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Eurovision: Semi-Final 1 Preview


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Last updated 6th May.

This is it! I have published my final list of qualifiers for semi-final 1. It’s largely an exercise for bragging rights and I could easily swap Montenegro with Moldova.

Good luck all!

Standout Bets

 Ukraine 9.0 e/w (correct as of 15th April) – Currently 7/1 @ Coral.

 Hungary 8.0 e/w (correct as of 15th April) – Currently 6/1 @ Coral.

 Netherlands 34.0 e/w (correct as of 6th May)

 Albania NQ 1.36 (correct as of 6th May)

 Estonia NQ 3.0 (correct as of 6th May)

 Portugal Q 4.0 (corrected as of 6th May)


As ever, make your qualification predictions below with some well informed reasoning 🙂


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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. I think you’re underestimating Portugal – don’t forget a song in a very similar vein (by the same composer) managed 11th in the mammoth 2007 semi. I think it’s a style some viewers want from eurovision, and there’s nothing else really fishing in that pond here.

    • I might change my mind if there are vast improvements during rehearsals

    • That’s an interesting tidbit for sure, Keley, but it was a long time ago. Danca Comigo was, IMO, a better, more sincere song in the style. We also have to consider that all of Europe could vote in the 2007 semi final, and there were no juries either. I don’t think there’s enough evidence to support Portugal qualifying.

      The only thing that does worry me, is that Danca Comigo was performed with a totally different arrangement to that which was on the Eurovision album. I have no idea why this was allowed, but if it’s the same composer, perhaps we should be wary of it happening again, it is awfully limp at the moment. It sounds like a rejected demo for a Rio de Janiero World Cup song.

  2. Well you’ve certainly got the win contenders correct. Any of those four could probably take it but I’ve gone for Hungary from the pimp slot at 8.0. Its competitors come so much earlier in the semi and it’s credible, contemporary, impressive and memorable enough to score well from all over. It’s probably still value at 6.0 but I won’t be going in again.

    I completely disagree that Montenegro is more likely to qualify than Sweden. Despite the late running order and credible song, Montenegro is pretty friendless, the song is far from ideal for Eurovision and the Montenegrin language has potential to put off both televoters and juries. The qualification record is also terrible. Sweden’s Undo is not ‘difficult to like’. One of the reasons it won its NF is because it’s actually extremely difficult not to like, in the context of a song contest. It’s very suitable for Eurovision and Sanna won’t struggle with the vocals at all. Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Belgium and The Netherlands are all voting in this semi, juries will be kind and I think it will score from every country voting here – which is more than you can say for Armenia and Azerbaijan.

    Belgium will qualify, Russia will probably qualify, Estonia will probably qualify (but not ahead of Sweden) and I’d fancy Moldova to probably qualify too. The rest are borderline but the only one I’d actually discount at this moment in time is Latvia.

  3. Based on the running order of semi final 1, I could make only a few changes (one or two spots) in the final outcome. I think it could be like this:

    01 – BELGIUM
    (Great, exactly in the middle, between two rather big acts. Still, this will go through from every spot)

    02 – HUNGARY
    (I have to put Hungary slightly higher now, because they come after two slow-tempo, intimate, understated entries)

    03 – ARMENIA
    (No worries about Armenia here. For them the 1st slot can be seen as a pimp slot too. Semi final is too small to say “1st slot is bad”)

    04 – Ukraine
    (In the centre. Best up-tempo after Hungary. Stands out between the Azeri and BE)

    05 – Estonia
    (I’m still convinced she sang LIVE in Estonia. Good power-entry. Vocals can be bit shaky with this Loreen-esque performance)

    06 – Sweden
    (Goes through on overall package. But will have slightly less impact compared to Belgium)
    07 – Azerbaijan (Most understated entry ever from the Azeri. But lacks a kind of climax…or “Ooomph”-factor)

    08 – Russia
    (Yes, will have disadvantage from negativity among non-Russian jurors. But I think semi final is too small to let it sink completely. Remember, they have that Greek choreographer)

    Now it becomes trickier. I’d say 9th and 10th spot for two of the following countries:

    00 – Moldova
    (Tacky performance, though I had this as the favourite to win the Moldovan final. And, the singer has got good vocals)

    00 – Portugal (Some trash entry needs to go through. Look to Belarus from last year. Good WC Football anthem too)

    00 – NETHERLANDS (NL right before Montenegro? I think it will slightly eat away points from Montenegro. An understated Belgium-2010-staging might help. Percussion reminds me of Hungary 2013. I kindly disagree with Gavin here)

    00 – MONTENEGRO (Montenegro right after NL? I think it will slightly eat away points from NL. It doesn’t help NL in any case. It needs a Bosnia 2006-staging)

