So, with the jury show for the second semi-final over, and preparations all but complete for the live broadcast, we at ESCBubble just have time to share our predictions for qualification.
For the first semi-final, the ESCBubble team, comprised of our on-site and online press group, correctly predicted 8 out of 10 finalists, with Albania and Latvia swapped for Switzerland and Iceland. While there was a fair bit of unanimity in the team for the first, our predictions for the second semi are a bit all over the place. Every single song got at least one vote to qualify, which is pretty much unprecedented. However, there is a discernable result, based on majorities. It will probably be very wrong come tomorrow, if Tuesday is anything to go by.
So…we’re good to go:
Finland The Rasmus – “Jezebel” = IN
A popular qualifier choice, probably because of big name status, because generally, there is agreement that the Big Balloon Energy is hindering them rather than helping. Lauri and co. drown in the staging, and there’s a perpetual fear that someone will trip over a balloon as the band runs around, which also does a diservice to vocals.
Israel Michael Ben David – “I.M” = OUT
A few votes say that enough of the public will tap into the biggest Eurovision stereotype in this year’s contest, but a general air that the juries won’t take kindly to his ropey vocals, which take second-fiddle to his slick dance moves, has prevented too many people from placing Michael as a qualifier.
Serbia Konstrakta – “In corpore sano” = IN
Given how loudly the team has been singing and clapping along to this piece of performance art in the bars of Turin, it might cause a national incident in Italy if it doesn’t get through.
Azerbaijan Nadir Rustamli – “Fade to Black” = IN
How do you lie on your back and still sing note-perfect? Nadir has been a real revalation of this season – huge reactions in the press centre to his final lift, despite the fact hardly any of us knew the song beforehand. The juries should flock around this one like they (likely) did Switzerland.
Georgia Circus Mircus – “Lock Me In” = OUT
Sorry to members of the team who’ve made this song a part of their personality, and frankly, I hope we’re wrong on this one. The trippy ruff guy, the puppet theatre, Willy Wonka’s cameo etc. How is this not a sure-fire qualifier? Probably the lack of backing vocals, or maybe it’s just too weird for the juries? I don’t know.
Malta Emma Muscat – “I Am What I Am” = OUT
This one had the team split exactly half and half over whether it would qualify or not. Half the team has reluctantly applauded Emma’s unflappable vocal ability and polished performance, while the other half insists the televote will not be enough to bring this fairly soppy song to the final.
San Marino Achille Lauro – “Stripper” = IN
Everyone who attended Achille’s dress rehearsal said this would qualify, probably still in awe from that explosion, which I think was planned. That delegation certainly isn’t afraid to flash its expense this year, and whether you like him or not, or you think he has far better music, you can’t deny that Achille was made for Eurovision.
Australia Sheldon Riley – “Not the Same” = IN
Easiest qualifier of the lot. Pure talent. Amazing vocals. No weird vocal acrobatics and fake vulnerability like at the national final. This is sailing through. Enough said.
Cyprus Andromache – “Ela” = IN
Another song that pretty much split the team down the middle, but just slightly less so than Malta. What we can expect is a lot of chat from the hosts at this point, as this is the third song in a row with a big prop. Other than that, this is fairly unpredictable.
Ireland Brooke – “That’s Rich” = OUT
Frankly, I still want to see Brooke make the final, just because The Late Late Show was by far my favourite bad national final of this season, and I want RTÉ to do it again. And to be fair, this is a confident, vocally in-tune performance. Unfortunately, a good portion of the team believes otherwise. Plus, where’s the money gun?
North Macedonia Andrea – “Circles” = OUT
I think Andrea has reached her limit. We’ve made up our mind already. Blah blah blah. Yeah, we at ESCBubble really like Andrea, and she sells the performance, but the stage swallows her, and while it can’t be disregarded completely, we’re pretty confident this is a no.
Estonia Stefan – “Hope” = IN
Worries about staging and awkward running seem to have been put to bed by most of the team believing his vocals and the upbeat nature of the song will be enough for Stefan. Let’s just hope he doesn’t come a cropper when he does that Nimbus 2000 heal leap in the final chorus. Italian medics are on standby just in case.
Romania WRS – “Llámame” = OUT
Sorted out the text on the screen, sorted out the costume change, probably sorted out in-ear problems. It’s a tight race between Romania and Israel for male dance bop of the second semi, and in my mind, at least one should make it through. The team does not agree. Adios mi bébébé.
Poland Ochman – “River” = IN
Again, a song that virtually everyone had down to qualify, and those who were in his dress rehearsal will know why. Even though he looks like a lemon on stage, his voice fills the hall seven times over, and it works as a TV spectacle with the on-screen effects. Welcome back to 2017, Poland.
Montenegro Vladana – “Breathe” = OUT
Like Andrea, we love Vladana here at ESCBubble, not least after that interview where she dressed as a transformer. However, while the sentiment of her song is very nice, the execution is…interesting. At least the jellyfish dress certainly doesn’t hinder her vocals in the same way some did at the pre-parties. Juries may just see this as gimmicky.
Belgium Jérémie Makiese – “Miss You” = OUT
I’m still under the impression this will scrape through with both juries and public, because it’s by far the most commercial song in the show, and people will get behind it quickly. However, the performance does have a tendency to fade into the background. Will be announced last if it does qualify, comme d’habitude.
Sweden Cornelia Jakobs – “Hold Me Closer” = IN
The only thing plaguing Cornelia now is whether that sodding microphone will work on the night. Once she gets going, there is no stopping her. Plus…it’s a circle.
Czech Republic We Are Domi – “Lights Off” = IN
We are loving the Michelangelo’s David imagery on the screens, which add to the avant-garde house-ness of this song in a way that makes us nostalgic for Scandinavia in the late 90s. A powerful close to the show with all those strobes, and a job well done by the Czech delegation. Nasty but nice.
So, in alphabetical order, we’ve predicted:
Australia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Poland, San Marino, Serbia & Sweden.
How wrong have we got it this time? Who do you think is completing the line-up for Saturday? Let us know in the comments and on our various social media platforms, and don’t forget to watch our interviews with this year’s acts from our resident on-site Matt Grocott!