Eurovision 2018: Semi-Final 2 Preview

Semi Final 2 of the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest takes place on Thursday 10th of May in Lisbon, Portugal. 18 countries will be competing for the remaining 10 places in the Grand Final on Saturday 12th of May where they join the hosts Portugal and the big five, (UK, Germany, Italy, France & Spain) along with the 10 qualifiers from Semi Final 1 on Tuesday.

France, Germany and Italy will also be voting in this Semi-Final.

All odds are from paddypower.com as taken on 09/05/2018

1 – Norway (NRK) – Alexander Rybak -“Thats How You Write A Song” – 7/2
Debut: 1960
Wins: 3 (1985, 1995, 2009)
Worst Result: Last (1963– nul points, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1978– nul points, 1981– nul points, 1990, 1997– nul points, 2001, 2004, 2012)

Alexander Rybak is back at Eurovision, after winning the contest in 2009 he is hoping to win it again! And he could! ‘That’s How You Write A Song’ is a catchy pop song. While the violin is not as prominent this year, don’t worry I am sure you will hear it. Definite qualifier and a great start!

2 – Romania (TVR) – The Humans – “Goodbye” – 300/1
Debut: 1994
Wins: 0
Worst Result: 22nd (1998)

A nice pop-rock entry here from Romanian band The Humans. The five-piece band seemed to have crafted a Eurovision Ballad but made it a bit rocky. I hope this qualifies.

3 – Serbia (RTS) – Sanja Ilić & Balkanika – “Nova deca” (Нова деца) – 300/1
Debut: 2007
Wins: 1 (2007)
Worst Result: 11th (2013 – SF, 2017 – SF)

Serbia have only missed out on qualification last year,  they finished 11th, so they will be hoping to finish at least one place higher and qualify this year. This year they are sending a folk-inspired pop song by Balkanika whose mission is ‘to preserve, revitalize and modernize Serbian medieval and Byzantine music traditions’. This is certainly an entry that merges the old with the new and could qualify.

4 – San Marino (SMRTV) – Jessika feat. Jenifer Brening – “Who We Are” – 500/1
Debut: 2008
Wins: 0
Worst Result: Last (2008- SF, 2017-SF)

San Marino has only qualified for the final once since debuting at Eurovision in 2008 and that was in 2014. This year they are sending Jessika from Malta and Jenifer from Germany to attempt to get them to the Grand Final. This is an upbeat pop song that stands out with previous entries and has that Eurovision feel, plus there are robots!

5 – Denmark (DR) – Rasmussen – “Higher Ground” – 80/1
Debut: 1957
Wins: 3 (1963, 2000, 2013)
Worst Result: Last (2002)

I normally have a soft spot for Danish entries to Eurovision and this year is no different. This folk-pop song from Rasmussen is easy to listen to and could qualify. I shall be hoping for it to!

6 – Russia (C1R) –  Julia Samoylova – “I Won’t Break” – 150/1
Debut: 1994
Wins: 1 (2008)
Worst Result: 17th (1995)

After the shenanigans with their entry last year I am not a fan of Russia and this year they are sending Julia again. I’m not sure if Eurovision fans will be more forgiving than me. I know Eurovision isn’t supposed to be political, but its hard for me to not be with Russia this year! It is a good pop song though, so don’t be surprised if it qualifies.

7 – Moldova (TRM) – DoReDoS – “My Lucky Day” – 30/1
Debut: 2005
Wins: 0
Worst Result: Last (2014 – SF)

Moldova are bringing an uptempo Balkan pop song to Eurovision. DoReDoS is a trio made up of Marina Djundiet, Eugeniu Andrianov, and Sergiu Mîța. Moldova finished 3rd in Kyiv last year and will be hoping for a good result again this year.

8 – Netherlands (AVROTROS) – Waylon – “Outlaw in ‘Em” – 150/1
Debut: 1956
Wins: 4 (1957, 1959, 1969, 1975)
Worst Result: Last ( 1958, 1962 – nul points, 1963 – nul points, 1968, 2011 – SF)

Waylon took part in Eurovision in 2014 as part of the Common Linnets and is back this year with a country pop song. It’s the only country song in this years contest so it does stand out, but has country’s moment at Eurovision passed?

