So there we have it, now we know our 26 qualifiers for the Grand Final of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. We have our group that’ll go head to head on Saturday night to battle it out for the glass microphone and in what order they’ll do so. Before we consider what’ll happen in the final we must take care of what happened in our second semi final last night. Firstly, predictions…
- AUSTRIA ✔️
- ROMANIA ✔️
- NETHERLANDS ✔️
- HUNGARY ✔️
- DENMARK ✔️
- CROATIA ✔️
- NORWAY ✔️
- BELARUS ✔️
- BULGARIA ✔️
- ESTONIA ✖️
Considering it was such a wide open semi I’m pretty pleased that I’ve equaled my best result in terms of picking the 10 with 9. Genuinely surprised Estonia failed to make the cut, what they lacked in affection for one another they made up for in the song itself. Israel was the one I had on the bubble but it was likely going to be in place of Norway or Netherlands for qualifying so I still wouldn’t have got 100%. If Israel had been placed much earlier in the running order I doubt it would have made the cut but good for them on making it three in a row.
Whilst I personally adore both the Swiss & Maltese songs I had long since expected them not to qualify so no great surprises on that front. However, I thought both Timebelle & Claudia gave good accounts of themselves and they should still go home proud. One has to assume that Lithuania & Ireland were likely doomed long before they sung a note Thursday. Or on Wednesday even. I believed that the 5/5 minimum split would remain in tact and acts like Macedonia & Serbia would struggle. Don’t think Jana will be too disappointed though, what with the whole baby & engagement thing (which I missed live, thanks BBC!). And then San Marino, in my dreams I had Val & Jim opening Saturday night. That will simply have to remain a dream. Thanks for the laughs though, it was fun!
Enough dwelling. Now, of course, we must look to the all important running order for Saturday night:
The obvious winner appears to be Bulgaria. As soon as Kris pulled ‘2nd half’ in the press conference after semi 2 the Bulgarian delegation must’ve been thrilled. If you’re going off the assumption that there are only three countries in with a realistic shout at winning being the only one near the end of the show will help. France is a decent enough song to end the show but not to overshadow ‘Beautiful Mess’. All I would say is so far near the end may see them drop televotes in terms of viewer fatigue. By then many may already have their favourites and won’t budge when it comes to voting.
Portugal & Italy are roughly where we expected, Chritser didn’t fancy trying to take on the curse of ‘second in the running order’ placing both near the commercial break. Portugal in 11th is in the exact same slot Conchita won the Contest from in 2014. The Italians may feel somewhat aggrieved not to have been given that slot themselves. However being followed by the madness of both Azerbaijan & Croatia won’t help Portugal. It should be noted that Anja and Austramark has been thrown to the wolves somewhat being placed in between those two favourites. She’s this year’s John Karayiannis between Måns Zelmerlöw & Guy Sebastian.
The United Kingdom being drawn 18th looks to have been a decent result. The last two times Christer has had control of the running order he’s put the pre Contest favourite in 18th place: Emmelie de Forest in 2013 and Sergey Lazarev last year. If one assumes the majority of points will go to Italy, Portugal & Bulgaria it could be very tight in amongst the chasing pack. With such a decent place in the running order the UK could be on for a good result. However that last segment from the UK onwards is a very strong ending to the show.
Other minor points to note:
- Poland will take on the curse of second place. Similar song to Czech Republic from last year which also went into second. This suggests Poland didn’t so brilliantly in the semi
- Christer has used the same technique from last year to have the closer of semi 2 open the final. This year that honour has fallen to Imri and Israel. This had never actually happened until last year.
- It was always going to be interesting to see where Christer placed his own country, Sweden, having given them a favourable draw in semi 1. Going on late in the order is adavnatageous though running before one of the favourites not so.
- Having Moldova’s ‘Hey Mamma’ follow the Netherlands seems somewhat tasteless given the inspiration for ‘Lights and Shadows’
There are bound to be other key points I’ve missed out on but as I write this it’s 1.13am and I could probably do with my bed. There are arguments for and against a number of countries doing well but all we can really say is it’s not the one horse race it was about a week and a half ago. In less than 48 hours we will have our winner. Thunder and lighting…it’s getting exciting.