Welcome to the preview of Semi Final Two of the 58th Eurovision Song Contest. Earlier I previewed the entries in Semi Final One which takes place on Tuesday 14th of May. Semi-Final Two takes place on Thursday 16th of May in the Malmö Arena in Sweden. 17 countries are vying for ten places up for grabs for the Final of the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday 18th of May. Statistically this is the harder Semi-Final as there are more entries, but a lot of the favourites are in Semi-Final One meaning that it might be easier for some of the weaker acts to get through to the final.
As well as the 17 countries participating, Germany, Spain and France will be voting in this Semi Final. All odds taken on 08/05/2013 from PaddyPower.com
1. Latvia: PeR with “Here We Go” Odds: 150/1
One of the more rockier entries opens up this semi-final. I am not sure what to make of this. To be honest I cringed a lot. While I do like a bit of rock music, this isn’t a very strong entry.
Prediction: I am not sure if you would consider this singing. So I do not see this getting through to the final.
2. San Marino: Valentina Monetta with “Crisalide” Odds: 80/1
Malta bring us back to Ballads which made up much of the first Semi-Final. This is a much better entry then last year. San Marino have threatened to pull out of the 2014 edition if doesn’t qualify. It is worth noting that it is a fan favourite coming second in the OGAE International Poll.
Prediction: This isn’t a bad song. But with Italy not voting in this Semi-Final it could find it hard to pick up votes. It may struggle, but I think it will Qualify. Also the curse of number may strike.
3. F.Y.R Macedonia: Esma & Lozano with “Pred Da Se Razdeni” Odds: 150/1
Macedonia have decided to use the formula that worked for Azerbaijan back in 2011 and have sent a duet. Granted this is very much a unconventional pairing! But musically it works. The only issue here is that it does not really catch you. Macedonia will also suffer as many of its Balkan neighbours are in the other Semi-Final.
Prediction: While a good song, I can’t see it getting the votes. Pity.
4. Azerbaijan: Farid Mammadov with “Hold Me” Odds:25/1
Another curse associated with Eurovision is the curse of last years hosts. Many people will be watching closely to see if it strikes Azerbaijan this year after their hosting last year in Baku. This year they have entered a ballad by a male singer so that does mark it out from most of what we heard in Semi Final One.
Prediction: Azerbaijan I think will continue its run of successful entries and will qualify for the final easily, but will it be in top 10?
5. Finland: Krista Siegfrids with “Marry Me” Odds: 66/1
Finland who have one of the more dodgier records in Eurovision, has this year sent a song that is assured of qualifying. This is a fun uptempo song that you find yourself nodding along to. Its “uh-oh, ding dong”‘s tick plenty of Eurovision boxes! But it doesn’t harm its chances.
Prediction: A fun song, Finland will qualify easily and finish mid table.
6. Malta: Gianlucca Bezzina with “Tomorrow” Odds: 80/1
To be honest I was waiting for this type of folk type pop that is becoming popular again. This song about love certainly is one to make you smile!
Prediction: Should Qualify.
7. Bulgaria: Elitsa Todorova, Stoyan Yankulov with “Samo Shampioni (Only Champions)” Odds: 200/1
Now Bulgaria normally sends something a bit different and this year is no exception. This is certainly different! There is so much happening style wise here that I don’t know where to start. Not my cup of tea.
Prediction: Is going to languish in the Semi’s… I hope.
8. Iceland: Eythor Ingi with “Ég Á Líf” Odds: 100/1
Back to the slow ballads with Iceland and apart from the name of the country I can’t pronounce anything else to do with this entry. It isn’t popular in this house with the sister saying “that its sounds like its from an old Irish film like Songs for a raggy boy, or a chessy song from an ad”. Also Iceland decided not to translate their entry this year, I’m not sure if that has worked for them.
Prediction: Won’t qualify.
9. Greece: Koza Mostra feat. Agathon Iakovidis with “Alcohol Is Free” Odds: 66/1
Now this is more like it. Greece bring us back to some rock, and they do it better then Latvia. While I agree with the sentiment of the title of the song, I am assured that Alcohol is not free in Greece! This one will have you bopping along and saying “Alcohol is Free” very fast for the chorus!
Prediction: This will qualify.
10. Israel: Moran Mazor with “Rak Bishvilo” Odds: 150/1
Israel have decided to also send a ballad this year. While Moran is an excellent singer, yet again this song doesnt hook. It will struggle to qualify if at all.
Prediction: Israel somehow always qualify, so no change there.
11. Armenia: Dorians with “Lonely Planet” Odds: 100/1
Armenia are back following their withdrawal from the 2012 edition as it was hosted by Azerbaijan (arch-enemies, not just in Eurovision). They have entered a soft rock song this year and while it does stand out, it may have a hard time getting votes as it shares this Semi-Final with Azerbaijan.
Prediction: Sorry Armenia, try again next year.
12. Hungry: ByeAlex with “Kedvesem (Zoohacker Remix)” Odds: 100/1
This is one of those songs that have a 50/50 chance of qualifying. It is very different and simple. Its one to just listen to and close your eyes. Go on.
Prediction: Im not sure what Eurovision voters will make of this. I think it will squeek into the final.
13. Norway: Margaret Berger with “I Feed You My Love” Odds: 13/2
One of this years favourites. It came 3rd in the OGAE International Poll, so Eurovision could be staying in the Nordic countries. After Hungry, Norway’s Margaret gets us going again. This does remind me of the entries the Ukraine used to send. Uptempo, rocky and sexy. Will go down well with the audience and should do well with the voters…. the juries are another matter!
Prediction: Norway on course for a rare top 5 finish! Will easily qualify.
14. Albania: Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko with “Identitet” Odds: 150/1
Albania brings us some more rock. It is a bit nondescript though. Nothing stays with you after listening to it. Could struggle with votes.
Prediction: With very few balkan countries in this semi, I dont see this qualifying.
15. Georgia: Nodi Tatishvili & Sophie Gelovani with “Waterfall” Odds: 22/1
Georgia is also trying out the duet strategy that worked for Azerbaijan in 2011. It is a stronger pairing then Macedonia, and so should do well. This song also seems to have that power and step up that is missing from many of the ballad entries this year.
Prediction: Will Qualify and will challenge for a top 10 finish.
16. Switzerland: Takasa with “You and Me” Odds: 150/1
If in doubt send in the Army! Well the Salvation Army. Yup, that is what Switzerland is sending this year! Takasa features the oldest person to grace the Eurovision Stage, 95-year-old Emil Ramsauer on double bass! This is a lovely twee song, but at least they are trying and a warning it grows on you!
Prediction: This song grows on you, so I wouldnt be surprised if it qualifies!
17. Romania: Cezar with “It’s My Life” Odds: 80/1
Wow, can he hit the high notes! That was a little unexpected! While it isn’t as good as last years entry from Romania. It certainly is a good entry.
Prediction: Something unexpected and with it finishing the show it should Qualify.
That is San Marino, Azerbaijan, Finland, Malta, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Georgia and Romania to qualify. We see if that actually happens! Semi-Final Two will be broadcast at 8pm on Thursday 16th of May on RTÉ2 and BBC3.
Handbook and App
Don’t forget the excellent 2013 Eurovision Handbook is available for download for your Kindle or Kindle enabled Device. Do get it as it is aid of the Irish Cancer Society, plus it is full of all the information you need for this years contest!
Also Eurovision has launched free companion apps for the show available for iPhone/iPad and Android devices. They look great and you can vote via the App (Paypal account needed for billing). See Eurovision.tv for more details.