Eurovision 2018 – Semi Final 2 Qualifiers

Last night Semi Final 2 took place in Lisbon and 10 qualifiers for the Grand Final were announced to join the 10 Qualifiers from Tuesday’s Semi Final 1.

The following countries qualified for the final:

  1. Serbia
  2. Moldova
  3. Hungary
  4. Ukraine
  5. Sweden
  6. Australia
  7. Norway
  8. Denmark
  9. Slovenia
  10. The Netherlands

That means the Eurovision Journey ends for

  • Latvia
  • Poland
  • Malta
  • Russia
  • Montenegro
  • Romania
  • Georgia
  • San Marino

The Grand Final takes place on Saturday at 8pm  on RTÉ One and BBCOne!

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 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.

Eurovision 2016 – Semi Final 2 Results

semi2qualifiersThe Second Semi Final of the 61st Eurovision Song Contest took place tonight in Stockholm and what a Semi it was. From start to finish, Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw but on an amazing show. Well done to the host broadcaster SVT, I’m really looking forward to Saturdays show! (I especially liked Mans here…)

The show started off with an amazing opening act on “What is Eurovision?” Do watch it, it reminded me of the interval act from 2013, the Swedish Smörgåsbord  also starring Petra.

We also got a bit of history of the Eurovision Song Contest in the form of Numbers which amazed the nerds like me…

So on to the qualifiers. The ten countries that made it to the Grand Final are:

  • Latvia
  • Georgia
  • Bulgaria
  • Australia
  • Ukraine
  • Serbia
  • Poland
  • Israel
  • Lithuania
  • Belgium

So hard luck to Ireland, Switzerland, Belarus, FYR Macedonia, Slovenia, Denmark, Norway and Albania who don’t make it through.

For those wondering I got 9/10 again on my predictions! Damn you Georgia!

We shall find out the running order for the final tomorrow ahead of the Jury Final tomorrow night. Join me again on the @UCCExpress Twitter account for some views and opinions on the final which will air at 8pm on Saturday Night on RTÉ One with Marty Whelan and on BBC One with Graham Norton.


Eurovision 2016 – Semi Final 2 Predictions

eurovision-rte-1Tonight the second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 takes place in the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden. Another 18 countries are battling it out for the remaining 10 places in Saturdays Grand Final.

Tonight of course is a big night for Irish Eurovision fans, as Nicky Byrne will be flying the flag for us and performing 7th tonight.

As well as the 18 countries taking part, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom will be voting. We will also get to see snippets of their rehearsals after the voting window has closed.

Here’s a reminder of what we will be seeing tonight and here’s the preview I wrote

So who will qualify?

In no particular order

  • Bulgaria
  • Australia
  • Serbia
  • Latvia
  • Israel
  • Ukraine
  • Lithuania
  • Poland
  • Belgium
  • FYR Macedonia

Do you agree? Let me know your predictions in the comments!

Eurovision Song Contest Semi Final 2 will be shown tonight at 8pm on RTÉ 2 with Marty Whelan or on BBC 4 with Scott Mills and Mel Giedroyc

I shall be tweeting from @UCCExpress throughout the show.

[Eurovision 2010] Semi Final Two Preview and Predictions

Image via Wikipedia

Welcome to the second of my Preview and Prediction posts for this years Eurovision.  Today I am looking at Semi-Final Two which happens on Thursday 27th of May and features Ireland! This will be the one to watch for us! There are 17 entries in this Semi. It is also a very strong Semi, so it will be very competitive. This Semi also sees the UK and Norway voting.

On to the songs..

1. LithuaniaInCulto “Eastern European Funk

This is a nice funky start to this semi. Its upbeat and fun. Could do well.

2. ArmeniaEva Rivas “Apricot Stone

This is a nice song from Armenia. But the curse of second place may come haunting…

3. IsraelHarel Skaat “Milim (מילים, Words)

This is one of this years favourites and is currently third in the betting stakes. I can see why. Its a very powerful ballad, but it does stand out to the others. We see how it goes.

4. DenmarkChanée and N’evergreen “In A Moment Like This

This is my favourite of this years entries! There performance at this years Danish final was amazing! If they pull it off at Eurovision they are in strong contention to win. This just adds to my love of Danish entries at Eurovision!

5. SwitzerlandMichael von der Heide “Il pleut de l’or (Its Raining Gold)

I don’t know what to make of this song… or him. Im totally confused…. I sort of like it though…

6. SwedenAnna Bergendahl “This is my Life

Wow, this is a very strong entry. I really enjoy it. A nice uplifting song. Fabulous vocals from Anna. Will do very well I think!

7. AzerbaijanSafura Alizadeh “Drip Drop

This another one of the favourites and I see why. It is a really good song. enjoyable and the backing dancers…. well….

8. UkraineAlyosha “Sweet People

I am disappointed with the Ukraine’s entry this year. Gone are the energetic songs that they did so well with. I don’t like it.

