ESC Pulse Article: Eurovision 2017 Semi 2 Predictions

Здравствуйте! Time for the second round. The second jury rehearsal has been done and dusted, half the scores are in, and now we have the impossible task of trying to deduct who will be getting a flight home on Friday morning.

Kylie watched the jury rehearsal on the screens in the press centre, while John was in the arena to take in the live experience. Let’s see if and how their opinions are affected…

Kylie: Before we start, I just want to give a disclaimer that this is an incredibly difficult semi-final to predict, I will be shocked if I get more than 7 right here.

John: Well, if you thought semi 1 was tough (I’m still not over it), semi 2 is an absolute pain to predict. I hope I get at least 6 right!!!!!


01) Serbia

Tijana Bogićević – “In Too Deep”. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU).

Kylie: No

This one is a very tough one to call, this can go either way. Personally I feel it takes far too long to become visually interesting in any way, and there’s a danger that this could be forgotten.

John: No

I can’t really fault the performance but something is lacking to grab people’s imagination. It certainly deserves to qualify but I can’t see it right now.

02) Austria

Nathan Trent – “Running On Air”. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU).

Kylie: Yes

Nathan is quite possibly one of THE most charming performers in this year’s contest. Juries will adore this well-sung, radio-friendly song, and I think he will charm the people at home too.

John: Yes

I’m not confident about this at all (it’s impossible to be confident about anything this year. We won’t talk about Finland ok? 😢 ) but Nathan has bucketloads of charm and a voice to match. I so hope it’s enough, there are lots of people that want him to make it.

03) FYR Macedonia

Jana Burčeska – “Dance Alone”. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU).

Kylie: No

As much as I really enjoy this song, I just feel it doesn’t cut the mustard on stage here, and I kinda feel it’s massively overshadowed by what came before it.

John: No

Jana’s giving the performance of her life up there, but I think the staging directors shouldn’t have taken the title of the song literally…?

04) Malta

Claudia Faniello – “Breathlessly”. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU).

Kylie: No

Me, John and some of our other friends were discussing on Wednesday that there’s a bit of a theory that a lot of this year’s ballads are being wiped out, and personally I don’t see this as an exception, I’ve always said that I can’t see who at home is going to vote for this.

John: Yes

She’s qualifying and that’s all there is to it. 😉

05) Romania

Ilinca feat. Alex Florea – “Yodel It!”. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU).

Kylie: Yes

This is a major televote magnet, I can’t see how this can fail. One of the very few safe qualifiers here.

John: Yes

Not as certain as people think, not entirely sure about the vocals last night, but it’s a barrel of fun that should get a huge televote tonight.

06) The Netherlands

OG3NE – “Lights And Shadows”. Credit: Thomas Hanses (EBU).

Kylie: Yes

This is easily one of the best vocal performances of this semi, juries will eat it up on this basis. And the presentation gives you an idea of who this song is for while being very tasteful and not being in-your-face.

John: Yes

I continue to be blown away by their harmonies, there’s something wrong if they don’t make it.

07) Hungary

Joci Pápai – “Origo”. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU).

Kylie: Yes

This is another one that could could go either way. On the one hand an ethno song with rap is jury suicide, however based on what I’ve heard from a friend who’s kinda an expert on Balkan culture, there’s a few countries in this semi with a Romani diaspora who would be ready to vote for this.

John: Yes

A surefire qualifier, ’nuff said.

08) Denmark

Anja Nissen – “Where I Am”. Credit: Thomas Hanses (EBU).

Kylie: Yes

People are debating over whether or not we’re going to see another Nordic Wipeout (minus Sweden) like last year, but in my eyes, I would be absolutely shocked if Denmark didn’t make it. It ticks a lot of jury boxes for me (strong vocals, inoffensive song) and I think there’ll be a decent enough televote to get through.

John: Yes

We saw some major vocal powerhouses fail to qualify on Tuesday but I think (or at least hope) that the same fate will not befall Anja. The famous red dress is back and she looks brilliant in it, so no Barbara Dex awards here. Plus it’s basically an Australian entry so it’s bound to make it.

09) Ireland

Brendan Murray – “Dying To Try”. Credit: Thomas Hanses (EBU).

Kylie: No

I’m really torn over this one, I could see this being saved by the juries in the end, and Brendan is as cute as a button on screen, but I’ve got a bad feeling that his squeaky voice will be too marmite for people at home.