    Doesn’t stand a chance
    — Latvia (Messy happiness, but the happiness is…too messy),
    — Iceland (Juries won’t do this any favour),
    — Albania (Too complicated melody. Not easy to “whistle” the song),
    — San Marino (Worse than last year)

  4. Good analysis, I broadly agree. You’ve persuaded me on Armenia: not my favourite (I think the melodramatic video turned me off – likewise Hungary’s) but it is a good song with an excellent vocal performance and an appealing singer. I completely disagree about Belgium – I’d be hugely surprised if this qualifies. I hope they don’t intend to bring the creepy dance routine to the stage. I actually like Russia’s song a lot – bland perhaps but sweet and with sophisticated vocalisation. I agree the politics are very against Russia this year.

  5. Instead of a straight whos in who out i approach the semis on value.Everything is a lay or back depending on price.If Russia was 2.0s its a screaming back to qualify,if 1.05 a screaming lay.
    So il put the points at where i think something becomes a back or a lay,based on value,not on if it will land.For casual readers a “price” is simply how often/likely an outcome will happen.
    So if Sweden is 1.1 the market is saying if this semi was ran the same 10 times Sweden would fail once and qualify 9 times.If you think Sweden might fail twice in 10 times, on value Sweden would be a lay at anything below 1.20.

    Armenia =
    Probable main challenger with Ukraine to winning semi.Bet above 1.08 to qualify.

    Latvia =
    Terrible but in a nice way,possible,back at anything above 6.0s

    Estonia =
    Vastly underated,2nd best up tempo at ESC after Ukraine back above 1.5 to qualify.

    Terrible draw,question vocals with no help,lay at 1.08 or below.
    Iceland =
    Cant rule out but hugely exposed with draw, back at 6.0s+

    Best ranged vocals at ESC,hangs on staging.Needs mass emotion injecting into difficult but superb melody.Hersi opera trained should pull it off,might/should look and sound fantastic,back at 1.8+

    Russia =
    Worst draw possible.Two best vocals at ESC both sides,then best up-tempo.Lay at 1.25 and below.

    Azerbaijan =
    Classy song,best vocals at ESC alongside Hersi.Jury bait,back at 1.17 and above

    Main challenger with Armenia to win semi.Massive staging potential,camera melting looks and style,more hooks than a long line.Best up-tempo at ESC by far.Back to win semi at 7s+ cover with a top 3 bet when available.One of my 3 likely ESC winners at this stage.(UK,Armenia).

    Terrible dated vomit inducing bile.Probable qualifier but lay at 1.29 or below.

    Possible car crash but Moldova know how to stage. Lay below 1.7

    San Marino=
    So dated its scary.Lay below 2.0s

    Why come back and send this?.Dated 20 years ago.Lay at 2.6 or below.

    The Netherlands=
    Wonderful song.Haunting and delicate.Exposed here though,lay at 1.7 back at 2.5

    Staging is everything,rehearsal to decide.

    Dangerous but overrated.More niche than most uptempo with a disturbing narrative.Ukraine destroys it.Lay at 1.08.Lay top 3 at 2.0 or below when available.

    Rehearsals could/will change a good many of these as some will fly or fail based on the staging.

    • Cheers for that Durham. It’s great clarification for newbies. How do you fancy writing a ‘trading’ or ‘balanced book’ approach to betting on Eurovision, adding more content from the last one?

      • Yes a good idea Gav.This year is really showing how the balanced/traded book is a vital tool in a difficult year.Im a bit busy this and next week with business but i think a new series of articles is needed for new people to understand and enjoy betting on ESC.Starting with the very basics perhaps of what a “book” is and the structure of them and why the 100% matters.
        Il start putting one together.

  6. Here’s my own analysis of the semi:

    Armenia: Odd choice for opener, certain top 3 of semi but maybe too early to win semi

    Latvia: Got statistically best draw in 1st half, but bot jury and televote will shun it

    Estonia: Should qualify, early draw handicaps it slightly, probably qualify around 7th

    Sweden: Probably qualify around 5th, don’t agree that it will struggle, in fact I think it’s one of the few certain qualifiers with Armenia and Hungary

    Iceland: Can’t see juries voting for this, not an attractive overall package (inaccessible song + poor vocals + band looking like an indie Goldie Lookin’ Chain)

    Albania: Not remarkable enough to dent the scoreboard sadly

    Russia: Bad draw, being amongst a cluster of slower songs makes this anonymous.

