Thursday, 11 May 2017

Semi 2 guesswork

I'm not even going to call it a prediction. It seems most people agree this semi could go all kinds of way, most of which are "Bulgaria + 9 others".

I've spent a lot of time thinking, re-thinking and over-thinking and have somehow ended up with this list.

Austria (hoping more than believing at this stage, but based on first rehearsal gut instinct)
Malta (it has no direct competition for old-fashioned balladry but they spent all their money last year, so maybe the juries won't like them as much as usual, ahem)
Romania (because Romania)
Netherlands (have been confident all along, now worried it might turn into this semi's Finland)
Denmark (dull competence, now hoping it might turn into this semi's Finland)
Croatia (less confident than I was after the first rehearsal as they seem to have replaced some of the fun with seriousness)
Belarus (because happy vibes)
Bulgaria (a bit underwhelming in rehearsals, but expectations were too high probably)
Lithuania (because we need a LOLZ moment)
Israel (the last song to perform surely won't fail to Q in both semis)

Estonia should be the Baltic qualifier, but the rehearsals have been mixed and it might just be too cheesy and dated for juries.

Macedonia could quite easily do a Belgium, getting through on a just about sufficient performance of a very good song.

The running order was presumably meant to make Norway seem professional, normal and of high standard coming after San Marino and Croatia, but there's a risk it will not get noticed, at least by televoters who will still be talking about All The Jacqueses.

Hungary will have its fans and I initially thought it a safe qualifier, but it might struggle to hold interest through the long rap part.

And OK, I wouldn't really be surprised if any of the others qualify (except Switzerland). Even San Marino (see Lithuania for explanation).

Which just leaves me to ask for an alternative opinion:


Fishy Semi 2 Prediction

My semi 1 prediction wasn't exactly spot on - can't remember getting less than 8/10 in any of the two-semi-years actually (though I may have just repressed the memory), but hey ho. At least I wasn't really shocked by any of the qualifiers I missed - Moldova, Poland and Australia were 11th, 12th and 13th in my predicted ranking.

Like most, I was surprised to see Finland missing out, but the ROBBED one was rather Georgia, imo - they nailed it all the way down to the WHOMP PYRO. And of course fantabulous Albania, but that was more expected. I think it might be the first time since 2005 my overall favourite isn't in the final. 😔

Either way, upwards and onwards! A little sprinkling of rain in Syden right now (RUDE), so a good time to scribble down some thoughts about tonight's semi. Semi 1 was hard to predict as it had about 13 likely qualifiers, whereas this one is hard for the opposite reason - it feels like it only has seven or so... But let's get on with it - I need to go stock up on rosé soon!

1 Bulgaria | Took me a while to get into this, but televoters and jury members are always much quicker than me to pick up on the growers. Professional, current, charming - and of course actually good.
2 Estonia | Oldfashioned and clichéed schlager nonsense, but with a cracking melody and an interesting structure that keeps you interested all through. I like it a lottle.
3 Netherlands | No idea what televoters will make of this piece of calculated 💩, but I assume the juries will love it enough to not just secure qualification, but a good placing too.
4 Belarus | No idea what juries will make of this piece of charming 🌈, but I assume the televoters will love it enough to not just secure qualification, but a good placing too.
5 Romania | My initial love for this has worn off a bit, but it's still very 'colour tv' that stands out in this bunch.
6 Hungary | No idea what to make of this... Presumably many will shrug and move on, but it's also bound to have a certain amount of fans, it's good at what it's doing.
7 Norway | Rehearsal reports suggests it comes across as 'competent' (i.e. 'dull'), but I think the song itself is strong enough it should make it. Possibly mainly thanks to juries.
8 Malta | And speaking of juries... Have had no faith in this before, despite loving it, but surely something has to qualify...? Also: YAY.
9 Denmark | 🤢
10 Israel | Not much of a song, not much of a singer... He pwetty though!

11 Macedonia | The clips I've seen of this look better than I expected and what most bloggers seem to think, so who knows?
12 Ireland | KEYCHANGE OVER A HILL. Would love this to make it!
13 Austria | Will his cuteness and charm be enough to make it from spot #2? If he'd brought a better song too I think he'd make it, but it's just that tiny bit too dull and non-descript when followed by 16 others.
14 Serbia | Speaking of dull and non-descript...
15 Croatia | I wish they'd gone all in, drowning it in 🧀, à la Jacques Gratinée. From what I've seen it just comes across as a bit too serious for its own good. Diet Jacques, if you will.
16 Switzerland | It's average, it's yellow, it's Switzerland. I'll be pretty impressed (or do I mean annoyed...?) if this escapes bottom 3.
17 Lithuania | Surely the worst song this year. It probably has at least 20 points secured in the televote since Ireland and Norway are voting tonight, but will that be enough to keep them away from last?
18 San Marino | lolz

Have a great evening, everyone! 

Semi 2 - a prediction

On Tuesday, I got 8/10 right, and I thought that was the easier semi to predict! There's a lot more tonight that I'm far less sure about, partly because there are a number of performances that are in question - both in terms of whether the singers in question will be able to deliver, and whether that will really matter.

1. Bulgaria - obvious jury magnet, and lots of televote points too.
2. Denmark - again, another obvious jury magnet, and it's been looking and sounding great in rehearsals.
3. Israel - as I alluded to in a previous post, I'm expecting this to be really lifted by the crowd, and benefit greatly from that, like Blanche did on Tuesday.
4. Romania
5. Netherlands
6. Estonia
7. Hungary
8. Austria
9. Ireland
- I've been betting against it all season, but I think it has a distinctive look, and a singer with a very voteable face among his demographic. I'm not sure the high notes are going to matter much.
10. Croatia - I really hope I'm wrong, and that...

11. Belarus qualifies instead.
12. Macedonia - has a chance of qualifying if it can repeat Blanche's arc throughout the season, with an excellent video, ropey live concert performances, weak rehearsals improving just enough by the night, with a big fan reaction. I'm really not sure here.
13. Switzerland - I've been sure of this as a NQ all season, ever since it was picked. It just seemed like another piece of Swiss bland that would fall right through the gaps again. But as April has gone on, it's been picking up a lot of momentum among the fans, and listening to it again, I'm much more positive about it. Despite that, I'm going to stick to my initial instinct.
14. Serbia
15. Malta
16. Norway
- like Icebreaker, I just don't think it's going to come across to an audience at home. And with two NQs, will we be able to get rid of Jan Fredrik Karlsen? Please?
17. San Marino - because not even Valentina's boundless enthusiasm can save it.
18. Lithuania

Eurovision Hotties World Cup - THE FINAL

It's second semi-final day, but it's something more important for two of tonight's performers - it's the final of the ESC Nation Eurovision Hotties World Cup.

In the hours leading up to tonight's live show, Nathan Trent and Imri Ziv will be competing on Twitter to judge who is the hottest male artist in this year's competition.

32 guys have been whittled down to two over a number of rounds - who will emerge victorious in today's final? Will it be the wholesome, boy-next-door looks of Austria, or the Instagram thirst-magnet from Israel?

Enjoy the pictures below, then vote in the poll at the bottom of the post and make sure you're following our Twitter feed for the results later.

Haiku #11

Juries hear fine tunes
Looking for more finalists
Level-pegging field