Eurovision 2018: Semi-Final 1 qualifiers!

Photo by: Andres Putting

The show has just ended in Lisbon on the first night of Eurovision and the following ten countries have qualified for the Grand Final on Saturday night.

  1. Austria
  2. Estonia
  3. Cyprus
  4. Lithuania
  5. Israel
  6. Czech Republic
  7. Bulgaria
  8. Albania
  9. Finland
  10. Ireland

Out of the 10 I predicted, I thought that Belgium and Greece would get through, but I am delighted to see Albania and Ireland (of course!) go through to the Grand Final!

This means we say goodbye to Azerbaijan (who also say goodbye to their qualification streak), Iceland, Belgium, Belarus, Macedonia, Croatia, Greece, Armenia & Switzerland.

During the after show press conference the qualifiers picked their starting half for the Grand Final

1st Half

  • Austria
  • Albania
  • Estonia
  • Lithuania

2nd Half

  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Finland
  • Ireland
  • Israel

See you on Thursday for Semi-Final 2!

Eurovision 2018 – Semi-Final 1

So its been awhile since I have blogged here and even longer since I have written about Eurovision but look out! I am back! And its Eurovision Week!!!

Tonight in Lisbon the Jury Semi Final 1 is taking place while the live show takes place tomorrow Tuesday 8th.

Speaking of the Juries, there is a slight change in the weighting of individual jury rankings this year and should make the contest fairer.

19 countries are taking part in Semi Final 1 which looks set to be one of the best Eurovision shows ever! As well as the 19 entries, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom will be voting.  Only 10 of the entries will make it through to the Grand Final on Saturday and join Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany along with the 10 qualifiers from Semi Final 2 on Thursday night.

So let’s take a look at the entries.

All odds are from paddypower.com as taken on 07/05/2018

1 – Azerbaijan (İTV) – AISEL – “X my Heart” – 125/1
Debut: 2008
Wins: 1 (2011)
Worst Result: 22nd (2014)

X my Heart (pronounced cross my heart) is a great song to start the show. Azerbaijan have consistently sent great songs and since joining the Eurovision Family have never failed to make it to the Grand Final. This year is no different as this dance-pop song should easily qualify for the Grand Final.

2 – Iceland (RÚV) – Ari Ólafsson – “Our Choice” – 500/1
Debut: 1986
Wins: 0
Worst Result: Last (1989 – nul points, 2001)

Iceland are still waiting for their first win at Eurovision and haven’t qualified for the Grand Final since 2014, and this year they are sending 19-year-old Ari Ólafsson to try to win. This is very much a pop ballad which is very easy to listen to. But with the strength of competition in this Semi-Final, it could struggle to qualify.  It is one to listen to and enjoy though!

3 – Albania (RTSH) – Eugent Bushpepa – “Mall” – 500/1
Debut: 2004
Wins: 0
Worst Result: 17th – SF (2007)

This is the type of entry I love Eurovision for. Eugent’s ‘Mall’ mixes traditional influences with classical rock. While you won’t be rocking out to this you certainly will enjoy listening  to it. One of the one’s I hope will get to the final, where Albania hasn’t been since 2015.

4 – Belgium (VRT) – Sennek – “A Matter of Time” – 50/1
Debut: 1956
Wins: 1  (1986)
Worst Result: Last (1961, 1962- nul points, 1965- nul points, 1973, 1979, 1985, 1993, 2000)

This year it is the turn Flemish broadcaster in Belgium VRT to pick the entry for Eurovision and they have chosen singer and songwriter Sennek who co-wrote this entry with Alex Callier and Maxime Tribèche. This is another type of Eurovision I love, it has Orchestral pop, soul and electronica influences. Belgium has qualified for the final every year since 2015 and I think this will continue and possible end up a top 10 finisher at the Grand Final.

5 – Czech Republic (ČT) – Mikolas Josef – “Lie to Me”– 11/1
Debut: 2007
Wins: 0
Worst Result: Last (2007 – SF, 2009 – SF nul points)

This is the Czech Republic’s 7th entry to Eurovision since their Debut in 2007 and it is by far their best!! Having only appeared in the Grand Final once, back in 2016, Lie to Me is a fun foot tapper. While Mikolas has made headlines due to a back injury suffered due to a fall in rehearsals, the 22 year certainly has a bright future ahead of him no matter what happens at Eurovision.

6 – Lithuania (LRT) – Ieva Zasimauskaitė – “When We’re Old” – 80/1
Debut: 1994
Wins: 0
Worst Result: Last (1994 – nul points, 2005 – SF)

This is a beautiful song from Lithuania’s Ieva who won her ticket to Eurovision on her fifth attempt! Ieva, who is 24, previously entered the Lithuanian National Selection in 2013, 2014, 2016 & 2017. This is wonderful pop ballad and should easily qualify for the Grand Final. Its one of my favourite entries.

