A last-minute, foolish decision to kick out Sweden in favour of Romania in my prediction for Tuesday's semi-final resulted in getting 9/10 right, instead of my first ever 10/10...
So can I make up for it today, I wonder? Unlike Semi 1, I've been thinking for weeks that Semi 2 has ten quite clear-cut qualifiers, and while some have improved or gotten worse during the rehearsals in Rotterdam, I don't think any of these changes have massively affected the qualification chances. Hence there are no weirdass, last-minute alterations in the list below - now watch that being the foolish decision...
I find it a bigger challenge to dig out a semi winner among this bunch than ten qualifiers, as I don't really think anyone has it in them (except Denmark, of course! 🕺). There's about four that feel like they should come 3rd, so I guess it'll just have to be one of those.
1 Bulgaria | It's not really for me, but it clearly is for many others, and I can't fault the performance, so here we are.
2 Iceland | Just to make sure I don't get disappointed when this does better than it deserves, let's just make sure I expect the worst, eh? I truly couldn't stand Think About Things last year, so it was no big surprise this was equally awful, seeing as it's pretty much the same content in the same wrapping. There was a couple of months of glorious relief when far less people seemed to take to 10 Years than to Think About Things, but then somehow people were sold again as soon as they stepped onto the Rotterdam stage and did exactly what everyone knew they would because they always do, dressed exactly like everyone knew they would because they always are. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
3 Switzerland | I never quite saw this as the winning candidate that the odds suggested a few weeks ago, but after seeing it in full in the dress rehearsal yesterday, I also don't think it's any less of a winner now than it was before, despite the somewhat controversial staging, outfit and hand-move choices. Maybe the staging somehow fits it perfectly, and finally shows off the song for what it always was? I'm not entirely sure what that is, however...
4 Greece | Great songs shine through no matter what, but there was no need for that complicated staging.
5 San Marino | I don't think Mr Rida's appearance is making much of a difference as such (whether he's famous, unknown, a has-been or what, would any of those lead to people voting en masse either way?), but it does seem to make Miss Hit very happy and cheerful that he's arrived, which I do think might make a difference.
6 Austria | It's just good, and it shows.
7 Finland | This will certainly have its audience, even if it'll probably have shrunk considerably by Saturday.
8 Albania | Unsurprisingly I've loved this for half a year already, and for once it seems I'm not completely alone in appreciating a shouty and dramatic Albanian lady. Could it be because they've included a [gasp!] tune and a [double-gasp!] structure for once?!
9 Moldova | Quite varied reports from rehearsals, but I'd say it's a strong enough song in its own right. And considering the people behind it, I'm expecting some calls to have been made.
10 Denmark | Pretty please?! 🥺