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Eurovision 2017: Semi-Final 1 Qualifiers

Eurovision 2017 Semi-final 1 has just ended and the 10 qualifiers for Saturday’s Grand Final are as follows:

  1. Moldova
  2. Azerbaijan
  3. Greece
  4. Sweden
  5. Portugal
  6. Poland
  7. Armenia
  8. Australia
  9. Cyprus
  10. Belgium

We’ll be back tomorrow as semi-final 2 perform in front of the national juries.

Did the right 10 songs qualify?

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. Look at this performance of Italy. He was too relaxed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rafsdrfRM4o It looks sloppy.
    Portugal is on its way to victory now.

  2. I’m a bit confused as to how Greece and Cyprus both got in, while Finland and Georgia missed…
    …Belgium performed horribly, but the jury likes it.
    Kremlin tampering, bad pitch, crappy sound mixing, or what’s the deal this year?
    [no, I don’t think the “right” songs qualified…well, maybe half of them…]

  3. Tristan Powell

    I think it was mostly right but Australia, Greece,
    Cyprus and Belgium shouldn’t have made it over Iceland. Gravest injustice…

    • Exactly! Cyprus was alright but Latvia, Iceland and Finland really should’ve qualified over Australia, Greece and Belgium.

  4. One thing which I found interesting with Belgium is that, when she was singing “standing in the danger zone”, with her looking scared, I could feel that she was actually scared of what was happening so the emotion came across very well with it. The vocals where still bad though but it showed good emotion

  5. Catriona colville

    Portugal absolutely deserve the win after that, and with all the favourites in the same half, it won’t make a huge difference. Surely Italy will be one of the first 5 songs now?

    Also, Belgium qualifying over Finland is absolute horse shit. Do the juries have ears?

  6. Can we definitely conclude Portugal won? We don’t even know how the televote went….

    Can Portugal beat Italy?

    • Sure it can. I see Portugal winning jury vote. Televote should also appreciate it. After tonight I absolutely fell in love with Portugal so I’m biased.

  7. Okay seriously. Calm down everyone it’s just a song competition. Belgium more than deserved it’s spot in the final and as I said earlier on Tuesday- she’ll place Top 5 … She wrote and produced the music. She’s 17. It’s not a horse shit song like some of the qualifiers.

    I do agree though that Greece and a few others should not have qualified at the expense of Finland.

    Anyway- try and enjoy the music.

    Love from Ireland

  8. What’s with this Armenia drift? Is it just because of the first half draw? I assume it finished top 3 in the semi…

  9. Belgium are currently no.1 on esc tracker. That and a 2nd half draw and maybe it means Belgium might still have a say

  10. https://gyazo.com/c87f7e7568d448ca9f04dfb87bed631b

    I know, I know, shouldn’t value it too much. But it does tell the story. By far the most trending snippet they shared (reach grows by ammount of shares/likes/comments etc.). Momentum totally with Salvador.

    Almost 4 times more views/reach than one of the most famous internet memes.

  11. My take on last night is that Portugal romped the jury vote and more than probably placed first or second with the public. Several mates who are by no means ESC fans were on social media using words like ‘captivating’, ‘mesmerising’ and ‘creating a moment’.

    Having loved the studio version of Belgium I watched the rehearsal period with great sadness for Blanche and was truly expecting a NQ. However, there was something so endearing about her nervous, shaky performance that bizarrely added to the overall package. When she started smiling I have to admit I let out a cheer and a ‘Come on Blanche’ (thanks God I was watching alone!). ESC tracker suggests the public bought into the quality of the song and I wouldn’t be surprised to discover she did feature in the top three yesterday.

    I thought Armenia was quality. Song not really for me but the armography (is that what you call it?)was stunning. I think a first half draw alongside Italy and Portugal will really hurt its chances of a podium finish though but eastern Europe should still see a high top ten placing.

    I was so disappointed for Finland but felt like there was a minute in the song where the camera angles were off and as a viewer you kind of lost interest. Again, friends comments were along the lines of ‘started off strong but then became boring’. I do worry about the chances of a high overall finish for the UK after Finland’s result though. I think Lucie may hit top ten with the juries but then will come tumbling down the ranks as viewers won’t have picked up the phone. However, losing Finland, and a whole load of dross so far in the second half will help her to some degree.

    Robin for Sweden was a pretty uncomfortable watch and as slick as it was, it still felt pretty soulless. The second half draw might help it stay in the top ten but I’m pretty sure he aint on the podium.