9 – Australia (SBS) – Jessica Mauboy – “We Got Love” – 66/1
Debut: 2015
Wins: 0
Worst Result: 9th (2017)

This is not Jessica’s first time at Eurovision, she sang as part of the Australian inspired Interval Act during the 2nd Semi Final of Eurovision in 2014. But this time she is back and is representing Australia in competition. This only Australia’s 4th entry to Eurovision and they have consistently placed in the top 10 and this pop entry could do it again for them!

10 – Georgia (GPB) – Iriao – “For You” – 500/1
Debut: 2007
Wins: 0
Worst Result: Last (2014 – SF)

While the title is in English, don’t be confused the entire song is in Georgian. Iriao are an ethno-jazz band whose entry is very distinctive. Will it appeal to Eurovision Jurors or viewers is hard to tell. It is a very melodic song that I do find myself nodding along to.

11- Poland (TVP) – Gromee feat. Lukas Meijer – “Light Me Up” – 200/1
Debut: 1994
Wins: 0
Worst Result: Last (2011 – SF)

From Georgian Jazz to some Polish Dance Music, this distinct change in style could help or hinder both of these entries. This entry has already topped the charts in Poland and is certainly a summer dance track. I can see this going down well in the arena in Lisbon!

12 – Malta (PBS) – Christabelle – “Taboo” – 200/1
Debut: 1971
Wins: 0
Worst Result: Last (1971, 1972, 2006)

And from Dance to Pop! Malta keeps the uptempo sound going with this pop anthem entry. I normally enjoy Maltese entries to Eurovision and this year is no different. I will be rooting for this on Thursday!

13 – Hungary (MTVA) – AWS – “Viszlát nyár” – 100/1
Debut: 1994
Wins: 0
Worst Result: Last (2008 – SF)

Hungary change it up for us again bring us some ‘post-hardcore‘ (?) punk rock. Eurovision doesn’t normally go for heavy rock (Lordi being the exception in 2006), so this may be one of the eight entries that does not qualify tonight.

14 – Latvia (LTV) – Laura Rizzotto – “Funny Girl” – 250/1
Debut: 2000
Wins: 1 (2002)
Worst Result: Last (2009 – SF, 2010 – SF, 2013 – SF, 2017 – SF)

Latvia brings us a pop song from 23-year-old Brazilian Singer/Songwriter Laura Rizzotto. ‘Funny Girl’  is an emotive pop song which could deliver on the night. But will it be drowned out?

15 – Sweden (SVT) –  Benjamin Ingrosso – “Dance You Off” – 16/1
Debut: 1958
Wins: 6 (1974, 1984, 1991, 1999, 2012, 2015)
Worst Result: Last (1963 – nul points, 1977)

This was 20-year-old Benjamin’s 2nd attempt to represent Sweden at Eurovision and this year won the Swedish National Final Melodifestivalen. This is a great relaxed pop tune for Sweden. It’s in the top 10 in the betting and it certainly could be heading for a top 10 finish.

16 – Montenegro (RTCG) – Vanja Radovanović – “Inje” – 500/1
Debut: 2007
Wins: 0
Worst Result: 22nd (2007 – SF)

Montenegro have only qualified for the final twice since their début, and Vanja is unlikely to make it the third time, despite entering this pop ballad

17 – Slovenia (RTV SLO) – Lea Sirk – “Hvala, ne!” – 500/1
Debut: 1993
Wins: 0
Worst Result: Last (2013 – SF)

This is a great pop song from Slovenia’s Lea Sirk which translate as “No Thanks!”. ‘Hvala, Ne!’ has reached the top 20 in Slovenia, but Slovenia hasn’t appeared in the Grand Final since 2015. This could do get to the Final on a good night for them!

18 – Ukraine (UA:PBC) – Mélovin – “Under The Ladder” – 125/1
Debut: 2003
Wins: 2 (2004, 2016)
Worst Result: 24th (2017)

Last years host Ukraine have yet to miss a Grand Final and this Electro pop entry certainly has what it takes to get to the final. This should finish the show on a high note and make sure the Ukraine’s qualification streak continues.

So do I think will qualify for the Grand Final? In no particular order the ten qualifiers are…

  1. Norway
  2. Sweden
  3. Moldova
  4. Romania
  5. Denmark
  6. Austrailia
  7. Poland
  8. Malta
  9. Latvia
  10. Ukraine

Semi-Final 2 takes place on Thursday 10th and will be broadcast on RTÉ2 and BBC4 as well as on Youtube.

Author: Stephen

Cork born and bred, proud European and Irishman. Involved in many organisations and politics. Also writes for SpirtualityIreland.org and UCC Express.

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