Eurovision 2012: Semi-Final Two Preview

Welcome to the Preview for the Second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest, if you missed Semi 1 it’s here! I will of course be making a prediction, which will most likely be wrong!

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

All the betting odds are from PaddyPower.com and are correct as of April 30th.

So on with the show!

01 Serbia: Željko Joksimović with “Nije ljubav stvar” (Love is not an object)

This is Željko 2nd attempt at Eurovision, having represented Serbia and Montenegro (as it was then known) where he came 2nd in 2004 with “Lane Moje“. This is a powerful song and definitely has the chance of doing well. It will be a top ten finisher, but will it win? I dont think so. Odds: 12/1

02 F.Y.R. Macedonia: Kaliopi with “Crno i belo” (Black and white)

We stay in the Balkans for the next entry, this starts off slow, but then really gets going. Lots of musical influences at play here with Kaliopi who is well known around the Balkans and could bode well for the voting, but can’t see her picking up too many votes outside of the Balkans. Odds:125/1

03 Netherlands: Joan Franka with “You and Me”

This is a happy, feel good song of Eurovision of old. The Netherlands hasn’t havent had the best results of late at Eurovision and I don’t think this year will be different with Joan. It is a nice song, but will the televoters like it? This could be rescued by the Jurors. Odds 50/1

04 Malta: Kurt Calleja with “This Is the Night”

Malta keeps up its tradition of sending modern songs. This is a better entry then some of the previous entries, but it isn’t as good as some of the entries,but it is catchy (ye eh eh eh eh). Kurt has a chance of qualifying I think. Odds: 150/1

05 Belarus: Litesound with “We Are the Heroes”

Litesound, whos members hail from Belarus, Russia and Italy, finally managed to win the right to represent Belarus this year. They have entered a bit of a pop/rock tune. Its not that great (needs autotune!) or memorable, could struggle to get out of the Semi. Odds: 100/1

06 Portugal: Filipa Sousa with “Vida minha” (Life of mine)

Portugal again attempts to do something different and this year has entered a ballad in the Portuguese “Fado” style. While there is no doubt that Filipa is an amazing singer, but it will have to depend a lot on stage presentation to get through. Odds 150/1

07 Ukraine: Gaitana with “Be My Guest”

The Ukraine likes to send strong women to Eurovision and this year is no different with Gaitana. This is a upbeat catchy song which will definately be heard in clubs! This will go down well in the hall, if the stage presentation is as upbeat and powerful as the song. One to watch. Odds: 66/1

08 Bulgaria: Sofi Marinova with “Love Unlimited”

A number of countries tried out dance songs last year and this year Bulgaria is trying out one. Love Unlimited is certainly a song you can dance too, but is it what Eurovision audiences want? Odds: 100/1

09 Slovenia: Eva Boto with “Verjamem” (I believe)

At the half way point is Slovenia, who have entered a Ballad. Eva has a beautiful voice and it perfectly suits this haunting song. This could be one to surprise us if it gets to the final. Odds: 50/1

10 Croatia: Nina Badrić with “Nebo” (Heaven)

Croatia this year sent one of the top performers in Croatia to Baku, and it has paid off. Nina has a wonderful song which will win people over. This is a song you should listen to ahead of the show! Odds: 80/1

11 Sweden: Loreen with “Euphoria”

Sweden, who were pipped at the post last year, are back with a vengeance! It is this year’s pre-contest favourite, which can be the kiss of death! But I think Loreen could pull it off. It is a song that ticks all the boxes and is definitely a possible winner! (Yes im typing while bopping around to it!) Odds: 9/4

12 Georgia: Anri Jokhadze with “I’m a Joker”

This is, erm, different. But it is a bit of fun at the end of the day. It wouldn’t be Eurovision without it! Interestingly Anri is the first male performer to represent Georgia! Im looking forward to see what he will do on stage with this! Odds: 125/1

13 Turkey: Can Bonomo with “Love Me Back”

There is no doubt of the Mediterranean influence on this song! Turkey have remember why they have done well in the past and sent Can Bonomo, a DJ, Producer and musician. This is a song that will be remembered and will certainly qualify! Odds 20/1

14 Estonia: Ott Lepland with “Kuula” (Listen)

Ott who won Estonian Idol in 2009; the lead role in High School Musical in 2010; the show Laulupealinn (Singing Capital) in 2011 and of course Eesti Laul, the Estonian national selection. He is hoping to add the Eurovision Song Contest to this list with this very powerful ballad. It stands out as being the only male ballad so far. He also wrote this song himself. He will do well! Odds: 50/1

15 Slovakia: Max Jason Mai with “Don’t Close Your Eyes”

Max is a bit of hotty, in the rocky kinda way! Max who is also a guitarist brings proper rock music to Eurovision this year. He reminds me a bit of Jon Bon Jovi! Its a good song and better then some of the other rock offerings we have had this year. Odds 100/1