    If the second semi final turns out to be as weak as perceived I think that Portugal stand the best chance of an overall win on Saturday. I absolutely adore Italy and was desperate for it to romp home but the performance shown last night (and the full video online) is extremely messy. Francisco is over egging the pudding and the whole package is now just too much. I actually found myself cringing watching it. I hope he can reign it in on Saturday

    • I think UK is looking fantastic. She shows way more emotions with more ‘charisma’ than Finland, the staging + emotions/expressions + visuals + big notes pull you in and let you forget about the ‘meh-ish’ song. I really felt it, plus all female ballads in semi 1 are out now, so that’s a good thing. I’ve put some on UK tb AUS, I think for once the UK drop was actually fair (altho the outright is too low now).

    • Love the word “armography”…I think it should be kept in reserve specifically for Armenia’s staging.

      Goodness knows they deserve their own lexical unit due to their years of consistently high quality art.

      If Bulgaria win the second semi and draw first half, I think ESC producers will need some new traffiic jam signs before the Grand Final.

  12. How do you explain Belgium now 4th in the odds!?

    • I reckon overreaction to its iTunes success, which means very little

    • Surely the televote cannot be high for Belgium on Saturday assuming the same vocals. I absolutely love the studio version but it would be a joke winner and invite ridicule as the vocals are sooo poor. I understand the fragility of the performance but she just is unable to sing properly live. And I just don’t get the Armenia collapse in the market? I thought it was a slid performance and most likely 2nd to Portugal.

    • The quality of the song and the fragile nature of Blanche do the work. If you see the views in Eurovision’s official channel Portugal and Belgium have almost a 40% more views than the third most viewed song

      • So this means that a performer who absolutely looks frightened on stage and nearly compelled to sing should be rewarded for this? I understand that the lyrics and the mood go well with her appearance, but why should anybody reward her if she does not sing in key and misses a few notes? The last 30 seconds were better yesterday, but it’s a hard part of the song and could always see Blanche miss it.

        • Eurovision is not a best singer contest. It`s a song contest and people tend to vote the songs they like, the singers they feel closer to or the the songs and singers that they provoke the stronger sentiments. And she did that. If we wanted a contest where the best voice would win opera is a safest choice. Most of the voices in the contest are not top class. Who cares though

          • probably the juries 😉

            Your comment is borderline arrogant and on the long run it will probably get you into red positions. Only last year, Amir had a chartable song that ended into Apple’s 100 top hits in Europe and look what good that did him. Frans only placed 5th, while his song is still played in many shops and stores all over Europe. Yet Jamala’s 1944 won, a totally non-modern song, which was sang from the heart and with a perfect delivery.

            Of course, you don’t need to be perfect if you have a very good song. But tell me a song that was so bottled like Blanche’s that went top 3 in the last 10 years. It’s quite hard to find it, right?

  13. I remember Eric Saade finishing 3rd in 2011 with a mediocre song and voice. Definitely in order to have a successfull career as a singer you need to have a very good voice. Eurovision is something different. Is just a contest where the optical show and sentiments are more important cause you have need to steal the attention from the other candidates. Voice is important of course but not everything. I don’t imply that Blance is perfect, but there are at least another 20-25 mediocre voices participating. Eg Isaiah yesterday was far worse than Blanche, Demy the same.

    And look what happened to Slovenia and Finland. They had voices. Did they make the audience feel the urge to support them? No. Look at the views their videos have and look at Belgium’s.

    About the juries. I believe that ost of the people in the betting sites overestimate their abilities. We see them like judges that will give justice and reward the best. But they are people like us. Not all of them are experts and have likes and dislikes. Add to that neighbors and allies, because politics are important and Eurovision is a way to do cheap diplomacy, especially in the East and suddenly you realise that the voice is not the No1 factor.

    • I did not imply for a second that only the voice wins you the competition, I thought we are on a platform that is not merely for novices :). So in the last 10 years, you managed to pinpoint only one song that was average. That actually backs what I am saying: basically you cannot be successful if you bottle the song.

      Of course the voice does not win you the trophy or helps you place higher if you have a dull staging. But it can bury you. Slovenia was always a long shot to qualify and you know that. Also, everybody and their mom tipped Finland for qualification. It’s difficult to pinpoint why they failed, but they probably had problems in the jury night.