7 – Israel (KAN) – Netta – “Toy” –  2/1
Debut: 1973
Wins: 3 (1978, 1979, 1998)
Worst Result: 24th (2007 – SF)

The Israeli Broadcasting Authority shut down last year following reforms of the public broadcasting in Israel and Israel is now represented by KAN. This is one of this years top songs and is seen as the one the beat! And its easy to see why! It has topped the chart in Israel and it could do the same at Eurovision. A great pop song! I expect to hear this played in night clubs in Europe whether it wins or not!

8 – Belarus (BTRC) – Alekseev – “Forever” – 80/1
Debut: 2004
Wins: 0
Worst Result: 22nd (2006 – SF)

For this years entry Belarus have sent 24-year-old Alekseev with a synth-pop love song called ‘Forever’.  The song which has charted in the Ukraine and Russia could find it hard to qualify as neither of those countries are in this Semi-Final, but I think song could still qualify as it is a song that will people will like.

9 – Estonia (ERR) – Elina Nechayeva – “La Forza” – 11/2
Debut: 1994
Wins: 1 (2001)
Worst Result: Last (2016 – SF)

Estonia have decided to send a song in Italian, an usual choice but not unheard of, especially when you hear this beautiful operatic pop song. I do expect spectacular staging for this entry going by the national final. This instantly reminds me of Melana Erman’s 2009 Swedish entry ‘La Voix’ which was in English and French. That finished in 4th that year, could Estonia see a top five finish or their 2nd win at Eurovision?

10 – Bulgaria (BNT) – Equinox – “Bones” – 12/1
Debut: 2005
Wins: 0
Worst Result: 19th (2005 – SF)

Bulgaria who were runner’s up last year and back and they are hoping to do well again. Equinox are a five-piece band made up of Bulgarian singers Zhana Bergendorff, Georgi Simeonov, and Vlado Mihailov, and American singers Johnny Manuel and Trey Campbell. This is a pop love song that should do well and could possible be a dark horse, will Eurovision be heading to Bulgaria? Only time will tell! They want to win!

11 -Macedonia (MKRTV) – Eye Cue – “Lost and Found” – 250/1
Debut: 1998
Wins: 0
Worst Result: 16th (2011 – SF, 2013- SF)

This is another song that is going to be a guilty pleasure from Eurovision (it joins a long list!). With EDM and reggae influences this is a great entry from Macedonia and could be great fun on the night. Vocally strong and modern this could surprise us and qualify!

12 – Croatia (HRT) – Franka – “Crazy” – 200/1
Debut: 1993
Wins: 0
Worst Result: 16th (2007 – SF)

It’s at this point of the show we realise how tough it will be to pick 10 songs to qualify! This is fantastic pop entry from Croatia’s Franka which has reached number 2 in the charts in Croatia. This for me is 50/50 on whether it will qualify.

13 – Austria (ORF) – Cesár Sampson – “Nothing But You” – 80/1
Debut: 1957
Wins: 2 (1966, 2014)
Worst Result: Last (1957, 1961, 1962- nul points, 1979, 1984, 1988- nul points, 1991 – nul points, 2012 – SF (Nul points also in 2015 along with Germany))

This is a great entry from Austria. This is a soulful R&B inspired song with a gospel flare. It is one that has quickly grown on me. While its only been 4 years since Austria won Eurovision, this is one that could do very well, if it gets to the final.

14 – Greece (ERT) – Yianna Terzi –  “Oniro mou” (Όνειρό μου) – 66/1
Debut: 1974
Wins: 1 (2005)
Worst Result: 16th (2016 – SF)

‘Oniro Mou’ which translates as My Dream is this years Greek entry and it has already topped the chart in Greece. This pop song is certainly what you expect from Greece. It’s very easy to listen to. It could be a top 10 finisher, I don’t think it will be Greece’s second win at Eurovision

15 – Finland (YLE) – Saara Aalto – “Monsters” – 40/1
Debut: 1961
Wins: 1 (2006)
Worst Result: Last (1963 – nul points, 1965 – nul points, 1968, 1980, 1982 – nul points, 1990, 1992, 1996, 2009, 2015 – SF)

Saara Aalto previously tried to represent Finland in 2011 and 2016 and finished in 2nd both times. She may also seem familiar as she was in the 13th series of X Factor UK where she also finished as runner-up! 2018 is Saara’s year with this amazing pop entry! ‘Monsters’ is one that will get you dancing, it has reached 14 in the Finnish charts so far, can it do better at Eurovision?

16 – Armenia (AMPTV) – Sevak Khanagyan – “Qami” (Քամի) – 250/1
Debut: 2006
Wins: 0
Worst Result: 12th (2011 – SF)

‘Qami’ which translates as Wind is this years Armenia entry. Armenia has only missed the Grand Final once, in 2011, but with the strength of the entries in this semi final, Sevak may find it hard to qualify with this pop ballad.