16 Norway: Tooji with “Stay”

Tooji is Norway’s answer to Eric Saade, but with Iranian roots! (Read total ride) This is a good song, which Norway has managed to do over the past few years. But this is one of their best entries in a number of years. Odds: 25/1

17 Bosnia & Herzegovina: Maya Sar with “Korake ti znam” (I know your steps)

And Bosnia sends another ballad. It is a lovely song and it is better then some of the other ballads this year. Maya is a fantastic singer, and will most likely own the stage in Baku. Odds 80/1

18 Lithuania: Donny Montell with “Love Is Blind”

I wonder will he wear the blind fold in Baku, it does work and he is very cute! But the song is only so-so. But it may still get through!  Odds 100/1

So that is all the entries for the Second Semi-Final.

Prediction

So who will get through to the final? Some of it easy to guess, some of it not! So in no particular order,

  1. Sweden
  2. Norway
  3. Ukraine
  4. Turkey
  5. Serbia
  6. Slovenia
  7. Estonia
  8. Croatia
  9. Lithuania
  10. The Netherlands.

What do you think?

Slovakia to Join Eurozone on January 1st

Image via WikipediaOn January 1st the Slovak koruna will join the French Franc, the German Deutschmark and the Irish Punt in the history of Currencies as Slovakia will officially join the eurozone and begin to use the notes and coins as of January 1st. The fixed exchange rate is €1 = 30.1260SKK.

With Slovakia joining it will increase the Eurozone to 16 members of the EU. The number of people using the euro will increase by over 5 million. This will make travel and business between Slovakia and the other Eurozone members easier.

Under the accession treaties for Countries who acceded to the EU in 2004 and 2007 are compelled to join the Euro. Of the post 2004 member states, Slovenia was the first to join in 2007 with Malta and Cyprus following at the start of this year.

2010 will see no countries joining the Euro, but Estonia is aiming for a 2011 changeover. Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Poland are all aiming for a 2012 date for joining the Euro. Poland will have a long road to the Euro as it must hold a referendum and change its Constitution and join ERM II in the first quarter of next year, it is looking unlikely.

Lithuania was hoping to join the Euro in 2007 but high inflation forced the Government to change its plans. Lithuania is currently hoping to join the Euro in 2013.

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Previous Articles:
# Ditching The Euro
# 6 days to E-Day for Slovenia and Bulgaria’s and Romania’s Big Day

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Lisbon Treaty: State of Play April 11th

Slovakia has become the latest member state to ratify the treaty after it was used as a political football over a media bill. The List below is also updated to reflect the fact that Austria’s National Council has passed the treaty.

AustriaParliamentary Vote. In Progress. Passed the Nationalrat on 9th April. Vote due in Bundesrat on the 24th April

BelgiumParliamentary Vote. In Progress. Has passed the Senate (6th March) and the Chamber of Representatives (10th April). The treaty still has to pass the Brussels Regional Parliament, Flemish Parliament, Walloon Parliament, French Community Parliament and the German-speaking Community Parliament all due Mid-July

BulgariaParliamentary Vote. Approved 21/3/2008

CyprusParliamentary Vote.

Czech RepublicParliamentary Vote. In Progress.

DenmarkParliamentary Vote. In Progress. Vote due in June.

EstoniaParliamentary Vote. In Progress. Vote due in May.

FinlandParliamentary Vote. Vote due in the Autumn.

FranceParliamentary Vote. Approved : 08/02/2008

GermanyParliamentary Vote. In Progress. The Bundestag is due to vote on the 25th of April and the Bundesrat is due to vote on the 23rd of May.

GreeceParliamentary Vote. Vote due in Spring.

HungaryParliamentary Vote. Approved : 17/12/2007

Republic of IrelandReferendum. Referendum due on 12th June.

ItalyParliamentary Vote. In Progress. The vote will take place some time after the 29th of April.

LatviaParliamentary Vote. In Progress. Vote due in April

LithuaniaParliamentary Vote. In Progress. Vote due before May 9th.

LuxembourgParliamentary Vote. In Progress. Vote due in June.

MaltaParliamentary Vote. Approved : 29/01/2008

NetherlandsParliamentary Vote. Vote due in the First chamber in the Autumn.

PolandParliamentary Vote. Approved : 02/04/2008

PortugalParliamentary Vote. Vote due on the 23rd April

RomaniaParliamentary Vote. Approved : 04/02/2008

SlovakiaParliamentary Vote. Approved : 10/04/2008

SloveniaParliamentary Vote. Approved : 29/01/2008

Spain Parliamentary Vote.

SwedenParliamentary Vote. Vote due in November.

United KingdomParliamentary Vote. In Progress. Passed the House of Commons (11th March). House of Lords to vote in April. Date TBD for Gibraltar Parliament.

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Sources:
Europa
Wikipedia