      I still cannot understand the love for Blanche. The song is good, she simply isn’t. If she did manage to be on point, I would have understood, because the song is difficult. But I think the market is overreacting to her drawing 2nd half of the competition. Also, bear in mind that the producers know what the results are and they will act on it in drawing the running order.

      • Lets agree that we disagree. You don’t understand the love for Blanche, i don’t understand the hate for her. I believe that the song was TOP3 and she will get a very good draw. And of course the draw is important in this contest. I have her at Top10 @2.24 and Top-5 @2.84. We will see who was wrong and wo was right in 3 days

        • It is not about right or wrong, John, it is about being in touch with reality. The snippet we heard from the second rehearsal was dire, piss poor. What we have seen in the semifinal was a notch above. I don’t know how you approach the competition, but I think playing Top 10 @ 2.24 is a good bet, while Top 5 @ 2.84 is not. There is very little difference between the odds, with a five-place distance between them. But best of luck 🙂

          • My point is that we have heard far worse packages in this contest and many of them will also be in the final. I am not saying that Belgium has the best package or she has the best voice. But it wasn’t the song that should have stayed out of the final.

            About reality. we are experienced bettors and in all those years each of us has his/her own thinking and has evolved a way of thinking and things to look for when looking for the songs that will do well. We don’t look for the same signs and thank god we don’t because we wouldn’t find anything to bet o in decent prices. For example i don’t pay any attention at all at the polls cause i think that 45 guys in a country and 125 in another are not a sample.

            But Belgium had the quality ( at least the studio version) to stand outside the Eurovision bubble. All my friends that are not fans really like it and listen to it. Even the radio station that i listen to and has nothing to do with pop or Eurovision plays that song every day since day 1.

            And there is another thing. If you are outside the bubble, Belgium is still treated as one of the contenders. And that might be also the case with some of the jurors. Add to that the views of the 1st semi and you will see a song that had a buzz with the audience.

            Is that enough for a Top 3-4-5? Maybe yes, maybe not. My estimation is that it will be 4th or 5th.

            You can have a different opinion and i respect that. But you have to understand that there is not just one reality. Every one has a different reality and a different point of view and is trying to clear the noise of the data. Some of my data and reasoning are noise for you and some of yours is noise for me.

            I would like to know your view about the big night.

          • That’s why I brought up Amir in this discussion. He and Frans had the most chartable songs in the semifinal, the most modern ones, so to say. They finished 5th and 6th and never had a chance to contend, as their two songs combined had only four points more than Jamala. Amir was also off key when he butchered the “You” part, the key part of the song. The autotune worked wonders in the studio version, but Amir was left exposed on the big stage during the contest.

            It’s kinda the same with Blanche. The package is not quite there and she looks genuinely terrified. For me, she either acts too well, or she is purely frightened, it is offputting. “City Lighths” is a modern, contemporary song, one of the best in the competition, but needs a singer who can do the song right by it. As many said here, Blanche isn’t the one. If she does a Top 3, I’ll be a laughingstock. But right now I am happy to lay Top3 and Top 5 until we see the running order.

  14. Surely it cant get any worse for Sweden then… He’s been knocked into 5th-6th odds with an opening position and technical mic issues… He’s in the 2nd half now and Im guessing things can only get better…

    If its not so much about voice (ala Blanche) how do you explain Portugal then?

    It looks like Portugal could be the favourite soon…

    • Portugal is the best quality song of this year, hands down. It’s gonna be between him and Italy. Then there is a group of countries that is fighting for the Top5 Bulgaria, Armenia, Belgium and maybe Sweden. I had Armenia higher in my pre-draw estimations but now with all the big names in the first half it might be affected. Actually most of my big bets were done pre-semis so i have a big plus in all the Top markets with Portugal, did some lay to cover some of my cost and still will receuve 4digit earnings even if it finishes second. Armenia Top4-5 plus Belgium Top-10 are my biggest assets and of course Portugal’s win.

      What’s your current Top-5?

  15. hi John – pretty much aligned with your own. I always had Portugal, Italy and Armenia as my top 3 but now can see Belgium and potentially Bulgaria sneaking onto the podium ahead of Armenia due to the draw and its slightly muted reception. After those 5, I can only see Sweden getting close enough to have a say but 6th seems to be Robin’s limit.

  16. Portugal is amazing this year, but I think the United Kingdom can be a surprise winner. That stage performance will captivate a lot of people.

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