17 – Switzerland (SRG SSR) –  ZiBBZ – “Stones” – 300/1
Debut: 1956
Wins: 2 (1956, 1988)
Worst Result:  Last (1964 – nul points, 1967 – nul points, 1974, 1998 – nul points, 2004 – SF – nul points, 2010 – SF, 2011, 2015 – SF, 2016 – SF)

ZiBBZ are brother and sister Corinne “Coco” Gfeller (vocals) and Stefan “Stee” Gfeller (drums, keyboard). Stones is pop rock entry which stands out in this Semi-Final. Switzerland has only qualified for the grand final twice since 2007 (2011 & 2014) and with this Semi Final will they qualify? It’s highly unlikely, but surprised do happen at Eurovision!

18 – Ireland (RTÉ) – Ryan O’Shaughnessy – “Together” – 200/1
Debut: 1965
Wins: 7 (1970, 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996)
Worst Result: Last (2007, 2013)

Ireland holds the record for the most wins at Eurovision, but recently have struggled. Ireland hasn’t been since at a Grand Final since 2013. This song is one that has grown on me since I first heard it. The video, which was filmed in Temple Bar, is also beautiful. It’s unlikely to get to the final, but I will be hopeful for 25-year-old Ryan O’Shaughnessy!

19 – Cyprus (CyBC) – Eleni Foureira – “Fuego” – 8/1
Debut: 1981
Wins: 0
Worst Result: Last (1986)

The final entry in this Semi Final is from Cyrus who have qualified to the Grand Final in 2015, 2016 & 2017. This years looks to continue that pattern with this Mediterranean inspired dance entry from Eleni Foureira. This is a great song to finish on and should be remembered easily by the voting public and juries and see it easily into the Grand Final. Cyprus have yet to win Eurovision, could this be dark horse?

So who do I think will qualify? (in no particular order)

  1. Israel
  2. Estonia
  3. Austria
  4. Belgium
  5. Czech Republic
  6. Finland
  7. Bulgaria
  8. Lithuania
  9. Greece
  10. Cyprus

Semi Final 1 takes place at 8pm on Tuesday 8th of May and will be broadcast on RTÉ 2 and BBC 4.

Eurovision 2016 – Semi-Final 1 Results

semiqualifiersLast night the first Semi-Final of the 61st Eurovision Song Contest took place at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden. The show was opened with a performance of last’s years winning entry “Hero’s” by Måns Zelmerlöw who is also one of the hosts this year. He was joined in hosting duties by Petra Mede who also hosted the contest in Malmö in 2013. They did a great job of hosting the show. They kept it funny and moving along.

After 18 great entries, a thoughtful interval act, called the “Grey People” choreographed by Benke Rydman on the Migrant Crisis in the Middle East, The Mediterranean and around the world was perfromed and it is worth a viewing if you missed it. It will make you stop and think

After the interval act, we did get to see shots of the rehearsals for the three other countries voting tonight, France, Spain and Sweden. An interesting change to just seeing music videos.

The results were then announced. It is worth noting that the vote of one Russian Juror was disqualified after she periscoped part of the Jury Semi-Final

The qualifiers who join hosts Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom are

  • Azerbaijan
  • Russia
  • The Netherlands
  • Hungary
  • Croatia
  • Austria
  • Armenia
  • Czech Republic
  • Cyprus
  • Malta

The eagle eyed among you will notice I got 9/10 in terms of my predictions with Estonia the only one missing, Cyprus qualifying instead.

So we say goodbye to Finland, Greece, Moldova, San Marino, Estonia, Montenegro, Iceland and Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the first year that Greece has failed to qualify for the final since the introduction of the Semi-Finals in 2004.

After the show at the winners press conference as draw took place to determine which half of the show the performers would appear on Saturday. The grand final is shaping up like this:

First Half

  • Sweden (who perform 9th)
  • Azerbaijan
  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Netherlands

Second Half

  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Malta
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom

It looks like a great show on Saturday night.

Don’t forget the Second Semi-Final will be on Thursday night at 8pm on RTÉ and BBC 4. Ireland’s Nicky Bryne will be flying the flag for Ireland and we get to vote! I’ll be on the UCC Express twitter account @UCCExpress again so do join me!

 

Eurovision 2012: Semi-Final One Preview

Its that time of year again! Eurovision Time! Like every year I do a preview of the Semi’s and attempt to predict who will get into the final.

This year the 57th Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Baku, Azerbaijan. 42 countries will be taking part. Montenegro returns this year to the competition while Poland and Armenia wont be taking part.

10 countries from each of the Semi-finals will proceed to the Final and join the five automatic qualifiers, the Big Four (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) and last years winners and this year’s host Azerbaijan.

The voting will be again be by a combination of Televoting and Professional Jury.

The First Semi Final will take place on the 22nd of May, followed by the Second Semi Final on the 24th of May and the final taking place on May 26th. All shows start at 8:00pm GMT (9:00pm CET)

Ireland has been drawn in the First Semi-Final and along with the 18 countries in this final Azerbaijan, Italy and Spain will be voting in this Semi.

