see above. The difference being that Pernilla’s song isn’t nearly as likeable as Belgium’s.
San Marino – er, no.
Montenegro – you are having a laugh, right? Right…..?