Well, here we go. It’s that time of year again. As we embark upon our first semi final tonight it’s time to crack on with my predictions. Last year this was actually quite a straightforward task. Other than the surprise eliminations of Norma John from Finland and Koit and Laura of Estonia it was reasonably simple to predict. Between the two semi finals I managed to nail on 17 of our 20 in 2017, if I can hit the same mark this year I’ll be astounded.
Both semi finals this year are set to be hugely competitive but for entirely different reasons. Tonight we kick things off with the first semi final (8pm, BBC4 for all friends in the UK) to add 10 more songs to our final Saturday night line up. I have heard this being described around the bubble as the highest quality semi since the current system was introduced. It’s hard to disagree with that when you look at the depth in quality. We’re inevitably going to lose three or four songs that were they in the other semi or in previous years would have made it to the final.
The task of predicting semi final 1 qualifiers is made all the more tricky by it’s front heavy weighting. Assuming that it’s not possible for 6:4 ratio of qualifiers (More acts qualifying from the first half of the semi than in the second half, it’s never happened before) we’re going to have to lose at least one big hitter. This then leaves the door open for a song from the arguably weaker second half to spring something of surprise and make it through to the Saturday night.
So, in order of appearance these are the countries I think will qualify from semi final 1:
|ALBANIA – 🇦🇱||Eugent Bushpepa – Mall|
|CZECH REPUBLIC – 🇨🇿||Mikolas Josef – Lie To Me|
|LITHUANIA – 🇱🇹||Ieva Zasimauskaite – When We’re Old|
|ISRAEL – 🇮🇱||Netta – Toy|
|ESTONIA – 🇪🇪||Elina Nechayeva – La Forza|
|CROATIA – 🇭🇷||Franka – Crazy|
|AUSTRIA – 🇦🇹||Cesar Sampson – Nobody But You|
|FINLAND – 🇫🇮||Saara Aalto – Monsters|
|SWITZERLAND – 🇨🇭||Zibbz – Stones|
|CYPRUS – 🇨🇾||Eleni Foureira – Fuego|
Having taken the place of Israel as the favourite with the bookmaker in the last 12 hours. Cyprus feels like the only 100% nailed on qualifier at this stage. The countries on the list that are really on the bubble are Croatia, Austria & Switzerland. I imagine if these three are to qualifier they will occupy the 8th – 10th bracket. For me, the shock non qualifier this evening will come from Bulgaria. The presentation of the song is not accessible and I’m struggling to see where it’s televote is coming from. After last night it’s highly unlikely we’ll hear Macedonia, Iceland, Greece or Belgium called out as qualifiers. Everyone else…who knows!
Thankfully, we don’t have long to wait to find out if this will come true. We’re now mere hours away from finding out which eight countries will be on the first flight out of Lisbon tomorrow. Let the bloodbath commence!