All odds are from Paddy Power and correct on April 15th. Odds are for winning the overall contest.

01 Montenegro: Rambo Amadeus with “Euro Neuro

If you tune in late during the first semi and you can’t figure out whats going on, its probably cause Rambo Amadeus is on stage doing what is described as “crazy jazz-funk music”. Im not sure if you would class it as music. Cant see this getting out of the Semi. Odds: 125/1

02 Iceland: Gréta Salóme & Jónsi with “Never Forget

Iceland is one those countries I normally like and this year they have a duet. This is a bit of rock duet and is a good one. Jónsi previously represented Iceland in Istanbul in 2004 with “Heaven” and came 19th. While Gréta Salóme is a multi talented singer/songwriter who also plays the violin. They combine well on this song and should do well in Baku. Odds: 22/1

03 Greece: Eleftheria Eleftheriou with “Aphrodisiac

I won’t even attempt to pronounce this ladies name, who is a good singer. She came to fame through X-Factor 2 in 2010, even though she didn’t win. This song is like many past Greek entries. Upbeat pop and catchy! I can definately see myself singing along to this! This should definitely qualify. Odds 22/1

04 Latvia: Anmary with “Beautiful Song”

“She was born in a distant 1980, in the year that Johnny Logan won” that is the first line if this entry from Anmary. She got her start when she came 2nd in The Talent Factory. This song is about fame and name drops a number of famous people. Its an interesting song, and one I do enjoy. Will it stand out at Eurovision is the question. Odds 100/1

05 Albania Rona Nishliu with “Suus” (Personal)

And the first Ballad is from Albania. Some years Ballads are few and far between and that can help make them stand out. Rona certainly has a voice that suits this song. She does a wonderful job with and hopefully can do it on the night. Odds: 100/1

06 Romania: Mandinga with “Zaleilah

Bagpipes, an accordian, a catchy summer tune, whats not to love? Mandinga bring a bit of the the summer party to Eurovision with this song and I for one enjoy it. Mandinga play latino music, latin jazz, balkan salsa or even club music and this song certainly sounds like the perfect mix of them! Odds: 33/1

07 Switzerland: Sinplus with “Unbreakable

And now a rock song! Sinplus are brothers Ivan and Gabriel Broggini who grew up listening to Queen, Bob Marley and U2. This is a good song, but not one you would listen to a lot. Odds: 100/1

08 Belgium: Iris with “Would You?

Belgium send a young 17 year old to the contest, hoping to do what Sandra Kim did in 1986. Here Iris is singing a ballad, which to me is a bet meh and the odds are reflecting this. It will be hard for this to get out of the semi. Odds: 125/1

09 Finland: Pernilla Karlsson with “När jag blundar” (When I close my eyes)

And at the halway point, Finland sends a Swedish Ballad to Baku this year. It is another ballad, but its a nicer one then Belgium, but coming straight after them could harm it. It could sneak out of the Semi. Odds: 80/1

10 Israel: Izabo with “Time

Israel are taking a different direction this year and are sending Izabo, a band that combines Psychadelic Rock, Disco and Punk flavoured with Arabic spices. This is certainly different and should be some fun on stage in Baku. This may well qualify. Odds 100/1

11 San Marino: Valentina Monetta with “The Social Network Song

This is a bit of a strange song about love online and using social networks for love. Its one those songs that is trying to be current. Im not sure if it works. Odds: 150/1

12 Cyprus: Ivi Adamou with “La La Love

This is another summer song that will be in my head for awhile. A more upbeat song then normal from Cyprus but a good move, but coming after the pop song from San Marino might make it harder for them.

13 Denmark: Soluna Samay with “Should’ve Known Better

Denmark is another country I always like and this year is no exception. An excellent song which is a pop song along the lines of Carly Rae Jepsen and Taylor Swift which are popular at the moment. This should qualify no problem. Odds:14/1

14 Russia Buranovskiye Babushki with “Party for Everybody

Buranovskiye Babushki or the Russian Grannies as they seem to be known as hail from Udmurtia, a republic between the Kama and Vyatka rivers in Russia. They are certainly very different to anything that has come to Eurovision in the past! They beat a past Eurovision winner to get to Baku so I think they are very much in contention for the top spot! Odds: 5/1

15 Hungary: Compact Disco with “Sound of Our Hearts

After the Russian Grannies we have Compact Disco a dance act from Hungary. It certainly stands out after the last song, but if thats the only reason it won’t go further in the final. It certainly a song that will chart around Europe so will be in the final. Odds: 80/1

16 Austria: Trackshittaz with “Woki mit deim Popo” (Shake your ass)

This duo have their own unique genre “tractor gangster party rap” which may go down well in Ireland! For me it is a bit shouty, but one that will be played in clubs around Europe! I will be in the mix to qualify, but will the name but people off? Odds: 80/1

17 Moldova: Pasha Parfeny with “Lăutar

This is a fun song from Pasha who is well used to winning international music festivals and is hoping to add a Eurovision win to his collection. This is a song that I certainly enjoy, but the bookies don’t think Pasha can take the top prize. Odds 100/1

18 Ireland: Jedward with “Waterline

And to finish out the show, its Jedward!! Jedward, (John and Edward for anyone who has been living under a rock) Irish twins from Lucan, Dublin, try a second time to win Eurovision. Last year they came 8th in Dusseldorf with “Lipstick“. This is fast, uptempo pop song and should see them into the final. At the moment they are 3rd favourite at the bookies with odds of 10/1. Come on Jedward!