    Azerbaijan: Juries will love it, probably qualify around 4th

    Ukraine: Draw makes it stand out, like a jolt of energy amongst a glut of slow songs in the middle of the show

    Belgium: I’ll be shocked if the juries don’t love it, probably qualifying lower top 10

    Moldova: Very unpredictable entry this, will need to see rehearsals to properly assess

    San Marino: Not qualifying, full stop

    Portugal: Juries will butcher it

    Netherlands: Terrible draw, juries will appreciate it but televote questionable unfortunately

    Montenegro: Good draw, needs memorable staging, over-reliant on juries however as they have few televoting friends

    Hungary: Contender to win the semi, certain top 5 qualification, will score well across the board with bot jury and televote

  7. 1) Armenia
    2) Sweden
    3) Hungary
    4) Ukraine
    5) Azerbaijan
    6) Russia
    7) Montenegro
    8) Belgium
    9) Netherlands
    10) Albania

  8. Sanna’s Undo is gold. Gonna smash

  9. Just as last year, I have completed a strategic write-up with analysis based on the first initial thoughts, and then with later thoughts added after the running order came out. Due to its length and formatting, it’s not suitable for copying and pasting here, and will be updated when we all get to rehearsals, but until then, you are welcome to read all my thoughts at this link.


  10. Bwin has prices up for SF1 qualification. I found two possibly worth punting. Well, one of them is a no-brainer and the other probably close call.

    Portugal NOT to qualify: 1,45 (Winning limit 150€. I think it’s general limit, not just my limit)
    San Marino TO qualify: 4,75 (Same winning limit 150€)

    Head-to-head in sf: Armenia vs. HUngary: 1,6 to Armenia. A bit worried Armenia is going 1st and HUngary last though.

    • I backed UKRAINE v Hungary Archi at 1.95 and ITALY v germany 1.95.I was tempted by the Armenia H2H as well but kept off it.Portugal really is shocking in every way and thats a very fair price.

  11. My predictions:

    1) Azerbaijan:
    Has an excellent draw, undisputed jury love and enormous voting power which could get them above their rivals. I will bet on their semi win if I can get something around two digit figure
    2) Armenia:
    Slightly handicapped because of the draw, top 3 none the less
    3) Ukraine:
    Brilliant draw for Ukraine, if their stage show will in similar class as their music video they will be fighting for the top spot
    4) Hungary:
    I think it is overrated but their draw could push them battling for top 3. I will be tempted to lay this below evens on top 3 market
    5) Russia:
    Don’t think they have a terrible draw because neither Azerbaijan or Albania will fish votes from their target audience Their diaspora votes will be twice as many as usual, and it’s harder for juries to cancel televote in a field of 16. I will take no bets either way.
    6) Estonia:
    Memorable act, with a broad appeal, I am backing it on the top 10 market for 6+ so I will take no bets on their qualification.
    7) Netherlands:
    Quality song that stands out, should get a decent score from the juries. This genre has fans all around Europe that will vote for this song. I will back +2,5
    8) Sweden:
    I expect this to go through, but I will lay anything below 1.08, I will lay heavily on top 3 market below evens)
    9) Montenegro:
    Beautiful song, but no friends. I will back +2,5
    10) Moldova:
    Disgusting song in my opinion, but eastern Europeans might like it. “The 4 out of the last 6 go through” rule and their qualification record tells me this is likely to go through.
    11) Albania:
    I personally believe it was a mistake translating the song to English as the mystical vibe this song had is gone. I sense the quality and great vocals but I don’t think it will be enough, except the “only 5 from 1 half” rule is broken or we get a shock NQ. I will lay 1,8 or below.
    12) Belgium:
    There will two kind of juries, one putting this at the very top of the scoreboard and the ones putting it in last places. It’s to controversial to get solid jury love. Western televoters will support this but I think eastern Europeans will dismiss this. I will lay 1,35 and below.
    13) Iceland:
    I will take small unit party bets 7 + as this is my home country.
    14: San Marino:
    As dated as last time, but not the same love from fans, though I would be happy if it qualified instead of Moldova as the 4th out of 6 last.
    15: Latvia:
    I love it though it’s terrible. It will split party votes with Iceland and I doubt juries will be marking this high, especially if the backing vocals keep on singing out of tune like they did in nf.
    16: Portugal:
    Have no words about Portugal.

  12. My predictions and thoughts for first semi:

    Armenia – slow start builds gradually bringing in various instruments. A bit repetitive lyrically just before the aggressive and impressive dub-step. Performer is telegenic with good vocals. Lots of friends in the semi-final. Definite top 3 in SF and top 5 in final. Qualifier.