9. NetherlandsSieneke “Ik ben verliefd (Sha-la-lie) (I’m in Love (Sha-la-lie))

This seems to hark back to entries of bygone days for the Netherlands. Its a fun song though and different! I like it.

10. RomaniaPaula Seling and Ovi “Playing with Fire

This is a really cool song. You can see why this semi is a strong one now can’t you.

11. SloveniaAnsambel Roka Žlindre and Kalamari “Narodnozabavni rock

This song is a brilliant mix of modern rock and traditional balkan music. Its a bit of fun,and a good entry!

12. IrelandNiamh Kavanagh “It’s For You

Come on Niamh! This is a excellent entry from Ireland. Its catching ballad that really shows off Niamh vocal skills. Hopefully she will have the stage presence like she did in 1993!

13. BulgariaMiro -“Angel si ti (Ангел си ти, Your an Angel)

This is another good song. Fast paced and catchy.

14. CyprusJon Lilygreen and The Islanders “Life Looks Better in the Spring

This is a nice song. A gentle song with a nice chorus. I don’t think it will get out of the semi though.

15. CroatiaFeminnem “Lako Je Sve (Everythig is Easy)

So Feminnem are back. This time for Croatia, and this time with less of a pop song. It would seem that they have matured. Its a powerful song though.

16. GeorgiaSopho Nizharadze “Shine

This is a nice gentle ballad. Sopho is an amazing singer.

17. TurkeymaNga “We Could be the Same

Not a great fan of this song. Its okayish.

Prediction time! So ten of these entries will progress. My guesses are in no particlar order

  1. Denmark
  2. Sweden
  3. Israel
  4. Ireland
  5. Romania
  6. Georgia
  7. Slovenia
  8. Azerbaijan
  9. Croatia
  10. Cyprus

What do you think?

See Part one here

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[Eurovision 2009] Semi Final 2 Results

The modern logo was introduced for the 2004 Co...
Image via Wikipedia

So after a very under whelming Eurovision semi, where I was certainly not impressed by the interval act. Ireland didn’t qualify which was disappointing as they were fantastic! So who qaulified? and how were my predictions?

  • Greece (Predicted)
  • Denmark
  • Azerbaijan
  • Ukraine (Predicted)
  • Norway (Predicted)
  • Moldova (Predicted)
  • Croatia
  • Albania
  • Estonia
  • Lithuania

So I got four out of ten. Which is terrible in comparison to Tuesday. But hat can you do!

I wont be tweeting the final as a a few friends are coming over to watch it. I will probably be supporting Germany in the final!

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[Eurovision 2009] Semi Final 2 Tonight – Come on Ireland!

Electronic scoreboard, as Johnny Logan announc...
Image via Wikipedia

Tonight sees the 2nd Semi Final of the 54th Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow. Tonight Ireland will be represented by Sinead Mulvely and Black Daisy as they hope to get to Ireland into the final with “Et Cetera”. I will be tweeting during the semi on twitter and most should appear on the liveblog.

So my predictions for tonight are:

  • Greece
  • The Netherlands
  • Ireland
  • Ukraine
  • Norway
  • Moldova
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Latvia
  • Serbia

I wonder how many I will get right tonight??? Of course we can vote tonight so do take part!


Full preview of semi 2 is here

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Eurovision, Semi Final Two: Preview and Predictions

I finally get around to previewing the Second Semi, after I previewed the first one last month. Well it is 40 days to the Second Semi which will take place on Thursday, 22nd of May. Just like the first Semi there are 19 participants. I will again make my Kiss of Death Predictions at the end.

Lets start the show!

1. Iceland (RÚV) represented by Euroband singing “This Is My Life
Youtube, Lyrics
This song will get the Semi off to a great start. A good fast paced song. The two singers complement each other really well. Its an excellent song, that should do well, do is up against a few pop/dance songs in this Semi, so could face some challenges.

2. Sweden (PVT) represented by Charlotte Perrelli singing “Hero
Youtube, Lyrics
Charlotte is no stranger to Eurovision having won the 1999 edition for Sweden with “Take Me to Your Heaven“. This is her second crack at Eurovision and it is a good song. A nice upbeat pop song, which the Swedes seam to like entering. I think it will do well.

3. Turkey (TRT) represented by Mor ve Ötesi singing “Deli
Youtube, Lyrics
A rock song! Yay! The first in this semi. Which will set it out from the first two songs, which is important in a music contest. I really like this song, even it is in Turkish. I hope it does well (I used hope, it wont do well! 😛 ) Its a cool video also.

4. Ukraine (NTU) represented by Ani Lorak singing “Shady Lady
Youtube, Lyrics
Well we are back with pop/dance songs, coming after Turkey will benifit this song. I am really liking this song. I have Ukrainian friends here, so maybe thats why! NTU picked good with Ani Lorak. It will do well.

