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Eurovision 2018: Semi-Final 2 Preview

With some big scalps taken in semi-final 1, the approach for semi 2 is one of caution, given there are two more potential big guns touted to lose their 100% qualification records.

My 10 qualifiers are:

  • Norway
  • Romania
  • Sweden
  • Australia
  • Ukraine
  • Moldova
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Hungary
  • Denmark

The obvious qualifiers on my list are Norway, Sweden, Ukraine and Moldova, with Norway, Sweden and Moldova the mostly likely top-3. They are the slickest and most eye-catching performances in this semi-final. Ukraine, while gothy and somewhat dark, at least has a sense of purpose and is well performed from the pimp slot.

Next I have Romania and Poland as my diaspora-heavy nations making the cut. Romania seems to inspire a lot of negativity due to it beating fan-favourites in its national final. Yet given the less than ideal staging concept, The Human’s vocal performance is exceptional. The song also has a lovely uplifting ‘movie soundtrack’ feel and should be worthy of a place in the final.

Light Me Up has always been a goto track for the car, and even though it joined many on this year’s songs on the generic pile, Gromee & Lukas Meijer sell the song well to TV viewers and provide a much needed lift after Georgia and a ropey Australia. Poland should be getting through.

On to one of this year’s former favourites now in Australia. Right from the first day of rehearsals, Jessica, along with the staging concept, has failed to meet expectations. The staging is too dull and lacks sufficient variation during the soft or more powerful moments. Moreover, Jessica has the wrong outfit which makes the choreography appear rather unflattering. Worst of all, Jessica isn’t as vocally secure as we had hoped, based on live footage over the last year or so. There is a danger Australia fail to qualify tonight based on their lack of ‘hard support’ on the televote. Last year, Isaiah got through because of the juries; Jessica will be lucky to have such support based on last night’s performance. Even so, I have them just creeping in, but that’s only because of a weakened Russia and due to a slight improvement during today’s matinee.

It’s worth acknowledging that Russia don’t want to qualify this year. They really don’t. Yulia is merely a prop for them to propagate the myth that ‘the west hates Russia’, while also allowing them to appear more inclusive by playing the disability discrimination card. Then they return next year and try to win the Contest with the Dream Team. If by some miracle Russia qualifies, it will likely be at the cost of Netherlands or Denmark.

Malta may not be among their traditional jury buddies, and even though they don’t quite make the cut, it is dangerous to bet against them on the markets. They’ve spent a small fortune on staging, so some alleged jury trades could get them close.

I have it on good authority that Europe’s metal heads are coordinating to help Hungary qualify. Even though they were a little rough in last night’s jury rehearsal, it’s part of their schtick and not really a problem. Their USP is much stronger than Netherlands, so I have them making the final and continuing their impressive qualification record.

In my opinion, Latvia doesn’t do enough to standout on the televote. It’s too lightweight, even though Laura has a great vocal; the song just drones on and on and on. What’s more, Latvia are rather short on friends in this semi and boast one of the worst qualification records in the Contest.

Good luck tonight, and like semi-1, let’s hope the voting stays largely clean!

About Gavster

Owner & Chief Editor   I’m a qualified designer and the official geek in the crew, dedicating most of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.

18 comments

  1. – Sweden
    – Norway
    – Moldova
    – Ukraine
    – Poland
    – Hungary
    – NL
    – Romania
    – Montenegro
    – Australia

  2. After my (somehow) success of predicting 9/10 qualifiers from Tuesday’a semi, thought i’d try my hand at semi 2.

    My qualifiers in r/o:
    Norway
    Romania
    Denmark
    Moldova
    Netherlands
    Australia
    Hungary
    Latvia
    Sweden
    Ukraine

    I am with you in believing Norway, Moldova, Sweden and Ukraine are safe as houses.

    I feel vulnerable for leaving Poland out of the equation but I had them fighting for the last spot with Hungary, Australia and Latvia. I am not as confident in Hungary as some others are as I worry about how accessible it is going to be. A shock NQ would not surprise me. However I have them in as they do have a very strong USP and the staging does look incredible. With Australia I still believe they probably did better than deserved with the juries purely because it is a competent pop song and it is Australia after all. I think Jess will come good when it matters most tonight. I have Latvia in purely because of its quality and apparent jury bait-ness. If juries did not take to Hungary, I can see Latvia reaping those benefits.

    Poland to me, while uplifting and somewhat fun, is just very lightweight and I fear for his vocal. Can see this having done awful with the juries last night. However it is Poland, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see it qualify. Most likely at the expense of Latvia (or Australia?).

    If Russia somehow qualify with that song and that performance the Eurovision world has literally gone mad.

  3. Sweden
    Norway
    Moldova
    Ukraine
    Hungary
    Denmark
    Poland
    Australia
    Netherlands
    Romania

    Australia is sure q but no top 5 for semi. There is no way Aus not to q in such a weak semi…

  4. Sweden
    Norway
    The Netherlands
    Russia
    Moldova
    Australia
    Ukraine
    Poland
    Denmark
    Romania

    Russia is an unequivocal qualification. Poland and Denmark seems to me in danger.
    Sweden is the winner of this semi-final I think.