    Latvia – it can make you smile but it is essentially childish which the juries will frown upon. I could see some drunken crowds on finals night would vote but the more hardcore fans wouldn’t waste a vote on this on the less viewed sf night. Going in second is probably not a good sign either. Non-qualifier

    Estonia – an impressive vocal during vigorous dance routine. It’s clear Tanja gets lots of backing vocal help during the most energetic parts but I don’t think the voters will care – it’s not like the backing singers are hidden! It looks like a big fish swimming in a very small dance pond. Top 3 contender for SF. Definitely top 10 in final with a decent draw. Qualifier.

    Sweden – slow burn ballads have not done so well in EV in recent years and this one takes far too long to bring in the majority of the instrumentation. The very ‘black’ presentation may also be a turn off. But once it gets into the latter stages it sounds quite epic and is fairly instant. No jury problems here. Possible top 10 in final. Qualifier

    Iceland – has a new wave retro vibe. It really comes across as quite amateurish and can’t see the juries being too kind. Some have speculated that the ‘message’ will gain it votes, but I can’t see there being too many liberals watching the SF that will be motivated to vote. Going early is also a debit. Non-qualifier.

    Albania – very good vocalist, but the song has an unusual structure. I can see this being the jury favourite but may not get as much televote love. Also Albania looks isolated in this SF. As others have said it may be the presentation that makes or breaks. Willing to stick my neck out – Qualifier.

    Russia – I’m starting to like this a bit more now and the twins are certainly telegenic and no doubt it will get a stellar presentation. Any other year I think we all would have said definite qualifier but… well it’s not worth going over again. There will be certain sections of Europe finding much irony in the lyrics that’s for certain. It should make it but I’m not willing to stick my neck out at this stage. Borderline.

    Azerbaijan – really like this one and should be jury catnip if she can give the emotive vocalisation of the recording. The argument against it is that it’s not instant and doesn’t build to any sort of climax. Some might also ask the question if some juries might not want to punish the Azeri’s for past misdemeanours. If they do I think they will hold off for the final. Qualifier.

    Ukraine – one of the few pure pop songs which means it comes across as a bit frivolous compared to the others in the SF. I think this is what did for the Rockafella Street song a couple of years back and the surprise Armenian non-qualifier with the boxing girl. Nevertheless it does stand out from the crowd, the performer is engaging and there should be a sympathy vote as other have mentioned. Not a top 5 in the final for me and may even be scrambling to hit top 10. Qualifier.

    Belguim – well I guess every year you have to have a pet hate and this is mine. Really really vomit inducing and what’s with the creepy woman dancer? But I have to accept some people like it and have backed it into one of the favourites! The vocal should get some jury love but there are a lot of good vocalists in this SF so it’s not necessarily going to top the jury vote. The running order is not great and Belgium has always lacked friends. Borderline.

    Moldova – fierce, jarring, unmelodic song given an unsubtle vocal. If it was an x-factor performance you’d be piling onto the next elimination market. This really will test the patience of the televoters – even those from Eastern Europe! ‘No feelings of mercy’ – Non-qualifier.

    San Marino – this is definitely a contender… if you can find a time machine to send it back to the 1970s! Probably the blandest song in the SF and we know what to expect from this singer – decent vocals but nothing special. Even if it can muster a mid-range jury score I can’t see where the televote support will come from. Non-qualifier.

    Portugal – FFS everything that could go wrong went wrong – dated, bizarre presentation, barely adequate vocal. Only if they had found a Portuguese Black Lace could they have come up with anything worse. Bloody hell why am I wasting my time writing about it!!! Non-qualifier.

    Netherlands – what’s with the Dutch? They either want to be cowboys or injuns. Well they can’t! They don’t have open plains, Rocky Mountains and horses; they have flat farmland, dikes and bikes! They need to get over it! (Apologies for the rant Gert. I like the Dutch really). Anyway I kinda like the song myself but I don’t think it’s going to set EV alight. Having said that I haven’t got too many qualifiers from the 2nd half so I’m saying this is going to sneak through. Qualifier.

    Montenegro – this is a pretty pleasant song without being memorable so it’s going to need it’s late slot and some jury love. It is also hampered by a lack of local support. Without seeing a live version I’m guessing the vocalist will be very good with an effective stage presence so I’m not ruling it out. Ends rather sudden though doesn’t it? Borderline.

    Hungary – the thing with this song is that you can’t get bored with it. It drives from one stage to the next quite relentlessly. That can become an irritation after multiple listens (at least for me) but most televoters won’t have heard it before. Has a lot of potential to send a lot of the other songs down the memory hole and for that reason I’m putting it as favourite to win this semi. Top 10 in final and possibly top five with the right running order. Qualifier.