Prediction

This is always the hard part, who I want to get in, and actually will. These are the ten acts I think will qualify in no particular order.

  1. Ireland
  2. Russia
  3. Greece
  4. Iceland
  5. Denmark
  6. Romania
  7. Austria
  8. Israel
  9. Finland
  10. Moldova

Who do you think will qualify?

[Eurovision 2010] Semi Final One Preview and Predictions

Eurovision Party 2008 - Scoreboard
Image by johnthurm via Flickr

So the first Semi Final will take place on Tuesday 25th of May. It features 17 countries and will also see France, Germany and Spain vote. The top ten countries on the combination of Televote and Jury Vote will move on to the Final on Saturday 29th of May.

So on to the preview. PS Click on the titles to see the video on youtube.

1. Moldova –  SunStroke Project and Olia Tira “Run Away

This is a fast paced song which features an electric violin. Its a feature of Eurovision, what ever wins the previous year is mimicked the following year. This has yet to work for any country! But this song isn’t based too much on it and isn’t folksy like Fairytale. Its a good song and could do well.

2. Russia –  Peter Nalitch Band “Lost and Forgotten

This is a different move for Russia. Russia normally goes for fast paced modern songs, but this entry seems to me to be folksy and slow paced. The have been drawn in second place which is notoriously difficult to do well from. I am not a big fan of it, but because its Russia, I think it will get through.

3. EstoniaMalcolm Lincoln and Manpower 4 “Siren

This is very different from the first two songs of this semi. In fact its something that is quite different to most of the entries that I have heard. I can’t put my finger on what it sounds like, but I like it.

4. SlovakiaKristina “Horehronie

What starts off as a slow song, turns up the beat and gets going. The dancers remind me of Wild Dances, even Kristina’s outfit is reminiscent of it. Its not as fast, but its a good song.

5. FinlandKuunkuiskaajat “Työlki ellää” (One can work for a living, too)

A second showing for fiddles! This is a very traditional sounding song from Finland, very different, from Waldo’s People last year. I like it. I love the outfits, and of course the clapping also help when it comes to me liking it!

6. LatviaAisha “What For?

A modern ballad here from Latvia. Its good song, and I do like the words. It these type of songs that are impossible to tell how they will do. It can all come down to the performance on the night. I think it will do ok. Towards the end of the top 10, if it is to get through.

7. SerbiaMilan Stanković “Ovo je Balkan” (This is the Balkans)

If you didn’t guess from the title, this is a very balkans song. It is very traditional sounding, but it does have a modern feel it. It is catchy and you would tap your feet to it. With 3 other Balkan countries in this final (and Russia) it could do well on the televote. For some reason the outfit and hair remind me of Lady Gaga… I am alone on that aren’t I?

8. Bosnia and HerzegovinaVukašin Brajić “Thunder and Lightening

Finally a bit of rock ballad. I like this song. A song to nod your head to. Vukašin is a good singer also!

9. PolandMarcin Mroziński “Legenda

This guy reminds me of Johnny Logan (looks wise). Its a good song, it dosen’t really stand out for me though.

10. BelgiumTom Dice “Me and My Guitar

Wow, I love this song. Sorry, but this is the sort of stuff that I love to listen to. I am not sure how it will do. But I think it could do quite well.

11. MaltaThea Garrett “My Dream

Malta have decided to enter a traditional strong ballad this year. Its not exactly my cup of tea, and to be honest I am bored with ballads. Thea is a fantastic singer and can hit the high notes, it will depend on the her performance on the night.

12. AlbaniaJuliana Pasha “It’s All About You

So Albania enter a song who’s video was definitely inspired by Lady Gaga. I think I hear fiddles in the back ground at some point, but I am not sure! Its a good song.

13. GreeceGiorgos Alkaios and Friends “OPA

This is a nice mix of greek and modern. No fiddles but lit up drums (and a ringtone??) instead.

14. Portugal Filipa Azevedo “Há dias assim” (Its one of those days)

This song reminds me of a Disney ballad. Yes she can sing, but  I don’t think it will well.

15. FYR MacedonaGjoko Taneski, Billy Zver & Pejcin “Jas ja imam silata” (I have the strength)

A bit of a rock song here. Its good. How it will do is hard to tell, but the rapping could pick it up a few votes.

