Thursday 16 May 2019

Predicting Semi 2 - trusting my instincts

7/10 for my Semi 1 prediction, which is quite poor, frankly. And my mistake? I allowed myself to be swayed by the words of those in the press centre, and the enthusiasm of those watching the clips we got, and went against my original instincts and included Poland and Georgia among my qualifiers, and took out San Marino. It says a lot that my original, pre-rehearsal prediction, was better, with 9/10.

So tonight, I think I'm going to stick to my guns, and go with my original impressions as far as possible.

There's a lot here that I'd be delighted to be wrong about - my personal Top 10 in this semi contains at least four of the songs I'm predicting to be out after tonight. Unlike Serhat on Tuesday though, I don't think there's any chance my personal last place (and 41/41 overall), Latvia, comes close to qualifying.

1. Netherlands
2. Sweden
3. Russia
4. Azerbaijan
5. Switzerland
- these obvious top 5 have only solidified their positions in rehearsals)
6. Malta - the YouTube ads and the staging variations, different in every rehearsal, only demonstrate how much Malta are trying. And when Malta are trying in ways we can see, you can be sure they're also trying in ways that we're not seeing.
7. Denmark - total semi-final song, especially coming after a bunch of dark, moody songs
8. North Macedonia - surely even Macedonia can't stuff this up now? If they did, it would be...

9. Romania - I think it's only me who believes in this, and I might be blinded by my love of it, but I think it's strong enough to get through, especially with the professional performance it looks like they're delivering
10. Armenia - despite everything, I think they just scrape through, but I debated this one a lot, and considered swapping it with the two below multiple times.

11. Croatia
12. Austria
13. Norway - this is where I'm really sticking to my guns. I love the song, but when it won the Norwegian final, I said to myself 'this is Verona'. I just don't see who votes for this, outside Eurovision fandom.
14. Lithuania - whereas here I'm going against my original instincts, but Lithuania have done none of their normal staging wizardry that lifted their mediocre mid-tempo males into finals past.
15. Albania - again, I just don't see where the audience is for this
16. Moldova
17. Ireland
18. Latvia

Semi 2 As Seen From Above

No, I haven't passed to the other side yet, but I've been hiking! Thanks to the (bad?) influence from some others ESC Nationers, I agreed to get up very early to spend hours walking uphill in the sun around San Bartolomé de Tirajana:

Thanks to this, the following prediction is a bit more brief and less thought through than Tuesday's, but maybe that's all the better, seeing as I only managed 7/10 right then... Think it must be my worst semi prediction in years, it's usually 8/10ish. But here we go, anyway!

1 North Sweden | It just kicks ass, frankly.
2 North Netherlands | Never fully 'got' this, but several seems to, so it's clearly not a case of France 2011 or so where everyone just assumes someone else likes it until it turns out nobody actually do.
3 North Russia | It's all about that cross-chorus at the end!
4 North Switzerland | Could be the one of the safe and obvious one that fails a bit, but even if it does, I can't see it not qualifying, it'd just be 8th or so instead. He's just too charming not too.
5 North Malta | I wore camouflage speedos yesterday to support the blending into the surroundings. Everyone ignored me all day!
6 North Azerbaijan | ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
7 North Very Macedonia | All my goosebumps are polished and ready for action - go get them, Tamara!
8 North Norway | Doubt the juries will get behind it, but televoters probably will, at least reasonably so.
9 North Croatia | Yikes. I've even kinda started enjoying it.
10 North Denmark | Yikes. I've not at all started enjoying it.

11 North Armenia | Just too nondescript, I feel.
12 North Moldova | Maybe the sand might get it up here? But still rather doomed, I suspect. It's not as fitting a song to the concept as Angels was.
13 North Ireland | Please please do better!
14 North Austria
15 North Albania
16 North Romania 
17 North Lithuania | Surely not even the Lithuanian diaspora can save this...?
18 North Latvia | Surprisingly forgettable for something that's 40 minutes long.

A glass of rosé for whoever can guess what my favourite is tonight! Answers on a postcard by tomorrow morning, please.