  13. Its interesting to read your thoughts there Rob.I highlighted Herci Matmuja to pimpin before the selection show as a fantastic vocalist and artist and likely winner.We were talking about her the other day and he said her and the song are probably his personal favourite this year.Whats telling is i feel the same.The song and her are my personal favourites this year as well.That would tie in to you saying you could see big jury support.She is at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome to study.That is probably the finest music school in the world.You dont get in unless they see potential to be world class.
    Me and pimpin are both very worried though about her making it to the final.Its a very very tough draw for her and ask.The key i think is Herci needs pretty simply staging but classy.Then she needs to use all her vocal skills to pack the song with as much emotion and range as possible.That will secure very high jury and i hope enough televotes to get her over the line.
    It would be a travesty if she didnt make it.She a lovely girl and a world class vocal prospect.

    • i agree DB. however it’s the draw that has made me nervous for her progression. Too many heavyweights in the first half. Albania could be lost because they are without friends and there’s no getting away from it the song itself is unusual. Last year the juries were prone to reward rather conventional songs. Hopefully we will be back to juries that have the imagination to support something a bit more creative.

      • I agree the draw is a killer for her.It will be interesting to see how it goes because like you say it should point to how the juries are marking.If she qualifies the juries are rewarding the more creative songs and vocals.
        The lack of allies is another cruel blow for her though.
        Il be keeping a very close eye on the rehearsals to see if they can get it classy and Hersi can inject the power and emotion needed.If she does il invest a small amount.If not il just invest crossed fingers for her.

  14. Contenders for semi win:

    Armenia: Not your normal Eurovision entry but will be remembered and certain top 3.

    Azerbaijan: Classiest song at this year’s contest. Juries reward class and this is top 2 in semi jury vote. Have backed @ 15.0 and my semi winner.

    Ukraine: Song has improved from original. Possible sympathy vote and enough voting friends anyway to make top 3.


    Estonia: Best upbeat song by a mile at this year’s contest.

    Hungary: Hate it, but pimp slot and will qualify.

    Sweden: A Likeable ballad in my opinion and would be a bigger shock non qualifier than Anna Bergendahl.

    Non Qualifiers:

    Latvia: Has grown on me but slot 2 kills its chances.

    San Marino: If it didn’t qualify last year with a better song can’t see it doing so this year.

    Netherlands: Country music, Eurovision, Netherlands all 3 together I think not.

    The rest:

    Russia: Need to see a live version, but leaning to qualifying even with their behaviour.

    Belgium: I will try to be objective. It’s shit. The End.

    Moldova: Worst song along with Belgium at this year’s contest. Enough friends and I expect a good stage show so also leaning to qualifying.

    Albania: The girl can sing. Should get jury support, but not sure about tele vote. Borderline.

    Iceland: It’s a bit mad isn’t it? I like it but I think juries kill it.

    Montenegro: Not sure what to make of this possible jury support will wait for rehearsals

    Portugal: My shock qualifier if it improves from its national final effort which was shocking on the night.

  15. Love your blog and totally agree with your assessment of Portugal’s entry but I don’t understand why you placed S Marino as Portugal’s voting buddy.
    I checked and they only voted for portugal once in 2008, they gave it 5 points in the final. I believe it was jury points alone as televote wasn’t enough to be valid and I guess they liked the song?…

    Germany could be seen as a more credible voting buddy as Portuguese diaspora is big there.

  16. Maybe it’s worth mentioning that both Sergej Cetkovic and Tijana Dapcevic are well known artists in Serbia which is actually their main market given their countries are smaller and the ties between them (Tijana is also half-Serbian).
    So there is a chance they could attract some Serbian diaspora votes also, I don’t know for sure if it’s going to happen but it might help them to get over the line, especially Sergej who is jury friendly.

  17. You know I watched Armenia perform at the Eurovision in Concert today and I have to be honest and say it is VERY poor live. I don’t think we are going to Yerevan next year. In fact, if he performs like that in Copenhagen, Armenia could very easily fail to qualify. Leaving the door wide open for Sweden, Hungary, Romania, UK and Ireland to win.

    • Love the fact you’re keeping faith with Ireland!

      I’ll be updating the semi-final tables this week to reflect current thoughts.

      • Yeah, I mean, there are a number of factors why Ireland is a dark horse this year.

        1. Increasing support for Ireland on other websites, YouTube and possibly the bookies later on.
        2. Can Linn now have a dance version of heartbeat and if it gets into the nightclubs around Europe then the votes are going to probably flood in.
        3. We are in and around 5th-8th place in the OGAE voting.
        4. Most importantly, it’s a song that’s great for Eurovision. Juries and televoters will like this.

        I definitely think that Ireland will make the final again. Then if we get through I hope Ireland will win it then.

