Home / Eurovision Tips / Semi-Final 1: Qualification Contenders UPDATED!

Semi-Final 1: Qualification Contenders UPDATED!

semi final 1
Those countries highlighted in green are my qualifiers.

With the jury rehearsal out of the way, we can be a little more certain with our qualification. I have used a traffic light system to denote my current thoughts for each country’s fate.  Those in yellow are undecided and my rough notes explain my reservations.  I have also highlighted those countries chasing a placed finish in red.

Potential Winners

On the back of last night’s jury rehearsal, Denmark are deservedly the main contender for the semi-final and final win.

Russia may fall a bit flat wedged between two uplifting songs.  Russia’s televote grip can’t be discounted and What If looks quite polished on TV if not a little pedestrian.

The outstanding value did emerge from Serbia’s Moje 3 at 25/1, but since watching rehearsals, Moldova now joins the queue for a top-3 finish.  Moldova’s staging is jaw-droppingly good compared to Serbia’s confusing toytown outfits.  Moldova were available at over 30/1 for the semi win, which offers excellent each way value.

Croatia are also capable of sneaking a place with their charming folk song.  They should be high with the juries and are also well represented in this semi.

Still Fighting

Ireland & Belgium clash, as the they both sound similar and are chasing the same audience and votes.  Ireland is the better song and Ryan Dolan’s vocal and charisma are far superior to those of his Belgian counterpart.  However, Roberto has upped his game for the second (due to technical issues) jury rehearsal of Love Kills.

Those countries marked as none qualifiers are unlikely to change, so at this point, be encouraged to bet accordingly.  Estonia are capable of causing an upset though.


 Moldova 35.0 each way

Croatia 81.0 each way

 Denmark 2.5

 Montenegro 2.5

 Estonia 2.05 

 Austria 1.55  

 Estonia 1.8

 Belarus 3.5

About Gavster

ESCtips Owner   I’m a qualified designer and dedicate a lot of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.


  1. And for the record, my 10 qualifiers are:


  2. As far as Belgium goes, I’d be slightly worried for them that the jury got to see his first run through. We can’t automatically assume they will banish the thought of that performance from their heads and judge him on the second one only. It’s not as if he would come across to them as a supremely confident and charismatic performer either who was hampered by a sound problem….they may reckon he is a suspect vocalist and a bit hit and miss.

    • Hey, and thanks for sharing your views. I speak from a position of strength having backed both at over 3s. Arguments can be constructed for both qualification and non-qualification, though based on what happened last night, I’m swayed by Belgium.

      • I think the song is more than strong enough for him to qualify, Gav. I guess we’ll have to wait a few weeks until the jury results are revealed to see exactly what they made of his jury final performance 🙂

  3. Hey Gav,

    Thanks for all your tips so far. I have a real spread over various categories thanks to your wise words (and having learned a heavy leasson from my £800 loss two years ago by lumping EVERYTHING on France, Estonia and Blue for e/w wins).

    Feeling pretty confident this year though and agree with 9 or your 10 (I think Montenegro will push out Belgium as the gimmic will win over the non Eurovision fans, especially in the UK).

    I agree that the contest is Denmark’s for the losing. The last minute stage presentation (falling ticker tape) will implant in the casual viewers mindset that this must be a winner.

    I thinking of one pretty heavy bet on NQ and then I’m done. Which of Austria and Estonia do you think is more of a dead cert ( I know there is no such thing) or do you think I should spread it out across both of them?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi and welcome! Austria are my main bet. I lumped on at over evens last week. Estonia is an upset waiting to happen.

  4. My main bet in this heat is Austria ntq as well.

    Moldova Top3 would be AMAZING.

    Anyways, prediction time:
    My qualifiers are:
    Estonia instead of Belarus
    Haven’t bet on it though.
    Go Birgit !!!

  5. Thanks Gav/Shell, Austria it is then. Just don’t tell my other half I’m betting our Malmo spending money on it!!

  6. Hey Gav, thanks for sharing your list! It’s actually the same as mine.
    What caused you to abandon Montenegro, btw? Interested in your reasoning, as I have a small lay position but considering expanding it.

  7. Btw shell & Gav, I’m jealous of your good value on the Austria NQ bet 🙂

  8. I too have Belgium just making it – it’s very average but in a field of average songs it is at the very least different to the slew of female solo ballads, and the shenanigans over the jury rehearsal will work in it’s favour.
    Main bets for tonight are Croatia to Q @ 1.47(average odds), Belgium to Q @ 3.60, and Denmark to win the semi at 2.40. Also a small amount on Croatia Top 3.

    Best of luck all 🙂

    • Beanie, you’re not at all worried Croatia will go non-Balkan viewers by? With the new rules, that could be dangerous. I also have it backed, so I hope not 🙂

  9. Main bet Croatia to qualify @ 2.0 and Denmark to win semi @ 2.3.
    My 10 qualifiers Croatia, Denmark, Russia, Ukraine, Netherlands, Belarus, Moldova, Ireland, Serbia, Estonia. Not sure at all about Netherlands just going with the general consensus

  10. Belgium 1st half
    Belarus 1st half
    Denmark 2nd half
    Estonia 1st half
    Ireland 2nd half
    Lithuania 1st half
    Moldova 1st half
    Netherlands 1st half
    Russia 1st half
    Ukraine 2nd half

  11. http://www.svt.se/melodifestivalen/har-ar-alla-finalister OK, this may be crazy, but did SVT just accidentally put the results of the semi… I mean it’s not in any order known to me. Would be funny this is it. 🙂
    Surprised with the Balkans failing, and Lithuania AND Belgium through.. wow
    It’s between Denmark, Azerbaijan and Ukraine for the win.
    Nice job on the reports from Malmo btw 🙂

  12. well slightly green on the semi itself with mont going down Serbia failing but Austria and Est landing.Also had some Croatia and Serbia top 10 so they are down but got Moldova top 3 so if that landed back green,if it didnt red.Pretty shaky start though and im glad i wasnt too heavy on that semi.

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