16. Belarus3+2 “Butterflies

Ok, me being not a big fan of ballads, yada yada, yada, I actually like this song. Yes, scream hypocrite all you want. But it is easy to listen to and enjoyable! Admit it!

17. IcelandHera Björk “Je Ne Sais Quoi” (I don’t know what)

This is the last song of the semi and it will end the show on a high note. A fabulous singer with a great song!

So thats the 17 entries, so who do I think will get through/want to get through? In no particular order

  1. Russia
  2. Iceland
  3. Serbia
  4. Belgium
  5. Greece
  6. Latvia
  7. Moldova
  8. Macedonia
  9. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  10. Belarus

How many will I get right?

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[Eurovision 2009] Semi Final 1 – Results

So I got 7 out the qualifiers from tonights Eurovision Semi-Final right! I think that equals one of the scores that I got last year.

So who got through?

  • Finland (Predicted)
  • Sweden (Predicted)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Turkey (Predicted)
  • Israel (Predicted)
  • Iceland
  • Armenia
  • Romania (Predicted)
  • Portugal (Predicted)
  • Malta (Predicted)

Belgium, Andorra and Bulgaria all let me down. I missed the start of the show only getting home in time for Israel the 10th entry. It was a good show and the interval act was brilliant. Its all over now until Thursday night, when we all be cheering for Sinead Mulvely. And I wonder how many will I get right?

PS the 2nd Semi will be liveblogged on Liveblog.ie the twitter tag is #evie

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[Eurovision 2009] Semi Final 1 Tonight!!

The modern logo was introduced for the 2004 Co...
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So the First Semi Final of the 54th Eurovision Song Contest takes place tonight. It will be aired at 20:00 GMT (21:00 CET) on RTÉ 2 and BBC 3. There will also be a live stream on eurovision.tv is you dont like commentary.

Ireland will not be taking part or voting in tonights contest but it will be interesting to see who gets through as there is a lot of good songs in it. My predictions for this semi are:

  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • Belgium
  • Turkey
  • Israel
  • FYR Macedonia
  • Bulgaria
  • Romania
  • Portugal
  • Malta

Andorra were in with a chance but with Spain switching to the 2nd Semi they are down a possible 12 points.

I’ll be probably tweeting about the show on my twitter page, but I will misse the first 45 minutes of the show due to Scouts so let me know what happens!

Best of luck to all the contestants!

My preview of semi one is here

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[Eurovision 2009] Semi-Final One Preview

The modern logo was introduced for the 2004 Co...
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Well as usual every year I do my preview of the Eurovision Song Contest and try and do a prediction, which goes horrible wrong! Mainly its just random thoughts on the song. I have included links to the songs on youtube, so you can make up your own mind! So anyway Semi-Final one will take place on May 12th. There are 18 countries in this semi, and 10 will go on to the final. As well as the countries in this Semi, United Kingdom, Germany and Spain will be voting also. This is what lies ahead for us on the first night.

1. Montenegro: Andrea Demirović with “Just Get Out of My Life” (Youtube)

Montenegro are sending Andrea Demirović to Moscow. This is nice pop song which does grow on you. Not a song that stands out though in comparison due to chart music at the moment.

2. Czech Republic: Gipsy.cz with “Aven Romale” ( Come in gypsies) (Youtube)

So the Czech are the first of the ‘joke’ entries this year. Sometimes I like ‘joke’ entries but this is not one of them. I hope it crashes and burns. It will now do well cause I said that!

3. Belgium: Patrick Ouchène with “Copycat” (Youtube)

This song is very 60’s/70’s but reminds of all types of music I love! Yes, I know hes an Elvis impersonator, but this song is one you just want to swing to. This should sound good live and do well!

4. Belarus: Petr Elfimov with “Eyes That Never Lie” (Youtube)

I never really like Belarus’ entry, and this year is no different and sounds a lot like a Dima Bilan song. While I know it did well for Russia last year, I can’t see it being replicated this year for Belarus.

5. Sweden: Malena Ernman with “La voix” (The Voice) (Youtube)

Sweden have a habit to put in cathcy songs and this year they have put in a fantastic song. With a fast backing track and Malena’s fantastic voice, this song is just wow. This song has actually blown me away and if it doesnt get out of the semi’s there is something wrong with Eurovision!

6. Armenia: Inga and Anush with “Jan Jan” (My Dear) (Youtube)

I dont know what to make of this song, part of me likes it with the eastern influences and that, but another part is like what is this?? Its an ok song, but not one I would remember.

7. Andorra: Susanne Georgi with “La teva decisió (Get a Life)” (Your Decision) (Youtube)

This is a nice song, that has a slow beat and sets it out from the others in this semi so far. It sounds a bit like a country song, but its an enjoyable listen. (I also love the video!)

8. Switzerland: Lovebugs with “The Highest Heights” (Youtube)

Finally a rock song! Its a song that slightly reminds me of U2. Its a hugely diferent from Andorra, allowing both countries to stand out, but I prefer this one!

