Right then lads and lassies, it’s that time again. That time of year when months spent preparing and analysing the Contest should give me some idea of who will succeed tonight. But given the last ten days it’s been a real struggle to pick the ten to progress from tonight’s esoteric semi-final. Much like any Eurovision blogger worth their promotional CD & tote bag, however, predictions must be made.

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When all else fails…

Let’s kick off with those that can be considered safe to qualify. Despite the dodgy vocal from the official rehearsal clip Tamta’s Replay puts Cyprus in a place of certain qualification. It’s out the running for the win but no doubt it’ll take it’s place on Saturday night. Zero Gravity’s (inter)stellar staging has confirmed my belief that Australia are onto their best result since Dami. Whilst the song maybe ‘love it or it hate’ there are enough people in the former category to see Hatari safely through. Finally, I think we have our semi final winner in Greece with Katerine Duska’s stunning vocal and eye catching presentation. 4/10 nailed on.

Happy with this as a surprise winner!

Then we turn to those nations where a place in the final seems just too far out of reach. Montenegro’s D-Mol seems to reflect Ari Olafsson’s journey last year. Competent, perfectly likeable but not a hope of qualifying. Even got the same place in the running order! Whilst many have been taken by the much improved staging I can’t see the appeal of Georgia’s entry spreading Continent wide. Finally, and most sadly, I can no longer see a path to qualification for the most serene Daddy. I remain team #Serhat4Saturday but looking at this objectively I can’t see juries voting for this and I don’t think enough public will either. I sincerely hope I’m wrong. For me, four are safe & three are gone. Ten countries, six spaces left…

Of all the entries I’m still not sure about Czech Republic’s Lake Malawi would be the first I’d bump up to a qualifier. This upbeat fun number will shine through where it’s placed in the running order. Hopefully for them, folk don’t listen too hard to the lyrics. On the flipside I’d have to downgrade Belgium to an NQ. Eliot’s song is nice enough, but in an interesting mix that is the second half of semi one nice it won’t stand out. Just feels little early in his career for the young lad. He seems very small on stage and the performance for me lacks enough power to live long in the memory.

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Loic, Blanche… Nope, it’s gone.

Much like Iceland, Portugal & Poland compete with divisive entries this year. Nothing from either’s staging has moved them from a ‘maybe’ to a ‘definite’. Purely in terms of running order advantage I’m more inclined to favour Conan Osiris than Tulia. Conversely, both Finland & Estonia have sent fairly middle of the road entries from Darude & Victor Crone respectively. Neither of these lads especially stand out from this semi, but for those at home looking for something a little more ‘normal’, one may sneak through. I can see Storm just scraping a 9th/10th place and making it’s way to the final.

The Saturday night crowd will miss out on this sartorial ‘delight’.

This leaves Slovenia, Hungary, Belarus & Serbia to battle it out for the final three slots. Although personally both fall flat for me, Slovenia & Hungary both have enough fans to clinch a Saturday night slot. Sebi‘s chilled vibe & Az en apam‘s raw emotion should do enough to carry them through. This leaves upbeat pop number or classy balkan ballad for the final place. Serbia have qualified in the past with far more inferior entries & Kruna should win out the jury vote over Like It. Serbia to go through

PREDICTED QUALIFIERS

CYPRUS 🇨🇾

AUSTRALIA 🇦🇺

ICELAND 🇮🇸

GREECE 🇬🇷

CZECH REPUBLIC 🇨🇿

PORTUGAL 🇵🇹

ESTONIA 🇪🇪

SLOVENIA 🇸🇮

HUNGARY 🇭🇺

SERBIA 🇷🇸

In just a few hours time we’ll know if this is anywhere near correct…

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