John: No

I wonder who came up with the hot air balloon. I’d love to have been in that meeting. I think Brendan is doing a great job and his song is atmospheric but in this tough semifinal I think Ireland will fall at the last hurdle again.

10) San Marino

Valentina Monetta & Jimmie Wilson – “Spirit of the Night”. Credit: Thomas Hanses (EBU).

Kylie: No

As much as I love Valentina, and as much as these two have good chemistry, I just can’t see how this is going to be pushed over the line. Also I don’t like that she’s wearing a tracksuit when I would’ve had her in a glittery disco dress.

John: No

We all love these guys, but realistically this is not a qualifier.

11) Croatia

Jacques Houdek – “My Friend”. Credit: Thomas Hanses (EBU).

Kylie: Yes

THIS. IS. SO. GLORIOUS. It’s the Cezar Effect all over again: something so wonderfully bonkers it goes through. The final NEEDS this.

John: Yes

Well this one will prove divisive – I had a massive smile on my face watching this last night. Will annoy a lot of people by qualifying!

12) Norway

JOWST – “Grab The Moment”. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU).

Kylie: Yes

Call me a biased Norway-fangirl all you want, but while I have my concerns that the song isn’t instant enough to be totally safe and there’s a massive danger that it will be overshadowed by what comes before it, I do think the song has a very commercial and radio-friendly sound that the juries will get on board with. Lykke til Norge!

John: No

This one is impossible for me to predict, so it’s a no for now. I have no idea how the juries and televoters will take to it.

13) Switzerland

Timebelle – “Apollo”. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU).

Kylie: No

Maybe I’m being too harsh with this, but I just think the presentation is far too kitsch, which is what this song REALLY didn’t need if it wanted to stand any chance. The colour scheme really does not suit the song in my opinion, and the Big Bird dress is a potential Barbara Dex candidate.

John: No

I’m actually prepared to be wrong on this one. In a less competitive line-up I’d have sent this through.

14) Belarus

NaviBand – “Story Of My Life”. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU).

Kylie: Yes

After getting my fingers burnt on Tuesday, I’m slightly worried that there will be a shock, but based on radiating pure joy and happiness on screen, this has to go through, right?

John: No

This is my incredibly pessimistic prediction of tonight’s semifinal, after what happened with Finland on Tuesday I have to prepare myself for heartbreak once again. Naviband are absolutely adorable and I want their language and culture to be represented in the final, but I think somehow it will go unappreciated. I want to be wrong on this one!

15) Bulgaria

Kristian Kostov – “Beautiful Mess”. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU).

Kylie: Yes

Unless there’s a major dark horse that appears tonight, this is most likely the semi-final winner. The holograms make him look like a little magical boy, and who couldn’t like that?

John: Yes

Well d’uh, this is already in the final. Who would have thought a couple of years ago that we’d be saying this about a Bulgarian entry though! 🙂

16) Lithuania

Fusedmarc – “Rain of Revolution”. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU).

Kylie: No

Diaspora or no diaspora, this is absolutely hopeless. This could possibly be last with the juries, and if that’s the case, there’s very little chance of bouncing back.

John: No

The screens in the hall were off during this performance, but in the hall this fell flat as a pancake. Anything is possible I suppose but this is unlikely to be in the top 10.

17) Estonia

Koit Toome and Laura – “Verona”. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU).

Kylie: No

John, I am so sorry. I am so SO sorry. I was really torn over whether to have this or Norway in my final qualification slot. I sincerely hope I’m wrong here, but watching it in the context of the full show, something that I can’t put my finger on didn’t feel right, even though they sang well in the jury rehearsal. If I am wrong, I promise to buy John a drink at Euroclub.

John: Yes

I’m scared for my beloved Koit and Laura but I still think this song is good enough, and popular enough, to make the final. I’m scared for my beloved Koit and Laura but I still think this song is good enough, and popular enough, to make the final.

18) Israel

IMRI – “I Feel Alive”. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU).

Kylie: Yes

He delivered when it mattered, the camera loves him and I think people will get on board with it, and I can’t see much reason why the juries would give it too much of a kicking.

John: Yes

See my comments for Estonia but replace “Koit and Laura” with “Imri”.

So that’s our predictions! How many will we get right? How much of an idiot will either of us look? In any case, enjoy the show, and best of luck to everyone!

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Author: Kylie Wilson

Editor-in-chief of ESC Pulse. A British-New Zealander who's an unashamed Norwegophile, has watched Eurovision every year since 1999, and is not afraid to speak her mind and step outside the general consensus.

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