9. Turkey: Hadise with “Düm Tek Tek” (Youtube)

A song that to me kind of sums up Turkey and Eurovision (apart from last year). A good song, thats very Turkish, but very pop. It will do well as Turkey normally does.

10. Israel: Noa and Mira Awad with “There Must Be Another Way” (Youtube)

Israel are always slightly different, and this year is no exception with this ballad. It is sung in Hebrew, Arabic and English. Pity for them only one country in Eurovision speaks two of those languages (Israel!!!). Its a nice song and as first ballad may get through.

11. Bulgaria: Krassimir Avramov with “Illusion” (Youtube)

A lively song after Israels ballad again creating a contrast that may benefit both. Not sure if I like it or not, but I’ll give it time.

12. Iceland: Yohanna withIs It True?” (Youtube)

Iceland this year try out a ballad and I love it! A lovely song, not sure how it will be recieved but may come out better then Israel due to the running order. I hope this does well.

13. FYR Macedonia: Next Time with “Neshto shto ke ostane” (Something that will remain) (Youtube)

Another rock song and this one reminds me of the 8o’s! Not sure if its because of the hair! I like it though, its in Macedonian thats all that bothers me about it, but its a rocking tune!

14. Romania: Elena Gheorghe with “The Balkan Girls” (Youtube)

A modern pop song from Romania this year which reminds me slightly of Rihanna. Its a nice song with a definite Balkan feel. Will qualify in my opinion.

15. Finland: Waldo’s People with “Lose Control” (Youtube)

A class dance song! My favourite song from this year so far. Its brilliant! Can see myself dancing to this a lot!

16. Portugal: Flor-de-Lis with “Todas as ruas do amor” (All the streets of love) (Youtube)

This is a nice upbeat song from Portugal, with a livens up at the chorus and you want to clap along to. It sounds traditional, but as I know nothing about Portugese traditional music, someone else will have to tell if I’m right or wrong on that. Its certainly different from the other songs in this semi so far. I think Flor-de-Lis could do well,

17. Malta: Chiara with “What If We” (Youtube)

Malta tries really, really hard every year to win and Chiara is hoping to make it third time lucky (she represented Malta in 1998 and 2005). What If We is a beautiful song, a ballad which reminds me of a Disney film score. Its a powerful song, will it be Malta’s year?

18. Bosnia and Herzegovina: Regina with “Bistra voda” (Clear Water) (Youtube)

The last song of the first Semi-Final and its another ballad. This ballad has a strong Balkan feel to it considering it’s Bosnia and Herzegovina’s entry. Don’t let the name of the performer fool you, Regina is a band and not a girl as I thought. Its a good song.

Predictions:

So this is where I half make an educated guess and half my favourite songs on who gets through to the Final. So who gets the “Kiss of Death” from me this year?

  • Finland (Love this song!)
  • Sweden
  • Belgium
  • Turkey
  • Israel
  • FYR Macedonia
  • Bulgaria
  • Romania
  • Portugal
  • Malta

It was actually quite hard to pick ten countries this year, so this will be an interesting Semi.

Look out for Preview of the second semi after Fine Gael Ard Fheis next weekend!

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Eurovision Semi-Final One: Preview and Prediction

Its 49 days to the start of the first part of the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 in Belgrade, Serbia. It will take place on the 20th of May. Here is a short preview of the 19 contestents in the running order of the Songs in Semi-Final 1. I’ll make my usual terrible predictions but they may be updated when I get the CD, which is released the end of April.

Entries

1. Montenegro (RTCG) represented by Stefan Filipović, singing “Zauvijek Volim Te
Youtube, Lyrics
Good song, I like it. Its one you can click your fingers too! A nice song that will do well I think.

2. Israel (IBA) represented by Boaz singing “The Fire In Your Eyes
Youtube, Lyrics
I really like this song. Good melody and a strong singer. Has a nice med feel to it. Will qualify I think.

3. Estonia (ETV) represented by Kreisiraadio singing “Leto Svet
Youtube, Lyrics
The first of this years joke entries. Just take a look at the lyrics translation. Terrible song. I hate it.

4. Moldova (TRM) represented by Geta Burlacu singing “A Century Of Love
Youtube, Lyrics
Nice blues feel to this song, like the Czech Republic last year. A nice song. Geta is a good singer and performs this song very well. One to watch.

5. San Marino (SMRTV) represented by Miodio singing “Complice
Youtube, Lyrics
Nice rock feel to this song for San Marino’s Debut entry. This is my first time listening to it and I am impressed. Its a really good song. I hope it does well. (thes are good looking too! 😛 )

6. Belgium (VRT) represented by Ishtar singing “O Julissi
Youtube, Lyrics
This song is in a non-sensical language. The second time Belgium have done this. The last time they did it, they came second. It reminds me of a Disney song for some reason! I like it, its one you can clap along to!