5. Lithuania (LRT) represented by Jeronimas Milius singing “Nomads In The Night
Youtube, Lyrics
The first ballad in this semi, which will probably help Ukraine more then allow this to stand out. I dont like this song. Its too operatic for me. I’m not liking this live version. Maybe Jeronimas will be alright on the night?

6. Albania (RTSH) represented by Olta Boka singing “Zemrën lamë peng
Youtube, Lyrics
Another ballad, but a better one then Lithuania. I am really liking this song (No, I’m not liking Albania just because they were the only country to vote for Ireland last year!). A very strong chorus, its an impressive song.

7. Switzerland (SRG SSR idée suisse) represented by Paolo Meneguzzi sining “Era Stupendo
Youtube, Lyrics
Another ballad, but more modern, kind of reminds me of Avril Lavigne. Not sure why! I really like this song. Its melodic, but fast. I think the swiss are on to something here, strange thats its in Italian.

8. Czech Republic (ČT) represented by Tereza Kerndlová sining “Have Some Fun
Youtube, Lyrics
Back to the pop songs. This is a good entry from the Czechs, but pop songs are becoming dominant in this semi, so it could be hard to qualify for the final. I am liking the song anyway.

9. Belarus (BTRC) represented by Ruslan Alehno singing “Hasta la Vista
Youtube, Lyrics
Yet another pop song! But its a good one. This semi could prove hard for the pop entries and neighbourly voting could come into it. Its a good song though.

10. Latvia (LTV) respresented by Pirates Of The Sea singing “Wolves Of The Sea
Youtube, Lyrics
I had to check the date on my Computer, I thought I was back at Karnival! This is the first joke entry for this final, though better then the ones in the first semi final. Its a good song, fast paced and the words make sense, thanks to the costumes! Never knew Latvia had a history of pirates….

11. Croatia (HRT) represented by Kraljevi ulice & 75 cents singing “Romanca
Youtube, Lyrics
A really nice folksy song. Something that will set it apart in this semi. I dont get the old guy, then again I dont speak serbo-croat (or whatever langauge they are speaking).

12. Bulgaria (BNT) represented by Deep Zone & Balthazar singing “DJ, Take Me Away
Youtube, Lyrics
Since I came to Germany, I have gotten into Dance/house music as forcasted by some people in YFG! This song is one of my favourites in this semi. It is excellent. I love the start and the rest of the song! Really looking forward to hearing this out if it wins!

13. Denmark (DR) represented by Simon Mathew singing “All Night Long
Youtube, Lyrics
Now I always love the Danish entry and this year is no exception. It is an excellent sing-a-long type song. I love it.

14. Georgia (GPB) represented by Diana Gurtskaya singing “Peace Will Come
Youtube, Lyrics
Wow, is all I say. This is a fantastic, powerful ballad. I do mean powerful. Only one other ballad has impressed me this much and that was Poland. If the voting public are in the same mood as last year, this well do very well!

15. Hungary (MTV) represented by Csézy singing “Candlelight
Youtube, Lyrics
Another ballad from Hungary. Its a nice melodic song and Csézy is a fantastic singer. It has a fabulous chorus and reminds me of those fantatsic Disney ballads.

16. Malta (MBA) represented by Morena singing “Vodka
Youtube, Lyrics
This song, is one I have mentioned that grows on me. Well it certainly does. Its a fun fast song! A song about alcohol though… hmmm….

17. Cyprus (CyBC) respresented by Evdokia Kadi singing “Femme Fatale
Youtube, Lyrics
I really like this song as it has a really med feel to it. It also has folk influences, which will always endear it to me! But then it speeds up to make it modern. Its a good song, but no Greek votes in this Semi, so gaurenteed votes for Cyprus.

18. F.Y.R. Macedonia (MKRTV) represented by Tamara ft. Vrcak & Adrian Gaxha singing “Let Me Love You
Youtube, Lyrics
A nice song from this balkan ecountry. A nice mix modern and folk influences which have been quite to the fore in this semi, but coming after Cyprus coulkd affect that.

19. Portugal (RTP) represented by Vânia Fernandes singing “Senhora do Mar
Youtube, Lyrics
A ballad to close this semi. Ballads, werent as frequent in this semi as the first one. But do the televoters want another Ballad? It a nice song, but seams fairly bland to me.

So thats it. All 19 entries. Dont forget that France, the UK and Serbia will also be voting in this semi.

Before I give my predictions lets take a look at allkindsofeverthing‘s predictions for the second semi final. By looking at past voting they came up with the following nine entries

* Ukraine
* Hungary
* Bulgaria
* Sweden
* Malta
* Latvia
* Croatia
* Belarus
* FYR Macedonia

So thats their Predictions but what are mine?

Stephen’s Kiss of Death Predictions

So I think the following will get through

* Ukraine
* Sweden
* Bulgaria
* Denmark
* Malta
* Croatia
* Latvia
* Georgia
* FYR Macedonia
* Hungary

There we go. How many will I get right? Time will tell!

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

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Eurovision Semi-Final One: Preview and Prediction