    • I would love to see Betfair collectively shit its pants if Armenia don’t qualify and Sweden suddenly goes under evens in some moment of panic…. but I think it’s too big an ask. 😉

      • I don’t think the more clued up members of the Betfair community would care. The position has been to lay Armenia at those ludicrously low odds. If Sweden continues to drop (which it will), the same tactic will apply.

        I had a big green on Armenia, but whatever happens, I’m in profit. I laid Sweden at 6s after Melfest. As Sanna continues to top the polls, those odds will edge to 4s. Sanna doesn’t worry me at all and I’ll be happy for her to win all of the pre-contest polls.

        • Yeah, I made a bit of a mistake this year. I was keeping a list of potential winners based on available information, song or no song, and Armenia was sitting at the top since Aram was revealed on New Years. I backed it a bit but not as much as I should have, and fired off a large bet with a mainstream bookie just as the odds were in the midst of crashing, I got in there at 11. It’s acting as some amazing insurance for me and I’m so glad I did it, but if I had done it on Betfair, I would’ve been able to lay it off and turn my entire book green by now. Oh well!

  18. Updated this semi table.

  19. Iv had a punt on Estonia EW 123, semi final 1 @ Bet365 40s.Iv also nibbled a bit EW on the outright at 81s.(Already heavy on BF outright and top 10)

    I reckon Tanja might end up having one of the best 3 vocals in the final.For an up-tempo number like hers thats very very rare.Added to a wonderful staging likely she should do much better with the juries than people think.Being Russian she might also pick up high marks from them.

  20. So Bet365 have moved Ukraine out to 10s e/w now. Not sure what justifies that. They’ve shortened on Azerbaijan, so maybe Ukraine was the make weight.

  21. Ukraine top in 3 semi @ 2.65 bwin great value. seeing as it is shortening like mad on the outright market.

  22. Iv taken some 51s EW on Estonia at Skybet for semi 1.Long shot but i reckon thats far too big a price.Shes such a talented performer she gives juries no room to mark her down and those lights in Copenhagen look made for her performance.

  23. Bwin has some semi only head to heads up.Iv taken Ukraine to beat Hungary at 2.2.Hungary might secure a decent jury score and have pimp slot, but i reckon it has the least friends in this semi of anyone to rely on.The televoters might not enjoy a song about child abuse as the climax to the songs as well.
    Ukraine have yet to convince they can pull the juries onside and wel have to wait for staging for that.However their friendly voting power in this semi is huge.I would have the price at 1.7 maximum so 2.2 seems far too big.

    • Good price, especially considering you have Ukraine winning the whole contest 😀

      • I refuse to accept Herci is the girl from The Ring shell,im sure they are just cousins or something.Maybe they should consider the staging to include climbing out of a well or through a tv screen?).

  24. I just took AZERBAIJAN vs. Belgium at 1.5 LOL!

    • I very nearly took that Timas well but my card was playing up and i could only fund through Paypal from my business account.I dont think the taxman allows “Eurovision bets” as allowable expenses)

  25. My 9 Qualifiers in this heat are:

    Which means there is 1 spot left for Montenegro or Estonia, so I’m laying both.
    I know that I have been wrong on Tanja in Eesti Laul and therefore perhaps a bit biased, but I think the 3.0 ntq at bet365 is too high considering how strong the lineup is in this semi.

    • Add Estonia to those nine and then I think you have by far the most likeliest set of qualifiers. I don’t give Montenegro much hope though, seeing as they have never qualified before and as the song is in Montenegrin. One I think you may be underestimating is Portugal. At above 4.0 to qualify I think it’s worth a small back and personally I’d give it much more chance than Montenegro. It is dated but Suzy can really sing and it’s the only proper uptempo song in the last 7. Using the “4 of the last 6 songs qualify” rule, it should be given a chance if you believe San Marino and Montenegro will NQ. If one of Estonia, Russia, Belgium or The Netherlands failed, then I think it would probably be through.

      Another I’m failing to discount yet is Iceland. Their qualification record is excellent, the last time they didn’t qualify was way back in 2007. I think it’s probably more likely not to qualify than qualify, but I wouldn’t lay it yet as I think ‘No Prejudice’ is a competent entry and I’d fancy it to go through had it been drawn towards the end.

      San Marino, Albania and Latvia are no-hopers for me. I’d also be really shocked if Montenegro went through.

      • Oh, I’m not discounting Portugal. I just haven’t mentioned it since Estonia and Montenegro are favored by betting markets to go through after my list of 9 qualifiers. There is a reason I’m laying both.
        I would love to see Portugal making it. I’m all up for a little 80’s fiesta in the final.

  26. Through a mixture of judgement and blind hope, my non-qualifiers are:

    San Marino

    Refuse to put Latvia in my list as I love the song. Whereas Belgium is primarily there as I hate the shitey dirge.