  5. Certainties
    Norway, Moldova, Sweden, Ukraine

    Probable Qualifiers
    Netherlands, Poland

    Possible Qualifiers
    Romania, Serbia, Russia, Australia, Denmark, Montenegro, Malta, Latvia, Slovenia, Hungary

    Not qualifying
    San Marino, Georgia,

    On the basis of no more than 5 from the first half and Gav’s comment about Russia not wanting to qualify, of the possibles it’s:

    Australia (Jess really needs to be no lower than 7th with the juries or she is in trouble) and Romania from the 1st half

    Hungary and Montenegro from the 2nd

    But I must say I’m not very confident about any of these possibles.

  6. Norway
    Sweden
    Australia
    Hungary
    Moldova
    Ukraine
    The Netherlands
    Romania
    Poland
    Malta

  7. Happy with 8/10 in Semi 1!

    Good luck all tonight and here’s my 10 for Semi 2:
    Norway
    Romania
    Denmark
    Moldova
    Netherlands
    Australia
    Poland
    Hungary
    Sweden
    Ukraine

  8. okie dokie, i got 8/10 in SF1 but crucially the ones i got wrong meant it was a bit of a betting disaster, so take these with a pinch of salt:

    Norway
    Romania
    Moldova
    Netherlands
    Poland
    Hungary
    Latvia
    Sweden
    Slovenia
    Ukraine

    yep that’s right, no Russia, Denmark or Australia

  9. In no particular order…

    Norway
    Romania
    Sweden
    Russia
    Ukraine
    Moldova
    Netherlands
    Poland
    Hungary
    Denmark

  10. Norway
    Romania
    Russia
    Moldova
    Georgia
    Poland
    Malta
    Hungary
    Sweden
    Ukraine

    Feel like I need to explain some of these who are here and who aren’t:

    Even when Australia were being talked about as winners, they were always going to rely on the juries for a majority of their points. I think they’ll still have her in the jury top 10 here, but about 5th or 6th and I do not see this doing well at all on the televote. It’s poorly staged, poor vocals, amateurish/unflattering choreography, middle of the road and Australia do not have anything to fall back on. Could be 15th or so with the public.

    Denmark is vocally poor, repetitive and gimmicky and third in line for scandi votes. Jurors should not have this in their top 10. The televote probably will, but it’s really borderline.

    Netherlands is one of the worst staged entries of the year. It’s neither authentic as a country/rock presentation nor made adjustments to sell this genre to Europe. I don’t know if he wins over in enough neutrals here and AWS probably take any straight rock votes.

    I have Russia right on the edge but it needs every last diaspora vote it can get and a few friendly jurors- both of which are fairly debatable. I’m putting it in because I don’t believe the song is as bad as has been made out, and whilst the staging and vocals are poor that can be said for half the field in this semi. It’s a testament to the weakness of the semi beyond about 5 songs that this still has chances to qualify though, Russia or not.

    Georgia has just made it in for me. I can see this being the jury pick rather than Latvia and it feels somewhat stronger on the televote. It’s unique and there may just be enough jurors and televoters who can see the appeal.

  11. All the talk of Australia struggling leads me to believe its Blanche of Belgium all over again. The song is the best in this semi by far. Which isn’t that hard mind. Will be an in play bet for me unless it is truly awful. Looking forward to seeing all the hype about Moldova as I think it’s awful. That includes the clip on the official Eurovision site.
    10 to go through for me are
    Norway
    Russia
    Sweden
    Australia
    Ukraine
    Moldova
    Netherlands
    Poland
    Hungary
    Denmark

  12. Norway
    Romania
    Russia
    Moldova
    Georgia
    Poland
    Malta
    Hungary
    Sweden
    Ukraine

  13. Poland really does not sing very well and it’s just background music. I would rather qualify for Hungary instead.

  14. Ok, Slovenia should qualify

  15. Mad results.

    All the “diaspora” did not qualify. Now you can close this question?

    Russia simply tried to legitimize the phonogram. In fact, she was singing as a backing vocalist.

    It is difficult to explain the qualification of Serbia. It seems to me that this is beyond good and evil.

    Moldova is boring. This staging is similar to the amateur work of students..

    Australia I think is at the bottom of the list. Sweden is the winner. Ukraine and Denmark is high. Netherlands, I also think are in the top five.

  16. Germany’s odds are collapsing right across the board!!
    Could this be the winner coming up on the rails now – the song we were waiting for in the year that no-one quite seemed to fit the bill for the winner?

  17. I say Moldova could be the winner! Sweden too!

    Week year Where anyone could win!

  18. What a terrible semi.Norway was as bad as i could imagine.Iv kept it £1 green in case Europe has lost its mind,but it was so bad its laughable.Australia was worse if thats possible.Shocking staging,shocking vocals,shocking song.The juries want shooting if they put that horror show through over the televote.50s? should be 10,000,utter rubbish.
    Germany look like the one to take on Cyprus,Israel and Lith here.France still looks dangerous as well and Italy was two hugely talented artists that nobody will get probably.

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