7. Azerbaijan (İctimai) represented by Elnur & Samir singing “Day After Day
Youtube, Lyrics
This years second debutant. Another rock song, which im really liking, though I am not a fan of the start of the song as I like my ears! I think the rest of the song makes up for it though. Good to see Lordi still having an influence! An excellent song.

8. Slovenia (RTVSLO) represented by Rebeka Dremelj singing “Vrag Naj Vzame
Youtube, Lyrics
A nice upbeat song. The first one in this Semi, so that could work to its advantage. I really like this song and think it will do well. Rebeka is a good singer and seams full of energy so could be a good performance in Belgrade.

9. Norway (NRK) represnted by Maria Haukaas Storeng singing “Hold On Be Strong
Youtube, Lyrics
Not sure if this can be classed as a ballad or not. Im saying not at the moment. Its a good song. I love the beat and Maria is a good singer. It dosent really stand out for me at the moment though.

10. Poland (TVP) represented by Isis Gee singing “For Life
Youtube, Lyrics
Just past the halfway mark and we will have our first ballad, which I normally dont like but Isis is a fantastic singer and I am hugely impressed with this song! I love it and I think it will do well. It is a vast improvement on Polands entry last year.

11. Ireland (RTÉ) represented by Dustin the Turkey singing “Irelande Douze Pointe
Youtube, Lyrics
No, No, No. Normally my patriotism has kicked in at this point and I would be supporting Ireland, but god no. Everytime I hear this song it drives me barmy!! Though coming mid-point in the show it could do well enough to qualify, but I doubt. Even Dervish were better then this! I dount even Albania would vote for this!

12. Andorra (RTVA) represnted by Gisela singing “Casanova
Youtube, Lyrics
I really like this fast paced song. It a really good song. I think this will qualify.

13. Bosnia & Herzegovina (BHRT) represented by Laka singing “Pokušaj
Youtube, Lyrics
I just dont get it! Very strange song. I really dont get the chicken or whats going but, thats eurovision!!! I dont think this will qualify

14. Armenia (AMPTV) represented by Sirusho singing “Qele, Qele
Youtube, Lyrics
Good upbeat song, kinda infectious beat to it. Im liking it. Sirusho has a great voice also!

15. The Netherlands (NOS) represented by Hind singing “Your Heart Belongs To Me
Youtube, Lyrics
The Netherlands has decided not to enter a ballad this year! Yay!!! This is an fabulous song. I really like it! It has a nice Spanish feel to it.

16. Finland (YLE) represented by Teräsbetoni singing “Missä Miehet Ratsastaa
Youtube, Lyrics
If proof was needed that Lordi have influenced any entries this year, then this is the one! Really good song, looks like they will have a distinctive ‘style’ on stage also! I wonder how well it will do?? Have we moved on from 2006?

17. Romania (TVR) represented by Nico & Vlad singing “Pe-o Margine De Lume
Youtube, Lyrics
A traditional balled from Romania, which is hugely influenced by lasts years winner. Im kind of disappointed as Romania normally go for something different. But this is a beautiful song. The two singers are well suited to each other and I think this will qualify easily as it is a lovely song.

18. Russia (RTR) represented by Dima Bilan singing “Believe
Youtube, Lyrics
Dima’s second trip to Eurovision. Good modern pop song. Dosent really stand out for me, but I think Russia is more or less sure of qualification. It is a good song though. It improves at the end. Wondering will he hit the high note in Belgrade though?

19. Greece (ERT) represented by Kalomira singing “Secret Combination
Youtube, Lyrics
The last song in this semi-final and again is a pop song, which could work against it due to being after Russia. It’s a nice song though. Greece have a had a few good entries lately and normally do well. This continues there good picks and will do well.

Opinion and Predictions
This Semi looks like it will be a good show with strong ballads from Poland and Romania as well as some rock from Finland and San Marino. Unfortuantely there is the Joke entries, Ireland, Estonia and Bosnia, which is a pity in my opinion as over the last few years Estonia and Bosnia have entered some good songs. I mentioned a previous prediction before from allkindofeverything.ie which based its prediction on past voting patterns and heres a reminder of theirs:

1. Russia
2. Romania
3. Greece
4. Estonia
5. Israel
6. Armenia
7. Finland
8. Netherlands
9. Norway

So who are my picks?

I am going to try and pick the 10 that will qualify including the one selected by the jury vote though not say which one! So here goes Stephen’s Kiss of Death Predictions (Nice title eh?). In no particular order.

Poland
Finland
Russia
Israel
San Marino
Norway
Andorra
Greece
Belgium
Armenia

The difference between my predictions this year and last year is that only nine of the entries in this semi-final wont be going through so the odds are better for me! Also dont forget as well as the 19 entrants, Germany and Spain will be voting in this semi-final.

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Sources:
Lyrics – Lyrics and Translations
Songs and Running Order – Eurovision Website