  27. I am really glad to see that the most of you put Netherlands as qualifier. I really hope it will, to be after Portugal can really help. I think these 10 will qualify:

    – Armenia
    – Azerbaijan
    – Russia
    – Hungary
    – Sweden
    – Ukraine

    – Estonia
    – Belgium
    – Montenegro
    – Netherlands

    – Moldova
    – Portugal
    – Albania

    – Latvia
    – Iceland
    – San Marino

    The differences between Probably and Borderline are really small… I have no idea what Europe will do… Most important for me is of course that my Country Netherlands will qualify. (Scandinavia + Belgium will vote for us)… Juries can help us too.

  28. Pretty sure that Sweden shouldn’t be anything but green (although I’d love it to be an NQ for purposes of schadenfreude). Juries and über-Eurofans will see fröken Nielsen go through easily.

  29. Since its a slack anyone care to predict a top 4?
    For what it’s worth mine are:
    1 UK
    2 Sweden
    3 Denmark
    4 Armenia

  30. The evaluation says that Sweden may struggle. Does that mean that there is a fair chance that Sweden will miss out on the final ?

  31. Having watched Eurovision.tv’s excellent playlist of second rehearsal impressions from this semi, this is my current prediction:

    Armenia – Qualifying
    Latvia – Probably NOT qualifying

    Estonia – Qualifying
    Sweden – Qualifying

    Iceland – Probably qualifying
    Albania – Not qualifying

    Russia – Probably qualifying
    Azerbajian – Qualifying

    Ukraine – Qualifying
    Belgium – Probably qualifying

    Moldova – Probably qualifying
    San Marino – Probably NOT qualifying

    Portugal – Not qualifying
    The Netherlands – Qualifying

    Montenegro – Not qualifying
    Hungary – Qualifying

    I concede that Latvia look and sound quite unexciting, I think the “cake” aspect of it all is ironically too subtle now, but I do still believe the song is infectious and instantly loveable if you’re not taking things seriously – and if any votes are diverted from Russia, Latvia could benefit from that.

    I am also still sceptical of San Marino. They’re virtually friendless in this semi-final, but I feel like it’s a breath of fresh air after the powerful but unpleasant Moldova. Also – white and gold are used, just sayin’.

    I also realise that adding together all my qualifiers and likely qualifiers leaves me with eleven. If I had to pick one to fall, I’d go with Moldova, because to me it seems they are qualifying on stats alone. The entry itself is seriously dire.

  32. Okay, this is my final prediction. Bit of a change from above, quite a controversial one at that too, but I figured it’s worth turning my thoughts for one or two songs upside down. The reason for that is the market tends to order songs by power and strength – and if that power and strength doesn’t come through aurally, then they look for it to come through visually, and if it still appears “weak”, then it’s out. I’m sticking my neck to out defy that subconcsious line of thinking.

    Armenia – Q
    Latvia – Q
    Estonia – NQ
    Sweden – Q
    Iceland – NQ
    Albania – NQ
    Russia – Q
    Azerbajian – Q
    Ukraine – Q
    Belgium – Q
    Moldova – NQ
    San Marino – Q
    Portugal – NQ
    The Netherlands – Q
    Montenegro – NQ
    Hungary – Q

    It’s probably wrong, I think the first 5 are all good enough to go through on different merits, but something’s got to fail from there. Estonia is “stronger” but Latvia is going to win over a lot of people, the arena lapped it up tonight. I’m also going to factor in Tanja’s age and (I hate to say it) she’s got that hawkish Charlotte Perelli face which is probably just natural Slavic features but looks a lot like botox. It sounds bitchy I know but viewers won’t vote for someone they don’t find attractive. Remember Perelli only scraped through in 2008 as well.

    I would also rather Iceland qualify instead of Russia, but I think it’s too big an ask. They may well both go through at the expense of… San Marino.

    Yes it’s dull and dated, but it’s also the safest, most conventional, accessible song the country has ever sent, and it is, unbelievably, more powerful than Senit’s song in 2011. With the hosts dropping in the underdog narrative during the show before a commercial break, that is going to give Valentina a real boost. I just think it’ll happen and surprise everyone. If she qualifies, someone else has to fail, and the easiest target is the brash novelty song that fewer people can instantly relate to. Sorry Iceland.

  33. My prediction – I know its a lot from the first half but I think the reduced numbers may allow a top heavy result for once.

    Armenia – Q
    Latvia – NQ
    Estonia – Q
    Sweden – Q
    Iceland – NQ
    Albania – Q
    Russia – Q
    Azerbajian – Q
    Ukraine – Q
    Belgium – Q
    Moldova – NQ
    San Marino – NQ
    Portugal – NQ
    The Netherlands – Q
    Montenegro – NQ
    Hungary – Q

  34. My predictions for what they are worth – I am keeping my powder relatively dry on this one although the presence of the underpriced Armenia and Sweden does mean significant value in the top 3/win markets imo.

