Oh, and as I sit writing this in our apartment close to the Folkets Park here in Malmö, I can hear some guy teaching kids a dance routine to the instrumental version of Montenegro on the big stage there. Only in Sweden.
1. Greece - not my cup of tea at all, but they're great on stage, and we know how strong the Greek results have been in the semi-finals.
2. Azerbaijan - it's Azerbaijan, obv. Only the early draw stops this winning the semi. Oh, and here's a video of Farid jogging - keep your eyes up!
3. Iceland - I wasn't convinced about this until I saw it at the dress rehearsal yesterday, but there it was absolutely amazing. A beautiful atmosphere and one of the best vocals of the night, supported by an excellent choice of recap clip at the end.
4. Israel - complete jury fodder; probably less appeal for televoters, based solely on the fact that it's sung in Hebrew, but it's a strong performance of a good song, and should be safely through to Saturday.
5. Norway - a very good song, and one that I find very difficult to rate as I love it so much Am I overrating it because of my love, or underrating because I'm paranoid about it and see the tiniest flaw?
6. Georgia - mechanical, cold, effective. Sailing through to Saturday night and probably getting the Georgian result when it gets there, but Sophie in particular will need to sing better on Friday to secure the all-important jury vote in the final.
A bit of a drop now to...
7. Finland - won't be loved by everyone, but Krista's really selling it and does sing well. Could be a loser on Saturday night, but should be safe for now.
8. Bulgaria - hated it until a couple of weeks ago, got into it a bit more while out running the other day, then saw the stage performance and remembered just how Elitsa in particular dragged Voda kicking and screaming into 5th place in 2007. More of that should see it safely through tonight.
Now a gap to the next four, which are all very close.
9. Albania - inaccessible and in Albanian, but it's a good song. And it's actually very effective on stage. On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised to see it drop out, replaced by Armenia, though I doubt there's room for both to qualify.
10. Malta - I completely ruled Malta out the last two years. One time they came very close with a pretty terrible song, the other time they snuck through with a decent if slightly amateur song. That's the issue this time too. Based purely on the combination of song and performance, Gianluca should probably be out - I don't really find it makes the connection it needs on stage - but its friendly votes will probably jump it above the parapet.
A gap here to the ones I'm most willing to leave out - though as I mentioned, I wouldn't be shocked to see any of these qualify.
Probably completely wrong, and I'll actually feel sorry for several of the songs that don't qualify, whatever they are. Everyone's clearly put in a lot of effort and upped their game, and compared to Semi 1, the overall standard is clearly that much higher.