    10 Qualifiers in no particular order:


    As always with Eurovision semi finals the margins between the songs in 7th-13th are potentially very narrow, so I’m steering clear of anything very short (although Russia to qualify would be my standout short odds bet.)

    Montenegro NQ @ c. 2.90 – a song I really like, but in own language and without the usual Balkan allies I don’t think it will provide sufficient motivation for voters to pick up the phone.

    Iceland Q @ 3.45 – I think this song and stage show is very coherent and as a marmite entry will generate enough televote support to go with average jury marks (for the overall presentation) to sneak through.

    Also a hunch that Albania gets through at the expense of Estonia despite being the dullest entry of the year.

    My 1-2-3 is Hungary, Azerbaijan, Ukraine. I’ll play this market by opposing both Armenia and Sweden Top 3 – and have a very speculative play on Belgium Top 3 (which makes me hate myself a little bit.)

  35. Here are my crazy predictions for this semifinal:

    1. Azerbaijan
    2. Armenia
    3. Netherlands
    4. Sweden
    5. Ukraine
    6. Hungary

    7 – 13 in no particular order:


    14. Portugal
    15. San Marino
    16. Albania

    Here are my bets:

    For the win: I’m backing Azerbaijan @9.4 and Netherlands @81

    Top 3: I’m laying Sweden @3 , Ukraine @2 , Hungary @2

    To qualify: Iceland @3,7 , Latvia @4.6, Netherlands @1.35

    NOT to qualify: Belgium @4, Moldova @2, Montenegro @3, Russia @5, Estonia @3 Albania @1.5

    It will be a tight race between 7-13 so I am just following the value in my smaller bets, but putting a larger sum on what I consider impossible not to happen Netherlands q and Albania nq.

    The televote in Iceland will be fair to my horses. I probably will be responsible for 10 % of all the televotes from Iceland 😉

    Happy hunting and let the party begin 🙂

  36. Shell’s Qs [final edit]:

    San Marino <3
    The Netherlands

  37. Ruudissssssss’s Qs

    San Marino

    Lot is riding on these 10 qualifying.

  38. I’ve got something like this:

    1. Sweden
    2. Hungary
    3. Armenia
    4. Azerbaijan
    5. Ukraine
    6. Russia
    7. Netherlands
    8. Estonia
    9. Montenegro
    10. Belgium
    11. Moldova
    12. Latvia
    13. Iceland
    14. Albania
    15. San Marino
    16. Portugal

  39. Hi everyone!

    After the long wait it is finally here: the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest Copenhagen 2014! I think this is a much stronger semi-final in contrast to the second semi-final on Thursday which is weaker imo.

    This is my top 16 of the first semi-final tonight:

    01. Sweden
    02. Russia
    03. Portugal
    04. Belgium
    05. San Marino
    06. Montenegro
    07. Moldova
    08. Ukraine
    09. Netherlands
    10. Estonia
    11. Latvia
    12. Hungary
    13. Azerbaijan
    14. Albania
    15. Armenia
    16. Iceland

    In this semi-final I’ll vote for: Sweden, Russia, Portugal, San Marino and Montenegro.

    Of course I hope that my top 10 qualifies, but I think the following 10 countries will qualify for the final (if that has something to do with the quality of the song or anything else is obviously debatable, but I leave that in the middle ;-)):

    01. Armenia
    02. Azerbaijan
    03. Belgium
    04. Estonia
    05. Hungary
    06. Moldova
    07. Montenegro
    08. Ukraine
    09. Russia
    10. Sweden

    Let’s see how many countries I correctly predict this time. Last year I predicted 9 out of 10 countries correct. Not bad huh 😉

    Lots of luck to all participants! Do your best and enjoy your moment on stage! Winning is always (a little bit) important, but especially to prove yourself. Don’t forget that all of you are actually already a winner because you have won the right to represent your country at the biggest, most acclaimed, most popular music festival in the world! May the best win! And eventually quality always comes floating to the surface, isn’ it?!

    I’d like to wish everyone who will be watching and will be listening all over the world, lots of listening and viewing pleasure tonight! Enjoy the show, the spectacle, the atmosphere, the magic …!

  40. My 10 qualifiers


    Confident on the 1st 7 of those. There is normally a surprise qualifier and mine is Portugal. It seemed to do well in jury rehearsal and have it backed @4.75 small stake. Ukraine and Armenia top 3 and Azerbaijan to win.

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